Last Saturday morning was the Philly Cleanup (a city wide spring cleaning neighborhood by neighborhood sponsored by Mayor Nutter). So I spent a good hour with my neighbors sweeping up the trash and bagging it for pick up. The city provided brooms, gloves, and bags to block coordinators, and had arranged for pick up of full bags later that afternoon from participating blocks neighborhoods all over the city. It was good to be out with my neighbors and helping out. I think that was the first time some of them had seen me without the dog attached to me!
Saturday afternoon I was invited to attend a Talk Cinema showing with DS (his boss subscribes and gave DS his tickets for this week’s show since he couldn’t attend). What happens is the audience (subscribers) get to watch an advance screening of a film, usually one that had been screened at a film festival, and is probably up for wider release soon. After the movie, a critic leads a discussion and Q & A session. They also have comment cards for you to rate the film and leave comments. The thing about this series is that you have no idea what you’re walking into, no idea what film you’re about to see. Basically it’s an adventure at the movies!
The Talk Cinema movie on Saturday afternoon was The Life Before Her Eyes. One word describes this movie perfectly: INTENSE. But good. It’s one of those movies that you really have to think about (and think during) yet it provokes an emotional response at the same time. And you don’t really understand what the movie is truly about until the very end. And once you get to the end, you have mentally revisit the entire movie before it all makes sense. Kind of like in the Sixth Sense how you didn’t know he was dead until the end and that drastically changed the movie as a whole. And to add a layer of complication the entire movie is made up of anachronistic moments (future past future past). A warning, without giving anything away, the film centers around a school shooting, so if you can’t deal with those types of images (potential triggers) you’ll want to avoid the movie.
DS and I had the same reaction of needing a minute afterwards to think it through before we could decide if we even liked it or not. And the discussion with the critic afterwards was interesting. The audience had the opportunity to ask questions, and it did help fill in some of the blanks. She had talked with the director and had some interesting insights/answers about the film. But definitely one of those movies that you can continue to talk about for awhile after it’s over. On some level, you need to talk about it to fully process and make sense of it.
After the movie, DS and I took a very long walk, discussing/processing the movie pretty much the entire way. The weather was gorgeous, and the walk from 2nd Street all the way to around 34th Street didn’t feel all that long. It was wonderful to be out in the sunshine and fresh spring air and clear our heads. We met AH (who had to work that afternoon which is why I got to go to the Talk Cinema film) and then the three of us walked back down to around 18th Street. We decided to go for delicious beers and dinner at Monk’s Cafe. Definitely one of my favorite Philly food spots. We split a couple of pots of mussels, and decided to be adventurous and try one of the varieties with cheese and apples and balanced it with a more traditional Flemish pot. We were all a bit disappointed that the cheese and apples didn’t really flavor the mussels themselves, but they made a delicious broth to soak up with our bread! Finally, we topped the day off with gelato at Capogiro. So creamy and delicious. The flavors of their gelato are so clean and taste so true. It’s a good thing their shops aren’t just around the corner…
On Sunday I went to the Philadelphia Zoo with JM and her daughter E. It was damp and chilly, and raining a bit when we got there, so we spent as much time inside as many of the houses as possible. At the first house they had a face painting station. E was remarkably patient for a 3 year old and sat so still so she could have a pink pig painted on her face (it’s all about the pink!). She spent the rest of the day being very very careful to not wipe off any of her pink face. Even during lunch she was careful and got worried when we we had to clean the ketchup off her chin. Lucky for us, the majority of the pink stayed on, despite the apple she ate and the ketchup.
E’s reaction to the reptile and amphibian house was priceless! We walked in, she ran ahead, rounded a corner, and when she saw the snake (a big green python I believe) she turned around and ran back for the door shaking her head and chanting “no no no no no!” That was the end of the reptile and amphibian house for the day. Lucky for us, she got over it her fears quickly as there was much more to see at the zoo.
We spent the majority of our time in the primate house. E loved watching the monkeys. Probably because they were so active and gave her lots to watch. And the Squirrel monkeys barely stopped moving long enough for me to get a picture. E spent a good 5 minutes having a staring contest with a Golden lion tamarin. The zoo also had a baby sifaka! It was so cute! Mom and dad were up in the branches with baby, and every now and then you’d see this tiny little black hand grab white fur and this little face would appear under the arm of a parent. While I was watching, the baby decided to sit on dad’s head for a bit. Just adorable. We were lucky and the rain did let up so we were able to see the big cats before we left. All the cats were spending their afternoon napping. Lazy lazy Sunday. Well, except the jaguar, who was pacing (I think it was almost lunch time as he was pacing in front of the door leading inside to his food!). The trip to the zoo was a nice break for my brain (and a much needed one!) after the intensity of the movie the day before. And I added a bunch of photos to my Philadelphia Zoo set on Flickr.
That’s several weekends in a row with lots of activities and lots of walking. I think I need a weekend to recover from my weekends and get some chores done!