Sunday, December 18, 2005


Back on foot, Marcus bumped into a pedestrian who bore a passing resemblance to Tony Soprano. The man responded, “Hey, pay attention, asshole!”

Kamil sighed. “That’s what most Americans think of New Yorkers,” he said. They observed that the game pandered to out-of-towners’ stereotypes in other ways—piles of garbage, ubiquitous graffiti, and boarded-up windows in even the best neighborhoods. Ebejer, the producer, confirmed this. “We took a little bit of creative license and made the city grittier and dirtier than it is in real life,” he said, “because that’s the common perception of what New York City is.”

The guides noticed more peculiarities. Somehow, practically every statue in the city—George M. Cohan, in Duffy Square; the Maine Memorial, in Columbus Circle; Hans Christian Andersen, in Central Park—seemed to have become George Washington being sworn in on the steps of Federal Hall. The only place the guides couldn’t find him was on the steps of Federal Hall, because Federal Hall itself was missing. A quick check identified additional absentee landmarks, including the Apollo Theatre, the Intrepid, and New Jersey. (True Crime’s Battery Park City has fabulous views of the open ocean.)