On a hot Wednesday in Soho I was looking to dock my bike sharing Citibike when I came upon the West Broadway station. The rack, on the opposite side of the street looked full though it was hard to tell as a non-descript van was parked in front and the a swarm of people crowded the street.
I disembarked and crossed the street. As I did, three men dressed in black with ski masks and guns stormed the jewelry store in front of the docking station. Before deciding to fight or flight, or rather where I should flee, I zoomed out. In that white van which I had barely registered was another driver dressed in black with a ski mask. During traumatic events the brain absorbs more details which is why it feels like time is moving slowly, and in those split seconds I debated whether to ditch the Citibike or run on foot. I further zoomed out and saw that all of the bystanders were simply standing. In fact one was waving me to move along. Then I noticed the cameras and production crew filming a scene from Blue Bloods.
Upon sharing this story I have had several reactions: my sister who lives in Colombia gasped with each detail that emerged. My stepfather a New Yorker for thirty plus years guessed the film crew. A friend that evening could not believe this had taken places merely hours before and it was not the first thing I had shared that evening.
I have not seen the show so I cannot attest to how realistic it screens but I can promise you being caught in the set I experienced genuine fear.