The owner of the booth came over feeling the need to explain to me that it was a globe.
"Most people think it's supposed to be a hot air balloon but it's a globe. See right down there's Africa and here's Australia, I think. I had it in my bedroom and it casts cool lines of light all over the room."
Not worrying if I was being tricked again but concerned about what my family would say. I left the market and left text messages with those closest to me and most likely to object if I bought it. By three in the afternoon and at this point all the way down in Soho I got a response giving me permission to go ahead and buy the globe. It was kind of a mute point any way, I knew it was going to be mine if no one else had purchased it. I hopped the subway and made my way up to the market passing the bank for enough money to make the vendor happy. The minute I entered the market I could see the beam from "my" globe casting a beacon and beckoning me on. I bought the globe at approximately 3:45. The guy wrapped it in an oversized dark green garbage bag and I was off. I had thirty minutes, too little time to take the globe back home so I decided the globe would just have to be my date wrapped in its dark green plastic coat. I figured I could put it in the seat next to me and I'd be okay. How full could a 4:15 movie be on the first spring-like day in the city? I arrived at the theater with five minutes to spare before the endless line-up of trailers was to start. They took my ticket and I walked in to one of their larger screens, globe in hand. The theater was packed. Even the mezzanine was packed. Not only wasn't I going to have an extra seat for the "globe", my date, but I wasn't going to have a seat for my own seat. They had oversold the movie. It was an older crowd and apparently the geriatric set like an early film like they like an early dinner. No matter what the weather their legs are going to give out and they need a seat by early afternoon. I looked east, west, north and south with no luck before I left the theater and went to the service desk thinking I'd just wait until the next showing that was about an hour away. This, unfortunately, was not only my idea but the idea of a dozen other people. We all stood there as the agent behind the desk began telling each of us the next movie was also sold out and so was every other showing all the way to ten. Four women from Manhasset threw a perfect Long Island fit demanding he bump four people from the next show and get them seats or they were going to rip the hair off his chest one hair at a time. He told them and the rest of us he would find us seats but for those who came in a group they wouldn't be able to sit together. Huge screams foamed from the Manhasset quarter. I, being alone, grabbed at the chance until I remembered my globe. The agent said he'd hold it behind the counter if I still wanted him to find me a seat. Low and behold, he spotted a seat almost center center next to two huge women with very short hair who because of their size had an extra seat that you couldn't really see unless you knew it was there. It was perfect as long as I didn't have to get up for a pee break. And that's how I got to see Wes Anderson's, The Grand Budapest Hotel.
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
Willem van den Hoed, photographer