“Somewhere between Chinatown and God-knows-where…”

Short films are the biggest oxymoron ever.

How the hell is a short film decreed as “short”, anyway? By comparison to a so-called “long film”?

The mysteries of the Academy.

While short films are, for lack of a better word, short (yeah, I probably should’ve used the thesaurus on that one), they are forced to deal with elements that their two-hour-long cousins don’t have to encounter. For example, fifteen or twenty minute films have that much less time to create a bond between the character and the audience, and, well, if I learned anything in my screenplay writing class last semester, that’s damn hard. To force the viewer to feel for the character and sympathize with his or her feelings, trials, and obstacles all in less time than it takes to make it through the line at Shake Shack? If that’s not talent, I don’t know what is.

It was with this mindset that Kari Pulizzano and I ventured out from the way-too-hot hallways of Baruch and to the (gasp!) 6 train, where, being the optimistists (yeah, right) that we are, foolishly expected to end up at the theater ahead of time. We had about 45 minutes to get from 23rd Street to the Village — how hard can that possibly be?

The first leg of the trip went fine — the foul-smelling 6 took us to a stop somewhere in the deep south of Manhattan, where bums roamed and I couldn’t help but feel watched by the three cameras targeted at the tracks and all the junk and filth accumulated at the bottom.

Being the Staten Islanders and honorary Manhattanites that we are, we refused to ask anyone for directions, paranoid that we’ll be pointed toward a torture chamber or worse. Even HopStop has failed us, and deleted the directions that would lead us to safety. However, we were two Red Remington Red Riding Hood girls on a mission, and we were not about to back down in the face of potentially getting on the wrong train — which is exactly what we did.

We hopped on the next train we saw — a downtown B, and mused over our own success at outsmarting the New York City train system. Those feelings were short lived, however, as the conductor screechingly announced our demise:

The road to hell.

“Next stop, DeKalb Avenue.”

We bolted off the train as if the seats caught on fire, aghast at the thought of being in Brooklyn. Being logical (or, perhaps, missing sunlight), we ventured out of the train station and into Shanghai.

Somewhere in the back of our minds, we knew that we were in Chinatown, but with the combination of signs written in a language neither of us knew, and the fuzzy outline of City Hall (or perhaps the Great Wall of China) did little to comfort us.

I proposed walking, claiming that there’s no way we could be that far from our destination, but Kari, being infinitely smarter than I am, suggested a cab, which ultimately took us to our destination — a sex shop.

At first, we were puzzled beyond belief that this is where our professor wanted us to meet, but after a few quizzical looks, we marched on.

A beat up little theater surrounded by naughty lingerie and NYU Tisch grad students was not what I typically imagined Mecca, Nirvana, or Heaven to be like, but it sure came pretty damn close.

Moral of the story? “A journey is a fragment of Hell.” (Bruce Chatwin)

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5 Responses to “Somewhere between Chinatown and God-knows-where…”

  1. This is excellently written. My favorite post so far. Kudos.

  2. Elsa says:

    “The road to hell.” Haha – that’s awesome!

  3. alazebnik says:

    Press+Iphone+Chinatown+Naughty Lingerie= Oscar

  4. I have to agree with Alan, all our adventure needed was a kickass soundtrack.

  5. izaydenberg says:

    Our adventure DID have a kickass soundtrack.

    The Beatles, Queen, Pitbull, and a whole lot of classical music.

    Oh, and Romeo.

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