The countdown is ON. We are t-minus 8 days until I leave for New York City for the FIRST time! To get myself ready (read: more excited than I already am), I’ve been watching some movies and TV shows that take place in the city.
I know there are a ton – so I’m certain I left some out – these are simply the ones I’ve either got on my shelf, or love! Don’t see your favorite? Leave it in the comments 🙂
“Home Alone 2: Lost in New York”
(1992) “Home Alone” is hands-down my favorite movie. Note, not my favorite Christmas movie, my favorite movie. I still love the second one, and believe me, I’ll be going to the Plaza hotel.
I’m going to TRY my best not to freak out upon seeing the same lobby that’s featured in the film when Kevin bumps into Donald Trump (“Excuse me, where’s the lobby?”) and then reserves a room using his Talkboy and his dad’s credit card.
I was browsing the Plaza Hotel’s website and saw that they have a “Home Alone 2” package you can add on to your room reservation, which includes a can of paint. If you don’t get that reference, you’ve got work to do.
(2007-2012) I’m embarrassed to admit it – I haven’t seen all of the seasons of “Gossip Girl”! I have read all of the books though #NerdAlert
If you’re not familiar, “Gossip Girl” follows privileged characters in the Upper East Side, Blair and Serena. The pair, and their classmates, get into all sorts of drama, all narrated by the mysterious blogger Gossip Girl.
For fans of the show, Lotte New York Palace offers a Gossip Girl Getaway, which includes luxury accommodations in Midtown Manhattan, a small box of macarons and Prosecco gummy bears, two “Gossip Girl” Champagne cocktails at Trouble’s Trust, “Spotted at The Palace” postcards featuring the famed filming locations at the hotel and savings for the “Gossip Girl Sites Tour“.
(2000) At one point, I watched this movie on the regular. I’d venture to say it’s Ben Affleck’s best work: “They say money can’t buy happiness? Look at the fucking smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby.”
“Boiler Room” follows Seth, a Queens’ College dropout running a casino out of his home, as he gets an invitation to train as a stock broker outside New York City.
The lifestyle of his coworkers looks enticing, and Seth is pretty good at sales, but something… seems off.
The Roosevelt Hotel has a place in the movie and fans can visit it at East 45th Street and Madison Avenue.
“Will & Grace”
(1998-Current) “Will & Grace” is by far my favorite TV show! I’ve seen the episodes more times than I can count, and I’m also that annoying person that has an example from the show to match a real-life happening.
I’ll admit though, that the new episodes aren’t as funny as the old ones – but I’m still glad it’s back!
The show follows best friends, Will, Grace, Jack, and Karen, and their lives, careers, and relationships. New York City is very much a part of this show (not just a backdrop).
The Puck Building (295 Lafayette Street) is where Grace Adler Designs is, and fans can see the exterior of Will and Grace’s apartment at 155 Riverside Drive.
“When Harry Met Sally”
(1989) This is my favorite Nora Ephron movie, and follows two friends – well, possibly enemies at first – as they fall in love over the course of many years.
Both of them think they have the secret to a perfect relationship, but wind up single at the same time. The movie tackles the age-old question, can a man and a woman just be friends?
“You take someone to the airport, it’s clearly the beginning of the relationship. That’s why I have never taken anyone to the airport at the beginning of a relationship.”
New York City sites in the film include the George Washington Bridge, Washington Square North and 5th Avenue, Terminal 7 at JFK Airport, the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park, Harry’s apartment at 57 East 11th Street, and Katz’s Delicatessen.
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s”
(1961) I can’t forget the classics! “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is an iconic film, and I absolutely love the story written by one of my favorite authors, Truman Capote.
I’ve been Holly Golightly for Halloween a few times – after crafting a sleep mask and earrings to match hers in the movie (it’s currently for sale in my Etsy shop)
“Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then – then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name!”
New York City sites from the film include the Tiffany & Co store at 727 5th Avenue and East 57th Street, Holly Golightly’s apartment at 169 East 71st Street and Lexington Avenue, and the New York Public Library.
“Sex & the City”
(1998-2004) Iconic! The show (based off a book) that changed it all – seriously. I have watched episodes of “Sex and the City” so many times, and I even looked up tours to take while in New York City.
However, as much as I love the show, many of the tours were 4+ hours and included cosmopolitans and shopping… I’m not into it. I’ve got waaayyy too many things on my “Sights to See” list for a half-day tour. So, I’m stopping by Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment (on Perry Street) instead.
“The most important thing in life is your family. There are days you love them, and others you don’t. But, in the end, they’re the people you always come home to. Sometimes it’s the family you’re born into and sometimes it’s the one you make for yourself.”
Fans of “Sex and the City” can see the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park (where Carrie meets Big for lunch in season three), the Plaza Hotel (where Big and Natasha celebrated their engagement), Columbus Circle (where Carrie and Aiden breakup in their black and white attire), and Jefferson Market Garden (where Miranda and Steve get married).
(2007) I’m not a huge Disney fan, but I love this movie! “Enchanted” is a modern-day musical that follows Giselle – who’s a stereotypical Disney princess – only she’s basically homeless in New York City. McDreamy Patrick Dempsey steps in and tries to help her get back to her prince.
“She has no driver’s license, no passport, I can’t even find this place she comes from…Andalasia…Whatever. I’ve called every travel agent, every airline. I’m not sure if it’s a country or a city…And she told me it’s just beyond the meadows of joy and the valley of contentment. What is that all about?”
Bow Bridge in Central Park is seen in the movie, along with Washington Square Park, and Katz’s Delicatessen – noticing a theme here?
(2005) Based on the successful Broadway musical, “RENT” is the story of bohemians in New York City’s East Village during the AIDS epidemic. I know it sounds depressing… but it’s SOOOO good!
“To days of inspiration, playing hookey, making something out of nothing, the need to express, to communicate. To going against the grain, going insane, going mad. To loving tension, no pension, to more than one dimension, to starving for attention, hating convention, hating pretension, not to mention, of course, hating dear old Mom and Dad. To riding your bike midday past the three-piece suits. To fruits, to no absolutes, to ‘Absolut.’ To choice, to the ‘Village Voice’, to any passing fad. To being an ‘Us’ for once, instead of a ‘Them.’ La vie BohËme.”
Fans can stop by Vazac’s Horseshoe Bar, and various streets in the East Village to see exterior shots. Many interior shots were filmed in California.
(2012-2017) Many people refer to “Girls” as the millenials’ version of “Sex and the City”, and I can see that in some aspects. But it’s got a completely different tone than “Sex and the City”, plus it has Adam Driver.
“No one could ever hate me as much as I hate myself… Any mean thing someone’s gonna say about me, I’ve already said to me, about me, probably in the last half hour.”
Fans of “Girls” can stop by Murals on 54 63 West 54th street (the opening scene of the series), Meow Parlor at 46 Hester street, Sweet Emma’s on 146 Sullivan street, and see Hannah’s stoop at 1616 India street in Brooklyn.
(2001) “Serendipity” is a classic rom-com, but it truly puts faith to the test as two people keep running into each other at various points in their lives.
“And if you’re smart enough, you learn from your mistakes. You figure it out. You… you think. You realize that life isn’t some elaborate stage play with directions for the actors. Life’s a mess, Sara. It’s… it’s chaos personified.”
Since the movie takes place during Christmastime in New York City, fans of the movie often stop at Bloomingdale’s (specifically the glove counter), Serendipity 3 for a Frozen Hot Chocolate, and ice skate at Wollman Rink (there is also a scene from “Home Alone 2” here).
“The Devil Wears Prada”
(2003) I love this movie! Based on the book (which you must read if you haven’t) by Lauren Weisburger. It follows Andy as she becomes the assistant for the most powerful woman in New York City – a massive fashion magazine editor.
“I’m sorry, do you have some prior commitment? Some hideous skirt convention you have to go to?”
Fans can visit Andy’s apartment at 252 Broome street, the Bakery at 250 Broome street, the Runway Magazine headquarters at 1221 6th Avenue, Craft restaurant, and Miranda’s townhouse at 129 East 73rd street.
(1988) A teenage boy – Josh – wishes to be “big”… and his wish comes true. This is a sweet movie, with some really funny parts. I’ll admit that the hotel scene in this movie is what got me to make SURE I’d feel safe in the place I booked to stay (no matter the price tag).
“You’re Josh Baskin, remember? You broke your arm on my roof! You hid in MY basement when Robert Dyson was about to rip your head off!”
Josh books into the St James Hotel, 109 West 45th Street at 6th Avenue, a block east of Times Square, then gets a job at the old Hasbro Toy Company Building at 32 West 23rd Street, In the film’s most famous scene, Josh and his boss get to dance Heart And Soul on the fab giant keyboard on the Second Floor of giant toystore FAO Schwarz, at 745 Fifth Avenue at 58th Street (which closed in 2015).
“Miracle on 34th Street”
(1947 + several remakes) The Santa Claus at Macy’s causes quite the controversy when he claims to be the REAL Santa!
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade scenes in the 1947 film were shot during the real-life 1946 parade. Since they were using the real parade in the film, re-shoots were of course impossible, so the film crew set up numerous cameras along the parade route to ensure they got everything they needed. The scenes inside Macy’s were shot at the actual Macy’s on 34th street.
A good portion of the film was also shot at the New York County Courthouse on 60 Centre Street in the Civic Centre district.
“You’ve Got Mail”
(1998) A classic rom-com with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks! Their characters hate each other in real life, but over email… it’s a different story. This movie made that AOL sign-in slogan popular.
“The odd thing about this form of communication is that you’re more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.”
Fans can visit film locations including the movie theatre at 1998 Broadway, Gray’s Papaya at 2090 Broadway, Ocean Grill at 382 Columbus Avenue, H&H Bagels at 2239 Broadway, Zabar’s at 2245 Broadway, and the 91st street garden.
I know there’s so many more movies and shows filmed in New York City – what are your favorites? Stay tuned for much more New York goodies this week!