There’s no romantic comedy quite like a Meg Ryan movie, and You’ve Got Mail is one of the best. At Café Lalo on New York’s Upper West Side, Kathleen Kelly waits to meet her mystery correspondent. Café Lalo is still on West 83rd Street between Broadway and Amsterdam, a perfect place for a late afternoon cappuccino and slice of cake.
2. West Side Story
Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical adaptation, loosely based on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, was filmed in 1960 at 68th Street and Amsterdam Avenue (just near Lincoln Center), and the iconic prologue between the Sharks and the Jets takes place in a schoolyard at 110th Street and 2nd Avenue.
3. Sex & The City
It’s no secret that the fifth character in this hit TV show was New York City itself. In the movie, the city plays just as important a role. We see Carrie prepare to move from her own beloved New York apartment (whose exterior is really 66 Perry Street in the West Village and not 73rd St and Lexington Ave like the show and movie claim) into a beautiful penthouse with Mr Big at 1010 Fifth Avenue, located right across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
4. Blue Valentine
In Blue Valentine, Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling relive the memories of their courtship as they try to save their marriage. An intense fight takes place on the Manhattan Bridge, dividing Manhattan and Brooklyn, where Williams’s character reveals an important secret.
5. Annie Hall
Is there any film more quintessentially “New York” than Annie Hall? Woody Allen’s timeless classic starring Diane Keaton showcases some of New York’s most famous sights, like the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park Zoo. We see Alvie and Annie on the balcony at Annie’s apartment on East 68th Street between Madison and Park – to this day one of the fanciest addresses in the city.
6. Gangs Of New York
Martin Scorsese’s 2002 historical film about Irish immigrant and native New Yorker rivalries was set in the mid-19th century and based in a part of New York that technically no longer exists. The former neighbourhood of Five Points used to exist in central lower Manhattan, bordered by Centre Street, the Bowery, Canal Street and Park Row.
7. The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3
Revived into a 2009 film featuring Denzel Washington and John Travolta, the original Taking Of Pelham One Two Three filmed in 1974 in a New York City subway car. Four armed men board a train at different train stops and take 17 passengers in a train car hostage, demanding a ransom from the city of one million dollars. Once their money has been delivered, they demand all signals between 28th Street and South Ferry be turned green, resulting in a runaway train.
8. The Apartment
This iconic 1960s comedy starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine is about a lonely office worker who realises he can climb the corporate ladder by allowing the company managers to take turns borrowing his Upper West Side apartment so that they can continue their extramarital affairs. The film is specific about the apartment’s address: 51 West 67th Street, Apartment 2A.
9. Do The Right Thing
Spike Lee’s 1989 movie tells the story of rising racial tensions in the crime-ridden Brooklyn neighbourhood of Bedford Stuyvesant. Set on one hot day in the middle of summer and starring Danny Aiello and Rosie Perez, the film is shot entirely on Stuyvesant Avenue between Lexington Ave and Quincy Streets in Brooklyn.