A Night at the Movies: The Grand Budapest Hotel

 As you know, I am not a movie goer. Since December, I’ve now seen three movies in the theater which is more than I saw in the entire year last year! I’m trying to do better but for the most part, I am not a big fan of sitting in the theater with everyone else when I can sit at home and pause when I need to go to the bathroom or text someone or just walk around the room! But Saturday was a somewhat rainy afternoon and my aunt and uncle were in town so off I went to the movie theater with my aunt and uncle, parents and grandmother. The only movie we could all agree on to see was The Grand Budapest Hotel.  I didn’t know much about it except that several people I knew had seen it and enjoyed it and it wasn’t a big Hollywood blockbuster.  Works for me!

Here’s what IMDB had to say: “GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune — all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent.

So one thing that super confused me was the timeline. The bulk of the story took place in 1932 and spoke about a war but I’m not sure if they were referencing the lead-up to WWII or if it was just a fictional thing.  Other than that, I loved the film. I thought it was a great story of friendship and mentoring with some slapstick to tie it all up. But not everyone I went with loved it as much as I did. Neither my aunt or mom felt a connection with the movie at all.

The other part I loved was just the beauty of the scenery. I wish I could find a hotel like this to stay at! Especially during the prime-I mean what hotel still has lobby boys and concierges that provide such a detailed level of service (ok I don’t necessarily want the extremes that Gustave H went through but pampering is nice!) There are also some great train scenes and I am a huge lover of trains and wouldn’t mind traveling the Continent on a train! I also mentioned that I saw this movie with family and someone asked the question, how did I handle the awkward scene with my family there? None of us can remember a particularly awkward scene in the movie–does anyone have any ideas about what this was?!

Have you seen any good movies that I should put on my someday list?

Bumming around Brooklyn

So last weekend my roommate, Russell, and I decided to bum around Brooklyn.  The day was beautiful and we just wanted to take advantage of the amazing weather.  We also had a few things we wanted to do.  We started by walking to BAM-Brooklyn Academy of Music to catch a showing of 42-the Jackie Robinson movie.

BAM-Brooklyn Academy of Music



This movie was especially poignant for me as the Dodgers, especially the Brooklyn Dodgers have a special meaning in my life.  I may have already written about this but my dad was born in Brooklyn and legend tells a few stories about the Brooklyn Dodgers.  The first being that my grandparents had actually broken up at one point and my grandmother had a friend give my grandfather a ticket to the Dodger game and she “happened” to be there.  Second is that my family lasted one season after the Dodgers left Brooklyn and moved to Los Angeles.

The movie did not disappoint!  It was a wonderful story of how Jackie Robinson was the first black player in Major League Baseball and Branch Rickey, the manager who got him there.  I loved seeing different parts of Brooklyn and loved thinking that we were on Flatbush Ave-only a few short miles away from where the Dodgers used to play at Ebbets Field!

Even the walk was beautiful:

Texas Bluebells and Tulips

Texas Bluebells and Tulips


Russell in front of Barclay's Center

Russell in front of Barclay’s Center

We walked back up to Prospect Heights after that and ended up getting some Mexical for dinner–hard to find good stuff in NYC but this wasn’t bad:

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We also just played around with the camera:

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There was another reason I wanted to end up in Prospect Heights  I had read about an Ice Cream place called Ample Hill Creamery.  And let me tell you, the line was out the door and around the corner!

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It took us about 45 minutes just to get into the store and then the line wound around the restaurant.  I felt like I was at a ride at Disneyland.  It didn’t hurt that there was tons of cool murals and stuff on the walls!

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Some really interesting stuff about the owner:



And we finally got the front and by goodness, the ice cream did not disappoint!

I had Salted Crack Caramel: salted caramel ice cream with pieces of Deb’s famous crack cookies (saltines, butter, sugar, chocolate) and Ooey Gooey Butter Cake: The smoothest, creamiest vanilla ice cream with gobs of St. Louis Ooey Gooey Butter Cake Pieces.



Russell had Bananmom: a twist on banana pudding: organic bananas, Saigon cinnamon and vanilla wafers and Sweet As Honey: homemade honey comb candy in a sweet cream ice cream.


At the end of the day, thanks to my handy dandy UP by Jawbone bracelet, we had walked nearly 7 miles.  A very good chill day in Brooklyn!


A Night At the Movies: Clue

clue-movie-posterYes, as my friends know, I am incredibly lame when it comes to to movies.  I have seen very few of the movies that they would classify as classics that should have been seen.

Clue is definitely one of them.  A few months ago, my good friend brought over The Princess Bride over for me to watch–awesome 80’s movie, love Fred Savage and all the super kitschy effects.  She also brought over Clue and left it for me to watch at a later time.

So last night was that later time.  My roommate and I went out to dinner and then decided to watch some good old 80’s kitsch.

I grew up playing the game Clue and loved it.  I always played Miss Scarlett because I loved the color red and she was the hottest character there was.  I also loved the quote, “Husbands should be like kleenex: soft, strong and disposable.”  Love that quote.

And much to no one’s surprise, I loved the movie too.  The slapstick comedy and humor reminded me of the types of stuff I loved growing up-being into improv and a total theater geek.  I also loved all the different endings!    I loved how it said, “this is how it could have ended but maybe it ended like this . . . ”

Definitely a movie I will watch again, along with The Princess Bride.  Any other 80’s classic films I should watch to make sure I am relevant in the references of my childhood?