A motley body of events has furnished this summer's conversational fodder for residents, visitors and starry-eyed hostellers in the Morgan L-centered bordertown that is the gateway to Bushwick. Such topics have included arts and music festivals, rooftop parties and follies, venue openings and raids, variable forms of pomo-primitive urban gardening, new stores and cafes, new bars and eateries, a pseudo-mall and loft-law reforms, as well as several house fires, a warehouse blaze, some thefts and some muggings, the omnipresent spray-playing of hydrant-water lootings, and occasionally, if only to keep it real, shootings.
In recent weeks, however, one has heard chatter aplenty about shoots instead. Film and photography shoots, that is, involving likely the unlikeliest mixed likenesses of folks.
Exemplary observations of Morgantown activities of late:
17 July, 8:45pm: Turning onto Bogart toward Moore, I note trailers and tents and scattered crowds and wonder if a traveling carnival has come to our carnivalesque streets. Then I see big lighting kits and utility-belted crewmembers with headsets. Onlookers gather before the corner bourge-dega. A dog-walker pauses next to me, assesses the scene, looks over and says, with incredulous gravity, "Fuck." I raise my eyebrows and shrug my shoulders in response. Walking away, I wonder what he meant. And what I meant.
17 July, 11:50pm: Waiting for a friend, I sit on a bench in front of said bourge-dega. Some German passers-by, wondering what's up, elect a female emissary with very blond hair and a very small dress to inquire with crewmembers. They eventually exchange emails or phone numbers. They laugh. The scene being shot, meanwhile, for a film called Peace After Marriage, features a guy in shirt and tie engaged in nothing too interesting. Walking, standing.
18 July, 4:15am: I walk by the shoot once again. A crucifix is now present, as Jesus Christ, tattooed and loinclothed, enacts an altercation with an elderly Chasid. They do many takes. This is intriguing.
18 July, 5:20am: I walk by once more. Same scene, but now a ballerina in a pink tutu, turquoise top and red garters stands by. I know I'm not that drunk.
25 July, 1:30pm: A photo shoot is afoot in a bakery-to-be on Moore, next to Roberta's. I look on with question marks in my eyes when a friend walks by and informs me that Die Antwoord is being photographed by Bryan Adams. Yes, that Bryan Adams.
25 July, 7:10pm: Another film shoot around Bogart is underway. My Idiot Brother, I'm told. Rumors circulate of famous persons present. Yet with no religiously sensitive wrangling taking place, this production seems rather uninteresting. No offense, Zooey.
Bogart-local activities in more recent days have included a half-failed attempt to detonate a Subaru and an artist's discovery of a makeshift chicken coop tucked beneath the stairwell of his studio building. That sounds like potential conversation and potential fodder. And for better or worse, it sounds a bit more like Bushwick, where "Summer of '69" shall now be forever aligned with the summer of 2010.