02/27/14 1:00pm

The film your uncle will not shut up about every time it is on TV, The Godfather is one of the premier films set in NYC.  Besides being nominated for 11 Academy Awards in 1973 and inspiring many filmmakers since its release, the film is known for helping launch the career of Al Pacino, one of NYC’s greatest living actors. In honor of the Academy Awards celebration this Sunday, we look back to one of the most beloved films of all time, by listing locations in NYC used in Francis Ford Coppola’s mafia classic.

1. The Corleone Family Home

The Godfather-Coreleone Home-NYC-Staten Island-Film Locations-Christopher inoa-UnatppedCities.cnn (1)The Corleone Family Home (Photo by CNN)

The film opens on the wedding of Don Corleone’s only daughter Connie. The wedding brings out gangsters, family members and even policemen, who are outside the ceremony writing down license plate numbers of suspected gangsters. The home on 110 Longfellow Road in Staten Island belonged to the same family for over 50 years. The house, including the lawn where the celebration took place went up for sale in 2010 for $2.9 million. No word on if someone has purchased the house, or if there will be any more fantastic mafia weddings since the story broke in 2010. (more…)

01/29/14 10:00am

New York City is home to numerous world-famous museums but if you need a break from classics like the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the MOMA, do check out some of the City’s smaller, off the beaten path museums. In the previous installment of this series, we rounded up unique house museums in the BronxManhattan and Queens. Today, we look at some gems on Staten Island.

1. Alice Austen House

Alice Austen House Museum Staten IslandSource: Wikicommons by Richard Arthur Norton

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01/24/14 1:00pm
One World Trade Center and Battery Park City

One World Trade Center and Battery Park City

Anyone who has taken the free, round-the-clock Staten Island Ferry has been able to sneak some pretty spectacular views of New York Harbor’s big tourist draws: Ellis Island’s Renaissance Revival turrets, Port Elizabeth’s towering cargo cranes, and of course, Ms. Liberty from a flatteringly low angle. But the rest of the city is relatively obscured from the water – not only is access difficult, but the city’s architecturally significant attractions have historically clustered further inland. Until recently, the water’s edge has been the domain of docks, sewage treatment plants and highways.

But like the city itself, New York’s waterfront has been evolving quickly, and in interesting ways. So the American Institute of Architects launched a three-hour architectural boat tour, offering locals and visitors alike a front-row peak at some of the city’s greatest development sagas, past and present. Several days a week, the yacht Manhattan circumnavigates her namesake island, offering close-up views of every borough but (you guessed it) Staten Island.

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12/03/13 10:00am

staten island quarantine-new york marine hospital-nyc-untapped cities-002On the night of Sept. 1 1858, a mob of villagers stormed the grounds of the quarantine station on Staten Island and set fire to almost all of the buildings in the hospital complex. Image via Public Health Chronicles.

In 1858, before Staten Island consolidated with the rest of New York City, the New York Marine Hospital housed around 1,500 persons suffering from infectious diseases. The practice of medicine was in a less sophisticated state and in the 19th century this was the City’s best defense against new diseases, such as smallpox, cholera, typhus and yellow fever. While quarantine is a practice that strictly limits the civil and human rights of an otherwise “free” person, the architecture of the City’s many islands reflect this once mainstream practice. On September 1, 1858 the site was burned down in a mob protest that stemmed from community outrage about the hazards of housing a quarantine hospital of this scale in what was essentially their backyards.  (more…)

11/27/13 9:00am

Yesterday we rounded up Boardwalk Empire‘s filming locations in Brooklyn, where much of the series has been filmed. Today we’re showing you some of the places in Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island that served as the backdrop for the show’s action.

John’s of 12th Street in Manhattan

john's-film locations-boardwalk empire-east village-nycAn episode of the Sopranos was also shot here according to Off the Grid. Image source: EV Grieve

According to the New York Post, this East Village restaurant was Joe the Boss and Lucky’s meeting place in the 7th episode of the current season. It was also turned into Whiting’s Pharmacy for a day this June. Aside from serving as the set of Boardwalk Empire, John’s of 12th Street is a popular Italian Restaurant. It converted its top floors into a speakeasy during Prohibition, serving alcohol in espresso cups. Patrons are said to have included some of the characters depicted on Boardwalk Empire. In fact, the restaurant attracted a lot of mob types. Perhaps it was the appeal of the original tile floors (which remain intact today) or the immense wax candelabra at the back of the restaurant.  (more…)