Manhattan

The Addams Family House Near Union Square

I have to admit, when I saw the incredible two-story mansard roof of 881 Broadway (at 19th Street) illuminated from a nearby rooftop recently… …the first thing that came to mind was the Addams Family mansion: 881 Broadway / 115 Fifth Ave has always been one of my favorite buildings in Manhattan for its rooftop design. Riddled with sharp angles ... Read More »

Awesome NY Souvenir Map From The 50’s

This past Christmas, my aunt gave me a really neat gift she found in storage. Apparently, my grandmother took a trip to New York sometime in what must have been the 1950’s or early 60’s, and purchased one of those souvenir tablecloths with a cartoon tourist map of New York. The artwork is great, but the real fun is in ... Read More »

The Weird Little Building on Lafayette Street

There’s a strange little building at the corner of Lafayette and Howard Street, and for years, I’ve wondered what the story is with it: The small portion on the left is a tiny one-level office, with the facade extending to cover the wall of a parking garage, whose entrance is through that roll-gate on the right. The weird thing is ... Read More »

Half A Brownstone on West 58th Street

I was walking down West 58th Street when I saw it: exactly half a brownstone (12.5 feet), gloriously smooshed between two much larger apartment buildings: I was immediately reminded of one of my favorite buildings in midtown, the very similar 19 West 46th Street, also measuring 12.5 feet. A number of readers have written me that the city used to ... Read More »

The Old Operating Theatre on Columbus Ave

I was scouting around the West 50’s recently when I noticed a really interesting building on West 59th I’d never seen before, tucked away in the shadows of the bland modern high-rises surrounding it. The building looked to be in great shape despite its age, and two features in particular caught my eye… First, this odd cone-shaped roof, which appeared ... Read More »

Danger and Intrigue in Cortlandt Alley

As far as I’m concerned, Cortlandt Alley between Walker and White Streets is the most beautiful of Manhattan’s few remaining back alleys. It’s the archetypal image of a New York City alley – narrow, dank, secluded, and bordered by decaying loading docks, rusting fire escapes, and graffitied brick walls. I love the fact that if you stand back far enough, ... Read More »

Scouting A Crypt

Nothing beats days when you’re asked to scout something as unusual as a crypt. Though you’d expect location scouting would take you to every sort of place imaginable, movies shot in New York mostly tend to ask for the old standards: Upscale apartment. Dank alley. Corporate office space. Vacant storefront. So when I was asked to shoot the chapel crypt ... Read More »

Aliens Have Landed At Bergdorf

No joke: this is one of the new spring window displays at Bergdorf Goodman. Yep, aliens have landed at Bergdorf Goodman, and they’re not alone. Frankenstein came along for the ride… …As did this raptor, and a number of other horror movie characters. So assuming you have a soft spot for horror movies as I do, your reaction was probably ... Read More »

Grabbing Electricity at the Old G.E. Building

You probably know 570 Lexington as the skyscraper behind St. Bart’s Church: a towering 50-story behemoth of salmon brick, clearly affirming the Art Deco maxim of signifying power through simplicity. Originally built for RCA-Victor, it later became the G.E. building, and was ultimately donated to Columbia University during tough economic times. I’ve walked past the north-east entrance at 51st and ... Read More »

A Secret Courtyard Just Blocks From Times Square

I was walking down West 46th Street in Hell’s Kitchen recently when I noticed a break in the buildings… Most of the time, this sort of thing just turns out to be just a nook where residents pile garbage…But as I looked closer… I noticed something peeking out in the back: what looked like a completely separate building, hidden away ... Read More »