Friday, June 12, 2009

Self-Imposed Prisoner of Baltic Street

Oy, oy, oy. I am not feeling like myself at all. Last night I was supposed to hang out with friends in the hood, finally try that Lucali's pizza everyone's been going so nuts over, and see Robyn Hitchcock play within walking distance (granted a long walk. In the rain.) of my house. But after a week of essentially doing nothing, a wave of fatigue and sadness got the best of me and I skipped the whole thing and sat home and watched the Prisoner of Second Avenue.

Not exactly the thing to lift one's spirits six months into unemployment. Takes place in 1975, yup, height of NYC's worst recession before, well, now. Jack Lemmon is losing his shit. Everything makes him "nervous." There's a heat wave. He narrowly misses the bus, then runs to catch it but doesn't have the exact .35 (!) to stay on. He flags down a cab, hoping for a quick ride and some A/C relief, only to discover that a young, pocky Murray F. Abraham can only have it on up front. He arrives at work to discover half the staff laid off and a bill for yesterday's lunch. At home, the A/C only works on extremely cold settings, but he'll take it over the alternative, his next door neighbors' very faint partying disturbs him just THAT much, and gorgeous wife Anne Bancroft (who manages to be beautiful and chic no matter what New York accent she has to put on over it), who has the patience of a Saint Patricks Day bartender, can't get him to calm down, helplessy watching him yell and bang the easily cracking sheetrock wall down. He eventually loses the job, they get robbed of everything including the liquor and all his suits and his upstairs neighbor dumps a pale of ice cold water on him during a particularly awful rant on their tiny terrace. Months go by, Anne Bancroft gets a stressful job with long hours (but AWESOME pencil skirts), he fails to find one himself (Job, I mean, no pencil skirts for Jack Lemmon in this flick), and it's not until he "accidentally" mugs Sylvester Stallone in Central Park that he gets his mojo back.

What have I learned from this? Robyn Hitchcock played Waterloo Sunset, one of my very favorite songs EVER and I missed it 'cos I couldn't get my head out of my ass. Maybe I need a pencil skirt to get a job. And I am not looking forward to NYC's next heatwave and $2.25 bus and subway fare.

Stallone's in his 60s now. I can take him. Well, maybe...

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