Sky Racing news update 4: Heading further north, we come to the scene of the crime at 52 West 83rd Street the address has since been renumbered.
So that means you're gonna start makin' nice with the PRs [Puerto Ricans] from now on. Say goodbye to the nice boys, Krupke. Riff speaks to his gang members and arouses their immature gang mentality.
He directs his hatred toward the Puerto Ricans and their turf-encroachment. Convinced of the Jets' own strength and invincibility, he is adamant about checking the Sharks' expansion and influence in the neighborhood while still avoiding a life-threatening rumble with blades or zip guns. However, Riff would consider battling the rivals with weapons if challenged: Now we fought hard for this turf and we ain't just gonna give it up The Emeralds claimed it.
We shut 'em out. The Hawks, remember, they tried to take it away, and we knocked 'em down to the cellar. Yeah, but these PRs are different. They're eatin' our food. They're breathin' all the air. The end to free enterprise Hey, you heard what that Lieutenant Schrank said, eh? We gotta make nice with 'em Puerto Ricans or else.
We gotta let 'em move in right under our noses and take it all away from us, or else. You're damned right NO. So what are we gonna do buddy-boys? I'll tell ya what we're gonna do. We're gonna speed fast. We're gonna move like lightnin'. And we're gonna clean them Sharks up once and for all so they ain't never gonna set foot on our turf again. And we're gonna do it in one, all-out fight The Sharks want a piece of this world too.
And they're real down boys. They might ask for blades, zip guns I say this turf is small, but it's all we got, huh? Now I want to hold it like we always held it, with skin.
But if they say blades, I say blades. If they say guns, I say guns. I say I want that just to be the number one - to sail, to hold the sky OK cats, we rumble. Now, protocality calls for a war council between us and the Sharks, to set the whole thing up.
So I would personally give the bad news to Bernardo. Riff proposes getting help from Tony, a young Polish boy and ex-leader of the Jets who has grown away from them and taken a respectable job: He's got a rep that's bigger than the whole West Side He always came through for us and he always will. Riff When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way From your first cigarette to your last dyin' day! When you're a Jet, let 'em do what they can You've got brothers around, you're a family man! You're never alone, you're never disconnected, you're home with your own When company's expected, you're well-protected!
Then you are set with a capital J Which you'll never forget till they cart you away When you're a Jet you stay a Jet. Riff suggests persuading Tony, who founded the gang but has since moved on, to "stand up" with him and the Jets at the local dance and challenge rival gang-leader Bernardo to a rumble: Now I know Tony like I know me and I guarantee you can count him in.
Tony Mordente In, out, let's get crackin'. Tommy Abbott Where you gonna find Bernardo? It ain't safe to go and be in our territory. He'll be at the dance tonight at the gym. David Winters Yeah, but the gym's neutral territory. I'm gonna make nice with him!
I'm only gonna challenge him. Tucker Smith Great, Daddy-o! So listen, everybody dress up sweet and sharp. Meet Tony and me at the dance at ten.
We always walk tall! Snowboy When you're a Jet, you're a top cat in town You're a gold medal kid with the heavyweight crown! Ice When you're a Jet, you're the swingin'est thing Little boy, you're a man, little man, you're a king. All Jets The Jets are in gear, our cylinders are clickin' The Sharks'll steer clear, 'cause every Puerto Rican's a lousy chicken Here come the Jets, like a bat out of hell Someone gets in our way, someone don't feel so well Here come the Jets, little world, step aside Better go underground, better run, better hide We're drawin' the line, so keep your noses hidden We're hangin' a sign, says: Tony, an ambitious, level-headed young man who is responsibly employed and works for a living at Doc's, the neighborhood drug and candy store, resists Riff's invitation to the dance, to confront the Sharks that "walk bad" and "fight hard" on neutral turf.
Riff pleads for one last favor from his idealistic best friend who has left his past behind and dreams of moving on to something "just around the corner": Every single night for the last month, I wake up.
And I'm reachin' out. It's right outside the door. Just around the corner. It's like the kick I used to get from bein' a Jet, you know? Oh, well now you're talkin'. Oh man, without a gang, you're an orphan. With a gang, you walk in twos, threes, fours.
And when your crew is the best, when you're a Jet, you're out in the sun, buddy-boy. You're home free home. Riff, I've had it. Tony, Tony, look at me, will ya? Come on, look at me Now, I never asked the time of day from a clock, did I? I never asked nothin' from nobody. But I'm askin' you: I promised Doc I'd clean up the store tonight. Heading over to the east side, we find a detective questioning a jeweler.
A block north, we get a shot of a detective exiting the bus at Fifth Avenue. Note that the bus is heading north — at this time, Fifth Avenue was a two-way street. A lot of new glass on that corner building…. As a character pulls up to an apartment building, I love the view we get of a much shorter Park Avenue, a pretty startling contrast to how it looks today. Note the Waldorf in the distance. As the detectives continue their investigation, we follow one as he crosses 66th Street on Madison….
That curling device on the left is terrifying. Today, this is Korean Express. Love the store at Third Avenue with the neon sign for trusses and belts. The characters run past the theater and swing around onto 59th Street, then takes the stairs up to the el station above:. Yes, this was a time when train stations were heated by cast-iron stoves:. As the character watches the train head north, we get a view of Third Avenue looking south, with the Chrysler Building towering above the skyline.
Our view swings around to the north, and the changes are even more incredible. Note the handful of walk-ups on the left still clinging to life:. Our final street shot takes us up north to rd Street, where we see morning commuters scrambling for the train entrance. Note that Lexington was originally cobblestone:. This includes shots of the old Roxy theater lobby…. If you enjoyed reading this post, would you consider making a donation to help me make my first movie?
Click here to donate today! I always wrote it off as a s eyesore. Now I write it off as a s eyesore. Tyler, You are mostly correct. And now it houses the Museum of Arts and Design. But, the building referred to by Tyler is the apartment building on the left of the photo in question. Basically, the southwest corner of CPS and Broadway. Conversely, my first reaction to the new iteration of 2 Columbus Circle was much like yours.
But, the building started to grow on me and now I kinda love it. I believe this shameless exercise in greed backfired on Moinian. That 52 W 83 ST sign looks fake, like they stuck it up there for the day. Looks like Dassin giving directions to the doorman in that photo. So many of the people in the street shots look like my aunts and uncles. I was raised middle class in NYC and have no idea how the middle class can afford to live there any longer.
It will soon be a tale of two cities. A great deal of it was shot on location, and some of the locations even seem vaguely familiar from my childhood.
Thanks for taking the time to write this 3 part series, it was obviously a lot of work, but it was worth it, and much appreciated, Scout. Thank you Nick for this series.
I just had the pleasure of re-watching The Naked City and your well-researched articles were the perfect dessert.
Nostalgic melancholy but fascinating. All are gone save the one on the far right: Finally, a tight shot of the building at 70th Street and Broadway, today razed and replaced by a modern apartment building: A side view gives us a peek at Central Park in the distance: Also, I had absolutely no idea the highrise residential building on the left was so old:
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