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Crime Edition: The Scene at 153 Franklin Street, and The Final Scene of the Major Case Squad

The Scene: 153 Franklin Street, Tribeca

(Update: Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released from house arrest on July 1, 2011 as new doubts surfaced about the credibility of his accuser. New York Times story.)

This block of Franklin Street in the Tribeca neighborhood is never this busy. But with the arrival of the former IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, to reside at 153 Franklin under house arrest as he awaits trial on the charges of assaulting a maid at a midtown hotel, life on the cobble-stoned block has been bustling. Many of the photographers and reporters on the press stakeout in front of this remodeled three-story residence work for press affiliates in France, and they are eager to stay on top of the news of the affair that has shaken their national politics.

153 Franklin Street, Tribeca
153 Franklin Street, Tribeca.

Franklin Street, Tribeca
members of the press on a media stakeout across the street

Residents of the street and surrounding Tribeca neighborhood may be none too pleased with this disruption. Yesterday afternoon, down the block and across the other side of Varick Street, members of the local New York press attended a press conference called by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. Stringer is asking for Strauss-Kahn to pay for cost of the extra city services - police officers, sanitation workers, etc. - as a result of his high-profile stay.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in front of Franklin Street, Tribeca
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer called for Dominique Strauss-Kahn to pay for
the cost of extra city services relating to his temporary stay.


This short block, situated between Varick and Hudson Streets, is characteristic of Tribeca, a relatively new name for this area of the Lower West Side. The neighborhood of old factories and warehouses once also supported the largest fruit market in the world, a trading center for butter and eggs, and a "Syrian Quarter" with bakeries, pottery shops and restaurants. Pioneered by artists in the 1970s, it was not until the mid-1980s that Tribeca started appearing on the commercial maps of the city.

Franklin Street, Tribeca
view of Franklin Street looking east.


Strauss-Kahn's residence at 153 looks new in context of other buildings on the street. It was originally a one-story structure with two additional floors added in the late 1990s. He's paying a reported $50,000 monthly rental for the posh house, one that includes a home movie theater and an extensive gym. Obviously, he won't be roaming the street for exercise or stopping in to browse for high-end home improvements at the nearby Urban Archaeology store. Nor will he have the pleasures of morning pancakes at Square Diner or afternoon drinks at Walkers. If he wants to gaze out his front windows, he'll have only a view of photographers ready to take his picture.


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The Scene: The Flatiron Building, 23rd St. and Broadway

(Update: The final scene for the last episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent was reshot elsewhere. This scene outside the Flatiron building did not appear in the final episode.)

Those lucky enough to have wandered by the east side of the Flatiron Building on the early evening of May 26, 2011 happened upon one of the sweetest and saddest moments in recent television history. After ten years on the air, Law & Order: Criminal Intent wrapped its final episode. For actors Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe, it was their last day to embody the memorable characters of Detectives Goren and Eames of the NYPD's Major Case Squad.

L & O: CI: Final Wrap
Detective Goren (Vincent D'Onofrio) talks it over with Detective Eames (Kathryn Erbe)


L & O: CI: Final Wrap
the chair for actor D'Onofrio

L & O: CI: Final Wrap
Say goodbye to Goren and Eames.

The two scenes, just hours apart, made fascinating counterpoints. In Tribeca, photographers and videographers trained their cameras on real New York policemen guarding the residence of a real French politician under house arrest. In the Flatiron district, a crew of New Yorkers in the entertainment industry finished filming the stories of famous fictional NYPD police detectives. The case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, it's important to note, was actually handled by a different franchise…oops…division - the Special Victims Unit.


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Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from May 26, 2011. More pictures of Franklin Street and of the final Law & Order: Criminal Intent location shoot in these sets on Flickr WOTBA.





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