This is one of my favorite outdoor film festivals that is hosted in NYC. It is sponsored by the French Embassy, and the films are shown in different parks in Manhattan and Brooklyn throughout the summer. Each year, the kickoff movie is screened in Central Park. It is always a beautiful evening to be under the stars. Although this is only my second year attending the opening night, it is the ninth year that Films on the Green has hosted the festival in New York City. (If you are a Francophile and this is causing you to turn vert take heart, this festival is now in several other American cities including Boston and Chicago so check out www.frenchculture.com to see what is showing near you!)
The forecast called for a 20% chance of rain and the skies were incredibly overcast for most of that day, so I was praying for a dry evening. It seemed as if Mother Nature knew 500 people were sitting in a park in the middle of Manhattan because around 6:30 the skies cleared and the evening turned majestic. The movie shown that evening was entitled, Breathless (A Bout De Souffle). It was a 1960 movie about a man on the lam in Paris after killing a police officier. I purchased most of my menu on my way to the park. If you are on the run, you don't have time to stand over a stove and cook. Lol!
New Yorkers are fortunate because there are quality markets and grocery stores throughout the city and in every neighborhood. I stopped by Butterfield Market on the Upper East Side for a few goodies and brought along a bottle of Pomegranate Soda that I picked up at Target.
Just as an FYI about concerts and films in parks, films that are shown before the summer solstice run longer into the evening. Usually, the films list the start time as 8:30 pm. However, the films need more darkness than sunset provides, so come prepared to be out a little later. While all the added hours of sunlight are a treat, they can make for a long evening under the stars. Coffee or caffeine-laden beverages might be in order the next morning after a weeknight picnic. My film was scheduled to begin at 8:30 pm but started closer to 8:45 pm due to the lack of darkness.
What to Pack
I attended this picnic after work, and I didn't have a lot of space there to have my usual cadre of picnic accessories. Fortunately, I could use the mini fridge at my office to keep beverages cool. I have to bring small pillows if chairs are not permitted on the lawns. If you will be sitting on the ground for more than an hour, your bottom will appreciate the cushion.
I ended up attending the film alone, so there are not a lot of photos of me. A photographer just happened to be there to catch me blowing bubbles before the lawn became packed. There is this fantastic moment when you are attending a picnic when all the blankets are out, the food is spread, the buzz of the crowd washes over you, and you say, “Life is good… and these mosquitoes don't have Zika, right?”
Check out the Events page of your local Parks System! You may find that films are being screened near you. It is a great way to decompress, see a great movie, hang out with friends, and get a little Vitamin D as well.
Life is filled with fun. Take a little time to live joyously in the moment.