4 Famous NYC Movie Spots Actually Worth the Visit (and 3 You Can Skip)
The longer you live in this city, the less and less exciting those “Film Shoot” permits get—who cares if George Clooney’s trailer’s up there? You were planning on parking here. But hey, can you blame screenwriters for wanting to capture this gorgeous skyline? And actually, some of those classic cinematic sites are actually worth checking out. (Yes, even if you’ve lived here forever.)
Go: New York Public Library (Ghostbusters)
With the recent re-opening of the gorgeous Rose Main Reading Room, the New York Public Library is a (free!) must-see. Take a moment to peek around the many research rooms, grab a snack at Amy’s Bread Café and marvel at the beaux arts architecture.
476 Fifth Ave. (between 40th and 42nd sts.); 917-275-6975 or nypl.org
Skip: Katz’s Deli (When Harry Met Sally)
While this scene in the film does suggest how pleasurable the deli is, the extremely long lines can deter your excitement. The legendary pastrami sandwich is worth the hype, but if two-hour waits aren’t your thing, head to Sarge’s Deli in Murray Hill: You’ll find excellent old-school eats…without the tourists reenacting Meg Ryan’s wails. (Or you can even try Katz’s late-night, when the lines are wayyyy shorter.)
205 E. Houston St. (at Ludlow St.); 212-254-2246 or katzsdelicatessen.com
Go: Mulberry Street Bar (State of Grace, The Sopranos, Law and Order)
This old-school bar and eatery in Little Italy has been the backdrop of quite a few movies and television shows. It’s also the home to the hands-down best karaoke in New York City. Every Friday and Saturday, come sing and watch the locals impressively belt out some Sinatra and Italian opera. You’re in for a night of entertainment.
176 Mulberry St. (at Broome St.); 212-226-9345
Go: Coney Island’s Luna Park (Uptown Girls)
Quite honestly, you can’t blame Dakota Fanning’s character in Uptown Girls for running off to Coney Island. It’s a whimsical and wacky blast from the past that makes for the perfect day trip. Ride the Cyclone at Luna Park and then catch a Cyclones game at the MCU Park, right off the boardwalk (the season kicks off in June). You’ll get all your people-watching, hot-dog-eating and sunbathing in all in one day.
1000 Surf Ave., Brooklyn; lunaparknyc.com
Skip: Times Square (Vanilla Sky)
Cold hard fact: You’re never going to see Times Square this empty in your life. The mass number of people shuttling through at any given hour is enough to drive anyone mad. If you’re looking to get shopping done, Fifth Avenue or the Westfield World Trade Center mall has a more unique selection and a lot fewer off-brand Mickey Mouses begging to take selfies with you.
Broadway between 42nd-47th sts.
Go: The Plaza Hotel (Home Alone 2: Lost In New York)
You don’t have to be lost in the city or even staying at The Plaza to enjoy the glitz and glam of the iconic hotel. Grab a drink at The Rose Club and window-shop (or hell, actual shop if you want) at the array of fantastic boutiques. At least snag a selfie in the lobby worthy of getting you on Rich Kids of Instagram.
768 Fifth Ave. (at 59th St.); 212-759-3000 or fairmont.com
Skip: Empire State Building (Sleepless In Seattle)
Spoiler alert: You probably won’t meet the love of your life on top the Empire State Building. The long lines and pricey elevator ticket aren’t exactly conducive to romance, in our humble opinion. If you really want a great glimpse of the skyline, we suggest walking the Williamsburg Bridge (free!) or grabbing a drink on the rooftop of The Wythe Hotel, where they don’t charge you to take the elevator.
350 Fifth Ave. (at 33rd St.); 212-736-3100 or esbnyc.com