News Cameras on Second Street, Coen Brothers’ Cameras a Block Over

Photos: Daniel Maurer

While news cameras focused their attention on a block on East Second Street where a three-alarm fire tore through a six-story apartment building last night, cameras were out for a different reason one block east: the Coen Brothers have parked over twenty vintage cars on Second Street between First and Second Avenues, where they’re shooting their new film “Inside Llewyn Davis.”

“Hollywood” Nick Pagani, a car wrangler for motion pictures, told The Local that he had secured the vintage vehicles for traffic scenes set in 1961. “We’re only going to drive five of them today,” he said. 

Admiring a 1959 Cadillac, Francisco Torrez, a resident of Bleecker Street, said, “I could stare at this car all day. If this was my car, I’d drive it anywhere.” Down the block, which was eventually blocked off by a police car, crew members sprinkled the road and sidewalk with leaves and sprayed water on the cars, perhaps to achieve a rainy effect.

A block over, residents of the building at 21 East Second Street stood across the street, staring up at the cordoned-off, burnt-out building with a different brand of fascination. A singed mattress lay on the sidewalk and screens hung off of shattered windows. Residents said they had been told they might be able to retrieve their belongings from the building by 1 p.m. today; some in the rear of the building were told they may be able to return to their apartments by this weekend.

A pair of police officers said they had originally been sent to monitor the movie set; they relocated to the west side of Second Avenue in light of last night’s events.

Updates: And Now There’s Snow on East Second Street
Slideshow: Coen Brothers Take Second Street Back to 1961