Seen & Heard: Virtual Reality at the Tribeca Film Festival

••• C. and A. both sent over photos of this skeleton in City Hall Park. Anyone know why it’s there?

••• System Architects shared another peek from inside 187 Franklin (the second photo is mine).

••• The Tribeca Film Festival released details on its virtual reality schedule, called the Tribeca Immersive program, which seems like the most interesting part of the festival (April 19-30). And it’s held in Tribeca, at Spring Studios. It seems like you can just do the VR for $40, with tickets for that going on sale March 28. The  summary: “29 VR and interactive exhibits, including 20 world premieres; Storyscapes [to bridge filmmaking, technology, and storytelling] returns for the fifth year; Virtual Arcade returns for the second year; both Storyscapes and Virtual Arcade will run for the duration of the Festival for the first time.”

••• M. M. De Voe noticed signage for Blue Ribbon Federal Grill, opening in the next couple weeks in FiDi.

••• Opening March 7 at Art Projects International: “Presence, a three-artist exhibition [wherein] artists Richard Tsao, Seokmin Ko and Zhang Jianjun explore the nature of presence.” Pictured: “The Square 08” by Seokmin Ko.

••• On the post about whether Franklin Place is private, Robert Moezinia, a property owner on Franklin Place, had an interesting comment about how Scott’s Alley was the former name of Cortlandt Alley, not Franklin Place, which was called Sugar Plum Street. I couldn’t find anything online to confirm that; in fact, Doggett’s New-York City Directory for 1847 and 1848 indicates that Scott’s Alley was Franklin Place. (I think I’ve run out of gas on this question, but anyone should feel free to pursue it.) In any event, when Robert and I spoke on the phone, he also told me the Broadway buildings on that block used to be 175 feet long but they had 25 feet removed to make room for the alley. And the Broadway buildings’ basements extend under Franklin Place.



  1. “Scott’s alley” appears in print as a name for Franklin Place as late as 1874:

    “DESTRUCTIVE FIRE IN BROADWAY.; A MARBLE BUILDING PARTIALLY BURNED OUT LOSS ESTIMATED AT $100,000.” appeared in the February 9, 1874 edition of The New York Times.

    “At 1:30 o’clock this morning, as one of the Fire Insurance Patrol was passing the five-story marble front building, No. 371 Broadway, near Franklin, he observed smoke issuing through the cellar gratings in front of the building. He at once gave an alarm and this was quickly responded to by Engine Companies Nos. 7, 31, 12, and Hook and Ladder Company No. 1. The doors of the building were forced open with great difficulty, and it was then discovered that a fierce fire was raging in the basement and sub-cellar, from the front to the rear of the building. The near gratings on Scott’s alley were also forced open, and huge streams of water were soon being forced against the flames by several powerful steamers.”

    This is consistent with the basement of 371 Broadway running under Franklin Place fka Scott’s alley.

    Separately, Franklin Street from West Broadway to Lafayette St (or Elm St as it was known until c. 1895) was previously called “Sugar Loaf Street”. See, for example, “Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York, Volume 9, 1880.” page 896, in the section titled “Locations and Boundaries of Streets, Parks and Places”

    • I walked past today.

      On the west side of the alley, 3 gratings are still existing at the south end of the alley. If you look inside, you can see how they apparently are used now to vent from the basement of the building on Broadway.

  2. Ate at Federal Grill Saturday night and although I was two manhattans in, I believe they said theyre opening this week.
    I had the fed burger btw- it was good!