The Romantic Movie Locations Date – ice skating, frozen hot chocolate, the Empire State Building and one really big sandwich!(Movies: Harry Met Sally, Serendipity, Sleepless in Seattle)
This can be a lot of fun if you’re a big movie fan. And if this kind of a date excites you, just make sure your partner-in-crime is as equally excited as you are! To make this adventure even more fun you could even do a movie marathon night the day before your date, watching these movies first and then going out and having fun visiting the locations.
Now, while there are many great romantic movies shot in NYC (probably more than any other city in the world) I chose three fairly mainstream movies for you to have fun with. You can even turn this into a twice-a-year tradition where you watch a few movies set in New York and then prepare a day to visit and explore some of the locations from key scenes in the movie. Some other romantic movie favorites shot on location in New York are 9 ½ weeks, West Side Story, Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters, An Affair to Remember, You’ve Got Mail and Maid in Manhattan.
First is When Harry Met Sally with Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. Remember that scene? You know the one I’m talking about… uh huh… yes… that one – the “I’ll have what she’s having” scene where Sally fakes an orgasm right in the middle of a crowded delicatessen. Well, that’s how good Katz’s pastrami and corned beef sandwiches are! So head on downto Katz’s Delicatessen on the corner of Houston and Ludlow Streets in downtown Manhattan. Order a pastrami or corned beef on rye or a Reuben sandwich and let the swooning begin. Be sure to get some pickles! (And if you decide to re-enact this scene yourself in front of your date, please be sure to write to me and let me know the reactions you get from nearby diners!) You will notice a sign above the table Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal sat at when they filmed that scene on location right here at Katz’s Deli. You will need to get a ticket when you enter and then get on line (there’s always a line). The counterman will mark your ticket. You MUST not lose your ticket or you may have a problem when you leave. You will need to show your ticket to the cashier when you leave and pay the amount written on your ticket.
Next, if it’s November through March (always call ahead and make sure they are open) hop a cab or take the subway to the 59th Street and 6thAvenue entrance to Central Park. The Wollman Rink is a two minute walk into Central Park from this entrance. Follow the footpath directly into the park and stay to the right. (subways: Take the A, B, C, D, 1, 9 to 59th Street or the N or R to 5th Ave/59th St or the B, Q to 57th Street). Once you’re there remember the love story shared here by Jonathon and Sara (played perfectly by John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale) in the 2001 romantic comedy Serendipity. There were actually two scenes filmed here, one in the beginning when they’re skating together and the one at the end when they find each other after being apart.
After your romantic escapades on the ice take a 15-minute walk (or a quick cab ride) over to the extremely popular Serendipity 3 on 60th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues for their famous Frozen Hot Chocolate (it’s out of this world delicious!) – or if doing this date April through October head straight to Serendipity 3 after Katz’s Deli. Jonathon and Sara drank theirs together at an upstairs table. There can be a long wait to get in here and they do not take reservations. So you’ll just need to give your name to the host or hostess and wait for your name to be called. While waiting you can check out the many home décor or antique shops along 58th and 59thStreets between 2nd and 3rd Avenues (known as Designers and Decorator’sWays) or spend some time at Dylan’s Candy Bar on the corner of 60thStreet and 3rd Ave.
The final part of your date honors that classic of classics romantic film Sleepless in Seattle with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan by taking a trip to the top of the Empire State Building’s 86th floor observation deck. What a great scene that was! The view from here is just as classic as the movie itself – sweeping, jaw-dropping views that are sure to excite and inspire. Keep in mind that there is also an enclosed 102nd floor observation deck. That is not the one we are talking about here (however the 102nd floor one was where Cary Grant waited for Deborah Kerr in Affair to Remember). Purchase and print your tickets online at www.esbnyc.com. The line to get to the top can take anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour. If you want to drop some extra cash you can opt for the Express Pass which lets you bypass the line. You will see this option on the website when you get your tickets.
Empire State Building, 350 5th Avenue between 33rd and 34th Streets. Tel:(212)736-3100. The Observatory is open every day, including weekends and holidays from 8AM to 2AM. www.esbnyc.com. Prices as of this writing: $25 or $47.50 for the Express ticket (main deck).
Some interesting notes:
Katz’s Deli still has their old signs in the window from World War II that say “Send a salami to your boy in the army”.
The Empire State Building was completed in May of 1931 in just 13 and a half months right in the middle of the Great Depression. During World War II an American B-25 bomber lost in the fog crashed into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building (the building did not incur any major structural damage).
Central Park is a completely man-made park, having been mostly marshes and swamps prior to its construction. It was completed in the 1870s and was the first urban park in America. It covers 843 acres (2.5 miles long and a half mile wide) of extremely expensive real estate right smack dab in the middle of Manhattan.