Tag Archives: atmosphere

We’re not gonna pay rent

I love my Upper West Side neighborhood.

But today, I have a major beef.

ditch plains uws

Ditch Plains, a wonderful restaurant across the street from my apartment, has closed. And the rents in my neighborhood are to blame.

Owner Marc Murphy did everything right when they opened three years ago. Their ‘soft open’ lasted a month, offering the entire menu at half-price and free appetizers and desserts. By the time they officially opened their doors, the entire neighborhood was hooked. On the menu. The atmosphere. The friendly vibe.

During the past three years, I have been a loyal customer, and from my unique vantage point, I have seen them maintain a healthy business — far more popular with people of all ages than the two previous restaurants that occupied that same space for brief spans of time. But like their predecessors, Ditch Plains’ success still couldn’t scale the exorbitant rents in my neighborhood.

And they are no more.

If you visit my neighborhood, you will see several empty storefronts. They no doubt are victims, too.

This is just the first to hit so close to home.

Seaworthy

I see from the weekend box office reports that moviegoers chose the special effects heavy (yet atmospherically light) Gravity over the low tech story of high seas piracy Captain Phillips.

They chose wrong.

captain-phillips-posterI didn’t choose; I saw both.

And while they were both amazing yet different achievements in film making, I think Captain Phillips goes one better in its decision to let emotion tell the story.

The confusion. The fear. The anger. The desperation. All clearly visible on the faces of the crew and the Somali pirates.

No 3D or IMAX was necessary to tell this story.  Just an incredible performance by the first-time actors who portrayed the pirates…and the brilliance that we have grown to expect (but that’s still stunning to behold) from everyman Tom Hanks.

Go see Captain Phillips.  I promise…

You won’t miss that extra D.