Sunday, May 07, 2006

Two Chill May Days

A relaxing weekend at last. Hallelujah.

Yesterday, I stayed in bed late with Raj, and then the two of us went for a run down along the Hudson River Park. We started at 30th street, ran west towards the river, and then continued South all the way down to Battery Park until we could see the Statue of Liberty. How cool is that? It was a gorgeous day, and hundreds of people were out lazing around on the grassy areas between the piers, and walking, roller-blading, and bike-riding on the trail that runs along the river. In the beginning of the run I thought I was going to die - it was so hot and I was so tired - but I managed to press on and got in a decent work-out.

Here's a list of my Top 12 Running Songs:

1) I Need A Hero - Bonnie Tyler
2) Numb - Linkin Park
3) Run Rabbit Run - Eminem
4) Take It Off - The Donnas
5) Are You Out There - Dar Williams
6) Dammit - Blink 182
7) You Can Hate Me Now - Nas
8) In Da Club - 50 Cent
9) Lady Killer - Lush
10) Since You've Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson
11) I'm A Survivor - Destiny's Child
12) Fighter - Christina Aguilera

I challenge anyone to turn these on and not go running. You won't be able to help yourself. Those are the ones that are in my ipod work-out mix at the moment. Do share if you have others to add.

After the run, I watched the end of Stanley Kubrick's Lolita, which was nothing like I had expected it to be, but a good movie nonetheless. I expected to see a precocious, highly sexual temptress, and disturbing love scenes between a young girl and an older man. The scenes were disturbing, but not for the reasons I had expected. The man who plays her lover was disturbing because he was a pathetic, controlling lecher. He basically spirits Lolita away after her mother dies, and pursues a highly inappropriate sexual relationship with her. Later, he forbids her from going on dates, doing extracurricular activities, or spending time like a normal teenager because he wants her all to himself, isolated from others her age so that he can keep her trapped in a relationship with him. It was rather revolting. How could he have thought that she loved him, or wanted to be with him? He was at least 30 years older than her.

Lolita herself was no innocent, and she exercised a great deal of control over her relationship with the lecher, but she did nothing blameworthy. While she stayed with him, he fawned over her, bought her whatever she wanted, and took her where ever she wanted to go. She "cheated" on him with several other men, and created elaborate lies to keep him her dedicated servant while she was out satisfying her desires. For duping the lecher, Lolita has been vilified as a temptress. But that vilification is completely misplaced because the lecher had no business being with her in the first place.

It's crazy that from this movie has endured an image of a precocious female temptress. What should have endured is the image of a pathetic lecher. Clearly, our society is more disturbed, fascinated, and titilated by young girls as sexual beings, than it is revolted by lecherous males praying upon them. By the way, the actress who played Lolita was fantastic.

After Lolita, Raj and I met a friend for a drink at a bar called Heathers. It's a chill place in the East Village, located behind an unmarked door on 13th street between A and B. I like discovering hidden bars and restaurants. It gives me the illusion of being in the know. So far I've "discovered" (i.e., my friends have taken me there) Heathers in the East Village, APT in the Meatpacking District (at 419 West 13th Street), and Passer By, also in the Meatpacking District (at West 15th near 10th). APT is a great place to go if you want to observe the New York scene over wine and cheese. Passer By is a tiny bar with a disco floor made up of lighted colored tiles, where T-shirts and jeans reign supreme, and the bartenders make a mean French Martini.

Speaking of bars, I also recently went to Grotto down in the Lower East Side. It's at 100 Forsyth Street in a narrow basement space. They have awesome cocktails, including a raspberry mojito made with fresh raspberries. Yum.


Wood said...

Do you still go running with headphones on even when you're with someone else? Poor Raj -- but maybe he runs with his ipod too?

Thinking of you running with your headphones brings me back to that half-marathon we ran with JF and PAS. I was so proud of us that day.

Gypsy said...

You should definitely read Nabokov's Lolita, if you haven't already. Perversion aside, it's a staggering work. The Kubrick film doesn't do it justice.

wordnerd said...

I agree with Gypsy on Kubrick not doing it justice...a spectacular book. So much that you really do want to throw it at someone several times during the reading.

PS - SO impressed with all the running...god, every time I feels like someone is trying to beat me up.

PPS - Rasberry Mojito.....really could become a reason for living....I mean...for some of us anyway!

belledame222 said...

Lolita -is- a creepy little tale; or rather, Humbert's a creepy little character, in either version, and yes, it does say volumes that "Lolita" has come to mean the exact opposite of what it should mean.

Kubrick adds his own special brand of chilly misanthropy and erotophobia to the table, of course. although that opening shot, the pedicure, is quite lovely. honestly I think it's the closest thing to tenderness and genuine eroticism I've seen in his work.