Ever since Michael Moore launched the first Traverse City Film Festival six years ago, I have wondered: where do the filmmakers and film lovers from all over the world go to play late at night in Traverse City, after all the movies and interviews and obligatory social events are over? I found out tonight: for many of them, especially filmmakers from out of town, it’s the Park Place Hotel, on the Tenth Floor.
When I boarded the elevator in the lobby, a filmmaker who looked like he had been having an enjoyable evening so far, and who shall remain nameless, began exiting the elevator. Suddenly, he turned to me and said, “Where can I find women’s lingerie?” For some reason, I answered, “All you have to do is turn right after you get in to the lobby!” (As far as I know, there is no women’s lingerie for sale at the Park Place Hotel). He smiled and then swaggered left, then right, on to the carpet directly in front of the lobby desk. I have no idea what happened to him next, though I did worry about him.
I decided to head up to the tenth floor of the hotel which is called “Top of The Park.” The noise was deafening. The majority of people in the bar, which is lined with windows which look out over Traverse City and Grand Traverse Bay, had laniards around their necks indicating they were associated in some way with the Traverse City Film Festival. A beautiful woman wearing exotic jewelry came toward me carrying a stuffed animal in the shape and color of a calico cat. She said, “This cat’s name is Agnes.” (At least I think that’s what she said.) Then a rather handsome man approached me and said, “I know you! I taught you how to parasail today!” I told him I had never seen him before. He said, “Yes, you’re the person I was parasailing with!” I explained to him that I had been at the film festival all day. He seemed disappointed, and then walked away.
The music and loud conversation was suddenly overwhelming. It appeared some of customers were sort of humping each other in the middle of the bar. I began to make my way toward the door. Someone took photos of people as they waited in line for the elevator. They seemed to be re-creating scenes from the Abu Ghraib photos. I decided it was definitely time to leave. I took the stairs instead of the elevator and headed home.