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Two new documentaries filmed on the Upper West Side cover topics that Upper West Siders know very well: the travails of people who move their car for alternate-side parking, and the charm of some of the longtime tree-sellers who descend on our neighborhood every winter.

Ernie Fritz, a local who regularly helps us out with news items and photos, made a short documentary about parking: “I recently finished a short (14 minutes), humorous documentary about Alternate Side of the Street Parking. It’s tilted ‘Don’t Even Think of Parking Here.’  My short film takes place entirely here on the Upper West Side. The film was shot primarily last fall and early winter.” One of his interviewees says the meter maids “stalk you!”

Ernie’s shopping the film to various festivals, and we wish him good luck. Check out the trailer below:

Another documentary made by Upper West Siders Jon Reiner and Brad Rothschild takes a look at a “Tree Man” named Francois who sells Christmas trees on 102nd street and Broadway. It will get its U.S. premiere at the St. Lawrence Film Festival this Friday and Sunday and come to New York’s documentary festival on Nov. 16.

“TREE MAN follows Francois, a Christmas tree seller who’s been working the same corner in the Upper West Side for decades. Every year he leaves his home and family in Quebec to deliver the magic of the season to New Yorkers 500 miles away.

TREE MAN explores Francois’ journey and the relationships that sustain him – with his customers, employees and the people of his adopted neighborhood. While he may sell trees for a living, it is his role as the neighborhood Tree Man that draws the community closer together and gives meaning to his grueling month far from home.”

We published a story by Jon about Francois here. Upper West Siders can watch the documentary at a special screening next month.

Screening: Monday, Nov. 23, 7:00 PM
Goddard Riverside Community Center’s Bernie Wohl Center
647 Columbus Avenue (at 92nd St.)

There will also be a screening on Dec. 8 at the JCC, and it’s expected to be available on iTunes by the holidays..

The video below features Francois:

NEWS | 9 comments | permalink
    1. Margaret says:

      Sounds great. Looking forward to Tree Man!

    2. dannyboy says:

      Thanks. I just marked my calendar with “Move Car” for Thursday. Kinda’ takes over.

    3. Aaron Finkel says:

      I’ve seen Tree Man. It’s amazing. It’ll make you smile and maybe even shed a tear or two. Congrats to Jon and Brad for showing us the people behind those selling Christmas trees.

    4. Jason says:

      I have a great idea for the people who don’t like spending two days/week sitting in their car, GET A JOB!!

      • dannyboy says:

        Jason, this is analogous to telling people who don’t like their job to SIT IN A CAR two days/ week!

        see that?

    5. kitkat says:

      FABULOUS videos : ) BRAVO

    6. Lulu says:

      Looking forward to the two docs!

    7. Mark says:

      I wish the city would get rid of all free street parking. Want a car? Pay for parking. Imagine how nice the streets could be and how well traffic would move if the streets weren’t cluttered with parked cars. And imagine not having to subsidize parking for people with cars.

    8. Olive says:

      This movie is a great way to showcase the pain of parking. Our company Valet Anywhere look forward to do some collaboration with Ernie Fritz. 🙂