TF Flashback: Movie Location Hunting & Sightseeing In New York City (2012)

It’s said that New York is the true home of cinema with hundreds and hundreds of movies being filmed there each and every year so a decade ago I thought it was time I try and cover a selected handful of shooting locations from the Big Apple.

On a 5 day trip to the USA I managed to cover movie locations from such films as ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961), ‘The Bourne Supremacy (2004), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), ‘The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), ‘I Am Legend‘ (2007), ‘Coming To America‘ (1988), ‘Superman‘ (1978), Batman Forever (1995), ‘The Dark Knight Rises (2012), ‘Live And Let Die‘ (1973), Spider-Man (2002), ‘Spider-Man 2’ (2004), ‘Ghostbusters‘ (1984), ‘Black Swan‘ (2010), ‘When Harry Met Sally‘ (1989), ‘Sliver‘ (1993) and the TV series Sex And The City (1998-2004). Believe it or not I managed to fit all those locales in whilst being in New York with my girlfriend (now my wife) on what was one of our first overseas trips together.

The trip started off badly though as the room on our first night was basically just a bed with no windows, no proper ceiling (think Thai-style hostel rooms where there is a gap at the top of the wall), no space and no en-suite bathroom. As it was 3am when we arrived, there was little choice but to spend the first night there and cancel the remainder of the stay.

So having moved to a much nicer hotel in Chinatown later the next morning we met up with my mate Kimi (who I met in Jordan in 2011) and his friend Kohei. I only found out Kimi was in New York two days earlier. We had a massive, cheap chinese lunch and then took a short walk down to Wall Street before they had to depart for Canada.


After that, a boat was taken to Ellis Island to see the Statue of Liberty on what was a scorching hot day. Sadly the statue was closed to entry then but it was still nice to walk around the small island and enjoy the views as well as catching some much needed shut-eye on the grass.

Times Square on 42nd Street was a sight to behold at night time though nothing too new when you’re very much used to the neon lights of Tokyo.

As I was in New York, I thought attending a musical on 42nd Street was something I should do and for me there was only one appropriate choice! No, not the one below!!

Spider-Man the musical had been through it all suffering really bad publicity and scathingly negative reviews but its popularity with the public was never in too much doubt and in it’s second smash year the place was packed full. Before the show we had a huge Vietnamese lunch at Saigon Grill which was one of my wife’s old haunts before I had a brief encounter with acting legend Morgan Freeman!


Having queued up in the scorching sun for about 40 minutes on Times Square from 11am for tickets ($101 each!), we returned to Foxwoods Theatre in the afternoon for one of the eight weekly shows which were in two parts of about 75 minutes each. A bit too long for me  but I guess it all meant value for money!


I enjoyed all the swinging about over the crowd including the finale battle with The Goblin and was impressed with the overall way in which they brought the superhero to stage, particularly the use of spiderwebs, and took an interest in the smooth way in which the set changes took place.

We took the train over to Brooklyn one morning before then returning to Manhattan via Brooklyn Bridge which was nice.


My wife lived in New York for about six years including the terrorist attack on the 11th of September 2001. We went to Ground Zero where the Twin Towers once stood but didn’t really hang around too long.

On another day we went to Madison Square Garden which, despite its fame and fortune, wss nothing much to see but it would be great to see a heavyweight boxing bout there I have no doubt.

The Empire State Building soon followed after that which was fantastic and we didn’t have to wait in line at all. I wish I had actually gone there on day one to get an idea of the real scale of the city but I thought it would just be another tower with similar skyscraper views to what I’d seen before. This one though offered one of the most impressive skyline views I had witnessed.


A few days before this trip I met a guy called Mike who was going to be in New York with his band at the same time. I said I’d go and see his band ‘The Mootekkis‘ play one of their live dates on their NYC tour. I had planned to see them one night but jet lag took its toll on me and my pre-gig sleep became far longer than intended! Luckily they were also playing nearby again on the following night which I enjoyed, perhaps far more than I thought I would. It was also my only night of drinking on the whole trip!

On the final day I finally got to see Central Park but our sleep on the grass was cut short by the downpour which suddenly occurred and never really stopped all day.

The trip finished as it started – badly! I had been having problems trying to get  baseball tickets online that morning so got the receptionist to book them for that nights New York Yankees vs Texas Rangers game and all was going well until we got to the stadium uptown in the pouring rain. On checking the tickets, I realised that she had booked them for the following days game! In our rush to get to the game we hadn’t bothered to check the minor details and though we didn’t lose out financially (she got the payment rescinded) we did lose out on seeing a live game in the States which was annoying at the time but I’m long over it.


With all the movie locations in between sights it was a rather busy trip. Even though things didn’t always run smoothly I was still satisfied with all that we had done on the trip. New York city was really quite overwhelming at times and though I didn’t love it, I did like it a lot and wish that we had had a bit longer there.


Click here to read ‘USA 2012 Pt I: New York City’

Click here to read ‘USA 2012 Pt II: ‘Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark’ Musical’

Click here to read ‘USA 2011 Pt II: Universal Studios Hollywood’

Click here to read ‘USA 2011 Pt IV: Las Vegas’

About tokyofox

A Leicester City fan teaching English in Japan
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