Wednesday, March 30, 2005

More Than An Apple a Day

I see A LOT of movie trailers. They help me to decide if I want to see a movie or not. But I rarely get excited about a movie by seeing its trailer. Well, the minute I saw the trailer for "Beauty Shop" I knew I wanted to see it. It looked hilarious.

"Beauty Shop" opened today and I was at the 7:30 show. And it was as funny as the trailer made it seem. Queen Latifah gives a warm and funny performance. And the entire ensemble cast pulls it off.

But the biggest surprise was to see my friend, Elizabeth Hunter's name during the opening credits. She wrote the story! Elizabeth and I both serve on the Board of Directors of the Junior Statesmen Foundation -- we were both in it in high school and worked together at the Junior Statesmen Summer School at Georgetown University when we were both out of college. Elizabeth's career is clearly taking off and it was exciting to see her big old name going across the screen at the ArcLight Theater. And of course, I realize now it's the story that made it such a fun movie.

Does this every happen to you? You run across someone's name and then it keep coming up again and again. This has been happening to me over the last 48 hours with Johnny Apple. R. W. Apple, Jr. (known as Johnny Apple) is the preeminent political reporter for the New York Times. But over the last decade his writing has morphed into covering the places where he spends time -- and especially where to eat in those places. He's notorious in journalism circles for living the high life off of his expense account.

Well yesterday I was reminded by an article in Town & Country that he has a new book out, "Apple's America" where he writes about 20 of his favorite cities. I want to check out the book to see what, if anything, he has to say about Rapid City and Portland, Maine -- two cities I'm visiting soon for the first time.

So last night I went to the new Border's Bookstore in Hollywood in search of the book. The sales clerk told me they have "one" copy on order, but it's not in yet. I thought it was very odd that they would only order one. What's the point of that? It was clear the clerk thought I was what was odd, not how they order books.

And then this morning, Johnny Apple has a great article in the New York Times about the favorite restaurants of Ringling Bros. circus performers. After all, these performers spend 11 months a year on the road visiting the same cities year after year. It turns out that many of them have a list of their favorite restaurants and they were happy to share it. Apple wrote that in the old days most circus performers used to eat in the pie car (circus lingo for the feeding tent) but now most of the premier performers often go out on the town. Apple described himself as something of a circus buff, an interest I share -- but probably not enough to be a "buff." (I can claim to have visited the Ringling Circus Museum in Sarasota, Florida and the P.T. Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, Connecticut.)

And finally tonight in Gourmet magazine I ran across an article Calvin Trillin wrote about Johnny Apple's 70th birthday party for 50 people at Chez L'Ami Louis in Paris. It sounds like a great party and that it all ended up on his expense account.

Tomorrow I need to find that book. Maybe I can find a bookstore that ordered two.

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