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Metropolitan Diary

October 14, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

2001

I love the NYT Metropolitan Diary column, which appears on Mondays in the New York Region section. (This puts it in the back pages of the first section of the national edition, a page or two before the editorials.) This is the feature in which people write in with cute little tales of something that happened on the bus, or in the train station, or wherever. Dog stories, kid stories, tourist stories, overheard cell phone conversation stories. Heartwarming stories all, the sort that make you glad to be human. (Except when the writer has to end the story with the worst of all phrases, “Only in New York.” Sigh. I mean really. That’s so beside the point. And anyway, let us be the judges. And by the way, if you’ve never lived outside New York, how would you even know? What kinds of lives do you think the rest of us live? And I’m a New Yorker, mind you, but I have no patience for that chauvinism.)

But let me not get distracted. Here’s what I was going to say. Every so often, when I get to the end of a diary entry, there’s a surprise in store. It’s written by someone famous. Or at least someone well known in his or her field, whose name I happen to recognize. Someone who, despite fame, has taken the trouble to send in his or her own cute little story. I love them.

Take this week for instance. As I often do, I looked online for the diary just after 9:00 Sunday night. No waiting to bring in the paper in the morning. So there I was, reading this week’s diary, which has five entries, and when I got to the end of the fourth one, the author’s name leapt out at me. Keir Dullea! Is that cool or what?

You don’t know Keir Dullea? Well, okay, so maybe you have to be a certain age, or a film buff. A film buff I’m not, but I am that certain age, and though I was never too excited about 2001: A Space Odyssey, I did see it during its initial release in the theaters in 1968, and I’ve watched bits of it on TV. The scene I always think of first is the one on the spaceship as HAL (the computer) and Bowman (the astronaut played by Dullea) go at it. No doubt Dullea wishes he were known for more than that one role, but it’s that role that makes his name instantly recognizable to so many of us. And now, thanks to his contribution to Metropolitan Diary, I know a little more about him.

Categories: Movies, Newspapers
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