The arrival of the Law & Order film crew brings a mix of excitement and annoyance to any New York City neighborhood. There's the double bonus of famous people in your neighborhood and getting to see your block on television, but then there's the hassle of blocked streets and restricted parking. One of our neighbors, the Greenwood Deli & Grocery, was so giddy about the show's arrival that they set up a stand with plastic fruit and vegetables (the place is not known for its produce) in the hopes of attracting the film crew to shoot in front of the store. The prop fruit stand didn't make the show, as the crew stayed on the other side of the street.
During the filming, series stars Jeremy Sisto and Anthony Anderson interrogated an elderly woman, and a squadron of actors pretending to be SWAT raided one of the block's nicer houses – their guns looked real, but their uniforms were too crisp and clean to mistake them for real officers. This neighborhood is actually home to many police officers, and I got to watch the small screen action while standing next to some real off-duty cops. I asked one officer if she spotted any glaring mistakes in their police procedure, and she said no, she was just having fun watching; her partner had even less to say about the filming, as he was a German Shepherd K-9 police dog who was just enjoying his walk.
Law & Order, along with its spin-offs, is filmed almost entirely on location in New York City (the interior shots are done at a studio in Chelsea). Some locations have been used repeatedly over the years, and The Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting has a list online of selected past filming locations, so you can try to hang around some of these places to catch the film crew. But if you live in New York long enough, you are bound to just bump into the show eventually.
If you're more interested in tracking real cops and robbers in New York City, there's ways of doing that as well. Police scanners are fun and popular way to follow what the police are doing in your local area, but unless you are a member of the emergency services branches (police, fire, EMS), it is illegal to have a police scanner installed in your vehicle in New York state, but there are ways to listen to the NYPD's radio communications. The website Mel's Garage carries a live feed of police communications, as well as information about precinct locations and 10- codes. If you own an iPhone, there are several police scanner apps, such as Scanner 911, which just recently began carrying New York City police feeds.
The episode featuring Windsor Terrace, titled "Four Cops Shot," airs Monday, March 22 at 10 p.m. So keep your eyes peeled for Greenwood Avenue and our local watering hole, Denny's Pub.