When Harry Met Sally - Katz’s Delicatessen
Arguably one of the most memorable scenes in movie history is the deli scene from When Harry Met Sally, where Meg Ryan acts out a very noisy state of… shall we say excitement, much to the bemusement of Billy Crystal’s character and the surprise of surrounding diners. This scene takes place in one of New York’s traditional delis, Katz’s Delicatessen, and even if you haven’t seen the film, it’s definitely worth a visit for that true New York experience. Order one of their huge sandwiches, and sit under the now-installed speech bubble that says “I’ll have what she’s having”, as an homage to the famous scene.
Ghostbusters HQ – 8-14 North Moore Street and Varick Street, Manhattan.
An absolute classic from the 1980s, Ghostbusters kept New York safe from various ghouls, ghosts and possessed evil-doers that had it in for the city. A team led by the characters played by Bill Murray and Dan Ackroyd had their base in a tall, but narrow building that looks a lot like a fire station, which in fact it is in real life. The Hook and Ladder 8 building on the corner of North Moore Street and Varick Street has been in use since 1903 and, incidentally, its firefighters were some of the first to respond to the 9/11 attacks.
Seven Year Itch - Lexington Avenue
The film may not be recognisable from its title alone, but one particular scene from this film is recognised as iconic, worldwide. The storyline evolves around the mid-life crisis of the rather plain Richard Sherman who meets a young actress while his family is away on holiday. Tempted by this gorgeous blonde, they spend a few days together in New York. After a trip to the cinema, Marilyn Monroe’s character says she wants to feel the breeze from the subway. The image of her holding down her white dress as the air blows it up around her, is one of the most famous images of the acress, and on the corner of Lexington Avenue and East 52nd Street, you can try to recreate the scene. White dress not included!
Wolf of Wall Street - Skytop restaurant at the Top of the Sixes on NY 5th Avenue
Early in this multi award-winning Scorsese film, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character is struggling to get to grips with life on Wall Street. His boss (played by Matthew McConaughey) takes him for lunch at the skytop restaurant at the Top of the Sixes on 5th Avenue, where he starts humming loudly and beating his chest. The story has it that the scene was unscripted and the routine was actually McConaughey’s warm-up exercises before filming, which Scorsese thought he would include without telling Leonardo about it first. Visit the restaurant for yourself, but maybe try and keep the humming and chest beating to a minimum… or actually… just go for it – you may not be the only one!
Crocodile Dundee – Centre Street and Chambers Street
Although New York features in both Crocodile Dundee I and II, the most quoted scene from the film is without a doubt the famous mugging scenario, where Dundee at the sight of a knife, simply laughs and pulls out a much bigger blade with the immortal words “That is not a knife, this is a knife”. While we don’t recommend re-enacting this scene, you can however still visit the place where it happened. The failed mugging, rather peculiarly, is carried out under the arches of the Manhattan Municipal Building on the corner of Centre Street and Chambers Street, and even if you’re not the greatest Crocodile Dunne fan (which frankly hurts our feelings a little bit), it is still an impressive building to see.
Vanilla Sky – Times Square, Riverside Drive and West 96th Street
Cameron Crowe’s Vanilla Sky starring Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz features numerous shots of the Big Apple. Most famously the dream scene, where Tom Cruise’s character walks down an empty Times Square, was one of the most impressive to film (and watch). In real life, the crew was given unprecedented permission to close down the normally very crowded square for one day. Another location from the film which can be visited is Riverside Park. The famous car crash scene takes place at the bridge on Riverside Drive and West 96th Street, and while the scene itself is quite dramatic, the park is in reality very pleasant –especially during spring and autumn. The north of the park is also featured in the Charles Bronson classic Death Wish.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – 167 E 71st St, Manhattan
This classic Audrey Hepburn film, based on the novel by Truman Capote, features numerous beautiful shots of New York. From the opening scene where Holly Golightly window-shops in front of Tiffany & Co (on the corner of 5th Avenue and E 57th Street), to the walks in Central Park and the trip to New York Public Library, backdrops throughout the movie are very much a tribute to the great city of New York. One of the main locations is Holly Golightly’s apartment, and although the interior was filmed in Los Angeles, the façade of the house on 167 East 71st Street can still be visited, although unfortunately we can’t guarantee an impromptu window-rendition of Moon River.
Men In Black – Battery Park – Triborough Bridge/ Flushing Park
One of the films that really established Will Smith as a household name in the film industry after Bad Boys and Independence Day was undoubtedly his appearance in the movie franchise Men in Black. On his first day on the job, he arrives at a giant white building with no windows. On entering he finds nothing but a gigantic fan, a lift and an old man reading a newspaper. In real life, this building serves as the ventilation building for the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, although of course, that is what they would like you to think… but who knows what hides beneath? Facing the northern part of Battery Park, a walk through this green space should also include a visit to this peculiar building.
Sex & The City – Carrie’s Apartment - 66 Perry Street and Bleecker Street
New York City is practically a cast member in its own right in this hugely popular show and subsequent movies. From the many restaurants and galleries, to the numerous parks and houses that the four women frequent on a daily basis, the city is a constant scenic backdrop in the show. The most famous of these places in without a doubt, Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment which is located at 64 Perry Street. A charming street in classic New York style with trees lining the pavement and staircases leading up to old townhouses, “Carrie’s apartment” was sold for almost $10m in 2012. Today the house has a small chain in front of the stairs, to prevent fans from getting too close.
Friends - apartment - Bedford St and Grove St
Okay, Friends is not exactly a movie, but few places are more iconic than the outside shot of the apartment that seems to have been inhabited by all six characters during the 9 seasons. Located on the corner of Bedford Street and Grove Street, a number of guided TV and film-tours will stop by this instantly recognisable building. Unfortunately there is no Central Perk nearby that you can retreat to afterward for a coffee. There are however other Friends sights to be found in the city, such as the Moondance Diner on 33 Leonard Street, which is where Monica worked in a 1950s-themed establishment, or the American Museum of Natural History, which is the site of Ross’ fictional workplace: The New York Museum of Prehistoric History.