The Little Byte Line-Up of Movies
A Walk Across
Wall Street
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A WALK ACROSS WALL STREET
written and conceived by Robert Westfield
filmed and edited by Cayce Crown

Manhattan on a Tilt
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
Ugly Buildings and Landfill
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
Slaves and a Haircut
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
Moby Dick and Condos
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
Oysters and Firewood
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
The Citibank Two-Step
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
Tranquilizing a Tourist
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
60 Wall and 60 Wall
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
Wall and Broad
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
New York Stock Exchange, Part One
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
New York Stock Exchange, Part Two
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
An Action-Packed Conclusion, Part One
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
An Action-Packed Conclusion, Part Two
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)
Outtakes from Wall Street
(CLICK FOR CREDITS AND MOVIE NOTES)

 

 

1—Manhattan on a Tilt

Maps are funny things.  In order to represent one aspect of the world as clearly as possible, the map will distort something else and inadvertently give us a skewed impression of reality. 

People who know New York only by its subway map naturally think that Manhattan is more bloated than it is and that Staten Island, the third largest borough, is an insignificant land mass.   Because there are so many subway stations in Manhattan, the MTA map naturally enlarges skinny Manhattan and shrinks the only borough without a subway line.

Tourists, on the other hand, often think Manhattan is shorter than it is, because many of the fold-out maps they buy cut the city off at 110th--no need to venture north of Central Park--omitting over a hundred blocks (not to mention omitting the four other boroughs).

And many New Yorkers think walking uptown is walking due north because so many maps have the rest of New York oriented around a Manhattan that runs vertically from the bottom of the page to the top.   The truth is that Manhattan is tilting 30 degrees to the east.  (The angle of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, for comparision, is only 5.6.)

To better improve your sense of orientation, I recommend the Staples store-finder...click the link and then hit the "view map of all stores located closest to you."  You can also just navigate to mapquest or googleearth, but it was through the Staples store-finder that I discovered two fascinating facts:  Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side is actually east of Cooper Union in the East Village and Prospect Park in Brooklyn (location of my first post-college apartment) is west of Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan (my most recent home).

Another great source for cartography (because there are limits to what the Staples store-finder can offer) is the beautiful coffee table book, Manhattan in Maps by Paul Cohen, in which you can trace the different names for the body of water we now call the East River.  It has been labeled "Part of the Harbor," "the Canal of Long Island," "the Sound River" (because it connects Long Island Sound with New York Harbor), and on maps of the early 1700's, "South River."

The part of the East River that runs (or ebbs and flows) by Lower Manhattan, where most residents lived In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, is running south of the island.  If you're sitting on one of the deck chairs bolted securely into the floors at the end of Pier 17 you're looking south at the East River and not east as is naturally assumed.

And, as I said, if that doesn't have you running into walls, I don't know what will.

Oh, yes, I do:  check out the Upside Down Maps which reject traditional representations that place Europe and the US in the most prominent spots...These place Australia at the top of the world instead of at the bottom, turning the perception of our planet on its head.

Maps are funny things.

This byte was directed by Tessa Leigh Derfner.  The tourists were Sarah Gippin and Marc Wolf.  Kevin McGann was the passerby who ruins our fun trivia game by shouting out the answer.

Cayce Crown is the brilliant videographer and editor and my partner in crime in this Little Bytes endeavor.  She owns and operates the Crown View, Inc. where she promises to shoot your family so you don’t have to.  www.thecrownview.com.

Tessa Leigh Derfner, mi hermana, is a writer and director in New York City.

Sarah Gippin is an event planner for Tavern on the Green and is also my wardrobe consultant.  She picked out everything I'm wearing in the first Hoparound Tour and appears stripping a mannequin in the August 2nd entry of The Twenty-Day Blog.


Kevin McGann has recovered from the beating he took that day in Central Park from his failed attempt at purse snatching. He has resumed his normal day job where he shops for a living from the safety of his desk.

 
Marc Wolf recently performed the world premiere of his new solo-show The Road Home: Re-Membering America at Huntington Theatre and Geva Theatre, directed by David Schweizer.  He received an OBIE and was nominated for the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his brilliant Off-Broadway performance of Another American: Asking and Telling at The New Group, directed by Joe Mantello.  www.marcwolf.com

 

2Ugly Buildings and Landfill

LANDFILL:  I'm fascinated by how the city was constructed and shaped.  Think of the radical transformation of Orchard Beach in the Bronx or of how the rock and earth dug out of Manhattan for the subway tunnels were then used to expand Ellis Island out in the harbor.  Regarding the landfill in Manhattan (14% of the island, 1/3 of the island south of Fourteenth, and 2/3 of the island south of Canal), I read somewhere that to visualize the amount of fill, you need only imagine the land between 59th and 86th from river to river.

So when exactly was Wall extended?  (I was obsessed by this question on December 31st and missed a New Year's Eve Party as a result, so I'm going to include this here in hopes that someone reading this cares as much as I do.)  On the Lyne-Bradford Plan of 1730, you can see Front Street taking form along the river and in maps from 1754 and 1766 you can see that Wall Street has been extended to Water.  The area to create South Street was filled in between 1798 and 1803 when the city improved the docks and built more trading houses.

UGLY BUILDINGS:  Emery Roth designed some beautiful apartment buildings like the San Remo, the Beresford, and the El Dorado on Central Park West.  And Emery Roth and Sons had a hand in the Citicorp Center (1970’s) and 17 State Street (1988), a building popular among visitors to New York Harbor who always ask about it owing to its prominent spot at the tip of Lower Manhattan and its shape and texture, a curved blue glass skyscraper that reflects the sky.

But they also worked in the 1960's down on Wall Street where they built the buildings in this byte, which caused a tourist to run for her life, and they had their hands in the construction of the hideous Pan Am Building (now the Met Life Building) and the eyesore of the General Motors Building on Fifth.  I recently purchased New York 1960, the fourth book in that incomparable architecture series, and I hope to acquire an appreciation of the architecture of that decade or at least an understanding of why they look the way do.  (On one of my tours someone posited the theory that the buildings would have been nicer to look at if the construction crews had spent more time working and less time attacking students protesting the war in Vietnam.  Interesting, but I still think the architects are to blame.)

This byte was directed by Tessa Leigh Derfner.  The tourists included Sarah Gippin (the "runner"), Kevin McGann, and Marc Wolf. 

Cayce Crown is the brilliant videographer and editor and my partner in crime in this Little Bytes endeavor.  She owns and operates the Crown View, Inc. where she promises to shoot your family so you don’t have to.  www.thecrownview.com.

Tessa Leigh Derfner, mi hermana, is a writer and director in New York City.

Sarah Gippin is an event planner for Tavern on the Green and is also my wardrobe consultant.  She picked out everything I'm wearing in the first Hoparound Tour and appears stripping a mannequin in the August 2nd entry of The Twenty-Day Blog.


Kevin McGann has recovered from the beating he took that day in Central Park from his failed attempt at purse snatching. He has resumed his normal day job where he shops for a living from the safety of his desk.

 
Marc Wolf recently performed the world premiere of his new solo-show The Road Home: Re-Membering America at Huntington Theatre and Geva Theatre, directed by David Schweizer.  He received an OBIE and was nominated for the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his brilliant Off-Broadway performance of Another American: Asking and Telling at The New Group, directed by Joe Mantello.  www.marcwolf.com

 

3Slaves and a Haircut

These bytes are self-contained units, but we're beginning to experiment with narrative to see if we can develop a few characters that run through a movie or two.  The contentious tourist was first seen in "The Cathedral in Central Park," challenging the significance of Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns.  In the Wall Street tour, he appears in the first byte, challenging my knowledge of high finance.  In this byte, he becomes more confrontational, which will build to a finale that can only be described as chilling...though we also describe it as action-packed.  The Melville addict makes her debut next week and Marta Sanders, the singer from the park who chased the group around the Bethesda Terrace, returns in Byte 7 with an original composition.  Stay tuned.

For more on the Tontine Coffee House, click here.

This byte was directed by Kevin McGann.  The contentious tourist was played by Marc Wolf and the man running dubious errands for his wife was Travis Stroessenreuther.

Cayce Crown is the brilliant videographer and editor and my partner in crime in this Little Bytes endeavor.  She owns and operates the Crown View, Inc. where she promises to shoot your family so you don’t have to.  www.thecrownview.com.


Kevin McGann has recovered from the beating he took that day in Central Park from his failed attempt at purse snatching. He has resumed his normal day job where he shops for a living from the safety of his desk.

Travis Stroessenreuther spends much of his time spelling his name.  From the state of Wisconsin, Travis is an actor, improv trouper, and comic. 

 
Marc Wolf recently performed the world premiere of his new solo-show The Road Home: Re-Membering America at Huntington Theatre and Geva Theatre, directed by David Schweizer.  He received an OBIE and was nominated for the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his brilliant Off-Broadway performance of Another American: Asking and Telling at The New Group, directed by Joe Mantello.  www.marcwolf.com

 

4Moby Dick and Condos

Here's a little more information on two of the office buildings being converted into residential towers.

The New York Cocoa Exchange is a landmark, a fifteen-story flat-iron between Beaver and Pearl just south of Wall.  It is brick clad and one of the first skyscrapers with polychromatic glazed terra cotta.  It was designed by Clinton and Russell, the famous architects who did the Cities Services Building (60 Wall Tower which comes up in the 8th byte of Wall Street) as well as the beautiful Astor Hotel in Times Square, which was torn down and replaced by 1515 Broadway, the horrifically ugly One Astor Plaza.

The Crest at 63 Wall is another beauty, most famously decorated by coins, which were inspired by the drachma, the oldest coin in circulaion until Greece went Euro.  The building has fine metalwork around the windows and terra cotta roofing.  From 1783-1790, Alexander Hamilton lived and worked at 58 Wall, which was either on the north side of the street or, according to the Crest Web site, on this side, where this building now stands...what is now a BMW dealership.

This byte was directed by Kevin McGann.  The "huge fan of literature" was played by Elizabeth Meadows Rouse. 

Cayce Crown is the brilliant videographer and editor and my partner in crime in this Little Bytes endeavor.  She owns and operates the Crown View, Inc. where she promises to shoot your family so you don’t have to.  www.thecrownview.com.


Kevin McGann has recovered from the beating he took that day in Central Park from his failed attempt at purse snatching. He has resumed his normal day job where he shops for a living from the safety of his desk.

Elizabeth Meadows Rouse has been acting professionally for 20 years. She has worked all over the United States in top regional theaters and television. She was also was one of two American women to be invited to perform during the inaugural season of Shakespeare's Globe in London.

 

5Oysters and Firewood

I owe much of this byte to Mark Kurlansky and his book, The Big Oyster:  History on a Half Shell.  The history deals with the growth of New York and its gradual denial of its maritime identity, a stupefying transition when you consider that three of the five boroughs have beachfront property on the Atlantic and that there was once so much fish in the harbor and local waterways that deep-sea fishing wasn't required until the 1760's.  Liberty and Ellis Island were once called Great Oyster and Little Oyster Islands and nearly half of the world's oyster supply was located here.  And this is not insignificant.   One of the recent initiatives set forth in the mayor's environmental agenda is to reintroduce oyster beds to ferry slips to help remove boat emissions. 

Oysters clean and filter water by moving it through its gills:  "...a few oysters placed in a tank of algae- and phytoplankton-laden green water will make the water clean in only a few hours.  The original oyster population of New York Harbor was capable of filtering all of the water in the harbor in only a matter of days."--Mark Kurlansky

Some more interesting trivia from the book:

Pearl Street was not named Pearl Street because it was paved with oyster shells (this came later).  It was named for a giant midden found here; another was at Shell Point, where modern-day Canal and Bowery meet.

The oldest Atlantic shell midden was discovered in Dobbs Ferry and was carbon dated to approximately 6950 B.C.

New York created North America's first bar association and today there are at least a dozen lawyers who work on Manhattan.

In Roman currency, a denarius was supposed to be the value of one oyster.

The all-night ferries between Brooklyn and Manhattan in the nineteenth century, catering largely to people visiting the all-night markets in Lower Manhattan established the city's reputation as one that doesn't sleep. 

I'll stop at five--five nicely seemingly unrelated fun facts.

Finally, The Big Oyster is also the first book I've come across to articulate the doubt that the wall of Wall Street was built to defend New Amsterdam against the British at the start of the Anglo-Dutch War:  why would a major naval power expect its enemy, another major naval power, to attack its holdings on the tip of an island from the land side?  Other books (and guides) explain the wall as a defense against Indian tribes that were eager for retribution for a recent massacre, but the explanation put forth by the authors of Gotham seems logical as well as chronological.  A war between England and Holland would be the perfect time for New England colonies to move in on their Dutch neighbors, and a land invasion would be easier for them to organize.  Factor in an enemy of Stuyvesant, an exile from New Amsterdam who had fled to Rhode Island to gather troops, and you can almost hear the planks of the wall being nailed into place.

This byte was shot over two days and directed by Kevin McGann and Tessa Derfner.

Cayce Crown is the brilliant videographer and editor and my partner in crime in this Little Bytes endeavor.  She owns and operates the Crown View, Inc. where she promises to shoot your family so you don’t have to.  www.thecrownview.com.

Tessa Leigh Derfner is a writer and director in New York City.

Janice Goldberg is a director of new plays in all genres and has worked in various venues uptown and down.  She just directed a very successful production of Rose Colored Glass, which she co-wrote with Susan Bigelow. 


Kevin McGann has recovered from the beating he took that day in Central Park from his failed attempt at purse snatching. He has resumed his normal day job where he shops for a living from the safety of his desk.

 

6The Citibank Two-Step

Let the record show that I can dance.

"Oh, we think the video speaks for itself."

Oh, do you?  Well, there's a reason I had to do that weird dance. 

"What was that reason?"

Well, I had planned to do a series of moves up and down the length of Hanover Street (think West Side Story), but then we rescripted and realized we wouldn't have the time to shoot that footage, so I had to dance in place for the sake of brevity and to land the flashback joke.

"Why..."

Let me finish!  Also, we had to shoot that entire numbers-filled monologue and move into the dance before too many pedestrians walked into our shot.  It had to be done very quickly.

"Well, why did you keep singing, 'That's right, that's right, that's right...?'"

I don't have to take this. 

This byte was directed by Kevin McGann.  The contentious tourist was played by Marc Wolf.

Cayce Crown is the brilliant videographer and editor and my partner in crime in this Little Bytes endeavor.  She owns and operates the Crown View, Inc. where she promises to shoot your family so you don’t have to.  www.thecrownview.com.

Kevin McGann has recovered from the beating he took that day in Central Park from his failed attempt at purse snatching. He has resumed his normal day job where he shops for a living from the safety of his desk.

Marc Wolf recently performed the world premiere of his new solo-show The Road Home: Re-Membering America at Huntington Theatre and Geva Theatre, directed by David Schweizer.  He received an OBIE and was nominated for the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his brilliant Off-Broadway performance of Another American: Asking and Telling at The New Group, directed by Joe Mantello.  www.marcwolf.com

 

7Tranquilizing a Tourist

I'm sad to disappoint Elizabeth and fellow Herman Melville fans when I report that although the Merchants' Exchange was the main customs house during the time Melville was employed (1866-1886), he didn't work there.  He earned his $4 a day as a deputy inspector at the Gansevoort Street wharf on the Hudson.  But to acquaint yourself with disappointment is to come closer to Melville himself who grappled with it upon every publication.  Moby Dick sold only 3000 copies during his lifetime and he took the customs job (one he described as “a most inglorious one; indeed, worse than driving geese to water") AFTER his writing career.  He started working for the customs service in his late forties and retired in his late sixties.  Imagine:  working a crappy job for twenty years on a wharf named after his mother's well-to-do family.  His health deteriorated and he battled depression.  Near the beginning of Melville's customs service career, he quarreled with one of his sons who shot himself shortly afterwards; near the end of Melville's customs service career,  his other son died of tuberculosis in a hospital in San Francisco.  But he did continue writing, finishing Billy Budd a few months before he died and years before he was recognized as a major American literary figure.  Only one paper--the New York Post--ran an obituary.  A three-line obituary.

This byte was directed by Kevin McGann.  Elizabeth Meadows Rouse played the Melville addict and Marta Sanders appeared as herself singing an original composition.

Cayce Crown is the brilliant videographer and editor and my partner in crime in this Little Bytes endeavor.  She owns and operates the Crown View, Inc. where she promises to shoot your family so you don’t have to.  www.thecrownview.com.

Kevin McGann has recovered from the beating he took that day in Central Park from his failed attempt at purse snatching. He has resumed his normal day job where he shops for a living from the safety of his desk.

Elizabeth Meadows Rouse has been acting professionally for 20 years. She has worked all over the United States in top regional theaters and television. She was also was one of two American women to be invited to perform during the inaugural season of Shakespeare's Globe in London.

Marta Sanders is a Broadway (original company The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas) and award winning cabaret singer ("Outstanding Female Vocalist" Manhattan Assoc. of Cabarets and Backstage " Bistro" award).  Her most recent recording:  Marta Sanders:  Corazon del Alma.  (Trivia:  Marta Sanders appears in Suspension as an acquaintance of chanteuse/masseuse, Sonia Obolensky.)  www.martasanders.com

 

860 Wall and 60 Wall

This is one of the only times on the tour that we leave Wall Street.  You're able to see 60 Wall Tower (or the American International Building or the Cities Service Building) here and there as you walk west on Wall--it is, after all, the tallest building in Lower Manhattan--but to stand right beneath it you have to take a detour to Pearl Street.  We did so via William.

(TRIVIA--Though you might think William Street was named after royalty, it was actually named for William Beekman, a wealthy landowner who lived and owned between 1623 and 1707.  MORE INTERESTING TRIVIA:  The lower part of William Street has been renamed more times than any street in New York.  It's been known as The Glass Makers' Street, The Smith Street, Smith Street, De Smee Street, Smee Street, Suice Street, Berger Joris Street, Burgher's Path, Burger Jorisens Path, Borisens Path, and King Street.  I still call it Burger Jorisens Path.  I like the ring of it.)

Return to Wall via Pearl and look for the small AIG building connected to their Tower via the new bridge.  Here's a funny story we cut from this byte but will include in the notes:  This was built in 1926 as the headquarters for Seamen’s Bank for Savings, chartered in 1829, originally restricted to sailors only.  When the building was dedicated at 76 Wall, some of the longtime customers, old sailors (practically pirates), reminded the board that 7+6=13, not an auspicious marker for a bank for sailors.   Hence the converted address: 

This byte was directed by Elizabeth Meadows Rouse.  Kevin McGann was the intrusive passerby.

Cayce Crown is the brilliant videographer and editor and my partner in crime in this Little Bytes endeavor.  She owns and operates the Crown View, Inc. where she promises to shoot your family so you don’t have to.  www.thecrownview.com.

Kevin McGann has recovered from the beating he took that day in Central Park from his failed attempt at purse snatching. He has resumed his normal day job where he shops for a living from the safety of his desk.

Elizabeth Meadows Rouse has been acting professionally for 20 years. She has worked all over the United States in top regional theaters and television. She was also was one of two American women to be invited to perform during the inaugural season of Shakespeare's Globe in London.

 

9Wall and Broad

Wall and Broad is one of the world's most important intersections--we reserved the next two bytes for the New York Stock Exchange alone--and so we ran out of time and will use this space to provide the leftovers.  But let's make it fun.  Here's a quiz about this famous intersection:

Which movie was filmed at Wall and Broad?

A)  Spiderman 2

B)  The Siege

C)  Ghost

D)  The Bone Collector

E)  All of the above...and more!!

What took place at Federal Hall (I don't mean the one that's there now; I mean the original one, the historic one)?

A)  George Washington was inaugurated the first president of the United States.

B)  The Bill of Rights was drafted.

C)  The Stamp Act Congress met.

D)  John Peter Zenger was acquitted in court in a trial whose outcome has become a benchmark for the freedom of press--you cannot be sued for libel as long as what you've printed is the truth.

E)  All of the above...and more!! 

What took place across Wall from the House of Morgan on September 16, 1920?

A)  Nothing.

B)  A bunch of boring financial crap.

C)  Who cares?  We want to go shopping.

D)  On the street or in the building?  I'm confused by the question.

E)  This was the site of the biggest terror attack in New York before 9/11.  On another beautiful September day, this time the 16th, the year 1920.  A horse-drawn wagon carrying 100 pounds of TNT and 500 pounds of sash weights was parked across the street from the House of Morgan and exploded as people began breaking for lunch.  A car was flipped twenty feet into the air and awnings 12 stories high caught fire.  The windows of the Morgan building were blasted out (or in) and the damage is still visible today.  Indentations from the explosion are in the stone below and beside the second window from the east.   33 people were killed that day and 400 were injured.  Pieces of the horse were found as far away as Trinity Church.  A great article about the incident was written by William Bryk for The New York Press six months before the attacks of September eleventh.

Answers:  E, E, and E


This byte was directed by Kevin McGann.  The contentious tourist was played by Marc Wolf.

Cayce Crown is the brilliant videographer and editor and my partner in crime in this Little Bytes endeavor.  She owns and operates the Crown View, Inc. where she promises to shoot your family so you don’t have to.  www.thecrownview.com.


Kevin McGann has recovered from the beating he took that day in Central Park from his failed attempt at purse snatching. He has resumed his normal day job where he shops for a living from the safety of his desk.


Marc Wolf recently performed the world premiere of his new solo-show The Road Home: Re-Membering America at Huntington Theatre and Geva Theatre, directed by David Schweizer.  He received an OBIE and was nominated for the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his brilliant Off-Broadway performance of Another American: Asking and Telling at The New Group, directed by Joe Mantello.  www.marcwolf.com

 

 

10New York Stock Exchange, Part One

Once upon a time, in the not-so-distant past, the New York Stock Exchange was planning an expansion.  The NYSE had outgrown its home and was establishing trading floors in other buildings.  As more and more trade was conducted by computer, however, the need for human interaction and the space required to host them diminished. And continues to do so. This past winter, while we were shooting, one of the buildings reserved for the Exchange expansion was being renovated for condos. 

The computers are also changing how the NYSE works.  The techniques I’m learning in the training video are already outdated and there has been considerable downsizing in the last few months as well. 

2007 is a year that will go down as a banner one for Duane Reade but a sad one for so many other New York institutions like the Claremont Stables, Astroland, and the New York Stock Exchange.  Of course, the New York Stock Exchange is not going anywhere.  It’s just changing.  But how long will it be before representatives of a company going public will ring the bell and five people on the once-crowded floor will say, “Congratulations”?

This byte was directed by Tessa Leigh Derfner. The tourists were Sarah Gippin, Kevin McGann, and Marc Wolf. Sharon McWatt was the specialist at the NYSE.

Cayce Crown is the brilliant videographer and editor and my partner in crime in this Little Bytes endeavor. She owns and operates the Crown View, Inc. where she promises to shoot your family so you don’t have to. www.thecrownview.com.

Tessa Leigh Derfner, mi hermana, is a writer and director in New York City.

Sarah Gippin is an event planner for Tavern on the Green and is also my wardrobe consultant. She picked out everything I'm wearing in the first Hoparound Tour and appears stripping a mannequin in the August 2nd entry of The Twenty-Day Blog.

Sharon McWatt is currently in the Witness Protection Program.  I'm on vacation in Texas at the moment and think I just saw her float by on a tube on the Comal River.  Might have been someone else.

Kevin McGann has recovered from the beating he took that day in Central Park from his failed attempt at purse snatching. He has resumed his normal day job where he shops for a living from the safety of his desk.

Marc Wolf recently performed the world premiere of his new solo-show The Road Home: Re-Membering America at Huntington Theatre and Geva Theatre, directed by David Schweizer. He received an OBIE and was nominated for the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his brilliant Off-Broadway performance of Another American: Asking and Telling at The New Group, directed by Joe Mantello. www.marcwolf.com

 

11New York Stock Exchange, Part Two

SEE NOTES FOR PART ONE

 

12An Action-Packed Conclusion, Part One

Back in March I made the promise that I would blog about the Trinity Church cemetery "this week," meaning the week we posted the video, but on this humid July afternoon, with numerous deadlines looming, I'm not in the mood.  I've also decided to give the cemetery its own byte in a future movie.   So stay tuned. 

Even though the action-packed conclusion is also packed with information, there are a few notes I do want to add. 

The first is a bit we forgot to shoot.  The Irving Trust Company is the building where I'm standing with the "foremost biographer of Washington Irving."  We included a photo of it in the middle of our conversation.  It's the elegant skyscraper with the undulating exterior on the corner of Wall and Broadway with a beautiful lobby now closed off to the public in the post-9/11 financial district.  If you stand on Wall and look through the window above the door you can see some of the incredible glass mosaics.  (Jump up and down for a better view, thereby making a general nuisance of yourself, and they might even open the door.  I had a tour group of forty people doing just that.  It worked.)  The Irving Trust Company Building by the way is now the home of the Bank of NY, which is the oldest commercial bank in the country and has been headquartered in various buildings on Wall Street since 1787.

The second bit that I'm including here is about James Gordon Bennett.  I started to discuss him, but was shoved out of the way when the Melville fan wanted to discuss 14 Wall.  So, as I was saying, James Gordon Bennett founded The New York Herald in 1835 at 10 Wall.  And here the tabloids were born.    A prostitute named Helen Jewett was murdered in her room at a neighboring brothel in 1836, struck with an axe and set on fire.  It was Bennett’s visit to the murder scene, and his subsequent sensationalist coverage that led to one of the trials of the century and the rise of the penny press.  Crime and murder, especially the kind involving sexual situations, became leading news.  The New York Herald also used illustrations, charts and maps, and live interviews and had the first team of foreign correspondents.  As if that weren't enough, the paper also gave us the gossip column as well as stock tables, the weather report, the women’s section, personals, and pop culture coverage.

 

This byte was directed by Kevin McGann.  The contentious tourist was played by Marc Wolf, the rabid Melville fan was played by Elizabeth Meadows Rouse, and the Washington Irving biographer was played by Steven Devall.

Cayce Crown is the brilliant videographer and editor and my partner in crime in this Little Bytes endeavor.  She owns and operates the Crown View, Inc. where she promises to shoot your family so you don’t have to.  www.thecrownview.com.


Steven Devall is a voiceover actor in NYC--you could probably tell while listening to him speak of Mr. Irving.  He is currently looking for representation, so if you're an agent, or play one on TV, check out his reel at his website.

Kevin McGann has recovered from the beating he took that day in Central Park from his failed attempt at purse snatching. He has resumed his normal day job where he shops for a living from the safety of his desk.

Elizabeth Meadows Rouse has been acting professionally for 20 years. She has worked all over the United States in top regional theaters and television. She was also was one of two American women to be invited to perform during the inaugural season of Shakespeare's Globe in London.


Marc Wolf recently performed the world premiere of his new solo-show The Road Home: Re-Membering America at Huntington Theatre and Geva Theatre, directed by David Schweizer.  He received an OBIE and was nominated for the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his brilliant Off-Broadway performance of Another American: Asking and Telling at The New Group, directed by Joe Mantello.  www.marcwolf.com

 

13An Action-Packed Conclusion, Part Two

See Notes for An Action-Packed Conclusion, Part One.

 

14Outtakes from Wall Street

When I think of the Wall Street shoot, I think of the ridiculously long script I brought down on that first morning.  (Thirty-six pages.  Single-spaced.  Eight hours of daylight.  No shooting schedule.)   I think of the slight breakdown I had when I realized that was not at all possible.  I remember the freezing temperatures on the first day and the jackhammers loudly ripping up every corner on the second.  But watching these outtakes I remember how much fun we had and the enthusiasm of those determined to salvage the Wall Street Tour by returning for another day of shooting.  I sincerely thank everyone who came down to help.  And to all of you who participated in the Hoparound and Wall Street Tours, I pledge, from the bottom of my heart, not to shoot in the cold ever again.

The first two tours, hereby known as The Winter Jacket Bytes, are now complete, on this day, July 10, 2007.

 

 

©2007 Robert Westfield