HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival: Casablanca

Did you ever see Gangs of New York?

After my experience with seeing Annie Hall in Bryant Park on June 18th, I swore that I would take a half day and get to the park early to get a great spot. I did one better: I took the whole day off. I knew if I tried to take off early, I’d end up leaving later than I wanted to.

So Monday afternoon, me and my frequent partner in crime, Andrea, went to Bryant Park at around 1:45 PM. Much to our surprise, they really don’t let you onto the lawn until 5 PM. So we grabbed a table on the edge of the lawn which was lined up to the spot we wanted: dead center of the lawn.

We ate our lunch and waited with our reading materials. Slowly and surely, people started showing up with their big bags and blankets. As it got closer to 5, people were lining up around the edge of the lawn. Initially, we felt silly having gotten there so early but it really was for the best as we were right where we needed to be.

I know this sounds a little more serious than it actually is.

So at about 4:15 PM, a woman got on the microphone giving us the rules and telling us not to run because there was plenty of room. She kept annoyingly giving up five minute warnings. By 4:30, I stopped sitting down. 15 minutes until 5. We started unfolding blankets. 10 minutes until 5. Five minutes. I wrapped two blankets around me like a boa constrictor. Everyone was lining up, blankets in hands with bloodthirsty look. I’m serious. It seemed silly that all these people were lined up around the edge of lawn just to put down blankets. If a fight had broken out when the right side and the left side of the park had met in the middle, I wouldn’t have been the least bit disappointed. Anyway, I digress…


At 4:59, a bunch of guys who were waiting there almost as long as Andrea and I jumped the gun and started running and battle was on…

Andrea ran ahead of me because I’m still limping from my sprained ankle from kickball (yes, seriously). This guy hooked onto my shoulder and made me lose a blanket. I promptly shoved him away from me sending him stumbling. Andrea laid down the first blanket. I threw the second down and then ran back for the one I dropped. We got to the exact spot we wanted and were able to spread out all our blankets. This was about 5:03 PM.

After that, we just laid down, read our magazines and waited for our friends until the movie started. They got there around 6-7. We ate snacks, drank wine and relaxed until the movie started. Every once and awhile, Andrea and I would look around at all the space we had amassed, our perfect distance from the screen and then we would look each other and nod because we were thinking the same thing: We rock!

(Casablanca was great but if you didn’t know that already, there is nothing more I can do for you)

Photo from Flavorpill

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