10 Iconic Filming Spots in New York You Have to See IRL
New York City is on pretty much everyone’s destination bucket list, and it’s likely that at least some of your ‘must-do’ activities in the Big Apple involve trekking to famous filming locations. There are the obvious — Carrie’s apartment from “Sex And The City”, for example — but there are also plenty of New York filming locations that you could easily stroll past without understanding their proper cinematic weight.
Maybe you already know exactly where to find a few. But at the very least, it’s always handy to have a collection of great filming locations in New York to visit in one super handy list, right? Well, do we have you covered or what. All the heavy hitters are present and accounted for – “Friends”, “Gossip Girl”, “Home Alone 2” and, of course, “Sex And The City”.
Here is a not-at-all-exhaustive, but very doable list of filming locations in New York City you won’t want to miss.
Grand Central Terminal, Various
Grand Central Station’s terminal has to be seen to be believed. It is actually like something right out of Hollywood, with its soaring ceilings and extreme decadence. There is the most obvious scene set here, of course – the opening of “Gossip Girl”, when Serena van der Woodsen arrives back in NYC – but it’s also featured in films like “Armageddon”, “Men In Black”, and the classic Golden Age flick, “North By Northwest”.
Central Park, Various
Central Park is massive – it dominates the top half of Manhattan. If you want to tour the filming locations here, the top three would have to be Bow Bridge (“Enchanted”, “Uptown Girls”, “Sex And The City”, “Home Alone 2”), The Mall (“Maid In Manhattan”) and The Lake (“Sex And The City”, “27 Dresses”). But it’s so vast, it’s worth booking a tour if you really want to immerse yourself in all its Hollywood fame. On Location Tours has a great walking tour that covers all the major filming locations across Central Park. Don’t forget to swing past The Plaza Hotel on your way out – where Carrie and Mr Big have their infamous closure scene by the fountain.
The Apartment, Friends
While “Friends” was filmed at a studio in Los Angeles, the exterior of the famous apartment block that housed our favourite New Yorkers of the ‘90s is in NYC. You’ll have to head down to Greenwich Village to spot it, and it’s not signposted – but head to the corner of Grove and Bedford Streets, look up, and you’ll see the unmistakable facade at number 90.
Carrie’s Apartment, Sex And The City
It’s almost certainly on your list already, but perhaps you need the actual address of Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment in New York City. Again, this is just the exterior – and it’s worth noting that this is private property, with a rope blocking access to the stairs. Still, you’ll find the usual gaggle of SATC fans snapping outside 66 Perry St in the West Village, where many an iconic scene has been filmed.
Constance-Billard High School, Gossip Girl
You’re already heading to The Met (Metropolitan Museum Of Art) to sit on the famous stairs just like Serena and Blair. But do you know where the exterior of Constance-Billard is located? That chic courtyard is actually out the front of the Museum of the City of New York, on Fifth Avenue, several blocks north of The Met, if you want to make a day of it.
7B Horseshoe Bar, Various
At 108 Avenue B in the East Village, you’ll find a bar that has somehow featured in everything from “Sex And The City” to “The Godfather II”. Carrie got kicked out of this dive bar for smoking weed, and the Rosato brothers tried to choke Frankie Pentangeli here — plus, it’s the setting for Luke’s Bar in “Jessica Jones” and features heavily in “Law And Order”.
110th Street (Between 2nd and 3rd Avenues), West Side Story
Not many of the original “West Side Story” filming locations still stand, including the famous tenement buildings with their iconic fire stairs. However, one that has survived is the playground where the Sharks and Jets have their fight. It’s in East Harlem on 110th Street. If you’re after the beautiful tenement exteriors, you’ll find them around this area, too — or head to the Lower East Side.
Tom’s Restaurant, Seinfeld
The diner frequented by Jerry Seinfeld and his pals was actually a set, but the exterior is very much a New York City icon. Unmissable on the corner of Broadway and West 112th Street in Morningside Heights, the neon sign is still illuminated. It’s also a top-rated restaurant in the area, too — Barack Obama ate there when he was a student at Columbia University.
Tiffany & Co, Breakfast At Tiffany’s
You have to buy a croissant and coffee and then stand in front of the Tiffany & Co. windows on Fifth Avenue. No one will bat an eyelid because fans of Holly Golightly and the dreamy Hollywood film have been doing the same for decades. The exact address is 727 5th Avenue — here are two on the same avenue, but this is ‘The Landmark’, the original 1940s building featured in “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” and, if you love romcoms, “Sweet Home Alabama”.
Speedy Romeo, Girls
There are loads of filming locations in New York City connected to HBO’s millennial darling, “Girls”, but Speedy Romeo at 376 Classon Avenue, Brooklyn, is the one you have to visit. It’s the real-life restaurant that doubled as Ray’s cafe, and the interior still looks the same! Plus, they do damn good pizza if you’re keen for a slice.
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