Friday, December 28, 2007

Fire! ...And gangsters!

My commute to work this morning was delayed a bit by a small track fire at the DeKalb Avenue subway station. The several adorable firemen lingering on the platform completely made up for the inconvenience. I'm not exaggerating, these were some of the cutest, most baby-faced firemen I've ever seen. I think Brooklyn has the cute ones, Manhattan has the hot ones.

In completely unrelated affairs, I have a 4-DVD box set of 16 mobster b-movies that I bought several years ago for about $8, and last night I took a look at it to see if I could find any inspiration in the titles or plot summaries, when I discovered that it includes The Big Combo! Now that I know what a hot little flick it is, I could hardly believe it. I had watched a few of the other movies in the collection, which are mostly from the early '30s to the early '40s, and they were pretty cheesy, but not in an entirely bad way.

Speaking of which, anybody remember Johnny Dangerously? I discovered it in the late-'80s when I was obsessed with spoofs (Mel Brooks) and Michael Keaton (Beetlejuice, Batman), and had but a fledgeling interest in gangster movies thanks to Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Cartoon noir wins over all.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007 the rain.

There's nothing like standing alone under a cold, misty drizzle in Madison Square Park, quiet after work hours and lit with strings of golden Christmas lights, with the silver glow of the Empire State spire rising above the winter-stripped trees to your right, and the fashionably old-fashioned Flatiron diverting 5th Avenue and Broadway traffic to your left, while you bite into a freshly grilled Shake Shack cheeseburger whose grease warms your bare fingertips through its wax paper wrapping, the puffs of fog rising from your lips as you chew in indulgent isolation. And then you think: You will never get these pathetic ten minutes of your life back, so you might as well savor them and remember them well.