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New York Famous Film Locations: Iconic Pop Culture Spots

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The Empire State Building. The Statue of Liberty. The Brooklyn Bridge. You know the spots. New York City is a whole world of iconic tourist destinations and sights to behold, but let’s go beyond that. Where did Ross and Rachel hang out? Where did Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big wine and dine?

That’s right. On this tour, we’re looking beyond the usual tourist locales and finding reality within fiction by exploring iconic spots from famous movies and television shows. Ready to bring out your inner Gossip Girl? Let’s go.

Carrie Bradshaw’s Apartment

If you were a Sex and the City fan, perhaps nothing is more iconic than the stoop of Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment. Fans are often disappointed to learn that the building used to record scenes inside her apartment on the Upper East Side is not the same spot used to film scenes on the stoop. In fact, the famous stoop isn’t even located in the Upper East Side.

Carrie Bradshaw’s front step is located at 66 Perry Street in Greenwich Village, just down the road from the apartment complex that housed our favorite 90s Friends. 66 Perry Street is a private residence. Let it be known that the owners aren’t keen on their front step being a tourist destination, so if you get a chance to visit, be respectful and refrain from actually climbing the steps.

On a positive note, Carrie’s goto spot, The Magnolia Bakery, is just around the corner from 66 Perry. If you’re in the neighborhood, you might as well go (Mr.) Big or go home.

Friends’ Apartment

Since you can’t very well stop in at Central Perk for a cup of coffee with Gunther, why not celebrate your love of Friends with a photo op in front of their apartment building? Located in Greenwich Village on the corner of Grove and Bedford Streets, the Friends apartment building is easily accessible due to its proximity to various Subway stops.

Unfortunately, the apartment complex is a bit of a facade. The restaurant below–which has great reviews– doesn’t even resemble the iconic coffee shop. There is no balcony from which you can see Ugly Naked Guy, and there is no fountain across the street for you to go swimming (or Schwimming) in. However, it still makes a great story for your friends back home.

Tom’s Restaurant (A.K.A. Monk’s Diner) – Seinfeld

Not only was Tom’s Restaurant the representation of Monk’s Diner in Seinfeld, but it also inspired Suzanne Vega’s repeatedly sampled hit, “Tom’s Diner.” Located on the corner of Broadway and 112th Street, Tom’s Restaurant has been a staple in the neighborhood since the 1940s.

Aside from being a double-whammy of pop culture, Tom’s Restaurant offers an affordable all-day breakfast menu and is within walking distance of Columbia University. They also have soup made in-house, in case another restaurant refuses you service.

McGee’s Pub (A.K.A McLaren’s) – How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother creators, Craig Thomas and Carter Bays, used to work for The Late Show with David Letterman. After hours, they’d head to a bar called McGee’s Pub. It was this pub that would inspire the most iconic location of How I Met Your Mother.

Located on West 55th street, just down the road from Central Park, McGee’s manages to embrace both it’s Irish pub roots and pop culture fame. In addition to offering beer on tap, they have How I Met Your Mother themed drinks and dishes. They even host How I Met Your Mother Mondays, in which they forgo watching sports to replay the seasons of the show. If you’re in the area, be sure to stop in for a legen-wait for it-dary experience.

The Monkey Bar – Mad Men, Gossip Girl, Sex and the City

While The Monkey Bar has never made a television appearance as anything other than it is, this vintage bar has been featured on numerous hit TV shows. As such, it earns a mention. Whether you opt to sip an Old Fashioned like Don Draper, a Cosmo like Carrie Bradshaw, or host a party of elites like Blair Waldorf, the Monkey Bar is an iconic must-see pop culture spot. If you do decide to stop by The Monkey Bar, be sure to don your nicest attire and prepare to pay elite prices for a drink.

The iconic locales in New York City are endless. Gossip Girl fans may also want to stop by the Empire Hotel or the Grand Central Terminal. Mad Men lovers may want to check out the Grand Central Oyster Bar. If you’re a 90s rom-com connoisseur, be sure to stop by Katz’s Deli and have what Meg Ryan was having When Harry Met Sally.

Get Around and See ‘Em All

To get around and see the best of the best, consider booking a themed bus tour (you can get a discount at No matter where you decide to go and what you decide to see, remember to take time to make your own iconic moments in the Big Apple.


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About the author

Mae has travelled to over 40 countries and lived in 8. Born in St. Petersburg, Mae grew up in Lithuania and has spent most of her adult life in the UK. She has been blogging for over 8 years and is the lead editor on Travel Belles.

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