Robert de Niro and Woody Allen weren’t able to pull it off.
But a computer programmer was able to shoot images inside the private Gramercy Park and upload them for Google Maps for the world to see.
Shawn Christopher, a computer programmer from the Pittsburgh area, was able to get into the park because his Airbnb rental in the neighborhood came with access to one of 383 “coveted keys” to the park, The New York Times reported. Once inside the park, he shot three 360-degree panoramas.
“When I found out where I was, I thought, ‘This has to be captured,” Christopher told the newspaper. “The Internet is all about sharing knowledge, especially these secret, hidden things.”
Arlene Harrison, president of the Gramercy Park Bloc Association, told the Times she was not considering requesting Google to take down the panoramic image. But she said she would have declined a Google request to photograph inside the park.
Christopher told the Times he didn’t know he had to have permission to photograph inside the park. But he doesn’t regret that he did. “I just really wanted to share this with other people,” he said.
Allen and De Niro had famously sought permission to shoot in the park, but were rebuffed.
Gramercy Park opened in 1831, but has been closed to most people except those who live around the green space and their guests.