Mike Myers and Mario Batali Film “Private Internet Project” Atop the Washington Square Arch

Updated June 15th, 9:59 a.m.How does one get access to the top of the Washington Square Arch? A few months back, a Wall Street Journal reporter gained access. But a tv show or commercial? Yesterday, I looked up to see people atop the Arch! Not realizing at the time those people being filmed were actor Mike Myers and chef Mario Batali (they later played ping pong together on the Plaza). The filming was apparently done for some Mario Batali venture. According to Pam Levy, Batali’s publicist, it is for “a private Internet webisode project.” She added: “I can’t tell you anything more than that at this point.”

Mike Myers and Mario Batali wave (tho’ no one seems to notice!)
Men Guarding Entrance to the Arch
Mike Myers Looks Pensive (Imagine the view!)
The full picture

Picture at left captures the ping pong part of Myers’ and Batali’s venture to Washington Square. Not sure how it all works together.

I wrote to Batali’s publicist and the Parks Department for additional information (Parks Dept. has not responded as of Wed. a.m.).

Questions such as: What were the arrangements and terms under which Mario Batali filmed on the Plaza and was able to enter and film within/from the Arch? If financial, what was the amount agreed to?

Has Mario Batali given money towards Washington Square Park in the past and/or pledged money in the future towards maintaining, renovating, or some other aspect of the Park? (WSP Blog Note: Batali was in photos with City officials when Phase I opening ceremony occurred.)

And, of course, how does the Parks Department determine who is allowed access to the Arch?

As Batali was walking away from the ping pong table, he said to the people gathered around: “support and give money to the Washington Square Park Foundation.” An organization, to my knowledge, that does not exist.

Batali runs a host of restaurants in the neighborhood and his “GelOtto” vending cart recently appeared in the NorthWest corner of the Park.

Photos: Cathryn.

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4 thoughts on “Mike Myers and Mario Batali Film “Private Internet Project” Atop the Washington Square Arch”

  1. Ever since the WSJ story I have been wondering how an ordinary resident of the neighborhood can get a tour of the inside of the Arch!

  2. I know what you mean, Georgia, re: access to the Arch. I don’t think they allow “ordinary residents” to go inside but it’s unclear how the Parks Dept. determines who *does* go. I understood the WSJ reporter – but this one, I’m a little unclear on.

    The GelOtto stand looks really out of place to me in that corner. I was wondering the same thing about Cake & Shake (the cupcake truck). Their website says they are on a “break” at WSP. I wrote to them to find out more but they have not written back.



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