Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Creepy Greenpoint Fire

Well, that was creepy as hell. Today I watched from the Williamsburg Bridge a giant warehouse space that I have worked on and off for many years, burn to the ground. In fact I was just in that space last week working on openings for a television show.
Photo by Robert Stolanik-NY Times

Photo by Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

The former rope factory know to us in the world of film and tv production as the Greenpoint terminal was apparently one of the worst fires since 911 and involved more than 350 firefighters to contain the blaze. This has been a popular location for movie shoots because of its delapitated warehouse look which complements the many cop shows and music videos that are constantly shoot in NYC that need that sort of thing. There was also a wood furniture shop, a lumber yard and indoor skateboard bowl private club sponsered by Tylenol the pain medicine and Autum Skateshop. Often you could see skateboarders walking into this maze of giant abandon space and one day I found out about this
skate park
It was a beautiful design and a nice secret spot to rip it up. Sorry guys.

Working in this space was often a real bitch because they would never put any work into it and you always felt a little danger in being there. One time while I was working on Third Watch for NBC and assigned to hang out by some lights in the upper rafters in case they needed adjusting. I saw this large creature coming down the steps and was shocked to see it was a scraggly Racoon. This beast looked like it was on its last legs. It paid no attention to me and went into this little room to sleep. I got on my walkie talkie and told the crew they were never going to believe this.

Ah good times. Walking into nasty rooms with sharp rusted nails portruding out of wood planks, always wondering what would happen in case of a fire and how fast that place would we know.

We always knew that space would be turned into Condos, but then again I was wondering when it would just slip into the East River.
A few pictures from last weeks shoot...tough shoes to fill.

Oh yeah, and we used to ride our bikes up there...


Anonymous moocow said...

Mike, I went by last night to check out the damage-I have a love for that building for no other reason than it was a link to a past when buildings were beautifully built out necessity, out of form. The beams that supported upper floors were often 2 foot by 2 foot. All day I was rather devastated, knowing and not seeing the fire. I had no access to tv to see what was happening there. While there last night, it looked like the northern building, where I worked 7 or 8 jobs, a couple of times with you, seemed untouched. Untouched even though it seemed to always be on the verge of collapse or fire. It saddens me that most of that row of buildings was destroyed. Thexactly, it did seem like a deathtrap but the keystoned windows, and massive pillars of wood which no longer exist to build with, are gone forever. I hope what is left avoids the wrecking ball.

9:52 AM  

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