Tag Archives: NYU

“Twilight” Star Robert Pattinson Films in NYC; Gets Attacked by Fans, Hit by Taxi

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It has been a grueling week for “Twilight” star Robert Pattinson, who is in NYC to shoot his latest film, “Remember Me.”  Not only did he have to wake up early in the morning to be on set at NYU’s Silver Center and Washington Square Park, but he was met by throngs of screaming fans – including two sporting “Twighlight” tote bags who were audacious enough to run past the barricades, flail themselves at Pattinson, and snap some “Myspace-style” photos.  Let’s just say the guards (not to mention Pattinson) were not exactly pleased.

To top it all off the actor was grazed by a taxi in front of the Strand Bookstore while attempting to escape from fans.  One of his bodyguards is reported to have shouted, “See what you did?  You almost killed him!”  Seems to me that the more obsessive Robert Pattinson (dare I call him RoPat?) fans become, the less likely it is that they will have someone to obsess about in the future.

It’s Official: Washington Square Park Renovation Phase I Has Re-Opened (Stay Tuned for Phase II)

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Though the fences had been quietly dismantled last Tuesday to allow a growing trickle of visitors, Thursday May 28 marked the official ribbon-cutting celebration of the now-completed Washington Square Park renovation – Phase I, that is.

A red carpet was rolled out to welcome prominent public figures and everyday parkgoers alike; speakers included Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

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City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe

A tent was raised near the fountain to house a small group of chairs and a dais for the aforementioned speakers, who asserted that “a Nobel peace prize could have been awarded” for the extraordinary negotiation efforts that occurred throughout the planning and construction process.  Several of the speakers also remarked that even the most vocal opponents of the renovation seemed to be impressed.

After the speeches, the officials gathered in front of the fountain (which had been turned off) to stand behind the official ribbon, scissors ready.  The moment the ribbon was cut, streams of water shot out of the waterjets.

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Additional festivities included a commemorative button-making station, live jazz music, and free food from local eateries like Crumbs Bake Shop, Le Pain Quotidien, and Mario Batali’s Otto (whose “Gelotto” cart will become a fixture in the park this summer).

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Phase I of the renovation added new benches, winding walkways and grand promenades, and 20% more greenspace to the park, and controversially moved the iconic fountain 20 feet to align it with the equally iconic arch.

Though parkgoers are glad to have access to the fountain and central area again, the entire park will not be open for long: Phase II of the renovation, which will be concentrated in the northeast, southeast, and southwest quadrants of the park, is scheduled to begin in the near future.

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Hillary Clinton: Congratulations, NYU Class of 2009

HillaryNYU Secretary of State Clinton delivers her speech at Yankee Stadium.  Photo courtesy of the NY Daily News

The New York University All-University Commencement for the class of 2009 was held in the brand new Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, May 13.  Over 25,000 people attended the event headlined by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who received an honorary degree (and a hug from President John Sexton!) and delivered the commencement address.  Recognizing that the class of 2009 is graduating during one of the worst economic climates since the Great Depression, Clinton emphasized the challenging yet promising times ahead.  The Secretary of State urged the class to participate in global affairs and to embrace the inevitability of change.   She explained that much is expected of these graduates, and in light of the location, remarked that now they “are up to bat.”  Watch her speech here.

NYU Graduation Coverage Part 1: Grad Alley

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The streetsign may have been temporary, but on May 12 – the day before graduation for NYU’s Class of 2009 – West 4th Street and LaGuardia Place were transformed into a carnival-like “Grad Alley.” The celebratory street offered food (only at NYU would knishes and falafel be standard fare), a DJ, jugglers, games, crafts, and even human statues (say hi to Lady Liberty!) for graduating seniors and their families.

Washington Square Park Construction Update: And Then There Were Lights, or Don’t Blink, You’ll Miss the Fountain

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This weekend the Washington Square Park fountain was restored to its former glory – if only for a few minutes.

At about noon Friday, the jets were activated, sending gallons of water into the air over the slightly relocated fountain (remember, it was absolutely necessary that it line up exactly with the arch) in the closed portion of the park.  Curious onlookers (who after a year of construction probably forgot the fountain even existed) stood mesmerized, perhaps nostalgic for the days when parkgoers could sunbathe and even take a splash there.

But by about one o’clock, the jets had been turned off, reminding us that this was only the construction team saying “testing, one, two, three.”  Such a tease.

Also this weekend, new (yet old-fashioned) globe light fixtures were installed in the area immediately surrounding the fountain, bringing a much-needed element of grandeur. (Remember those atrocious globe fixtures that looked ugly and soiled enough to be from the ’70s?  You’ve probably been trying to block them from memory.)

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But the fountain test, lighting, and general progress of construction appear to be promising indicators of a re-opening in the very near future – perhaps even before the long summer days have us aching for a refreshingly cool spritz.

The Magic is Back: “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” with Nicolas Cage Returns to Washington Square Park and NYU

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Conveniently for those NYU students who missed it over spring break, the cast and crew of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” returned to Washington Square Park today to film new scenes.  This time, however, the public was afforded an actual Nicolas Cage sighting (if you could recognize him in a long brown trench coat, long hair, and sorcerer’s cap).

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Actor Jay Baruchel could also be seen on set.  The scene itself featured several extras walking along pathways in the park, with Cage and Baruchel among them.  The cast and crew were lucky to be working on a beautiful 65-degree day, though unfortunately for everyone else (who wasn’t interested in star gazing), the filming closed off a large section on the east side of the park.

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British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and former Chair of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker Hold Discussion at NYU

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It must be VIP week at NYU: first Nicolas Cage, Alfred Molina, and other stars show up to film a movie here, then Hillary Clinton is named commencement speaker for the Class of 2009 graduation, and now this:

Today at noon British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and former Chair of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker will hold a discussion with NYU students and faculty about “A New Multilateralism in the 21st Century.”  According to the official NYU press release, “The event will include such pressing issues as global economic structures and policies, the challenges of climate change, and the need for cooperative approaches to security.”

Unfortunately the event is invitation-only (which may explain NYU’s last-minute press release).  But those of you hoping to catch at least a glimpse of these renowned people and a potentially fascinating discussion can view the event live on RealPlayer through the NYU website.

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View the complete photo gallery at Zimbio.