Volume 19 • Issue 5 | June 16 - 22, 2006

Notebook

Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert

Disney has painted a castle while retaining Tribeca’s “grit” at the corner where “Zoolander” and “It Could Happen to You” was also filmed.

Hollywood returns to Tribeca’s ‘Enchanted’ corner

By Wickham Boyle

Once again the corner of N. Moore St. and W. Broadway, a tiny lot, usually used as overflow for parked cars, has been transformed into a movie set. There must be some sort of magic whammy at the confluence of these streets because time after time Hollywood transforms this plot of land.

Nick Cage’s film, “It Could Happen to You,” which was called “Cop Gives Waitress Million Dollar Tip” when it was shot in Tribeca, constructed a genuine throwback diner on this very site. “Zoolander” erected a set on the parking lot and of course the classic “Ghostbusters” was shot at Ladder Eight fire station and the lot was used as a staging area for foam and vehicles.

Now if you walk, skate or bike by, you will see an enormous billboard with glimmering pink spangles that announces an enchanted casino. I was drawn to write this after overhearing a conversation between two residents. “Wow if this is real and there is going to be a casino here, I mean after Mr. Chows, and it’s not a movie prop; there’s going to be a revolution in Tribeca.” No one would love to see a revolution in Tribeca more than your humble scribe but, I’ve lived through enough movies, TV shoots and fashion moments, to intuit that we were not in for a casino, but rather another blockbuster.

I went over to the site and proceeded to introduce myself to the workers in hopes of getting the real story. After carpenters, truckers and set designers all demurred, saying they were forbidden to talk about the project, one finally referred me to someone who would divulge. Five phone calls later I finally connected to Peter Silberman, the publicist, for what I now knew was a Disney movie currently called “Enchanted.” Silberman wanted to carefully check out the Downtown Express before he spoke to me and after perusing our Web site he sent me the world’s shortest press release. Enchanted is part Disney fairy tale, part live action romantic comedy. Want to know more? Okay, it’s directed by Kevin Lima, who recently did all the “Eloise” movies and “102 Dalmatians.” It stars Patrick Dempsey, who plays Doctor Mc Dreamy of TV’s “Gray’s Anatomy” fame. Dempsey’s character is a high powered New York City lawyer who meets and falls for a princess named Giselle who has been banished from her “magical, musical, animated land and dropped into the gritty reality of N.Y.C.”

Okay, I had to call publicist Peter Silbermann back at Steiner Studio in Brooklyn. “So is Tribeca going to be the castle, the magical kingdom?”

“Oh no, that is the gritty reality site.”

Wow, it must be a fairy tale when Tribeca, now rated by Forbes magazine as the richest zip code in Manhattan, is a set for gritty urban reality. Only Disney could transform Tribeca into grit. Wait doesn’t grit exist without creating it?

For those who might want to catch a glimpse of “Dr. McDreamy” Dempsey, or native New Yorker Susan Sarandon, who plays the wicked witch who banishes poor Giselle, Amy Adams, Academy Award nominee for best supporting actress in “June Bug,” the big shoot on site is currently scheduled for June 21 - 23 at night.

The press release asks, “Can a storybook view of romance survive in the real world?” Come watch and see, because by the end of June the site will be transformed back into a parking lot through the real magic of Hollywood.


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