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“Blue Bloods” production crew back into tree, sparking neighborhood anger

The tree

The damaged tree on 43rd Street (Photo: George Burles)

March 14, By Christian Murray

The production company that is filming Blue Bloods came under fire in Woodside yesterday after one of its vehicles backed into a tree.

The truck hit a tree located on 43rd Street (by 48th Avenue) at about 2 pm, causing a large branch to snap off.  One woman who was walking along 43rd street at the time, after doing her grocery shopping, said the branch could have caused a several injury had it hit someone.

The incident, which was discussed at the United 40s Civic Association meeting in Woodside last night, led to a flurry of complaints about production companies.

Many said that the TV/movie industry takes advantage of the neighborhood—by taking valuable parking spaces, damaging property and leaving garbage behind. Incidents, such as the tree, indicated a total disregard for the area, one man said after the meeting.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who was at the meeting, said that his office had already heard the complaint about the tree and he was reaching out to the production company.

He said that he will make sure that the company covers the cost of the damaged tree by making a payment to the Parks Department.

Van Bramer said that most production companies have a “restitution fund” where they will compensate a neighborhood if it is inconvenienced in a major way or if damage is done.

He said that people should call his office when incidents occur.

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43 Responses »

  1. get a life…I see a torn branch, not a down tree.

  2. The honorable thing for them to do would be to plant one or several replacements nearby in the neighborhood.

  3. Send a payment to the Park Department? Good grief….

  4. These production crews are blocking off the parking spots well over a full day day before the first truck or trailer even shows up and well before the time stated on the notices posted on the street. They are really taking advantage of us and have zero respect for the people who live here.

    Look at the size of that truck. It’s not meant to be parked on a residential street.

  5. if the tree belonged to a union, then theyre really in trouble….

  6. Didn’t the city recently just give the Kaufman Studio in Astoria an entire city street that is now gated off and closed to the public, so they could film outdoor scenes?

    How much, if anything, did they pay for that?

  7. These folks film around here often and they’re generally unobtrusive and respectful. I’ve never seen anyone leave a mess, and if there’s truly any anger, it from a very small segment of the population. My sister-in-law loves this show, and I’m glad they like Sunnyside!

  8. I dont believe the hype that these crews help the economies of the neighborhoods that they film in. They come with pre-loaded food trucks (bearing out of state plates) and everything else they need. Where is their $ being spent in Sunnyside? We dont need the ‘advertising’ the show provides us. We get nothing accept block after block of unusable parking spaces, many more than they could ever need.

    2 summers ago, a production crew took out 2 newly planted trees with their trucks on the west side of 43rd st btw Skillman and 43rd Ave. I called the production company, city, nothing was done.

    With regard to parking, here is a simple solution. These prod co’s should pay the city X amount to cover the expenses of people having to park (and pay) under the 7 train, making it free. Seems like a fair trade.

    We are lucky we have the parking under the train, imagine other areas that dont have that conveniece, where the hell do they park?

    PS

  9. They also have a nasty habit of blocking fire hydrants with their trucks, trailers and personal vehicles. They’re not just inconveniencing us, they are putting our lives and property in danger. SuperWitty, that’s not my idea of “generally unobtrusive.”

    God forbid there is a fire or some other emergency, such as the tragic gas explosion in East Harlem the other day, and firefighters need immediate access to the hydrants.

    Those generator trucks with all the cables hooked up to it and those gigantic wardrobe and dressing room trailers take a lot of time to pack up and move. The parking permits the studios are granted does NOT include parking in front of fire hydrants.

  10. Just eat their food (Caterer’s). I do it all the time. They’re in OUR neighborhood.

  11. @pathetic sheep: the studios pay fees to film on private property in the neighborhood. They shot one scene in my building a couple of months ago. The shooting lasted a total of about 18 hours (counting set up, filming, and clean up), and we were paid a $7,000 fee. I’d say that’s pretty generous.

  12. A few weeks ago they were shooting The Good Wife on my street. Signs went up saying not to park after 12PM on Thursday or get towed. The day before on Wednesday morning, workers were already blocking parking spots with cones. I don’t take shit from anybody, so I moved their cones out of the way and parked my car. What do you know, two thugs from the company came out and tried to intimidate me into moving my car. I pointed to the sign, then the dash cams in my car (one in front, one in back) and told them to f**k off.

    Long story short– they will get away with as much as you let them. These people are scum, take your neighborhood back from them. There is no benefit to the residents at all of having these film shoots here. Furthermore, the city has implemented tax breaks for these companies to incentivize them to come here. They are not shopping here, and no tax dollars are left here so WHY THE HELL are we accommodating them?

  13. Geez…people just complain about everything. How often do they film in this particular area? Every single day, every week, every month?
    I could see if it were a regular occurrence, but it isn’t. I’m sure the production company will make good on the tree, and then maybe they can find a community that will get a kick out of having them film in their neighborhood.

  14. @Mobo, I’ve lost count of how many film shoots there have been just in my immediate area alone in the last year or so. This past summer/fall I’d say it was every 2-3 weeks. There are 3 shows that film regularly in this area: Blue Bloods, Elementary and Person of Interest and one or two others a bit less often. A few years back, Rescue Me was here all the damn time it seemed. So yeah, it is a regular occurrence and the novelty of seeing the neighborhood on TV wore off for many of us a long time ago.

  15. @Mobo: …are you seriously complaining about how people complain?

  16. In fairness to the show, Tom Selleck has always been gentlemanly and respectful towards local residents the times he filmed here.

  17. Hey Ignorance, yes, there was that story last year about one of their trucks blocking a hydrant. That was it. Show me that it’s still happening. I know you’ll find something to complain about. They were around here these past few days and everything went extremely smooth. No hydrants were blockede, and the city earned revenue.

    Too bad for the minority of Sunnyside residents who have a car; most of us DO NOT. Yet so much of our city is given over to the personal automobile. But it’s not enough, apparently.

  18. I’ve seen the craft food folks buying eggs and bagels and veggies at Met Food on an early morning. Just sayin. Some shopping gets done

  19. I work by the Met Life/Jet Blue building in LIC. “The Good Wife” shoots there LITERALLY every week. I’ve watched the show. They don’t even film outdoors. Can’t they do this at Silvercup?!! Film sets/studios are completely self contained and self sufficient. They don’t spend a nickel in these neighborhoods. I hope someone in the community is seeing some money for this.

  20. @Super Witty

    I seem to recall the story had more than one hydrant blocked, and I have personally seen several others blocked since then.

    Are you seriously that star-struck you are willing to compromise people’s safety?

    And guess what. Even non car-owners are at risk when the hydrants are blocked.

    Maybe Donnie Wahlberg will blow you a kiss and make it all worth it.

  21. @Super Witty

    PS. You obviously have a grudge against people with personal automobiles. BUT you seem to have no problem with the film crews parking THEIR personal automobiles here.

    Why the double standard?

    You’re against cars in the city, unless of course, the motorists are in show business apparently.

  22. Isn’t 43rd St & 48th Ave in Sunnyside??

  23. They filmed on 42nd and 43rd ave a few months ago and took up 2 square blocks worth of parking. Where are all these cars supposed to park? What do residents get out of it? NOTHING!

  24. Sunnyside residents are so warm and welcoming as demonstrated by those comments.

    No wonder film crews keep coming back to shoot here.

    The legendary laid-back and open attitude of Sunnysiders.

  25. why don’t the city cancel the streetcleaning rules when the show is being filmed

  26. It’s true, I’m not a big fan of cars. They take up too much room, they’re operated dangerously by too many drivers, some of these things are noisy and/or dirty. All the black soot on the snow that you’ve seen came from all the traffic that surrounds us. Most people around here do not even need a car but we have to sacrifice so much.

    If you are using the roads to be productive (like the workers and their equipment making this show,) that’s good. For many, it’s just a convenience at the expense of others.

  27. good for building and residents, brings lots o cash!
    blue booods has been good for sunnyside and my bldg

  28. If they damaged something then they are responsible to pay for the replacement or repairs. In this case replanting a new tree if the damage to the tree is too severe for it to live and/or remain where it is without being a danger to those walking under it.

    They are obligated to do this under keeping a good reputation with the community for themselves the next time they want to film here. As well as any future production companies who want to film here.

  29. @Super Witty

    I have respected your opinion in the past even when i was in in disagreement with it.

    But you have show your true colors.

    How dare you you accuse of people in the neighborhood who drive cars who aren’t in the TV production business as being non productive.

    Seriously man, go eff yourself.

  30. Trees belong to the man himself, GOD!
    Only GOD can judge the TV dude who can’t drive
    All others, go back to complaining about hipsters and Squirtz

  31. I said before that Tree’s don’t belong in Cities. They always fall on people and property. Get rid of em all.

  32. I’ve worked in the industry for years. All of my coworkers are NYC residents. Many of them live in sunnyside. There’s millions of dollars brought to this economy and tens of thousands of local people that now have jobs and health insurance.

    Despite what you may think about Hollywood and the studio system, i can tell you, other than the main actors and directors, everybody else that works on the shows and movies in nyc lives here, is from here, and they love NYC. Chances are one of your neighbors works in the industry. You going to prevent the man from working because you need a place to park? And just because you don’t see the money in your pocket doesn’t mean the productions aren’t paying hefty fees to the city for the permits. We are. You should ask the city for your cut if you don’t think it’s fair, they’re the bad guy here.

    And our trucks have out of state plates, cause they are rentals. Have you never rented a car before?

    To the point about the one block outdoor space at Kaufman. I shouldn’t even say this but have you ever watched television? How boring would it be if ever show every outdoor scene took place on the same block. You’d have batman and Hannah Montana on the same street. That’s just ignorant. The story dictates where we shoot. We’re telling stories here people.

    Sorry about the branch. That’s messed up.

  33. TO ‘Anonymous’ working in the industry.. Thank you for the intelligent comment. It seems most people feel everyone owes them something… . And without spending too much time on this, i bet they watch TV and enjoy it as much as anyone else. So lets not complain about the occasional inconvenience to create said tv shows. Really, people. Get a hobby.

  34. “And our trucks have out of state plates, cause they are rentals. Have you never rented a car before?”

    Yes, I have. IN NYC. Why are they not rented in the city?

    Vans rented from out of state, food from outside the city.

    These video shoots do nothing to help the communities they are in.
    I have seen trash left behind, fire hydrants blocked, trees damaged (this is not the first time), loud noises/fumes all night as they run their trucks overnight and no one going into any of the local stores.

    Do the right thing and pay for folks to park under the train when filming in our area. It’s simple. Oh, I forgot Hollywood’s mantra ‘Greed is Good’.

    PS

  35. as a college kid I worked for Enterprise RAC. Not every car has out of state plates. Stop attempting to come up with excuses for these production companies.

    I keep reading how these same workers live in our area, w/i NYC. I doubt that is the case. I bet most are from outside the city, as they probably are not paid well enough to afford NYC rents. I’ll believe it when I see it proof, stats.

    Simple solutions: 1. Be respectful of the neighborhoods you work in.
    2. cover the cost (w/ NYCDOT) for free parking under the 7 train during shoot.

    Not everyone can take mass transit to work for lots of different reasons, thus, a car is a necessity.

    I remember someone telling me I couldnt walk down my street because they were filming. I laughed, walked right through. We cant be prisoners in our own apts to some B TV show. Use CGI, green screens like everyone else.

    PS

  36. To Sunniestside

    43St. &48 Ave is Woodside.

  37. Did anyone even stop to see the tree branch was rotten and maybe just maybe the nice truck driver did the residents a favor by removing the unseen threat. That branch could have landed on some poor persons head. PS did anyone see the truck knock down the branch or is everyone just assuming that because there parking was interrupted and they just need a reason to complain ?

  38. 43rd st and 48 ave is woodside as a post office zoning technicality only.

  39. Can’t they just replace it with a fake one? I’m sure they got a warehouse of em, and better looking too

  40. Anonymous is right. I know a few people who work in the film and TV business in NY and they are all hard working locals who have families to support. Some are production coordinators or assistants and others work in supporting industries like a small local food caterer.

    Like many of us freelancers these days if they don’t have a production or show to work on they don’t earn income. When they have a project they earn a living, feed their families, get health insurance, and spend their money in and around NY and pay NY taxes.

    While you may not see the money in your pockets, by supporting the local production shoots we are supporting the local economy by “buying local”. It’s ok to be angry or annoyed about the inconveniences but we should be sure to separate our opinions from economic facts. “The motion picture and television industry is responsible for 91,608 direct jobs and $8.2 billion in wages in New York, including both production and distribution-related jobs. Nearly 49,000 of the jobs are production-related. “*

    The vast majority of the crew are local New Yorkers and if locals are working and earning it’s better for the local economy. That’s simple economics. Today there is more and more production going on in other states like North Carolina, and other countries like Canada.

    *source: http://www.mpaa.org/policy/state-by-state.

  41. As a Sunnyside resident and television production accountant working in Greenpoint I have to 100% agree with Henry’s comment above.

    There are many hard working families in Sunnyside, including my own, that depend upon production able to shoot on location in New York. Without outdoor location shooting most of these shows would move to other states or Canada and we would be out of jobs.

    I realize it is incredibly inconvenient to lose parking and damage to occur, but it is my experience that any damage is quickly fixed by the production and the benefit the city and the borough receives is far more precious than the sporadic inconvenience we might experience.

  42. I have lived in Sunnyside all my life and I welcome the film crews. It makes parking hard, but that’s NY. Also, I have a number of friends who make their living from this industry and I did too, for a while but I couldn’t take the hours. Most of the people who do this for a living work incredibly hard. I know that all the rentals/equipment and employees absolutely contribute to our economy. Usually, the companies affiliated with shows are really honorable and take care of their damages. It wouldn’t surprise me to know that Blue Bloods has already paid the community to replace these trees. It sucks to lose parking and no one wants to wake up to a film crew at their doorstep first thing in the morning but, frankly, construction companies are worse.

  43. I’ve lived in Sunnyside all of my life (65 years), and it makes me feel proud to think that the film and TV industry find it suitable to shoot programs in my neighborhood. They did Spiderman on my rooftop and not too long ago they did that show Unforgettable in front of my building. Say what you may but I personally love the whole idea and I would give anything to catch a glimpse of Tom Selleck in person. I have been a huge fan for over 40 years. Keep the shows coming!!!

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