reasons to love new york

Snapshots of the City Where Movies Were Born

Because every street has a story to tell; all you need is a camera to tell it.

Photo: Horizon Films/Photofest/Horizon Films
Photo: Horizon Films/Photofest/Horizon Films
Photo: Horizon Films/Photofest/Horizon Films

The driving force behind the curation of the images in the 17th annual “Reasons to Love New York” issue of New York Magazine was a desire to see the city through the lens of filmmaking. And while we can all remember certain scenes from iconic films, these fly-on-the-wall images pull back the curtain on the fascinating processes that brought them to the screen.

110th Street between Second and Third Avenues, 1961


Dancers warming up during the filming of West Side Story.

West 113th Street, 2021


A scene from West Side Story.

Park Avenue South, 1983


Extras on a movie set. The first person to help us identify the film gets a free New York subscription and tote. Email comments@nymag.com.

East 13th Street and Third Avenue, 1975


Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster filming Taxi Driver.

Central Park, 1991


Macaulay Culkin during a pause in the filming of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

Carmichael’s Diner, South Jamaica, 1998


Director Spike Lee on location for Summer of Sam with (from left) Victor Colicchio, Saverio Guerra, Al Palagonia, Ken Garito, Michael Rispoli, and John Leguizamo.

The Dakota, West 72nd Street, 1967


Roman Polanski and Mia Farrow rehearsing a scene for Rosemary’s Baby.

Mott Street between Hester and Grand streets, 1971


Marlon Brando and John Cazale filming The Godfather.

Milan Condominium, East 55th Street, 2012


Kenneth Choi and Ethan Suplee dangle Jon Spinogatti from a building for The Wolf of Wall Street.

New York Harbor, 1967


Barbra Streisand during the filming of “Don’t Rain on My Parade” in Funny Girl.

246 East 127th Street, East Harlem, 1968


Jon Voight and Sylvia Miles on the set of Midnight Cowboy.

Times Square, 1970


A stuntman being thrown from an office window during the filming of Shaft.

Washington Square Park, 1994


On set for the skateboard scene in Larry Clark’s Kids.

East 127th and Third Avenue, 2001


Director Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson, and Gwyneth Paltrow prep a car scene in The Royal Tenenbaums.

Photo: Ernst Haas/United Artists/Photofest, Niko Tavernise/© 2021 20th Century Studios, Thomas Hoepker/©Thomas Hoepker / Magnum Photos, Steve Schapiro, DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock, David Lee / SPIKE by Spike Lee, published by Chronicle Chroma 2021/Disney, Bob Willoughby, MPTV Images, Ronald Grant Archive/Alamy Stock Photo, Librado Romero/The New York Times/Redux, Photo 12/Alamy/Alamy Stock Photo, Buena Vista Pictures/Everett Collection

110th Street between Second and Third Avenues, 1961


Dancers warming up during the filming of West Side Story.

West 113th Street, 2021


A scene from West Side Story.

Park Avenue South, 1983


Extras on a movie set. The first person to help us identify the film gets a free New York subscription and tote. Email comments@nymag.com.

East 13th Street and Third Avenue, 1975


Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster filming Taxi Driver.

Central Park, 1991


Macaulay Culkin during a pause in the filming of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

Carmichael’s Diner, South Jamaica, 1998


Director Spike Lee on location for Summer of Sam with (from left) Victor Colicchio, Saverio Guerra, Al Palagonia, Ken Garito, Michael Rispoli, and John Leguizamo.

The Dakota, West 72nd Street, 1967


Roman Polanski and Mia Farrow rehearsing a scene for Rosemary’s Baby.

Mott Street between Hester and Grand streets, 1971


Marlon Brando and John Cazale filming The Godfather.

Milan Condominium, East 55th Street, 2012


Kenneth Choi and Ethan Suplee dangle Jon Spinogatti from a building for The Wolf of Wall Street.

New York Harbor, 1967


Barbra Streisand during the filming of “Don’t Rain on My Parade” in Funny Girl.

246 East 127th Street, East Harlem, 1968


Jon Voight and Sylvia Miles on the set of Midnight Cowboy.

Times Square, 1970


A stuntman being thrown from an office window during the filming of Shaft.

Washington Square Park, 1994


On set for the skateboard scene in Larry Clark’s Kids.

East 127th and Third Avenue, 2001


Director Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson, and Gwyneth Paltrow prep a car scene in The Royal Tenenbaums.

Photo: Ernst Haas/United Artists/Photofest, Niko Tavernise/© 2021 20th Century Studios, Thomas Hoepker/©Thomas Hoepker / Magnum Photos, Steve Schapiro, DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock, David Lee / SPIKE by Spike Lee, published by Chronicle Chroma 2021/Disney, Bob Willoughby, MPTV Images, Ronald Grant Archive/Alamy Stock Photo, Librado Romero/The New York Times/Redux, Photo 12/Alamy/Alamy Stock Photo, Buena Vista Pictures/Everett Collection

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Snapshots of the City Where Movies Were Born