Remember the second half of the 90s, when Hollywood cracked the Elmore Leonard code? The author’s crisp and snappy prose had proved famously and surprisingly difficult to translate onto the big screen for much of his career, until Get Shorty came out in 1995, followed swiftly by Jackie Brown (an adaptation of Leonard’s novel Rum Punch) and Out of Sight in 1997 and 1998, respectively. Their critical receptions at the time called forward to the comic-book adaptation boom, in that each successive movie was greeted with cries of “no, THIS is the way to do it!” Barry Sonnenfeld’s version of Shorty, with a post-Pulp John Travolta spouting similarly electric dialogue, was considered the most right-on Leonard translation yet, until Tarantino’s Jackie Brown made it look a little superficial with its focus on older, less flashy characters, which was then supplanted by the jazzy cool of Soderbergh’s Out of Sight. With distance, it’s easier to see the three adaptations both as a very loose trilogy (Michael Keaton appears in both Jackie and Sight, playing the same character) and very particular expressions of their directors’ sensibilities. The films weren’t outdoing each other; they were building on each other, consciously or not (most likely not, as they all probably went into production without much time to pay attention to their predecessors).
A good bartender is many things — a silent sentinel who also listens and talks when you need them to, someone who is somehow a step ahead of your every need, anticipating when your water needs a refill or when you’re ready to cash out. A good bartender isn’t afraid to kick out that dude who can’t hold his head up at the end of the bar when he starts to get rowdy. A good bartender is the kind of person who will let you charge your phone behind the bar and maybe even will do a buyback once in a little while. A good bartender, at the end of the day, shares the same straits as a good person, and those are few and far between.
You could be a jerk about it, and list all the things that make a bad bartender, but that’s not how we like to do it here. Good people should be celebrated, and no energy should be wasted on the ones that make us feel like crap. After narrowing down a list of traits, I distilled the three things that make a good bartender really, really good.
Yesterday, the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute released the results of a wide-ranging survey gauging New Yorkers’ opinions of their police force. The 1,021 respondents were asked questions about the NYPD actions that led to the death of Eric Garner, whether or not broken windows policing is effective, and if police brutality is an active problem, amongst many other things.
If you walk into an upscale liquor store in Brooklyn these days, hidden amongst the usual selection of ryes and bourbons and scotches, there is inevitably a gussied up bottle claiming to be moonshine. In cocktail bars, you can sometimes find twists on martinis or sangria that purport to be made with moonshine. People: It’s a lie. What you have on your hands is unaged corn whiskey.
The first Denny’s in New York City will open tomorrow morning in the Financial District, where it will offer a subprime mortgage lending credit default crisis remix of its classic Grand Slam: the Grand Cru Slam. It’s a regular Grand Slam served with a bottle of Dom Perignon and it costs $300. Or, about 30x the price of a Grand Slam everywhere else in America. LOL. (more…)
Just last night, the Brooklyn Cyclones hosted a Nickelodeon-themed night, featuring a first pitch from Kel Mitchell, slime and a live game of Double Dare!. But it seems like we haven’t quite gotten the nostalgia out of our systems yet: In November, the totally real house band from the Adventures of Pete and Pete are going on a small national tour and they’re coming to Brooklyn.
These boots are made for walkin’. (via Instagram @madewell1937)
We’ve officially entered fall preview season, which means it’s time to inflate your brain to maximum information-holding capacity: New York Magazine just unveiled a massive fall retail preview, and—surprise!—a lot of the stores are in Brooklyn. Surprise #2: Not all of them are located in Williamsburg! This fall, prepare yourselves (and your sweater budgets) for a boutique inside a Bed-Stuy brownstone, a clearance-only Neiman Marcus in Brooklyn Heights, and yes, that J. Crew in Williamsburg you’ve been hearing so much about.
Thomas Allen Harris. Photo by Russell Frederick for Chimpanzee Productions, Inc.
The latest work by Bronx-born filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris, Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People, is a moving and enlightening essay film-cum-documentary inspired by Deborah Willis’s landmark book, Reflections in Black (2000). In exploring the way images of “blackness” have impacted upon his own family life and sense of self-worth as an African-American, Harris liberally intersperses pictures from his own family albums, and provides a lyrical, reflective structuring voiceover. Yet the film’s concerns run broader than the life of its director. Tapping into a vast, thoroughly researched archive, Harris interweaves a fount of historical material (African-Americans who were slaves, who fought in the Civil War, were victims of lynchings, or were pivotal in the ongoing Civil Rights Movement) with images by—and interviews with—a host of esteemed contemporary photographers like Anthony Barboza, Coco Fusco, and Carrie Mae Weems. Harris began work on this long-gestating film back in 2005, and it finally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January this year. Ahead of the film’s current engagement at Film Forum, I sat down with Harris near his Manhattan home base, to discuss the project’s genesis, aims, and contemporary relevance.
How did you come to the project in the first place?