Let’s be clear off the bat: the AMC show, TURN: Washington’s Spies, about the Culper Spy Ring that was based in Setauket, Long Island, is filmed in Richmond, Virginia. Given that Setauket has evolved from a small hamlet to a town of over 15,000, finding film locations that look 1776 bucolic are difficult. But, many of the homes and buildings referenced in the show are still standing, in this town that has always celebrated its history. These days, that sense of pride is heightened, with spy ring tours, new historic markers and Revolutionary War talks. In this article, we’ll compare and contrast the actual locations in the show with their cinematic counterparts in both Setauket and New York City.
As season 5 of Downton Abbey has come to close, we thought it was high time we updated our list of film locations for the popular British television show. Here are 10 notable spots from the first five seasons:
Actually located in Newbury (west of London), the home that stands in for Downton Abbey is still occupied by the Carnavaron family but is open for tours and events. If the architectural style rings a bell, it’s because it’s designed by the same architect as the British Houses of Parliament.
Birdman, the 2015 Best Picture Academy Award winner was shot in New York City, telling the story of a washed up superhero actor played by Michael Keaton, looking to make his comeback in a play he has written, directed and starred in based on Raymond Carver’s short story, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” Throughout the film, he is haunted by the voice of Birdman, the superhero that made him famous. Though the film appears to be one single long, tracking shot, director Alejandro González Iñárritu and cinematographer Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki cleverly and skillfully wove together long filming segments, the longest at 15 minutes, most around 10 minutes. Here are the locations used in the film, all around New York City’s Theater District and Times Square:
The gals of Broad City are back, providing a refreshing anti-dote to Girls. Last season, we charted the NYC film locations of the show and dug into some hard-to-find spots requested by readers of Untapped Cities. Keep checking back regularly as we add new locations as new episodes come in. Bonus: Many of the locations have video clips too!
It’s been a while since our last Untapped Mailbag in which we answer questions from readers, submitted via Twitter, Facebook or e-mail. But we received quite a challenge from reader Hanna, who wanted to know which restaurant was featured in the season 1 finale of Broad City on Comedy Central. Nearly the entire episode, entitled “The Last Supper,” takes place in inside, where the main characters Abbi and Ilana head to the fictional “Octavia,” a fancy restaurant for Abbi’s birthday. Ilana gets a near fatal allergy to seafood and Abbi accidentally injects herself with the Epipen. We usually send these queries to our team at Untapped Cities and collectively try to hunt down answers.
On a recent OHNY tour of the Greenpoint Oil Spill Remediation Project run by ExxonMobil and the Newtown Creek Alliance, we were also shown Broadway Stages, a film studio within the spill zone. The buildings in this area of Newtown Creek were once home to 50 oil refineries, tanneries, gas plants, metal manufacturers and other businesses, and an extensive oil spill underground is the result of a century of accumulated contamination. The oil companies were eventually consolidated, but of the buildings in the area were unused and certain stretches lacked basic infrastructure–like sewers, electricity and sidewalks. Moreover, the streets were used essentially as dump sites.
Broadway Stages came in to change that, and with the partnership of ExxonMobile, who has sought to be a good neighbor during the remediation process, installed lights and created sidewalks. In 2010, the road was paved for the first time in 50 years. Broadway Stages is now one of the largest film production companies in New York City, with shows like The Good Wife, Blue Bloods and Royal Pains filmed there.