Lights, camera, ACTION…
If you’re a TV lover, Manhattan is where to experience the sights of the small screen! From the iconic sights of Friends to the intense glamour of Gossip Girl, here are our must-visit locations for any TV buff on a tour of New York City.
The iconic set of Friends
Sex and the City’s Magnolia Bakery
The Mode Office from Ugly Betty
The famed Gossip Girl steps
New York is truly a city which epitomises the USA – from the yellow taxis which loiter on street corners (sorry, intersections) to the world famous sight of Times Square all lit up. However, for some people New York is more than just the pictures in the media – the city is home to a whole raft of famous TV shows which are set in NYC. While many of the TV sets are filmed in studios, many producers find that Manhattan is the perfect location for their NYC shots.
Start in Greenwich Village, in the borough of Manhattan. The building on the corner of Grove and Bedford Street hosts the fictional apartment where characters live in the show ‘Friends’. While the interior of the apartments were shot in a studio in Los Angeles, fans of the show will recognise the building’s emergency fire escape and the building where the character Ugly Naked Guy lived!
Sex and the City
Just around the corner from the Friends building is the Magnolia Bakery, immortalised by the scene in Sex and the City, where Carrie and Miranda eat beautiful cupcakes and talk about Carrie’s new crush Aiden. If you’re a SatC fan, you can recreate the scene with your own Magnolia cupcakes – but be warned – the bakery is popular with locals and tourists alike!
Carrying on with the Sex and the City theme, you can visit the home of Carrie from the show. The exterior of 1866 Perry Street is recognisable from the shots of Carrie entering her apartment – but please remember that this is a real apartment and not a location, so tourists are asked for a small donation if you wish to have your photo taken there.
Plenty more to see
Once you’ve experienced Carrie’s apartment, head north on Park Avenue to reach the Metlife building – otherwise known as the offices of Mode Magazine in the show Ugly Betty. While the interior was filmed on set, the exterior and the nearby Madison Square Park are both featured in the show.
Continuing north, you’ll come across the New York Palace Hotel. This will be immediately recognisable for any fans of Gossip Girl – not only is it the venue for Serena’s mother’s wedding, but Blair and Serena also make the Pulitzer Fountain their runway as part of the show. It’s also where Serena experiences a grilled cheese sandwich with truffles – a delicacy you too could enjoy by ordering the ‘Gossip Grill’ at the hotel’s bar!
And that's a wrap!
No one should visit Manhattan without experiencing Central Park. It’s featured in a whole host of TV shows – from Friends to (more recently!) Glee. Check out the beautiful greenery, the fountains and even the zoo – and see if you can spot the locations from your favourite TV shows!
Finally, round off your TV tour by heading west to Riverside Drive. Number 155 is the building where Will and Grace were said to live – the exterior of the apartment block is seen in the show. If you’d like to see the interior of Will and Grace’s apartment, it’s on show at the Emerson College Library, having been donated by Max Mutchnick, the series creator.