Downtown Troy shops open for business despite HBO transformations

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TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Storefronts in the Monument Square area may look like they belong in the 1800s, but they’re open for usual business while production crews transform Downtown Troy into the set for HBO’s “The Gilded Age.”

Set designers Thursday put some finishing touches on Artcentric, an antique shop on River Street, disguising it as an old-timey shoe repair shop and theatre.

“Overall, they’ve been really great to work with. Really nice people. As accommodating as they can be as they create a Victorian world,” said Debra Lockrow, owner of Artcentric.

Lockrow said while it’s a challenge to make sure people know her business is still open, it’s exciting to see the Collar City transformed for TV. She says her shop was also used for the Amazon Prime series Modern Love.

With HBO in town, all that glitters is not gold for one Downtown Troy dentist. Dr. Shali Ahuja’s office on Broadway is center stage for production crews, and the road closures and parking restrictions have created a nightmare for her patients.

“A lot of parents’ children are disabled. They require wheelchair access, they get dropped off by Medicab and other services, and they’re no longer allowed to enter within the parameters of the office,” said Dr. Shali.

She’s been resisting the removal of her sign and wants designated parking for patients, some of whom haven’t been to the dentist in over a year because of the pandemic.

“I was resisting, not for any other reason, but advocating for my patients and their children,” Dr. Shali said, “that they would have a place to park and not have to push their strollers and wheelchairs from a mile away just to get to their appointment.”

Dr. Shali hopes the challenges of having HBO in the city at least result in some investment into parts of Troy that need it.

While Lockrow said the warning about the extent of the production was short-noticed, Dr. Shali claims she got no notice at all.

A spokesperson for the city of Troy told NEWS10 extensive outreach was done weeks ahead of time to notify residents, businesses, and property owners about the production. The city added that HBO being in town has given a boost to struggling restaurants in the area.

More parking restrictions and road closures are expected in the coming days.

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