A photograph of St. Mark’s Pl.

A photograph of St. Mark’s Pl. in the June 25 Villager taken outside E La Nave Va restaurant, used to illustrate how sidewalk crowding and public drinking are side effects of the mayor’s new antismoking law, is being called an irrelevant example by a leading local nightlife advocate.

Dave McWater, vice president of the New York Nightlife Association, who owns several bars on Avenue A, has charged at Community Board 3 meetings that the photo — which appeared in the article, “Sidewalk soakings, crowding, charges of a drinking double standard: The new smoking law’s impact” — actually shows a film crew and that a movie shot, not the smoking law, is why the crowd was drawn out on the sidewalk.

“I said it looks like there’s a camera and a boom in the background,” McWater said. “That particular picture did not look representative to me of nightlife.” However, he added, he can’t necessarily speak for conditions on St. Mark’s Pl., since, “I spend more time on the avenue, so I don’t know really.”

Photographer Bob Arihood was beside himself at McWater’s claims.

“There’s no goddamn boom there, there’s no light, there are no cameras,” he said. “That is a light on the side of the building, and what happens is, with low-light photography the brightness range is so great that some lights look much brighter than they are. There’s a bright light on the front of the newsstand. There’s a container full of trash — maybe he thinks that’s a camera. I’m giving you my word.”

Ironically, Arihood recently was passing by the restaurant at night and Pierce Brosnahan and Julianne Moore were filming a movie at the location. However, E La Nave Va’s signature hanging tomato was in the garbage, signaling either a change of ownership or a renovation.

The Villager thinks Arihood is right: There is a pile of boxes, not a camera in the photo — but, on the other hand, it does resemble a movie shoot because of the bright light on the building. To decide for yourself, check www.thevillager.com under previous issues.