Walk in Characters' Footsteps From These 3 Manhattan-Based TV Shows
Welcome to part two of our “walk in your favorite NYC characters’ footsteps” series, where we give you the deets on popular TV show hangouts. We think it’s a fun way to spend an afternoon — or even a day — and potentially makes for a great date idea. You’ll also score brownie points with out-of-towners coming to visit you, especially if they’re major fans of any of the shows below.
Sex and the City
It’s a no brainer to include this popular TV show. I mean, it probably gets at least partial credit for making people think of NYC as such a sexy and cosmopolitan place.
Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte were all over the big apple, but so many of their hot spots were in Manhattan itself. Now, there are plenty of guided tours you can sign up for that may be of interest. For example, On Location Tours does a great one that includes stops at over 40 locations, and we imagine it’d be a lot of fun to pal around with other SATC fans on a tour bus.
If you’re more of an individualist or prefer to set your own pace, a self-guided walking tour may be more your thang. We like this one by FreeToursByFoot, which does a nice job of highlighting some of those favorite SATC moments.
For example, you could start at the flagship Tiffany and Co. (727 Fifth Avenue, between 56th and 57th St.), where Trey re-proses to Charlotte. And speaking of nuptials, hop on over to the gorgeous NYC Public Library (Fifth Avenue and 42nd St.), which is where Mr. Big and Carrie planned to get hitched. You can also pay homage to Carrie via a little shoe shopping at none other than Manolo Blahnik (31 W 54th St, between 5th and 6th Avenues).
So Seinfeld was technically filmed in California, but the show itself was set in New York City, which is where you can find a lot of the TV show’s famous landmarks.
The number one must-hit spot, of course, is Monk’s Cafe, where Elaine, Jerry, George and Kramer spent way too much of their time. The cafe itself isn’t real, but the exterior of Tom’s Restaurant (2880 Broadway) is the filmed facade.
A second contender for where the crew spends most of their time is at Jerry’s Apartment, located at 129 West 81st Street, Apartment 5A. The outside of the apartment was actually filmed in Los Angeles, but it’s still cool to go to the location. Elaine’s apartment is located near Central Park at 447 Central Park West.
Two additional places you can venture to that are completely real (unlike Monk’s), is Kramer’s H&H Bagels (1551 2nd Ave), where he went on strike, or you could nab one of his favorite hot dogs at Gray’s Papaya (2090 Broadway), which is called “Papaya King” in the series.
If hot dogs and bagels aren’t your thing (I mean, they’re so New York, but we won’t judge you), perhaps you could slurp up some soup at Mendy’s (61 E 34th St) . This post by HuffPo has some other places you can visit.
This list would be so remiss without Friends. Like SATC, there’s a guided tour you can take with On Location Tours, which makes everything super easy for you. Note that Friends was filmed in California, but many of the exterior shots were filmed in NYC to keep that Big Apple vibe.
For those who prefer to do a self-guided tour, we’ve got your back. We recommend started at Pulitzer Fountain in Central Park (Grand Army Plaza at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue), which you’ll recognize from the opening credits. While this wasn’t the actual shooting location, the California fountain it was shot in is a replica of the original.
We’re bummed to inform you that Central Perk, the coffee shop where Joey, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Rachel spent a lot of time, isn’t real. They actually created a pop up shop, which closed in about a year’s time. Don’t fret, though. You can stop by the Solow Building (9 W 57th St #45), where Chandler worked, or hit up Lucille Lortel Theater (121 Christopher St), where Joey put on an off-Broadway performance.
Another cool spot to hit up is the Corner of Bedford and Grove, which is the apartment building where all six characters dwelled.
Stay tuned for part three of the series!
By Wendy Rose Gould
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