To The Editor:
In the 17-23 Dec. edition of the Spirit, NY City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal denounces the imposition of film shoots on the lifestyle of Upper West Side residents, naming our building 194 Riverside Drive as the chief culprit.
I believe, that in this volatile day and age, it is irresponsible for an elected official to single out a building in a negative light and provide its address to the public. It would have been just as effective to write “one particular building on the UWS.”
For the record, we have had eight (8) film shoots between Sept. 1 and Dec 20 in our building, not 11, as Ms. Rosenthal states. There are three or four other buildings in our immediate area that host film /TV shoots. Do the “no-parking” zones of film productions cause inconvenience—yes, but let’s be clear, a film “shoot” is one day, and parking is typically held for no more than 20 hours. Moreover, we always ask the production companies to release their parking immediately if it is unneeded and as soon as possible (and they do so). We are neighborhood-minded and also ask the production companies to donate to the Riverside Park Conservancy and several have done so, as do we. Additionally, the production companies that film scenes in the park, connected to those filmed in our building, donate $4,000 each time to the Conservancy.
Parking on NYC streets is not a right; it is a privilege. The weight of out-of-state plates on UWS streets is around 20%, something these same concerned residents might focus on. As for noise, we had only one (1) shoot that went past 7 p.m. Noise from garbage trucks, Con Ed construction, street paving, façade repair and 100 other daily things is annoying but it is also a fact of life in NYC, one of the largest cities in the world and a center of the film industry. Hundreds of people are employed on each production over many months and many local businesses are positively compensated for their services.
Ms. Rosenthal, I understand very well that you must heed the concerns of your constituents, but please get all of the facts correct, and bring fair balance to an analysis of the situation. Thank you.
President, Board of Directors
194 Riverside Drive Owners Corp.