With NBC’s Blacklist filming on Roosevelt Island today, pleasant surprises were everywhere while RIOC stayed out of the way. Here’s what we saw.
By David Stone
Blacklist Filming on Roosevelt Island, Pleasant Surprises
With plenty to pick from, the realism of this Russian City bus, circa 1950s, was most impressive. There were cars too, but they’re familiar props. A very real bus wasn’t nearly as familiar from movies and television.
A close second among pleasant surprises involved this scene. A pair of actors work through a scene in Riverwalk Commons, 100 feet from the subway, but what you don’t see are everyday Roosevelt Islanders going about their business nearby.
The Blacklist filming crew was so adept at getting the job done without inconveniencing daily lives, Red Buses dropped off commuters. Subway goers walked by without interference, like any other day.
The professionalism and courtesy of the production crew stood out.
With equipment at the ready, the crew was mobile and ready, but look closely. A rare sight: three PSD officers on their feet, rarer still in Southtown. As their casual demeanor indicates, they had no role here because Blacklist brought their own security.
Not much else to do, the officers devoted themselves to watching and keeping each other company, traditional activities for the department.
Blacklist filming recruited Granny Annies for staging, wardrobe and more. They shut down for the day, serving a very different clientele.
Moscow on the East River?
You saw the Moscow city bus above, but there was more as the production transformed the Motorgate Atrium.
Irresistible deals for your regular Russian Shopper in the ’50s.
How can you have a Soviet era city without propaganda billboards?
But the same old, same old was not far away…
All was well at the New York State Shelton J. Haynes Parking Area with the boss’s huge gas guzzler safely in place. Roosevelt Islanders were forced to scramble for parking spots with dozens lost to the film crew, but RIOC was secure. The state agency had room to spare.
And not just in the Haynes Parking Area.
With officers busy watching Blacklist filming at a pair of locations, their set aside parking spaces remained empty at the core of the Main Street Canyon.
Much of the lost parking went for equipment trucks stationed near Riverwalk Commons. But the conscientious production crew quickly cleared them back out for regular use by mid-morning.
Aside from the string of traffic cones, parking looked fairly normal along Main Street in front of Manhattan Park. But on closer inspection…
Green identity signs visible in every window.
Conclusion: Blacklist filming smoother than feared…
A credit to the production crew, filming for NBC’s long running show could not have gone more smoothly or with less inconvenience for Roosevelt Islanders.
Sometime next season, viewers across the county and beyond will see a perfect weather day on Roosevelt Island, but the secret is ours.
Few will know it’s Motorgate, not Moscow, and that sunny park is steps away from a busy F Train station on Monday morning.
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