I was able to get the views from the movies with On Location Tours and I have to say that I loved it even though I live in New York.
Who hasn’t seen New York in a movie before? It’s more like, who hasn’t felt like a movie star or thought of a film while wandering through Manhattan’s streets? I realise, that although having lived many years in New York, I still sometimes wander through the streets and a famous film comes to mind. New York has been witness to the filming of thousands of films and television series, many of which have been pretty famous. Bearing this in mind, imagine a tour where as well as visiting the city, you can retrace film settings and discover the secrets of films, series and actors?
Conveniently, I found out about On Location Tours. I, having been a lover of the big screen and many television series filmed in New York, knew there had to be a company that combined a guided tour with film and television production settings. And if there wasn’t, I thought I had to start one up- haha. I looked them up and found that there were loads of different tours; from the general passing by the settings of many films and different TV series, to more specific ones for lovers of Gossip Girl, Friends, The Sopranos, Sex and the City, Rom Coms, Films in Central Park and many more.
To be honest, I didn’t know whether to choose the New York TV & Movie Sites Tour or the one dedicated to the Sopranos (good old Tony!). In the end, I opted for the general option as it gave me more to play with to get to know the ins and the outs of the city. The tour started in the morning at 11am and lasted about three hours. The meeting point was Times Square on 8th Avenue. There was a bus waiting for us with a guide, who was entertaining and ready to answer all of our questions throughout the trip.
During the bus journey, which had a few stops to get off and take some photos in iconic locations, we travelled watching the TV screen that recreated scenes using the places we were passing. From the very start in Times Square, I was already excited. Films like Vanilla Sky, I love New York, New York or series such as Glee or Friends had been filmed right there and on the screen appeared the scene where Tom Cruise gets out of the car in Vanilla Sky.
From there the bus arrived at Columbus Circle, Central Park and began to go down 5th Avenue. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Home Alone 2, The Devil Wears Prada, Ghostbusters, Spiderman and many more were produced in this area, being one of the most filmed areas in the world. In fact in Central Park alone, there’s a tour based just on the park – imagine that! As we went Downtown, the guide also explained to us details of the city’s history, pointing out iconic places.
In the Village, we made our first stop, to be more exact in Washington Square Park. A large portion of one of my favourite series, Friends, was filmed in this neighbourhood and although I’ve passed by many times, I had never linked the settings with the places. The next stop was SoHo, where we were left to our own devices for half an hour with a map so we could explore the settings of different films. Do you remember the series Will and Grace? Where Grace worked was the Puck Building and it’s beautiful (here’s a link to a guide for a SoHo building tour). We kept going towards Downtown and the Financial District where films such as Men in Black or Wall Street held great relevance. In Tribeca we made our third stop to see the fire station where the film Ghostbusters was filmed. In fact, there’s even a plaque on the ground that commemorates this.
The tour keeps on going towards Midtown, where we stopped in McGee’s Pub, the inspiration for McLaren’s Bar from How I Met Your Mother. Without a doubt, it’s a tourist attraction not to be missed, and I loved it, even though I had lived in New York for many years and knew the city very well. We ruskommend a tour with On Location with 4 boquerones. The only thing to bear in mind is that the tour is in English.
What’s the first film that comes to mind when you think of New York?