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I walk the same streets. Why don't I notice these things?
December 26, 2008 4:30 PM   Subscribe

I work as a film location scout in New York City. My day is basically spent combing the streets for interesting and unique locations for feature films. In my travels, I often stumble across some pretty incredible sights, most of which are ignored every day by thousands of New Yorkers in too much of a rush to pay attention. As it happens, it's my job to pay attention, and I've started this blog to keep a record of what I see.
posted by grumblebee (44 comments total) 128 users marked this as a favorite

 
That whole thing is so unexpectedly gorgeous.
posted by maudlin at 4:43 PM on December 26, 2008


Cool.
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:57 PM on December 26, 2008


What a great site, thank you.
posted by popechunk at 5:05 PM on December 26, 2008


I really like all the detail and research. The author links to articles about the sites found. Thanks. Site is worth bookmarking.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 5:09 PM on December 26, 2008


nice to see mementos from when new york was interesting.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:09 PM on December 26, 2008


Holy crap! Thank you.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:11 PM on December 26, 2008


I dig it.

I also commend the creator's genius form of self-promotion:

1. I am a location scout
2. While scouting locations, I see many interesting things
3. I share interesting things on my blog
4. People love my blog and see how good I am at finding interesting things
5. As a result, I get more jobs as a location scout
6. Go to 1

Thanks for sharing.
posted by defenestration at 5:12 PM on December 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


So does anyone else play my favorite movie game, Name That Street? The Dark Knight was so great for Chicago.
posted by The Whelk at 5:26 PM on December 26, 2008


Cool blog, thanks for the link.
posted by maxwelton at 5:38 PM on December 26, 2008


Wow, this is terrific. Thank you!
posted by chihiro at 5:42 PM on December 26, 2008


This is so neat - thanks for posting it!
posted by HopperFan at 5:44 PM on December 26, 2008


Beautiful-- thanks.
posted by darth_tedious at 5:48 PM on December 26, 2008


Inspired by or taken from the blog:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/32277674@N08/3042114094/

There is an identical Spock with Marilyn hair on Fairfax near Beverly in LA

------------------

http://www.interestingideas.com/roadside/names/HardwareAndPain72.jpg

I'm not sure how old this photo I found online is, but back in 1985 when I lived in Brooklyn off the F line at Ft Hamilton Pkwy, the stop before it, 15th st, if I recall, was near this hardware store.

I assume this is a fairly recent photo, but the sign said 'Hardware & Pain' even back in '85

------------------

http://www.flickr.com/photos/32277674@N08/3042115218/

See those yellow things at the base of the firehouse archway? I know they were installed to deflect carriage wheels back on course, and their presence whenever you see them is evidence that a horse used a doorway.

Does anyone happen to know their name?
posted by jfrancis at 5:49 PM on December 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ah dear grumblebee, thanks for this wonderful gift of a post. I've been luxuriating in joy reading the pages, leaning forward, right up close to the monitor, getting in all the details of each photograph, avidly reading the captions and stories. This is the kind of site that makes me feel really good to be alive. The author, NYC Scout, so obviously enjoys the architecture, history, all the surprises. His intelligent appreciation is delightfully contagious and I feel charged with exhilaration and vitality. *sigh of bliss
posted by nickyskye at 6:28 PM on December 26, 2008


Ended up reading his entire blog (which isn't that much yet, unfortunately). Awesome. Thanks for posting this!
posted by suedehead at 7:07 PM on December 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is, in fact, great.
posted by Songdog at 7:20 PM on December 26, 2008


Very nice - thanks for posting this!
posted by Quietgal at 7:32 PM on December 26, 2008


What a great eye this guy has! And you are awesome for posting this - yay!!!
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 7:32 PM on December 26, 2008


just fantastic... utterly fantastic.
posted by inthe80s at 7:40 PM on December 26, 2008


I wish I could credit someone for helping my find this. I did find it via a Metafilter link, which lead to a link-to-link random walk. And now I can't remember where the journey started.

But thanks -- whoever you are!
posted by grumblebee at 7:42 PM on December 26, 2008


The Navy Yard bar was open in 1963 when I got drunk in there a few times. Thanks for the memories.
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 7:56 PM on December 26, 2008


That is a great use of the blog format. Little snippets of cool stuff every few days.

Not to change the subject, but am I the only one irritated by the way Hollywood studios set every television program in Los Angeles? Other cities do exist, guys, and unlike Hollywood have histories longer than half a century. I can't decide if scriptwriters and producers are full of themselves or just lazy.

I don't mind British programs set in London, because that's in interesting city with a long and important history.
posted by sdodd at 8:02 PM on December 26, 2008


Oooh, I have a friend who's an architect in NYC. He'll love this if he hasn't seen it. Great site.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:06 PM on December 26, 2008


Fresh. Arcane but not sniveling or snarky or kitsch. Good one.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 8:07 PM on December 26, 2008


This makes me want to go walk around and take fresh look at my city. Excellent post.
posted by MrVisible at 8:09 PM on December 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you enjoy this blog, you might like http://www.nyctaxiphoto.com/also.
posted by blaneyphoto at 8:13 PM on December 26, 2008


Wow. Thank you.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:35 PM on December 26, 2008


[Psst...] Ann Arbor, MI could really use a scout like this kid... [/Psst...]

Awesome gallery, thanks for the link!!!
posted by JoeXIII007 at 8:48 PM on December 26, 2008


Other cities do exist, guys, and unlike Hollywood have histories longer than half a century.

Los Angeles was founded in 1781.
posted by euphorb at 9:54 PM on December 26, 2008


I always forget how dense cities are until I see something like this. There's just so much history there, so many little forgotten things that someone spent years creating. If you take a walk in the middle of the night when no-one's around you can feel the weight of it pressing you down.

Nice find, thanks.
posted by seagull.apollo at 11:54 PM on December 26, 2008


> Los Angeles was founded in 1781.

Absolutely. But the first studios in Hollywood date to the 1950s. The area's importance is exaggerated on screen in my view.
posted by sdodd at 1:01 AM on December 27, 2008


Los Angeles was founded in 1781.

And you've got one replica of one building from that time. Saddest of all places.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:11 AM on December 27, 2008



I can't decide if scriptwriters and producers are full of themselves or just lazy.


Mostly it's money. Costs a lot to take a TV show on the road, as opposed to shooting in the company town. Dexter, for instance, shoots material in Miami every season, but the vast bulk of the show is shot on locations and stages in Los Angeles for cost savings.

You'll notice trends in locations if you pay attention. During the 1990s, Canada was Hollywood North because the government's tax incentives made it very economical to shoot up there. In recent years, New York City and New York state have both gotten much better at offering economic incentives to producers, and the result is you're seeing more location shooting in New York -- especially among television shows, several of which (Ugly Betty comes immediately to mind) have moved there recently.

Then again, green-screen and "virtual set" technology has gotten better, to the point where lots of shows do their location work using VFX.
posted by Joey Bagels at 6:53 AM on December 27, 2008


I've been lurking here for years, but after looking at the scoutingny blog, I wanted to thank you for this post so much that I ponied up my $5 and joined up! Thanks so much...
posted by drmanhattan at 9:09 AM on December 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is lots of fun! And I get a pleasant little burst of smugness on the rare occasions when The Scout notices something I knew about already.

It's interesting that he was able to find documentation on the web about a lot of his finds. Not to take anything away from his scouting; it's just that NYC has a lot of people interested in the same stuff he is.
posted by moonmilk at 9:50 AM on December 27, 2008


His blog is totally authentic. He is all about finding the details. Then he shows you what you missed.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:00 AM on December 27, 2008


This is totally cool!!! I'm a huge New York fan and there are definitely some treasures here. My dad would have loved this to death!

(That said, I see these things all the time - I'm always looking for them. I mean, that's why I came here! The best ones are things that I see once and can never find again - the panther in Central Park - that strange garden I saw in Greenpoint once in a mist and didn't see again for ten years (it's McGolrick).)

(Now I'm taking a train into the Bronx!)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:39 AM on December 27, 2008


Fantastic blog! Are there any others like it for other great cities? For London, I can think of http://londondailyphoto.blogspot.com/ as something that comes close, if anyone's interested.
posted by five_dollars at 10:50 AM on December 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


His blog is totally authentic. He is all about finding the details. Then he shows you what you missed.

Except that he was fooled by the fake window at Milk & Honey! So much so that he calls it "most definitely not nostalgic/ironic" when it's really the most ironic pseudo-nostalgic thing in town... Great photoblog anyway though.
posted by nicwolff at 12:02 PM on December 27, 2008


Interesting. He discovered an old art moderne Sears building deep in Brooklyn (actually not too far from where I now live -- I may need to go check it out).

It looks almost identical to a Sears building in Miami, dating from 1929 and now gone except for its iconic tower (which thankfully was preserved and incorporated into a new downtown performing arts center).
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 12:43 PM on December 27, 2008


There's another Sears building just like that one in Hackensack.
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:58 PM on December 27, 2008


Very nice work. The art work on that steel clock is gorgeous. And these are the things one does not notice. I am in New York and I will go and check this out in person. Really cool.
posted by vannjanis at 2:59 PM on December 28, 2008


This is so awesome.
posted by JHarris at 7:47 PM on December 29, 2008


Neat.

It looks like the author doesn't want to reveal his anonymity so I won't either, but it's easy to work out, looking at some of the shots on the site, at least one of the films he's involved with.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 7:00 AM on January 3, 2009


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