After working for the Virginia Film Festival as a college student (and later a community volunteer), selling advertising for the Austin Film Festival, and staffing SXSW Film, it was a Very Big Deal to be able to go to the Tribeca Film Festival.

All of this I did on my own, of course–when have I ever invited people to see movies with me?–which means I also enjoyed dinner and cocktails in Tribeca as a party of one.

I saw Rudo y Cursi, the premiere of The Girlfriend Experience, and Easy Virtue, and I had to forego tickets to the Best New York Documentary competition winner and a screening of short films for other engagements (and was generally okay with it, as Tuesday’s screenings were so amazing). Easy Virtue was the most enjoyable movie I’ve seen in a long time, starring a lithesome Jessica Biel and that fetching Brit Colin Firth.

Perfect spring weather dictated that I find an al fresco table between screenings–me and everyone else. So when the host at Flor de Sel at 361 Greenwich saw me eye a just-available two-top straddling the threshhold between the dining room and patio, he quietly said, “Go!” and nodded in the direction of the table before a couple desperately trying to cut in front of me could protest. I promised my server I wouldn’t take up the prime location for long, and I was true to my promise–I just had a glass of rose and a tapas of mushroom caps filled with crabmeat and was out in 30 minutes. It was one of the best tables I’ve ever been given.

I then had the best drink in New York City to date: a kumquat mojito at Marc Forgione’s “Forge” at 134 Reade Street. The bar was bustling close to 9pm on a Tuesday, so I gladly shared a “bar mix” of plump, colorful olives with other patrons. The drink was so good–and potent–that I found myself unapologetically fishing out a muddled kumquat or two from the bottom of the glass for “dessert” before taking in The Girlfriend Experience.

On Wednesday, after 2 for 1 happy hour wine with an old friend in the East Village, I took a tip from Eater and enjoyed an impromptu snack of pork tacos from Seoul Station on St. Mark’s Place. I like the Korean taco trend as much as I liked the Vietnamese baoguette trend (Pho Sure!), and I’m pretty sure there’s room for both in this city among the 8 million of us who don’t cook…

Between the pork taco and the wine, I developed a strong and specific craving. I just said I missed the Tribeca Film Festival short film program for another engagement, and, not gonna lie, the engagement was satisfying my need for David Chang’s pork buns at that exact second. Instead of crossing 3rd Ave at 11th to go to the movie theater, I found myself involuntarily veering right and heading up toward 13th street. Momofuku Ssam Bar. I landed the best one-top in the house on a packed night–end bar seat at 9pm–next to a business traveler who was expensing the tasting menu with alcohol pairings, and felt compelled to share a taste of everything with me. I sampled scallops, hanger steak, cured meats paired with bourbons, sakes, wines. –Not that I needed more to sip than what I ordered. Momo just opened its cocktail bar, and all I can say is that that was not my grandmother’s Old Fashioned. I drank two. The second had absinthe in it. And off I went into the night…

[Smoking hot] actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna talk about “Rudo y Cursi” with writer/director Carlos Cuaron.


Steven Soderbergh presents “Girlfriend Experience” on Tuesday night, Tribeca Film Festival.

New York,Tribeca Film Festival

The Red Carpet.

New York,Tribeca Film Festival

20-something-eth street was closed last week to facilitate this fake crime scene, a practice set for EMT professionals. Needless to say, it caught my attention.


Photo credit for the beautiful Tribeca Grand clock photo above goes to j_stiller.