Oliver Stone enlisted a few Downtowners to help him out with his new flick about 9/11, part of which was filmed in New York. The three-time Academy Award-winning director hired Jennifer Brown, a former Lower Manhattan Development Corporation staffer, as a consultant to navigate the Downtown arena.
Producers met with representatives from the Downtown Alliance and Julie Menin, chairperson of Community Board 1, to discuss filming logistics. Although most of the movie was filmed on set in Los Angeles, portions were filmed at the Port Authority in Midtown and along Canal St.
Generally I find this profiteering on the events of 9/11 a little bit unseemly, sais Menin, adding that a report in the New York Post stating that certain community board members had been hired as consultants was inaccurate. That was something I would have investigated, she said.
Victims family members had their own concerns with content. Stone invited key family members to a luncheon at a Midtown hotel in October. The meeting was such a hit that one family member, Charles Wolf, a Bleecker St. resident whose wife died in the attacks, landed a bit part in the film. They treated me like I was a V.I.P., gushed Wolf, who appears in two scenes in the film, once leaving the Port Authority with a newspaper beneath his arm and a second time as a tourist.
Wolf read the script for the untitled film, but is remaining tight-lipped about the details. All he would reveal to UnderCover is that it is about two Port Authority officers who were trapped in the rubble for several hours before being rescued. His concerns, he said were strictly artistic. My thinking about one point was exactly Oliver Stones thinking. I guess I was in good company.
Women are history?
Some C.B. 1 members have their designs on the Womens Museum and Conference Center, which is slated for a new development in Battery Park City. Theyre digging for details about its size (its about 100,000 square feet), whos running it (Lynne Rollins, a senior advisor to Governor Pataki, and First Lady Libby Pataki is on the board) and whether it can disappear (Too late! The site was designated in 2002, says Leticia Remauro, a B.P.C. Authority spokesperson.)
Why all the fuss? Seems like these C.B. 1 members among them Barry Skolnick and Tom Goodkind who were previously gunning to transform P.S./I.S. 89 into a K-8 school for B.P.C. kidswant to take over the site for a zoned middle school.
Not going to happen, says Remauro. And it wont happen anywhere else in Battery Park City, either. Every piece of the pie is spoken for. Theres nothing else thats there, she told board members at a Dec. 6 meeting.
New York Living
The penthouse at One York Street, a condo project designed by Mexican architect Enrique Norten, will hit the market for a whopping $15 million. Construction hasnt even begun on the 14-story modern glass structure set to rise at the corner of Avenue of the Americas and Canal St., but already buzz is buzzing. One-bedroom condos in the 40-unit building start at about $1 million.
Norten, a member of the World Trade Center memorial jury, faced criticism from some neighborhood residents who recoiled at the idea of a modernist structure spliced into a seven-story, 19th century building.
But for the potential buyers, One York St. is sweet living. The building includes a gym and outdoor swimming pool, private balconies and terraces for most residences, and a penthouse swimming pool.
Friends of the board
UnderCover hears that Community Board 1 chairperson Julie Menin is leaving her post on the Friends of Lower Manhattan Board. She joined the Friends board shortly before she was elected to chair C.B. 1 back when the organization was called Friends of Community Board 1. The two organizations are currently negotiating how to disseminate $500,000 that was raised by Friends on C.B. 1s behalf.