On Tour: West Long Branch, NJ

31 Mar

March 20th, 2014  | Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines| West Long Branch, NJ

Our third stop on the tour at Monmouth University marks the halfway point. And we desperately need to take some time to sort out our stuff: a family of three living out of suitcases and bags crammed into an economy-size rental for a week has taken its toll. The Cheerio and yogurt encrusted floor with the backseat full of stickers could use a thorough cleansing; the snack and trash bag have somehow become one in the same; and it is impossible to actually find the quart of milk when one needs it, let alone the nipple and bottle.

After driving for hours in the rain south through the Hudson Valley, we stop for lunch in the legendary town of Woodstock. Mid-week in winter was a sleepy time for the town, which found most of the shops closed, but we did take a second to marvel at a storefront boasting a children’s VW camper tent, something one imagines could only be found in Woodstock. Inside we found a gorgeously illustrated (and Coretta Scott King award-winner) children’s book on the young Jimi Hendrix. A must have for any burgeoning rock star.

3.20 IMG_2756We opt to stay with a longtime friend in Brooklyn and Professor Andrew Demirjian has been kind enough to offer me a ride into New Jersey for the event. My family gets to relax for a couple days while I commute to West Long Branch, New Jersey. I have exactly four hours to spend in Manhattan before I meet Andrew, and I make the very tough decision to visit the Whitney Biennial over the Carrie Mae Weems retrospective at the Guggenheim, hoping that that exhibit will eventually come to California. With my daughter down for a nap, I race through the four floors of the show trying to absorb via osmosis all it has to offer, stopping only to snap a photo of Lisa Anne Auerbach’s knit designs emblazoned with bad-ass messages like “We are all pussy riot.” I discover a series of films from the Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab is screening and decide to take 15 precious minutes to take in a small piece of, People’s Park, a 75-minute film made in one single shot. It was worth the effort and totally mesmerizing!

3.20 IMG_2782

3.20 People's Park 8

People’s Park

I meet Prof Andrew and we ride over together with plenty of time to talk shop about a range of subjects that both fascinate us: how to balance full-time teaching while art-making; new cameras we are geeking out on; and how much more we listen to spoken word than music at our age. We compare book playlists; we talk about new projects we are working on; we swap highly confidential reports about teaching loads (jk!). When we arrive, Andrew gives me a quick tour of the Provost’s Hall where they filmed Daddy Warbuck’s mansion in the original, Annie and where we suddenly realize we are crashing a business award banquet. The Monmouth University theatre itself is gorgeous and large and though we do worry about what the turnout will be like during spring break, we get a decent-sized crowd from the community and a lot of heartfelt conversation afterwards. Thank you to the good folks of Asbury Park!

Check out the prof’s website. I did when I got home! He does cool any hyponotic stuff with sound and image: http://www.andrewdemirjian.com/

3.20 daddy warbucksPost by OSIP touring filmmaker, Kristy Guevara-Flanagan.
To listen to a podcast interview with the filmmaker, click here.


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