Monday, August 13, 2012

Another reason to love NYC

My daughters and I took a walk after dinner (un  passeggiata) and strolled into Union Square park and heard some tango music and wandered over to explore.  We saw people of all ages and nationalities tangoing in the early evening light inside the colonnaded pavilion at the north end of the park.  I asked around and found out that every Sunday evening during the summer, people get together to tango the night away.

(not video from last night)

It's fantastic to know that you can walk out your door and run into something like this on our small island off the coast of America

August 13, 1947 -
The apex of technicolor filmaking - Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's Black Narcissus, premiered in New York City on this date.

The much admired Himalayan scenery was all created in the studio (with glass shots and hanging miniatures).

August 13, 1967 -
One of the defining movies of the 1960's, Bonnie and Clyde, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, had its US premiere on this date.

Warner Bros. gave the movie a limited, "B" movie-type release at first, sending it to drive-ins and lesser theaters. When critics began raving about the film and young people began to show up at screenings, it was better promoted, given a wider release and became a huge hit.

Today in History:
August 13, 1521 -
After a seventy-five day siege, Hernando Cortes captured and destroyed the capital of the Aztec Empire, Tenochtitlan (Aztec for "Mexico City"). When the Spaniards fail to discover Montezuma's treasure, they torture Cuauhtemoc (the current Aztec king) by pouring hot oil over his feet. The emperor responds by asking, "Am I on a bed of roses?" (Who knew the Aztecs were such comedians.)

It was important to defeat the Aztecs, because they were an Evil Empire that practiced Human Sacrifice and Difficult Spelling.

August 13, 1926 -
Minor league Rat Bastard (depending on your point of view) Fidel Castro was born on his father's 23,000-acre sugar cane plantation near Biran, Cuba.

Would life as we know it have been much different if Castro had gotten that chance to play ball in the Major Leagues?

August 13, 1942 -
Walt Disney's Bambi premiered in New York City on this date.

Kids dreams, after seeing the movie, are never the same again.

August 13, 1961 -
The city of Berlin split itself right down the middle on this date.

The Cold War was running pretty hot back then. The Russians were just nasty. They were so evil they convinced East Germany to shut West Germany out. East Germany locked the Brandenburg gate and threw away the key. Then, just to be absolutely safe, they built the Great Wall of Berlin, and assigned evil socialist soldiers to shoot any West Germans who tried to sneak into East Germany.

Oddly enough, no West Germans tried to sneak in.

The soldiers, being evil socialist bastards with guns and therefore needing desperately to shoot at someone, therefore shot at East Germans.

About a year later, for example, on August 17, 1962, 18-year-old Peter Fechter was shot by East German guards as he tried to cross the Berlin Wall into West Germany. He bled to death in public view.

The guards (Rolf Friedrich and Erich Schreiber) who shot him were tracked down and convicted of manslaughter thirty-four years later.

Moral: you might think you can get away with shooting people just because you're a heavily-armed socialist bastard living in an evil socialist regime propped up by an evil socialist empire, you can run.

But you can't hide.

It may seem like you can, but just wait.

Eventually John F. Kennedy announced that he was a jelly-filled donut, Ronald Reagan asked Mr. Gorbachev to tear down this wall, Boris Yeltsin rode on a tank, and there didn't seem to be any real point in having a Wall any more.

So they tore it down. (Karma does appear to bite one in the ass.)

And so it goes,

And on a personal note:
Happy Anniversary Liz and Joseph

Your marriage is like a vintage wine, it only get better with age!  May you be married so long that there's a genuine risk one could die from the excitement of celebrating your anniversary.

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