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June 10, 2012 By Steven Greer
Ben Stiller is the star of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” being filmed in New York City right now (by Twentieth Century Fox). Water Street has been completely shut down during daylight hours, on Saturday and Sunday, for the last three weekends, as the production team captures just a few action scenes.
BatteryPark.TV literally stumbled into the filming as we entered Water Street from Pine Street. It was like the Twilight Zone, with all the cars stopped and total silence. Only when Ben Stiller was 30 feet away did we realize that it was a movie set.
After some shopping and dining in the Seaport area, upon returning back to Battery Park, we inquired as to why the entire Water Street was closed for nearly a mile. We learned that it had been shut down for three weekends in a row as well. A production assistant explained that rain over the last several weeks had caused the delays.
Numerous retail and hospitality businesses have felt the impact. A manager of the Andaz Hotel on 75 Water said, “It’s been a pain in the ass. Our guests have to enter through the back entrance (on Pearl Street)”. But the city coffers benefited from the filming fees.
Meanwhile, the crew of the set seem not only unapologetic, but like they own the city. Pedestrians are “given permission” by one crew member to walk, only to be yelled at a block later by a different crew member.