My friend Z and I had our annual July 4 American movie date. There was nothing with car chases that we had any interest in seeing, so we went to the last theater in town (the Loews on 11th and 2nd) that was still showing The Grand Budapest Hotel. It’s a Wes Anderson quirkfest, delicious to look at and neatly cast, but despite all the activity and admirable moral (be nice to people and they’ll invite you along on their jailbreak) it ended up feeling longer than its hour and a half length. I’m glad I saw it, don’t get me wrong.

Wes Anderson’s apartment is not far away, something Z knew because he’d been there once on architectural business. It’s a totally bland and rather shabby six-story building on 14th St east of First Avenue that Allen Ginsburg once lived in, and Anderson’s apt. used to be owned by the painter Larry Rivers. Oh, here‘s more about it that Z sent me later.  The building runs through the block from 14th to 13th Sts., so it’s long and narrow, and Anderson has the only full-length apartment, 200 feet long and maybe 25 feet wide. Z also said that a freight elevator was installed years ago; it had to be big enough for Rivers’ paintings, so it’s super-long but very narrow. Anyway, we went and marveled at its ordinariness, and then had a beer in a bar on 6th Street next to one of the nicest of the many community gardens around there, and after that I got on the F train and managed to get back in time to see ten or fifteen minutes of the big fireworks display from what turned out to be a great viewing location around the corner from my place.

I congratulated myself that I was not among the crowds trying to get out of the neighborhood (or the people with poor taste in loud music playing down the block) and settled down with the cat.


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