Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dispatch from San Sebastian: How Many Movie Stars Can One See In A Day?

Dolly-girl had her left hand wrapped around a glass of rosy skidrow and her right around the latest movie magazine she'd found in the BarRestaurant where we went for breakfast pinktoes. "First it's pintxo, Jack. You talk it pinch-o. It's Basque tapas. Second, if I understand any south-of-the-border at all, and I'm not sayin' I do, there's a big moviefest in the next town over there. It's right on our way to St. Jean-de-Luz, so let's saddle up and get on over there. I've got people to see." "On it." When Dolly-girl says saddle-up, the blanket's on my back before the up is out of her mouth. We headed to San Sebastian. She had her dates right so we set our brake at the Marie Christina hotel and kept an eye peeled.

It just didn't take a wink of a gnat's eyebrow until I started seeing all sorts of stars! And I was in San Sebastian to tell you that these movie stars are pretty damned clever. They make themselves blend right in so as it takes a skilled gumshoe--one with a private ticket like me--to recognize them. Like this shot of Julia Roberts, sitting right on the wall of a church with one of her kids--probably the one she had with Hugh Grant in Notting Hill. And here's Javier Bardem, her co-star in that new movie. He was having a coffee. Then he sort of followed us around as I saw him three or four more times.

Next it was Diane Keaton. Couldn't miss her with a fly swatter!

Some actors who claim to have died aren't really dead. Dolly-girl spotted Vincent Gardenia and if you'd see the face on this head, like I did, you would have been face-to-face with Dennis Hopper.

Mos Def was in the House--Def and double Def.

Dolly-girl spotted Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner.

This was just too easy! They were everywhere.

Once Shirley Maclaine crossed the street in front of us, we figured we'd seen enough.

We decided to head into a restaurant and get some pinxtos to take the edge off a morning of star-spotting. The pinxtos are real, real good, and real cheap. They run about 1 € each and a couple will do you for a noon-time feedbag, particularly if you are warring with LARD!

Bars lay out anywhere from a few kinds to 50 or so at the fanciest places, but all about the same price. Anyone for a roasted red pepper stuffed with tuna or crab? Chorizo on a bread? Basque chicken skewers? Prawns in various preparations? Salted cod in a tomato sauce? Add a beer or a glass of wine and lunch for two can run you as little as 15€. Portland needs a Jatetxea or ten.

Oh, these people were at the next table, but I didn't recognize them...

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