Posts Tagged ‘Jamie Foxx’

A Night in Svizzera, Back to work, up at the Kennedy Wake, and Jude Law in Hamlet

October 16, 2009

So I really did not look at my ticket well enough as the night flight from Zuhrich to New York turned out to be a morning departure.  So with a fourteen hour layover this traveler thought it was perhaps right to get a hotel room.  So after taking the tram shuttle to the gate and making it through passport control into the main airport he went to the hotel reservations desk and witht he intention of staying in downtown Zuhrich.

Then upon finding it was cheaper to stay at the airport Ibis he went over there with the free bus in order to save about forty swiss francs.

The woman at the desk who booked him into the hotel was nice but he thought that he still had enough time to take a train into Zuhrich and then cab it back from downtown but that was before he got to the hotel.  First he got reprimanded by the Somali shuttle van driver for climbing into the vehicle without permission but then met a  nice couple returning to the U.S on seperate flights.  He saw the train which he could have taken into town while leaving the airport and upon arriving at the hotel got his room but they refused to take or even exchange U.S money thought the bartender took euros in the lobby bar.

So after going up to my small but ample room and still wanting to go out I ventured to the Esso next door and hoped that I could buy a train ticket with my gas card which didn’t work there.  Then I decided to hoof it as far into town as I could get.  After passing the usual airport nothingness i began to get into the northern fringe of Zuhrich though by the time i made it to the Swissotel and begged the front deskman to do change money for me which when he finally did it seemed too late to take the train into downtown and so I walked looking at the quaint architecture and finally settling into a restaurant open late for a couple of kebabs.

Then after taking many I-phone pictures of the a train station, a tunnel, houses , and the Swiss I went back to the hotel and watched a bio on Prince Albert of Monaco followed by a circus where crazy horse drawn clown vehicles circled the ring.  I enjoyed very much switching channels between French, Italian, and German on Swiss television.  I also shaved and then went to sleep (the bed was quite comfortable and i felt very safe).

In the morning I received the wake up call brought my bag down checked out and then appeared for the overpirced breakfest buffet (but as everybody kept saying this was Switzerland). I then paid and caught the quite reliable shuttle van to the airport and and then there some great fun began.

The people at check in who I thought were airline employees were security so I guess accordingly I was perhaps a bit too jovial. They asked what I was doing in Switzerland and I said connecting flights from Dubai and they said where is my luggage and I said it was checked through and this they wrote down and replied with wasn’t it and then hey said it might be indicating that I had to receive the bag there and recheck it even thought the airline said it was checked through and the claim ticket attested to that nonetheless they said when I asked where it was to paraphrase perhaps lost and found.  They then asked for my hotel receipt from Dubai which I could not furnish but i did have plastic electronic door key from the Hotel Delman in the Emirate and upon producing that the supervisor said shouldn’t I have returned it to the front desk..Eventually this ordeal was over my passport got a sticker and I was onto flight check-in and I asked to locate my bag which was indeed checked through.

Afterwards I had a much needed cappucino and told the barista my ordeal and he said laugh it off as some people on a power trip. I then made it through security looked at the surrounding countryside through the large windows in the departure gate wing and eventually boarded the plane.

On the way back over to the US this tired flier had an entire back row to himself and watched the HBO movie version of “Grey Gardens” starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange as the two Edith Bouvier Beales and the soloist starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr.

Going fowards a bit I then worked two day on the double decker bus and then Senator Edward Kennedey died. I got off the night before the last day of the wake and I drove up to the John F. Kennedy Presidential library at the the University of Massechussettes Boston campus on the back bay staying over night at a hotel in Pawtucket, Rhode Island on the way up.  I met a lot of great people got in and shook the hand of Jean kennedy Smith the last remaining JFK generation sibling (children of joseph and Rose Kennedy) and she said “hi i’m the sister) (of course Eunice had dided a few days prior).. I signed the registry I thought I should go as it was the passing of a whole U.S political dynasty and I recite Ted’s closing words to “the dream shall never die” speech everytime I pass Madison Square with the microphone on the Double Decker bus. I also shook the senator’s widow Victoria’s hand as she entered the building and of course saw the honor gaurd and the coffin.  My I-phone had died on the way up but to take pictures of the family at such an event might have been in bad taste anyway.

After attending the wake I drove over to Castle Island which this traveler had never remembered seeing before.

Sometime after this I saw three biggies with my groups on the tour bus starting with director  Oliver Stone on East forty ninth street in the Turtle Bay section of Manhattan where he was posted filming his sequel to “Wall Street” startring Michael Douglas (reprising his role as Gordon Gekko) and Shia LaBeouf.   There was a detour and the buses were forced to take third avenue from forty second to forty ninth thus bypassing the United Nations complex on first avenue and forty ninth street  between second and  third (the street Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis,  Steven Sondheim, and Erfem Zimbalist Jr.  once lived upon).  Oliver Stone this erstwhile man with a  handheld microphone attached by chord to momma bus spotted the provocative social legislator standing right at the police barricade pointed him out to the tourists (who were oh so appreciative) and immediatley went into the voice of George Plimpton saying Oliver ! Oliver! Olive {for once he had been with the late sportswriter at the night club Life after GP had read from his Capote tome for his series “The Literary life” and after George asked if he could get a tour he asked the owner Roy Stillman if he wouldgive Gerge a tour and George and Roy started making small talk and Roy indicated that he had seen him here for a party for Oliver Stone and George had said “ah yes Oliver” and all these years later at a different time I was able to repeat this line]

Readers please sit back down now (even though this writer is in Florida in sight of the calcified alligator skull [[which upon further investigiation was found out to be a well studied and almost consumate replica]] and in the red, yellow, and brown Marriot courtyard lobby).   The next sighting was again witha double decker and it was perfectly set up.

We had left the South Street Seaport stop and headed past Schemerhorn Row (a former fish chandelry some of whose structures date back to circa 1807 but on the net I could only find a date firmly established for them starting in 1812) and coming up about to the Cafe Paris (circa 1873 and where Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, and Teddy Roosevelt at one time or another had all once eaten and where they had thrown a big party the night of the opening of the establishment’s neighbor the Brooklyn Bridge) in the cobble stone area between many buildings once visited by a transported Spock and Captain James Kirk on the original Star Trek series was a film set.  Then within the mass of crew was aman in a suit.  Then this tour guide, this urban scout was able to differentiate and say there is a film set ahead the man in the suit is the celebrity look.  Getting up closer it was a done up Matt Damon (I had known he was around as another tourist on another bus had shown me a picture of him on a digital camera speaking after receving some award or citation from Mayor Bloomberg on the steps of City Hall).  I was able to say to the tourists ladies and gentleman Matt Damon and have him not look up.  He heard the intro of course went about finishing what he was doing and after a delay looked up at the bus waved and then walked onto his next piece of business.

Next on the Manhattan Comprehensive all day tour going past the San Remo on Central Park West on a beautiful sunny day and giving the list of famous residents of the Emory Roth Building Victor Emanuel style celebrity tower multi tiered birthday cake Bono from U2, Billy Squier, Steven Spielberg .. right on the name Steve Martin there he was the back of his head and of course with the information flowing and the look I knew it was him he turned around  with a big smile but didn’t wave and went back into the second of two entrances along the avenue.

At some point this blogger realized that he wanted to see Jude Law in Hamlet on Broadway.  So he walked over to the Broadhurst theater where it is playing until December 6, 2009 and all seats were $116.50.  I said “no seats would be at the tkts booth?” and the woman at the ticket window returned the  no “and probably not for the entire run”.  I winced at the cost and walked away.

Later I made jokes about it in front of the Standard and Poors ( or the lack of standards and now we’re poor) building coming by on the red double decker bus after saying” this is where they say over croissants and coffee in the morning … to bbb or not to bbb” ..”now you can hear Jude Law say that on Broadway for a hundred and sixteen fifty and I will say it as part of the price of your bus ticket”.  Then one day coming off my second downtown and landing in front of the tkts booth in Times Square across from our stop at forty seventh and seventh there it was on the board only one performance for the Thursday matinee Hamlet.  The tickets at tkts are no longer exclusively fifty percent off and this matinee was thirty percent off ($83) and with the service fee eighty seven. I jumped at the oppurtunity having read glowing review after glowing review.

And boy were those reviewers right Jude Law in Hamlet is a tour de force!  First of all his physical presence the way he is able to move his frame to extend for all the remonstrations, the introspection, and action in this Shakespeare play which is above all else about the whole deck of cards.

Sure we travel with him back to remember how many figures of speech come from this great work:” this mortal coil… neither a borrower or a lender be….to be or not to be…Alas poor Yorick I knew him well”.  Alas the staging is spartan but not so stark as to replace artifice  His star in the heavens is justified bravo!

The Obama Concert at the Lincoln Memorial January 18, 2009 Part One

January 23, 2009

So I went down to the pre-inauguration festivities at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday ( January 18, 2009) as I wanted to be a part of history ( and it goes without this writing that to witness such events sometimes you have to travel into them).

Luckily, at onetime I resided in the District of Columbia and with that foreknowledge I made a strategic decision to drive in.  This personal vehicle of deployment was oppurtune for by arriving early enough there was parking on the  street which runs besides the mall right by the National Gallery of Art’s famous I.M Pei designed east wing .  Also just upon Our arrival (again with my freind Neil Stevenson) the rehearsal run through for the inaugural swearing in was taking place at the South end of the capitol.

Change has Finally Come

Then after walking over to watch the run through and listen intently to a tape of John Williams’ composistion “Air and Simple Gifts”  ( written just for the occassion and performed later at the actual event by Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma , Anthony McGill, and Gabriel Montero) and then stops at the National Arboretum and the Museum of the American Indian.

At the American Indian Museum we had a lunch of beat salad , some type of Native American sweet potato pie,  green chilli soup, and Washington state wild salmon.  Then it was down to the concert  for the next course which was musical and the wait of course was worth it.  Meanwhile throughout the day the people watching was excellent cowboys mozying in ten gallon hats and tight fitting levis, yokels from the provinces saying by the medicinal plants in the botanic gardens “as you said it is better to kill it than to cure it”  ,  and soldiers with anti-aircraft missles ready at the base of the Washington monument (itself upon a summit).


Biden and Obama appeared monarchy style ( though with families in tow) as a military trumpet corps played  Richard Strauss’s “Also  Spach Zarathutra”  better known as the theme from “2001 A Space Oddessey”.(and itself a musical adaptation of Fredric Nietzche’s  “Thus Spoke  Zarathutra”.  A stiff looking Bruce Springsteen was the first musical guest  singing “The Rising” with a gospel choir who did not seem to have had the time or he either with them to get into a smooth unison( though the Boss did finally seem to get his groove on by the time he got to the line about a catfish on his line and was right in tune withPete Seeger on the great sing-along  alternative national anthem “”This Land is Your Land” later on).

There was an endless stream-team of Hollywood actors up to talk and introduce the performers  and from this observor’s point of view the solo speakers were the best including Denzel Washington Jr. (with his beautiful voice) and Jamie Foxx who did a dead-on Obama imitation redux).    Tom Hanks meanwhile looked like he was reading script for the HBO television event this was while making no attempt to play it off for the crowd presently before him.  Though the Forrest Gump portrayer’s reading from Lincoln’s ‘Gettysburg Address” (which is chiseled into the memorial itself was as ever moving).

Close behind one performer I had never seen  Mary J. Blige ( in a pink suit which who looked well radiant against the classic marble of the monument )was another performer I had never seen lite rock giant James Taylor ( I’ve seen fire  and I’ve seen rain but I had never seen him) who was joined by Sheryl Crow and John Legend for ‘Shower the people you love with love. And for this number Taylor went electric with a green and white guitar strumming merrily to the embracing tune.

Not that long after the next performer was a John Cougar Mellancamp who finally set the crowd to rocking.  The hoosier whose name might read as a camp for large fruits who want to learn how to “hurt so good” of course sang little pink house and  seem to  nod to the lyrics which got him to give this song upon that day the nod “Well theres a young man in a t-shirt
Listening to a rockin rollin station
Hes got a greasy hair, greasy smile
He says: lord, this must be my destination
cuz they told me, when I was younger
Boy, youre gonna be president
But just like everyting else, those old crazy dreams
Just kinda came and went”…..

Up soon after was a blue bedecked Garth Brooks who as if part of a tabelaux was dressed to blaze into a flag pattern along with the choir dressed in red.  The singer was determined to kep the vast crowd rocking and opened with an abridged version of “American Pie” the Don Maclean  classic (which Neil said he “massacared” so it really was “bye bye Miss American pie”) followed bv his version of “Twist and Shout” (it felt like somebody really rich had rented out the Memorial for the worlds’ largest Bar Miztvah and Garth was the band).  But he is an enternainer and he entertained.

Soon after it was Stevie Wonder (yeah!) who was joined by Usher and Shakira for a rousing version of “Higher Ground” this alone was worth the trip) .  Then Samuel l. Jackson walked to the stage and introduced an Irish group who wrote song about Martin Luther King jr. and of course it was U2 and they broke out into “Pride/In the Nmae of Love” and the vast sea of people overflowing erupted.  Bono made his usual battle cry speeches and then he thanked the then still President-elect  Barack Obama for making the next song one of the campaign themes and on came “in the City of Blinding Lights” and its’ refrain “Oh you look so beautiful tonight”

The Scene at the Lincoln Memorial During U2's "The City of Blinding Lights"

and the closing salvo from Bono “Thank you America”.   Biden spoke at some point (its hard to remember) about the pirde and dignity of the American worker and later Obama about the his commitment to going forth with what he came to Washington to doas in ” the  theme of the day”We are one”).

Then Springsteen appeared again for what appeared to be the closer and introduced “the father of American folk “Pete Seeger and then went into “This Land is your Land” as we began to make our way back to the car and then “America the Beautiful’ wailed and I was no longer in sight of the stage or the video screens but heard it (later this itinerant blogger found out it was Beyonce making it the second time I had heard Beyonce without actually seeing her the other at the Venetian hotel/casino in Macau.).  Finally if there were a couple of performances he did  not describe this blogger was testing the medium and going after the highlights.