Monday, December 17, 2007

It's Called Fact Checking

I don't normally read Green Lantern Corps, but I picked up number 19 because it was the epilogue to the Sinestro Corps War and there was this reunion between Guy and Ice, and even though I never read the books where they hooked up, I was curious. There were some nice bits in the book, but unfortunately, a glaring error that only a New Yorker is likely to catch. Kyle and Guy are at the Statue of Liberty, which is in New York Harbor, mostly south of Manhattan island. It's a nice scene, btw. So then we cut to Times Square, which the narration says is "Forty-two blocks north." Uh, no. Just, no.

See, there are a lot of blocks between the ferry terminal at the tip of Manhattan overlooking the harbor and Lady Liberty, and the numbered streets. A lot of them. They aren't that long, but they're there, weaving through downtown and Soho, Tribeca, Little Italy, Chinatown, Greenwhich Village, the Lower East Side, some of which are next to each other, but all of which separate the harbor from the numbered streets. So Times Square is quite a bit farther north than 42 blocks. They should've just covered the distance in miles. Which would have meant getting out a map and measuring, then checking the scale thingie in the legend. Because something like this is so easy to check and so easy to get wrong if you don't bother and think that if something in NYC is on 42nd Street, it must be 42 blocks north of the harbor. It's a small thing, but it annoyed me.


  1. Heh. You're right, it is usually the little things that are the most annoying. You'll be reading along, and enjoying the moment, and then there is an error made, and although it really doesn't impact on the story, it takes you OUT of the story...and therefore becomes annoying.

    But I DID love the scenes on the Statue of Liberty.

  2. It WAS a nice scene. And then there was that error after to ruin it. grrrr....

  3. Just to illustrate your point...I was reading Scans Daily, and there was one with an old Wonder Woman book, that had her fighting evil bees in Houston. Well, that seemed on the odd side, but I suppose that there COULD be evil bees in Houston.

    But what REALLY shook me, was that they said there was desert, 100 miles north of Houston. I lived in Austin, Texas for a couple of years, and I certainly don't remember a desert NORTH of Houston. South...maybe.

    As you say, here was a totally bizarre story, and yet I was buying the whole premise...until they came up with that nonsensical assertation about nonexistant deserts.

  4. I spent a week in Texas in 1979 and my friend, a Texan, drove us from Austin to San Antonio and I remember it being rather barren in between but I don't know if it was a desert.

    It is strange how we'll accept the surreal and not the small errors of our reality. I mean, that could be a NYC in that story that didn't have the unnumbered streets, but I couldn't accept that. ;)

  5. I'm assuming that this other NYC exists in a parallel universe with an earth that is almost a duplicate of our own, which coexists with our world in a different vibratory dimension. The two NYCs can occupy the same time and space if they vibrate at different speeds. In this other NYC it is exactly 42 blocks from the Statue of Liberty to Times Square and there is a desert north of Houston.

    Feel better?

  6. LOL, Dr. Retro. I feel much better now. ;)

  7. Anonymous2:07 PM EST

    You know, I was living in Buffalo when Bruce Almighty came out, showing the city of rows of tidy brownhouses (which don't exist in that city). I was also there when X-Files set an episode, there, and stated that people took a subway from the suburbs to Chinatown. Buffalo does have a subway, but it runs in a line for about 3 or 4 miles, and doesn't make it near the 'burbs. Oh, and there is no Chinatown.

    Still bugs me.

  8. LOL, greyman. I know what you mean. I remember watching Cagney and Lacey which took place in NYC and at one point in an episode they crossed the same bridge 3 times during one car trip. On an episode of the Equalizer, McCall and Mickey parked about 60 or so blocks north of their destination, then walked across the street where that destination was! I didn't know we had transporters here. :)