Welcome to Crazy Stable, the chronicle of a small family and a big old house in "Victorian Flatbush," Brooklyn. As our narrative shifts between past and present, it will involve (but not be limited to) renovation, bipolar disorder, gardening, cats, and Catholicism, all tangled up in an ongoing struggle between faith and frustration, hope and throwing in the towel. Today, however, it is about "Law and Order" and guys tearing up the garage.
Yes, our raffish old house has finally been chosen as a film location...our interior and exterior will play host to the intrepid detectives of "Law and Order" (the "plain" or original one, not "SVU" or any of the other spinoffs). Tomorrow is the shoot; today a crew of polite and highly efficient fellows (and one gal) has removed and chopped up our garage door, and is now busy turning it into some mad bomber's workroom, while replacing the ratty exterior door with a rather charming shabby-chic cottage front. Lots of neighbors here in Flatbush have had their homes used as locations--the cavernous interior spaces of these freestanding 3,000-square-foot homes make for ideal interiors, and the bucolic front porches and lawns can be easily refitted in period garb from 1900 onward. But while we've had nibbles before (including a desperate crew that offered us $10,000 to vacate the house the day before Thanksgiving for an AC/DC video--we refused), this is the first time we've made the cut.
The location scouting crew then informed us somewhat gingerly that the interior of the garage scene would involve "a fire effect," and seemed somewhat taken aback when I enthusiastically endorsed the idea of their blowing up the entire garage (safely, of course--an impressive fireball could perhaps be digitalized in later, no?) We do not use the garage, you see, and I wish to demolish it and plant a small pine grove in its place. They demurred that total destruction would not, alas, be necessary.
But it is great fun--downright redemptive--to see this sorrowful structure getting its Extreme Makeover. Up til now, the most attention it ever seems to have had was getting lengthened to accomodate the longer cars of the 1950s. At some later date, the added-on cinderblocks shifted, and the previous owner, General Chang, "spackled" the fissures with old undershirts.
Stick around and someday you will learn more about General Chang, and more about how to spackle with undershirts. Stick around till tomorrow, and you'll hear about what Jesse Martin and Dennis Farina look like, right up close in our house.
"No more shall men call you 'Forsaken,' or your land 'Desolate,' But you shall be called 'My Delight,' and your land 'Espoused.' For the LORD delights in you, and makes your land his spouse." Isaiah 62:4