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Filmmaker Captures Dramatic Scenes of Uptown's Summer

By Carla Zanoni | August 18, 2011 6:52am | Updated on August 18, 2011 7:19am

UPPER MANHATTAN — The long, hot summer is comiNg to an end, but 2011's heat has been immortalized by a Washington Heights filmmaker.

As temperatures topped 104 degrees on July 22, Inwood native Emmanuel Abreu took to the street's with his video camera to record dramatic images of residents trying to beat the heat — and ended up capturing an amazzing snapshot of life uptown.

“Almost everyone that was in front of the camera wanted to show off their water splashing skills," Abreu said.

The three-minute short shows kids running along Vermilyea Avenue, between 204th and Academy streets, dipping and weaving through the spray of water, filling water balloons made of black garbage bags and spraying passing cars and trucks.

Inwood residents play in a fire hydrant on July 22, 2011.
Inwood residents play in a fire hydrant on July 22, 2011.
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Art By DJBoy

The film begins with dramatic music and black-and-white images of a street smoldering from the summer heat. It ends in color with a daredevil man taking a flying leap onto a slip 'n' slide made of black plastic and laid in the middle of a road.

For 27-year-old Abreu, who goes by the name DJBoy, scenes like these were part of growing up in Inwood.

“Even though Inwood Hill Park was just a few blocks away, the sprinklers were no comparison to the massive force coming out of the fire hydrants,” he said.

Abreu said his foray into street films is just the beginning, adding that he hopes to capture more scenes like these in the future.

“I've been wanting to do a dedication to the summer in the Heights for a really long time,” he said.

“I always imagined shooting a movie in the Heights. This is just a teaser of what's to come from me.”