Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Times, It's Been A Changin'.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting my favorite city on this big blue/green marble of ours... New York. The City of Manhattan. NYC. The Big Apple. 'Twas time for the New York Toy Fair -- pictures hopefully coming soon -- and some of my work buddies and I got to hang in the city for the shortest of time. A little running around had to be done, as all work and no play makes Matty a dull boy.

I stopped into Kinokuniya Books over at Bryant Park; an amazing Japanese bookshop that special-ordered me a pair of rare Haruki Murakami novels, making the transaction the single best customer service experience I've ever had. (Thanks, Mitzi!) Picked up some Paul Auster and David Mamet, nice n' cheap, at the Strand Bookstore; the biggest and best new and used bookstore I've ever visited. And I snuck in just enough time at my absolute favorite place to eat in NYC, the Tick-Tock Diner on 34th, where I devoured a cheeseburger so happily and audibly that the people in the next booth heard me groan in what was, by all accounts, practically a burgergasm.

One spot I didn't have time to visit, though, was Times Square. No biggie, I felt. I've been there on more than a few occasions and had some other targets in mind with what few hours I had left before the 11pm Boston bus. Getting back home the next day, I spoke to some of the coworkers who did have time to see the famous commercial tourism district for their first time... and we got to talking about what they felt was it's relative "smallness" or "pretty-okay-but-not-as-awesome-as-they-expected-ness." For whatever reason, they weren't blown away like I was my first time under the lights and in the midst of the traffic.

Never having gotten the chance to visit NYC until the early 1990's, it occurred to me that most of the Times Square images that I'd had in my mind from before that point came from watching TV and movies over the years. That got me thinking about all the changes Times Square has been through over time. And that got me started on looking around online for shots of the area over the last 40 years or so...

So, after an hour or so of searching around Flickr, Yahoo Images and the like, I submit to you this small collection of photos taken -- by others -- during my lifetime, 1970-present. Nothing too deep for you, this bloggy time around. Just a collection of images I like looking at that also might lend the viewer some historical significance regarding one of New York's most illuminating landmarks... as well as a little bonus music video that I just discovered this week with some really great shots of the city. And Alicia Keys playing piano under the lights of NYC is pretty much the definition of "great shot," innit? :)

Theatrical Film Reviews
The Fantastic Mr. Fox ****
Black Dynamite ***1/2
Shutter Island ***1/2
Up In The Air ***1/2
The Road ***
Avatar ***
Where The Wild Things Are **1/2
Cop Out *1/2

The Films of Akira Kurosawa
Seven Samurai (1954) ****
Throne of Blood (1957) ****
The Lower Depths (1957) ****
The Hidden Fortress (1958) ***1/2
The Bad Sleep Well (1960) ****
Yojimbo ***1/2
Sanjuro ****

DVD/Home Video
This Is Spinal Tap (1981) ****
Bad Lieutenant (1993) ****
Grindhouse (2009) ****
Get Shorty (1995) ****
Zodiac (2007) ****
Watchmen ****
Gran Torino ***1/2
Steven Seagal: Lawman (Season One) ***
The Monster Squad (1987) ***
Johnny Handsome (1989) ***
Terminator Salvation ***
Bitch Slap (2009) ***
Kaiju Big Battel: Brooklyn Double Danger **1/2
Kaiju Big Battel: Danger Strikes Back! **1/2
Glory To The Filmmaker! (Japan) **1/2
Confucius (Hong Kong) **1/2
Yatterman (Japan) **1/2
Vengeance (HK) **1/2
Righteous Kill **1/2
The Achievers **1/2
I Come With The Rain (France) **
A Dangerous Man **
Mulberry Street **
Be Cool (2005) **
The Keeper **
Captivity *
The Happening (2008) 1/2 star

The Happening ***

Video Games
Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings (PS2) **1/2

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (Haruki Murakami) ***
Kafka on the Shore (Karuki Murakami) ***
Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing ***
Make-Believe Town (David Mamet) ***


meagan_taylor said...

Great entry, Matty. I like the research that went into it- great finds with the pictures. And man, you watch a lot of movies. :)

--mcc said...

Thanks, Meagan! And to be fair, that was, like, almost seven months' worth of movie-watching in the last two updates. :)