an on-the-ground microenomic demonstration of how the recession affects you

November 12, 2008

The subway ride from Union Square to 42nd St.-Times Square on the yellow line, under normal circumstances, takes anywhere from 5-8 minutes once you’re actually on the train, depending on whether you catch an express or a local. Today it took 25 minutes, because – in unusually candid admissions from the frustrated train conductors, who normally content themselves with generic protests of “being held momentarily by the train’s dispatcher” and a promise to “begin moving shortly” – there was a screw-up with the lights switch at Lexington Ave. all the way down, causing untold havoc. A frustrated conductor instructed anyone trying to get as far as Queens to get off right now, take the green line and shuttle, and proceed from there, because it would be inarguably faster. Because I’m a masochist, I stuck it out. I was already late for the movie I was trying to make it to.

And why, exactly, am I trying to attend a movie at 2:55 on a Wednesday afternoon? Well, there’s no work, because I’m not quite in dire straits enough yet to apply for Barnes & Noble, and anyway they have a three-month waiting list and the whole world of fall-back jobs is generally fucked beyond belief.  In the absence of something to actually produce, I wanted to try to do an in-house multiplex double-feature of Lakeview Terrace and W., neither of which seem compelling enough to pay $12 for on their own.

What I got, thanks to the subway, was Role Models. Which was fine (Paul Rudd yay etc.), but then afterwards there just wasn’t enough of a crowd at the Regal E-Walk for me to go up the escalator to W. Boo-hoo. Now, to be fair, I forgot that Wednesday at five aren’t exactly peak crowd times in theaters, but I can’t help wonder if the fine art of the multiplex double is dying (at least in New York, where they’re all vertical; even if you know which theater to go up to by checking the auditorium numbers on the ticket machines, you still have to get there. Those of you in the horizontal suburbs have it easy in my opinion.). I’m going to start Nextflixing this stuff; I hate DVD, because I have an attention-span problem and tiny screens don’t help. But really, if I can’t concentrate hard enough to watch Role Models at home, I’m in trouble.

Here’s hoping I don’t sound too much like Emily Brill.


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