About This Blog

For the past four years, I’ve worked as a New York City location scout finding locations for feature films. I’ve been pretty much everywhere at this point, from the highest rooftops to the deepest subway tunnels, from abandoned ruins to zillion-dollar luxury penthouse apartments.

What always amazes me about New York is how much there is to see if you pay attention. Every street has a hidden gem or two, and yet they go largely ignored by thousands of passersby daily who simply don’t have the time to look around them.

As it happens, my entire job consists of looking, and I’ve started this blog to keep a record of what I see.

-SCOUT

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40 comments

  1. Nice stuff!

    It’s GOOD to be the only one on the blog roll!

    http://www.forgotten-ny.com

  2. Fantastic blog, I’m looking forward to this one!

  3. Please don’t stop!

  4. loved your shot of the Zoroaster clock. I work Chicago and find myself discovering many visual gems. My daughter just moved to Bushwick and my annual visits to NYC have loaded my FZ8 with many unique perspectives. Keep up the good work. I like what I see in your view finder. JCF

  5. Just dropping a note to say how much I love your site. I could sit here and read this stuff for hours. You are a good photographer, by the way.

  6. I just wanted to say that I’ve looked through your entire blog and enjoyed it immensely. Keep up the good work.

  7. I’ve looked through all of your posts and loved each one. I am also a sucker for architectural details, and have been known to photograph them when I get my hands on a camera.

    I’ve only been to New York once, and then, only walked around Midtown, the financial district and across the Brooklyn Bridge.

    Until I find a job in New York, I’m relying on you to take shots of all the cool stuff I can’t see!

  8. LOVE this blog. You had me from the first post I saw – about the Zoroaster clock. I pass it every time I take the bus home, which is sometimes the best way to sit and just look up at buildings. But I’ve never stopped to take in the details of this clock.

    Awesome. Thanks. I’m looking forward to seeing/reading more from you.

  9. Please don`t stop…it`s an amazing experience looking at the photos of hidden NY. And i`ll be looking from Brazil all the time…congratulations!

  10. Fantabulous! The next time I get mocked by a native for looking up (or around or down) while I’m walking to work I’m directing them to this blog.

  11. Wow – I am blown away! I love your blog – it is unique and beautifully presented and best of all, about my second favourite place in the world – next to my Sydney, Australia hometown. I have traveled to New York five times and every time I find something new and amazing to do or see. My last trip was with my children and to see the city through a child’s eyes was a refreshing change. I will be checking back regularly to see what other gems you find in this wonderful city so keep up the great work.

  12. I own a magnificent waterfront property in Great Neck, (Kings Point), NY that I can offer for a photo shoot/commercial/scene of a movie. It is a VERY UNIQUE house. Other than the magnificent views of the water, the interior is breathtaking (Versallish style) with very high ceilings and arched decorative constrction. The house is very traditional looking with lots of moulding details in gold. We are still doing our final decorative paintings inside but until then (since we have not moved in yet), and it is completely unfurnished, I would consider the opportunity for a shoot if it is in the immediate future or the next couple of months.

  13. Just found your site because of WNYC and promptly bookmarked it. I’m also a fan of most of the places on your Blogroll, especially Forgotten NY.

    Your tags are great! Very creative categories. May I put in a vote for adding them to the right-hand column (but still keeping them at the end of each entry)?

    Anyhow, nice job!

  14. Hey there, just wanted to compliment you on your blog and pictures, but I know you get lots of compliments! I also just wanted to let you know, that because of your blog, you’ve taught me to take a closer look at the hidden treasures in NYC, and every time I go into the city, which seems to be more and more these days, I keep my eyes peeled, and I’m going to also post them in my blog! so thanks!

    Zac

    ps: I’ve linked to you in one of my posts

  15. Thanks for the pics. Your roof shots reminded me that 77 Water St. has an interesting roof. My office in 55 Water St used to overlook it.

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/d9y9tt (I can’t get Google Maps to save teh zoom-in settings)

    What you see is a half-scale (?) model WW-I airplane on astroturf.

    Any Manhattan building with “7″ in the address might have interesting features. Mostly I know interior lobbies that I know of. . 77 Water did and what was the Playboy (or Penthouse) offices near 3rd & 47th did. Also 17 State St. The only roof I saw was 77 Water.

    Circa 1980, I worked with the sister of the landlord’s chief engineer. someone obsessed with “7″ and odd industrial design and rich enough to invest in real estate bought these buildings. I never saw a complete list.

    On gargoyles. The building on the SE corner of 29th & Madison has a few above the second floor.

  16. This blog is exactly what I wanted. Real shots of the real NYC. Quirks, mysteries, and grandeur. So cool.

  17. Very Nice.
    Thanks for Sharing!

  18. Erling Andersen

    I’m just a guy from Norway that loves New York. Lately, after having found your blog, I love it even more.

    Thanks a lot for sharing all this beautiful information with us. Your work rocks.

  19. AMAZING !!! I live in Paris and your blog just shouts at me : “come to NYC right now !”. Thanks for the wonderful job, looking at your pictures is really moving…

  20. So, my friend and I have a minor disagreement involving you/your site: are you a native New Yorker?

  21. I’m pretty sure the shot of Peter and Ray in Chinatown was on Grand Street near Chrystie. That’s one of the IND Subway Entrance railings behind them (in beige at the time, green now) for the Grand Street station. There are entrances on the Chrystie median, and also near the buildings on Grand.

  22. Thank you for sharing. You might like this http://www.vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/
    It’s where I learned about your blog.

  23. Wow I love your blog so much. It’s unfortunate that the best parts of our city’s architectural history can be so easily lost due to greed.

  24. Hi. Ever find an antique freight elevator (c. 1901) during your travels in NYC. I’ve been looking for one for a doc I’m working on and it’s like finding a needle in the hay stack. Let me know if you have any leads. Not much money to hire a professional scout, but maybe I can find some sort of finders fee in the budget. I’m just at a loss as to how to start looking for this. Thanks!

  25. Hello
    I have a potential client who is looking for a kitchen set (small to medium sized, homey feel, with an island). Do you know of any?
    Its a one day shoot in January. I’d like to email her ideas.
    Gerry
    917-586-6555

  26. Dear Scout

    My name is Alice Moura, I am luso-brazilian journalist who I run Rent a Local Friend.com project: http://www.rentalocalfriend.com
    The concept is to put in contact local freelance professionals (writers, journalists, designers..) to show visitors their favorite places in the city.
    See our video from NY at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hFAk07C_AI

    The project has been considered as n1″The 10 best new travel websites” by Times online 2009.

    We are quite satisfyed with it and are confident that many people might be willing to hire such sort of alternative service during their stay in NY.

    We have been browsing the internet to find a few specialized blogs for NY visitors and came across yours.
    I would like to present and suggest our service to be listed or featured on your blog.

    Also, we would be happy to do any sort of cross promotion or link exchange.

    Let me hear from you

    Best regards

    Alice

  27. Dear Scout
    My name is Alice Moura, I am luso-brazilian journalist who I run Rent a Local Friend.com project: http://www.rentalocalfriend.com
    The concept is to put in contact local freelance professionals (writers, journalists, designers..) to show visitors their favorite places in the city.
    See our video from NY at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hFAk07C_AI

    The project has been considered as n1″The 10 best new travel websites” by Times online 2009.

    We are quite satisfyed with it and are confident that many people might be willing to hire such sort of alternative service during their stay in NY.

    We have been browsing the internet to find a few specialized blogs for NY visitors and came across yours.
    I would like to present and suggest our service to be listed or featured on your blog.

    Also, we would be happy to do any sort of cross promotion or link exchange.

    Let me hear from you

    Best regards

    Alice

  28. The tourist guide was excellent! I’m glad it led me to browse the rest of your site. I am very happy to find out about the Marisol monument.

    If you are interested, Washington Heights has many, many cool buildings and hidden and/or overlooked places. I will put a short list here–in case you want to do some weekend exploring.

    1. 168th Street stop on the 1 line. It’s been in the news since the 181rst street ceiling fell in, but it is really worth a visit. There are old tiles and old street lamps about 8 stories underground. It feels like a post-apocalyptic world–if the apocalypse had happened ca. 1910.

    2. The Jumel mansion (1 train at 157th). George Washington and Aaron Burr lived there for a while. The little street of servants’ quarters next to the mansion are real architectural anomalies. It looks a little like the French Quarter in New Orleans. Some rich basketball player lives in one now—they are selling for millions.

    3. The oft-photographed Reynolds bar at 180th and Broadway. People who wander up here to cross the bridge or go to the bus station stumble across it as a real remnant of old New York. Too bad most of the regulars don’t have teeth.

    4. High Bridge. A recognized landmark hidden from view. If you’re willing to go through the hole in the fence and risk the homeless encampments hidden inside, it’s pretty amazing. Old, early 20th century street lamps in varying states of decrepitude, rotting metal staircases. A great view of a bridge for carriages and pedestrians before it fell into disrepair.

    5. I haven’t seen them yet myself, but there are Indian caves in Inwood park. We truly have some wilderness up here.

    6. Another attraction–the Hispanic Society at 156th and Broadway. It now shares its building with the Academy of Arts and Letters and Boricua college–but the sculptural set in the plaza is pretty interesting (not to mention the world-class Goya and Velazquez hidden in plain sight inside the museum).

    7. Oh, and one more. Duke Ellington’s (I have this info from old neighborhood gossip) old place at 158th and Riverside. It’s the building with the stripped columns. The times did a little piece on the buildings that go down the street to the highway as a bit of old New York.

  29. robbie goldstein

    Interested from the other coast

  30. Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to write this blog- it’s very inspiring! I just moved to New York and you’ve given me lots of things to add to my ‘to do’ and ‘must see’ lists.
    I’m looking forward to keeping up with your new discoveries in the future.

    Thanks again!

  31. Began in 2003 covering all five boros, see we have many of the same shots

    Richard Burten

    201-244-1300

  32. As I was browsing your posts, I was wondering, someone should pay this person! Then I read your about, and i’m glad someone does :) Thanks!

  33. What make/model camera do you use?

  34. Thanks so much for your blog. NYC is easily one of my favorite places, and as an avid fan of the little details, its great to see someone documenting some of the lesser-known gems.

  35. I made it. At long last, working backward day by day through the archive, I have arrived at the first post, and have now read the whole blog. Great work, Nick, and it gets better as you’ve fine-tuned your style. Keep it up because your readers admire your appreciation of the little things in this wonderful city.

  36. I’ve just gone through your entire archives, and I want you to know that your site is amazing!! I don’t live anywhere near NY, but I spend a lot of time looking up and cursing shithead developers here in Ottawa. My friends often make fun of me for it, but I’m glad to know I’m not alone! Keep it up, you’re awesome!

  37. Everything is very open with a precise explanation of the
    challenges. It was definitely informative.
    Your website is very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  38. I’m an Australian who spent six weeks in NYC two years ago and completely fell in love with the place – I miss it terribly and having just gone through every single post, I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your blog! It has brought back such good memories (and a long list of to-dos for next time I’m there). Thank you so much for the time and effort you have put into it – it has been a blast and I look forward to new posts! PS: Can I have your job? Would love to know how you got into the business!

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