2015 Boston Cup

This Sunday I attended the fourth annual Boston Cup with my friend; photographer Peter Iannaco. For those of you who don’t know, the event is a car show put on by Herb Chambers which takes place on the Boston Common. The show features a selection of hand picked classic vehicles ranging from the dawn of the automobile to modern sports cars. Pete and I spent the day walking the lawn, admiring the range of vehicles that had been brought out to the event, and talking to owners about their cars.

Boston-Cup_115Herb Chambers’ McLaren F1 – Photo by Peter Iannaco

We started the day early, arriving a little after 6am. We were told that media could and should arrive early, in order to get the best possible views of the cars before the event opened to the public. Unfortunately we were so early that the show was very much still in the process of being set up. No one was at the tent to sign us in and many of the cars hadn’t arrived yet. Eventually we were able to get our passes as promised and Pete was able to get some shots of the cars as they rolled in.

Boston-Cup_15Cars rolling onto the common – Photo by Peter Iannaco

As the day went on and more people began to show up, the clouds broke and it got brighter. This gave us a second wind and we began to make the rounds again. The cars genuinely took on a new look in the sunlight. The beauty and variety of their colors really started to show.

Boston-Cup_70Fiat Dino Spider – Photo by Peter Iannaco

Peter was very impressed to see this Autozam AZ-1 (below) roll in. The AZ-1 was a Japanese Kei car designed by Suzuki and sold by Mazda in the early nineties. It has a 657 cc engine and gull-wing doors to boot! This little car was a show stopper. Everybody seemed to love it and it got more attention than some of the other more typical exotics.

Boston-Cup_531992 Autozam AZ-1 – Photo by Peter Iannaco

It just shows that in the car world, you never know what’s going to attract a crowd. In addition to the oddness and rarity of the car, the owner had an interesting story about how he came to own and restore it, involving a detailed restoration process. Apparently it had been in pieces in California when he found it posted on Bring a Trailer dot com.

Boston-Cup_109Malcolm’s MG F1 Magna – Photo by Peter Iannaco

While walking around the perimeter of the show, after returning from a lunch break, I pointed out a car to Pete that I thought he would be interested in. We told the owner we’d be right in to inspect it more closely, and after admiring a few other cars, we made our way back over to him.

The car in question was an MG F1 Magna. It was one of the smallest of the older cars there at only 3-feet wide. The owner of the car, Malcolm was very sweet and told us everything we wanted to know about the car. What had initially attracted me to the MG was the tiny single person “rumble seat” in the back. I couldn’t believe a car that small would have one.

Boston-Cup_73Lamborghini Miura – Photo by Peter Iannaco

He went on to tell us about how he had tracked down the history of the ownership. Though he got the car from Canada -a literal “barn find” out of Montreal- it had originally been purchased in England by a man who had bought it for his wife. Hence the “feminine” light-blue color. He also pointed out the hand made step which allowed passengers access to the rumble seat.

Apparently, the design -which had been tooled into it- was done by hand as a sort of “maker’s mark.” It was clearly not perfectly symmetrical and thus could not have been done by a machine. It is these sorts of details that show the value, history and craftsmanship of a handmade automobile.

Boston-Cup_90Mercedes 300 SL – Photo by Peter Iannaco

All in all, though long and a bit hotter than I expected it to be, the day was pretty good. However, this is only a fraction of what the show had to offer. For more photos from the day, visit Peter’s website.

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I attended my first Boston Bike Party in a long time. The last one I did was the Halloween Ride last year. Since coming back from New York (Yes, I’m back. I’ve been meaning to write a post about it and my time there and what led to me coming back but there hasn’t been a big enough of a thing to announce it. I know what I mean) I have been wanting to attend a BBP but different events over the past months have prevented it. Additionally, I had been wanting to take the hi wheel on one of the rides but I needed a good excuse to bring it (rather than my daily driver).


For those of you who forget or don’t know or haven’t read my previous bike party posts, which I suspect would be most of you, every Boston Bike Party event has a theme. For example, the first one I ever did was Robots VS Dinosaurs. People dress up in costume (although getting dressed up is not a requirement for the event) in order to support the theme. I typically don’t dress up simply because I’m there to ride and have fun with a huge group of people. This time however, I finally found a ride with a theme that would not only allow me to dress up but also to bring my mini hi wheel.

The theme for this September’s ride was simply, Boston. Each time BBP posts the theme, they also post a “look book” to inspire potential costume ideas. When I saw that they posted people in colonial costumes, I got the idea of Boston through the ages. Thus, a newsboy riding a penny farthing was a perfect fit for this ride. As far as clothes go, I was already covered. While living off campus in Fitchburg, we had held a speakeasy themed party. At that time I had gone to the Salvation Army and bought an entire get-up for the party. Luckily, being a guy who never throws anything away, I still had the outfit.

Upon arriving at Copley Square I was instantly greeted with praise, as I have come accustom when riding the hi wheel. My costume was not even one of the most clever of the group, several other people had been much more creative. However, being that they (we) are all “bike people,” they were able to appreciate the bike even more than your average passerby. As usual I was bombarded by the same questions I am always hit with whenever I take it out. Questions that essentially were the original reason for starting this blog; because I didn’t want to answer them anymore I was going to give out my business card to anyone who asked, rather than answer the same things over and over. A heavy cross I bear, but I take it in stride (joking).

Before setting off I ran into my friend Jesse whom I met on the first BBP I ever attended. Despite not seeing him in about a year he remembered who I was. I’m always amazed when people remember me. In any case, the ride ended up being a really good one (as they always are). Not only was it long but there was a lot of positive energy from passers by as well as fellow cyclists in the group (all told I believe there was in the vicinity of 500 of us). A bunch of spectators hollered at me and gave me the thumbs up or wanted to take my picture. Despite not really knowing how to handle it, the attention never gets old, haha.

The ride ended at the Charlestown Navy Yard. I was a bit disappointed by the fact that it didn’t end up at a bar (in usual fashion) as I was in need of a beer. Additionally, despite taking to a few ladies, I didn’t get any numbers; that was a bit of a disappointment too. Hmm, and I was so certain that a guy in period garb riding a penny farthing would be the single thing needed get their motors (or in this case pedals) going. Haha, oh well, I still had fun.

Saturday – morning

The next day, yesterday, I attended my third ever American Field event. AF is a show that features goods that are all made in America. It took place on Drydock Ave, the same place it had happened last year, however this year it was indoors. I had no intention of buying anything but I always like seeing the sort of goods that are there.

It’s like going to a Capsule show where you see a lot of independent clothing, accessory, leather, wood and furniture manufacturers. I didn’t bother taking any pictures because if you’ve gone to one, you’ve gone to them all. However, it was still fun and I even got to try a type of flavored vodka that is made in Texas I believe. Additionally, something new this year was that Tesla was hosting test drives. I didn’t get a chance to take one as they were all filled up, however it was still cool that they were doing it.

Saturday – afternoon/night

I sort of rushed through the American Field show in order to be in time for a double feature I had planned with my friend Dan and my sister. We have faithfully stuck to our 23 Weeks of Bond marathon. (I’m saying 23 weeks of Bond instead of 24 weeks because despite the fact that the next film is number 24 in the series, we are marathoning the ones that are already made. The icing on the proverbial cake is Spectre and thus I see it as being separate from the res id the films). However, due to a miscalculation on my part we started a bit late and thus had to double up this week. (We’ll have to double up on a couple of other occasions as well but this was the first one).

For this double feature we were watching Octopussy and Never Say Never Again. Though NSNA is technically not an official Bond movie, since they reviewed it on the James Bonding podcast, we counted it. The reason we grouped these two was because they were both released in 1983. I knew this was going to be a taxing double feature as neither of these films are exactly what one might call gems.

However, we were able to sucessfully get through both of them with the assistance of beer, popcorn, bagel bites, a frisbee break and an N64 video game break during which time we played The World is Not Enough and listened half of the Octopussy episode of the James Bonding podcast. All in all it was a successful night and but I am glad to be done with these films.

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Untuck Your Shirt

Going on a bike ride on a hot summer day is always a reminder of the past. This time, while leaving my house, I was reminded of a particular bike ride I went on with my friends when I was in around 5th or 6th grade. It was either a summer day or a random weekend towards the beginning of the school year; when it’s still hot in September.

I was in my house, probably doing nothing when all of a sudden there was a knock at my door (or maybe I heard my name being called from outside).  A group of my friends had assembled outside my house on their bikes and wanted to know if I wanted to go on a bike ride with them. I asked my parents if this was ok; I’d never gone out on a ride with just my friends before, I usually went with my dad. “Sure,” they obliged and I ran out back to grab my bike from out of the shed.

I brought my bike around front and was all ready to go. But, right before we took off, my friend John Goodhue said to me, “Untuck your shirt.” My dad had always instilled in me a neat appearance. I always combed my hair dressed in decent clothes, and looked like a young professional. This was the first time I was told to do something other than what my parents wanted me to do. It was the first time the notion of not following their commands was something I had considered doing. Not that untucking your shirt is a giant act of rebellion, but it was the first time this clean cut “goodie two shoes” had ever done something “defiant.” (My dad recently told me that Goodie’s a cop in my home town now; who’d have thought?)

I was always amazed that I had fallen into this group of friends. It seemed like, at the time, they were the “cool kids” (untucked shirts and what not) and amazingly they had allowed me to latch on to the outer edge of their circle. I was invited to their birthday parties, trips to Laser Quest, and even sleepovers.

Another revelation came when I was in 6th grade. As was the case with biking, I had discovered skateboarding. Everyday after school when the weather was warm I would walk home, grab my skateboard and skate back to the school to meet up with my friends. It must never have occurred to me to bring my skateboard to school and keep it in my locker so I wouldn’t have to go back and forth all of the time. We would meet up and skate around town, typically ending up at the Coliseum, a nearby skate shop. There we’d hang out, watch skate videos and shoot the shit with the employees.

I always remembered sitting on the floor of the cafetorium in elementary school during gym and noticing that the friends I looked up to were all wearing Vans. I remembered thinking how much I wanted Vans, rather than the knock off sneakers my mom got me from Payless at the beginning of the school year. Finally, in 6th grade I got my parents to by me a pair of és Koston 1s. I somehow convinced the clerk to sell them to me for $65 rather than the $80 they were supposed to retail for.

I’ll never forget them, all black with a grey sole. It genuinely felt like doors opened up for me after that. Guys noticed me, noticed my sneakers and knew I was a fellow skater, that I was part of their tribe. Funny how what we wear can dictate how we are perceived. However, after that I resolved myself to always buy skate shoes. I think the deprivation of “proper” skate shoes when I was younger made me realize that once I was able to afford to buy what I wanted, I was going to buy real skate shoes.

As I got older I began to experiment with style. I would ware neck ties with t-shirts to class. I’d wear a different sneaker on each foot. I wanted to stand out. I wanted to get noticed. I wanted to do something that was different that would express my individuality and show people I could do or be whoever I wanted.

Throughout the years styles have changed. I try to keep up with the trends to be perceived certain ways by certain groups. But I guess all I was getting at, all I was really thinking about was that one moment where fashion and friendship came together. Specifically and more poignantly, the friendship. It’s moments and memories like those ones that make you nostalgic for the past.

No one ever tells you you’re in your golden years when you’re in them. (I know I stole that line or notion from a book or a movie or something). I’d love to go back to a time when I had a big group of friends who would randomly show up at my house just to see if I wanted to go on a bike ride with them. I’m not trying to live in the past, I know you shouldn’t, but it’s hard not to thing of the ‘90s or early 2000’s without the sense that life was a little bit easier then. I guess whatever “problems” I had were so infantile that they were easier to brush aside.

I don’t know. I’m rambling. I’m really not trying to be a bummer. It’s just fun to think about the past.

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I promised I would update you once I finished painting the costume/puppet. So, here are some pictures of the final product…




TARS-interrogationInterrogation stance

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TARS Costume

Those of you who have seen the movie Interstellar know that one of the coolest characters in the film is the robot TARS (although CASE is just as cool and less of a dick). Ever since seeing the special feature about the making of TARS, I have been interested and trying to make a TARS costume of my own.

However, despite having seen the special feature several months ago, it wasn’t until recently that I finally started to look into what it might take to build a TARS of my own. I Googled “Tars costume” and found the following video.

Though I knew I didn’t want to do something as high-tech as that, It was just the inspiration I needed to get the ball rolling on a TARS costume project of my own.

So, this past Monday I began my search for some free cardboard. I started at my local appliance store, looking for scrap refrigerator boxes. After finding none in their trash, I checked a few more sources before eventually scoring a dishwasher box from Lowes.

My plan was simple, make four equally sized rectangular boxes, then cut a small circular hole in each side of each of the boxes and run a long cylindrical tube through the boxes to a) hold them together and b) serve as the pivot point to allow him to walk.

TarsConceptSketch_backThis is a conceptual sketch I drew of what the costume would look like from the back.

The follow is a step-by-step of how I made the costume. I apologize for not including reference photos of the process, but the descriptions should be detailed enough for you to fill in the blanks. Additionally, my approach was super simple and low tech. The entire process took only four days, and it only took that long because I was taking my time and not putting in nearly as many hours each day as I could have.

Materials: large cardboard box, hot glue, box cutter/razor blade, pen knife/exacto-knife, t-square, tape measure, compass, ruler, straight edge, cylindrical tube.

Step 1: using a razor blade, cut the box so each side is now it’s own individual panel. You now have four flat pieces of cardboard that are all approximately the same size.

Step 2: next measure the width of one of the panels, in this case ~30 inches, and divide it by three. I chose to not use the full width because the edges of the box weren’t cut perfectly straight. I ended up only using the center 24 inches and dividing that into three 8-inch panels. Using a straight edge, draw four vertical lines from the top of the flat piece of cardboard to the bottom. Do this for each of the four flat pieces of cardboard.

Step 3: using a straight edge and a razor blade cut the flat pieces of cardboard along the lines you drew so that you have twelve 8-inch wide panels.

Step 4: next, take three of the 8-inch panels and separate them from the group. Using a razor blade, cut the folding flap of the box off of two of the panels and put them aside. For the third panel, measure 8 inches from the fold. Draw a horizontal line and with a razor blade, cut off the excess cardboard.

Step 5: using the excess cardboard, cut out triangular gussets from the corners. The ones I made were 3 inches long. You should be able to get 6 total (3 pairs of two) gussets from your excess pieces of cardboard.

Step 6: next space the gussets out along the back side of the front face of one of your groups of three panels. The front panel is the one that still has the 8 inch flap on the top. Hot glue the gussets to the back of the front facing panel and attach the other two sides of the box to the gussets. Additionally, hot glue the flap of the front panel to the top edge of each of the side panels.

Step 7: repeat steps 4 through 6 until you have four equal sized rectangular boxes.

Step 8: On the side of one of your boxes, measure 6 inches down from the top of the box and 4 inches in from the front. Make an X at that point. That is where you will place your hole. The center boxes will need holes on both sides. The outer most boxes will only need holes on the inward facing sides. The boxes I made were approximately four feet tall and thus could be divided into four 1-foot sections. This will be important later when you’re painting TARS as he is broken down in four vertical sections.

Step 9: using a compass, make a circle the size of the cylindrical tube you will be using to hold TARS together. the center-point of the circle is the X you marked in the previous step. Once the circles are drawn, cut them out using an exacto-knife.

Step 10: take your cylindrical tube, I used a tube from a roll of wrapping paper, and begin to feed it through the holes you’ve just cut out until all of the boxes are on the tube. You now have your basic TARS costume complete. The only things left to do are the details ie. painting it.

TarsCostume_backThe back side of the costume. Here you can see where the gussets are, where I made the holes and where the tube fits.

My costume is not complete. I still plan on painting it and adding other details, but I wanted to put up what I have for now because I’m proud of it and wanted to share it with you. Plus it is essentially done… like 90% done. I will add more to this post -or post an update- once it’s complete.

TarsCardboardCostumePose1TARS – interrogation stance

Because of its size (the fact that it’s not as tall or taller than me), the TARS I made is less of a costume (something you wear) and more of an object I puppeteer. This is true of the prop used in the movie as well, however a bit of the mystery is gone from mine because my TARS is shorter than me and thus you can see me puppeteering it.

TarsCardboardCostumePose2TARS – walking stance

Oh the things you can accomplish when you’re funemployed.

Helpful links:

TARS typeface* – Trade Gothic Bold Extended

Google sketch-up schematic drawing – good reference for how the body is divided and where the pivot points are

TARS walking GIF – “gorilla”

TARS walking GIF – “stroll”

Replica Prop Forum – discussion about how to build a replica TARS

*click the link > click the “Try It” tab > type TARS in the word box > make the size 96 (the biggest they offer) > screen grab  the word TARS > open an 11 by 8.5 Adobe Illustrator file > import the screen shot of the font and stretch it so it spans the length of the page. Now you have a stencil you can print and cut out to spray onto your TARS. This worked for mine based on the dimensions I used for my costume. However, you may need to adjust yours depending on the size.

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Route 66 Road Trip

I’ve had in my head for a long time that I want, at some point, to take a road trip on Route 66. This fire was re-kindled recently while watching an episode of American Pickers. All the trips that they go on, the parts of off-beat America that they explore, all made me want to go on this trip again. I don’t know if you can still do it anymore, if the road is still in driving condition or if there is an alternate route one needs to take in order to follow it as close as possible; more research is required.

That is why I have prepared a list of books I would buy for research material in order to plan the ultimate American road trip. Additionally I made a series of a lists (written below) on several topics that I want to remember in order to make the trip as cool and fun as possible. Lists include things like what cars I would potentially be interested in taking on said trip, what music I want to listen to and what movies I want to watch to help ramp up my excitement.


-VW Bus (Brumos; see video above; also this)

-1950s Mercury Coupe


-“Bandit” Trans Am

-Chevy Nomad




-Cadillac El Dorado or Deville

-Mini Cooper (old)

Note: I feel that on a trip like this, the car you drive is just as important as the route you are driving. Like putting on the proper attire based on a certain function you’re attending, the right vehicle needs to be utilized for the right drive.


-Lonely Planet: Route 66 – Road Trips

-Travel Route 66: A Guide to the History, Sights and Destinations along the Main Street of America

-Route 66: The Mother Road


-License Plate Game

-plus look up others


-New Shoes

Cars soundtrack

-the 5, 6, 7, 8s

-see DJ setlists 1 and 2

-Vampire Weekend

-Personal Record – Eleanor Friedburger


-Wanda Jackson

-Alabama Shakes

-The Black Keys

-Roy Orbison

-Amy Winehouse

-surf rock

-Tell Me (What’s on Your mind)

-Dogheart II

Pulp Fiction soundtrack

-The Beach Boys

Places to Stay

Blue Swallow Motel

Wigwam Village Motel

Sights to see

-The Big Texan

-Cadillac Ranch (Carhenge?)

Road Trip/Appropriate Movies

-A Goofy Movie

-Smokey and the Bandit

-Cars (Pixar)


Route 66 wiki

Historic 66

Roadtrip USA

Legends of America

National 66

I have no idea when I want to do this or really even why? I don’t really enjoy driving and there is a lot of stress and work involved in a road trip; they aren’t exactly relaxing vacations. However, I think it’s important to do and something I should do within the next couple of years. I better add it to the “Vacations To Do” list.

Past road trips

Cross Country (2006) – I went with my cousin and my uncle on a cross country road trip in 2006. We drove his F-150 King Ranch edition truck which is by no means a small vehicle. This was on factor that was sometimes difficult to deal with when driving. Additionally, there are often very long days of driving which can definitely lead to cabin fever. I will say however that I didn’t see a lot of this country on that trip and that probably the good things outweighed the bad.

Celebration V (2010) – when my friends and I attended the fifth ever Star Wars convention in Orlando, we all thought it would be a good idea to road-trip from Massachusetts to Orlando, driving nonstop for 22 hours. The only negative thing was that in my car we only had three drivers so there was less passing off and longer legs of driving for each driver.

Additionally, my lack of driving confidence makes me nervous and self conscious. I feel I am a good driver but not a confident one. When I’m nervous, my lack of confidence sometimes causes me to make quick jerky decisions/movements when I’m driving and thus, understandably, causes my passengers to lose their confidence in me. When someone points this out to me -as was the case on this trip- it gets me angry and makes me more self conscious. This led to a bit of a spat between Andrew and myself at one point and thus caused an ominous cloud to hang over the rest of the drive.

Mini Takes the States (2012) – when Pete and I did MTTS we were obviously the only two drivers of his car. Because he is such a car nut, he was naturally very protective of his Mini. However, he made a lot of passenger comments whenever I was driving that in general made me nervous around his car, made me nervous to drive and additionally made me angry with him. i.e. telling me when to break, telling me how to adjust my mirrors, telling me to slow down, telling me to speed up and other things.

Additionally, because we had to stay with one another it meant that any decisions that were made where final. We couldn’t split up because there was only one car to get us wherever we needed to go. This led to other tensions when my ideas of what we should do and his ideas of what we should do clashed. Finally, being in a close space with someone -who is already prone to getting on your nerves- for a long period of time is not something that is fun to deal with.

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Top 50 Movies

I have been sitting on this post for literally years. I don’t know what I’ve been waiting for but now I’ve finally decided to post it. I would just like to say that I reserve the right to update (add or subtract) movies as I see fit.

As is the case with several posts I’ve written, this is more for me than it is for you. I always feel like I’m going to forget what my favorite movies are so I decided to finally make a list. However, rather than rank them, making the process more difficult, I’ve decided to simply put them in alphabetical order. More specifically, these are movies that make my heart ache after seeing them and wish I were doing more, or rather make me want to do more with my life. I’m sure this list will change as I’ve no doubt forgotten some or put in others that may not really deserve to be here. But, nevertheless, here it is (with 10 question marks- ones I’m not sure deserve to be here):




Almost Famous


Artist, The (?)


Big Fish (?)

Black Snake Moan (?)

Cool Hand Luke

Cloud Atlas

Darjeeling Limited, The

Enter The Void

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Fight Club (?; too easy to say it’s your favorite)

Finding Nemo

Frances Ha

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The

Gone Girl

Gone in Sixty Seconds (?)


Inception (?)


Jackie Brown

Juno (?)

La Haine

Lord of War

Lost In Translation

Man On Wire

Matrix, The

Metropolis (anime)

Midnight In Paris

Monsters, Inc.


Nightcrawler (?)

No Country For Old Men

Panic Room (?)

Public Speaking



Shawshank Redemption, The

Skeleton Twins, The

Synecdoche New York

THX-1138 (?)


V for Vendetta

Waking Life


You’ve Got Mail

—Some were too obvious to include

Star Wars (original trilogy; too easy to say it’s your favorite)

Indiana Jones (original trilogy; too easy to say it’s your favorite)

Back to the Future (trilogy; too easy to say it’s your favorite)

James Bond (the complete series; too easy to say it’s your favorite)

Godfather Part I, The (too easy to say it’s your favorite)

Breakfast Club, The (too easy to say it’s your favorite)

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Subway Symphony

It’s rare that when given the opportunity to skip an ad before a YouTube video that I don’t take said opportunity. However, when I saw the following ad, I thought it was poignant for 2 reasons. 1) it features LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, a guy and a band that I’ve gotten more interested in over the past several months and 2) it features the MTA, a subway system I am now very familiar with after having spent the past 6 months living in NY and learning it.

The idea is that since the MTA is supposedly going to switch from a swipe based card system to a tap based one (apparently not till 2019), that they might as well make the sound of the beep when you tap your card, be a pleasant one. So that is what James Murphy is teaming up with Heineken to try and do. I love this idea and have thought for a while now that the MTA should switch to a tap based card system like the T in Boston. In his words: “someone’s going to make a chip that beeps on the next system… that’s a given.  All I’m asking for is the chance to help make that beep something memorable.”

If you’re down with this idea, go to Subway Symphony dot org and sign the petition.

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23 Weeks of Bond

So, as usual I am a few weeks behind on this. I was listening to the Tested podcast and they mentioned the fact that starting that week, there would be 23 weeks until SPECTRE, the next James Bond film, was released. This meant that you could watch one Bond film each week until SPECTRE comes out. Hence the slowest, longest, and most drawn out marathon ever was about to begin.

I Pitched the idea of marathoning the bond movies over the coming weeks to my sister and a couple of my friends. They thought it was a good idea and so last Friday, we kicked off the marathon with Dr. No. Ever since listening to the James Bonding podcast I have been wanting to re-watch all of the bond movies. This realization was the perfect excuse to do just that.

The main reason why I wanted to post this was for any other Bond fans out there. If you didn’t already know about this “23 weeks” thing, now would be the time to start watching the films.

Dr. No: I’m not going to do a post for every movie, but, I thought I would just briefly go over my/our game plan for the next few weeks.

This first week I had my friend Dan, as well as my sister, come to my house at 8pm. Dan brought beer which made it feel that much more official. We then popped in Dr. No and watched it without much peanut gallery commentary, which was great. After the movie was over, me, Dan and Kyra listened to the James Bonding podcast Dr. No episode while playing the The World is Not Enough video game for N64.

I think the plan is to alternate each week, he come to my place, I go to his, back and forth until SPECTRE. I really hope we actually do keep up with this plan because it could be really fun as well as allow me to catch up on the Bond movies, something I wanted to do anyway.

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You’ve Got Mail Excursion

Two warnings/heads ups:

1) this is only for “die hard” YGM fans as there are some “deep cuts” -in other words jokes that only people very familar with the movie would understand- in this blog post

2) I want to apologize that this isn’t as thorough as it should be. I wanted to flesh it out more but I got lazy. Also, I’ve been putting this off for so long that a lot of this information is no longer relevant in terms of the dates it’s referencing.

You’ve Got Mail is legitimately one of my favorite movies. While crashing at Steve’s apartment, we somehow got on the topic of YGM and the next time I was home, I brought it down to watch with him. Well, this past Wednesday I finally got around to watching it. I have a weird thing with movies I really love where I can’t watch them too often or else I ruin them. Luckily I had waited the perfect amount of time so that it felt new again.

I don’t know why it took me so long to go on this excursion. Perhaps I was waiting for the movie to be fresh in my mind but I’m glad I did. One of the key ingredients that makes YGM so great is the soundtrack. Every place I went on the excursion brought up the musical cue for what plays at that location in the movie.

One thing that surprised me was how close every location was in relation to one another. I feel like the characters are so lazy, they never seem to have to go more than a few blocks to get to where they need to go. Regardless, this didn’t ruin the magic, it just surprised me.

YouveGotMail_mapHere is a map of the Upper West Side with highlighted locations from You’ve Got Mail.

I took the B train to 72 street and then walked a few blocks south to begin my journey.

The Shop Around The Corner (106 W69th Street)

TheShopAroundTheCornerThe Shop Around the Corner is actually La Mode an organic cleaner.

Starting at the most southernly point of the map we come to La Mode, the business used to film the fake store front of The Shop Around the Corner.

Gray’s Papya (2090 Broadway)


Next on the list is Gray’s Papya. This is where Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) and Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) meet towards the end of the movie and get hot dogs before they split off, in order to meet again at the 91st Street Garden.

Verdi Square – “I keep bumpin’ into you.”

[Verdi Square; I didn’t get my own photo for this location… sorry]

Just across the street I found myself at Verdi Square. This is where Joe and Kathleen stop on a bench; him eating pretzels and her eating a fruit.

79th Street Boat Basin – “Hello New Jersey!”

[79th Street Boat Basin; I didn’t get my own photo for this location… sorry]

Working my way north, I headed west towards the Hudson River and the 79th Street boat basin. This is where the Fox II (Nelson Fox’s boat) and Fox III (Joe Fox’s boat) are docked. I had unknowingly biked past this a few weeks ago while on an epic ride. Additionally, this is the place where Joe meets with his father after they’ve both been dumped and this song plays.

Ocean Grill (384 Columbus Ave)

[Ocean Grill; I couldn’t get my own pic because there was scaffolding in the way]

After a short detour through Riverside Park I made my way east to Columbus Ave and the Ocean Grill. This is the restaurant where Kathleen and Joe get lunch as they begin to become friends.

Zabar’s (2245 Broadway)

Zabars…orange you going to give us a break by zipping this credit card through?” -Joe Fox

Next I headed back to Broadway and north one block to Zabar’s. This is the grocery store where Joe sweet talks the cashier into allowing Kathleen to use her credit card to pay for her groceries despite being in the “cash only” line.

Cafe Lalo (201 W83rd Street)

CafeLalo“Do you think we should meet?” -Joe Fox

A few blocks up I found myself at Cafe Lalo. This is where Kathleen waits for her pen pal (email pal?) NY152 to show up but instead is confronted by Joe Fox who, unbeknownst to her is NY152. This is when Joe finds out that Kathleen is Shopgirl, the woman he’s been talking to on the internet.

328 W89th Street

KathleenApartmentKathleen Kelly’s apartment; the one on the left

Further north we find ourselves at W89th street. Simply put, this is none other than Kathleen Kelly’s apartment. Just FYI, between this location and the next I popped off at another spot from the film. However, I felt it was best to save that location for the end of the blog post.

210 Riverside Drive – Joe Fox’s apartment

[152 Riverside Drive]

A bit further up brought me to 210 Riverside Drive. This is one of the locations where the film opens up. You might be wondering why I went here and not to 152, his “actual” address. The reason being that apparently they shoot the exteiror for 152 at 210 for some reason. 152 doesn’t even have an awning in real life.

The weird thing about where he lives is just how close he lives to Kathleen. They are literally only a couple of blocks away from each other. They make this apparent in the opening of the film when they’re both walking to work and you can see the other walking several paces behind. I guess strangers don’t really talk in NY but it seems weird that they would live so close and never run into one another.

—Other Locations

I was fortunate that the DVD had some really in depth special features. One of which pointed out all of these UWS locations, taking a lot of the leg work out of my scavenger job. However, it doesn’t explicitly point out every location.

Fox Books (W17th Street and 7th Ave) – on the DVD extra Nora Ephron (the film’s writer/director) explains that Barney’s was closing down and so they were able to use the space to build the Fox Books set.

H&H Bagels – this is where Joe Fox has his little speech about the flour cloud that gets poured into basement. Unfortunately the location featured in the movie has since closed down. However, that didn’t stop me from going to H&H Midtown Bagels for breakfast.

The thing that sucks about the old H&H location is that, similarly to Kathleen’s speech about what will become of her store once it’s closed down -“soon it will become something very depressing, like a Baby Gap”- H&H is now a Verizon store.

94th Street between Columbus and Central Park West – this is where Joe takes Annabell and Matt to the little fall fair. Fun fact, when I went to check out the area, I ran into a spring festival/street fair one block over! What are the odds?

Riverside Drive and W111 – this is where Kathleen talks with Christina before entering Birdie’s apartment(?). I forget if that is exactly what is happening when they are talking but this is definitely where it takes place.


W78th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam – this is where Kathleen and Joe part ways before meeting at the end of the movie.

91st Street Garden – This is where Kathleen finally meets NY152 and realizes that it was Joe all along.

91stGarden“I wanted it to be you, I wanted it to be you so badly.” -Kathleen Kelly

Now that I know where it is, I’ve passed it several times on my bike. I had been to Riverside park a bunch before but it wasn’t until I brought down the DVD and opened it up that I realized where spectfically they were standing (it’s highlighted on the inside cover). If you didn’t know, Riverside Park is huge.

Lastly, I just wanted to say thank you to the late Nora Ephron for this fabulous movie.

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