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Princess Grace Graced Me With Her Presence

July 27, 2006

Every Monday night in Bryant Park, during the summer, they play old movies for free on a big screen outside. This is one of those activities you always say you want to do but never actually do, because something else comes up. Finally this Monday, though, I got around to it. Some friends of mine were going, and I asked to tag along.
You have to get there early because the park fills up fast. We went right after work, (works ends at 6:00 on the East Coast), even though the movie didn’t start until 8:45. Since I wasn’t prepared, Diana graciously offered part of her towel to sit on, but I was definitely regretting my decision to wear black satin pants. They may look good, but they aren’t the most comfortable pants for sitting cross-legged in the grass.
Bryant Park is one of the great parks in the city. Surprisingly, it is also one of the smallest, but its midtown, has the most magnificent trees, and is the venue for both the spring and fall Fashion Weeks. During Fashion Week the entire park becomes one giant tent and they put a runway on top of the grass. I’ve heard you can barely even tell it’s a park once it’s all up and there are people everywhere. My heels kept sinking in the dirt, nearly throwing me off balance. I thought wryly that they must put something hard to cover the grass or the women of Fashion Week wouldn’t be able to walk around.

Apparently before every movie they play a cartoon. Tonight’s was a Daffy Duck cartoon. Naturally, Porky Pig ends up saving the day. It had been so long since I’d seen any of those Warner Brother’s cartoons. I remember watching them with my dad.  He was always working and was very busy, but if Loony Tunes was playing he’d insist all the kids climb onto my parents bed with him and watch. I loved hearing him laugh with us.
At the end of the cartoon, I heard Diana whisper under her breath, “Time to dance.” I thought that was some sort of euphemism to mean the movie was on, but no… she was being quite literal. As the HBO logo was coming across the screen, I noticed some people in the front start to get to their feet. It started a wave, and within seconds, half the park was standing.
“Get up.” Diana commanded. She smiled at me. “You too. You’re not getting out of this. It’s tradition.” I was laughing hysterically as half the park was doing some sort of weird jive. Rhythm seemed to be optional. She dragged me to my feet, while I was still laughing, and for about a minute or so, we jumped around and waved our hands, while HBO made its plug for the evening.
The movie playing was High Noon with Grace Kelly and Gary Cooper. As it finally started, we took our seats, and the audience clapped when Grace Kelly’s name appeared on the screen. It was time to be quiet and enjoy a classic Western. I had been worried about the volume, but I realized quickly that was foolish. Grace Kelly’s pleading worry and Gary Cooper’s stoic machismo echoed on all the buildings. It had the effect of making the movie seem even more classic, more aged, but in an entirely enjoyable way. As if we were watching history. I wonder what movies will be showing 50 years from now? Titanic? Brokeback Mountain? Star Wars? Or maybe High Noon.
The two hours passed quickly. Gary Cooper saved the town, Grace Kelly stood by her man, and my satin pants didn’t get a grass stain. Even though it was 11:00, I walked home, at a relaxed pace.  There was a sentiment of camaraderie in the park, a sense of common ground amongst strangers. Charade is going to be playing in a couple of weeks, Diana said. I’ll think I’ll make plans for that.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 27, 2006 12:52 pm

    Charming, simply charming. =)(And, as far as the dancing goes, haven’t you seen “The Wedding Planner”?)

  2. July 27, 2006 1:25 pm

    Great post! Sounds like a lot of fun.

  3. July 27, 2006 5:07 pm

    ooooooooo you make me want to do this…I think I shall next time!

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