Did you know...? Sutton-Place-Manhattan

Published on March 2nd, 2017 | by Ana Fernández


Sutton Square: the real place of the iconic scene of ‘Manhattan’

We always think that we really know New York City (NYC), especially the island of Manhattan. Why? Because a lot of movies make us an image of how it is. But, is it really as we imagine? I don’t think so. And there are some obvious reasons. The first one is that, when there are shooting a film, there is road closure so it makes us having a different impression of the city. Another one is that, normally, they show us a short part of the city and, depending of the story, it can be in an idyllic way or changed for the shooting.

When I visited NYC last summer, just before I arrived there, I was looking for all the places I wanted to visit, especially movie locations. One it was the bank of ‘Manhattan’. It is not my favourite movie by Woody Allen but I must admit that scene is iconic. First of all, I only had one clue without surfing on internet:  the place should be near East River and with an unforgettable view of Queensboro Bridge, one of the emblematic bridges of NYC.

After visiting some websites, I found it is in a neighbourhood called Sutton Place. Sutton Square is only one part of Sutton Park and, contrary to what we can think, there isn’t a bench. The seat was brought in by the film makers for that scene. But who cares? Just below there is a tiny park which obviously inspired the scene, but the famous view is from the street itself.

A curious anecdote of the shooting is that the Queensboro Bridge had two sets of necklace lights controlled by City Hall. The film makers arranged for them to be left on so they could extend their shoot.  But when they were filming the scene, one string of lights went out and Woody was forced to use his single take. Maybe if every detail had occurred as they planned, the scene wouldn’t have been as magic as it is.

Sutton Square:

Image property of United Artist

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