Thursday, March 14, 2013

Burt Goes to Whole Foods

What I discovered on my quest to find a location from Shamus, is as sure a sign as any that gentrification is inevitable just about everywhere, no matter the aesthetic qualities of the place, or lack thereof.  In Shamus, Burt Reynolds goes to Gowanus (an industrial section of Brooklyn named for the body of water that cuts through it) to investigate a warehouse owned by the film's villains.  Using Google Maps, I found the exact location, one which I've actually driven and walked by countless times over the years.  The warehouse that Burt breaks into has been demolished (when, I'm not certain) and is now a construction site where a Whole Foods (the first in the whole of Brooklyn, somewhat amazingly) is going up.  They'll never make Gowanus pretty, but if the mob scenes around Trader Joe's and other Whole Foods outposts in NYC are any indication, it will now be a destination.

Shamus is nothing special as a film, but it is one of the few films of its period to shoot in this part of Brooklyn and, of particular importance, provides visual documentation of a place that is on its way to permanently changing in appearance and character, something that could probably be said for just about any spot in this city.

Former college football star Burt Reynolds, as Shamus, displays his physical gifts, leaping away from pursuers after breaking into a warehouse (seen in the background) that would eventually give way to a Whole Foods Market.

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