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    The movie locations of the Upper West Side of New York

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    Martí Micolau

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    Today our cinematic itinerary goes through the meanders of one of the most residential suburbs of Manhattan, the Upper West Side, also crossing Riverside park, the park overlooking the Hudson River. The itinerary is quite long and, if you want, you can shorten it a bit by using the subway for some journeys, for example from stages 2 to 3, or from 11 to 10.

    PS: We have made a free ebook dedicated to the most famous film locations in New York. You can find it at This Page.


    • Route map
    • Riverside Park: the scenes of Warriors
    • You've Got Mail
    • The Black Swan, John Wick 2 and Wall Street
    • Vanilla Sky, Chapter 27 e Eyes Wide Shut
    • A night at the museum and other films shot at the Natural History Museum

    Route map

    Riverside Park: the scenes of Warriors

    Maybe for someone the 1979 action film "The Night Warriors"Can be anachronistic and crude; however, for many others, this film represents a real cult movie, because it is a fresco of a “leaden” New York with gloomy, bare and insidious outlines. In this setting, violent clashes take place between gangs from different districts of New York.

    In a famous sequence, the "Warriors" hunted down by the rivals of the "Baseball Furies" (in baseball uniform, complete with official bats and caps), flee from subway station (8) 72 Street Station, up to bypass the (1) Firemen’s Memorial, a sacred monument for all New Yorkers because it is dedicated to the fire brigade, the “New York's Bravest”.

    The famous scene of the largest and most unprecedented gathering of all the gangs in the city, does not take place in the Bronx, as reported in the film, but in the small amphitheater known today as (2) Dinosaur Playground, inside Riverside Park.

    You've Got Mail

    There is no film more suitable to visually narrate theUpper West Side of "You've Got Mail", Romantic comedy of 1998 directed by Nora Ephron and remake of"Write me down at the post office"(1940). The film is a neighborhood poster that stretches across the western portion of Central Park. Unlike the original film, the correspondence between the two protagonists takes place electronically, in the early years when the internet and chat began to rage.

    • Do you want to get to know this neighborhood better? Read our guide to New York's Upper West Side

    THE(3) Kathleen Kelly's apartment (Meg Ryan), portrayed several times throughout the story, is at street number 328 West 89th Street. In the scenes the house occupies the first two floors of a Victorian-style mansion and is still very similar to how it was immortalized on the big screen.

    Savor eggs and smoked fish at the legendary Jewish cuisine venue (4) Barney Greengrass (541 Amsterdam Avenue), where Kathleen also enjoys a sandwich with the elderly accountant from her children's bookshop. At the refined (5) Cafe Lalo, 201 West 83rd Street, Joe Fox (Tom Hanks), tycoon of the bookstores of the same name, accidentally meets the female protagonist waiting for her prince charming. Still, it (6) Starbucks Coffee where both protagonists make a daily stop for breakfast, is at 2252 Broadway.

    The corner that forms from the intersection of Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, on the other hand, is called (7) Verdi Square. In this area a patch of green has been obtained in which a statue dedicated to the Italian composer of the same name stands out. Joe and Kathleen, still unknown to each other, casually walk the two different sides of the clearing almost every morning.

    The Black Swan, John Wick 2 and Wall Street

    Vying for the position of prima ballerina of the New York City Ballet, the protagonist of "The black Swan”(2010) Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) trains hard at the (9) Lincoln Center, headquarters of the company. This building complex is home to several arts organizations and boasts many concert halls, theaters and auditoriums. The subway stop that the dancer uses daily is that of 66th Street, a stone's throw from Lincoln center plaza, main entrance of the center dedicated to the Performing Arts. Her immense, deep and passionate performance earned Portman her first Academy Award for Best Actress.

    In the second installment of the action movie saga, “John Wick 2"(2017), the homonymous protagonist (Keanu Reeves), after having eliminated with difficulty an XXL-sized killer, walks wounded the open space in front of Lincoln Center. The complex thus becomes the scene of a fierce battle that opens with a shooting between the water jets of the Revson Fountain, which dominates the center of the square.

    Not far away, at number 43 of 65th Street, there is one of the most "traditional" Chinese restaurants in New York, the (10) Shun Lee West. This restaurant opened in 1981 offering West Side Manhattan residents easier access to fine Chinese cuisine than the original Shun Lee Palace, which opened exactly ten years earlier on the opposite side of the island. The hospitable eastern local appears in "Wall Street - Money never sleeps” (2010), sequel del cult movie “Wall Street”And signed once again by the eclectic, immense and award-winning Oliver Stone.

    Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), with the help of protagonist Jacob "Jake" Moore (Shia LaBeouf), tries to regain the lost affection of his only daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan). On the occasion of the dinner at the Shun Lee West, the self-centered, cynical and undisputed emperor of the stock market in the eighties, to snatch a smile from the heir, he bets: “Let me guess. You want ginger lobster salad ”.

    Vanilla Sky, Chapter 27 e Eyes Wide Shut

    The rich and spoiled protagonist of "Vanilla Sky"(2001), David Aames Jr. (Tom Cruise), lives in the most exclusive building on the west side of the island of Manhattan: the (11) Dakota Building. In the opening sequence, he emerges from the garage, the exit of which is on West 73rd Street, in an exaggeratedly attractive black Ferrari 250 GTO. Then, walking along Central Park West towards Middletown, he realizes that he is the one and only human being in a portion of the distressingly deserted Upper West Side.

    But the Dakota Building is also infamous for hosting, among many celebrities, too John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono. The former Beatle was murdered on the evening of December 8, 1980 right in front of the main entrance of the rich residential project. In the 2007 film "Chapter 27”, Focused on the murder of the world star, many scenes are set outside the building located at number 1 of 72nd Street. From the point of view of the deranged killer Mark David Chapman (Jared Leto), the film traces the last and dramatic days of the idolized British artist's life.

    Tom Cruise, as wealthy Dr. Bill Harford in "Eyes Wide Shut”(1999), finds himself once again living on Central Park West. In fact, in the latest masterpiece directed by Stanley Kubrick, the(12) Harford's apartment it is located in the majestic and elegant condominium at number 146. The New York director actually resided in that house during the sixties and, for the interior shots, he used a lot of furniture and objects that belonged to himself.

    A night at the museum and other films shot at the Natural History Museum

    The cinematic itinerary ends with one of the icone dell’Upper West Side,(13) American Museum of Natural History. In addition to films such as "The devil wears Prada"(2006),"Election"(1999),"Splash, a mermaid to Mahattan"(1984) and"Man in Black II"(2002), this museum has lent its rooms for almost all of the sequences of"Night at the Museum”(2006), a fun comedy led by night watchman Larry Daley (Ben Stiller).

    The bizarre historical characters and co-protagonists of the story all "live" here: Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Attila of the Huns (Patrick Gallagher), the Egyptian Pharaoh Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek), Christopher Columbus (Pierfrancesco Favino), Ottavio (Steve Coogan) and Jedediah Smith (Owen Wilson). Larry's first shift is enough to understand that: “The museum is alive!”. The comedy had two sequels: "A night at the museum 2 - Escape", Of 2009 and"Night at the museum - The Pharaoh's Secret", Released in 2014.

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