From The New York Shitty Inbox: The Blue Bloods Film Shoot Experience

March 26, 2011 by
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

If my inbox— and personal experiences— regarding last night’s into this morning’s film shoot are any indication, the recent occupation of our neighborhood by the Blue Blood’s crew did not go over well. First off, we’ll start with this missive from a Dupont Street resident (as addressed to the Manager of Community Board 1, Gerald “Gerry” Esposito):

…It’s now Saturday about 12:15 a.m. From my fifth floor window, I’m listening to a film crew yell back and forth across the street. I see flood lights peeping through my curtains and I hear the cars speeding around the corner for a chase scene.  I can’t imagine what the folks on the ground floor are experiencing. My daughter-in-law and grandson attempted to go home from Dupont St. at about 12 a.m. They had a long trip and needed to catch their bus. They were prevented from catching their bus by the film crew. At this hour, the bus stops about every 30 minutes or more.  My daughter-in-law gave up and they slept over. My grandson is only a little boy. It’s lucky for the crew that I wasn’t downstairs when they were confronted, because I wouldn’t have taken a confrontation with my grandson present lightly. The entire avenue has been affected by this movie already. I lost count of how many streets are closed off. Allowing film crews to intrude on this neighborhood at late hours is over the top.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve had enough.  There are way too many movies being filmed in the neighborhood. They are taking over massive amounts of space and extending hours until the early morning. What can be done about setting some limits on these film crews?  My first thought would be to organize folks to literally prevent the next crew from working. Any advise or direction you can offer would be greatly appreciated. The people here are truly being taken advantage of.

Meanwhile, over on Oak Street I received this (somewhat) uplifting missive:

Speaking of good PR, I had my car towed today because of a film shoot. There were no signs on the pole near the corner of Oak & Franklin. I called the site producer listed on the sign (NYPD hung up on me) and he bent over backwards to find my car for me. There aren’t tickets or fees when it’s a shoot, they towed me down past Vans & Pop’s. I appreciated that he made the effort & was super nice. I was just about to rant about the rampant filming down here lately.

And there is my personal testimony. Or as I prefer to call it: I wanted beer and got a car chase instead.

To preface:

  1. I understand folks want to film here.
  2. But after last night I have to wonder what, if any, consideration is being made by the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting regarding mass transit and foot traffic when copious parts of my community are being used by film crews at one time. And a very BAD time at that, but I’ll go into that later.
  3. Here’s a list of where Blue Bloods was approved to film. (I have mapped locations which exist in reality):
    a. 50 Moultrie Street at Meserole Avenue
    b. Driving scenes from Clay Street to Meserole Avenue between Franklin Street and McGuiness (sic) Blvd (Manhattan Avenue or they just being given free run of Greenpoint? — Ed. Note)
    c. Manhattan Avenue between Green and Dupont Streets (Now this is beginning to make sense! —Ed. Note)
    d. Driving scenes on Huron Street between West Street and dead end.
  4. And here is the time frame our fair city allotted them to do this fun stuff: 1:00 pm – 5:00 am.
  5. Here’s the deal: north Greenpointers tend to rely on the B43 and B62 bus versus the G train. When this service is removed my fellow citizens have to walk. They cannot walk when there are minders (however polite most of them were) on every corner admonishing you there is a car chase being filmed. Repeatedly.
  6. For simple folk like myself, there are only two 24 hour delis above India Street. So when someone, say, needs eggs, produce, tampons, the occasional condom; and of course beer guess what: we’re fucked! We get to stand around and freeze our asses off while they do whatever they want to do— with police protection. Paid for with our tax dollars, no less.

Without further ado here’s some footage I shot along with commentary. Enjoy!

Green Street at Manhattan Avenue, 9:15 p.m.

Upon Purchasing Beer, I Have To Wait To Cross Manhattan Avenue.

I wait some more.

New York Shitty Analysis/observations:

1. Cordoning off Green Street at Manhattan Avenue is idiotic. Had anyone from our fair Mayor’s Office of Film and whatnot cared to undertake a study of this intersection he (or she) would have known this is a very bad idea: it is the street of choice for Taxis, livery cabs and who not/what not to access McGuinness Boulevard, the Pulaski Bridge and, after the lattermost; the Queens Midtown Tunnel. Anyone with a basic grasp of the grid of one way streets here would comprehend this. It is not rocket science. It should also be noted the aforementioned vehicular traffic is especially heavy on (surprise!) Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights!

2. The “minders”/Police shouting at residents like drill sergeants is a nice touch.

Shortly thereafter I was allowed to cross the street. Instead of merely going home I decided to stick around. I did not open my precious beer for fear I would be ticketed by the police. That’s when I learned…

I am not the only person inconvenienced for merely living here and purchasing beer!

New York Shitty Analysis/observations:

1. These folks were using the bike lanes— as they should.
2. Any man who can carry what appears to be a 18-24 pack of Budweiser while steering a bike successfully is pretty amazing.
3. When yelled at by the local constabulary, they walked with their bikes on the sidewalk. (I like to give credit to considerate bike people when the opportunity arises.)

And they do it again.


  1. Who does Greenpoint belong to? The people who live here or anyone with enough clout/money who elects to film here?
  2. Given the preponderance of filming facilities here I see this kind of thing getting worse, not better.
  3. If what came to pass last night bothers you, fellow north ‘Pointers, please share your feelings with Ms. Karen Oliver, the Commissioner of Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting.

Our fair city has for all intents and purposes failed to deliver on any and all promises made regarding affordable housing and park space here. Yet, we get saddled with film shoots like what happened last night. Am I the only person who sees something wrong with this relationship?

UPDATE, July 31, 2011: It has come to my attention that this tome has come to the attention a Tumblr page dedicated to this television show. They called it a “NYC negative filming rant” but noted that “the videos are worth watching” because “they are from the scene where Jamie’s brakes get cut”. Obviously these folks do not “get it”— or simply do not care. I’m guessing a little bit of both.

Although this will undoubtedly be an exercise in futility I will say it again: filming a car chase at 10:00 p.m. on a Friday night along a busy thoroughfare (and in so doing obstructing vehicular traffic— including bus service) poses (posed) a serious quality of life issue for the people who reside in and around where this film shoot came to pass. Not only was there traffic congestion and noise from the film shoot itself to consider but also citizens essentially being held captive in their own community. E.g.; being forced to wait at the behest of “minders”— in weather that I will add was quite cold— while this car chase was filmed. Stuff such as this does not ingratiate one’s organization to the community. In fact, a great number of my neighbors have grown quite tired of the issues film shoots have posed in our community. If Bloodbloods actually gave something back in exchange for the inconveniences posed by this shoot perhaps we would feel differently. But this is not the case. The fact they find some sense of pride in the video footage a I have posted (and in so doing write about a character from said show like he is an actual person) bears testament to their sense of entitlement, narcissism and complete and total disconnect with the community(ies?) in which they film.

In this respect I have to applaud Jeff Brown of MTV’s “I Just Want My Pants Back”: he took the time to not only scout locations in Greenpoint thoroughly but also met with members of the community in the interest mitigating the impact his film shoots would have on the community. Thus far this partnership (yes, he has elected to work with my community instead of treating them with indifference or utter contempt) has in fact been successful! I am hopeful that perhaps Bluebloods will follow suit— but I am not holding my breath.

Miss Heather


3 Comments on From The New York Shitty Inbox: The Blue Bloods Film Shoot Experience

  1. lauren on Sat, 26th Mar 2011 10:14 am
  2. To add insult to injury, my stoop is covered with coffee cups and other trash from where the film crew hung out last night. If you’re going to keep us all up all night/morning due to the racket of your oh-so-very important production, at least do the neighborhood the basic courtesy of cleaning up after yourselves.

  3. KAA on Sat, 26th Mar 2011 10:29 am
  4. Earlier in the evening one half of Greenpoint Avenue from Manhattan to Franklin as well as Milton Street and others were closed to parking because crews were filming ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’

    I would estimate a minimum of 150 parking spaces were taken up.

    Residents can’t park and the local shop keepers don’t profit as the production companies bring in their own food / craft services

    Can’t wait until Summer when multiple crews film at the Brooklyn Night Bazar !!!

  5. jh on Sat, 26th Mar 2011 4:38 pm
  6. In my experience, TV productions tend to be more accommodating and understanding of residential needs than film crews (probably because films are more of a one-time event as opposed to the ongoing location needs of TV series). Back in the day when Third Watch used my building for a scene, they paid me a months rent to have my apartment available for actors to use the bathroom (it was used only once!).

    Keep in mind that the PAs are basically sacrificed by producers to be killed by the residents. They aren’t actually allowed to touch anyone, but only permitted to ask. There’s nothing they can do if the resident chooses to walk around them. Just use your judgment; if you just found out your mother was dying and had to rush home to pack your suitcase, or you were in danger of soiling your pants from that sketchy brunch, would you realistically wait for the shot to be completed?

    One can argue that filming on the streets is good for the city’s economy and acts as a time capsule for future generations. This is definitely a fact, but why must certain neighborhoods constantly sacrifice their streets for the good of the city without any immediate benefits to the residents who are kind enough to allow the invasion?

    Crews MUST adhere to a set of standards in working with residents. If not, residents should strut up to a craft services truck or table (as if they were working) and help themselves to some treats. Apartments within the shot can slightly inconvenience the director and editors by placing large bright objects in their window at different times, or generating noise during takes.

    Also, they were using a shitload of extras for the (super creepy) “9-11 memorial” scene. Why can’t these producers help the neighborhood economy by offering extras spots to residents first? Perhaps there were posters casting for this already and I simply missed them?

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