ghostbustour (ghostbusters tour) and flushing meadows park

one of the great things about our city is how often it's used as a backdrop in movies. it's fun (although admittedly also sometimes annoying) to spot parks you live in during the summer, bars you call home during the winter, and all the other places; random boutiques, landmarks, etc that you selfishly consider yours and yours alone splayed across the big screen for everyone else in the world to enjoy.

sometimes those "secret" spots aren't a part of your regular scenery's repertoire, but living in close proximity, and loving the movie they're from, you choose to seek them out.

this is where ghostbusters.net comes in. this convenient website offers free downloads for your phone, ipod, lapot, itunes, etc of some of the major locations where the movie ghostbusters was shot. not only are these locations revealed, but the tour includes some interesting historical trivia for each place.

starting the tour at city hall park, we look a little bit like a miniature flash mob.

city hall was new york city's original building center. the design of the hall was the result of a popular competition held in 1802 at the end of which, the winners received a first place prize of $350. construction of the building was slowed due to an outbreak of yellow fever, and although it was finally finished in 1811, it didn't open until 1812.
in 1991, construction workers at a site just north of the building unearthed the remains of more than 400 men, women and children. soon after, it was determined that this site was the burial ground of hundreds of african american slaves. the site extends across much of city hall park and under city hall itself.
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nyc's municipal building is home to the largest statue in manhattan.
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named "civic fame," this 25 ft copper-clad woman (barely visible at the top of the rotunda in this photo) holds in one hand a five-pointed crown which represents the five boroughs of new york city. in her other hand she holds a shield and laurel branch representing victory and triumph.
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sadly, this building was not part of the tour.
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new york city's chinatown is the largest chinatown in the united states and the site of the largest concentration of chinese people in the entire western hemisphere. chinatown's main thoroughfare, canal street, is named after a waterway dug around 1808. this canal emptied into a large pond called the collect. by 1811, the collect had become so polluted that it was filled in and today is the site of chinatown's only open space; columbus park.
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the desperately in-need-of-repair fire station that houses the ghostbuster's operation in the movie, is actually a working firehouse in real life. (corner of n. moore and varrick st - you know you want to go check it out for yourself.)
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moore street is named for the area boats were moored before landfill changed the coastline of manhattan. varrick st is named for richard varrick who served as mayor of the city of new york from 1791 to 1801.
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if you peer through the garage doors, you can see the sign that hung outside the ghostbuster's office in the movie, which was donated to the fire company after filming was complete.
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i highly recommend the public bathrooms at bryant park.
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the two marble lions which guard the main branch of the new york public library were given the names patience and fortitude by mayor laguardia at the library's dedication ceremony.
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the main branch of the new york public library, which was dedicated in 1911, is home to over 25,000 books. it was built atop the walls of the croton aqueduct reservoir and portions of the walls can still be seen in the south court of the library.
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at the time of ghostbuster's filming, the library was in the process of adding more than 125,000 square feet of storage space. to accomplish this, bryant park was closed to the public and excavated. the new facility was then completed and the park restored above the new structure.
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the upper west side used to be munsee indian territory, but the dutch expanded into this area in the mid-17th century and the munsee were pushed north into what was then called "bloomindale" or "flower valley" in dutch. (this is the church that gets destroyed by the stay-pufft marshmallow man.)
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this is "spook central," the apartment building where sigourney weaver and rick moranis's characters resided in the movie. additional upper floors were added in after-effects to make the building appear more ominous.
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the building was built in 1930 with brickwork shaded purple at the bottom, turning into yellow at the top. the architects hoped this would give people the impression that the building was in constant sunlight.
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tavern on the green was first home to over 200 southdown sheep that grazed in the meadow just to the east of it. tavern on the green is now the highest grossing restaurant in the entire united states, earning nearly $38m dollars every year, despite numerous negative professional criticisms including a new york times review that actually called the tavern "a sad excuse for a restaurant." the restaurant is the site of many marriage proposals each year, and every valentines day, the first 14 couples to get engaged inside the restaurant receive a free honeymoon trip to a caribbean resort.
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at this point, the tour was taking more than five hours, so we decided to skip the last two spots and get some food instead. this tour is filled with a lot of additional random but interesting information and historical tid bits that i didn't include here, and i'd highly recommend downloading the podcasts and checking them out. however, actually visiting the locations in person isn't really necessary for all of the stops, especially if you live in new york and have seen them several times before (like chinatown, city hall, or tavern on the green.) the apartment building and firehouse were well worth the trip alone, however.


had the pleasure of taking the dogs to the park on sunday and swung by shea on the way home, which is in a decidedly final state of demolition.
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for contrast, citi field on the left, shea on the right.
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3 comments:

K @ Blog Goggles said...

The tour sounds pretty neat. Plus, your dog is adorable!

Monika Dubska said...

waw amazing photos :o
love your blog,

i wish i lived in new york btw
urgh!!!!!!!!!!! lol
hope to hear from you! Monika ♥

jamie said...

hey allison - thanks for your write up of the tour! i hope you don't mind - i stole some of your photos and put them up (with credit) on flickr so they're visible on the ghostbustour.net site. cheers! j