Brooklyn Stories and Tips

"West Side Story" in Prospect Park

One of my favorite movies of all time is 'West Side Story' (my mother first took me to see it at a local screening in my hometown when I was quite small, and I must have seen it 8 or 9 times since then), so when I read in the paper that there would be a rare outdoor summer screening in Prospect Park which is right across the street from my apartment, I knew I couldn't miss it. My boyfriend also loves the film, and we had just been talking about how we wanted to be sure to do a lot of 'summer-type-things' before the summer was over. This was special.

The outing ended up feeling that much more unique when, on a humid night in New York that had been threatening thundershowers all day, Brooklynites still came out to see and hear Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, Russ Tamblyn and George Chakiris projected bigger than life in our own backyards. Even when the rain began to fall halfway through the film, the crowd kept on singing along, reciting memorable lines, and applauding after each unforgettable number.

During an 'intermission' when the projectionists were changing reels, I looked behind our seats to survey the devoted crowd comfortably settled under their hoods and blankets, cheering on the projectionist and anxiously awaiting the next scene. I loved that no one cared about the rain. I loved that I was across the street from my house. I loved that, as my boyfriend proudly stated, Brooklyn was 'in the house'. And as I responded to him, 'West Side Story' in Prospect Park is one of the few things I would sit out in the pouring rain for.

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