A few years ago, right around the time of our wedding, Drew and I watched a fabulous documentary called “The Cruise” (trailer here). It followed an eccentric NYC tour guide named Speed Levitch, a performer, historian, humorist, poet and philosopher all rolled up into one. The film was shot back in ’97 or ’98, so the scenes with the Twin Towers are especially poignant. We’ve watched the film probably five or six times since then and have become big Speed Levitch fans.
He no longer lives in New York – he has since moved back home to Missouri — but he still comes to the city a few times a year to do walking tours of famous New York neighborhoods. In July, Drew, Jackson and I went on one of his tours of Greenwich Village. It was one of the highlights of our summer — Speed didn’t disappoint (he was weird, funny, and full of knowledge) and we learned a lot that we didn’t know about New York.
Anyway, Speed has a brand new show on Hulu Plus called “Up to Speed,” directed by one of my favorite filmmakers, Richard Linklater (“Dazed and Confused,” “Before Sunrise,” “School of Rock”) that any of you who are interested in documentaries, history, travel, Americana, and the absurd should definitely check out. In the series, Speed visits popular American cities and takes viewers to “monumentally ignored monuments” within them, giving his trademark offbeat history lessons and waxing philosophic about the state of civilization. If it sounds weird, it’s because it is! It’s wonderfully, wonderfully weird and I highly recommend it. It’s unlike anything else on television, which is great since most of what’s on television these days sucks donkey balls.
“Up to Speed” airs Thursday nights on Hulu Plus, which you can get here.