Saturday, February 27, 2010
Violent Cop was a good movie, I'm glad I surmounted all the obstacles that had stood in the way to watching it. First I had to go to the video store and get over my fear of dealing with anything German and official, i.e. getting a membership. Then I had to find a movie that had English subtitles, as most of the features in the "Asiatische Cinema" are in the original language with subtitles auf Deutsch. I rented Violent Cop and brought it home only to discover that my CD/DVD rom in my computer is having some serious issues and I can't watch DVDs on it. So I had to ask my roommate if I could watch it in his room, whatever. Finally I sit down to see this movie, and the subtitle track is horrendously incomplete. I can barely surmise what's going on, and what's more, the first half an hour or of the movie is more dialogue-ish then violent-cop-ish. So I was just about ready to turn it off when something really cool happens in the movie: Takeshi "Beat" Kitano is in a car with his partner, they've just run down a suspect that hit one of their cop buddies in the head with a baseball bat (cool gore) and Beat's partner thinks that they've killed the guy with their car, and is kind of pissed at Beat, concerned he's just gone all excessive force on this dude. Then Kitano grab's his partner's head and pulls him down as the criminal pops up with the bat and smashes the passenger side window. It's a shock similar to the scene in Godfather Part II when they try to assassinate
Michael Corleone. Anyhoozer from here on out the movie gets really good, the cinematography
really finds its footing, and I felt like even the subtitles improved. To think I was about to give up on this movie! There's a lot of "don't give up" going on in the film - it's full of awkwardly long cuts where Kitano is in some sort of willpower stand-off with his opponent whomever they may be, but the fact that it made me mildly uncomfortable was pleasing, if even the desired effect. The end of the film is so brutal it's kind of hard to see coming, if you make it that far it will be well worth your while. See it.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
The New York Times' travel article about a weekend in Richmond reads like some sort of CRUEL JOKE in a plot laid against this southern capitol by the Elitist Yankees to deprive the recuperating city of needed tourist income. The poorly composed headline image just screams "REDNECK TOWN" with a woman in a sundress holding a nearly naked baby that I guess people on the upper-west side are supposed to assume is illegitimate and chuckle to themselves before they move on the the Book Review. If they do decide to milk the shit for every laugh they could actually read it and its enticing itinerary: pay someone to let help you climb a tree? Anime, "funky" ballgowns, and local t-shirt designs? SANDWICHES? COME ON! Reading this managed to even cloud over my memories of the rope-swing, running full court in Randolph, and finding that Assuck record for two dollars at Plan Nine. I was totally like, "Fuck that place, fuck that place forever."
But I went back anyway when I returned to the USA for a few weeks, spending about ten days in Richiemond, and I remembered that Richmond is the shit. But maybe I can do a better job of making you want to go than the NYT, and I'll even do it for free. I mean this is basically just what I would do, so, whatever.
FRIDAY 5 PM
If the sun is still shining, I would just immediately go to the North Bank of the James River. If you access this by way of Oregon Hill, stop by 805 China and grab Charlie if he isn't already running amok in the hood getting pepper-sprayed by the mailman. Then walk-down to the O Hill James River overlook and behold the majesty of the less than roaring but altogether chill sounding James. This is a tight spot to contemplate life's mysteries or be on acid when there is a lightning storm across the river. From hear you can go across the Lee bridge to the Buttermilk Trail on the south bank, or cross the suspended pedestrian bridge to Belle Isle and see some lazy sunbathers and tru freeqs. My favorite is to just stay on the north bank and take that trail to Texas Beach and back, but be mindful that TB is a Richmond cruising spot (like, cruising for dick).
I GUESS LIKE A COUPLE HOURS OR SO LATER?
GO to MAMA'S KITCHEN for dinner. I truly love this restaurant and everything served there, I guess expect like, Mountain Dew. Mama's is essentially a two-person operation, there's Mama - a REAL Korean mother - and her husband who I just call Mama's husband. So needless to say the food has consistency going for it, as it's just them working everyday lunch and dinner, and its consistently BANGIN. I'm not going to suggest anything because everything is seriously so good.
WHEN U DUN
I guess just buy some PBR and kick it with some homies at the spot. In summer, Richmond has mad front porches that provide a nice public/private interaction interface, plus you can just piss on the fence. I would say pump 92.1, but it won't never be like it used to, so just browse b/n that and 106.5 the BEAT.
Hit a house party, try to get them to bump JAMZ until it gets busted.
WHEN U GET UP
If you are just around for the weekend this would be the time to go to Tarrant's Cafe - Saturday around noon. At this point you can order off the entire menu, which is already so abundant it will have you wondering if you got the right thing until you take the first bite of your food, PLUS the lunch specials, PLUS the brunch menu. Any anxieties about your order will be relieved when you start eating and realize Tarrant's does it right, everything tastes great and the portion sizes could even send you home with a mid-afternoon snack. Any other anxieties can be relieved by sprinkling klonopin on your food.
Now would be a good time to do what Richmond facilitates best: loaf about on a bicycle. Richmond is flat for the most part, has decent infrastructure and semi-interesting but not too gripping destinations mottled throughout. You can get all Situationist International with it and let the city itself guide your derive, but do try and hit the portion of Riverside Drive between The Lee and Nickle Bridges (BLOW THAT TOLL).
Grab some coffee, honestly your best bet is Starbucks.
Maybe there is a VCU basketball game, go see it, go Rams!
If you are just hungry, I would hit Croaker's Spot, probably the coolest restaurant in Richmond, I think. Straight up soul-food, great fried trout and without a doubt the best cornbread of all time ever. Cool cocktails too - order a WALA and see what happens. Two Street and Leigh.
YOU BUZZED NAH
So get in your car and drive to the spot, again. Sip a little, then maybe hit a bar. I guess will say I used to like Ipanema a lot, the vibe is a little different now but the ambiance is still alright. Cous-cous I like a lot, you can basically jump between these two for the night. For a slightly more grimy vibe you can hit Helen's. After you are drunk and shit you should definitely hit Aladin's, the dope falafel spot open til like 4 am. CASH ONLY SUCKA.
Sunday morning, uhhh shit man just get an Egg Mcmuffin, be sure to litter with the wrapper before you get to 95 and tip the fuck out.
Best to have an ex-girlfriend you are on good terms with, but if not just start talking to BROS and they will put you up or get your swag and aura up so you don't have to lay lonely.
I do miss Richmond.