The best part of a 3-day weekend is that in addition to having time for our usual chores and family obligations, we also have time for ourselves.  Today we spent that time going downtown to see a movie and then have lunch.  We started by going to the Landmark Sunshine Theater to see Life Itself, a new documentary about Roger Ebert.

Life Itself Poster

I was a fan of Siskel and Ebert when I was a kid watching their show on TV, and after Gene Siskel died I continued to watch the show with its different co-hosts.  But it wasn’t until I received a copy of the book I Hated Hated Hated This Movie as a present one year that I became a head-over-heels fan of Roger Ebert.  Because I love bad movies to pieces, and it takes a certain kind of skill to write about bad movies in such an entertaining way.

Anyway, up until now my experiences with Roger Ebert were limited to the reviews I read in books, in archives, and on his blog, his appearances on The Tonight Show and The Howard Stern Show, and of course his excellent appearance with Gene Siskel on The Critic.

Siskel and Ebert on The Critic

Over the last few years since he became sick, disabled, and disfigured, I couldn’t bear to watch videos of him anymore because I would get too depressed.  While this documentary had a lot of great background on Ebert and was even laugh-out-loud funny at times, at other times it focused on the last years of his life and his deteriorating condition.  Which means that I cried about a dozen times during this film.  I’m still glad that I watched it and I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in Roger Ebert and/or film history.  But I would NOT be able to watch it again.

After the movie was over and I went to wash my face and then put on sunglasses to conceal my red and swollen eyes, we went out to eat.  We went to Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue for a meat-based lunch of brisket, spare ribs and pomme frites:

Mighty Quinns Entrance

MQ Meats and Drinks

MQ Pommes Frites

We’d eaten their brisket sandwiches at Smorgasburg before, and they are absolutely DELIGHTFUL.  But this was our first trip to one of their brick-and-mortar locations, and the other menu items we sampled were wonderful, as well.

Then we went to go get dessert at Big Gay Ice Cream, which we’ve heard about for a while but never tried before.  We each had a cone — my boyfriend had a chocolate cone with chocolate sprinkles and a chocolate shell and I had a “Rocky Roadhouse” cone that had a ridiculous amount of marshmallows and nuts in it:

Ordering at Big Gay Ice Cream

Rocky Roadhouse Cone

So now Mighty Quinn’s and Big Gay Ice Cream have been added to the long list of places we’d like to visit again when we go back to the East Village.