A Capital anticipations list: The Gutter, Asbury Park, ‘Connections,’ Souen, EMA, ‘Little Dorrit’
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.
Dana: I'm hoping to go bowling this weekend. My neighborhood venue of choice for extraordinary displays of physical ineptitude is the Gutter, on North 4th Street. It has none of the Bowlmor-like pretensions of Brooklyn Bowl—nor does it have the exorbitant pricetag. And it does a good job of recreating the semblance of a bowling alley as it should be: slightly seedy with pitchers of beer. Also, they let you have food delivered there. If all goes according to plan, which it likely will not, this weekend I will also accomplish that which I failed to do last time around: read Jameson Doig's Empire on the Hudson, perhaps the only scholarly work about the history of the Port Authority.
"Shock of the New," and an appreciation for "Connections"
Gabe: Lots of art around town, more than enough really, what with a biennial, a triennial, and two exciting openings this week in Keith Haring at the Brooklyn Museum and Francesca Woodman at the Guggenheim. I’ve been looking backward in terms of art lately, watching "The Shock of the New," art critic Robert Hughes’ 1980 BBC series on the roots and strains of modernism. Hughes displays what seems now a slightly stodgy idea of what is and is not modernism, but the look and feel of the show I find mesmerizing (I’m a sucker for this era of the Beeb’s documentary series, evidenced in my love for the kooky science show "Connections" as well as the latter-day BBC series that makes fun of these types of shows, "Look Around You"). Best of all, the whole series is available for streaming at Ubuweb.
Watermark in Asbury Park, N.J.
Joe: Maybe global warming isn't so bad after all if it means no-socks and short-sleeves weather will arrive this promptly every year from now on? Kidding! I don't really think that. And besides, these very un-lion-like early March temperatures are reportedly being cause by a "jet stream moving north to south on the West Coast ... pushing an opposite, seesaw effect in the rest of the nation." Whatever it is, I'm as psyched about it as the next guy. So the timing for a family dinner down the shore this Saturday couldn't be better, even though it's supposed to drop back down to the low '60s by then. (Which is still pretty awesome, amiright?) The plan is to pass through Asbury Park on the way to where my relatives live in Toms River for a mid-afternoon cocktail and some ocean-gawking. There is this place on the boardwalk called Watermark. This is where I'll be sitting.
The Sea Around Us, Souen, EMA and The Rub
Gillian: I'm losing my marbles over this weather and have been itching to ride to the beach. It will probably be too cold to convince anyone to ride with me (whimps) so I might just end up trying to be patient by reading Rachel Carson's The Sea Around Us. I found a tattered, 1961 edition of the book at Book Thug Nation a few weeks ago, and have been trying to finish it between regular daily reading, a re-reading of Ellen Willis' essays, and Miles Klee's Ivyland. I want to finish reading all of the books, but I can't promise to finish reading the internet.
Friday will probably include seeing EMA at the Music Hall of Williamsburg with the excellent Nu Sensae, then heading to The Rub's opening night at their new Bell House home. I also have a plan to eat at Souen, a microbiotic spot in Union Square. It's a good time kick off healthy spring eating.
Tom: I sincerely hope to be able to sit down to watch the three-hour Episode 2 of the 1988 BBC television production of Little Dorrit.
To say that this one stars Derek Jacobi and Alec Guinness is only to scratch the surface: This is a production from that era where historical and literary miniseries spent all the money on lots and lots of great writing and great acting, not so much on things like sound production or scenery.
Watch as Derek Jacobi wanders through a "wood" that looks in all likelihood to be a big piece of wallpaper with a photograph of a pastoral scene, with like one bush sticking up out of the bottom of the screen for foregrounding! Try to listen as Derek Jacobi delivers a reflective speech about the nature of industry while standing in front of a giant whirring machine, the noise of which drowns him out!
But when they do speak, oh, do they speak nicely. This trailer, despite the cheesy voiceover, will give you a small sense for the quality (mostly comic, but sometimes quite touching) of the acting, and also maybe the self-awareness of the BBC, which lists all the actors in the whole production at the end in a way that resembles nothing so much as the Gary Marshall New Year's Eve posters of today. The difference is the people who showed up to Little Dorrit bothered to act.