Saturday, March 15, 2008

Fantasy 1; Reality 0

I realize this is not about food but...

The movie, "Humboldt Park" is being filmed in and around my neighborhood.  I don't actually live in HP but very close and I spend lots of time there, because I'm wishing that, when I'd made the decision to spend the next year on American soil this past summer, that I'd expended a bit more effort trudging through the neighborhood to find a gem among the tenements there. However, I took the first thing I saw, a cute, too small, half-tenement just south in the Ukrainian Village, which is still the 'hood (oh yes!) just with an Eastern European accent.  

Anyway, I was walking through the HP today (exercise walking, something I'm committing myself to, trying actually to work up to jogging in the coming weeks).  On the way in, I passed a film crew setting up for the shoot and on the way back I tried to follow the same route and this boy (he was probably early to mid-twenties, part of the patchouli set) ran up on me and declared:
"We're filming a movie."  I mean like right all up in my face.  
My response, of course was: "And..." "Well, can you go around?" He half asked.
"I live right up there, what sense would it make for me to go around two blocks?"
"But, we're filming a MOVIE here." He says, as though it matters.

This is part of a huge problem in our society.  It is not that I didn't know that they were filming a movie, as I said they've been doing it for almost a month now in the two adjacent neighborhoods.  So I had no problem going around.  My problem was that this youngsta seemed to think that it mattered more than the fact that he and the film crew that pays him are invading my neighborhood, making it impossible for me to walk down to the laundromat to wash my down comforter in the big washer and high powered dryer conveniently.  They are making it difficult for people to park, they are making it difficult for children and the elderly to get where they need to go easily and on top of it they keep slapping a sign that says bodega in front of the stores where they are shooting.  This is not New York.  We do not have bodegas here, I mean, obviously we have them, we just don't call them that.  No one in the neighborhood calls them that here.  People are annoyed that they are making life inconvenient and that they are not truly representing the neighborhood.  Instead of using established businesses, they have scoped out businesses of gentrifiers and slapped signs like bodega and pasteleria in front (Pasteleria, what the hell is that?  Again, I know what it would be, if we had that here, but come on, aren't people supposed to do a little research to ensure authenticity) and people who were once excited and happy that the neighborhood was getting attention, are much less so.  I shudder to think what they would do in a black neighborhood.  Oh, but wait, they don't really make movies about black people that are filmed on location in areas where black people live and work, unless its a period piece, or The Wire, which isn't even a movie, and since there are few projects left around here in Chicago anymore, and no plantations, there's probably nothing to worry about.

So, I'll stop.  The point is that I was annoyed by dude because he thought that making a movie really mattered more than my life or the lives of others in and around the shoot.  That's the problem with society today, too many people think fantasy is more important, more worthy, more serious that reality.


Oh yes, I'm quite sure I won't be seeing this one because it has John Leguizamo and Debra Messing starring as central characters, and they both offend my sensibilities. Don't ask me where D.M. fits in... Someone with a greater tolerance that I will have to tell me about that after they see it.

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