View from our room on the 46th floor.
AND (and this is the best part), Calvin Trillin was sitting next to me during the interview! I was sort of distracted by this fact the whole time, and I just couldn't quite let it go, so when the interview was over I turned to him and said, "excuse me, Mr. Trillin?" he looked a bit startled and said "yes?" I stuck out my hand, which he shook (what else could he do?) and said "my name is Manomi, I came out from Seattle for the festival, I just wanted to say, I've enjoyed your work for a long time." He gave the smallest hint of a smile and said "thank you," I said, "you're welcome" and then left him alone.
Jenine and I were then supposed to meet my friend Elizabeth who was making the trek out from Brooklyn to meet us for dinner. Unfortunately, Jenine was jet-lagged (having just returned from China and Vietnam a few days before leaving for New York) and not feeling well, and decided to get back to the hotel for some much needed sleep while I went off to meet Elizabeth. We had a nice dinner at Harrison (pricey, noisy, good, not spectacular with the exception of our side order of fries, which were spectacular; I've eaten fries at a lot of places, these must have been fried in duck fat or something equally decadant - they were sublime) and I ended up back in the room about 12:30 - Jenine didn't even twitch when I came in.
After Atul, we had just enough time to trot down a few blocks to the Chelsea Market and browse the goodies there. We bought some treats, including chocolate covered Corn Flakes (you have no idea...) from Jacque Torres and some savory crepes for a snack, and then headed back to the same theater for the "Fashion Forward" talk. I have to admit, this was the talk we had tickets to that I was least interested in, but that turned out to be the MOST interesting. Four designers, four runway models, and Judith Thurman moderating a very interesting discussion on fashion, the fashion industry, femininity, Michelle Obama vs. Carla Bruni, inspiration, fabric, draping, layering, wool, PETA, and the best part: the Rag and Bone collection (my favorite) featured mittens. No gloves, mittens. The models were all leggy, beautiful, and appeared to completely lobotomized. Jenine, an apparel designer by training, more of an industrial designer by trade, was hugely inspired by the event, and I found it incredibly interesting and entertaining, and it made me think that in my life, which is often totally void of personal artistic endeavors, fashion can be art and expression, and every day can be an opportunity to create a personal artistic statement, even if it's with other peoples' products.
Sunday morning was with Steve Carell. Again, lots of clips, and lots of chat about "The Office." He answered my burning question during the interview -- it turns out that the show was in fact very deliberately re-tooled after Season 2 (the change was obvious, and hugely disappointing); the result was more viewers and numerous awards - but the changes rendered the show practically unwatchable as far as I'm concerned. It lost all its charm and all its subtlety while becoming a major hit with the masses. I have to believe all those smart actors and writers are disappointed now too, and that the turn is a contributing factor in Steve leaving after this season, but introducing myself to Calvin Trillin was as much as I could do in terms of confronting celebrities, so I didn't ask Steve to elaborate on the change after Season 2 during the question and answer period.
And that was the end of the festival for us. We spent Sunday afternoon walking down the High Line Park, stopped for a cocktail ($15) at the bar on the roof of the Gansevoort Hotel, made our way back to Times Square, and on a tip from our doorman, ate dinner at John's Pizza ("best pizza in the City!")