Batman in Newark
Frank McCree and Gaetano both alerted me to filming today and tomorrow in Newark, of a new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. This is a major motion picture, as was the updated War of the Worlds starring Tom Cruise, which also filmed in Newark. They are by no means the only films nor TV series to have used Newark locations. The Star-Ledger on Tuesday listed more. I showed pix of Halsey Street on April 4, 2008, whenCadillac Records was being filmed here. This is of course all to the good, but few people know when Newark stands in for "Gotham City" or some other locale.
Gaetano and I saw a recent version of the Batmobile at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium during the opening of the 2011 Newark Bears season, which Gaetano treated me to. I got a foto of the guy dressed up as Batman.
I don't want to seem a spoilsport, but I was never a great fan of Batman. I thought the comic too dark, and much preferred Superman — tho, as a gay kid, I did love the idea of Batman and Robin being an inseparable pair. That was wonderful. But the comic's action always took place at nite, so was always literally dark.
Here, Gaetano stands by the Batmobile. He needs to buy a new pair of jeans. The ones he's wearing are a ruin, and he can assuredly afford new ones. I never did understand the ragged look.
This is an interior view of the Batmobile in Newark, showing the Batphone.
And here's a wider view of the Batphone area, showing Batman's devotion to fiting drug abuse, thru D.A.R.E., "Drug Abuse Resistance Education".
This wide view of the Batmobile doesn't show the Batman-specific features well, tho the car looks great. Chevrolet celebrated its 100th anniversary today, and its massive sales over the decades have made it, according to CBS News this evening, the best-selling automobile brand of all time.
This closer view shows the Batdetails much better.
Little did we know — probably any of us, meaning not just Gaetano or me but also the 'guy' dressed as Batman ("Gaetano" is pronounced like "guy"-TAH-no; in my Fanetik system, gie.tón.oe) — that a new Batman movie would film partly in Newark. It has also filmed in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Jodhpur, India. So Newark's part in the production is not massive, and the skyline or anything else recognizable as part of Newark is not likely to appear. Too bad.
The view from the stands in the ballpark, near which the Batmobile was parked, is striking, and decidedly recognizable. Gaetano and I took a bunch of fotos of our morning in the Stadium, but I had not been able to use any of mine before now. Given that the event occurred on May 26, 2011, you can see that I am very serious when I say that I am WAY backed-up in this blog. I will use some of the remaining fotos from opening-day 2011 in advance of the Bears' opening-day 2012.
There is so much good and interesting about today's Newark, at least to me and my regular readers, that I cannot cover it all. Newark needs and deserves the kind of dedication from many observers that NYC has long had. Yes, New York is the greatest city of the Western world, and arguably the greatest city in the history of mankind — not in population, of course; Tokyo-Yokohama is the world's most populous metropolitan area, and Chinese, Latin American, and Third World cities have become immense due to migration from impoverished hinterlands. But in terms of its impact upon world culture, finance, and politics, and especially given that the HQ of the United Nations is located in Manhattan (I worked there, very happily, for several months in 1966), NY is almost inarguably the greatest city that planet Earth has ever had.
Still, Newark today has so much happening, and has long had many things going for it that no one had reported, that it would take a dozen enthusiasts posting illustrated reports to the Internet every day without fail to do justice to this great city.
Kids from various local schools were admitted free to the season-opening celebration, and allowed to walk around the field. Gaetano and I didn't know if just everyone present at that same time could go down onto the field, or only schoolkids. So we contented ourselves with the view of kids walking and running in that beautiful, verdant island amid the concrete and blacktop of a major American city. The kids' view of the buildings outside the park may or may not have been as good as ours. But they got to walk on a field of dreams. Whether playing professional baseball, minor- or major-league, is still a dream for many American kids today, I do not know. But I'll tell you this much: if I get the chance to walk the beauteous, green field of Bears Stadium on opening day 2012, I'm going to. And I'll take pix to show you what I see from that vantage point.