Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Going swimming

Today was so hot and humid that the sidewalks radiated a kind of stenchy stink that couldn't be escaped. And down on the subway platform, forget it, you needed a gas mask. Crowded elevators were not a good place to be today. People I guess couldn't help it, but there were many absolute stinkeroos.

In light of that, I propose a tour of the best sparkling, cool, clean swimming pools I've been able to find in Manhattan. I've done many a lap, many a flip turn over the years, and these have been my personal favorites. Please let me know of any others. I like to keep tabs on this kind of thing.

1. London Terrace apartments in Chelsea. I found this pool while subletting in the '80s when it was run by a woman who had won a medal in the 1936 Berlin olympics. She had her medals and yellowed newspaper clippings on display in a glass case. By then she was all knotty and half blind, but she ran that pool like an SS officer. She let me swim for five bucks but I had to shower first, with soap. This was the cleanest pool I had ever seen in New York. The water was so deep it was hard to see the lines on the bottom to keep in a straight line, which made me feel like I was in the ocean. There were never any lights on like you see in the picture above. The only light was coming from the windows. The showers were dark too. It was weird and perfect.

2. Parker Meridian Hotel roof top on 57th st. I lived at this hotel while working on a movie--It might have been Love Hurts, with Jeff Daniels and Judith Ivey. I was supposed to be in NYC for one week to prep but got stuck for six weeks, working in the Brill building with no chair (ice chest with bubble wrap, seriously, thanks so much producers Doro Bachrach and Eva Fyer) before finally escaping to Waxahachie Texas for the shoot. The pool room has a nice view of Central Park, but size of a postage stamp when compared with #1.

3. The JCC pool on the upper west side. Could be really nice, but too many kids. An occasional loogey floating in the water. I can't deal.

Extra bonus, Not New York: Here is the pool at 500 Bel Air Road in Beverly Hills. I house-sat there one summer. This mansion had (allegedly) once belonged to Cher and (in another era) Mario Lanza. Skinny dipping here is what I will think of tomorrow when I am a sardine in the elevator.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Not bad for a Monday night

Last week I had dinner with about two hundred people. I think money was being raised for something, but I'm not sure exactly what.

At my table, Fyvush Finkel
from the show Boston Public,

and Mickey Freeman from Sgt. Bilko, a show I'm too young to remember.

Irving Fields played the piano for Claire Barry, Mina Bern, and Esta, my friend and trusted confidant, an actress from silent films, was also there. At 92, she knows everything about everything.

I won one of the raffle prizes, fancy seats at a Mets game courtesy of Alan Manevitz. Hoo-ray! Oy vey! Here I come Shea!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Should I get a ceiling fan for my bedroom?

Every summer I ask this question. Should I go to Home Depot and buy a Hunter or a Casablanca? Every time I see them, I think "condo in west L.A. " Something about the faux wood, the old-west lights, just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it's the top floor, or the eleven windows, but when it's only 75 or 80 outside, my place becomes 88-plus real quick. A/C dries everything up and shouldn't be needed when it's only 72 out, and the "fan" mode just doesn't seem like it's actually fresh air coming in. Window fan would be best, but then Taj can't look out all of his windows like he likes to do.

The other problem is the inevitable "Vic Morrow" effect you feel if you stand up on your bed (and you never know when you might need to do that). And even worse, this could happen. Though I long for the quietness of the ceiling fan, I think I'll hold off another year.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Europeans are just better

no offense, fellow americanos, but when i think about all the roommates i've had over the years, and for some reason i did that today, i just realize that the europeans have been the best. right now i don't have any roommates, but if i did, i hope it would be someone with an accent who would leave some nice strawberry smelling shampoo thing on my tub when they leave town. they always leave something cool and nice behind.
Windy City Trip

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Dead actor

This is a better picture of Chris Penn (on the left) than any I saw in the obituaries. He was in fine shape back then. It was a long time ago on location outside of Franklin, Tennessee, on Jamie Foley's At Close Range. The one on the right is Chuck Waters, Sean Penn's stunt double, setting up a shot where Chris dives into the quarry.

Chuck was the stuntman who did the stairfall at the end of The Exorcist, and still gets paid every time that scene is ever shown anywhere. I saw him double Sean, Redford, Dustin, and many women. Chris was dating the ice skater Tai Babylonia at the time, and Sean was dating Madonna. Chris Walken wore bowling shirts and the laundry service kept stealing clothes they thought might be Madonna's. I just fed the horses and tried to figure out where Eddie Money lived.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Amsterdam Pussy

They say not all the prostitutes are, um, "women" in the Red Light district. At least I know the top picture is an actual cat. But the cat didn't make eye contact with the boyfriend. Which one has a better life?