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February 29, 2008

Bridge-n-tunnel SUV driver for Ratner!

TC-CarltonBridge.jpg Just a couple of weeks ago, photographers gathered together to exercise their First Amendment right to take photos and video in public spaces, such as the footprint of Atlantic Yards. [Until the City transfers streets and sidewalks over to developer Bruce Ratner, they are still public.]

At this gathering, photographer Tracy Collins explained that, unlike many of the other photographers assembled that day, he had had the good fortune of not getting hassled while shooting in and around the footprint of Atlantic Yards. This week, Collins's luck changed when he was confronted by some private-citizen SUV-driving bridge-n-tunnel bee-otch (sp?) who tried to keep him from photographing the recently closed Carlton Avenue Bridge.

From Collins's "freaking blog:"

i manage to take about a dozen shots when i hear a shrill woman's voice yelling:

"You can't photograph that! It's private property!!"

i turn to see a woman poking her head out of the driver's side window of an SUV (with New Jersey plates) that's stopped on Carlton Avenue at the light at the intersection with Pacific Street.

irate woman's ride, originally uploaded by threecee.

the following "conversation" ensues:

me: i'm not on private property, and i can photograph here.

irate woman: no, you can't!! it's private property!

me: you're wrong. i'm not on private property. this is a public road, and i can photograph from here.

i continue to shoot until the light changes and she pulls over on to Pacific Street and gets out of her SUV. i move away from the gate and cross to the other side of Pacific Street, wanting to stay well out of her reach and avoid any possible physical encounter. she's clearly very upset and i have no idea what she might do. i assume that she's some sort of official (Forest City Ratner, Gateway Demolition, the ESDC, the MTA or some other entity related to Atlantic Yards) otherwise, i can't imagine why she would be this agitated.

Things get even weirder when "bridge-n-tunnel" displays her concern that these photos might show up on "some blog" (uh, try like SEVERAL BLOGS) and then takes it out on the security guard.

Crazy! Brit in Brooklyn, who happens to be in Britain (not Brooklyn), managed to get wind of it and posted a link on his blog.

This morning Collins posted this pic in the Atlantic Yards Photo Pool, showing that the bridge, though slated for demolition any day now, is still intact.

NoLandGrab: Though we can't say for certain that "bridge-n-tunnel" worked for Ratner or is closely associated with the project, her comment about "some blog" and the way she later berated the security guard would lead one to think that she might be. Seriously, would a regular wacko get out of her car to stop a photographer?

Do Ratner supporters seem more jittery than usual these days, or is it Harass-a-Photographer Month?

Posted by lumi at February 29, 2008 5:38 AM