It’s funny how we often need a long journey while neglecting treasures we might have in our own backyards. Having lived in New York for the last 22 years, I have only visited Central Park a handful of times. We have our own Prospect Park here in Brooklyn, although it is no match to its bigger and much more venerable cousin.
Then again, Prospect Park is an easy 15-minute drive from home vs. a 1-hour+ subway ride. The first part of a LAZY Traveler in me screamed for mercy…
But after meeting Lauren from On Location Tours at the TBEX conference in Cancun who cordially invited me to take one of their tours, I was out of excuses. On Location Tours is a TV and Movie Tour company that runs tours in New York and Boston. All their guides are actors. Strolling through Central Park–the most filmed location on the planet–with a guide who knows a thing or two about the place seemed like a no-brainer.
The most filmed location in the world, huh? Did you know that? I didn’t.
Tell you what, though, get there on a sunny and beautiful day, and you will immediately know why. It’s gorgeous and glorious. An easy 2-hour walk through the park with a professional guide who loves what they are doing will help you put things in context.
My 10-year old daughter and I had a blast. And we are not movie buffs by any stretch of imagination. Well, I won’t vouch for my kid, but all I remembered before entering the park was that crazy-scary pigeon lady from Home Alone 2.
And then the guide starts talking and showing you the pics, and it kinda comes back to you. Breakfast at Tiffany’s? It was filmed right there by the pond ironically called Conservatory Water (a funny story, really, because there is no Conservatory, as the plans for a glass conservatory structure that would be reflected in the pond were scrapped after the pond had been constructed).
The Boathouse? This is where Carry and Mr. Big fell into the lake in Sex and the City. Another funny story, actually, as Sara Jessica Parker had been so terrified by an idea of falling into the algae-“infected” water, that they had to clean the lake for her (come on, did that really happen?) LOL!
The Mall AKA Promenade? Oh brother, where would I even begin! That’s Enchanted, of course–remember that beautiful, amazing number at the end of the movie? And it was the Promenade where Dustin Hoffman–the male Cramer–was teaching his son how to ride a bicycle. And it was the Promenade where the pigeon lady scared the crap out of me in Home Alone 2; and it was the Promenade where my kid got distracted by the dude blowing a giant soap bubble.
And here is the Besethda fountain, which is the scene of so many films that I won’t even try to pretend to remember, except for The Producers and 27 Dresses. And, oh yeah, it was also the scene of the second soap bubble dude we encountered.
OK, what was I talking about? Oh, yes, distractions! Sorry about that.
Disclosure: this was a sponsored tour that I swear, I would have enjoyed every bit as much if I had paid for it. We had a lot of fun! Whether you’re on the visit or live just a few miles away, I wholeheartedly recommend you take this tour if you are even a little bit interested in movies, nature, and history. And if my review is not enough to convince you, then go ahead and read what OTHERS have to say, too.
After the tour was over, we went to a bistro (bad coffee, bad!) and to a very nice and modern playground to the added delight of my kid.
As we were passing through the Dipway Arch toward the subway station, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was following the footsteps of the both Producers (and by that I mean Producers from both movies). But I wasn’t sure. I really don’t know Central Park all that well. 🙂
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