The good people of Brooklyn are getting tired of being a movie set. Who wouldn't sympathize?
Almost everybody's neighborhood eventually becomes a backdrop for a movie, a TV show or an episode of "Law and Order," which shoots around the city so much it deserves a separate category all to itself. Very soon we learn that the glamor is minimal and the inconvenience potential is large.
Greenpoint was recently the site for two movies and an HBO pilot, all shooting at the same time. "The thrill is gone," a shopkeeper told the Post. Also, the parking.
My apartment building was once chosen to be the site of a Bill Cosby TV series. This would be the one where he was a coroner. Or a detective. Or a detective-coroner. You may have missed it. It was so bad that even the people whose apartments were chosen to be sets didn't watch long enough to keep track of how their living room was performing.
But the show was a good visitor. Everyone was polite. Cosby himself came out and talked to the kids. He was very approachable - unlike that guy from the "Twilight" vampire series who seemed to spend his entire New York shoot complaining about his teenage fans. Of course, Cosby's admirers wanted an autograph, not a lock of his hair or a lifetime commitment of love, so it was probably easier to cope.
There was one person attached to the Cosby crew who seemed to be the community relations coordinator, and he arranged to have a donation made to our tenants committee. Word got around and we were grateful. Also, a popular neighbor had her apartment chosen for a location shoot, and everyone was happy to hear she'd be getting the extra cash. So we put up with the wires all over the lobby, the bouncer who stopped us from walking down our own street because the director needed to clear the area, the endless calls for quiet on the set, which happened to be our front stoop, and so on.
The other productions should take a lesson. Make a donation to a nearby park or school to create good will. And hire locally. (Greenpoint residents told the New York Post they had been encouraged to sign up for work as extras, but no one was ever called.) The whole point of Brooklyn's popularity is supposed to be the gritty authenticity of the streets. The neighbors can be pretty gritty, too. Jobs are scarce. Have a heart.
On the blog front, Glyn Vincent has again taken up the cause of the five young men wrongly convicted in the rape of the Central Park jogger. Ken Burns has entered the picture, with plans for a documentary on the case.