The city that tells a story

New York City seems to have it all – hot summers, freezing winters with piles of snow, sports galore, shopping that could literally make you drop, as well as glamorous locations that are appealing to film and TV crews as picturesque backdrops for a variety of scenes.

When visiting New York, true to American style, there are many TV and film tours that tourists can take part in, seeing some of the sights of entertainment history. So what is more fun than going on a guided tour? Conducting your own personal TV and film tour and finding as many locations as you can that you recognise from some of your favourite TV shows and films. To help, below are my top six that I discovered during my time in New York.

6. The Boathouse Cafe, Central Park – When Harry met Sally, 27 Dresses, Sex and the City

This location has been made famous by many different film and TV scenes. Set in the middle of Central Park, it is beautiful and picturesque, offering a delicious view of the lake while diners feast on luxurious food and drink. Definitely one of the most recognisable scene backdrops in New York.

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“All I’m saying is that somewhere out there is the man you are supposed to marry. And if you don’t get him first, somebody else will, and you’ll have to spend the rest of your life knowing that somebody else is married to your husband.” – Marie, When Harry met Sally

5. Tom’s Restaurant – Seinfeld

I haven’t watched ‘Seinfeld’ in years, but finding Tom’s Restaurant was a must when I visited the Big Apple. I had breakfast here one morning where the food was greasy and tasty, the coffee typically American and bottomless and the service friendly and helpful. This one got a big tip!

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“Elaine, breaking up is like knocking over a Coke machine. You can’t do it in one push; you gotta rock it back and forth a few times and then it goes over.” – Jerry, Seinfeld

4. Washington Square – Glee

I’m sure Washington Square gets a lot of film and TV exposure from different romantic comedy scenes. Most recently I remember this location in a song and dance from ‘Glee’ after Rachel Berry (played by Lea Michele) moves to New York to attend drama school.

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“I don’t brush my teeth. I rinse my mouth out with soda after I eat. I was pretty sure Dr. Pepper was a dentist.” – Brittany, Glee

3. St Regis – The Devil Wears Prada

In ‘The Devil wears Prada’, Andrea Sachs (played by Anne Hathaway) runs to The St Regis to meet Christian Thompson (played by Aussie actor Simon Baker) in a desperate attempt to save her job at Runway. I remember walking past this hotel and getting excited that I was looking at a recognisable location from one of my favourite movies.

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“Yes, because that’s really what this whole multibillion-dollar industry is all about, isn’t it? Inner beauty.” – Nigel, The Devil wears Prada

2. Plaza Hotel – Sex and the City

Any ‘Sex and the City’ fan will recognise where this location stars in the six season series. The scene, paralleled with a scene from ‘The Way We Were’, sees Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) face Mr Big (played by Chris Noth) and come to terms with the fact that he wasn’t meant to tame her, that she was meant to be free and be able to be herself.

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“Maybe some women are not meant to be tamed. Maybe they need to run wild until they find someone just as wild, to run with.” – Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

1. Tiffany & Co. – Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Perhaps one of the most famous film scenes based in New York, this location saw Audrey Hepburn standing out the front of Tiffany’s, wearing a designer dress and pearls, eating a croissant and drinking a takeaway coffee, all while peering in the expensive windows. While I didn’t get the chance this time, next time I visit New York I will definitely seize the opportunity to “eat breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

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“A girl can’t read that sort of thing without her lipstick.” – Holly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

My list is just a short display of exciting New York scenes and watching countless films and TV shows based in this iconic city, it is easy to see why it has been consistently immortalised in the history of film and TV.

Tell me what are your favourite film and TV shows set in NYC…

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16 thoughts on “The city that tells a story

    • Kristal says:

      Thanks for the comment! Yes, Gossip Girl! Exciting locations I saw from Gossip Girl included the Waldorf Astoria, The Met steps and Central Station. Definitely an awesome show set in NYC.

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  1. Rob D says:

    Hi Kristal, great post! I loved Rockefeller Centre, which is of course where 30 Rock was set. Great building too. Also, I got to sit in a taping of the Late Show with David Letterman which was filmed at the Ed Sullivan Theatre. I miss that city and desperately want to go back!

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  2. pets4apartment says:

    Many Woody Allen movies have NY as a backdrop or integral part of the movie (including his classic Manhatten black and white movie). I think that’s why NY is so fun and familiar because so many movies include so many areas of city as a backdrop.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kristal says:

      “I love the city in an emotional, irrational way, like loving your mother or your father even though they’re a drunk or a thief. I’ve loved the city my whole life — to me, it’s like a great woman.” – Woody Allen

      You are right, Woody Allen definitely loves NYC. I think the city is so vibrant that it often becomes almost like a character in the film itself. I know Carrie often referred to NY as being her lover and best friend in Sex and the City. I guess that’s its charm! Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. All Things Amalfi Coast says:

    OMG this is my favourite post on your blog so far and my favourite NYC post in general. I love all of the films and TV shows in this list and it is so fun to be able to acutally visit these places in real life! I got my hubby to take a photo of me outside of Tiffany’s during my holiday to NYC and I tried to pose like Audrey Hepburn but failed miserably!

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    • Kristal says:

      Thanks for the comment and feedback! Also good to know I’m not the only one who is inspired to pose like the famous Audrey Hepburn outside Tiffany & Co. One of my favourite things about New York is the fact that the whole city feels like a film set.

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  4. Milena says:

    The whole city does feel like a movie or TV show. I love that you could see celebrities just walking down the street. I once thought Susan Sarandon was a friend of my parent’s when I saw her in a diner one day. Luckily I worked out where I knew her from before I embarrassed myself!

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    • Kristal says:

      Haha thanks for sharing the story! That would have been hilarious. My friend told me how he nearly ran over Justin Bieber with his bike on a pathway in New York. Just another charm of the city, you never know who you may meet.

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