Wednesday, May 4, 2011

We're shooting here

At church by 7 AM to wait for Con Ed. Never know exactly when they'll come. Used to have to wait in the cold closed church, no one else around, nothing going on. Get to SKYPE for while with my son in Berlin.  Hearing about the reaction to Osama’s death in Europe, the Middle East.  Catching up with his plans to go to Venezuela.
So the  Con Ed guy arrives at 8:30 and takes his readings. I  go for coffee. Unfortunately has to be  Dunkin Donuts because Barney Greengrass is a movie set this morning. The crew and extras fill  our steps as cameras and equipment fill the street. Second day of shooting for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. 

getting ready

When I leave to go get my computer charger, I’m shooed away from the sidewalk. We’re shooting here. You’re in the picture. I see the extras being called one by one to walk up Amsterdam towards Barney’s, cameras rolling. 
We're shooting here

Talk with Danielle about the theft. Must’ve been when she left her bag in the sanctuary while working upstairs. Sad that we have to be on our guard, wary, watchful. What I won’t do is go back to a buzzer system to get into the church.  I can’t do that again. 
We get walk-in inquiries about rentals. Like Super Soccer. Wait until  you see this I say and show him one of their balls in our gym. They were here almost up until we closed. Over three years ago. Before his time. And a woman who is a personal trainer looking for a place to set up shop. Need to keep focusing on partners who share a vision though straight up rentals may soon become a necessity. 
Jane comes. As we walk through the extras on our steps and start up Amsterdam, I talk with the site manager. Offer him the use of our bathroom. Soon enough, he’s offering us barbecue ribs and mac and cheese from the catering truck. I make sure Danielle gets access to the canteen.


extras on the steps

We get coffee and walk down 87th to the little park across the street from where  our second manse was.  We talk again about ways to share, collaborate. Bringing churches back. She knows the frustration of pouring out your heart and soul out  to small groups of people. Tells me how her church in Long Beach took a breath, took three months off from every Sunday worship to visit other places, figure out who they are, how they will be.  We are pushing towards something specific, something concrete. 
There are cute little worried looking dogs running free on 87th. I think of Amanda and her daily dog and baby counting game with her daughter.  A dog walker with four or five dogs appears. Agrees to take care of the remaining little dog. Just as she is leaving, the owner walks up. Throughout our whole conversation in the park, there’s drama going on around a cat. Which an anxious neighborhood woman and an old Jamaican man involve us in. This animal, pet vibe going today.
I recall when 87th had an abandoned apartment building and drug sellers on the corner. The legendary shootout between H Rap Brown of the Panthers (violence is as American as cherry pie, he said) and the police at the end of the street.
I’m enjoying the warmth and quiet of the  Park. Jane will come back to the church later in the day with a board member for another look. 
Danielle and I sort through everything that needs to happen. Impossible. Overwhelming.  So we’ve got a play in McAlpin Hall rehearsing. A movie being shot outside. And two doors north Schatzie the butcher is being filmed for a new reality TV show called MEAT.  

Time to leave for an appointment. Cook dinner. A Presbytery Social Witness Council Meeting. Our Church Gala committee meeting.  Late at night, I stop on my way home to make sure that the lights are turned off in the church. And the water, too. On the steps, the movie people are gone. But George  is back. See you tomorrow, I say. 

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