The Critical Mass

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” vs. real life

The Amazing Spider-Man relaxes off camera.

The Amazing Spider-Man relaxes off camera.

I was walking a couple of blocks to City Hall for a press conference this morning when I stumbled into a roadblock. A crowd was already gathering, with the cops keeping the road clear so that the movie makers in town can shoot some scenes for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. “I have to go to City Hall,” I said, pointing.

“They’re shooting the movie,” the cop said, peering down the street. “Go ahead, they haven’t started yet.”

Forty-five minutes later, I was on my way back up the same blocked-off street. “You can’t go there,” another cop said. “They’re shooting the movie.”

I didn’t see anything happening except a bunch of my fellow citizens standing behind city barricades. “I have to go to work,” I said, pointing at my office, a block away.

“Gotta go back down to West Main, turn left, walk up Plymouth,” the cop said.

I did as I was told. It was OK. It was a beautiful day for a walk. I’ve never seen so many police cars in Rochester. But this week, it’s a stunt double for Manhattan. Some of those vehicles might have been fake New York City police cars.

Lunchtime, I ventured outside again. I was thinking about the little Chinese restaurant a half-block away. I mean, the restaurant is little, not the folks who work there.

“The street’s closed,” said yet another cop, standing at a barricade. “They’re shooting the movie.”

“OK,” I said. I didn’t see anything happening, except more of my fellow citizens standing behind more barricades.  None of the movie’s stars are here. It’s all stunt men and stunt women, and Rochester citizens hired as extras. I walked over to an alley, went around the back of the building, crossed the forbidden street, ordered lo mein with chicken and broccoli, walked back through another alley and stepped over some yellow tape that read CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS. I could see I wasn’t the only one who’d figured out this back route.

In the elevator, a couple of my co-workers said the movie-makers were shooting a scene where some cop cars are chasing an actor down East Main Street.

“I wonder why they’re not so careful when they do that stuff in real life?” I said.

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