The names of the neighboring neighborhoods Tribeca, SoHo and Nolita are actually acronyms: with Tribeca, we mean the "TRIangle BElow CAnal Street"; SoHo, on the other hand, stands for "SOuth-HOuston Street"; Finally, Nolita indicates the portion a "NOrth of LIttle ITAly". We are in the area already in Manhattan, historical settlement of the city. So let's see what films await us along the alleys of these interesting New York neighborhoods.
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
- Tribeca and the Tribeca Film Festival
- Ghostbusters, Hitch e In the Cut
- Cortlandt Alley films
- The Guardians of Destiny, Big and The Prince of the Tides
- Highlander, Unfaithful Love and Ghost
- 9 1/2 Weeks and the Smurfs
- Mean Street and The Godfather
- Melinda and Melinda, Everything Can Change and Limitless
Tribeca and the Tribeca Film Festival
The itinerary proposed below, starts from the prosperous and exclusive Tribeca. This area of Manhattan has experienced very heterogeneous urban phases over the years: in the period in which the city had not yet assumed its current name, the countryside extended here on which numerous farms and farms have sprung up. With the revolution of manufacturing activities and the massive development of trade, the farmhouses have gradually given way to warehouses and industries.
After a long period of neglect and neglect, in the last twenty years or so, the neighborhood has received an important boost thanks above all to the film industry. After the collapse of the Twin Towers, in 2002 the Tribeca Film Festival to boost the area north of Ground Zero and, more generally, to contribute to the revitalization and recovery of Lower Manhattan. Successful operation in great style also thanks to the substantial contribution of the esteemed and adored Robert De Niro, one of the main promoters of the event and favorite son of New York.
Today the festival, one of the most popular all over the world, is a great success with the public and critics and offers film premieres, music and entertainment shows that bring substantial economic benefits. Consequently, the neighborhood, while maintaining a traditional identity, has transformed itself by hosting fine dining restaurants, sophisticated shops and trendy bars. Undisputed epicenter of the Big Apple cinema, the neighborhood houses famous actors such as Scarlett Johansson, Heather Graham, Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake, Meryl Streep, Leonardo di Caprio and, of course, de Niro himself.
- Read our guide on how to visit Tribeca
Ghostbusters Hitch e In the Cut
At 14 North Moore Street stands the fire station (1) FDNY Ladder 8. This building, still operational today, lent its external facade to the fantastic comedy "Ghostbusters"(1984). After being kicked out of Columbia University as they are considered researchers with very little potential, the three Ghostbusters choose this location as the headquarters of the operations center.
Despite Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) declares that there is "a serious wear and tear of all the load-bearing structures, water and electricity systems completely inadequate to our needs and the surroundings seem a demilitarized zone", the still perfectly functioning emergency call pole tickles the imaginary Ray (Dan Aykroyd).
Please note:: the sequences inside the headquarters, were shot in Los Angeles, in a disused fire station and still very much used by Hollywood today. The barracks also appears in the comedy "Hitch”(2005), with Will Smith as a sentimental consultant and an incurable seducer.
In the intricate and surprising crime "In the Cut”(2003), the club for men only (2) The Baby Doll Lounge, on whose upper floor lives the sister of the protagonist, Frannie Avery (Meg Ryan), was located at 34 White Street. Today, instead of the sinful, sinister and smoky venue that appears repeatedly in the film, the "Petrarch”, A well-known wine shop where you can taste excellent wines and cheeses from the Bel Paese.
Positioning right on the corner of White Street and Church Street, you can see how the building has remained very similar to the time of filming. Meg Ryan, playing an erotic role for the first time, in stark contrast to her timeless image of the "good girl", caused quite a stir. In the film, in fact, the sexual relationship between the same protagonist and detective Giovanni A. Malloy (Mark Ruffalo) plays a central role in the screenplay.
Cortlandt Alley films
Right on the border between Tribaca and SoHo, there is a narrow way, (3) Cortlandt Alley, which strongly recalls the New York imaginary of a bare, isolated and vaguely infernal street with a subsoil that seems to boil at the sight of the numerous smoking manholes. Often the productions have used this location to shoot typically underground scenes. This is the case with films like "Mr. Crocodile Dundee"(1986),"The Smurfs"(2011),"Above the shadows"(2019),"Annie - Happiness is contagious” (2014) or “Kate and Leopold"(2001). Cortland Alley also appears in one of the opening sequences of the eighties erotic cult "9 XNUMX/XNUMX weeks"(1986). Elizabeth McGraw (Kim Basinger), is ensnared by some men distracted by her fleeting passage in the street.
Past the lively and dynamic melting pot of Canal Street, teeming with clothing stores, fast food outlets and low-cost souvenir shops, you enter the SoHo neighborhood, recognized as “historic” in 1973. Since the first decades of the last century, the district has been an exclusively industrial area. Over time, the deterioration took over, so much so that the district earned the despicable name of "Hell’s Hundred miles"(One hundred acres of hell).
Like many other areas of Manhattan, SoHo has been worthily redeveloped mainly thanks to the contribution of numerous independent entrepreneurs who have adopted this place as an outpost for the many truly refined art exhibitions. The neighborhood has managed to emerge thanks to important fashion ateliers and art galleries that rely entirely on the talent of local artisans and their unique products. Trendy labels attract crowds of shopaholics every year.
- Read our guide on how to visit SoHo
The Guardians of Destiny, Big and The Prince of the Tides
On the corner between (4) Howard Street e Crosby Street, the rampant politician David Norris (Matt Damon), after a tiring chase, manages to hunt down the charming Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt) right in front of a massive historic condominium that has the peculiarity of being pitch black, at street level , and fiery red in the development of the floors above. The protagonist of "The Guardians of Destiny"(2011), forced to fight to conquer a woman, soon realizes that:" Love is not chosen, love chooses you ... what you can do is only choose to love ".
In the mythical comedy that definitively launched Tom Hanks' talent, "Big”(1988), Josh Baskin, who grew up thirty years in one night only, is forced to split from his family and move to the city. Aided by his inseparable friend Billy Kopecki (Jared Rushton), he manages to find an apartment in the heart of SoHo.
The spacious (5) loft di Josh, furnished in full pre-adolescent style with playful objects such as an electronic pinball machine, a trampoline and a basketball hoop, is housed in a typical and elegant cast iron building at 83 of Grand Street. Also in the same neighborhood, the story's arrival and obnoxious rival, Paul Davenport (John Heard), challenges Josh in a one-on-one match on (6) Paddleball court located on the corner of Thompson Street & Spring Street. The challenge ends with a childish fist fight. The field is still in the same condition as the film and, around the fences, the wooden benches are still there, in the shade of large foliage that shelters from the summer heat.
Neither "The Prince of the Tides"(1991), Tom Wingo (Nick Nolte), who moved from the South to New York to give help and comfort to his sister, usually buys fresh bread at the shop (7) Vesuvio Bakery, at 160 Prince Street.
The rich menu includes not only the most classic forms of local bread, but also typical Street Food products such as "Panzarotti"(In the Atlantic passage the" e "has evidently been transformed into an" a "), focaccia, bread sticks or sandwiches with sausages. The shop also produces pastry products and offers hot drinks as an accompaniment. The film, despite having enjoyed huge box office success and earned seven Academy Award nominations, failed to carry any Academy Award statuettes.
Highlander, Unfaithful Love and Ghost
In addition to Josh Baskin's apartment in "Big”(1988), other famous SoHo lofts, all of spacious internal dimensions and obtained in the typical cast iron buildings of the area, have been immortalized in some important cinematic sequences. In "Highlander"(1986), the (8) loft by Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) is located at 73 Greene Street. The building, adorned with a classic colonnade, in recent years has been painted in different colors, ranging from gray to the current cream color and, the shop it houses at street level, often changes management and intended use.
THE(9) Paul Martel's apartment (Oliver Martinez) in the film “Unfaithful love”(2002), is located not far away, at 70 Mercer Street, in the center of the neighborhood. Unfortunately, the building itself, along with the adjacent ones, was renovated in the years following the shooting and the street has lost some of that bohemian charm that director Adrian Lyne wanted to convey through the chosen location.
The front door, crossed for the first time by Connie Summer (Diane Lane) to allow herself a respite from a raging and incessant wind, is still very similar to the one in the film. To convince her to enter the building, the charming book dealer Paul swears: “I'm not a serial killer! Word of honor! "
THE(10) Sam and Molly's apartment, tender and unfortunate couple protagonist of the great classic "Ghost”(1990), is located on the third floor of the elegant building located at 102 Prince Street. Bank manager Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) and sculptor Molly Jensen (Demi Moore) decide to move in together and, thanks above all to the artist's creative contribution, they refurbish the old and abandoned warehouse in a grand style, transforming it into an enchanting home.
Unfortunately, the events of the romance take a tragic turn when Sam is unfortunately killed by a thug. The protagonist thus suffers a painful and unexpected detachment and immediately realizes that he would give anything to be able to "touch her once more". L'(11) Sam's murder takes place at Crosby Street, in the stretch that runs between Spring Street and Prince Street. Over the years, the process of improving and beautifying this urban section of SoHo has blurred the desolate and infamous contours that director Jerry Zucker wanted to include as the setting for the pivotal event of the fantastic story.
9 1/2 Weeks and the Smurfs
In this hyper-creative part of Manhattan, a clear cinematic reference to art itself could not be missing, which attracts numerous and passionate collectors from all over the world every day. In "9 XNUMX/XNUMX weeks”(1986), Elizabeth McGraw (Kim Basinger) works in fact in (12) Spring Street Gallery.
The place loaned to the cinema for the filming of the film is located at 101 on Spring Street and, in reality, since 1968 it has been presided over by Donald Judd, one of the most eminent artists of the last century. He was one of the first to move to the abandoned industrial estate, later known as SoHo, which, in a short time, became a prolific haven for artists, writers, musicians and activists.
The barrier-free space run by the non-profit Judd Foundation is used for temporary exhibitions, community gatherings and performances. The small army of smurfs, led by the Papa Smurf himself, enters the magical emporium in search of a spell that can make them return to the village by escaping from the Big Apple.
In the real world, the magic bazaar that appears in "The Smurfs”(2011), is the famous shop (13) Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, at 126 Crosby Street. This space, which apparently seems to be just a nice bookshop combined with a refined bar, is part of an association, the Housing works, which has as its mission the free and voluntary supply of "life-saving" services for the most difficult people.
Economic survival derives from commercial activities such as bookstores and bars, but also from thrift shops and much more. Of the other activities the association writes on its website: “Many evenings of the week we organize low cost events and offer an exceptional range of books, films and music. We pride ourselves on being a great place to visit, meet friends, relax, read, write and shop! "
We leave SoHo for Nolita, the last stop on the itinerary proposed in this southern section of the island of Manhattan.
It is a handful of blocks north of Little Italy, among the streets of which Martin Scorsese has grown, among many Italian-Americans. Nolita has earned the reputation of a trendy and chic neighborhood because it is dotted with numerous boutiques, cafes, bistros and placed in one of the most historic and fascinating contexts in all of New York.
Although the only real attraction is Patrick’s Old Cathedral, the neighborhood is ideal for a relaxing stroll through the tree-lined and well-kept avenues. The main residential street that crosses the neighborhood is Elizabeth Street itself, while the palm of the more commercial one belongs to Mott Street
Read our guide on how to visit Nolita and the Lower East Side
Mean Street and The Godfather
The famous and award-winning director Scorsese describes the fierce streets of his neighborhood in the film "Mean Street - Sunday in church, Monday in hell"(1973).
The director himself served mass in the basilica (14) Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, located at 263 Mulberry Street and which, of course, appears in a sequence in the film of a strongly autobiographical nature. The interior of the Cathedral, in Italian-Irish style and built in marble, is also represented in the "The Godfather”(1972) by Francis Ford Coppola, on the occasion of the celebration of the baptism of the grandson of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino).
In the stretch of Elizabeth Street between Prince Street and East Hudson Street (around number 228), the(15) murder of Joey Zasa (Joe Mantegna) in the famous "The Godfather - Part III"(1990), by the hand of Vincent Mancini / Corleone (Andy Garcia). The production, to reproduce a typical Italian local festival overflowing with local zeppole, calzones and sausages, chose this stretch of road in Nolita.
Melinda and Melinda, Everything Can Change and Limitless
At number 242 Mott Street, stands the (16) Cafe Gitane, a European-style café that appeared in the comedies "Melinda and Melinda"(2004) by Woody Allen, and"Everything can change”(2013) with Mark Ruffalo as a music producer who finds himself having to start his professional life from the beginning after facing a series of failures.
Sitting on a bench in the (17) DeSalvio Playground, Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) in “Limitless”, A 2011 science fiction film, dials a series of telephone numbers found in the address book of his NZT dealer. He then understands how those pills, which give immediate lucidity and infinite intellectual abilities, can have heavy side effects in case of prolonged abstinence.
DeSalvio Playground, inaugurated on December 15, 1955 and dedicated to two generations of leaders of the Italian-American community, today has playing equipment in the colors of the Italian flag, a semi-basketball court, benches and game tables. In 1997, the playground, on the corner of Spring Street and Mulberry Street, hosted the entire New York City Bowls Championships.Read all the other cinematic itineraries