Friday, June 20, 2008

NoMA Bond Film Festival... The Ghetto Cousin of Screen on the Green

Last night Erin and I finally ventured out to NoMA for their James Bond film festival and picnic-ed it up. I had meant to come home and help her put our little spread together, but like usual when I have plans, I got stuck at work. Erin came through for the team despite having to prepare the picnic alone! She made guacamole and pita chips (all from scratch), picked up some champers, and re- membered the blanket and cups. I was so thankful. (Thanks again, Erin!) It was exactly what I needed to keep work from putting me into a pouty mood.

I'd been wanting to check it out for awhile, but I had been pretty skeptical of a neighborhood. Not because it is suppose to be a little ghetto, but more because it doesn't really exist yet. NoMA is the brain child of a bunch of developers, and they plan to turn it into a hip, artist-friendly place to live... by 2012. As of June 2008, though, the only things that are out there are some offices (FedEX, XM Radio), the soon-to-be-empty building that did house Artomatic, a McDonalds, a Wendy's, and some abandoned looking buildings and land plots. I thought maybe the venue would be some awesome, hidden plot of land that would give the movie goers a glimpse of what NoMA might be one day. Nope. It's totally just a random plot of land in the midst of all the nothingness and fast food. It is the exact opposite of Screen on the Green (which starts in less than a month!). Instead of well cut grass, you sit on some trimmed down weeds, instead of museums flagging both sides of you, you're squeezed between the intersection of Florida and NY Ave and the Union Station train yards. Instead of the Capitol as your back drop, you've got the glowing view of cars speeding along an overpass. As you take in the environment around you, it just seems pretty blah.

Yet somehow, the whole NoMA film screening owns its crappiness and makes it awesome. There's not too many people there (although more came than I expected) and there's not too many volunteers and you're all united in the fact that you bothered to come out to NE even if you did only venture a block from the metro. It gives the whole thing a fun little community feel. The volunteers walk around offering their own bug spray to anyone who might have forgotten to load up on their own. Then they host an Odd Job contest where anyone who wants to participate can try their luck at throwing 3 old bowler hats at a delapidated Venus statue. Both Erin and I tried, and neither of us got anywhere close to the statue. (Actually, Erin hit a speaker. She was waaaay off.) But just for trying, they give you a little NoMA hat. If you actually ever made the hat land on Venus' head, you'd get a t-shirt, but that is no easy feet. They definitely save money on their t-shirt budget because I imagine they might only give out half a dozen at the most over the whole summer. The free bug spray and the contest aren't even the best parts! When the movie finally starts, they hand out free popcorn to everyone! They don't do that at Screen on the Green. So yea, the Bond Film Festival is kind of crappy, but it's crappy in a great way. They embrace their subpar film screening venue and make it fun anyway. Plus, they keep the subtitles on during the movie so no matter what train or bus or truck comes rolling by, you'll still never miss a word of Bond. I will definitely be back in future weeks!*

*Just for the free popcorn... ok maybe to try my hand at the Odd Job contest again but mostly for the popcorn. Mmmmm buttery.

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