"I always wanted to be a Tenenbaum"

It was pretty cool, passing by the crew and equipment for Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie's new movie, on my way to work one morning last fall (DeNiro's directing).

But it wasn't as great as seeing Willem Dafoe filming outside my hospital, a few months ago.

This rivalled the fact that, a few days ago, George Clooney's lastest project was filming just around the corner from my apartment.

But nothing fills me with more Manhattan movie magic than knowing I've been in the same elevator as Gene Hackman and Luke Wilson, the one featured in the Royal Tenenbaums. Yup. I was listening to the director's commentary on the DVD (you see, I was cleaning, and had run out of new music) when Wes Anderson revealed that it's hard to find large, elegant lifts requiring an operator. So he filmed the elevator scenes in the New York Academy of Medicine. This beautiful building is one I've visited several times, and actually mentioned in a post on Medgadget.com.

In the movie, Hackman and Kumar (Pagoda) play elevator operators inside the fictional Lindbergh Palace hotel (interior shots were filmed in the Waldorf-Astoria, Anderson says). After Hackman and Wilson ride to the top, they continued filming on the roof of NYAM. Sure enough, when Mordecai returns, you can glimpse one of the hospitals where I work.

Now all I have to do is become a member of the 375th Street Y. I guess it's pretty far north...