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.”
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.