On July 5th, 1989 NBC debuted a new pilot called The Seinfeld Chronicles. It starred NYC comedian Jerry Seinfeld and focused on his stand up and those everyday conversations and situations that make up modern life. 25 years later, the show that became known across the world as Seinfeld did more than net NBC an incredible amount of money, it helped change television forever. Known as “The Show About Nothing,”Seinfeld was anything but: it was about love, friendship, family, work, all the things that most New Yorker’s could live without most of the time.
While the interiors were shot mostly in California, Seinfeld is still the quintessential NYC show and used stock footage of NYC for exterior locations. The topics of conversations and the situations these four self-absorbed, needy and iconic characters go through are timeless. In celebration of the show’s 25th anniversary, we present ten of our favorite locations and moments of Seinfeld.
10. Tom’s Restaurant
The red neon sign is known to anyone who has ever watched an episode of Seinfeld. While the interiors of the so called “Monk’s Cafe” were filmed on a soundstage in California, the exterior is located Morningside Heights. Tom’s Restaurant is still open, probably on account of its fame and because it’s where Columbia students come in to gorge themselves on eggs and hash browns in the mornings before tests, “or milkshake and gravy fries at 3am in the morning on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night.”
From a list of more classic NYC restaurants, check them out here.
9. H&H Bagels
One of the main locations used in the tenth episode of the show’s final season, H&H Bagels in the Upper East Side is where we finally learn where Kramer works. It is also the episode where Kramer gets involved in the made up holiday of “Festivius.” H&H Bagels was founded in 1972 by Helmer Toro and is the largest manufacturer of bagels in the world. The reason why the show took so long to show us Kramer’s place of work is because he has been on strike… for 12 years. The shop has served many celebrities in its three locations for years, including former President Bill Clinton, Barbara Streisand, John Madden, Michael J. Fox and Jerry Stiller himself.
At one point there were three different H&H locations but the rest are no more, with the locations closing up shop in the past few years. No word on whether they still distribute bagels globally.
Seinfeld is not the only time you get to see the bagel shop on screen, it also is seen in the ’90s romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail.
7. West Side YMCA
In the season 3 episode “The Boyfriend” Jerry meets his favorite baseball player Keith Hernandez in the West Side YMCA locker room. With various locations spread out throughout the city, the YMCA has provided NYC with a place where kids, as well as adults can learn about living healthier lives for over 100 years.
The episode is most famous for the famous “Magic Loogie” story, where Kramer and Newman tell Elaine and Jerry the story of being spit on by Keith Hernandez. After hearing the story, Jerry re-enacts the incident, using a golf club to show that it was in fact someone else who spit on Kramer and Newman and not Keith Hernandez. The classic sequence was a riff on the “Magic Bullet Theory” scene in the early 90’s Oliver Stone film JFK – which actor Wayne Knight was featured in.
6. St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center
Inside St. Luke’s Roosevelt Center on Amsterdam Avenue and 113th Street, Jerry and Kramer observe a surgery being performed on Elaine’s ex-boyfriend Roy. During the procedure, Kramer offers Jerry a Junior Mint that he purchased from a vending machine. Jerry refuses and when Kramer keeps insisting, Jerry knocks it out of his hand, where it falls onto Roy’s open surgical wound.
The hospital opened in 1858 and moved to its current location in 1911. The building and in house chapel was designed by Ernest Flagg. It houses a teaching facility and does not allow anyone to bring in candy of an kind during medical procedures.