New York Film Locations

Inspired By Film To Travel

29 October 2017

As otsoNY prepares to celebrate its 8th year online, the reoccurring question as to why there is such a fascination for historic film locations, particularly those in New York City is still to some extent unanswered. What truly attracts so many tourists to the biggest movie set in the world?

Film fan Steve Ames from South-West London recently made the trip to New York with his two sons, Robbie and Sean. ”We decided to stay near Madison Square Gardens as our last night we were planning to see Guns n Roses live in concert,” explained Steve. “We flew into JFK and took the Long Island Train Line to Penn Station. It was during the journey into Manhattan did the real magic begin. Still a little disorientated from the flight, the rows of clad houses interspersed with wide cross roads and hanging yellow traffic lights suddenly felt like we were in a different environment, yet one that felt so familiar.” Upon arriving at Penn, Steve and his sons hastily jumped off the train and hustled their way out of the station. “We rose up the subway exit steps directly into the shadow of the Empire State Building with a perfect blue sky framing it,” recalls Steve, “We just froze and embraced the moment.”

(Steve Ames at Ghostbusters HQ)

With their hotel situated on 9th Avenue and offering a roof top 360° panoramic view, they spent their first evening gazing out across at the famous skyline and what would be their home for the next 5 days.

(Robbie and Sean near Trump Tower)

Waking up early is simply accepted as part of jetlag, and with the advantage of an early start, Steve and his sons started their first official touring day on the Circle Line Boat Cruise, recognising Pier 83 from such films as ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ and ‘One Fine Day’. “This turned out to be a great idea,” said Steve. “The tour guide was excellent and pointed out the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier, which had been featured in ‘National Treasure’ and ‘I Am Legend’. He also showed us where Sully landed Flight 1549 and where it ended up after the strong currents had drifted it down the Hudson. After that, the landmarks came thick and fast with Pier 54, the intended destination for the doomed Titanic, Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.”

(Sean near the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier)

With the assistance of a yellow cab, they made their way across town to North Moore Street, a moderately trafficked street in TriBeCa where they endured their first film location disappointment. The firehouse, Hook & Ladder Company 8 that became famous for its appearance in the 1984 supernatural film, ‘Ghostbusters’ was being renovated. “The special building we had come to see was shrouded in scaffolding and tarpaulin,” explained Steve. “Nevertheless, we still took a couple of photos to mark the moment.”

(Sean and Robbie in front of Spook Central)

Staying with the Ghostbusters theme, they had better luck on Fifth Avenue. “By chance, we stumbled upon the New York Public Library where so famously the Ghostbusters had run from.” Steve continued, “Every new area we visited seemed to throw up familiar sights from ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ to ‘Trading Places’. One of the truly marble-ous (my son’s pun) places we visited was Grand Central Terminal.”

All too soon the trip neared its end. “Our last day was spent uptown with the obligatory visit to Trump Tower, which had been used in the movie ‘Tower Heist’ via the far more palatable exterior of Radio City Music Hall.” Steve added, “With Central Park as the cherry of our visit, it really was a magical place with endless movie memories for us all. We had seen some wonderfully diverse neighbourhoods and eaten in some very American eateries from BB King’s Grill to Taco Bell, and it was all over too soon and time to head back to reality, though it’s my daughter’s 18th birthday in a couple of years,” Steve smiled, “and so I’ve already started saving!”

(Steve Ames at Grand Central Terminal)

Special thanks to Steve Ames for his generous donation to and for sharing some of his holiday moments.


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