A totally random evening

To make up for my lack of Y & T this week (and last), I will divulge what me and A were up to last to last night.

We met at Bleecker Street to take some last photos of the exterior of CBGB's. The line was long. Which was great, for the sake of the photos. We stopped at Astoria Wine because I needed to find a Bordeaux, and we laughed at the sight of a bottle of "Sofia Coppola" sparkling wine wrapped in a pink wrapper. Then we headed to the subway.

Earlier in the day, I had read this review of "Marie Antoinette": http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/movie.html?v_id=315883

(don't know why the linky thing isn't working). The weird thing was, it linked to a "showtime" of the film last night at 9 p.m., a full 7 days before the official nationwide opening. Weird. Should I try to get tickets? Of course I should.

So we headed to the West Side. As soon as we turned the corner to the movie theater, A and I promptly found ourselves on a red carpet, with papparazzi yelling, "JASON! JASON! JASON! KIRSTEN! KIRSTEN! KIRSTEN! LOOK HERE! HERE! TURN! OH PLEASE, JASON!" Oh, dear. Jason, a.k.a., Louis XVI, was standing right next to A. Was Sofia Coppola here, as well? Someone stepped off the red carpet line and said to me, "Do you want my tickets? We can't attend." I did not have the asking price in cash on me, although I tried to convince him to stay while I ran around to the ATM. An older lady ahead of me with wads of cash snatched the gentleman's tickets. We were not able to get cancellation tickets, either.

Want to hang out and see who leaves the theater when the film is over, A?

We headed to the Barnes and Noble across the street. We grabbed coffee, Jones Soda, and cheesecake, and found some books to read for the duration of "Marie Antoinette." I looked up and saw a familiar woman in the Current Events section of the magazines.

Me: Is that the woman who was on Bill Maher? The Trouble with Islam woman? Oh wow.
A: Um, yeah, I think it's her.
Me: She's in the Current Events section. Hmmm...should I go look for her book downstairs? Maybe she'll sign one.
A: Yeah, do it. Do it! Carpe Noctum!

Downstairs at the information desk:
Me: "Hi. Do you have a book by a Pakistani lesbian feminist writer of Islam? I think it's called The Trouble with Islam. Today. Or something. And she's here, so I am sort of hoping to find it quickly..."
Bookseller/Information dude: "Oh yeah, she comes here often. Hey, Jenny, can you take care of her?"
Jenny: "Hi. What's the book title again?"
Me: "The Trouble With Islam. Today. I think."
Jenny: "Trouble. With Islam. Irshad Manji is the author's name. Huh. Hmmm. Erm. It should be here. Somewhere."

We walk over to a political book pile. It's not there.

Jenny: "Um, it should be here somewhere. I gotta get back to the desk. Just check around this floor."

A calls me on the cellphone:

A: Did you find her?
Me: Yeah. She's on another floor but they can't find her book here.
A: Just ask her. It'll be cool.
Me: You're right.

Realizing I might lose the opportunity to finally get this woman's book, and get it signed, I walked right up to Irshad Manji. She is wearing spectacles, looks just as cool as she did on the Bill Maher show, and is now perusing another political book pile, on the floor below the magazine section. She is looking at a book about Bush. Interesting.

Me: "Um, excuse me. Sorry to disturb you? I know in New York we're not supposed to just impose. But, I'd love if you'd sign your book for me, and the bookseller downstairs has no idea where to find it!"
Irshad Manji: "Oh really? Of course I'll sign one for you. And I know exactly where it is, too. Not that I go looking for the exact section that my book might be sitting in in every bookstore, but I happen to know where it is here. Follow me."
Me: "Thank you sooooo much."
Irshad Manji: [extending her hand] "What is your name?"
Me: "LaMai."
Irshad Manji: "Huh. That's an unusual name."

We chatted two escalaters down to the first floor, where she led me to her book. And signed it. It read, "You go, girl."
She extended her hand again. I didn't know if that was a genuine, "Pleased to have met you" or "Now you can leave" but she smiled, she sold a book, and I was happy. I was honestly so jittery, that I realized that on the escalator ride to the first floor, I managed to talk about CBGB's closing, Paris Hilton (by accident), PBS (Ms. Manji is working on a documentary with them), and Ingemar Bergman, in the span of a minute. Goofy. It's a miracle I didn't tell her what shampoo I used that day.

Back at the movie theater, me and A waited. Fifteen minutes later, the audience checks out. Steve Buscemi walks out and looks straight at me. Ew. Steve Buscemi is bad luck. Last time I saw Steve Buscemi, he was walking out of the Sopranos studio parking lot, and I was heading to my bank. And when I got there, my bank account was in the negative.
S&*t. Steve Buscemi? Okay, it's Friday the 13th. Of course, I'd have to see Steve Buscemi. Okay. Bad luck over.

And then, directly across the red carpet area, totally unrelated to the moviegoing public mob exiting the theaters, walks a familiar-looking Japanese man past us, and straight down the block. He is wearing black, his hair is frosted white, and he is in a real hurry. "Um....A? That's James Iha. James Iha. THAT'S JAMES IHA."

Now realizing there was a Smashing Pumpkin walking right in front of him, A runs immediately after, turns the block, and I lose sight of my kid.

Sofia Coppola? We totally forgot to wait for a sighting of her.

I returned to the theater to buy a ticket for Marie Antoinette today. And I liked it.



Heidicrafts said...

Keep on blogging about starstruck moments. How cool.

We've had a movie or two made in my state, but I haven't gone looking for people. One current acot was born here and moved to CA as a child. The newspaper always prints his name as "[Our City] native, John Doe."

I enjoy your fringes of the famous reports.

Calletta said...

I'm so looking forward to seeing that movie!

Anonymous said...


Slightly surreal watching the news reports over the weekend from my little farmhouse in the middle of nowhere...

Your distractions sound wonderful!