After season four ended with a major cliffhanger, the hit USA network show White Collar is coming back with season five on January 9. Season four was quite a whirlwind adventure, and the show’s location scouts found some awesome places to film in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. While we’re all speculating about where exactly they filmed season five, let’s look back at eight of the locations where they filmed season four.
In episode four, the cast and crew of White Collar used the Soldiers & Sailors Monument in Riverside Park as the backdrop for a memorial service with a twenty-one gun salute for a millionaire whose wife the FBI was investigating.
When Neal figures out that the victim’s former business partner is trying to steal the insurance money from his widow, he gets himself into a sticky situation. Sophie’s driver takes Neal to a remote location—in front of the Digester Eggs of Newtown Creek.
The Whitney Museum becomes the fictional Keppler Museum when a personal shopper turned art thief tries to blackmail Neal into stealing a mobile.
It seems that whenever Neal gets taken to a remote location, it turns out to be the waterfront in Brooklyn. Here, he finally meets Sam, whose real identity Neal will uncover later. Sam picks Neal up in Manhattan and drives him out to this section of Williamsburg so they can talk in private.
Neal gets involved in another art heist—this time with his old friend Alex. She spent some time in a Greek prison, where she was blackmailed into recovering some Greek Antiquities. The heist takes place at the fictional Hellerman Gallery, which was filmed at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City.
Mozzie has several safe houses in and around New York City, and the Greenpoint Loft is one of them. Neal and Mozzie plan to draw Sam’s pursuer out and confront him there, but Sam gets there first and takes a beating. Luckily, Neal, Mozzie and Peter get there in time to save him and figure out who his attacker is.
As it turns out, Sam’s attacker is the son of an organized crime boss. Dennis Flynn Jr. has a little whisky counterfeiting business and Neal goes undercover as a whisky distiller. Scenes of Flynn’s counterfeiting operation were shot in the New York Distilling Company in Williamsburg and The Shanty—the bar run by the distillery—was used as Flynn’s office.
The last episode of season four ends with Neal, Mozzie and Peter on a hunt for an evidence box inside the Empire State Building. The catch: they have to get to it before Senator Pratt does. Now, the show’s writers deserve major props for their brilliant use of New York City quirky facts. Neal schemes his way up to the spire of the Empire State Building, where he manages to dock a blimp, which he then sends off to fly the evidence to safety. Now there’s an example of a TV show making full use of the City as the setting for the action.
Get in touch with the author @lauraitzkowitz.