You Can Now Watch LES-Based ‘Off Track Betty’ Online

Posted on: June 27th, 2017 at 9:32 am by

If you missed the showing of Clayton Dean Smith’s Off Track Betty at the Friends of the Elizabeth Street Garden Film Festival, you have another chance yet. Pulling down accolades from the 2016 Brooklyn Film Festival, the nineteen-minute short is now available for your online viewing pleasure, free of charge.

The film tells the story of a longtime resident of the Lower East Side, who comes to the realization that she no longer recognizes her neighborhood. It’s packed with bittersweet, close-to-home observations, like grass growing through a chain link fence, or plaster crumbling from a hallway corner. The storyline is complex in its simplicity; it masterfully balances coming to grips with an ever-gentrifying city, while never letting go of the hopeful heartstrings that twist New York into the magical place it can be.

OTB ghost signage on Delancey St., April 2010

During the filming of Off Track Betty, chosen locations were disappearing at quite the clip, and continue to do so since the release. According to Smith, demolition for the Essex Crossing mega-project commenced on his second day of production. There’s also a shot of the front entrance and steps of the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol synagogue in the film, years before it was burned down. It’s also worth mentioning that award-winning cinematographer Giacomo Belletti shot Off Track Betty, and it proved to be one of the last film projects on 16mm processed in New York City. Ever.

Be sure to check it out here. Trailer below.

Recent Stories

Stringer Punts on East Side Coastal Resilience Contract

For advocates of East River Park, a brief reprieve. City Comptroller, and former mayoral candidate Scott Stringer did not sign the $1.2 billion construction contract with IPC Resiliency Partners that would kickstart city funding for the East Side Coastal Resilience project. It apparently boils down to missing info and the review period having elapsed. “As […]

Restless Soul: Christopher Paul Stelling at Rockwood Music Hall

Christopher Paul Stelling lived in New York City for a few years. He inhabits a restless soul, however. Originally from Daytona Beach, Florida, the artist has lived in Colorado, Washington, Massachusetts, and currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina. He spends a lot of time on the road, too, except that last year he had no […]

Wegmans Market to Open at Former Astor Place Kmart

Something rather unexpected. Not two weeks after Kmart terminated its presence in Astor Place, its replacement is announced. From left field – Wegmans is to open its first Manhattan grocery at this location. The well-regarded, Rochester-based chain already maintains a store in Brooklyn. Curb your enthusiasm, though, as the new Wegmans won’t open at 770 […]

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot Wraps its Summer Season

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot is wrapping up its latest affair with a lesser known production from the Bard’s canon. Continuing the Lower East Side tradition, the Drilling Company is back at the Clemente for three final performances this week – to perform Two Noble Kinsmen. For this iteration, director Hamilton Clancy has taken the […]

A Grave Marker for a Homeless Man Bludgeoned to Death on the Bowery

It’s been nearly two years since the city was rocked by the fatal bludgeoning of homeless men on the Bowery while they slept. Of the five beaten by 24-year-old attacker Randy Santos, four ultimately died – Chuen Kwok, Anthony Manson, Florencio Moran, and Nazario Vasquez-Villegas. Chuen Kwok was a vulnerable senior who, after the passing […]