Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"Saturday Night Fever" vs. the Real Bay Ridge

There was one thing I longed to do before we left Brooklyn, and I did it just under the wire:

Watch "Saturday Night Fever."

I had seen it once, before we moved to New York. But this viewing would be different. Why? "Saturday Night Fever" was set in my very own Bay Ridge. I wanted to see how my neighborhood was portrayed.

"Bay Ridge ain't the worst part of Brooklyn," John Travolta as Tony says at one point. "It ain't a hellhole or nothin'."

OK, so it's not portrayed in the absolute best light, but it was interesting all the same.

The movie begins with a shot panning over Bay Ridge to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. I swear if you look closely, you probably could see our apartment building.

But then it cuts to an above-ground subway, which obviously isn't in Bay Ridge. The neighborhood has no trains above ground. It may have been in Bensonhurst, the next-door neighborhood where I understand a lot of the movie was filmed.

Later in the movie you see the characters looking at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge from a bench on the Shore Road Promenade. And speaking of the bridge, at one point Tony mentions it, but the caption said "Brooklyn Bridge" when it was obviously the Verrazano. Brooklyn knowledge for the win!

A final point I found interesting was at the dance contest, when some of the characters said the Puerto Rican dancers were in the wrong neighborhood. I wonder what they would say about Bay Ridge's diversity now.

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