What are some interesting human-free spaces I could film in Boston or NY?
May 9, 2012 7:21 PM   Subscribe

What are some interesting human-free spaces I could film in Boston or NY?

I'm working on a short assignment where I'm supposed to film a cool looking and sounding space that is relatively human free. Can be indoors or outdoors, manmade or natural. Basically I need to cut a two minute video of various angles of the space over sounds I record there. I will be using my iphone to film it and a mic I have to record.

I live in Boston but often commute to NY so either metropolitan area is doable.

Experimental film isn't really my forte and I'm feeling a little uninspired. I'm having a lot of difficulty thinking of cool spaces that don't have a lot of people in them. Any ideas? Even if you don't know a specific space that would be good, suggestion for types of spaces would also be helpful.
posted by timsneezed to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
There are some neat, pretty desolate spaces in Red Hook (Brooklyn). Not sure if this is what you're looking for.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 7:33 PM on May 9, 2012

Aren't there areas around The Cloisters which are pretty empty?

In the Boston area, the path that goes around the Arlington Reservoir is actually pretty deserted a lot of the time.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:44 PM on May 9, 2012

Finals are over (or nearly so) in a lot of the colleges & universities; maybe you could get permission to film in a space at one of many in Boston or New York?
posted by smirkette at 7:47 PM on May 9, 2012

Best answer: Another possibility is the area around the Blue Hill Observatory.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:47 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

I retract the suggestion of the Arlington Reservoir. It's next to Mass Ave, and you'd get traffic noise.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:49 PM on May 9, 2012

Penn Station in the wee hours of the morning has desolate corners.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:03 PM on May 9, 2012

Best answer: Inside the tower at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge. There are times when nobody's going up or down it.

Also, when I was a student at BU, I would sometimes drop into Marsh Chapel if I had a spot between classes and wanted to nap in a quiet place. I liked it because a lot of the time, nobody else was there. (That was 20 years ago, though; things may have changed since.)
posted by not_on_display at 8:13 PM on May 9, 2012

There are parts of Central Park so devoid of people that they're actually some of the most important bird refuges on the East Coast.
posted by Sara C. at 8:22 PM on May 9, 2012

What about going up on a roof somewhere? In New York (or Brooklyn) you'd get an expanse of water towers, and hardly a soul to be seen (or heard). It's a people-made place without the people.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:32 PM on May 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

not_on_display made me think of another place on the Harvard Business School campus, which a friend recently alerted me to: the c/o '59 chapel. If it's open, the greenhouse space is small, but lovely. The chapel space is even more simple and thought-provoking (for me, at least).
posted by smirkette at 9:14 PM on May 9, 2012

The Wall Street/ downtown financial district of NYC on Sunday evenings (particularly in the late winter/early spring) is downright creepy by the complete absence of people. Narrow streets, tall buildings-- it feels like the absence of activity and life crowds in on you.
posted by KingEdRa at 9:15 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Parts of the Arnold Arboretum are people-free, or nearly so (e.g. over behind the State Lab IIRC). Fenway Victory Gardens, if you catch them at the right time. You could also try the Copley BPL, MFA or Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, or take a ferry out to the Harbor Islands maybe? Artists for Humanity has a studio space near South Station that they might let you use. I've never seen the new building (it was basically an old warehouse when I went there) but it's supposed to be pretty cool.

In New York, there's Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Also the sewer system!
posted by désoeuvrée at 11:14 PM on May 9, 2012

The Hull wind turbine makes an awesome sound from where you stand below ("whuunh-wuuunh-wuuunh"). Agreeing to the school chapels (check hours, HBS's isn't always open even midday on weekdays or weekends). In particular, I think MIT's chapel is the most visually beautiful/striking.
posted by cocoagirl at 3:51 AM on May 10, 2012

University libraries get pretty desolate after exams are over.
posted by mskyle at 4:53 AM on May 10, 2012

Smirkette reminded me of another quiet place in New York. This is another "if it's open" situation, but check out Marble Cemetery in the East Village.
posted by Sara C. at 8:23 AM on May 10, 2012

Boston College has a small labyrinth -- just like the one at Chartres! -- tucked away behind some shrubs, between Bapst Library and the Comm. Ave. gates (I think). It's beautiful, and the constrast of muted traffic/student noise with the stillness of the path could be nice.

Where to find it: http://www.bc.edu/alumni/association/labyrinth/map.html

Why it's so cool: http://news.yahoo.com/boston-colleges-9-11-memorial-labyrinth-inspires-reflection-145100053.html
posted by wenestvedt at 9:14 AM on May 10, 2012

Green-Wood Cemetery is pretty excellent, and it tends to be pretty free of (living) humans.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:49 PM on May 10, 2012

Best answer: Oh! There are also wild parrots at Green-Wood Cemetery, which provide both interesting sights and sounds.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:16 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

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