Someday, thanks to Bloomberg's City Council, the flat-front security gates of New York will all be gone. As EV Grieve wrote, it's "another step toward making NYC completely sanitized."
The Times wrote of the gates, "They have provided the clattering soundtrack of dawn and dusk, the steel canvas of struggling artists, the most compelling evidence that the city does, indeed, sleep." Many people would like to see the gates saved, maybe turned into art.
One of those people is filmmaker Neil Goldberg.
Back in 1996, Neil Goldberg put together a short video called "Hallelujah Anyway No. 2." In the film, it is early morning on First Avenue in the East Village. Businesspeople are rolling up their metal gates. One after another, the gates clatter up into the eaves. They are rusty, noisy, and covered in graffiti. They are emblematic.
Today, many of the businesses in the film have vanished.
ReelNY interviewed Goldberg about the film in 1997. He said:
"I would notice when I pass someone opening their gates in the morning that I would have totally different reactions to it depending on how I was feeling that day. Like, 'Oh, how depressing, starting yet another day of selling, whatever, selling Drake's Cookies.' Or 'Yes, okay, we can do it,' you know, and feel ridiculous optimism."
"Also, I'm interested in dance... So, I love the particular gesture of lifting those gates, and the way that same movement passes over different bodies."
The film will be shown tonight, Feb 2, at The Kitchen.
Thanks to Mr. Goldberg for providing stills from his lovely film.