My first tweet from New York compared the taxi ride from JFK to Manhattan to “.. Driving onto a film set.” Which proved to be closer to the truth than I knew. We crossed the Williamsburg Bridge (iconic publicity shot of Woody Allen’s Manhattan) to our hotel in SoHo on the edge of Little Italy (several scenes from Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets were filmed within a few blocks of our hotel). On our first day we visited the National 9/11 Memorial (evoking Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising). Day two took us past the Chelsea Hotel, famous for much more than Leonard Cohen’s song (see Patti Smith’s memoir Just Kids) and on to Columbus Circle, at the edge of Central Park (scenes from Taxi Driver). Our brief visit to Harlem took us down 110th Street (Across 110th Street by Bobby Womack – the soundtrack to the opening sequence of Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown).
Left: the “Mean Streets” of Little Italy; right: the Chelsea Hotel.
On our last morning we were in Greenwich Village, we walked along West 4th Street (Positively 4th Street by Bob Dylan) to Washington Square Park (literature: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, Another Country by James Baldwin; film: Frances Ha, Inside Llewyn Davies), then to Jones Street where the cover photograph of Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan was taken. Finally, we walked back towards the lower East Side to have our lunch in Katz’s Delicatessan (famous for That Scene in When Harry Met Sally)
And that’s without even trying. Only Chelsea Hotel and Jones Street were actually on our itinerary. The rest were happy accidents. As I said, it was like driving onto a film set.
Normal Microscopes and Monsters service resumes in the next post.
Left: the Freewheelin’ Martyn Kelly in Jones Street, Greenwich Village; right: Katz’s Deli.