FX puts Bayside on spy alert

Classic cars roll down 41st Avenue in Bayside during the filming of “The Americans.” Photo by Christina Santucci
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A new FX television series brought Bayside into the spotlight when it set up shop along Bell Boulevard to shoot an upcoming episode.

Trailers with makeshift dressing rooms and storage sheds lined the streets in the area surrounding the Bayside train station last week to make way for the new drama series “The Americans.” Crews were buzzing with activity in different locations along Bell Boulevard from 10 p.m. Jan. 30 through the following night to film parts of the 1980s Cold War drama, featuring two KGB spies who pose as Americans soon after President Ronald Reagan is elected.

“The Americans” debuted with its 70-minute pilot Jan. 30 on the FX network, starring Keri Russell from the popular series “Felicity” and Matthew Rhys of “Brothers and Sisters.” The show’s producer, Joe Weisberg, was once an officer with the Central Intelligence Agency before becoming a television writer.

Throughout the shoot, commuters coming out of the Bayside train station were greeted by film crews asking them to halt and watch when the cameras were rolling. In front of the station house, old-fashioned cars with Virginia license plates rolled down the streets as part of the scene.

Next to the station, television crews used C.J. Sullivan’s bar and grille as a base for much of its shooting operations.

Street parking in Bayside was temporarily suspended along Bell Boulevard from 39th to 42nd avenues and in select spots on 39th, 40th and 41st avenues, but the short-term break in business brought a boost of attention to the area.

“TV and movie shoots like ‘The Americans’ create a buzz along Bell Boulevard,” said Lyle Sclair, executive director of the Bayside Village Business Improvement District. “The Bayside Village BID will be working with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting to create opportunities for our local merchants to create year-round opportunities so local businesses may take advantage of this growing NYC industry, even when there is no shooting in Bayside.”

But for some of the businesses along Bell Boulevard, the parking ban made for a temporary lull for the cash registers. Steve Wiesmann, of Press 195, said business was noticeably slower by the end of lunchtime last Thursday as trucks and television crew trailers lined the street in front of the restaurant.

“There are a lot of customers who park here on Bell,” Wiesmann said. “But if this is just a one-day thing, it shouldn’t be that bad for us.”

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Posted 8:48 pm, February 7, 2013
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Reader feedback

Max says:
It’s pretty exciting to learn where they are filming scenes for The Americans to because I’m always interested how they can transform a contemporary setting into the 1980s. I loved the premiere and really can’t wait to see the direction the show goes in upcoming episodes. I missed this week’s episode, but I’m going to catch up with it this weekend since it was recorded on my DISH Hopper. I like to catch up with new episodes of my favorite shows on my days off from work at DISH and I can do that without needing to delete anything I’ve saved for space because my DVR holds up to 2,000 hours of entertainment.
Feb. 8, 2013, 12:08 pm

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