HBO No: Greenpointers say they got hosed by the cable network

HBO No: Greenpointers say they got hosed by the cable network
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Entertainment is a dirty business.

That is what a group of Greenpointers that has often railed against the presence of film crews in its neighborhood is saying after a crew shooting a pilot for an historical HBO series dumped tons of dirt on sleepy Milton Street, then washed it down storm drains. The whole thing felt like an act of war, according to one neighbor.

“It was like being occupied by a foreign nation,” said neighbor Bill Rohan, adding that the film crew violated his disabled parking permit by towing his car to a nearby block. “My blood pressure was definitely up that day.”

The Wednesday shoot took over three blocks, removed all the street signs, and brought more than 100 crew members and a stable of horses to the area, residents said. The parting hose-down left the block a muddy mess, according to residents.

“They left a river of mud and now it is a dustbowl,” said film-shoot accountability activist Rolf Carle. “There is dirt everywhere.”

LIKE OLD TIMES: An HBO crew transformed Milton Street in Greenpoint into a 19th-century town, complete with horses and carriages.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

City spokesman Marybeth Ihle claims that what Greenpointers describe could not have happened because the Home Box Office workers covered the storm drains as they always do, but she said that the city is working to address the complaints.

The production team did not return calls for comment, but network employees did return to the area on Friday to spray down the dirt with pressure washers once again. The cable channel is keeping details of the test production under wraps but some locals fear what might happen if it decides to make the show into a series.

“Are they going to start coming back here every week and disrupting everyone’s day-to-day lives?” asked Rich J. Mazur.

But the aggrieved neighbor saw a silver lining in the experience.

“At least the kids got to play with the horses,” Mazur said.

FILM CRUDE: Neighbors say an HBO shoot for an historical series pilot left their street a mess.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.