NEW YORK — Earlier this spring, Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared April 30 to May 6 "Spider-Man Week in NYC," and the festivities are well under way all over town.
Monday night brought Peter Parker and company back home to Queens for the U.S. premiere of "Spider-Man 3," and throngs of fans were there to cheer the stars who walked the black carpet (see "Maguire, Dunst, Grace Get Into Swing Of Things At 'Spider-Man 3' U.S. Premiere").
Special events continued Tuesday, when the man behind the mask, Tobey Maguire, greeted excited kids at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. Accompanied by chants of "Go Spidey! Go Spidey!" from the crowd, Maguire took center stage in the museum's Grand Gallery alongside Norman Platnick, curator of the Division of Invertebrate Zoology, to kick off a weeklong arachnid exhibit called "Spiders: Alive!"
"I wanted to start with a question for Norm," Maguire said. "How many different species of spiders are there?" After the expert obliged with an answer (apparently scientists have documented more than 40,000 so far), Maguire invited kids up one by one to ask their own spider-related questions.
Later in the day, Topher Grace made an appearance at comics and collectibles store Forbidden Planet near Manhattan's Union Square. The event was billed as "Venom in the Village," and fans queued up on the sidewalk to snag an autograph from one of the film franchise's new villains (see "Topher Grace Says He Had To Suffer 'Nuclear Wedgie' For 'Spidey 3' ").
Grace, a comics fan since childhood, said he was honored to play Venom but admitted that he was a bit unprepared for all the hoopla surrounding the film. "I've never been in a movie this big," he said. "I just saw the line around the block here, and it's intimidating!"
As for Monday's event, which followed premieres in cities such as Tokyo and London, Grace said the studio had saved the best for last: "Spider-Man's a global hero, but this is his hometown."
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