WEEK 2: “Enter the Dragon”

On March 13, 2011 by admin

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Here we are, week 2. The first week was engulfed by posting casting notices, crew and location ideas and the writing and developing of this thing that will become “The Last Intervention”. I can’t believe how fast this week has flown by and already it feels behind schedule. It feels right, though. If it feels right it doesn’t mean that it feels real but two things happened this week that sealed the deal for “The Last Intervention” and made it real:

1. I got my tickets (two separate flights – LA to Hartford – first one for auditions and location scouting and the second flight for the actual shoot). Since we’re trying to run a tight ship and keep costs down, we realized it’s actually cheaper to come back and forth than it is for me to be away from my family and incur any unnecessary costs in Hartford in the two weeks between auditions and the start of the shoot.

Nothing has made this more thing official than getting these tickets. Now it has to happen – or I’m out $800 clams (it’s two separate round trip tickets – with a stopover each way and each trip involving one red-eye – sacrifices are being made, people!) .

Speaking of clams, I’m trying to find a widget that can help us keep track of our budget. If anyone has any ideas where I can find one – let me know.

2. The second thing that happened this week was that I started having dreams about “The Last Intervention”. And that is good.

Just as the big dollar airline purchase commits me to physically being in Hartford, CT, I am now spiritually and emotionally starting to tie myself into that as well. Because the second this production not only occupies all my free awake hours but the few minutes I actually spend dreaming/asleep – I know it’s ON.

Of the dreams I remembered one was the credit sequence for the movie that I will soon be discussing with the DP (I promise to introduce you to this talented individual soon) and the other involved a dragon flying over Park St. in Hartford.

Let’s enter the dragon.

Pelicans on Park St.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine a gold, green and red dragon flying past Pelicans (got my second tattoo there, the number 23).

Park St./Broad St.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then picture the dragon gliding by the aptly named “Aqui Me Quedo” restaurant near Broad Street, just one of the many delicious Puertorican/Dominican eateries along the way.

El Mercado

 

 

 

 

 

 

My dream dragon then worked his way through more of the Latinolandia sections of Park St. like the El Mercado. As it approached Putnam St. I was reminded of one special Devil’s Night (1988 I think) when John Cornelius, Jay Williams and I were cruising in John’s Caddy listening to The Family (High Fashion was the track “cheap liquor never touches her lips…”) when we were pelted with eggs. John screamed at me and Jay for someone to take the wheel while he jumped out and chased these kids up an apartment building to deliver some kind of retribution. Exactly 17 seconds later, I flung open the backseat door, John dove in head first and Jason peeled away with nothing in front of us but the Zion Hill Cemetery and behind us the sound of more eggs hitting the back window but St. Paul and the Family played on. “$1900 is 2 much cash 2 hold – One of my boys had 2 carry half, now honey U know that’s bold – Wait a minute”.

Heading towards Park Terrace and Pope Park (Park Terrace – the home of the after hours bootleggers – where your choices were Black Label Beer and Night Train) makes me wonder when and why did they close off Pope Park Drive? Just tell me when and not the why. I can assume from experience many reasons why.

Across the park stood the trashed up shopping center where the old Bradlees and Stop and Shop lived and died. The same spot where my brother Raf and I abandoned our first car, a floorless Pinto (I kid you not, if you were in the passenger side you had to rest your knees on the glove compartment so you wouldn’t burn your feet or lose them in transit). A clicking time bomb of a car that was given to us by our father after we had crashed it. You see, we “borrowed” it from him after he came home early from work so we could take some girls up to Riverside Park. I don’t remember if that was the place, I don’t even remember the girls or even if they went with us (I wouldn’t be surprised if they saw the car and said “HELL NO”), all I remember was falling asleep on the way back and waking up to the sound of Pinto flesh scraping against highway divider cement and Raf not being able to find the brakes right away (I did mention the floor, right?). A few days after being bestowed with this gift we had to leave it in the Stop and Shop parking lot because, surprise…it wouldn’t start. We went back to fix it the next day and it caught on fire. Dragonfire.

At the end of the Bradlees parking lot there was always a food truck. Right there, near the overpass at Pope Park Highway, where a club called The Riot started fires of it’s own every week. The Riot was the kind of place Prince sang about in his song “Uptown” (“White, Black, Puerto-Rican, everybody just a freakin. Good times were rolling”). It was the closest thing to NYC for those of us who didn’t get out of the city limits much.

Pete's cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the dragon duck his head under the Parkville Sign Underpass we hit Pete’s Cafe or Petey’s or Peter’s, it didn’t matter. It was the place we always went to when we couldn’t sneak into the other joints. Sometimes we’d walk in wearing our father’s Sunday best and sometimes we’d walk in with fake mustaches painted on with mascara. Anything to sit in the side room, down rum and cokes and dance to Wilfrido Vargas tunes with the old ladies in hot pants and pleather jackets.

C-Town

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “classy” supermarket chain C-Town marked the entrance to Little Portugal. Did I say classy, I meant…ah, you know what I meant. The next few blocks housed blocks more than a few good memories and it’s own soundtrack that wavered between Roberto Carlos and Pink Floyd. It was the stretch of Park St. that was on my side of town…the West End.

 

 

 

 

This is where I was obligated by law to learn how to drive, Danny’s Driving School. Don’t ask why, I don’t remember. I’m not even sure if it’s still there. I learned enough in that little front room to get a CT driver’s license. Sadly, I left behind what little bit of driving skill I received there. I’ve always been a bad driver. Just am. I said it. I’m not ashamed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

La Estrella Bakery had the cutest girls working there and the best Portuguese bread in 1989, the fact that this place is still standing is a testament to that. Good pastries, too.
Lena's on Park St.

 

 

 

 

 

But if it was Pizza you and your dragon were craving, the best Pizza in town was right at the end of Park St. Lena’s Pizza.

It was a 6 or 7 block walk from my apartment on Evergreen Ave and always worth it. We’d stroll down Capitol Ave and peek into the old folks bar with the huge glass front (I can’t remember the name but it was something like the Continental). It was like staring at a museum exhibit but if you dare step inside it would turn into a time machine and you would instantly age 25 years.

After that we’d cut a left on Rowe Ave and pass Carla P’s house, the spot for many memorable parties before reaching Park St. and crashing into Pizza Heaven, Lena’s.

Of course connected to Lena’s is Sully’s Pub, the best spot for music in the HTFD (for our music anyway). Before my friends and I filled the room with noise from Viva Malpache, Spigga, Liquid Circus, SHU-SHO and tributes to Prince, Michael Jackson and Hall and Oates it used to be a little coffee shop where you’d find me in a corner, writing song lyrics or short stories in a little black notebook. Darrell, the manager would always ask, “What are you writing in there?” but it was gibberish. And today I’m still writing it. I was talking about my dream and this dragon but I had to ruin it with nostalgia. Always wins. Damn you!

Let’s enter the dragon already! For real.

I found this little excerpt online while I was searching for the meaning of my dragon dream.

Dragon Symbolism. In addition to Chinese dragons, there are nearly limitless tales of dragons in European mythology. Interestingly, the word dragon derives from two separate Greek words. One word means “a huge serpent or snake” and the other means “I see clearly”. Dragons in European traditions have wings, allowing them to soar freely above, resulting in a perspective that encompasses a huge panorama below. In this context, dragons can be thought to symbolize the ability to see the “big picture” as well as the ability to see far off danger or future circumstances.

Well, I see clearly.

We’re making a movie.

And we’re making it in Hartford.

And we’re taking donations.

Kidding.

Not really.

GB


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