Archive for the ‘The Shy Life’ Category

“Some Days are Better Than Others” is one of the better films I’ve seen in a good long while. First there was the “hmm!” discovery that the film stars James Mercer of The Shins (he and everyone else in the film is fantastic). Then there was the fact that it snuck down from Portland, Oregon in all its unassuming splendor. We caught it at MoMA’s New Directors/New Films series.

It’s the beautiful girl with no makeup on: refreshing and authentic – especially in contrast to the well-lacquered lounge floozies of Hollywood. (Harsh? But you get the idea…) Matt McCormick lets nothing escape his lens. With stark inserts of wrecking balls crumpling Portland houses, and bottle green expanses of Pacific shoreline – even a character opening a refrigerator door – everything has that calm clarity of a morning spent alone. And the movie doesn’t just shrug in a mumblecore kind of way. It confronts you with issues of educated poverty, foreclosures, forgotten objects, lost souls, and the yearning to matter to someone…or in the case of one character, matter to everyone. It spoke to me. What did it say? I’m not going to tell you.  Give your ten, eleven dollars to Matt McCormick who made an ultra low budget movie look like oro verde. I sincerely hope you get the chance.


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Sorry for the white screen that has bean, and sorry for the white screen below…but if you perk up your ears, you’ll catch harmonies you never could before in one of the greatest Beatles songs of all time:

…more to follow, shy travelers

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I couldn’t sleep until I had it resolved. It was one of those questions that you ask yourself, but barely, like the small child version of you asking the preoccupied adult. The adult forgets to answer the child and so the question goes unanswered for years until suddenly you can’t get to sleep one night until you know…


“Young Girl Get Out of My Mind” and “Woman, Woman Have You Got Cheating on Your Mind?”

The Google Gods confirmed this suspicion in less than six seconds. A Mr. Gary Puckett did the deed on both counts, poisoning my young ears in the cars of my childhood and every now and then buzzing in my adult skull against my will. Mr. Puckett, the way I see it you owe me something for inflicting this trauma; something more than a pack of gum and less than a jet. Whatever it is, I’ll think of it and then I’ll let you know…


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Anybody seen Spring lately? Kind of like the liveliest guy at the party, Spring breezed in a little while back, smiling, flanked by models, and then – what – went back out for a smoke?  In any event, the guy keeps disappearing. Maybe the back door got jammed. He better show his face again before Summer gets here.  Summer shows up late, leaves early, and drinks all the Corona, without fail.

While we’re waiting, have some hummus, and a laugh:

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I once went running hungover (still drunk, really) through a Medieval Festival in Fort Tryon Park. For me, this is the perfect metaphor for love, especially at the beginning of a relationship. Everything is new and beautiful; you’re completely disoriented; adrenaline propels you through your own exhaustion, and yet every few yards you find yourself dodging horse droppings or tripping over children in tiny tunics. By the time you’ve made it through the crowd it’s hard to tell how far you’ve come and where you are now, and most importantly, whether you want to stop or keep on going.

love or just a fucking festival?

love or just a friggin' festival?

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No, no, no, you say; Kirsten Dunst plays Mary Jane in the ever-popular Spiderman movie franchise. Spiderman does not exist in real life, nor does Dunst even play the character in the movies. However, The Shy Traveler has a little real life story for ya. Doesn’t TST always have a little story for ya?kirsten_dunst_spiderman

This past weekend, The Shy Traveler and friend, Josh Levine, were on our way up Eighth Avenue around midnight when we encountered a man face down in the sidewalk. No, this man wasn’t just taking a seat after a few too many mojitos, and he also wasn’t homeless. He was barely conscious and coughing up things that looked like teeth. The contents of his wallet were scattered on the pavement and he was dangerously close to the street. This man was in extremely bad shape, with no comrades in sight, and in serious need of some help.

While countless tourists, New York residents, and even a police officer tripped over his legs and passed him by without so much as blinking, Josh and I stopped. We hoisted him into the upright position and tried to get some information from him such as “do you have any friends we can call?” and “where do you live, man?” We tried to get his possessions back on his person. After a couple of minutes of readjusting the wilting man, he launched out of our arms into oncoming traffic. (African American man+black leather coat+dark pants+nighttime = p-a-n-i-c.) Cars screeched to a halt in succession inches from hitting him, until he fell down in front of one. I ran into traffic after him and dragged him back to the sidewalk. He kept saying “Jessica…I loved her…” over and over. PL5983Nothing else that came out of his mouth resembled English or any other discernible language. After Josh and I got him sitting down again with both sets of hands gripping the straps of his backpack, a group of four people stopped to help us out. A petite blonde girl and her father, along with two other women pulled over. The girl offered our fallen man some water and called for an ambulance. Her father picked up dollar bills strewn on the sidewalk and gave them back to the man. The group asked us where we were coming from and told us how nice it was that we’d stopped to help. Josh and I had our focus trained on the man and our energy on keeping him away from the street, but we realized after a couple of glances that the blonde girl in the group was Kirsten Dunst and this man with her must be her father. (There was too much of a resemblance for him not to be.) We told them they could go since the ambulance was now on its way, but they insisted on staying with us a good 15-20 minutes in the bitter cold until it arrived.

So thanks to Kirsten Dunst, a good NYC samaritan, and to her father, who seemed also to be a salt-of-the-earth type of person, for your help.

To our fallen man, I hope you’ve recovered from Saturday night and whatever heartbreak Jessica may have caused. I said it then and I’ll say it again now, “She’d be a fool not to love you, man.”

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What do blue clogs, tears, frozen fish, and Titanic quotes all have in common?

Well, in honor of Valentine’s Day 2009, I thought I’d share some of my favorite recent Missed Connections from Craigslist NYC. I can only hope these folks found each other and exchanged some cheap chocolate love today…

1. Blue Swedish clogs FRI 12:30 downtown W blonde – m4w (Flatiron)

2. A Train/Dyckman u were crying & wearing a blue coat with gray fur trim – m4w (Inwood / Wash Hts)

3. Jan 23 – You bought 2 pieces of frozen tilapia, Park Slope Food Coop – m4w – (Express Checkout, 7:30pm-ish)

4. I just cant get over you – m4w

I have my good days and some bad and I thought today might be a good one. Until Titanic came on. “You jump I jump, right?” Whatever happened to that?

Just waiting for the water to swallow me.

love can be elusive...

love can be elusive...that's why there's missed connections

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