New York Film Locations

otsoNY in 2009: The Girl in the Park

14 October 2019

It was David Auburn’s directorial debut after having written the films ‘Proof’ in 2005 and ‘The Lake House’ in 2006. ‘The Girl in the Park’ starred Sigourney Weaver, Kate Bosworth and Keri Russell, among others. The story was one of sadness. Enduringly traumatized by the disappearance of her 3-year-old daughter 16 years ago, Julia Sandburg played by Weaver had cut herself off from anyone once near and dear to her, including her husband Doug and her son Chris, who had tried for years to penetrate her wall of isolation and despair, but without success. Though when Julia meets Louise played by Bosworth, a troubled young woman with a checkered past, all of Julia's old psychological wounds painfully resurface, as does her illogical and increasingly irrational hope that Louise may be the daughter she lost so long ago.

Film Poster: The Girl in the Park

“This was not really the type of film I tended to go for,” revealed Mark Rogers, otsoNY’s creator. “But at the time, I was following Kate Bosworth’s career and liked her early performances in ‘Blue Crush’ and ‘The Rules of Attraction’, and as I was doing some research before my 2009 trip to New York, I found some onset images of her inside a pharmacy, of which later turned out to be Windsor Pharmacy on Sixth Avenue at the corner of West 58th Street.” Mark continues, “It was an unusually layered performance from Bosworth in this film, and she played the character of Louise like a modern-day Holly Golightly, the lead character from ‘Breakfast at Tiffany's’.”

Kate Bosworth on the set of The Girl in the Park

The Sixth Avenue pharmacy seen in the film

This was not the only location featured in the film that Mark was interested in. “There was a cafe where the two main characters meet for the first time which also attracted my attention, but being unfamiliar with New York at the time, I had no idea where it might be, and didn’t even consider it being close by to the pharmacy,” laughs Mark. “But here is the strange thing. After I had tracked down the pharmacy, and having taken a few photographs of its exterior and in fact wandered around inside the store, much like Bosworth’s character had done in the film, though I might add, I didn’t steel any sunglasses! I then walked across Sixth Avenue to a cafe for a much needed rest bite, which ironically turned out to be the same cafe that had been featured in the film, though at the time, it didn’t click until a few days later, by which time it was too late as I had no plans to return to this area.” However, the story didn’t end there for Mark. “In 2011, during my 2nd visit to New York, I made sure to drop by the cafe at 1414 on Sixth Avenue and this time took some pictures of its exterior, which was just as well, because shortly afterwards the building that housed Sixth Avenue Cafe as it was officially known was redeveloped, and is now 1 Hotel Central Park.”

Kate Bosworth inside the cafe on Sixth Avenue

1 Hotel Central Park is a glamorous hotel in the thick of Midtown and one block to Central Park, close to Carnegie Hall, and within a 10-minute walk of the Theatre District and Times Square. Fifth Avenue shopping, including Bergdorf Goodman, is one avenue to the east. “It is a far cry from how this corner of Sixth Avenue looked when the cafe was there,” says Mark. “I’m sure it is seen as an improvement, but for me, it is just another film location that no longer exists due to redevelopment. I know that it is not uncommon for buildings to be demolished or even modernised in New York City, but every time this is done, a little piece of history is lost.”

Sixth Avenue Cafe in 2011

Other locations featured in the film include the building and entrance to 101 Park Avenue, The Mall in Central Park, the corner of West 85th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 8th Avenue, and the apartment building at 160 West 85th Street.

Click HERE for a full list of film locations from The Girl in the Park

In the next article of this series, Mark talks about the film, ‘Vanilla Sky’ and the Brooklyn loft used for Penelope Cruz’s character.


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