Monday, April 28, 2008

Nowhere in Africa (2001)

I really wanted to like this movie, but I found it overwhelmingly anachronistic, in an almost endless variety of ways. For instance, here's a silly anachronism that runs throughout the movie: they live on a farm upcountry in Kenya where they adopt a dog that was running wild, but they then take it on walks with a leash. There are much deeper instances of this problem, but that they would overlook such a simple instance is telling.

My real problem with it was that the characters rang false: everything was too simple. They all have incredibly enlightened views on race relations, volunteering to do menial labor on their farm alongside their workers. And they're ultimately unfazed by any of the many horrible things going on around them.

Maybe the book has richer portrayals of their struggles. The story itself is interesting, so I should check it out. I give it four out of ten stars.

Minor location quibble: there's a series of scenes shot at a hotel that's supposed to be the Norfolk Hotel, but it doesn't really look anything like the Norfolk. At least "Out of Africa" bothered to get that kind of stuff right.

Friday, April 18, 2008

In Need of a Haircut

Central Park, April 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sunset Park, Brooklyn

View of the city from the park. It would be nice to watch the sunset from here, presumably. For once, a neighborhood's name isn't a blatant lie.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fort Tompkins (Staten Island)

Every time I propose going to Staten Island, people laugh, but every time they come they have a good time. This past Sunday I took Heather, Mike, Jimbo, Jill, and Logan to the Island. Our first stop was Fort Tompkins, which is visible from the Verrazano Bridge (which is how I first discovered it). What's particularly cool about it is that large portions of it are covered with shrubbery, making it look like a Mayan ruin in the middle of the jungle.

We then went and got pizza at Cafe Milano, which was a hit all around (in spite of Heather's worries). And then we had some Ralph's Ices.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


From eBay. I just typed in "doggie seat belt". It's a padded harness that attaches to the normal seat belt.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Overheard at the Dog Park

Two white women in their late twenties, recovering from a late night out at Ri Ra's. One says to the other, "He's 34, so all of his friends are married with kids."

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Crooked Beats Record Store (Washington DC)

This is a pretty lackluster record store in Adams Morgan.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

R.I.P. Clarendon CD Cellar

The Clarendon branch of the Falls Church used CD (and now record) store CD Cellar has just closed. They said it was because their landlord is going to tear down the building and build a parking lot.