Tuesday, July 22, 2008
UPDATE: MTV'S REAL WORLD COMES TO RED HOOK
Seems a deal fell apart for MTV to film the next season of it's reality series, "The Real World" at a loft building in downtown Brooklyn. The city was dragging its feet over permits at the BellTell lofts and MTV needed to start remodeling the loft before filming could begin. Instead, producers decided on a loft inside an historic warehouse building at Pier 41 in Red Hook.
Perhaps they haven't read the news, Red Hook is old news. Many of the hip shops, restaurants and bars have closed because hipsters didn't like living so far away from a subway station. The neighborhood is isolated from the rest of Brooklyn by the BQE.
Carroll Gardens would have been a better bet, but Plan B fell through to renovate a Brownstone building at 116 3rd Place. It's a tree lined block of Brownstones with large front lawns and the birth place of the "gardens" in Carroll Gardens. Prior to the MTV proposal, developers had added an ugly 5th floor to the building. They were selling them as condos ranging in price from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 dollars. Inside you get units ranging from 1000 to 2200 square feet.
The young cast members would have a field day hanging out at the hot bars and clubs on Court and Smith streets, just blocks away. They could shop at trendy clothing stores on Smith street, play basketball at Carroll Park or grab a slice of pizza at Marco Polo's take-out.
But, this series in Red Hook could be fun, as well. There could be an episode where several of the young preppies are mugged by the inhabitants of the Red Hook Houses, one of New York's biggest public housing projects. There could be another episode, where big city implants on the show whine that there's nothing to do in "boring" Red Hook except hang out at the Bait and Tackle bar on Van Brunt street.
There could be another episode where they get lost trying to find the nearest subway station at Smith and 9th streets. Or maybe, the cast is filmed getting drunk at Sunny's Bar just a few blocks away and forgetting to pay their bill, which for years had been done on the honor system.
As I blogged before, I'm glad they didn't pick Carroll Gardens. We like our neighborhood the way it is and the last thing we need is a TV show to spend a season filming here only to popularize an already established neighborhood. The result would be more tourists, more hipsters and worst yet, even higher rents. Unfortunately for MTV, I'm afraid most of the action will take place inside the loft and not on the streets of the still fairly desolate Red Hook.