Missing the boat when Spiderman came to town
I booked my weekend in Rochester blissfully unaware of what lay in store. I was in town for the Colour Run and a quiet weekend getaway. Who knew that Spiderman had cast his web all over town and the mayhem that could cause? Certainly not me.
I was tipped off to the fact that things were a little out of the ordinary when I tried to book a room in town and struck out at more than one hotel. With school not yet out, surely Rochester was not fully booked, and yet, it was. The Spiderman entourage was in town and had laid claim to hundreds of rooms – they had literally taken over! Streets were closed and police were everywhere. To be honest, I wondered what kind of town this was as I arrived with deserted streets and barricades everywhere – it wasn’t going to be a standard weekend in Rochester!
Turns out my hotel was right on the corner from the main shoot. Between color runners and Spiderman crew, the front desk staff were a little frazzled by the hub of activity that was the lobby. There was chaos in the parking lot as movie associated trucks and buses took over leaving little space for guests to park. It was not my smoothest hotel arrival as I parked my car in a no-parking spot on the hotel lot and prayed it would still be there on Sunday (It was, and I refused to drive it all weekend for fear of losing my precious illicit spot!).
The rat-a-tat-tat of machine guns reverberating off buildings in downtown Rochester was my wake up call early Saturday morning. It was minor mayhem as color runners and Hollywood crews start started the day. With road closures and movie set preparations starting at 5:30am, the filming for Spiderman took over everything. During filming, there were people everywhere but as soon as filming was done, the streets of downtown transformed to a ghost town. I often pick restaurants that are busy – generally a sign that they are a good choice. With private catering ensuring all of the crew were fed and production costs were contained, restaurants were exceptionally quiet. I stumbled into a fabulous find in Flight Wine Bar and plunked myself down for a pre-dinner drink. That pre-dinner drink turned into a night of flights that I enjoyed to the max with the manager giving me the inside scoop on how Hollywood was affecting local business…let’s just say, 10 days were more than enough! She couldn’t wait to get back to business as usual!
During the day, with filming in full force, the downtown core was yet again filled with police. I figured I would have no trouble asking directions with so many men in blue on the street – didn’t even notice the mix of uniforms. While there were many Rochester police on the street corners leading into the centre of town, stopping and redirecting traffic, as you got closer to the shoot, NYDP uniforms started showing up. Those cops weren’t police – extras for the movie were everywhere! Parking lots were filled with NYPD cars in varying degrees of “crash” in them – they were filming chase scenes over the weekend!
Turns out filming Spiderman was causing a little mayhem for more than just the downtown businesses. A large bridal party was waylaid on the way to the chapel – I felt for the groom as he waited in the church for his bride to arrive, likely completely unaware of the impact of Spiderman – road closures making it difficult for the bride to get to the church on time! I believe I ran into that wedding party later at the George Eastman (Kodak) mansion. They looked radiant in the garden, the bride and groom appeared to have recovered from their run in with Hollywood.
As for me – how did I get tripped up by Spiderman? Well, I literally missed the boat! I was working with Visit Rochester to put together a weekend of activities in town and they graciously offered to drive me out to Pittsford to meet the Sam Patch Pocket Boat for a cruise on the Erie Canal. With the Spiderman situation, moving my car was just not going to happen! I stood outside, chatting with the (real) police at the barricade, watching the crew and extras mill about. Our rendezvous time came and went and I wondered where my host was. Thinking she was just running late, I waited and waited. It was starting to think I may just miss that boat cruise on the canal. Chatting to the police at the barricades outside my hotel, I got the inside scoop on the filming (like when things go awry: the director’s girlfriend’s rental car, parked inside the shoot barricades and accidentally gets crashed into! Congratulations to Spiderman – you just bought yourself a brand new car! Hehehe!)
With the clock ticking on my boat cruise, I was starting to worry. Was it still going to happen? Turns out my host from Visit Rochester was stuck on the other side of the filming and couldn’t get through. We texted back and forth and she reassured me that all would be good. While we missed the boat in Pittsford, we were not about to let Spiderman get the better of us – I was delivered to Lock 32 where I boarded the cruise before going through the lock and a pickup in Pittsford was arranged. I would have loved to do the entire cruise. It was a perfect day to be out on the water but half a cruise would have to suffice. Like the taxi comedy of errors in New Orleans, it made for a story that I could laugh about: Spiderman, I didn’t quite miss the boat after all!
- Rochester Bucket List
- A Weekend in Rochester
- The day a photo shoot took over my beach – Jamaica
- The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in Rochester