As a special holiday treat, we’ve teamed up with ProtonCharging.com to bring you our first-ever New York City locations contest!
Say what you will about Ghostbusters II - every time a New York politician does something unbelievably detrimental to the city, I think of this quote from Ray Stantz:
A few months ago, I posted an exhaustive then-and-now look at the New York shooting locations in Ghostbusters. As it turns out, I’m not the only one with an unhealthy obsession! Chris, who runs ProtonCharging.com (THE go-to source for the latest in Ghostbusters news) has been diligently combing the Google Maps NYC Street View to uncover some of the more obscure locations used in Ghostbusters II (including L.A., where the producers egregiously chose to shoot several scenes).
Despite figuring out a number of obscure locations, one in particular has eluded him. He emailed to ask if I had any ideas about it, and after a lot of head-scratching and Google mapping of my own, I had to agree: this was a tough one. It looks familiar, but herein lies the danger – it’s familiar enough that it could practically be anywhere in Manhattan (if it is in Manhattan!).
We’ve decided to hold a contest and turn it over to our readers to identify the location. Below are shots from the film and the clues we’ve picked out. If you can identify the New York street depicted, simply send an email to email@example.com with your name, address, and where you believe the location is (street / cross streets). From the correct answers, we will choose one winner to receive a special Ghostbusters prize pack, made up of some to-be-announced goodies! Wooh!
FINALLY: DO NOT REPLY IN THE COMMENTS OR YOU’LL GIVE IT AWAY TO EVERYONE!
Early in the film, we find Raymond Stantz and Winston Zeddmore appearing at a children’s birthday party, their ghostbusting business having been shut down by the city. The big question: where is the street featured as the exterior of the birthday party scene?
First, a series of stills from that scene, followed by the clues we feel help identify the location.
Seems like it could be anywhere, right? And yet, there are a number of clues…
To me, this first shot gives away the most information.
1/2) Note the direction of the traffic on the avenue in relation to this side street. With a few exceptions, most avenues in NY are one way going either north or south; with a few exceptions, side streets are one way, with even-numbered streets heading east and odds going west. Thus, if that avenue is facing north, there’s a pretty good chance the street is even-numbered; if it’s south, the street would likely be odd-numbered. Or, maybe this is totally wrong and misleading.
3/4) Note that the corner buildings are 4-5 story brick buildings, while the buildings further down the street are 10+ story high-rise apartments. Where do you find that? Upper West Side facing the park? How about in the West Village somewhere? The mid-20′s come to mind, as well as the East 60′s. Or maybe we’re way over on York Ave. Keep in mind Dana’s apartment location was in the 70′s near 1st Ave.
5) Note the PARK sign, suggesting underground public parking. This might possibly still be there.
6) An awning. Not particularly helpful, but who knows?
7) Note the foliage at the end of the street. This could be a park (Central Park being the most obvious possibility), but it could just as easily be a tree-lined street (that gap in the middle is suspicious).
7b) That’s a street sign. Yes, it’s nearly impossible to make out, but that is indeed an old yellow NYC street sign. Though you can’t make out what it says, there is a major clue here: it appears to be short:
In Manhattan, the numbered avenues are often written “1 Ave” or “5 Ave,” which would seem to match up with the above sign, as opposed to something longer like BROADWAY or PARK AVE.
8 ) You can just make out numbers poking out from behind the wreath, and they seem to be triple-digits. Or are there three? More on this in #11.
9) Very distinguishable doors/windows across the street.
10) Another unusual door.
11) Over Ray’s shoulder, we can just make out another set of numbers on a door. They also appear to be triple digits, and if we’re north of Houston Street, it at lease eliminates several blocks.
12. Finally, look at those balconies jutting out from the building across the street. Not the most typical design – does this give it away?
Not a New Yorker and feeling like you’re at a disadvantage? Not a problem! Your best bet, city resident or not, is to play around with Google’s Street View map function (more info here, for those that haven’t used it). The intersection should be pretty obvious, even if the neighborhood has changed a bit, and winning this contest could be as easy as plunking the little yellow man down in the right place. Note that Chris has managed to uncover pretty much every location in the film from his home in Canada – so no whining!
The contest is open until January 10, 2010, which should give you plenty of search time. The fine print? This contest is purely for fun, and the rules are subject to change at any time for any reason as scoutingny.com and/or protoncharging.com see fit.
-SCOUT, Chris, & scoutingny.com/protoncharging.com