Random Acts of Travel

Recently I realised that I don’t do a lot of things (take a trip to Twin Peaks, indulge in 5 star hotel weekends, spontaneously rent a cabin in the woods, take a train to the mysterious Sleepy Hollow, attend midnight horror movies from 1981 which may or may not  feature Ernest Borgnine) because I’m single. Last Halloween I overcame my fear of awkwardness and discovered that it is actually possible to attend films alone, especially at midnight (and especially if they feature Ernest Borgnine). After that hurdle was cleared, I wondered what else I could conquer.

So I’m implementing a new policy, which I call Random Acts of Travel. Despite my stretched budget now that I am going to attempt to study film editing at NYU part-time, I am determined to activate the RAoT policy at least every couple of months.

First stop will be the Toronto International Film Festival (it was going to be Washington DC to see the aforementioned Wil Anderson, but I decided that was probably a very bad idea. However, on the bright side, since I am now brunette, at least I have a fighting chance of not being mistaken for Claire Danes as Carrie Mathieson in Homeland, which would help while in DC).

Update: Dammit, Claire Danes

I’ve always wanted to go to TIFF, and I feel slightly ridiculous about never having been to Canada (shame on me for shunning my fellow Commonwealth citizens, and the birthplace of one of my dearest friends in the world – not to mention a certain Boston Terrier). I came to the conclusion that I wanted to do this properly. You know, with a ticket to an event not just a film, and at a hotel where I have a chance to spot Ryan Gosling at the bar.

I booked one night at the Drake Hotel, which looks exactly like my kind of place even if the hipster factor is approaching Exceedingly High on the Williamsburg Scale of Coolness™. But I couldn’t afford their rates for the other night of my stay, so I did something I’ve never done before – I booked a mystery hotel. Nervously handing over $200 and pressing “submit” to find out which hotel I’d just paid for was, I imagine, a little like the feeling a Vegas gambler has when putting it all on red.

…The hotel turned out to be the Ritz Carlton. I was kind of horrified* – the Ritz Carlton? I don’t belong there! 5-star hotels make me feel like a fish out of water – well actually more like a fiscally irresponsible fish hiding amongst a sleek school of sharks, hoping no-one will notice, with the notable exception of the Park Hyatt Tokyo where I just pretend I’m in Lost In Translation. 

But Canadian friends assure me that the Ritz Carlton is perfect for spotting celebrities, and is at least stumbling distance from the TIFF venues (so I can collapse back in the room and reveal my true nature by putting American Dad on the in-bathroom tv if it all goes wrong). At least I can push through all the celebrity spotters outside with some legitimacy. Worst case, I’ll just pretend I’m Claire Danes.

(*UPDATE: The Ritz-Carlton turned out to be fantastic, and super friendly. Plus, Justin Theroux was staying there, so I was in good company. I refrained from throwing pink paint or Billy Ray Cyrus at him).