July Events and 14 Classic NYCity Films (07/02)

Pre Covid-19 we searched the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you didn’t have to.”
We made it as easy as 1-2-3.

Covid-19 has required some changes for the time being.
Stay Safe.


For the month of July we are going to try a different format – on some days we will go visual and offer a selection of the very best NYCity Instagram photos or YouTube videos. Some days you will find “the Nifty Nine”, all the NYC news you need to start your day, or the Top Online Travel Forums with NYC info. On other days we will offer “Corona Culture” – updated info and video especially suited to these difficult times.

We hope you will come back often to see what’s cooking here.
Today it’s 14 Classic NYCity Films (plus a few more personal faves).

If you want to get in the mood for your visit to NYCity, then make yourself some popcorn and pick up a copy of one of these great films at your local Netflix.
(and if you have seen any of these before, remember Director Robert Altman’s advice:
“It’s better to see a great movie again than an average one the first time. Because even though the movie hasn’t changed, you have. And you’ll see something new..”)

The Naked City (1948)




On the Waterfront (1954)



Sweet Smell Of Success (1957) — “I love this dirty town!”, says Burt Lancaster — and so do we, in one of his signature films — a sour, caustic tale about a twisted gossip columnist, partly modeled on the legendary Walter Winchell. Lancaster is superb, and guess what, so is Tony Curtis.


West Side Story (1961)


Midnight Cowboy (1969) — Two drifters meet in a mutual attempt to survive in, then escape from, Manhattan’s grimy underbelly. Hoffman is incredible as Ratso. The kind they don’t make anymore, this “Cowboy” still packs a hefty wallop.


The French Connection (1971) — Maybe the best cop movie ever, portraying one of the city’s bigger drug busts back in the day. Gene Hackman won as Oscar and became a bankable star with this movie — and it’s easy to see why.


The Godfather (1972)


Mean Streets (1973) — Scorsese’s breakthrough about a conflicted small-time crook and his wacko, self-destructive cousin in Little Italy. Rich in emotion, immediacy, and atmosphere, this film set the pungent, propulsive Scorsese style we’d see again in movies like 1990′s Goodfellas.


The Godfather, Part 2 (1974) — Coppola managed to improve on a masterpiece with this one, which paints on a broader canvas and offers even richer period flavor. And for the price of Brando, we get a young Robert De Niro, who’s equally brilliant.


Annie Hall (1977) — Inveterate New Yorker Woody Allen’s best film ever, with some hilariously dead-on insights about the bi-coastal dilemma: New York vs. Los Angeles. I’m with Woody: give me Gotham every time. This turned Diane Keaton into a star, and it’s still her signature role.


Manhattan (1979)


Broadway Danny Rose (1984)

Three Woody Allen films in a row may seem a bit much, but for me Woody is the quintessential NYCity film auteur. Heck, I could have added “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986), “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989), and “Bullets Over Broadway” (1994).


Moonstruck (1987) — This love letter to Brooklyn is full of charm and humanity, though some disagree… worth the price of admission for Vincent Gardenia and Olympia Dukakis alone. And look for an unusual early turn from Nic Cage as a mooning, eccentric baker.


A Bronx Tale (1993)


Half of this list is from the wonderful film critic John Farr.
The other half (films without the write up’s) are my additional personal faves.

Heck, there are just too many great NYCity movies.
Need to make room for these classics:

1910s – Regeneration (1915, Raoul Walsh)
1920s – The Crowd (1928, Dir. King Vidor); Speedy (1928, Ted Wilde)
1930s – Dead End (1937, Dir. William Wyler); King Kong (1933, Merian C. Cooper)
1940s – On The Town (1949, Gene Kelly,)
1950s – Shadows (1959, John Cassavetes); On The Bowery (!956, Lionel Rogosin); Little Fugitive (1953, Ray Ashley,..); Marty (1955, Paddy Chayefsky); Pickup on South Street (1953, Samuel Fuller )
1960s – The Apartment (1960, Dir. Billy Wilder); The Cool World (1964, Shirley Clarke); Rosemary’s Baby (1968, Roman Polansky); Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961, Blake Edwards)
1970s – a Golden Decade for NYCity Films
Hester Street (1975 Dir. Joan Silver); Klute (1971, Alan J. Pakula); Superfly (1972, Gordon Parks); Serpico (1973, Sidney Lumet); The Taking of Pelham1-2-3 (!974, Joseph Sargent); Dog Day Afternoon (1975, Sidney Lumet); Taxi Driver (1976, Martin Scorsese) (great movie but NYCity at its worst); Saturday Night Fever (1977, John Badham); The Warriors (1979, Walter Hill); All That Jazz (1979, Bob Fosse); Shaft (1971, Gordon Parks); Three Days of the Condor (1975, Sydney Pollack); An Unmarried Woman (1978, Paul Mazursky)
1980s—Do The Right Thing (1989, Dir. Spike Lee); Raging Bull (1980, Martin Scorsese); Once Upon a Time in America (1984, Sergio Leone); The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984, Stuart Rosenberg); When Harry Met Sally (1989, Rob Reiner); Ghostbusters (1984, Ivan Reitman); Wall Street (1987, Oliver Stone); Working Girl (1988, Mike Nichols)
1990s – Goodfellas (1990, Martin Scorsese); Metropolitan (1990, Whit Stillman); Kids (1995, Larry Clark); Men in Black (1997, Barry Sonnenfeld)
2000s – Man on Wire (2008, James Marsh); 25th Hour (2002, Spike Lee); Rent (2005, Chris Columbus); The Devil Wears Prada (2006, David Frankel); We Own the Night (2007, James Gray)
2010s – Black Swan (2010, Darren Aronofsky); Margaret (2011, Kenneth Lonergan); Spider-Man into the Spider Verse (2018, Bob Persichetti); Inside Llewyn Davis (2013, Ethan/Joel Cohen; Birdman (2014, Alejandro González Iñárritu); Brooklyn (2015, John Crowley); Frances Ha (2012, Noah Baumbach)

Want to know what some other folks thought were NYCity’s best movies:

The Best New York Movies: 50 Flicks About The City That Never Sleeps  (Complex)

19 Movies That Will Bring New York to You  (Vogue)

The 21 Best Films Set in New York City   (Culture Trip)

The 101 best New York movies of all time  (Time Out New York)

49 Movies That Will Transport You to New York City  (CN Traveler)

The Best Movies That Capture What It Means to Be a New Yorker (Thrillist)

We hope you enjoy this change of pace, then please return here August 1, and every day for our daily, hot off the presses event guide with “Only the Best” NYCity event info.

Lower Manhattan – Did you know?

There are some fine spots to grab a meal in Lower Manhattan.

You could try Blue Smoke
255 Vesey St., 212-899-2005, Battery Park City, Manhattan
“The Battery Park City offshoot of Danny Meyer’s Flatiron District barbecue hit is a smart and lively addition to this buttoned-down neighborhood. An after-work crowd packs into the bar while families bundle into red booths. Both camps blend harmoniously. The bar crowd digs into burgers with house-smoked bacon (not on the official dinner menu, but you can ask for them nonetheless) and chipotle chicken wings with blue cheese dip. Vegetarians are sated by North Carolina salt peanuts and kale salad with sweet tea pecans and pickled grapes. Barbecue lovers will find juicy brisket and baby back ribs, while Cajun fans will return again and again for Louisiana chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois’ tremendous take on the shrimp boil.”
Dine Out Downtown (nycgo.com)


Now how about some other useful information during these trying times.

NYC-Arts Top Five Virtual Picks: July 03 – July 09

Interesting. Unusual. Uniquely NYC. Highlights of this week’s top virtual events include The Lotus Effect, THE LINE, Figurative Summer and more. Follow links to a fuller description for each.

Get the NYC-ARTS Top Five in your inbox every Friday and follow @NYC_ARTS on Instagram or @NYCARTS on Twitter to stay abreast of events as they happen.

Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Bronze
LongHouse Reserve
Long Island
Wed, Jul 08, 2020 – Sun, Oct 31, 2021

The Public Theater
Wed, Jul 08, 2020, 7:30 pm – Tue, Aug 04, 2020, 11:59 pm

Figurative Summer
Jenkins Johnson Gallery
Wed, Jun 24, 2020 – Thu, Aug 27, 2020

The Lotus Effect
Rubin Museum of Art
Thu, Jun 18, 2020 – Mon, Jan 04, 2021

Black Dance Stories
Thu, Jul 02, 2020 – Thu, Jul 30, 2020


WFUV Live Online (July 02 -July 08)

Live Online

Scheduled Shows

7/4 – Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic with Kurt Vile, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Margo Price, Sheryl Crow, Devon Gilfillian and more ($)

7/5 – Grateful Dead “Fare Thee Well” Marathon rebroadcast from July 2015, the final time that Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann shared the stage together

7/6 – Waxahatchee performs the entirety of her latest album, Saint Cloud ($)

7/7 – Ringo Starr celebrates his 80th birthday with a concert: Paul McCartney, Ben Harper, Gary Clark Jr., Sheila E. and more

7/7 – SummerStage Anywhere: Femi Kuti and DJ Rich Medina

7/8 – Dalai Lama Global Meditation: Mantras & teachings set to music; each meditation is hosted by guests from around the globe

7/8 – SummerStage Anywhere: Live session with British singer/songwriter Shura


Get a running list of Live and Archived online concerts at wfuv.org




One more, just found this. For another perspective on essential NYCity movies (nycgo.com):

11 Movies That Make You Want to Visit New York City

Birdman (2014)
For fans of: Broadway theater, inventive indies and the throngs in Times Square
What happens: An actor seeks redemption on the Broadway stage.
Why you’ll book a flight: This look at the cutthroat, behind-the-scenes world of Broadway could make anyone want to go to the St. James Theater (currently showing:Something Rotten), where most of the film takes place. Michael Keaton stars as a former movie superhero in this meta-drama about drama that took home the Oscar for Best Picture of 2014. If you come to the City, you can soak up some of that Broadway pizazz (and intense, postshow conflict, like what takes place in the gorgeously restored Rum House—an après-theater hangout in the Hotel Edison) for yourself. Just don’t expect to see Keaton running through Times Square in his underwear. —Brian Sloan
Where to go:
St. James Theatre
The Rum House
Times Square (the block in front of the Marriot Marquis, specifically)


Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
For fans of: The holiday season in New York City
What happens: Kevin McCallister hops on the wrong plane, unexpectedly ends up in the City and, again, has a run-in with the world’s worst burglars, the Sticky Bandits (aka the Wet Bandits).
Why you’ll book a flight: Kevin’s in a tough spot, but the movie still shows why New York City is a great place to be during the holidays. Even when you’re on the run from burglars and without parental supervision, the luxury of the Plaza Hotel and the majesty of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree are bound to put a smile on your face. And if there’s any city where you could still, just maybe, track down a Talkboy, this would be the one. —Tess Kornfeld
Where to go:
Plaza Hotel
Gapstow Bridge, Central Park
Rockefeller Center


When Harry Met Sally (1989)
For fans of: Romance and shoulder pads
What happens: Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal meet, fall out of touch, meet again, fall out of touch again, meet yet again, stay in touch this time and fall in love.
Why you’ll book a flight: Shoulder pads may be out, but New York City attractions like Central Park, the Met and, yes, even Katz’s remain romantic all these years later. Late-’80s New York serves as the backdrop for all kinds of key questions: Can men and women ever be friends? Will Harry and Sally ever find love? Can we have what she’s having? Head for the Lower East Side, and you certainly can. —Alyson Penn
Where to go:
• Gallery 131 (Temple of Dendur), Metropolitan Museum of Art 
Katz’s Delicatessen
Washington Square Park
Loeb Central Park Boathouse


Coming to America (1988)
For fans of: Following one’s heart, violating franchise agreements
What happens: Akeem (Eddie Murphy), prince of the imaginary African nation Zamunda, goes looking for a future queen in Queens.
Why you’ll book a flight: Prince Akeem’s attempt to find love and the shape-shifting, multiple-role performances of the stars, Murphy and Arsenio Hall, are metaphors for the ways you can reinvent yourself in NYC. As Akeem tells his love interest, Lisa (whose father owns a familiar-looking fast-food restaurant called McDowell’s), “No journey is too great when one finds what he seeks.” —Adam Kuban
Where to go:
Waldorf Astoria New York
Brooklyn Heights Promenade


Working Girl (1988)
For fans of: Big ambition, big hair and making it in NYC against all odds
What happens: A smart, sexy Staten Island secretary conquers Wall Street and Harrison Ford.
Why you’ll book a flight: Melanie Griffith’s workplace,One New York Plaza, is adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry terminal; some of the movie’s best scenes take place on her commute (including a sweeping opening shot featuring the Statue of Liberty, to the tune of Carly Simon’s anthemic “Let the River Run”). The sparks between Griffith and Ford fly when they crash a wedding at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, but things get complicated with the return of Ford’s girlfriend (Griffith’s boss), memorably played by Sigourney Weaver. When Griffith finally ascends to the top, her office with a view is in One Chase Manhattan Plaza, a landmarked skyscraper near the World Trade Center site. You know the drill: if you can make it here… —Brian Sloan
Where to go:
Staten Island Ferry
Statue of Liberty
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
• Pier 6


Ghostbusters (1984)
For fans of: New York City’s magnetic, larger-than-life personalities
What happens: A ragtag crew hunts ghosts.
Why you’ll book a flight: You’re unlikely to encounter ghosts, ghouls or spirits of any sort on a trip to NYC—though you’re welcome to go looking! —but you will find plenty of silver-tongued personalities (and, if you watch TV at the right time, local ads that fit in alongside the Ghostbusters’ commercial). Not everyone’s going to be as quick with the quips as Dr. Peter Venkman, or as charmingly long-suffering as Janine Melnitz, or as proficient at the cello as Dana Barrett, but if you don’t find at least one New Yorker with that distinctly sardonic joie de vivre—a wonderful natural by-product of living in cramped quarters alongside 8 million other people—then someone’s not doing their job. (No, we’re not going to name names. Don’t be rude.) —Jonathan Durbin
Where to go:
New York Public Library
Tavern on the Green
Hook & Ladder 8 


Splash (1984)
For fans of: Fantasies, metaphorically/literally getting one’s feet wet in NYC
What happens: A man falls for a mermaid who comes to NYC to seek him out years after they first met.
Why you’ll book a flight: While you may not arrive naked at the Statue of Liberty (at least not if you plan your trip right), Daryl Hannah’s adventures as Madison (a mermaid who gets her name, naturally, from Madison Avenue) adapting to life in New York City—and assorted rendezvous with Lady Liberty and other landmarks, like the Brooklyn Bridge—should be inspiring for humans and mermaids alike. —Heather Liang
Where to go:
Statue of Liberty
Brooklyn Bridge
Madison Avenue


The Warriors (1979)
For fans of: Leather vests and interborough travel
What happens: A stylish, leather-clad gang evades the police and rival gangs in an apocalyptic, graffiti-covered NYC.
Why you’ll book a flight: Thankfully, the real New York City isn’t a dystopia. But it is a place to set free your inner explorer. Throw on a leather vest, find your way to Pelham Bay Park and pretend, in your role as Warriors new de facto leader Swan, that you’ve got to make your way back to home turf. Stop off in Riverside Park, Central Park and Union Square, before meeting up with your friends—and coming out to play—in Coney Island. —Christina Parella
Where to go:
Pelham Bay Park
Riverside Park 
Union Square
Coney Island


Annie Hall (1977)
For fans of: Existentialism, complicated relationships, Marshall McLuhan
What happens: Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) contemplates what went wrong in his relationship with Annie Hall (Diane Keaton).
Why you’ll book a flight: This movie promises that NYC will feel like home for neurotic intellectuals who are never comfortable anywhere else. (The quiet of the country makes Alvy nervous and, besides, there’s nowhere to walk after dinner out there. As for Los Angeles…well, he’s got nothing nice to say about Los Angeles). Alvy remembers a childhood living beneath the Thunderbolt roller-coaster in Coney Island. You can’t live there, but you can ride the new version of the since-demolished ride. You can also people-watch at the Central Park Zoo, chat and argue on streets from the Upper East Side to Greenwich Village and bring your date to a bookstore and insist that she read The Denial of Death. —Jonathan Zeller
Where to go:
Coney Island
Brooklyn Bridge
Central Park Zoo


Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
For fans of: Breakfast, Tiffany’s
What happens: Paul (George Peppard) falls for his neighbor Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn), a charming but unreliable eccentric.
Why you’ll book a flight: Come chase the mean reds away like Audrey Hepburn does at her stylish best: romp through Central Park, the New York Public Library, Park Avenue, the Upper East Side and, of course, outside Tiffany & Co. with a danish in the wee hours. —Joyce Rutter Kaye
Where to go:
Central Park
New York Public Library
• Well, obviously Tiffany & Co.


Two Men in Manhattan (1959)
For fans of: Noir, nightlife and NYC enchantment
What happens: Two journalists spend a long day’s journey into night trying to pick up a missing French diplomat’s tracks.
Why you’ll book a flight: Those who want to pack as much into one day, or night, as possible, can use Two Men in Manhattan as inspiration, if not actual template—though it’s wonderful to imagine that burlesque joint in Ridgewood, Queens (OK, it doesn’t all take place in Manhattan), and the Pike Slip Inn still exist. This quasi-buddy-road-trip movie is part noir thriller and part paean to NYC’s big sights and nighttime high jinks: the director is like a kid in a candy store showing off the lights of Times Square and rolling through the City streets. There’s smoky jazz, atmospheric bars and 24-hour diners…everything a late night in New York should have; the fact that the interiors were shot in a studio in France should be of little consequence. —Andrew Rosenberg
Where to go:
United Nations
Times Square
Pike Slip


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