8:05 am Sep. 8, 20111
Each week, Capital's editors and writers will offer a list of the events, activities, releases and personal obsessions that we are looking forward to during the next week. Here is a list of our anticipations.
Cop movies at the Film Forum this weekend
Reid: I stumbled upon Film Forum's NYPD series earlier this week when I was trying to find a clip of former police commissioner Bill Bratton on David Paterson's radio show for this Ray Kelly piece. I missed Bratton introducing Madigan on Wednesday night, but there are some other good movies this weekend. Here's the list, which includes Serpico on Saturday and The Naked City and Pay or Die! on Sunday.
Jets vs. Cowboys on Sunday, Sept. 11
Reid: I had already braced for the disappointment of losing the Cowboys-Jets Sunday night season opener to a protracted labor dispute, but, by some miracle, the two sides worked it all out. So, the brotherly grudge match between the Sons of Buddy is officially on, leaving me to brace instead for the disappointment of the Dallas secondary. It's an annual thing, but this year should be fun at least; Rex Ryan's brother, Rob, is the Cowboys new defensive coordinator, and he's already cooking up strange blitzes, and gently mocking his brother's foot fetish. Meanwhile, Rex is feeling the weight of Week One. Capital bragging rights are on the line. It all portends a good football season.
Jets vs. Cowboys on Sunday, Sept. 11
Josh: It is very strange, as a Jets fan, to anticipate a thumping victory against the Dallas Cowboys. The Jets haven't been awful in any sustained way for a while now, more or less since Bill Parcells took charge of the team in the late '90s. But they haven't been champions in my lifetime either, unlike the periodically dynastic Cowboys Reid Pillifant grew up watching. (Roughly between the Jets' New York Sack Exchange period and the late-Testaverde miracle season of 1998, there was almost no reason to watch the Jets at all, unless you were really, really into the team, which I guess I was. I remember a game in the early '90s in which the Cowboys treated an end-of-season game against the Esiason-led, Coslet-coached Jets as a fun little warm-up for their post-season: Cowboys 28, Jets 7. But then lots of teams back in those days treated their Jets games as fun little warm-ups.)
Anyway, I think Mark Sanchez is going to pass for 200 yards against Dallas, with two touchdowns and no interceptions, and the Cowboys are going to struggle on offense, scoring a late, meaningless touchdown and, I don't know, giving up a safety. 26-14.
For the record, I think it stinks that Rex Ryan said what he said about Cowboys fans going to the game at the Meadowlands. This isn't Philadelphia, is it?
Beijing Welcomes You, by Tom Scocca
Josh: I have just finished reading my friend and former colleague Tom Scocca's excellent book "Beijing Welcomes You." Or it was actually the second time I read it, if I'm counting the pre-published version he was kind enough to let me look at a little while back. The "rough" take was also excellent, and not even all that rough, in my amateur opinion.
This book happens to be a useful and very timely thing. (Scocca explained it in a promotional interview this way: "The book through no particular feat of planning on my own happens to be arriving at a moment where everyone is like 'Tell us about our Chinese masters.'")
But above all, "Beijing Welcomes You" is a book that is extraordinarily well-written and very entertaining, and highly recommended.
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
Gillian: Swamplandia! is ruining my social life. At bars and parties (even fun ones!), I'm distracted because I'm thinking about it and wishing I was reading it. Russell, one of The New Yorkers’ picks for young fiction writers to watch, is a charming writer. In her first novel, she gives us Ava, the youngest member of the Bigtree tribe who lives in an amusement park called Swamplandia!. She wrestles alligators that she calls “Seths” and keeps a crimson-colored one as a pet. We follow her as she goes on an adventure in the swamps with a lanky, bleary-eyed Bird Man to rescue her family and Swamplandia! itself.
Safe Slope’s Take Back Our Streets rally on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m.
Gillian: I’m helping some friends organize a rally in response to the recent assaults and attempted assaults in Park Slope and several surrounding areas. Safe Slope formed last month to involve residents and help them organize to make the neighborhood safer, with the hope of inspiring a citywide network of community members who want to jumpstart resources in their own neighborhoods. They are working with businesses and local residents to organize "safe spaces" at 24/7 shops and delis; a "Safe Walk" program, which will offer volunteer-run escorting services for locals who feel unsafe in the neighborhood; and other services and resources. Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez; Tracy Hobson, executive director of the Center for Anti-Violence Education; The Line director Nancy Schwartzman and more plan to join the rally, which starts at the Prospect Avenue R stop on 4th Avenue at 17th Street and ends at the Detective Mayrose park on 17th Street between 6th and 7th avenues, where there will be speakers and a candlelight vigil (flashlights and glowsticks are also welcome).
"Misfits" on Hulu
Azi: While I try befriending someone who'll let me watch the Sept. 22 premiere of "Person of Interest," I'm going to binge on an oddly compelling British television show whose premise is too ridiculous to state as the reason for tuning in.
It's clear why they imported the show "Misfits" from across the pond. After you get past the premise—young delinquents who obtain superpowers in a freak storm—you can sit back and soak up the show, which is sleek, funny and masterfully shot. It's an ensemble cast (one of whom dies in the pilot!) but the standout is Nathan, a long-necked, curly haired smart-ass whose lovable, if not preternaturally offensive. But the rest of the cast, like the show, grows on you. Spoiler Alert: Nathan somewhat recedes into the background as each of his castrates comes to the fore in deceptively complicated tales of love, fear, revenge and growth. Towards the end of the second season, a love storyline emerges between two unsuspecting characters. Add some perfectly ironic supernatural powers and a Shakespearean dilemma heightened by time travel, and you have a hit. It may also be the only way to pass the time until Michael Emerson's return. Oh, you can find it on Hulu.
JC Fridays on Friday, Sept. 9
Joe: Have you heard of Jersey City, where the commute to Midtown is 15 minutes and the tree-lined brownstones cost less than your converted closet in the East Village? Perhaps you have, and are looking for a pretext for visiting this exotic realm of tax-free clothing and $8 cigarettes? Yes? OK then!
Plan your trip for Sept. 9 and go to JC Fridays, a boozy culture fest held the first Friday of each season (in this case it's technically still summer but whatever) when all the galleries and cafes and restaurants fete the local arts scene with exhibitions and performances and other creative happenings—while plying you with free wine. Among the events potentially of interest to the New York set: Kirkland Bray, of the GQ-approved men's design duo Billykirk, will present new works at 58 Gallery, a premier art and party space downtown; Madame Claude Wine—the cavernous sister spot of Madame Claude Cafe, which was prominently featured in Adam Sternbergh's 2006 New York magazine feature about the sixth borough—is hosting a tasting of its "finest selection of affordable wines ... with a concentration in small production, value, and of course delicious French wines"; and elder visual artist Grigory Gurevich invites you into his home for an exhibit of rare photographs taken on Sept. 11. You can view the full schedule here. Let the PATH train be your guide.
Monticello, Jude the Obscure, "Breaking Bad"
Dana: Depending on how ambitious I am—and generally speaking, my weekends are very unambitious—I may drive up to Monticello, where a friend's family has a house on a lake. No matter where I am, I plan to spend an inordinate amount of time watching "Breaking Bad," a show I'm only now discovering. It's "Sons of Anarchy"-level great. And, when I'm not doing that, I'll be rereading Jude the Obscure, an old favorite that I've been planning to revisit for years and now finally, happily, am.
Threepenny Opera: Songs
Tom:Threepenny Opera: Songs (Original Historic Recordings) was actually released on August 30, but I hadn't heard about it until a friend who writes about music offered to give me his review copies. (I'm still waiting for them, Z!) There was an old German version of Die Dreigroschenoper that my family liked to listen to when I was a kid, as well as the original cast recording from the 1956 English-language revival at Greenwich Village's Theatre de Lys, softened into a dark comedy of manners by Marc Blitzstein; this is the production that gave us "Mack the Knife" as you know it from Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin and countless others. The Blitzstein production never had quite the rambling intensity or impressive brutality (both musically and thematically) of the original, but it had its distinct pleasures. Still, the original 1928 historic recordings are something I can't wait to hear. Lotte Lenya's early Pirate Jenny can't ever really be replaced (even with Lotte Lenya's later Pirate Jennies); the immense popularity of what was essentially a dark Marxist critique of Western capitalism has, to my mind, warped the original beyond recognition; by 1933, when lyricist Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill were forced by the rise of Hitler to leave Germany, the play had been translated into 18 languages and performed more than 10,000 times on European stages. I don't think this is a bad thing: A different Threepenny Opera for a different age, I suppose (though I could have done without the recent one with its revolving cast of Hollywood starlets play-acting the Pirate Jenny role. Pace, Cyndi Lauper). But getting in touch with the real thing in a way, I am told, we haven't been able to before through this new album will be my chief leisure-time project of the next two weeks (aside from the season premiere of "Boardwalk Empire," of course.)