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Queens Chronicle

City wraps filming in Long Island City

Residents thankful for moratorium placed on shooting in popular area

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Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:21 am, Thu Jul 10, 2014.

After dozens of complaints from residents and Community Board 2 members, the city finally has issued a moratorium on filming in certain parts of Long Island City.

“I never thought it would happen,” Helen Gluck, 65, of Dutch Kills said. “It really is a nuisance but with all the exposure it brings to the neighborhood, I never thought the city would act on it. I’m happy something’s finally being done.”

The temporary ban applies to 46th to 49th avenues between Center and Vernon boulevards, a popular area for many television series, including HBO’s “Girls” and CBS’s “The Good Wife.”

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of my neighborhood and I love seeing it on television,” Gluck said. “But there is a big price to pay, that we as a community all have to pay.”

That price includes excessive noise and trailer fumes in residential neighborhoods and “No Parking” signs that can span several blocks for days at a time.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) spearheaded the ban after CB 2 members shared their thoughts and complaints with the lawmaker.

The majority leader acknowledged the productions can have major benefits for his district but said shoots should be better distributed between neighborhoods rather than concentrated within a few square blocks.

Long Island City isn’t the only Queens neighborhood that gets booted to the backlot to make way for the cameras.

Astoria, specifically the area surrounding Kaufman Studios, regularly removes premium parking on the already busy streets to accommodate trailers, trucks and delivery vans during business hours.

“Around the entire block of the studio, you can’t park until nighttime,” one resident said. “Then you have people fighting to get a spot in front of their house. I’ve regularly had to park my car five or six blocks away when I come home from work.

“I pay taxes, I’ve lived here for 40 years now and this is how we’re treated? We have to make room for all the beautiful people? It makes me sick to think about it. We’re treated like dogs.”

The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment did not return requests for comment and did not say when the ban would be lifted. There has been no mention of future moratoriums being placed on the street surrounding Kaufman, which recently installed “No Standing” signs around the perimeter.

“We just want to be respected,” Gluck said. “We want to feel that we matter just as much or more than the people who film here. After all, at the end of the day, they pack up and leave. We’re the ones who stay.”

The freeze also extends to parts of Manhattan, the Red Hook, Ditmars, DUMBO and Greenpoint areas of Brooklyn and Astoria.

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