Sunday, July 5, 2009


The novel! Its main character is Charlie Chaplin. Anybody reading it?

About the book, from Amazon:

Sunnyside opens on a winter day in 1916 during which Charlie Chaplin is spotted in more than eight hundred places simultaneously, an extraordinary delusion that forever binds the overlapping fortunes of three men: Leland Wheeler, son of the world’s last (and worst) Wild West star, as he finds unexpected love on the battlefields of France; Hugo Black, drafted to fight under the towering General Edmund Ironside in America’s doomed expedition against the Bolsheviks; and Chaplin himself, as he faces a tightening vise of complications—studio moguls, questions about his patriotism, his unchecked heart, and, most menacing of all, his mother.

Fom the author:

My great aunt Ingrid, a journalist, was Chaplin's neighbor in Switzerland; family legend has it that he dictated parts of his autobiography to her.

So: in 1914, Chaplin was barely even a film comedian, Hollywood was a farm town where the lights went out at 8 o'clock, and America was more or less a great big cornfield with an occasional city poking among its rows. And in 1918, Chaplin was a genius, Hollywood was the world's aspirational mecca, and America... well, America was in serious trouble, in that it thought it had won the War.

Sunnyside is the story of this rapid transformation as Chaplin and his adopted country lose, one more devastating time, their innocence.

46th Street Going Car-Free

On Saturdays in August. From Peter Davis:

Beginning on August 1 and continuing for the rest of the Saturdays during the month, the city will close down 46th Street between Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue to cars from noon to 7 p.m. and replace the cars with open space and events for community residents to enjoy.


In addition to having tables and chairs set up as the main feature of the plaza, Bonilla said they are planning some special events for the car-free Saturdays. Already, they have scheduled a memorial concert in honor of the famous American jazz musician Bismark “Bix” Beiderbecke for August 8, and there is a free program for children planned in connection with the Queens Library for August 22.