March 02, 2008
'Manhattan's only (and quite possibly the world's smallest) drive-in cinema'
That's how Victoria De Silverio described the 250-square-foot DRV-IN (above), located at 139 Norfolk Street (near Rivington), in her story in today's New York Times; the piece follows.
- A Carload at a Time
As he stepped into the small storefront on Norfolk Street, Stephen Kushner, a hairdresser from Long Island, was transported to a youth spent steaming up car windows with his steady at drive-in theaters.
A movie screen hung in front of a single blue 1965 Ford Falcon convertible. A romantic starry sky — actually tiny light clusters peeking through sheer black fabric — stretched across to the side.
“Hey, can we make out?” he asked aloud, eliciting a giggle from Mr. Kushner’s wife and a gag from their 18-year-old daughter.
Stuffed inside the 250-square-foot space is DRV-IN, Manhattan’s only (and quite possibly the world’s smallest) drive-in cinema. The vintage Ford, parked in front of a 102-inch screen, has a shiny red interior that seats up to six cinephiles.
The setup inspires amorous instincts, but also confusion: Jordan Broadworth, the theater’s “projectionist” and usher, said that a patron once called, worrying that “we just realized none of us have our licenses.”
DRV-IN’s owners, the brothers Hall and Ben Smyth, run a design firm called Grand Opening out of an office behind the screen.
To entertain themselves (and to help pay the rent), they have opened a series of temporary businesses in the space, each with a different theme. First was Barn for Sale, which sold salvaged wood; next came Pong, a table tennis parlor. DRV-IN has been open since September, and a permanent home for it is being sought nearby.
To see a movie, patrons can visit 139norfolk.com, select a show time and a title, and pay $75. Sometimes the roster of movies is predetermined — in February 102 high school movies from 1950 onward were shown — but any film may be requested as long as there is time to buy it on DVD. The Kushners chose the 2007 remake of “Hairspray,” fittingly set in the heyday of the drive-in. (“John Travolta is not an attractive woman,” Mr. Kushner said.)
Settling into the car’s two bench seats (“Bucket seats killed the drive-in,” Mr. Broadworth said), the Kushner family nibbled on fresh popcorn. They discovered the idyllic “Happy Days”-like setting allowed for more than just making out. “You can chitchat without bothering anyone,” Grandma Kushner said. The Fonz would surely approve.
Before you go:
Dress code: As casual or formal as desired. Pets and babies welcome.
Getting in: Reservations for up to six people can be made at 139norfolk.com.
Signature concession: Fresh popcorn. For beverages, there are bodegas nearby.
Spork 2 — For the garden
Sure, everyone's familiar with the spoon/fork mashup in the dining space but Robert Todd, "an eccentric English inventor and post box restorer," has combined a border spade and garden fork in an effort to bring the "one-tool/many uses" ethos to the shrub arena.
Here's Jane Owen's story from the February 23, 2008 Financial Times about how the jumbo iteration came to be.
- Garden Gear: Spork
Sporks provoke reaction. The type associated with Taco Bell inspired the ‘Sporks Are Godlike’ website. The type designed for gardens divides gardeners into sceptics and enthusiasts.
The garden Spork [above and below] is roughly the same size as a border spade but the boron steel head is a combination of fork and spade. This means it is lighter than a spade and cannot suffer from bent tines. The almost-divine combination of two-in-one negates the need to swap from spade to fork and back while sorting out a border, splitting perennials or doing some deep-soil weeding.
Using it over the past few weekends my faithful border spade and fork have stayed in the shed. The zig-zag-shaped Spork head slices into the ground with ease, pulls and then shakes the earth from weeds smoothly and prevents newly-divided plants from falling as they move to their new planting places (I’ve never liked piecing root balls with a fork in order to carry them).
The Spork was invented in the 1990s by Robert Todd an eccentric English inventor and post box restorer. His enthusiasm for the Spork cost him his house but his perseverance paid off when Dutch manufacturer DeWit added the Spork to its range.
The eccentric credentials of this tool were confirmed when it received a Golden Shed Award from garden tool site Fredshed as well as a more mainstream ‘Millennium products’ award from the UK’s Design Council.
We get cease and desist email: From Nolan Noecker on behalf of the Screaming Meanie
It came in about 45 minutes ago and reads as follows:
- Hi Joe,
The pictures you are using on your website for the Screaming Meanie [the green plastic thingie in the photos above and below] are not stock photos and are copyrighted. I also notice you lifted some of my web copy, also copyrighted, word-for-word. Please correct the situation.
I get requests daily now from people who want to pay me real money to advertise on bookofjoe and every time I tell them, thank you but I don't take ads.
And here someone who gets free exposure and a rave review wants it all disappeared.
"Please correct the situation."
I guess it's not as threatening as Media General attorney Andrew C. Carington's cease and desist letter of this past January.
Put Mr. Carington on the Google map, did that flap.
But I digress.
Unlike Mr. Carington, who was gracious enough to give me "five (5) days" to do as he said or face the mighty corporate lawyerbot machine, Mr. Noecker doesn't appear to be in the mood for dilly-dallying around.
Best get on this instanter, what?
Where's my crack legal team when I need them?
Prolly out ice fishing in Missouri, is where.
But I digress again.
I wonder if the photos above and below of my very own Screaming Meanie on my nightstand, taken precisely three minutes ago, are copyrighted as well?
And if I've gone and made matters worse by linking as I did above to Mr. Noecker's web copy.
Oh dear, oh dear, whatever shall I do....
Looks like I'm digging myself in deeper and deeper.
Metal-free Reversible Travel Belt
Really shines (as it were) at airports.
From the website:
- Metal-free Reversible Travel Belt
No metal buckle means no 'disrobing' at airport security
Who knew the price for security was the loss of dignity — pants sagging low while you self-consciously make your way through the metal detectors.
Well, no more.
Because our new belt has a leather-wrapped non-metal slide buckle — no need to remove it at security checks.
And, since it reverses from black to brown, it’s the only belt you need to take on most trips.
Your dignity is safe with us.
Is It Still The Same — by Eavan Boland
young woman who climbs the stairs,
who closes a child's door,
who goes to her table
in a room at the back of a house?
The same unlighted corridor?
The same night air
over the wheelbarrows and rain-tanks?
The same inky sky and pin-bright stars?
You can see nothing of her, but her head
bent over the page, her hand moving,
moving again, and her hair.
I wrote like that once.
But this is different:
This time, when she looks up, I will be there.
Talk to 'The Third Hand'
Think outside the workshop space.
Like, say, the treadmill deskspace.
That's where mine's going.
Bag the useless holders and stands that go overboard on a regular basis, requiring a time-out and deep dive into the land of forgotten devices, cables and adapters surrounding my treadmill's base.
From the website:
- The Third Hand™
When you need an extra hand
Features an 18-inch long, flexible nickel-plated goose neck that stays in place when you bend it, offering almost unlimited flexibility.
The heavy-duty rubber-tipped steel clamps open to a maximum of two inches.
Perfect for holding instructions, work lights, flashlights, tools, etc.
Cardstacker.com — Meet Bryan Berg, whose world record tallest house of playing cards stood 25 feet, 9.5 inches high
He's pictured above with his signature 2007 construction.
You could look it up.
Picture Frame Safe — Hide in plain sight
A variation on a much-visited theme.
Designed by Tim Parsons.
"Not just a traditional picture frame but with a compartment for storing photographs and other documents."
Two sizes: A4, £55 and A3, £65 — both here.