We don’t have a TV. Like other radiantly aging millennials, not having a TV doesn’t mean we don’t watch TV or movies, but it probably does mean that the *way* we watch them is different than if we had a permanent fixture attached to the wall. For one thing, there’s no one place in our apartment that’s dedicated to screen viewing. For another, if we want to watch something we need to take a beat to set that something up. I don’t mean this to sound onerous, just to explain that there’s a slight barrier to entry, an extra step to take between flopping onto the couch and getting transfixed by a moving image on the screen.
A few years ago, we got a small digital projector. Having previously only been able to gather ’round a laptop screen to partake in cinematic experiences at home, the introduction of this bit of technology was welcome and novel and nearly four years later, we’re just as pleased.
Most often we project our movies right onto the white wall of our living/dining room, with the projector itself on our dining table. This set up requires the least number of moving parts, the most comfortable viewing, and the possibility for the child in our family who refuses to sit on our new couch because it is “too comfortable” to watch from the relative discomfort of a hard wooden dining chair. Also, it makes it easy to serve ice cream *while* finishing a movie which is a personal plus for me.
On evenings when we’d rather the movie viewing experience be relegated to the kids’ room, we screw our projector into my camera tripod and project the movie onto a wall in there. This set up has the very real advantage of being in a room with doors that can close and where there’s maximum floor space (not to mention three beds) for lolling around on, piling pillows and blankets, and making the kind of nest that kids generally love and parents generally tolerate.
On summer nights when we want to be romantic and festive and possibly also mosquito bitten, we’ve taken the projector onto our unsanctioned rooftop to enjoy a film under the starless city sky. On these occasions we’ve sometimes projected right onto the wonky brick wall of the neighboring building (don’t recommend) and have sometimes tacked up a wrinkly white sheet (moderately recommend). More recently I spent five entire minutes elevating the set up to one that actually works and is easily stored and our outdoor movie nights have become truly delightful (highly recommend).
If you’re curious about the ins and outs of our set-up, including specifics about the projector we use, there’s a longer notes-included version on my Substack newsletter, TEA NOTES. This week, the notes version is free for everyone, but eventually I’m going to start offering these longer pieces to paid subscribers. I’ll still publish some full length pieces here, and particulars might shift as I test the waters and get the hang of things, but I’m hopeful this is a change that will ultimately allow me to spend more time with all of you!
Head to TEA NOTES to read the full piece.
PS. If you’re someone with a current subscription to my blog that you’d like to transfer to the new substack model, send a note to erin (at) readingmytealeaves.com and I’ll help get that sorted! Huge thanks to everyone ever who has supported and championed this corner of the internet!