Sunday, July 09, 2006

Settling in

Three lovely discoveries:

1. The art-house theatre across the street from my apartment, which shows a different movie (classics, foreign, independent) every night of the week. I knew that I was going to love it and so went ahead and sprang for a membership when I was in town to sign my lease--and I haven't been disappointed. Last week I saw a Jean Renoir film (which I won't name, to discourage Googling) and then last night George Washington Boyfriend and I saw Lemming, which was fantastic; it's a bit like Caché, in that both deal with happy suburban French families whose lives are suddenly disturbed by an apparently malevolent individual--but I thought Lemming was much better and more satisfying.

2. The nearest Catholic church, which I'm hoping turns out to be the one I want to join. So far, so good: a lovely old structure, well-tended but a bit worn; an engaging priest who gave a good homily today; altar girls; the use of inclusive language at points in the Mass when it often isn't used; a location that draws from both the largely gentrified arts district that I live in and the grittier, much poorer neighborhood to the south. Also, the weekly bulletin and the website highlight the parish's social justice and community outreach initiatives (rather than, say, a weekly "Rosary for Life"--which was just about the only thing that came up under the "activities" section of the websites for some of the other churches I investigated).

3. Lots of used bookstores! GWB and I went into one today and I wound up buying a book on Donne, a copy of Empire Falls, and two huge Miss Manners books of etiquette. I've been lounging around reading one of the latter for the last few hours and chuckling continually.

(Them that knows me knows that I LOVE etiquette books, and I own several, dating back to the 1930s and including ones focused specifically on such subjects as dining, letter-writing, and the like. I've certainly used these books to look things up and ascertain the "right" way to do them, but really, I like to browse through etiquette books in much the way that some people like to read cookbooks: as escapist fantasy. The possibility of a world in which there is a proper--elegant, courteous, considerate--way to do everything is highly appealing to me, as is the belief that that proper way can be easily identified. . . if only one has the right book!)


Anonymous said...

if you like cache and lemming, try to check out code inconnu, which is another of Haneke's and is absolutely fantastic.

and big yay for settling in! I move next month and am dreading it (though will be returning to my hometown, so less suprising but more complicated).

Cobblestopped said...

I've always liked the idea of a opening a small movie theater like that. How does this membership thing work? And what kind of concessions do they sell?

Flavia said...

Rachel: thanks for the recommendation--and good luck with the move!

MCB: there are actually two art-house theatres near me. One of them runs on a more traditional model, bringing in current films (foreign or independent) on a few different screens and running them for a few weeks each. They have the usual concessions and charge around $7-8 per ticket; they also have an attached coffee shop, which one need not purchase a movie ticket to visit--it's a cool space that also hosts local musicians and hangs the works of local artists on the walls.

The theatre that I discussed in this post, however, which shows more older/classic films than contemporary ones, operates on a different and for your purposes probably unduplicable model. It's affiliated with another institution, whose grounds it shares, and my membership includes membership in this other entity as well. Regular admission to the theatre is I believe $6, or $4 for members; there's also the option of buying ticket 10-packs for a reduced price. Members also get 4 free passes.

(Actually, I think the first theatre has a membership program as well, although I don't remember how it works. If you're interested in getting more specifics, though, feel free to email me privately and I'd be happy to give you the web links!)

Tiruncula said...

The movie theatre and the church scene sound very promising! Sounds like this is going to be a cool place to live.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, I love me some etiquette books! One of the books that I read over and over again as a child was a 1950s etiquette book for women that I inherited from my great-aunt. (It gave advice such as "Be sure to wash your hair at least once a week. In between washings, brush shampoo powder through your hair every other day." Loved it!)

And I just spent a delightful day reading through a cookbook -- most relaxing!

I'm so glad that things are going well in your new place.

Anonymous said...

I love etiquette books too! When I was thirteen, my aunt gave me Seventeen magazine's book of etiquette - from 1960. There was a lot of stuff about "when you go out with a boy, ask him about himself and express interest in what he likes." Eeek! Although I can't go into details for obvious reasons, etiquette books are actually an important influence on my research...

Anonymous said...

On the one hand you said earlier that you did not like the Vatican's new, more inclusive language. Now you are saying that you like this church's more inclusive language. Just curious. Also -- how is the music? Do they do the old hymns? Or do they have guitars?

Anonymous said...

ooh, number two and three put together sound like my perfect place!

yay on your new location

Prof. Me said...

Oh, I have an ancient "Catholic Girl's Guide" that you would just love if you love the etiquette books! When I unpack it (and believe me, it feels like I will never be packed OR unpacked at this point) I'll quote some of my favorite passages for you. The whole book basically says, "sure, get married and have some kids, but you should know that you'll only find true happiness as a nun."

Anonymous said...

Lovely! I thought I was the only etiquette geek in the world. I used to work in the development office of a private college whose president once worked for Letitia Baldridge. One of my job requirements was to read her etiquette book cover-to-cover. I had imagined it to be a potentially boring experience but found it to be otherwise. I'm like you, I love reading those books and immersing myself in a world where people are considerate and mindful of other people's feelings in everyday living.