One of the worst experiences as a film-goer is to watch a character eat something delicious–take the Katz’s Deli scene in When Harry Met Sally, where everyone is enjoying their pastrami sandwiches in the background (and I don’t even like Katz’s)–and then you reach down for the soggy popcorn in your lap. But now there’s a solution for audiences that want to feast like the subjects on the screen. It’s an event called the Food Film Festival, which was cooked up when filmmaker George Motz paired his documentary Hamburger America with Harry Hawk’s hamburger joint. Forget watch what you eat, it’s eat what you watch.
On Sunday, when Hurricane Sandy was making its approach and most Long Islanders were preparing for what was being dubbed a Frankenstorm, I surfed Long Beach. When hurricanes reach New York with some strength, they usually produce incredible waves. The swells on Sunday, however, were not that impressive. (The currents, however, did send me one mile down the beach after about ninety minutes of surf and over the next twenty four hours, the waves jacked up.) But at the time, I wondered if I would’ve evacuated Long Beach if I had still lived in town, the way I had done the previous year when Hurricane Irene came through and turned out to be mostly hot air.
The McKittrick Hotel in Manhattan was completed in 1939, but this luxury hotel was condemned and never opened… until now when the performance of Sleep No More checked in.
“Here is your room key,” the usher said to my wife and me. She handed us a playing card. Mine was a two, my wife’s was a three. “This way, sir.”
But she didn’t guide us on the walk through the labyrinthine darkness. It felt like a snaking darkroom. I guided my wife by dragging a hand along the felt wall. It led to a bar or the 1930s, a resurrection of a decadent hotel bar never opened or a portal back to a gothic speakeasy.
When I first started teaching in Queens in 2005, my high school students knew about the September 11th attacks. After all, they had lived it. They remembered the terror that filled their New York City classrooms, the fear in their parents’ eyes when they picked them up from school, the inescapable newscasters interrupting their regularly scheduled broadcasts.
The Vietnamese alphabet has less letters than the English alphabet, but each of their vowels has quite a few tones, which makes the language very confusing.
For example, the word ma means ghost, cheek, tomb, rice seedling, butt, or horse. It just depends on your tone.
Similarly, hii can mean two, funny, harmful, sea, or scared.
How confusing would it be to say the following sentence in Vietnamese?
“I was scared when two harmful seas converged.” In Vietnamese, it would sound like this: “I was hii when hii hii hii converged.”