Early this morning (February 1st, 2013), a true icon of New York City passed away when former Mayor Ed Koch succumbed to congestive heart failure at the age of 88. More than any other politician or public figure, Koch personified the New York spirit. Koch was Mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989 and, prior to that, served in the House of Representatives from 1969 to 1977.
Ed Koch’s entertainment ties included a stint as a judge on The People’s Court and as a film critic via his Web show Mayor At The Movies. He also appeared in more than 60 Hollywood films and TV shows as himself, including The First Wives Club, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Sex And The City, Spin City and Saturday Night Live.
The New York Times has a lengthy but utterly fascinating obituary detailing Koch’s impressive life and career at This Link. RIP, Ed!
The borough of Brooklyn, New York may be located just across a bridge from Manhattan, but that doesn’t mean most Manhattanites necessarily know much about what Brooklyn has to offer. Movie and TV production companies know all about Brooklyn, however, especially when it comes to scouting locations that can substitute on film for New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC and, well, sometimes they just want the place to look like they are filming in Brooklyn. On Location Tours, a company known for its guided bus tours of sites made famous by or featured in TV shows like The Sopranos, Sex & The City and Gossip Girl has just launched the Brooklyn TV & Movie Sites Tour, which is a terrific way to visit and learn some history about places you see in many of your favorite TV shows and films. And hey, it’s a great way to “travel” out of the city for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon!
Anyone who’s done a similar tour can tell you that your tour guide’s personality and depth of knowledge can make or break the tour experience for everyone on the bus. In our case, we were blessed with a lively and knowledgeable tour guide named Amadeo, who was both approachable and friendly but completely professional. As the bus set off over the Brooklyn Bridge, Amadeo broke the ice with a trivia contest that went on throughout the tour. He’d ask a question about a movie fact and whoever answered correctly would win a prize – a Blowpop sucker! The questions – such as which actor has won the most Oscars, which movies have tied for the greatest number of awards won by a single film, and which movie a particular quote came from – were lots of fun and not as easy as you would think (although Ms. Netflix here came home with five Blowpops in my purse). As we drove through the streets of Brooklyn, a video screen mounted at the front of the bus showed a clip of the movie scene filmed at whatever specific location we were stopped at, or driving by, which was helpful for jogging the memory, or, if you hadn’t seen that particular film, helping you make the connection. Neighborhoods we visited included Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Prospect Park, Downtown Brooklyn and Park Slope, among others.
Sites we visited included the Brooklyn Bridge, (“I Am Legend”), The MTA Building (“Jack Goes Boating”), Gleason’s Gym (“Million Dollar Baby”), The St. George Hotel (“As The World Turns”), Cadman Plaza (“30 Rock”), Brooklyn Borough Hall “(“Catch Me If You Can,” “Mickey Blue Eyes”), The Brooklyn Inn (“Gossip Girl”), Gloria’s Flower Shop (“I Hate Valentine’s Day), Café Moutarde (“Julie & Julia”), Park Slop Armory (“Meet Joe Black”), Montauk Club (“Boardwalk Empire”), St. Augustine Church (“Mona Lisa Smile”) and dozens of others. Our tour made three stops were we could disembark the bus to look around and take pictures (Amadeo was very accommodating in offering to take posed photographs of the tourists on our bus, making sure they had a nice souvenir of their trip). We also made a brief lunch stop at Maybelle’s Café, which was featured in the Academy Award–winning film Moonstruck as the Cammareri Brothers Bake Shop.
After our lunch stop, Amadeo gave each of us a snack-sized Cheesecake from Junior’s Restaurant, which was featured in the first Sex & The City movie. Free cheesecake!
Tour Guide Amadeo Holds Tiny Junior’s Cheesecake
The Brooklyn TV & Movie Sites Tour was a great way to not only learn about and enjoy movie and TV related trivia about certain sites and landmarks, but also a convenient way to see new neighborhoods and a bunch of simply stunning brownstone homes. Whether you’re a die-hard movie fan or not so much, if you’re one of those New Yorkers who is looking for more ways to just get out of the city and see something new for an afternoon, this tour is for you!
Fort Greene Brownstones Seen on Sex & The City
Tickets for the Brooklyn TV & Movie Sites Tour are $42 for Adults and $24 for Children for a 3 hour tour (“A three hour tour…”) that Departs on Saturdays at 11:00 AM. Purchase Tickets for the Brooklyn tour at This Link . Read more about other On Location Tours and find out how to book one for yourself and your friends at This Link.