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HBO Comedy Series Filming in Harrison

Harrison welcomes the crew and cast of the HBO comedy "Girls" this week for a four-day shoot.

Harrison's downtown environment might not be often confused with that of a college town, but it looks like there are enough similarities for producers of an HBO comedy to portray it that way.

The crew of HBO's new comedy series "Girls" will be filming scenes on Halstead Avenue and in another Harrison neighborhood for four days this week. The scenes filmed in Harrison will be portrayed as East Lansing, MI., home of Michigan State University.

The crew was filming inside of at 261 Halstead Ave. on Tuesday afternoon.

"It's the kind of place that would also be in a college town," said Ilene S. Landress, a co-producer of the show, who added that producers looked at photos of several areas in the metropolitan area before deciding that Harrison fit their needs.

After the shoot at Rue Des Crepes is completed, filming will continue for two days in a home nearby. Landress said she didn't want to disclose the address until they are finished.

"Girls" is a comedy about the struggles of girls in their early 20s as they look for direction after college. The shoot in Harrison will be used for an episode this season when the show's lead character returns to East Lansing to visit her parents who are college professors. 

Since the show is based in New York City, Harrison was chosen to stand in for East Lansing because it provides a similar backdrop, Landress said.

"It's cute, suburban, same idea," Landress said.

Harrison Town Clerk Joseph Acocella worked with producers to help draw the production to Harrison. Town Councilwoman Marlane Amelio praised Acocella's work and said she was excited to welcome the film crew to town.

"It is beneficial to town on both a monetary basis while generating good-will for future productions," said Amelio. "I am pleased that Harrison is being viewed in a positive light as a desirable venue for movie making, commercials and photo shoots."

"Girls" is executive produced by big-name comedy filmmaker Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner. It was created by Lena Dunham, who also plays the lead role. HBO announced in January that it will be picking up the show.

HBO is paying for local police traffic control during the shoots and has worked with local businesses to create parking spots for film trucks over the next few days. There will be no road closings or other changes while the show is filmed, said Harrison Police Chief Anthony Marraccini.

"It brings a little livelihood to downtown Harrison," said Marraccini.

There is no timetable for when the episode will air, but we'll let you know when locals can expect to see some familiar sights on the small screen.

NAO July 05, 2011 at 11:58 PM
Great News for Harrison! Great job Joe! Naomi
lou July 06, 2011 at 10:57 AM
East Lansing, Michigan is spelled with an "S" not a "C." It's Lansing, not Lancing.
GoJo73 July 06, 2011 at 11:02 AM
Great to hear good news about the town!! Way to go Joe!!
The Truth Hurts July 06, 2011 at 03:44 PM
So I would guess Lansing Michigan must be run down and dirty!
Dave July 08, 2011 at 08:54 PM
Hi The Truth Hurts. Are you implying that Harrison is run down and dirty? I don't see it. It appears to be a very wealthy and beautiful town. I always enjoyed walking around the beautiful homes surrounding the local country clubs. Why don't you ask one of your nurses at St. Vincent's to take you out for a walk sometime and see what I mean.
Dr. Vinny Boombatza July 08, 2011 at 10:44 PM
When was the last time you walked down Halstead Avenue Dave? The sidewalks are all in disrepair, the red bricks are broken and a hazard, the street itself is one huge patch. Decorative light poles have been hit by cars and trucks and have never been replaced. Sunday mornings the garbage pails are over flowing and smell so bad you can't stand outside. There haven't been any flowers on the lamppost for three years. The trash near the post office is disgusting. Drive down Crotona Avenue. Look at the sidewalks that are standing on their sides. I watched a mother have to walk in the street with her carriage because the side walk is in such bad condition. Garbage is strewn all over the street. Harrison is not only run down and dirty it's a disgusting! While you may have "The Truth Hurts" in Saint Vincent’s I would suggest you take up residency in the NY School for the Blind. Even better, Stop walking around the country clubs and take a look at where hard working middle class people reside. While you’re at it, pull your garbage can out of the middle of Nelson Ave and refill it with all the trash that has blown all over the road. Then take a few moments to look at over two hundred trees that have been removed in the last three years and where never replaced. Obviously, your standards for cleanliness are much lower than what the rest of the residents consider acceptable. If you don't remember Polks and the Garden Market you don't know what clean is. We are all "Walshed" out!
John Tirella July 08, 2011 at 11:57 PM
Hey Dr., Who is this "DAVE"? Funny left it in comments twice and it was removed> Hmmmm!
John Tirella July 09, 2011 at 12:01 AM
Dave, I visit twice a year and yes it is run down. Sorry Dave.
annie gall October 04, 2012 at 10:07 PM
I agree with Dave, Harrison is one of the richest towns in Harrison. I live in Harrison and its not run down. They film movies and shows here all the time. Just because the downtown area is not as big as big cities like White Plains it doesnt mean it's run down.
Ross Revira October 04, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Why don't you guys give it a rest. Is Halstead Ave. Rodeo Drive? NO but it no worse than Mamaroneck Ave or Purchase St. in adjacent towns. Could it be better of course. As for the stores and buildings that is a private matter with the property owner. Maybe Dr. Vinnie you could take less pay from the town government or pension and help pay for a beatification project. I would not be surprised if the Truth Hurts is also a disgruntled town employee.
LBG November 25, 2012 at 03:27 AM
It's hilarious that anyone would describe Harrison as "run down and dirty". Compared to what? Have you ever been to a really run down, neglected and depressed area? This is Westchester. We have it better here than most places on the planet. Broken sidewalks and trash that hasn't been collected are hardly kvetch worthy. Spoiled, short sighted suburbanites.

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