NOTE: This post is sponsored by Lincoln Motor Co.
If you've been following along since the top of the year, you've noticed that I've been pal-ling around frequently with my new friends at Lincoln Motor Company. It's been working out pretty well. They make luxury cars and throw luxe events; I like luxe events and luxury cars... which is what brings us to my new boo, the 2017 Lincoln Continental, who I affectionately call "Connie" because Continental... Connie... get it? (You'd be surprised how many people don't.)
Anyway, I had some events to hit up along the East Coast, and decided to shoot my shot and ask for a car to quietly stunt in (Lincoln bills itself on "quiet luxury", not flash) for a week. The answer? Yes, Demetria.
Aren't they sweet?
You have no idea. Since Lincoln was being all generous and what not, I asked for tickets to TriBeCa Film Festival, since they were sponsoring. I mean, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take, right?
The answer? Yes, Demetria.
Told you they were sweet.
For my week with Connie, I kept my shenanigans to a minimum-- ok, a minimum for me. Get into my adventures.
Day 1 with "Connie" -- "Reagan" at TriBeca Film Festival, NYC
"Connie" was delivered that morning, but I couldn't take her out for a spin. I literally, took responsibility for her, then parked her across the street from my building for the day... for two reasons. The weather sucked, and more importantly, I was on deadline. My editor wasn't going to understand "I went joy-riding with Connie" if my story was late. And then, imagine me trying to explain Connie is a car, not a person. It would have been weird.
No lie. I thought about skipping "Reagan" that night. It had been pouring sheets of wind all day. It was like hurricane-rain. But asking for passes and then not using them would make a Grade A [redacted because: Dad reads]. So I skipped my usual heels and dress and trudged out into the rain in jeans.
Here's when I knew Connie and I would get along well: I didn't have to search for the wipers. I travel a lot. I rent a lot of cars. One of my pet peeves is trying to figure out how to use the wipers. The switch for them is never where you think it would be. But back to Connie: her wipers are touch-activated. It rains, the wipers just go. Nice.
Connie confession: So before Lincoln turns the car over to me, we do this recap of what I should I know about the car. The awesome instructor tells me about the door handles and how they're super special and I'm like, "Yeah, ok, Keys, please" because what could be so special about door handles?
Here is what is special about door handles, Lincoln door handles, specifically: designers hate door handles. They're clunky and if your design is sleek, it ruins the aesthetic. So, the Lincoln designers figured out a way to hide them. Why am I telling you this? Because I got in the car just fine, drove to Chelsea to see "Reagan" just fine, even in the rain, and i hate driving in rain. Found a parking space near the theatre that was big enough to accommodate the Lincoln just fine. Then I parked Connie and couldn't figure out how to get out the dang car because there were no obvious door handles.
LOL. It took me a full 90 seconds to get out. I was trying to figure out what to pull because that's what you do with door handles, and then I remembered the instructor talking about how sleek and easy it was to get out of a Lincoln. I looked for something I could squeeze to get out. There's a tiny handle to open a big car door. You give a light squeeze and Connie's door pops all the way open and out with little to no real effort. Ha!
"Reagan" was worth trekking in the rain. In short, it's a collection of archival footage of the former-POTUS and actor, and how he used his acting training (and love of cameras) to engage (and manipulate) the American people. If you're looking for an in-depth assessment of Regan's presidency, this is not it. If you want to ponder the role of modern media in crafting the image of a POTUS, it's excellent. Also, Trump stole the line, "Make America Great Again, from Reagan.
Day 2 with Connie: "Whitney: Can I Be Me?" at the TriBeCa Film Festival
Real talk: this film was the reason that I asked for the TriBeca passes. I'm low key obsessed with Whitney Houston. It didn't disappoint-- or exploit. The highlight of the doc was never-seen-before archival footage of Houston's '99 World Tour aka the last tour before the drugs hit her hard and took her voice. Epic. There's also behind-the-scenes footage of Whitney and then-husband Bobby Brown re-enacting a scene between Ike and Tina from "What's Love Got to Do With It?" Weird. And hilarious. (I wrote about the film in-depth) for The Root.
New Connie discovery: she takes potholes like a G. And yes, I tried to avoid as many as possible. I'm driving in NYC, potholes are un-avoidable. Also, Connie's sound system is AH-MAY-ZING! I was having a "Whitney moment" after I left the theatre for obvious reasons. You haven't heard Whitney until you hear her thru Connie's Revel speakers. (I spent a slightly embarrassing amount of time sitting in Connie listening to music this week. "Do I like it when I drive?" is how I judge good music from great music.)
Day 3 with Connie: The Bad Boy doc at the TriBeCa Film Festival
Actually, it was a night of adventure. CBW (aka "Husband", for the newly initiated Demigawds) swung by Catch in the Meatpacking District for a cocktail party for "Power", one of my favorite TV shows, which returns to Starz next month. And yes, I know that was a run-on sentence.
And then we headed up to The Beacon to um, catch the world premiere of "Can't Stop, Won't Stop", aka the Bad Boy movie. In short, Diddy -- or is he Puffy again?--- celebrated the 20th anniversary of Bad Boy Records last year, and he had documentarians on hand to film the whole thing. Diddy is unintentionally hilarious, intentionally shrewd, and he and Ma$e should have their own buddy film. Their bromance is palpable. Also, Nas makes a guest appearance. He is a god among mortal men.
After the doc, Lil Kim, Faith Evans, Carl Thomas and Diddy and Ma$e performed. Glorious. Took me back to my college years. I played the "Best of Bad Boy", the 10th anniversary album, in Connie for the ride home.
New Connie discovery: heated seats. Purrrrrrr.
Day 4 with Connie: It's the Freakin Weekend!
I took Connie on a tour of Brooklyn... because I could. After a week of deadlines during the day and film premieres all night (I know, first world problems), I finally had the downtime to do "nothing".
CBW and I headed to the Brooklyn waterfront to catch the view, swung through Park Slope to marvel at the brownstones (never gets old), had lunch at a pizza spot in DUMBO, then passed by the William Vale, a new hotel in Williamsburg to check out the city views everyone's been raving about (the top-floor restie was closed for a private event. :-( We settled for views of Brooklyn from the mezzanine.)
All day, people, as in New Yorkers who NEVER really talk to strangers, kept saying, "nice car." Now look, I have a car, a truck actually, in New York. She does not get these kind of compliments when people see me enter/exit her.
Later that night, Connie and I caught up with my bestie, B, who was visiting from LA. We caught up over drinks (for her) and seltzer (for me) on the rooftop of Mr. Purple on the Lower East Side. Amazing city views.
Connie "discovery": Ok. So this one isn't really "new", to me. But I light up every time it happens like I didn't know it was going to. At night, when you walk toward your Lincoln with your FOB, it starts to light up as you approach, and then the Lincoln logo appears on the ground, kind of like a bat-signal/ virtual "Welcome" mat. It's the neatest thing.
Also, one of my concerns with having Connie in New York City was parking. She's a a big girl and NYC isn't very good on space-- for cars or anything else. For the time I had her, it wasn't an issue, partially due to luck. And because Connie has a double back camera. She has the standard camera that most modern cars have that show when you're backing up, right? But she has a split screen and one side is an arial view of Connie's bumper. So say when you back into a parallel spot, you can see the exact distance, from above, of the distance of your Connie and the car behind you. Hope I described that right. The benefit is you can get extra close in an extra tight spot without tapping the car behind you-- not that I ever do that.
Also, again, if you're not a great parker, Connie can parallel park herself. Ha!
Day 6 with Connie: The National Museum of African-American History, Washington, DC
Yes. I know I skipped a day. I skipped Sunday. Sundays are for doing nothing, and that's what I did most of the day, and then I drove Connie to DC that night because I had to be at the National Museum for African American History and Culture the next morning.
Look, maneuvering Connie around NYC -- and all its potholes-- is fun and all. But like, the city-wide speed limit is 25mph, no lie. Connie? This Continental? She was made for the open-road. She doesn't ride, she glides down the New Jersey Turnpike. I drive back and forth to DC at least twice a month for work, and I procrastinate everytime because I hate the drive. Let me tell you how I LOVED driving Connie for three and half continuous hours. I put on my Carl Thomas and we rocked out to "Summer Rain" on repeat for a good hour of the journey. If you try this at home, be mindful of one thing: you don't feel speed in Connie. So you could be going 85mph-- hypothetically, of course-- and think you're just hitting 60. Watch your speed.
I made it to DC safe and sound -- in GREAT time-- and then to the museum on time for the preview of the NMAAHC's first exhibition, "More Than A Picture". It's a selection of 150 of the best photos from the museum's extensive archives. Well worth the trip.
Day 7- Yayoi Kusama's "Infinity Mirrors" at The Hirshorn Gallery
Connie and I navigated DC rush hour traffic in order to check out the final days of the MUST SEE Yayoi Kusama exhibition, "Infinity Mirrors" (it eft DC and moved to Boston). Because I have no forethought, I arrived at the museum just as it opened... and got in a very long line (800+ people) to get day-of tickets to the exhibition. After a two hour wait, the line closed, without me having a ticket. My friend, Hilari and I ended up buying a student membership (don't ask) to the gallery in order to see the exhibit. It was worth the wait-- and price.
Later that day, I eagerly returned to NYC in Connie. I had an 8AM meeting the following morning, and after a week, it was time for my Dear Connie to return to her Lincoln family. Ooh, last Connie fun fact: I drove her around NYC to DC, around DC and back to NYC and only filled her up twice. When I returned her to Lincoln, she had half a tank of gas.
I have no idea if that means she's good on gas, but I do know she's better on it than the truck I currently drive.
I'll miss you, Connie! Hope to see you again REALLY soon!