It goes without saying that some of best movies ever made were filmed in New York City. Whether you enjoy historical dramas like "Gangs of New York" or modern comic book adaptations like "The Avengers," the Big Apple has been a frequent backdrop for directors since cinema was created.
Here we run down some of the iconic Manhattan filming locations in New York's rich cinematic history.
- "When Harry Met Sally"
Katz’s Delicatessen – 205 E. Houston St.
The most famous scene in this 1989 classic goes down at pastrami-and-corn beef haven Katz's Deli in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Pinpoint the table where Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal dined, take a seat and have what she’s having.
Serendipity 3 – 225 E. 60th St.
If you want to sip on delicious frozen hot chocolates while dreaming of finding a serendipitous love like John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale do in this 2001 romcom, be sure to arrive at this small Upper East Side parlor either early or late. The place gets packed with visitors, all clamoring to sit at the "Star Table" where a few scenes in the movie were shot.
- "Night at the Museum" series
American Museum of Natural History - Central Park West at 79th St.
Starring Ben Stiller and the late Robin Williams, much of the "Night at the Museum" franchise takes place in this Upper West Side institution, as Stiller plays a nighttime security guard who must deal with exhibits coming to life. In real life, the Natural History Museum may not be filled with ornery miniature cowboys and kleptomaniac capuchin monkeys, but we promise: it’s just as enjoyable.
The Russian Tea Room – 150 W. 57th St.
While several films have featured this famed midtown eatery, the most famous by far is 1982's "Tootsie." Dine on traditional Russian favorites and relive the moment Michael Dorsey unveiled Dorothy Michaels to his unsuspecting agent.
- "Wall Street"
Most of the time, it's hard to imagine anything bad happening at the peaceful Sheep Meadow in Central Park (in the lower park near 66th Street), but this is where Gordon Gekko violently confronts Bud Fox in 1987's "Wall Street." Round out your visit with a meal at nearby Tavern on the Green, another "Wall Street" location.
Hook & Ladder 8 – 14 N. Moore St.
While interior scenes were shot in Los Angeles, the exterior of the ghostbusting gang's iconic office were shot at Tribeca's Hook & Ladder 8 firehouse. The building is a working fire station; however, the Ladder 8 team has been temporarily relocated while 14 N. Moore undergoes an extensive renovation.
- "Midnight Cowboy"
58th Street & Sixth Avenue
One of the most famous lines in film history was a completely improvised, near-miss in 1969's "Midnight Cowboy." Dustin Hoffman recounts that the production had no permits to shoot the scene in Midtown, and although they'd time the dialog to match the light, the taxi driver in the scene tried to push through on yellow. Look both ways before you cross at this busy intersection, lest you have your own "I'm walkin' here!" altercation.
Sutton Square & Riverview Terrace
In a film dedicated to a deep love of New York City, there are many iconic locations to choose from, but our favorite is the park bench seen under the 59th Street Bridge. Perhaps Woody Allen's Isaac captures it best when he says, "This is really a great city. I don't care what anyone says. It's really a knockout, you know?"
- "The Seven-Year Itch"
Lexington Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Streets
In real life, subway grate breezes are rarely termed "delicious," but that's what Marilyn Monroe's character in "The Seven-Year Itch" thought of the blustery blasts in this classic scene. While footage was, in fact, shot on Lexington Avenue, what is seen in the film was filmed on a Los Angeles soundstage. The fact that her heels don't get caught in the grate? Now that's movie magic!
- "Breakfast at Tiffany's"
Tiffany & Co. – Fifth Avenue & 57th Street
No list of New York City film history would be complete without mentioning "Breakfast at Tiffany's." In the film's opening scene, screen legend Audrey Hepburn nibbles her pastry and sips her coffee on an eerily empty 57th Street while gazing in the window of Tiffany & Co. As Holly Golightly says, "Nothing very bad could happen to you there."
As these 10 films attest, Manhattan is always ready for her close-up.