While not exactly Hollywood, New York City can puff out its chest when it comes to iconic movie sites and proudly call itself the most filmed city in the world. As both a tribute and an education, Turner Classic Movies and On Location Tours is offering a 3-hour tour (yes, a 3-hour tour) exploring the movie locations and inspirations of Manhattan.
On a glorious New York September Saturday, our tour started at the aptly-named Ellen's Stardust Diner on Broadway and 51st street (home of the singing wait staff).
Some of the tour highlights:
Okay, folks, I admit it. I NEVER get much of a chance to visit Manhattan's upper west side, since all of my friends and acquaintances don't travel in those tony circles. So, the sites in this neighborhood were a real treat for me.
The Ansonia Hotel
This gorgeous, historic structure was the setting for "The Sunshine Boys" starring George Burns and Walter Matthau, as well as the creepy "Single White Female." Hey - I'd answer an add to share an apartment in that building!
I know it's a food store, but what a food store! Ever since I saw Woody Allen and Mariel Hemingway shopping there, I was smitten.
Breakfast at Tiffany's
2 awesome iconic sites for this film: of course, Tiffany's
And, the outside of the glorious townhouse that was Holly's crash pad.
The Seven Year Itch
Who can forget Marilyn's famous subway grate pose? Sadly, there is no marker at the spot (although TCM is working on having a plaque made to mark the location).
This unforgettable image was actually shot in Los Angeles, since there were too many gawkers in Manhattan.
However, here is the actual subway grate and tour guide Jason and driver Harold did their best MM imitation. Thanks, guys!
The home of "Rosemary's Baby." Still looking creepy...
Cary Grant was here!!!
Just to be in the same spot where he stood, he breathed....ahh....
"An Affair to Remember"
I know the ape is famous for climbing this building, and Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks shared a moment here, but I'm all starry-eyed because Cary Grant waited there... all night....
North by Northwest (Grand Central Station)
Yes, Cary was here, too, eluding his captors....
North by Northwest (The Plaza)
And here, having a drink at the Oak Bar and sneaking into rooms.
This unforgettable image was filmed at the foot of the Queensboro Bridge (also known as the 59th Street Bridge and officially as the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge). The bench shared by Woody Allen and Diane Keaton was strategically placed for the film.
So nice to know that Robert Osborne and I share a love for this film. If you're ever invited to Sutton Place, please let me know. I'd give anything to take a peak into those beautiful homes.
And this is just a taste of this very tasty tour. Stops also included Rockefeller Center, FAO Schwartz, The Waldorf-Astoria, Central Park and sadly, some sites that no longer exist. The saddest for me was that Meg Ryan's beautiful Shop Around the Corner in "You've Got Mail, " once a charming antique store, is now a cleaners. Ah, progress (but it is organic!).
I leave you with the very first film made in Manhattan, an 1896 moving image of mounted policemen in Central Park. Movies and Manhattan - the start of a beautiful love affair.
For more about TCM tour's, click HERE.
Many, many thanks to the Lady Eve for passing this opportunity my way. If you haven't familiarized yourself with her superb site, The Lady Eve's Reel Life, well, you simply must!!