Saturday, February 12, 2005

the gates

"Friday Night Lights" was disappointing compared to the book. I mean, it was a good enough sports movie I suppose, but they left out or glossed over a lot of the things that I thought made the book interesting, like the fact that the kids basically never got a high school education, or the double-standard of race relations in the town of Odessa when it came to student athletes. It addressed how much pressure the kids were under to perform and succeed, and how difficult it was to shoulder the expectations of an entire town at such a young age (as well as how miserable it is to expect your life's accomplishments to peak at age 17), but in the end, it kind of devolved into just another sports movie. And I prefer "The Bad News Bears" for that kind of thing.

So anyhoo, today we headed over to Central Park for the opening of "The Gates."

(Photo by Andrea Mohin for the New York Times)

(Photo by James Estrin for the New York Times)

It was an impressive exhibit and really something to see. Despite the fact that the day was cold and mostly overcast, the park was packed, and the hot dog and pretzel vendors were as happy as I've ever seen them. Why don't they sell roasted chestnuts anymore, I wonder? Maybe that's just a Christmas thing. Anyway, I get a kick out of the fact that there were so many people visiting New York from out of town just to see "The Gates," and that all we had to do was hop on the subway and head uptown. Which really reinforces my primary point about living in New York. It's great for lazy people, because everything comes to us.

One thing that I really noticed while walking around the park today, though (aside from the fact that the fabric of the gates looked more orange than "saffron" as billed), and that is that everyone in Manhattan has the same two strollers. Namely, everyone either has the Bugaboo Frog (a.k.a. the $700 stroller) or the Maclaren umbrella stroller in various models. I'm not kidding. If you live in New York, go to any middle to upper-middle class neighborhood and and notice what strollers people are pushing their kids around in. I'm not sure if there's anything actually superior about these rides, or if New Yorkers are just as brand-conscious about their strollers as they are about everything else.

Currently reading: This article in The New York Times about the possible emergence of a new, more virulent, multi-drug resistant strain of HIV. Working in a hospital and reading about this, it's more than a little scary. It's like we're going back in time or something. Which reminds me that perhaps "And The Band Played On" is worth yet another re-read. I gave this book to my sister for Christmas, and she said that it was good, but depressing. And that's kind of the point.

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