Wednesday, January 22, 2014

To Catch A Thief

On Friday night we watched To Catch A Thief starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland. Cary Grant is John Robie, a former cat burglar who now tends his roses in high-waisted trou and dotty neckkerchief and Grace Kelly is, of course, the teasing heiress.

Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in To Catch A Thief

By all accounts our Grace was a bit of a goer IRL (in real life) and she gives a very naughty but graceful glimpse of this when she snatches a quick snog from Cary Grant after he walks her to her hotel room.

If you're anywhere near our art deco Paramount Theatre, it's a fabulous $8 night out where the movie is played with all the original newsreels and previews and you can sip champers amid Eqyptian motifs. An organist rises out of the floor and there are wheel-of-fortune prizes. Around 2,000 people turned up for Cary and Grace, many of the men in natty bow ties and women swanning around in ball frocks.

The outside of the Paramount in Oakland

In the lavender and marble loos. Im wearing my kitsch Fozzy Bear jacket.
The entry 
The organist rises out of the floor

Talking of thiefs (weren't we?) what about that darn stealer who nicks all your time? On Sat I attended a course called "Write a Book in a Year" with writer Ellen Sussman, at her home. You're supposed to arrive with just a germ of an idea but I was encumbered with the straggles of the novel I started last year. Ellen is all about writing quick and dirty, not faffing around with workshopping or plans or overthinking, just rattle through it, get it done. Then edit it. Good advice for any project.

Lunch around the plunge pool, Ellen's house

Ellen recommends you install Freedom onto your computer which kills the internet for as many hours as you need. I did the same thing by quitting email and internet for three hours. By the end of three hours I was jonesing for a re-up of email and a taste of Matches. (How bad are you on t'internet - my friend just told me about a clampdown at her work over excessive Facebooking during office hours; turned out one of her colleagues was on Facebook for six hours a day.)

Has anyone else read The Circle by local author David Eggers? It's about a young woman who is thrilled to be offered a job at a playful Google-Facebook place called The Circle. It turns out to be an ominous Big Brother which makes staff review everything in their life, comment on other's reviews and then respond to comments on the comments.

My friend Wendy had a birthday, and her husband Fredi, who's Swiss and does everything properly, made Gimlets. Fredi's been "studying" at the Boothby Center in San Francisco, a "beverage lab" which aims to honor olden day cocktails and the work of "Cocktail Bill" Boothby, a turn-of-the-century barman.

Blue cheese and crab on a Williams Sonoma spoon wall

Fredi with one of his perfect Gimlets

Fredi's Cucumber Gimlet (Gin or Vodka) 
1 ¼ oz Gin
¾ oz Cucumber Syrup
¾ oz Lime Juice
Cucumber Garnish

Monday was Martin Luther King's birthday -  Cy, who shares his middle name, played drums all day on the floor with bottles and plates and Tallulah practiced a flashmob dance that she and friends were performing at school in his honor.

I love this collage by Sheri McMullen, a local boutique owner, celebrating the great Dr King.


A lot of goodness in one weekend, my friends.



33 comments:

  1. To Catch a Thief at an Art Deco movie palace for $8/head is my kinda night out. Chicago has it's own eccentrically designed 1929 movie house. The Music Box, that is always a treat to see an old movie in. Love to hear that people dressed for the occasion too.

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    1. GSL, I cannot believe I"ve never been to Chicago, must remedy that as everyone says what an amazing plane it is. My mother informs me that even the fire hydrants are works of art! Could the person that did that to Chicago come to Oakland? (When we lived in Notting Hill, London we had the Electric Cinema though word is that's gone very posh these days)

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    2. Mine too, what a stunning old cinema, so many here have been torn down for those monstrous big multiplexes.
      I've terribly addicted to the internet, I honestly feel cut off and jumpy if I'm away from it.

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    3. I would love it too, I just love going to the old theaters and imagining what it would have been like in its heyday.

      Jody - you must go to Chicago! Oriental Theater is amazing to see in person (see a show there if you can) and there's many things to see and do in the City, lots of fun and unexpected quirks too, which I love.

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  2. That is the way to be write and get it done at your sea. I just yank out the wireless cord when i write away at my bay.

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    1. Interesting to know that Cats
      succumb to the web!

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  3. Replies
    1. That's one of Cy's sayings, good times good times...

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  4. I'm not sure why you need a software to kill the internet for you. You just have to not open it, surely? If you're typing, you do that on a word processor, so just open the word processor and not the internet and you'll have as much internet-free-dom as you like!

    Gorgeous cinema, gorgeous spoon things, but how strange to measure liquid by weight!

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    1. Sadly, I don't have that self control Sarah. Clearly I'm a bit obsesscomp. I didn't realise how bad it was until I did those three hours straight without checking my email. Of course there were no emails there were interesting _offering me a Pulitzer prize or emergency. OUr tutor Ellen said first time she used Freedom she actually sneaked upstairs to use her ipad. Time sink on googling villas in France...

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  5. Love the movie theatre- so glamorous. We have an old school theatre not too far from us that does the organ. Always makes me laugh when it rises out of the floor like Dracula! The loos are sadly not as glamorous as your though.
    The internet is such a time suck. It's my New Years resolution not to waste so much time on it. I used to do so much before the net...
    Is The Circle set in an investment bank? They like to do reviews like that too. And have reeducation programs for staff....

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    1. The Circle (cue da da dda da Dracula organ music) is already here!

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  6. How splendid is that theatre! People think the electric is cool but essentially you've got a footrest and a couple making out on the token bed at the back. London needs one of those instead. For me Freedom wouldn't work - the ipad makes it so easy to dip in and out that it has changed my internet habits completely - long gone are the days when I would switch my pc on wait two minutes and make the most of it. That lady on the collage center left is friggin stunning - who is she?

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    1. Im going to ask Sheri that - I also love those women on the beach in swimsuits

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  7. You know how much I love old movies so I am all over your theatre! What a great night out!

    As for your novel, what I found for the first draft that works is the quick and dirty way - I stumbled up on it with the third book because of doing NaNoWriMo. I hadn't written like that before. Now I get it all out and revise and revise and revise. Am currently rewriting my first novel Again, but I am actually seeing the end in sight and it is soooo much better! You can do it - you are such an amazing writer!

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    1. Good advice, that's 1000 words a day right?I am trying to do that, just by myself...quick and dirty gives you the freedom just to write (for me) rubbish and not worry about it

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  8. I get that about the internet. Btw, I am NOT online at the moment, as I am working. Of course.

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  9. Timothy Ferris' book "The Four Hour Work Week" also suggests using Freedom to buckle down when you need to work. Doesn't work for me (as I work online!), but I really appreciate the philosophy-- sit down and do. Quit with the planning. Just do it. Hmmmm... its like I stumbled on a fantastic slogan or something ;)

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    1. I have found that constantly checking emails pushes me down a rabbit hole of rubbish which just wears out the mind, even though I think I'm just keeping up with the day's chores.

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  10. I first saw To Catch a Thief in middle-school. One of our teachers showed it to the class. I loved it!

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    1. Gosh Hitchcock could edit himself too - the final scene is just Grace Kelly at his villa saying "Mother will love it here" The end. Love it

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  11. What a great night out. We have a very small old-fashioned cinema near here still family owned and so much better than the multi-screens. The collage was a great tribute too.

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  12. is 2 pm an ok time to drink that gimlet???

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    1. 2pm is a perfect time for an olden day cocktail!

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  13. Gorgeous. Toronto has a few charming rep theaters but here the multiplex prevails. I'm jealous. I love that film!

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    1. The screen felt like two storeys high and it really was so beautiful and glossy, so hard to say which was my favourite outfit, maybe the blush one she is wearing here

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  14. what a wonderful theater, perfect movie, good times is just right.

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    1. WF, I like your Christmas Card town on your blog today, some of it is just like being in the East Bay esp. the bits about buying food you don't know how to cook

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  15. I finally saw Breakfast at Tiffany's several years ago at our Tennessee Theater. Wonderful way to do it. I'll be honest, I had no idea she was an "escort". Never seen To Catch a Thief. Maybe they'll run it this summer.

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    1. Hi BB, yes, Breakfast at Tiffany's was a lot darker than you first realise. Actually I even think she was beyond an escort at one stage. It's actually quite sad in places, quite wistful

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  16. Oh I love that organ too. So old-school! I love classic movies, one of our friends introduced us to The Thin Man movie series and we love it. Nick and Nora Charles are the coolest couple ever (and Asta the dog is pretty awesome too). And Nora's clothes and house decor!! Love.

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  17. That theatre is divine. I so need to write an article right now, and I just can't get started. The kids are in my thought path. The Facebook thing for six hours. She must have just had it logged in, but didn't read it for six hours a day. That's crazy.

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