Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ok. So... I lied.

At the end of my last post, I mentioned an idea that I had while walking around the city - specifically, I mentioned that I would tell anyone who's reading this about that idea.

As it turns out, I have decided not to share that idea. Instead, I'll tell you another one that's equally enjoyable should you find yourself in New York in the hopes that you'll forgive me for not sharing the other idea... Here it is:

Buy one of those small Moleskin notebooks. Go to New York. Go to Manhattan. Ride the subway. Walk through Central Park. Walk the High Line in SoHo. Walk through Times Square.

Every time you hear an interesting snippet of conversation, write it down. Here are some examples (things I actually heard during a few of my New York adventures):

Brooklyn. 7am. Man in suit, walking while chatting on his cell phone: "You tell that guy, if he tries that with me again, I'll shove a Chalupa up his ass - sideways."

Manhattan. Subway. 4pm. Two young girls talking to one another: "I slept with him." "You did?? Oh! I'm so happy for you!!" "It wasn't my first time..."

Brooklyn. Subway. 8pm. A Puerto Rican man sits across from me. He is listening to music on those odd sort of wraparound Bluetooth headphones. To his left is a pretty redhead. He glances over at her continually in that way that let's me (and the redhead girl) know that he wants her to glance back. She doesn't. Occasionally, feeling his gaze, the redhead glances at me with that look that says, "Ugh." After a few stops, she finally gets up and exits the train. He waits a beat, then, over the persistent blast of music in his headphones, shouts this to me: "Did you see that?! She couldn't look at me! I was too attractive for her (pronounced 'ha')! On account of my Puerto Rican-ness."

I just smiled and nodded. Oh, and for the record? Not an attractive guy.

Anyway! Just some fun examples of the crazy shit you hear in New York.

So. Where was I before?

Yes. New York. I'm obsessed.

I spent a few days walking around the city where I encountered so many amazing things and people. I shared a lunch table with a Lawyer from DC and a Doctor from Jersey at

If you haven't been? You haven't lived.

Them later that same day, I had a meal with an elderly couple from Trinidad and Tobago... (the most beautiful, lyrical accents.)

I met an actress on the subway, and an art professor from Paris. I spoke with an art student from Seattle and her friend who she often paints as a subject. I admired the extraordinary architecture and marveled at amount of people on the street... I walked around for hours with my friend Lynn, talked with strangers, admired, well, everything... and just had a stunning time.

Even the view from my room was incredible!

Here are some more pictures from my adventures:

Can't wait to go again. And share the new adventure with you.


Friday, November 11, 2011

To Mill Valley... And beyond! (PT. 1)

Justin and Evan got invited to the Mill Valley Film Festival and Justin was kind enough to see to it that I also got to attend.

Despite having been to San Francisco and even living in Northern California for a lot of my childhood, I had never been to Mill Valley. If you have never been, I highly recommend it. It's a very romantic and magical place. You might compare it to Carmel (if you've ever been), only it's a little less, um, sleepy. In other words, you can still get dinner at 11pm if you want.

The Festival has a lot of support behind it (Lucasfilm, AMPAS [Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences], Whole Foods), and because of their generous sponsors, they are able to really take care of their filmmakers. We were nominated for, and later won, the Best US Feature Audience Award (shared with the stunning PARIAH).

While we were there, I got to see BUTTER which had a stellar cast and was a pretty funny (thinly veiled political parody) film. I also ran into Michelle Yeoh, who I've known for years, whose film THE LADY received very strong word of mouth and also won an award at the Fest.

GIRLFRIEND played its first (sold out) showing across a bridge and down the road a bit in San Rafael, Ca. at the Rafael Theatre. San Rafael doesn't have the quaint, village-like feel of Mill Valley proper... it somehow feels like a cleaner version of Haight Ashbury... at least the part that I saw, which was a four block stretch of 4th Street.

Our next showing was in Mill Valley, but neither Justin nor I could be there, so Evan did the Q & A himself. I hear it was a great success.

After a great two days in the Bay Area, we drove home to LA before Justin went off to the Festival in Ghent and I headed for North Carolina to make a little money on the Disney film I'm working on.

North Carolina, while beautiful (see below), is not a place I will necessarily be rushing back to. Truth to tell, I'm not much for nature - and there's lots of it there. Lots and lots of it. We were shooting additional photography on the Biltmore Estate. 80,000 acres of stunning foliage. The first day, it poured rain on us, but the second day was pleasant enough.

 During that first week in North Carolina, I found out I would going to New York for the weekend. Friday, I'd be helping out during ADR for the Disney film and maybe have some free time in the city before flying back out on Sunday.

I arrived into JFK and, while waiting for my bags, met a very nice woman from San Francisco (but who is Malaysian). She is an architect and was in New York to see a performance by her favorite dance troupe.

Since she needed to get into Manhattan and my cab was being paid for by Disney, I offered to share the cab to my hotel, after which, she could continue on (for far less money) to her destination.

We talked all the way into the city and when we arrived at my hotel, exchanged cards. It was just the beginning of what was going to be a great weekend... and the beginning of e new idea I will tell you about in the next blog.

This has been a short(er) blog than usual, but the next will be coming soon!

Thanks for reading!