The Little Byte Line-Up of Movies
Hoparound Tour
#1

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HOPAROUND TOUR #1
written and conceived by Robert Westfield
filmed and edited by Cayce Crown

The Cathedral in Central Park (Part 1)
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
The Cathedral in Central Park (Part 2)
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
20 Million Visitors...how many crimes?
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
Hot Dog Real Estate
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
Heads Up: The World-Record-Breaking Cat
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
The Largest Manmade Structure in the World
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
The Newest Star of the Skyline
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
Hogging Up the Sky
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
The Park Without Air
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
Hoparound Tour Outtakes
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)

 

 

1—The Cathedral in Central Park (Parts One and Two)

My three main sources for Central Park are The Park and the People, by Roy Rosenzweig and Elizabeth Blackmar, the Barnes and Noble Complete Illustrated Map and Guidebook to Central Park, by Richard J. Berenson and Raymond Carroll (it features the best maps, pictures of the park’s birds and trees, not to mention a calendar of bloom times!!), and Central Park:  An American Masterpiece.  The third one, written by Sara Cedar Miller, the official historian and photographer for the Central Park Conservancy, is one of my favorite all-time books on New York—full of spectacular photographs and fascinating essays.  This was the first place where I came across mention of the Mall as a cathedral, and the book is full of similar surprises, including a number of paragraphs about the angel and the terrace which we didn’t discuss because of time constraints and because we were trying to restrict ourselves to the cathedral.  Go buy this book!!  Your coffee table needs it.

The photographs we used come from my camera and from the camera of my cousin’s wife, Melissa Nelson, who snapped some beauties in the spring of 2005.  The others, in sepia, come from Colin Winterbottom, a brilliant photographer of New York and D.C.  His photograph of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Twin Towers hung above my desk as I wrote Suspension.  Visit his Web site to see more at www.colinwinterbottom.com .

Finally, to elaborate on the artificiality of the park and its brilliant engineering, I’ll post here some of the introduction which we had to cut while editing:

To create the earthwork that is Central Park Hundreds of thousands of trees and shrubs were torn out and hundreds of thousands of trees and shrubs were planted; a billion cubic feet of earth was removed, brought in, and shifted around the park; rock was blasted with more gunpowder than was used at Gettysburg; swamps were drained and lakes and ponds created.  The bodies of water here are artificial, they’re concrete basins filled in part with New York City drinking water, the edges are lined with vegetation on specially engineered slopes.

Olmsted and Vaux, the designers of the park, created a series of landscape paintings for the pedestrian to move through.  So, as you walk, you find your view blocked by trees that suddenly open up on a vista of a lake or a pond and then you turn the corner and you’re on a plaza and then you cross a bridge and you’re in the Ramble—thirty-eight acres of woodland with hills and streams and waterfalls—and then you discover, at the top of a seemingly ancient stone staircase, a castle with a panoramic outlook, and then you descend into a garden and you’re soon crossing a giant meadow and moving over another bridge or through another tunnel into another interactive painting on display between 59th and 110th.

This byte was directed by Tessa Leigh Derfner.  The tourists included Berda Gilmore, Becca Gippin, Janice Goldberg, Nona Lloyd, Chris Martin, Laura Clement, Sky Martin, Lauren Oliva (“Where’s H&M?”), Kevin McGann, and Marc Wolf (the fan of Fitz Greene Halleck).  Appearing as herself and “singing for twenty bucks” in the Naumberg Bandshell:  the inimitable Marta Sanders.

Laura Clement is one of my oldest friends in New York.  We met at college where she starred (that’s right, “starred”) in my first play.  She was a genius but left acting, because actors drove her nuts.  She worked in production at Radio City Music Hall and for the last eight years has worked for the Blue Man Group.

Cayce Crown is the brilliant videographer and editor and my partner in crime in this Little Bytes endeavor.  She owns and operates the Crown View, Inc. where she promises to shoot your family so you don’t have to.  www.thecrownview.com

Tessa Leigh Derfner, mi hermana, is a writer and director in New York City.

Berda Gilmore enjoys reading, waitressing, and scaring up acting work in her spare time.  Anything you need to know about her can be found at http://resumes.actorsaccess.com/berda.

Becca Gippin was shivering the morning we shot in Central Park and drank the hot chocolate that was purchased for me!!!!

Janice Goldberg is a director of new plays in all genres and has worked in various venues uptown and down.  She’s currently working on a new project, Rose Colored Glass, which she co-wrote with Susan Bigelow and will direct this May at Theater 54 in New York.  Please visit www.rosecoloredglass.info.

Nona Lloyd is a director and unofficial real estate broker for my neighborhood.  Most recently, she was the associate director for Broadway’s The Color Purple.

Chris Martin works at VH1 and loves Halloween.  I mean, REALLY loves Halloween.  For pictures of his annual and ever changing display, check out his blog at http://halloweenhotlist.blogspot.com/


Sky Martin is a three-year-old.  Son of Chris Martin and Laura Clement, he enjoys cookies and playing chase.  His knock-knock jokes are absurdist masterpieces that would make Ionesco weep.

Kevin McGann is still recovering from the beating he took that day in Central Park from his failed attempt at purse snatching. He hopes to resume his normal day job soon where he shops for a living from the warmth and safety of his desk.

Lauren Oliva can still be found wandering through Central Park asking people to take her to H&M.  It’s located at Fifth and 51st, but if you run into Lauren, tell her it’s near the Bethesda Fountain.
 
Marta Sanders is a Broadway (original company The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas) and award winning cabaret singer ("Outstanding Female Vocalist" Manhattan Assoc. of Cabarets and Backstage " Bistro" award).  Her most recent recording:  Marta Sanders:  Corazon del Alma.  (Trivia:  Marta Sanders appears in Suspension as an acquaintance of chanteuse/masseuse, Sonia Obolensky.)  www.martasanders.com

Marc Wolf recently performed the world premiere of his new solo-show The Road Home: Re-Membering America at Huntington Theatre and Geva Theatre, directed by David Schweizer.  He received an OBIE and was nominated for the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his brilliant Off-Broadway performance of Another American: Asking and Telling at The New Group, directed by Joe Mantello.  www.marcwolf.com

Cayce Crown, Tessa Leigh Derfner, Janice Goldberg, and Marta Sanders are also all licensed tour guides for the City of New York.

 

220 Million Visitors...how many crimes?

This byte should be self-explanatory.  The link to find crime statistics broken down by police precinct is http://home2.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/crime_prevention/crime_statistics.shtml.  (I updated this link on 2/2/2008, so the statistics of the Central Park Precinct will show results from 2007, not 2006 when this byte was made.  There were two additional crimes in 2007, bringing the total up to 103, and there was a GLA!!!!!  What IS that?)

This byte was directed by Tessa Leigh Derfner.  Nona Lloyd was the purse snatcher who was later kicked to the ground by Becca Gippin and Lauren Oliva; Kevin McGann was the purse snatcher attacked by Janice Goldberg; Marc Wolf was the Central Park Strangler and Berda Gilmore the victim with impeccable literary taste; Chris Martin was the baby snatcher who snatched his own child, Sky, which explains why the child is giggling, and Laura, his wife, played the clueless mother.  Marta Sanders was the flasher and her husband, Gordon, is the one who suggests that a GLA might have something to do with the reunification of Germany.  Gordon also watched everyone’s bags and brought Cayce and me cups of hot chocolate on an extremely cold day.  Come to think of it, I don’t think I was able to drink mine.  I gave it to Becca to hold.  Becca Gippin drank my hot chocolate!!!

Laura Clement is one of my oldest friends in New York.  We met at college where she starred (that’s right, “starred”) in my first play.  She was a genius but left acting, because actors drove her nuts.  She worked in production at Radio City Music Hall and for the last eight years has worked for the Blue Man Group.

Cayce Crown is the brilliant videographer and editor and my partner in crime in this Little Bytes endeavor.  She owns and operates the Crown View, Inc. where she promises to shoot your family so you don’t have to.  www.thecrownview.com

Tessa Leigh Derfner, mi hermana, is a writer and director in New York City.

Berda Gilmore enjoys reading, waitressing, and scaring up acting work in her spare time.  Anything you need to know about her can be found at http://resumes.actorsaccess.com/berda.

Becca Gippin was shivering the morning we shot in Central Park and drank the hot chocolate that was purchased for me!!!!

Janice Goldberg is a director of new plays in all genres and has worked in various venues uptown and down.  She’s currently working on a new project, Rose Colored Glass, which she co-wrote with Susan Bigelow and will direct this May at Theater 54 in New York.  Please visit www.rosecoloredglass.info.

Nona Lloyd is a director and unofficial real estate broker for my neighborhood.  Most recently, she was the associate director for Broadway’s The Color Purple.

Chris Martin works at VH1 and loves Halloween.  I mean, REALLY loves Halloween.  For pictures of his annual and ever changing display, check out his blog at http://halloweenhotlist.blogspot.com/


Sky Martin is a three-year-old.  Son of Chris Martin and Laura Clement, he enjoys cookies and playing chase.  His knock-knock jokes are absurdist masterpieces that would make Ionesco weep.

Kevin McGann is still recovering from the beating he took that day in Central Park from his failed attempt at purse snatching. He hopes to resume his normal day job soon where he shops for a living from the warmth and safety of his desk.

Lauren Oliva can still be found wandering through Central Park asking people to take her to H&M.  It’s located at Fifth and 51st, but if you run into Lauren, tell her it’s near the Bethesda Fountain.
 
Marta Sanders is a Broadway (original company The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas) and award winning cabaret singer ("Outstanding Female Vocalist" Manhattan Assoc. of Cabarets and Backstage " Bistro" award).  Her most recent recording:  Marta Sanders:  Corazon del Alma.  (Trivia:  Marta Sanders appears in Suspension as an acquaintance of chanteuse/masseuse, Sonia Obolensky.)  www.martasanders.com

Marc Wolf recently performed the world premiere of his new solo-show The Road Home: Re-Membering America at Huntington Theatre and Geva Theatre, directed by David Schweizer.  He received an OBIE and was nominated for the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his brilliant Off-Broadway performance of Another American: Asking and Telling at The New Group, directed by Joe Mantello.  www.marcwolf.com

Cayce Crown, Tessa Leigh Derfner, Janice Goldberg, and Marta Sanders are also all licensed tour guides for the City of New York.

 

3Hot Dog Real Estate

(NOTE:  SINCE THIS BYTE WAS POSTED, THE PRICE FOR THE SOUTH CART DROPPED FROM THE ASKING PRICE OF $375,000 TO $249,000.  THIS MIGHT HAVE TO DO WITH THE IMPENDING RENOVATION OF THE STAIRCASE AT THE METROPOLITAN WHICH WILL DRASTICALLY REDUCE CUSTOMERS ON THAT END.  ALSO, SINCE THE POSTING OF THIS BYTE, A THIRD CART HAS POPPED UP, RUN BY A MAN PROTESTING THE CITY'S DENIAL OF PERMITS FOR RETURNING VETERANS.  HE HAS BEEN REPEATEDLY FINED, SHUT DOWN AND THREATENED WITH ARREST, BUT HE KEEPS RETURNING, PAYING NOTHING FOR THE SPOT AND CHARGING LOWER PRICES THAN THE CARTS ON EITHER SIDE OF THE STAIRCASE.  RW--SPRING, 2008)

First of all, right off the bat, the Mercedes Benz showroom designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is located on Park Avenue between 55th and 56th, one block south of the block I mentioned in this segment.  Also, Wright designed the showroom, not the entire building.  This was the last take of the first eight-hour day of shooting and there was no way we were going to reshoot, because I misspoke.  As it was, Cayce had to manipulate the color to make it look like the sun was still in the sky when in reality Doug and I were blue figures on a blue background.  Speaking of the cold, you should realize that our winter in New York had been frighteningly warm for weeks, the temperature plummeting only the day before we began shooting this project.  This might help explain unorthodox pronunications you hear coming out of my frozen jaw (e.g., “uhmagine” is really “imagine”).

 

Advised to keep the segments to three minutes (“five minutes tops”), you can uhmagine our surprise when we saw that this segment was running almost seven minutes.  So we trimmed, and I’m now taking advantage of this section to post the visually extraneous parts of the tour.  The following refers to the giant uncarved blocks that rest atop the four column groups flanking the entryway at the Metropolitan Museum:

 

“One often-asked about bit of trivia:  what’s the deal with the rocks on top of the entryway?  It makes the façade look unfinished.  In the original plans this section was supposed to be built with white marble and include many more statues including four massive groups at the top of the columns.  But the amount of money necessary wasn’t raised and Richard Morris Hunt, the architect, died in 1895.  Limestone was used instead and the blocks on top were left alone until the additional funds were raised.  But it’s 2007, and there are still no ideas about what to sculpt; after a century, the blocks are no longer fit for carving; and finally, most people prefer them the way they are.  They give the impression of some kind of modern art or, to me, the ruins of some ancient civilization—they’re blocks like the Temple of Dendur inside.”

 

Another section we trimmed that may be driving you crazy is what Doug, the passerby, was saying “and this might be a stretch” about Frank Lloyd Wright and Brendan Gill.  In Brendan Gill’s biography of Wright (Many Masks) Gill refers to the Austrian influence in Wright’s work, most obviously in his Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois.  The Austrian influence skipped over New York on its way to Chicago, with one possible exception:  the interior the St. Regis hotel at Fifth and 55th.   “Though the exterior of the building is in a neo-classical Parisian vein, one observes hints of racy, decadent Vienna in the voluptuously oleaginous bases of the marble columns in the lobby.  They appear to be melting, and the effect is a pleasingly erotic one.”  I do love that lobby, though his last adjective is debatable.

 

The claim that more people visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art than the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty can be substantiated by many sources, though the numbers vary from book to book and site to site, but I’m always happier when I think that the Metropolitan Museum is the number one attraction in NY and if that’s a delusion, then it’s one under which I prefer to operate.

 

One small mistake our brilliant passerby made (remember it was cold and we were trying to get through fifteen pages):  Charles Feltman is sometimes credited, with a wheelwright named Donovan, for inventing the hot dog “cart,” not the hot dog stand. 

 

The figures pertaining to the hot dog real estate were culled from two different articles.  The first ran in the NY Times in 1995, and then, just as I was writing this segment and calling the revenue division at the Parks Department for up-to-date prices, an article ran in the NY Post.

 

Peter Flynn directed this byte and Doug Nervik is the brilliant passerby.

Cayce Crown is the brilliant videographer and editor and my partner in crime in this Little Bytes endeavor.  She owns and operates the Crown View, Inc. where she promises to shoot your family so you don’t have to.  www.thecrownview.com

Peter Flynn is one of my most trusted friends and directors.  As an actor, he has appeared on Broadway as the Scarlet Pimpernel and most recently as Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast.  He’s also the author of Lily, a musical adaptation of The House of Mirth.  www.peter-flynn.com

Doug Nervik is an actor, musician, and entertainer in New York City.  He's also a licensed tour guide of New York.

 

 

4Heads Up: The World-Record-Breaking Cat

I have a confession to make.  When I said, “Leo was found in this planter” I was lying.  Judging from pictures I’ve seen, Leo almost certainly fell from a terrace on the other side of the building, possibly landing on the mezzanine level (which would mean he technically only fell forty-five floors).  But we wanted to give you a visual and, as a result, it was Truth that plummeted to its death.

 

Another problem is that friends at my local pet supply store told me about another cat who just fell from a floor higher than 50 and spent no time in the hospital.  She simply bruised her chin.  However, this cat landed on a nine-story building, so Leo might have maintained his record.

 

There are also some of you who might question whether or not Leo holds the WORLD record since there are high rises in other cities in other countries.  Well, I’m using "WORLD record" as Major League Baseball uses "WORLD series." 

 

The point of this segment—and I think we’re all getting sidetracked—is that a cat fell from the 46th floor of a building and survived.

 

That said, whoever owns the world record, should keep the world record:  If you’re a cat owner, please keep your windows closed or screens firmly attached.  In the last decade, I have lost fifty-seven tourists to falling cats.

 

Finally, no cats were injured in the making of this segment.  The cat on top of the woman’s head is obviously a stuffed animal and a stuffed dog at that.  (If it helps you suspend disbelief, you should know that the stuffed dog was named “Kitty” by its three-year-old owner.)

 

This byte was directed by Peter Flynn.  Janice Goldberg is the foul-mouthed woman who chases me off my corner at 43rd and 10th, and Susan Burns is the woman with the cat on her head.

Susan Burns is a comic and a founding member of the Seaside Shakespeare Festival in Nantucket. 

Cayce Crown is the brilliant videographer and editor and my partner in crime in this Little Bytes endeavor.  She owns and operates the Crown View, Inc. where she promises to shoot your family so you don’t have to.  www.thecrownview.com

Peter Flynn is one of my most trusted friends and directors.  As an actor, he has appeared on Broadway as the Scarlet Pimpernel and most recently as Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast.  He’s also the author of Lily, a musical adaptation of The House of Mirth.  www.peter-flynn.com

Janice Goldberg is a director of new plays in all genres and has worked in various venues uptown and down.  She’s currently working on a new project, Rose Colored Glass, which she co-wrote with Susan Bigelow and will direct this May at Theater 54 in New York.  Please visit www.rosecoloredglass.info.

 

5The Largest Manmade Structure in the World

 

Once upon a time, while giving a tour, I started talking about the Fresh Kills landfill and pointed out this building to give people an idea of the landfill’s height.  One woman began taking several photographs of the building and then for clarification, asked, “Staten Island, right?  Great.  Thanks.”

 

Occasionally, when you’re giving a tour or teaching a class, you find there are people who just don’t quite grasp what you think you’re so clearly articulating.  This segment is dedicated to them. 

 

Peter Flynn directed this segment.  Susan Burns is the tourist who just didn’t get it. 

Susan Burns is a comic and a founding member of the Seaside Shakespeare Festival in Nantucket. 

Cayce Crown is the brilliant videographer and editor and my partner in crime in this Little Bytes endeavor.  She owns and operates the Crown View, Inc. where she promises to shoot your family so you don’t have to.  www.thecrownview.com

Peter Flynn is one of my most trusted friends and directors.  As an actor, he has appeared on Broadway as the Scarlet Pimpernel and most recently as Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast.  He’s also the author of Lily, a musical adaptation of The House of Mirth.  www.peter-flynn.com

 

6The Newest Star in the Skyline

 

I can't say enough about this building and strongly recommend visiting the web site of the Hearst Tower for more photos and a virtual tour of the interior, which is one of the great spaces in the city.

Peter Flynn directed this byte.  Emmett Foster was the theater pro who knew all about Joseph Urban and Chris Martin was the local office worker who knew all about Norman Foster.  The photographs from this segment were all taken by me with the exception of the shot from Central Park:  thanks, Becky Brewer!!

Cayce Crown is the brilliant videographer and editor and my partner in crime in this Little Bytes endeavor.  She owns and operates the Crown View, Inc. where she promises to shoot your family so you don’t have to.  www.thecrownview.com

Peter Flynn is one of my most trusted friends and directors.  As an actor, he has appeared on Broadway as the Scarlet Pimpernel and most recently as Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast.  He’s also the author of Lily, a musical adaptation of The House of Mirth.  www.peter-flynn.com

Emmett Foster wrote and performed Emmett:  A One-Mormon Show and So It’s Come to This, one of my favorite one-person plays, which was partially about his eighteen years as the assistant to Joe Papp at the Public Theater. 

Chris Martin works at VH1 and loves Halloween.  I mean, REALLY loves Halloween.  For pictures of his annual and ever changing display, check out his blog at http://halloweenhotlist.blogspot.com/

 

7Hogging Up the Sky

 

My interest in zoning and air space was inspired by Gerard Wolfe and his New York:  A Guide to the Metropolis, Walking Tours of Architecture and History, which was published in 1988.  A more recent work is New York:  15 Walking Tours.

 

The corner where the camera was positioned and where you can stand to trace the evolution of the skyline is Broadway and Cedar, or the southeast corner of the new Liberty Plaza Park.

Because of time constraints, we cut two items I'm posting below:

1--The first black skyscraper we discuss is the Marine Midland Building.  This was built in the mid sixties and is where the corporate villain works in the movie, Klute.  (Thank you, Net Flix.)  There’s a great shot taken from the Chase building opposite that shows the villain standing in the window looking down before the camera tilts to reveal the vertiginous drop.  The building by the way is an early glass and steel office building and was designed by Gordon Bunshaft, who in the early fifties built the beautiful and revolutionary Lever House at Park Avenue between 53rd and 54th.   These two buildings are graceful glass and steel structures. 

2--One Liberty Plaza, the second black skyscraper we discuss, is not.  And what makes it uglier is that it squats on the site where the elegant Singer Building once stood.  Now there are some people who seem to think that the Singer Building was on the southern lot, and why they think this remains a mystery to me.  According to every source and every photograph I’ve come across, the Singer Building was on the block currently occupied by One Liberty Plaza.  In The Curious New Yorker, the collection of q&a’s from the City section in The New York Times, which in turn credits I.N. Phelps Stokes’ The Iconography of Manhattan Island, it’s reported that Temple Street was a street that ran between Cedar and Liberty and between two large blocks of insurance company buildings (not through the Singer Building).  Until 1972, the owners of a Chock Full o’ Nuts (near the site where Joie de Vivre now stands) refused to vacate their premises when everything else around them was demolished, including the eleven stories above them (again not the Singer Building).  They remained until 1980.  "Double Check" was installed in 1982.

 

Tessa Leigh Derfner directed this byte.  Kevin McGann took the pictures.

Tessa Leigh Derfner, mi hermana, is a writer and director in New York City.

Kevin McGann is still recovering from the beating he took that day in Central Park from his failed attempt at purse snatching. He hopes to resume his normal day job soon where he shops for a living from the warmth and safety of his desk.

 

8The Park Without Air

On reopening last June, the park was renamed Zuccotti Park (after John E. Zuccotti, the U.S. Chairman of Brookfield Properties and the Chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York), but I still call it Liberty Plaza Park.  And will probably continue to do so for some time.  What can I tell you?  I like the name.

Speaking of names, what I always refer to as "the globe" is in fact Fritz Koenig's 1971 sculpture Sphere.   For pictures of what the statue looked like before September eleventh and its relocation to Battery Park in March of 2002, click here.

Links:  Click for more works by Mark di Suvero and J. Seward Johnson.

 

Correction:  In this byte, I said that "Double Check" was jolted from his bench, but it seemed to me afterwards that the damage to the statue would have been much more severe.  Articles from that September mentioned workers finding him on the ground some distance away from his bench--here's a photo of him sitting on the ground, leaning backwards with flowers in his lap.  But here is another photograph taken earlier, closer to the time of the collapse, in which he's still sitting on the bench, covered in debris. 

Trivia:  John Jay, one of the authors of The Federalist Papers and the nation's first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court once lived on the corner of Liberty and Cedar, where Joie de Vivre now stands.

 

Tessa Leigh Derfner, racing the sun, directed this byte.  Kevin McGann used my camera to run around taking pictures of the other 9/11 memorials in the area.

Tessa Leigh Derfner, mi hermana, is a writer and director in New York City.

Kevin McGann is still recovering from the beating he took that day in Central Park from his failed attempt at purse snatching. He hopes to resume his normal day job soon where he shops for a living from the warmth and safety of his desk.

 

 

9Hoparound Tour Outtakes

I'm reluctant to post our (i.e., my) mistakes so early, but we need to buy another week before we launch the Wall Street tour, so here you are. 

Some behind-the-scenes notes:  Most of the outtakes took place on the first day of shooting.  We started on the corner of 43rd and 10th (the World-Record-Breaking Cat) and spent at least thirty minutes getting through the first scene.  I kept stopping to point out how difficult it was to give a tour to a camera, an observation shockingly obvious.  I know, I know, this was all my idea, but I was nonetheless intimidated to have a camera staring at me, a giant microphone protruding above the shiny lens while some of my friends wearing headphones consulted a monitor and others held up reflectors, which only attracted passersby who stopped to watch.  After four shoots, I'm happy to say that it's much easier.  On our last day on Wall Street I wasn't fazed at all by a large group of Japanese tourists watching from behind the camera, applauding and taking pictures. 

Another improvement is that I can now look directly into the camera instead of trying to pretend that it's not there.  That took some time.  Note my concern in front of the Met Museum when I try to remind Peter (the day's director) and Cayce that, when the camera is so far away, I get very distracted by all the people milling about.  Their answer:  "It's a great shot.  (So shut up.)"  I didn't know what they were doing and was wondering why in the world the camera would be down the block.  I had forgotten about the concept of zoom.  Nor had I learned that there is no need to yell, when wearing a wireless microphone, even if the camera appears out of earshot. 

Winter--between the shorter hours and the freezing temperatures--is also a difficult season in which to shoot.  This might help to explain the elaborate conversation you hear between Cayce, Peter, and myself about the best way to articulate a VERY simple concept (i.e., they gutted the first six floors and added another forty).  Hunger is another explanation...lunch immediately followed.

 

NEXT MONDAY:  The second tour, A Walk Across Wall Street, will commence.

 

 

©2007 Robert Westfield