Starring New York: TV, Movies & Celebrities
New York has been the location for thousands of movies from the birth of cinema to today’s hottest new releases. On our 3 – 4 hour New York City Highlights tour we will focus TV and Movie shots and locations. Whats more, your Levys’ guide will share stories about celebrity sightings and what to do if you see someone famous (hint: don’t scream!)
Visit the Central Park locations from 27 Dresses, Big Daddy, Enchanted, Home Alone 2 and more; the Seinfeld diner and original home of the Soup Man; the museum in A Night at the Museum; the Wedding scene location in Sex and the City; The Flatiron Building in all three Spiderman flicks; the Midtown office complex in The Devil Wears Prada; notable location shots from National Treasure, Hitch, Ghostbusters, Friends, Trump Tower from The Apprentice; the courthouse in Law and Order, and more.
Keep those eyes peeled, however – last week we saw Jerry Seinfeld filming a commercial! No autographs, please!
Stepping Through the Silver Screen
Visiting New York City can be one of the most exciting times of your life: the energy of our famed hustle and bustle alone is enough to ramp-up your heart rate. But you’ve already felt that a million times in the theaters as actors, filmmakers and writers make the City That Never Sleeps jump off the screen and into your heart. This tour brings all those experiences back with the extra dimension of being inside that magic movie moment.
Starting at Cherry Hill in Central Park doesn’t just give you the view of the boat pond and the Park Drive, but a little glimpse at the homes some of the most powerful men in the movie business. The Beresford is the home of Jerry Seinfeld, but I think you’d have to be underground in order to get a view of his Porsche collection. As for the San Remo towers, famed current or former celebrities residents include Steven Spielberg, Dustin Hoffman, Bruce Willis and Bono (the latter moved into an apartment that was renovated, but never occupied by Steve Jobs), but it’s featured in the climax of one of the greatest movies of all time.
Look out!! He’s delicious!!
The Marshmallow Man echoes a cinematic beast from 50 years earlier in Ghostbusters (1984) as he climbs the San Remo towers. But how is it that he stepped on a church six blocks away to begin that climb? And how is it that the third building used in that scene is on the other side of the nation? Studio secrets and switcheroos are commonplace in the entertainment industry. For example, the fountain at the middle of Cherry Hill inspired the showmakers behind Friends to use a very similar one thousands of miles away to accommodate the shooting schedule.
…stand in for New York
After seeing Bethesda Fountain AKA the most filmed location in NYC, we’ll head down to the corner of Central Park to see where Kevin met the Pigeon Lady in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992). It’s just across the street from the Plaza Hotel, which Donald Trump owned at the time of filming. Rumor has it, during a hallway stunt, the crew had the tear up the carpeting and what they found underneath was the original 1907 tilework. When the Donald saw it he fell in love and ordered that it be installed throughout the entire hotel! Convenient for him, Trump Tower is just a few blocks away, so he didn’t have to go far to keep him from his firings.
Befriend a pigeon lady…you never know when she might just save your life
We’ll keep moving through midtown, but there may be an improvised stop or two: everyday there are at least a dozen TV and film shoots in New York. A bunch of them are bound to be at Steiner Studios in Brooklyn, which has the largest soundstage outside of Hollywood, but there’s always something happening out on the streets.
There’s a lot of men in black suits around NYC. But these guys are just a little different.
Hunting down a shoot is tons of fun. Last year we heard Men in Black 3 (2012) was filming in SoHo. Criss-crossing through the rickety cobblestone streets, we began to see old cars from the 1960s. Jonah, our New York movie guru, heard about a plot device in the new film where Agent J goes back in time to meet up with a young Agent K, so we followed our noses. Suddenly we’re standing amidst models and actors dressed up like stewardesses and sailors from the 60′s…not to mention guys wearing silver pants and body paint from some other planet! A far off glimpse of Will Smith and Josh Brolin and a couple of snapshots later we were on our way.
The historic Victorian Flatbush section of Brooklyn is constantly in front of the lens, including Law and Order, The Squid and The Whale, Gossip Girl, Sophie’s Choice and Boardwalk Empire and Rescure Me Some of these early 20th century houses were even built for silent film stars like Lillian Gish and Mary Pickford.
Just hangin’ out with our favorite Oscar-nominated actress, Laura Linney. The Levys’ know all about what it’s like to shoot on location. The Levys family house and LUNY office in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn was a primary exterior and interior set for the Oscar-nominated film The Savages (2007), which also starred Philip Seymour Hoffman.
We like to round out the tour with plenty of celebrity-spotting stories. We’ve seen the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Jay-Z & Beyonce, and Kevin Bacon. There’s even a spicy story about Woody Harrelson smoking something on the sidewalk. With 45,000 new square feet of studio space inside the five boroughs, more and more actors and actresses are finding New York City as a place to work, live and play. We love to give advice on the best neighborhoods to spot ‘em, the best way to interact with ‘em, and the most convenient place to hyperventilate after you’ve just touched that untouchable figure you’ve only seen on the silver screen.