Traveling through the movies/tv: New York City

When Harry Met Sally - Central Park

When Harry Met Sally – Central Park

Obviously, with my trip coming up soon, I’m in a New York state of mind. This time, I am not focusing on one particular movie that makes me want to go to New York because there are so many movies filmed there that they all evoke an aspect of the city that is often attractive, though not always. They also show seamy sides, or historic views and as a tourist, I wouldn’t want to go there just on those accords.

According to, the number 1 movie set in New York is Taxi Driver. They have a Top 100 list here and these are the top 10. While browsing the list, I realized that there aren’t a great number of them that I’ve actually seen. I’ve heard of many, and some I think I’ve seen but it’s been decades.

The more recent films I’ve seen that I’ve enjoyed and that I think bring good views to New York City include You’ve Got Mail, When Harry Met Sally, Working Girl, The Devil Wears Prada (also great for Paris shots).. you’re probably spotting a trend here. In fact, a lot of chick flicks set in NYC are great, because they have lots of scenes with people walking the streets and parks, shops, restaurants etc. You get a good look at the city, I find. Woody Allen movies usually have lots of exterior shots as well though I’m not as keen on his films as a rule.

TV series that are filmed in New York are even better because over the course of the series’ seasons you get lots of different views of the city.  There are dozens, but Seinfeld, Friends, Law & Order,  and Ugly Betty are the ones I’ve watched and enjoyed. Sex and the City is also one that is well known. In fact, you can take bus tours on the Sex and the City theme and you can take general movie and TV tours of the city (and we’re thinking of doing that, as they’ve been recommended by friends).

There are lots of things filmed there or just set in NYC but also, quite often, they are filmed in studio sets and you rarely get to see views of the actual city so they don’t count in my book.  There is even a website devoted to New York locations. This one has world wide location sites with a New York page. I think I may be spending a lot of time browsing those!

Do you have favourite New York movies?