One man's attempt at literacy

Tag Archives: Photography

As spring has progressed, I have made an exciting, insightful, and terrifying discovery; I live in a place popular for film shoots. It all started two months ago, when a film code named “Iron Side” was scheduled to be shot in my very own apartment building. Another movie had a shoot in my neighborhood later, called Animal Rescue, which apparently has Tom Hardy and other stars, and there have been shoots by Adidas. All in all, there’s been a film or photo shoot here for something very well known in my neighborhood — literally using the road in front of my apartment building and the surrounding streets — every week for over a month.

Excuse the bad photography; I took them all myself and I have no eye for 'em...

Excuse the bad photography; I took them all myself and I have no eye for ’em…

Having so much filming originally seemed like it would be amazing; who doesn’t want to live near the center of Hollywood action? Iron Side ended up being the phrase that the Spider Man 2 team was using so it wasn’t so well known where they were. But there have been issues, especially for myself and my roommates, people who live on the top floor of the building that apparently is the must-film location of the summer!

The Daily Bugle

The Daily Bugle

Spider Man 2 caused the first problems as soon as they began filming, because they filmed on my roof (AKA my ceiling). They started at about 6:30 AM and had no qualms with being as loud as they pleased. They slowly packed more and more stuff into my hall until they literally blocked my door  that afternoon, because they had no idea anyone even lived there, and my friend had to tell them politely to make a path.

A few weeks later, I got home in the afternoon and decided to take a nap, only to discover that another, smaller movie was filming on my roof, this time with a chainsaw. Needless to say, my only solace was slamming pot lids together to irritate them (I’m so mature).

This last Saturday, Spider Man 2 returned to filming. The good news is they were not on my roof this time; the bad news is they were blocking off the street in front of my building since it’s apparently so photogenic, and they had taken all the parking spaces in a three block radius. When I made my way down the street towards my apartment that morning, a woman in a green coat with a radio asked me to move out of the road. I simply walked out of the road but didn’t acknowledge her, clearly a bit perturbed, but my boyfriend looked her squarely in the face and said that people lived here and she was disturbing them. She said nothing.

We left again a bit later for a walk around the park near my home, and when we returned they were still filming. As we approached my building the same woman was there, and, this time, with a little less enthusiasm, she told us that we couldn’t use the street. Again, I said nothing, and this time my boyfriend said less but made her aware, again, that she and the crew were an unwanted presence.

Throughout the day I watched them below me, and while I tried to remain passive I couldn’t help but let a bit of derision enter my voice whenever I thought of them. These people had come here, without my permission, without asking me, for their own personal gain; envy and hostility were pretty well warranted. When rain started pouring so much that a flash flood alert came up on my phone, and the film crew below scattered to the safety of their tents, I will admit I reveled in their misfortune a bit.

Later that day, I left for yoga and parted with my boyfriend. After I got back from yoga, I encountered a man blocking my street, because, much to my chagrin, filming had resumed when the rain subsided. He tried to stop me feebly, but I cut his, “We’re filming this way” short with a terse “I live here.” As I progressed, that same woman I had seen twice before was there again, guarding the street south of mine. As I passed she feebly asked, “Are you going to 135?” and I ignored her, not making a sound, my face a mask of ice.

photo 3It wasn’t until I got inside that my feeling of triumph was replaced by shame; her voice hadn’t had any edge to it, or confidence, it was the voice of someone who was defeated. The truth of, for every person like me — walking by without acknowledging her — there were probably people who verbally berated her for merely doing her job. She was just as innocent and irritated as I was. It wasn’t even the filmmaker’s who necessarily caused this; places like DUMBO offer incentives for people to film there because it makes them more exciting and can help local businesses. The people who own my building probably also got paid directly to have films shot here, and just chose not to inform their tenants or give them any breaks in rent despite making money off our inconvenience.

After hearing the dejection in that woman’s voice, a post that was meant to merely be a cathartic rant has become something I’m much more proud of; it’s a story of remembering that people are people. We aren’t all callous, and when we cause each other grief we generally do care. Those people who make the movies you love — or love to hate — aren’t above you, they’re just as susceptible to be put in bad situations as you are. The proof is in front of my home on a weekly basis. The problem is the people who don’t deal with this personally, who don’t see the people they inconvenience. In the end, lots of people end of being frustrated by an industry that, for all its apparent glamor, is slow, tedious, and trifling.

Despite all this, I think I could’ve forgiven them if I had been offered some ice cream, though.


This elbow might be worth more than your house.

This elbow might be worth more than your house.

In the immortal words of starlet and my idol Jenna Maroney, “Listen up 5s, a 10 is speaking.”

As you probably know, I’m a world-class supermodel – and if you don’t, shame! My face has appeared in Vogue, my abs have appeared in inStyle, and my elbows have appeared in SkyMall.

But I’m not just a sexy, amazingly smart, world famous man of mystery; I’m also a philanthropist — but leave your hands off my millions, I need that to buy a third yacht. No, what I offer you is worth so much more than my money; I give to you my brain thoughts.

So, listen up: do you want to be so sexy that no woman/man/thing can resist you? Do you want to project an air of confidence and unabashed fearlessness? Do you want people to swivel their heads and cower before the sight of your amazingness? Then heed the following Fashion tips, which are sure to make you the it of everyone’s dreams.

1. Always wear more colors

Some people say you shouldn’t overdo it with color: those people are nothing more than conservative school marms in disguise. Remember that color theory is just a theory. All colors look good together, always, all the time.

Being afraid of color is like being afraid of a tiger. Why would you be afraid of something so majestic? All you need to do is tame it with a simple snap of your fingers, and it is yours to do with as you please. I should know; I own five tigers.

So remember, you must always put on more colors. If you’re wearing only two colors you’re not a real human and you will never be a success.

I am Fashion.

2.  You can never wear too many pairs of sunglasses

Sunglasses make you look sexy. It’s a scientific fact. Nobody wants to see the eyes of another human, because you might get lost in them, like a maze, or my house-sized walk-in closet.

The conventional way to wear sunglasses is to wear one pair at once. But who wants to be conventional? Not I, nor anyone who hopes to take the world by storm and become a fierce fashionista! So how do you spice up sunglasses, you ask with your pathetic, whining voice. Simple: wear more sunglasses. It’ll make any look as memorable and exotic as a peacock that has been set on fire.

3. Change your hair every time you leave the room

One of the keys to being remembered is to be memorable; remember that. One of the ways to do this is to create an air of anticipation around all your actions, and the  quick hair change when you’re out of sight is the perfect way to do this.

Fauxhawk

Leave the table as Greg, return to the table as Faux Greg.

Imagine you’re on a date and you have to use the little model’s room. The thing you’re on a date with will have to wait for you, and this immediately puts it in a bad mood because no one ever likes to wait. Does this mean you train your bladder to hold gallons of fluids at once? Perhaps. But the other option is to turn a problem into an opportunity to be captivating.

While you’re in there, change your hair. With a little water, a comb, some hair gel, a blow dryer, shampoo, conditioner, and a tiny gay man named Alfonzo waiting in a stall for you, you can turn your trademark faux hawk into an inverted perm with highlights in two hours flat. Your date will see your skills and your suave and forgive the short wait.

4. Food is Fashion

If you want to be truly sexy, you must remember that food is the enemy. But like any good enemy, you must keep it close to you if you want to win the battle for fame and fortune. This leaves only one option: make your food into your Fashion.

Here’s a simple outfit that’s sure to stop even the most reluctant of glamorous gourmands: create a corset for yourself out of fruit leather and a skirt out of intricately braided red vines. Use frosting to glue skittles to your exposed neck, and salmon wrapped around your feet with kelp and sticky rice will make a perfect cushioned shoe that lifts you a few inches off the ground. Use a single cinnamon dough nut as a bracelet on your right wrist, and two peeps would make excellent earrings that draw attention to your hair, where you use a mix of mousse and pins to elaborately turn an entire fried chicken dinner into an irresistible hairpiece.

5. When in doubt, go nude.

Sometimes picking the right outfit for an event is such a hassle. Ever spend 8 hours in front of a mirror debating which ascot to wear with which bowler? Everyone’s been there. That’s why my motto is, “When in doubt, go nude.” It’s the ultimate statement that you’ve been liberated from the strict social paradigm of clothes-wearing. It’s also easy, cheap, and fast.

That said, there are some limitations. First, of course you need to make sure you’re in tip-top physical form, like me, before you go nude. No one wants to see Queen Elizabeth II decide that her birthday suit is what she wants to wear to her meeting with Canadia’s prime minister, president, dictator, or whatever they have. Second, you must make sure not to overuse this outfit, just like any other article of clothing. I limit myself to one naked excursion a year, lest it become blasé.

Well, munchkins, now that I’ve given you all the advice you need to succeed in the world of high fashion, I hope you go forth and spread the Gospel of Greg. Be fierce, be strong, and always be fabulous.

You are the future of glam warrior.