Mayor cancels Halloween parade but TV prod'n, B'way shows resume
The ghost of Hurricane Sandy is still hovering over Gotham as Mayor Michael Bloomberg today canceled the city’s hugely popular 39th annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade.
Elsewhere downtown, the mayor rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange, which opened Wednesday after a two-day hiatus using backup generators. Stocks mostly fell on widespread damage and disruption from the storm.
“Business in the city is on the way back,” Bloomberg said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
Gotham’s massive subway, its lifeline and central nervous system, will start limited operations Thursday, four days after Sandy poured salt water into tunnels and grounded all trains. The metro shuttles more than 5 million people a day from home to work, school and scores of entertainment venues. No subways as yet will run south of 34th Street, the area hardest hit by storm surges early this week.
Film, TV and theater began to head back into production on Wednesday, with a number of Gotham-based TV shows resuming shooting and the majority of Broadway shows planned to go on.
For producers in every genre, the decision to move forward was centered on overcoming the massive transportation hurdles. With subway service still suspended, streets were packed with slow-moving traffic as commuters attempted to get into Manhattan. Power remained out indefinitely in several areas of the city, including a major patch of downtown Manhattan.
The Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting announced it would not issue filming permits for exterior locations until at least Friday. Soundstage shooting began to resume, however, on skeins including CBS offerings “The Good Wife,” “Elementary” and “Blue Bloods.” For NBC, “30 Rock” resumed shooting while shows including “Smash,” “Deception” and the Philly-based “Do No Harm” were prepping with the hopes of picking up Thursday.
Among the city’s latenight offerings, both “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” planned to tape new episodes Wednesday with previously scheduled guests after going dark for two nights. Shows including “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (which planned to shoot in Gotham this week long before Sandy was on the radar) resumed taping with audiences Tuesday.
On Broadway, only a handful of shows were skedded to remain dark on Wednesday, including “The Lion King” and “Mary Poppins.” Decisions to remain shuttered were largely prompted by the inability of cast, crew and other personnel to make it to midtown for showtime.
The NBA canceled the hotly anticipated season opener Thursday between the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets game in the gleaming new Barclays Center. The second game for Saturday is still on, with the city working on transportation options in case subways aren’t all up. Bloomberg said the New York City Marathon will go on as planned on Sunday as tens of thousands of people from all over the world have come to participate.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference Wednesday that crucial commuter rail lines serving Long Island, Westchester and Connecticut will resume service Wednesday afternoon, reducing the nightmarish traffic jams and gridlock that paralyzed Manhattan on Wednesday, particularly a wide swath of the city where traffic lights are out, making driving and walking extremely hazardous.
“It was frightening. It looked apocalyptic,” Cuomo said of the flooding Monday night. Throughout the week he’s stressed the need to protect the city from storms like Sandy that may become annual events, not once-in-a-lifetime.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie postponed Halloween across the state until Nov. 5. Mayor Bloomberg, clearly knowing how far he could push New Yorkers, urged caution and good judgment.