What do the films Vanilla Sky, Captain America, Glee, Friends with Benefits & New Years Eve all have in common? What about Sleepless in Seattle, King Kong, How I Met Your Mother, Elf, Independence Day & Gossip Girl? The first all featured famous scenes in New York City’s Times Square. The second set shot scenes on location at the Empire State Building (Fifth Avenue). And I was right there, on location at both!
New York City is the most filmed city in the world. Some of the most iconic films in history have been set in New York, and the city is used as a backdrop for everything from major blockbusters, to smash hit television series’ like Sex in the City and Friends. Over 30 major projects a month base themselves across the big apple, making NYC the best destination to follow in the footsteps of some of your favorite TV & movie characters.
Spider-Man fan? Catch a glimpse of the Daily Bugle offices. How I Met Your Mother fanatic? Visit McGee’s Pub – inspiration for MacLarens. Can you recite every scene from Ghost Busters? Walk right up to the door of Hook & Ladder 8 on North Moore Street – the famous fire station also featured in both Hitch & Seinfeld.
Our New York Movies & TV Sites Tour was a fantastic way to see New York. Jumping onto our big red bus, our guided tour took us to some of the most filmed locations in the city, and these just happened to be some of the city’s biggest landmarks and attractions. From Times Square to Fifth Avenue and the Pulitzer Fountain, to the Plaza, Wall Street and the Empire State Building – our tour covered the whole of New York City, but with the added bonus of being movie themed!
Starting in Times Square, where Jamie (Mila Kunis) introduced Dylan (Justin Timberlake) to the word “Flash Mob” in Friends with Benefits, and the streets that Tom Cruise ran through in Vanilla Sky, we continued our tour through Central Park and down to the fabulous Fifth Avenue where the bus played clips from Breakfast at Tiffany’s – the only film in the history of cinema to be actually filmed inside Tiffany’s. Because of the sheer amount of wealth inside, film crews are no longer granted access, and anything you watch featuring the store is filmed on a set.
Continuing along Fifth Avenue, we hit locations like the Pulitzer Fountain which was replicated in the opening credits of Friends; The St Regis Hotel as featured in The Devil Wear Prada and Miss Congeniality; St Patrick’s Cathedral from Spider-Man and I am Legend; and the New York Public Library, a filming location used in Ghost Busters, Spider-Man, 13 Going 30, and the Sex in the City Movie. Though it’s amusing to note that in all of the above movies, you see characters walking out of the library with books, when in reality is the library is for research only.
We also hit up off the beaten path neighborhoods like SoHo, the Meatpacking District, Greenwich Village, Tribeca and the Upper East Side, driving past Beyonce and JZ’s New York home, and taking in sights featured in everything from Elf, Law & Order, & Mad Men, to Bride Wars, Men in Black I, II & III, Home Alone 2 and The Cosby Show.
With so many major films & TV shows packed into the one tour, this was a pretty epic way to see New York. And as a die-hard Friends fan, the highlight of the tour for me was obviously jumping off the bus once we reached Greenwich Village. Our guide Elise lead us to the perfect photo-op outside the apartment building which was home to Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Rachel.
While the hit TV series was actually filmed on set in Los Angeles, all of the establishing shots were filmed in New York City to give it a West Village feel.
As epically awesome as the tour was, taking us past some of the most filmed destinations in the city, what made it truly fantastic was our tour guide Elise. An actress and comedian who performs on Saturday Night Live, she had an intimate knowledge of the city, and was able to share stories with us along the way of actors she had personally worked with throughout her career, like Tom Cruise!
Did you know that Times Square was shut down during the filming of Vanilla Sky, however despite filming incredibly early in the morning, the filming caused so much traffic and congestion that Times Square will never be shut down for another feature film again.
Or that Bill Murray is currently running around the city, sneaking up behind people and putting his hands over their eyes, only to run away and say “no-one will ever believe you!” after they turn around?!
Crazy little facts like this throughout our tour kept us absolutely captivated, and it was so incredibly cool to see first hand where all of the TV and movie-magic has happened.
Want to experience the movie-magic of New York City for yourself? Enter our giveaway below for the chance to win a New York TV & Movie Sites Tour for Two!!
Raffle ends at 12am on August 18 2014, and one winner will be chosen at random and notified via email. See Terms and Conditions below.