Jacob Burns Center
Pleasantville always struck me as a town that really belonged in the Midwest. Oh, Indiana, to pick a completely random example. I think this is why Will likes it. For me, it always seemed like... a town in Indiana. Sort of backwater and goyish, unlike Great Neck-like suburbs like Scarsdale.
I'd passed by the Jacob Burns Film Center many times, as it is across the street from the train station. Will always insisted this was a legitimate bastion of culture, but because it's Pleasantville, I thought, yeah, right. Still, various friends in Westchester NOT from Indiana claimed to love the place.
Given the hometown connection, the Burns Center was anxious to screen "Wordplay." An event was scheduled for Thursday, June 15, which my Westchester member friends informed me was for higher-level donors (hearing the amount, I told them, "It's good, but not THAT good"). I was going to go up just for the Q&A, and scheduled a train accordingly. No one said anything about sending a car, but this was fine given the difficulties getting to Great Neck the previous week.
After doing the daily NYT puzzles, I headed for Grand Central and made the designated train despite some panic at the ticket machine not liking my credit card no matter how I inserted it (this has happened before). Luckily, there was enough time to buy a ticket from a human.
I arrived and walked the very short distance to the center. There was no one official around, but the refreshment stand people directed me to the theater (right next to the refreshment stand). Onscreen, they were in Trip's segment so I probably could have taken a later train. It was too dark to see if there were special seats, so I groped my way to the second row where a kid next to me instantly recognized me from having seen me a few minutes before in the movie. I noticed Ed Stein (of the R-r-r-r-ripstein banner) seated nearby with his wife.
When the movie ended, stagehands brought several chairs onstage, then removed most of them to leave three. Moderator Janet Maslin brought up Patrick and Will and began the Q/A. They noticed me in the audience, and midway through the interview, Miriam and I were introduced and chairs set up for us as we participated in the rest of the discussion.
Afterward, there was a reception upstairs. I had not eaten, and it was only cheese and fruit, but at least I didn't starve. I didn't know anyone but everyone had seen the movie so mixing wasn't bad. I asked Patrick and his brother Michael how they were getting back, and they were taking the train. We took our time at the reception and aimed for the 11:43. While there, Christine called and read the NY Times review over the phone. A good one!
The ride back was filled with jubilation, with the brothers high-fiving each other in awe at where this long road has taken them. We were all impressed with the quality of the programs at Jacob Burns (Woody Allen was coming the next day), and I have to take back my original assumptions about the place. Arriving in New York, we looked for a physical NYT but the newsstand guy at Grand Central said they wouldn't get papers until 6 a.m. We considered picking one up at the Times building (using my ID card), but instead I went home and they went on their way.