Walks in My New York by Mikael Olrik by Mikael Olrik - Read Online

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Walks in My New York - Mikael Olrik

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Downtown is the birthplace of Manhattan. The seeds for the borough were sown in the southern most tip. From there the city expanded northward and, in due course, became the metropolis we know today. Downtown has its own special configuration, a holdover from its more or less haphazard beginning almost 500 years ago.


Spring Street/West Broadway

Ginkgo trees are very common in New York. However, at the crossing of Spring and Thompson streets they are special to us because we live here and this is our place. There is always lots of activity in the huge playground at the corner. We often see basketball and other ball games played up against a wall, and in summertime there’s a swimming pool. As soon as the weather allows, the concrete tables with chessboards become a local rendezvous spot. It’s pretty much like being in a village. People know and visit each other a lot.

The last time we were here – on the day we were leaving – right before we had to fly home, we shot a small film from this area for use at an upcoming exhibition. Mikael sat at the chess table furthest away, Lone did the filming, and we walked around a little taking some more shots. A few hours later, on the flight home, we decided to watch the latest Woody Allen movie. The movie opens in a very surprising way: at the very same chess table where Michael had been sitting just a few hours ago. The leading character is playing chess with a small girl. He gets up and strolls around, following almost exactly the same route we had taken while shooting the scenes for our short, humble film. Coincidence? Well… a lot of movies are filmed in this area. Within a week we saw as many as three different film shootings. This tells you something about the importance of the area, its pictorial qualities, and how attractive this place