Greenpoint, October, 2015

Monday, November 21, 2011


Woody Allen tells a great story in the American Masters program about him now airing on PBS. He describes what a pain in the ass it was to get that now iconic shot in Manhattan of him and Diane Keaton looking out at the 59th St. Bridge in the early morning hours. Not only did he have to get up at 3 A.M. to get the shot at dawn, but they had to bring their own bench.

Gordon Willis' cinematography and the Gershwin soundtrack make New York City look so great, it's easy to forget that this was 1979. Smack in between "Ford to City: Drop Dead" (bankruptcy) and Bernie Goetz (subway shooting). It was also the first time I came to the City, for a conference for high school newspaper editors. As I recall, we spent more time in the Blarney Stone around the corner from the hotel than at the conference--thus ended a promising journalism career. There was a late-night snowball fight in Times Square that had its own cinematic quality.

Palo Alto East
If Stanford wins the competition for a new high-tech campus, Woody and Diane's view will be profoundly altered by high-rise construction on the southern end of Roosevelt Island. Who would have imagined that in 1979, or that the bridge would be renamed after Ed Koch, or that you could drive one end of the BQE to the other without encountering one burned out car?

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