Thursday, August 27, 2009

Seen/Scene in NYC: Plazas Charming Hollywood

Image-Before and After the Transformation, courtesy Streetsblog
Madison Square Park: The NYC Dept. of Transportation (DOT) has in the past several months been transforming areas of Manhattan into urban pedestrian plazas, most notably Times Square and Herald Square. Madison Square Park was actually the first to receive painted green asphalt, sand surfacing as well as the addition of chairs, tables, and greenery to make it a comforting oasis in the middle of traffic-hectic Manhattan. Known as traffic-calming measures, fewer road lanes and "neck downs" help slow down traffic, thus making it safer for pedestrians.
These urban oases have been a great hit with New Yorkers and tourists alike, with the ITDP (which awarded NYC the Sustainable Transport Award), and recently, even with Hollywood. On Tuesday, I walked by the park and noticed that there was a film crew on the plaza! A hot dog stand seemed to be the focus of a large boom camera and at least 2 dozen crew and extras on the site. My initial reaction was that it was a shoot for Law & Order, since I had previously seen them at Astor Place with a similar type of camera. Now why would I call the plazas a success? Without it, this location would not have had a great location to shoot the Flatiron Building directly behind it and house all of the equipment, attractiveness is key...Score 1 for the DOT! Picture below:
[EDITED 9/23/09] Hot dog stand was set for Ugly Betty shoot.
20090825_MadisonSqPark, shot myself

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