Ideas, idle gossip and occasionally important odds ‘n’ ends
THE Tenth Annual Cape May Film Festival has come and gone, and was – by our expert judgment – a roaring success… maybe TOO much of a success. Saturday night’s showing of Sneakers and Soul filled the Chalfonte’s enormous Magnolia Room to capacity. Having arrived just moments before the start of the movie, we were relegated to a back row seat and left fidgeting and looking for a gap in the hoard of heads before us. Next year we’ll make sure to show up early enough to get a good seat.
Other EZ favorites from the weekend included the short films Audrey and Wake. Audrey, produced by the New Jersey-based Alternate Ending Studios, follows an elderly landlord as she meanders through life alone before stumbling upon the game of Bunco. An unlikely hero comes to rescue her from solitude and the ending, while sad, left us feeling very fulfilled. That the movie was touching AND had us laughing out loud is a testament to the team at Alternate Ending Studios. We hope to see more from them in the future.
On the other hand, Wake pushed us to the brink of tears as it told the story of a young boy who has just lost his brother. During the wake we follow the younger brother through his memories of the special relationship he had with his considerably older brother. There are moments of humor, but the film mostly made us want to connect with siblings.
CONGRESS Hall’s annual Phantom Ball will be held this Friday in the hotel’s Grand Ballroom. Even if you’re not a competitive Halloweener, there’s plenty to keep you busy, including a dessert buffet, DJ and a cash bar stocked with enough witch’s brews to keep you flying all night long (though if you overindulge, be sure to leave your broom in the janitor’s closet and catch a taxi home). Raquel the fortune-teller will also be in attendance, offering psychic readings for only a dollar a minute, so if you haven’t spent all your cash at the bar, you may know your future all the way up to Christmas.
SPEAKING of Christmas, the Exit Zero staff has its own prediction to make: the West Cape May Christmas Parade will be the yuletide happening of the year. Then again, you don’t need a crystal ball to make that forecast – the parade seems to be a highlight of every year, and we’re often moved to maudlin holiday sentiment when we see neighbors gathered on porches up and down Broadway, sipping cider and enjoying the various floats and performances.
This year’s parade promises to be as spectacular as ever, due in large part to several upcoming fundraising events. On November 1 Chef Chris Hubert (of the Black Duck and Godmother’s) will sponsor a spaghetti and meatball dinner at the VFW, all the proceeds of which will benefit the parade (consult our weekly schedule on pages 4-5 for more information). On November 9 Congress Hall will host Winter Wonderland Warm Up, another event to benefit the West Cape May Christmas Parade. From 6-8pm guests are invited to rev up their Christmas cheer in the Grand Ballroom, which will be swept clean of October cobwebs and outfitted with all the trappings of December (don’t ask us what happened to November). Attendees can enjoy the season’s first cup of hot chocolate and take part in a silent auction to stock up on early holiday gifts. Prizes include a “Spaaahliday Package” from the Congress Hall Sea Spa, an “Ultimate Nest” certificate for dinner at the Ebbitt Room and an overnight stay in the Virginia Hotel, and a “Blue Pig Fest,” which gets you dinner for four at the Blue Pig Tavern and a case of their Blue Pig Ale. Plus, the $20 admission cost is a built-in gift to the West Cape May Christmas Parade.
GIVEN that passions for the Phillies and Yankees run very high at Exit Zero, the last few days have not gone down well. Forgive the cliché, but we really WOULD rather watch paint dry than sit through a Rangers-Giants World Series. Here’s to 2011!
WE OWE an apology to the good folks at Dellas. A description of Tisha’s in our food and drink guide mentioned that it was located “at the former site of Dellas.” What we MEANT to write was “the former site of Stumpo’s.” It was a ridiculous and inexplicable error. Happily, Dellas Real Estate Agency and General Store are alive and well.
FINALLY, a thank you to Billy Miller of Lucky Bones for changing the radio and rescuing the Sunday night crowd from incessant slow jams by Jewel and Shania Twain. I imagine I would lose it if I had to listen to “You’re Still the One” every single day.