Friday, June 15, 2012

Secret Doomed Project

I hope you weren't worried about me! What? You didn't notice I was gone? Shut up! I'm sick of that old gag. Anyway I was having fun hanging out with Kat Kinsman! Amanda Stern! Maud Newton! And many more! What's that you say? These people reside in New York City? That's right! THAT'S WHERE I WAS. Once I was just standing around and someone said, "Jack Pendarvis?" And by utter coincidence it was Jason Polan, the guy who illustrates my columns for THE BELIEVER, a person I had never met before! And you remember how he is drawing everyone in New York, right? Well, I was in New York, so he drew me, so you can see the picture by "clicking" here. It was strange to just run into somebody in New York, even stranger than the time I saw Mike Bulington at LAX. Speaking of Los Angeles, I got off the plane in New York, hopped in a cab, went straight to a movie theater, and met Megan Abbott in the lobby. It was prearranged! Not a coincidence. We walked in and sat down and IMMEDIATELY the movie started playing. SUNSET BOULEVARD. Perfect timing! Afterward Megan said that the older she gets, the more she realizes that THERE IS NOTHING AT ALL WRONG WITH NORMA DESMOND. I thought about how last time I was in a big city watching an old movie on a big screen it was THE APARTMENT. So when I was in L.A. I watched a Billy Wilder movie about New York and when I was in New York I watched a Billy Wilder movie about L.A.! So that's boring. Shut up! I took my trip to "The Big Apple" to work on a secret project that failed and maybe I will tell you about my interesting failure one day, thanks for asking. I met Michael Kupperman for lunch and he told me he had read two mystery paperbacks by the actor George Kennedy, about mysteries being solved by the actor George Kennedy! That was a highlight of the trip. Mr. Ward and I had a drink at the bar in the St. Regis. I know in my heart that it is dumb to drink in a hotel bar but it was raining pretty hard and there we were. The bar is dark and oaken and the kind of place you can pretend to be a character on MAD MEN, okay, a minor character, okay, a background extra. The waiter seldom appears and when he does it is only to TAKE AWAY your complimentary wasabi peas or bring you the check that hilariously alerts you a single Manhattan with rye costs $31 in the bar at the St. Regis hotel. One day I saw Bill Cunningham on the sidewalk in his trademark outfit with his trademark camera and in delight I shouted out "Mr. Cunningham!" but his look of fierce concentration, locked on the footwear of passersby, gave no quarter. And then the next day I saw Bill Cunningham again and I thought oh well maybe everybody in New York sees Bill Cunningham every day.