Seen & Heard: New Pasta Bar

••• The ground floor of the restored 60 White has finally been revealed. There’s still some work to do, but the whole project really is lovely.

••• As I walked down Franklin Place, I wondered whether the NYPD is enforcing parking on the one-block street, now that the 5 Franklin Place building is done. Because theoretically cars could use it if people were discouraged from parking there. But then I learned that it’s a private alley owned by the buildings on it.••• Now that construction on 5 Franklin Place has ended, you can get a sense of the cobblestones, which are positively sculptural at this point. The photo doesn’t do them justice—go walk on them.

••• Another “Law & Order: SVU” shoot tomorrow.

••• Chef Massimo Sola of Mamo on W. Broadway in Soho is opening a “pasta bar” called Sola in the former Combina space (at Grand).

••• Work seems to have stalled at 456 Greenwich, to be a large hotel.



  1. As far as I know, Franklin Place is not a private alley. It is a NYC public street. I was told this years ago when I called DOT to complain about the lack of enforcement of parking violations. Cars have been parking/blocking for the last 20 years that I’ve been living next to it. My building has no ownership or rights to this alley. There’s obviously an understanding with the police who never issue tickets here. I thought 5 Franklin Place would shake things up but no such luck.

  2. Franklin Place public/private status would be a great story to investigate.

  3. The Manhattan Borough President’s office could definitely say whether this is a private street, probably the same person from this story:

    Some of the 5 Franklin Place deeds etc. call it a private street, but unlike other private streets, the Plow NYC website shows that DSNY is responsible for snow removal.

    • If it’s a private street, who owns it? By the way, the city has never plowed … but I think it’s because of the cars always parked there. If it snows tomorrow, it will be interesting to see what 5 Franklin Place does about snow removal.

      • Presumably the adjoining property owners.

        In Hollywood’s version of New York City, the giant metropolis is teeming with secretive, cinematic alleyways — the ultimate urban character actor, always on-call to lend a film a sense of lived-in grit.

        Take “The Nanny Diaries”: the 2007 film uses an alley as the sort of backdrop that leaves no doubt the story is set in New York. In “The Sorcerer”s Apprentice,” a deserted alley brings the hero to a hidden magic shop, and the titular character in “The Talented Mr. Ripley” lives in a ramshackle apartment down a similarly photogenic byway.

        Yet the actual city is short on shortcuts. In fact, each of the above scenes was filmed at a single location — Franklin Place in Tribeca — that is now being remade by a real-estate developer.


        Robert Moezinia, a property owner on Franklin Place for 15 years, can rattle off a list of shoots in his alley. “‘Men in Black,’ ‘Law and Order,’ Merrill Lynch commercials, European advertising for vodkas and soft drinks,” he said. “I had a very good situation.”

        Hollywood’s favorite image of the dangerous New York alley is not completely fictitious: Moezinia can recall dead bodies found dumped in Franklin Place over the years. What leaves him disappointed, however, are the small cameos his alley plays in the finished film.

        “They shoot for hours,” Moezinia complained, “yet it would only be five seconds in the movie.”

        In the case of privately owned alleys like Franklin Place, the property is often divided up among several owners with whom a production company will make individual deals. The total cost for securing one of these alleys can range from $5,000 to $10,000 per day, and beyond. Producers who forgo paying for access can find their productions shut down by the police.


          It took Matthew Geller, an artist, three years of applications and interviews to set up his installation, ”Foggy Day,” in Cortlandt Alley. His first choice had been Franklin Place, but the businesses that own the alley expected too much from him.

          ”There was a saga involved with getting the space,” he said. ”They told me, ‘We get $10,000 a day from big movies.’ I didn’t have that to give them, so I couldn’t get it.”

          • Here’s a blog post by the author of the WSJ piece quoted above. He is a location scout from NYC who moved to LA:


            “Then, a day before our shoot, Franklin Place alley found out we were planning to film there.

            “And told us it would cost $25,000 a day.

            “As it turns out, Franklin Place is privately owned. Each building abutting the alley owns about eight feet of it, and they’re very used to getting pay offs from big film companies like the ones I tend to now work for. I tried to explain that our budget was only $5,000, and we had no money, and could they please make an exception for student filmmakers?


  4. CB1 is a bullshittery with respect to championing residents’ concerns. They’re reactive (at best) instead of being proactive. Boss Tweed would be proud!

  5. The same is happening now with the plaza in front of Brookfield place. The area between the upper deck and the marina is a public park under ultimate jurisdiction of NYC Parks and DOT.

    As of last year Brookfield, through its use of security personnel, has been enforcing its own arbitrary rules claiming that they control the entire area all the way to the marina. NYC bike map clearly marks the entire strip along the esplanade as a bike path, yet Brookfield tries to enforce a bicycle ban just in that section as a matter of convenience. They only have a legal right to control access to the upper deck and the marina itself.

    Perhaps 20 years from now they will be able to demonstrate de facto control of this area to permanently and legally convert it from public to private space. The longer this goes on the harder it will be to stop.

    While I understand that there are concerns about the bicycle traffic along the esplanade, it’s curious that the only section that is banned is also the widest one. There is plenty of space to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists. If a bicycle ban is deemed as necessary by the community so be it. However, it’s up to NYC Parks and DOT to mandate it and enforce it. What’s next, Whole Foods turning Warren street into a private road?

  6. Pete,
    I totally agree with you. It’s ridiculous that Brookfield claims rules for bikes in that area. If I bicycle hits someone, then that cyclist is liable, plain and simple. The area should just be a slow zone..The congestion on the bike path in front of Brookfield is hectic and dangerous,we already lost a life on the path at Chambers. They need to review this policy.