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Television stars aligned in Whitestone Monday for the filming of the CBS police drama “Blue Bloods,” drawing a crowd of onlookers to several sites in the neighborhood.
Dozens of neighbors lined 14th Avenue at 150th Street while a large crew filmed a scene featuring actor Donnie Wahlberg, who took time between takes to talk to residents and pose for photographs with them.
The End Zone bar, at 149-44 14th Ave., was transformed into the Sun Bright Lounge for the occasion, where a number of scenes were shot, including one that included a motorcyclist speeding up the alley adjacent to the watering hole and others inside the bar and the backyard beer garden.
End Zone’s owner, Jim Farnochi, said a CBS location scout approached him about allowing the bar to be used for filming, which he did for a fee.
“They liked the look and they needed the alleyway for the motorcycle scene, and they asked if we’d be interested and we said, ‘Sure,’” he said. “It’s exciting for the neighborhood.”
The show, which also stars Tom Selleck, Jennifer Esposito and Bridget Moynahan, and is currently in its second season, also filmed scenes at Gleason’s Funeral Home, at 10-25 150th St., the facade of a home on 11th Avenue and other neighborhood sites.
None of the crew members or organizers at the location were able to speak about the filming, but signs put up by CBS throughout the neighborhood last week to warn people not to park on the streets gave some official details about the endeavor.
“CBS Productions is currently in production of ... ‘Blue Bloods,’ a drama about a multigenerational family dedicated to New York City law enforcement,” the signs read. “We will be filming in your neighborhood on Monday October 17th, 2011 from approximately 6:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.”
The production was done in cooperation with the mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting.
Whitestone resident Kim Karafiol brought her 4-month-old daughter Paige to watch the action from the sidewalk on 14th Avenue across the street from End Zone.
“I just thought it was awesome that there was something very interesting for the neighborhood and good for the local economy,” she said. “It’s exciting for Paige, it’s her first celebrity ever. Donnie [Wahlberg] was a nice guy, he was really down to earth and he was a genuine guy.”
Melissa Loccisano, of Whitestone, was on a walk with a friend when they happened upon the filming and took a few moments to experience the scene and take photos with Wahlberg.
“I love the fact that they’re doing a TV show in our neighborhood. It’s always cool to see Whitestone on TV,” she said. “I’ve loved him since New Kids on the Block. My little-girl dream was to see somebody from New Kids on the Block, so that was nice.”
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4538.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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