I used the Universal Studios backlot from the mid-50s to imagine Michael’s world in my book ‘Second-Story Man.’ But one significant setting did not really exist on the backlot—it was only a note on a blueprint. The note suggested that an alley would later cut through from New York Street to Courthouse Square. I liked the idea of an alley in this location and it served to play an important role in the story as does the dumpster in the foreground.
An interesting addition to this alley is the ceiling above. This makes the alley a bit more of a tunnel—always dark and foreboding.