Up and Down the Social Ladder

I stumbled across this photo of Kira Nightly at the premiere of The Information Game all glammed-up and posing in her Dolce & Gabbana while some frumpy fans look on.

knightlyIt reminded me of this famous photo by Weegee which, having always been insecure about my place in society, never fails to stir my bile.

weegeeWeegee had intended this to be a social commentary but it was later proven to be a fake. The photo was staged. The two matrons were wealthy friends of Weegee and the urchin was brought up from the Bowery, plied with liquor and told to stand in that spot. She was the only one unaware of the ruse. Weegee was a smart guy. He got the expression on her face he needed. Because it has been discredited, the photo is said to have lost its power to incite, but I beg to differ. It still pisses me off a little bit every time I see it. For some reason, it always reminds of my mom. Isn’t that sad?

I was watching Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (which you should watch because it’s brilliant). In the episode with Kevin Hart, they were discussing growing up humble, as they did, versus growing up wealthy, as their children are. They had this prescient exchange:

Hart: “The things that made me into who I am, my kids will never experience.”

Seinfeld: “That’s right. It’s going to be different for them. Your problem was: Things are bad, I gotta make it good. Their problem is going to be: Things are good. Why do I feel bad?”

Scramble two, Jerry.

We took the girlies to Orlando over a school break. We visited Universal Studios. They’re too old for Disney princesses, but they’re in that sweet spot for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. An old, cynical crank would say that it’s a lot of this:

gringottsAnd this:

menuA $10 hot dog! At least you get crisps with it. You can buy all the soda you want while in the Universal theme park but once you enter into Hogwarts or Diagon Alley, it’s not available. You can get Butterbeer, water and juices, but no Coke. I was told that that was at J.K. Rowling’s insistence, which is marvelous. I love her.

I found that if you leave yo pretentious ass back in New York (which is no mean feat for a part-time snob like myself), you can be suitably impressed by the meticulous attention to detail and the superb execution of design. Like this big fella:

dragon1Pretty good and even more impressive in person. Every few minutes he belches a loud, powerful blast of fire. If you’re standing nearby, you can feel a wave of heat. It’s quite an accomplishment. Might be fun to smoke a big fatty and see this.

dragon2There were a lot of visitors from the UK. I mean, a LOT. Is this a big destination for you guys? I got into a fascinating discussion about succession with two travelers from Scotland. Two cute girls with accents that can melt an aged Anglophile.

Life is a carousel ride. Sometimes literally.


“Growing up is hard, especially for men, because that means you have to leave the best years of your life behind.”

Mike Tyson