Is ''City by the Sea'''s Long Beach really that bad? The Robert De Niro film depicts the area as delapidated and drug-infested

By Nicholas Fonseca
September 13, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT
City by the Sea: Phillip V. Caruso

Q In ”City by the Sea,” Long Beach, N.Y., is littered with burnt-out casinos and crack dens. Fair?

A Don’t believe what you ”Sea.” Although Long Beach suffered a downturn in the ’60s — mental patients and poor seniors filled the city’s hotels — today it’s a hot day-trip spot. Filmmakers shot many exteriors in less-polished Asbury Park, N.J. (popularized by Bruce Springsteen). ”[Long Beach’s] boardwalk was too nice,” admits Matthew Baer, a producer. As Vincent LaMarca, on whom Robert De Niro’s cop is based, notes, ”I’m sure the chamber of commerce is not happy!” Chamber director Edmund Buscemi declined to comment on a film ”that’s obviously fiction.”

(Send queries to Burning Questions@ew.com.)

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