Walking in… New York – Day 4: East Side (in Search of Woody Allen’s Bench), and Dyker Heights at Christmas


Today, my fourth full day in New York, saw the weather take a turn for the worse, so I used the morning to plan for a day packed with low clouds and occasional drizzle. Having fortunately already gone up all the towers I had planned on, I decided to aim my walking in the direction of two particular places today. But first, breakfast:


The Hudson Cafe, again just around the corner from my hotel, provided me with some delicious blueberry pancakes for breakfast, and the chatty young women who worked there were equally as delightful.

See also:

Day 0 – Arriving

Day 1 in New York

Day 2 in New York

Day 3 in New York

The First 2km


I hadn’t yet seen the Flatiron building, so in order to take this in via streets I had not yet been down, I left the cafe, turned right to face north and took the first right, heading simply down West 13th until reaching 5th Avenue, at which point I turned left to head north.

p1150072p1150073p1150079 The low cloud was going to appear in a lot of today’s photographs, but I felt it would actually enhance pictures in the place I had chosen to head to first today.


The Flatiron Building is something of an icon in New York. It took me a while to think of where I had seen it on something I actually own in my life before, before realising it featured (I think) on the cover of a book called The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld, a story about Sigmund Freud in New York.


I was able to achieve a not-so-similar yellowy sepia town because of a temporary exhibition that was set up in Madison Square Park just outside the building.



Madison Square Park was nice. Even in dull weather, there were plenty of characters about, and I even got to meet some beautiful four-legged friends.


I even had time for another squirrel battle (see Day 3 for the last couple…).


In Search of Woody Allen’s Bench

After getting my bearings back in the park, I decided to head east towards the river. I had done some research beforehand and knew that this would take me in the approximate direction of my destination.


I love the film Manhattan, despite not having seen if for quite a while now. As a matter of fact, I rewatched a couple of clips of the film in my hotel room before this day, both in order to get into the New York mood and also because one of my lasting memories of the film is, of course, the iconic scene near the Queensboro Bridge featuring Woody and Diane Keaton.

Searching online led me to believe that Sutton Place Park was the place where I would find most joy. Therefore, I headed up to East 27th Street and walked east.


I continued east and north, ultimately until I reached 1st Avenue.


I approached the United Nations headquarters from the south, but ultimately the cloud still hadn’t cleared. Still, these were ideal conditions for taking a few snaps near the Queensboro Bridge.

I continued further still up 1st Avenue, deciding to cut in east at East 54th. My first sightings of the possible location for the Manhattan scene were around here, but these were not what I was looking for.


I believe, ultimately, that the location I was looking for was here:


Later research revealed to me that the bench was brought along specifically for the film, and rather than filming in dull weather, they filmed at about 5 o’clock in the morning with special permission to have the Queensboro Bridge lights on for longer that morning. I also got talking to a member of staff at a nearby hotel who confirmed that I had indeed found the right location, and he regaled me with stories of various celebrities and tour groups who had also been looking for the very same movie location.

I took my photographs around the area, though, and hope the information here will help anybody else looking for this particular film location.


The bridge dominated the neighbourhood surrounding this location too, and paired with a cable car flying above your head every couple of minutes, allowed for some unique photo opportunities.


It was at this point that I continued west, past Bloomingdale’s, heading for the Lexington Ave / 59 St subway station. The second of my main aims for today required a somewhat long subway journey.

Dyker Heights at Christmas

The day in question was the 21st December 2018 – truly in the heart of the festive period. It was while researching places to visit in New York that this place really caught my eye – a little out of the way, but probably something I wouldn’t get the opportunity to see again, what with needing to be in New York at this particular time of year.

In order to get there, I needed to take a long subway ride south on the yellow line (R) to 86 Street Station.


The residents of Dyker Heights go crazy at Christmas. In one particular section of streets in the neighbourhood, one can see thousands and thousands of lights on every square centimetre of their houses, their trees, and their gardens.

The video below is what I took walking between just a couple of houses in the neighbourhood.

From the 86th Street station, I walked east as far as 11th Avenue. This was approximately 1km of walking.


The fog had really come in during my subway journey, although this only added to the Christmas atmosphere.


The best known streets for their Christmas lights are located between 11th and 13th Avenues, and 83rd to 86th Streets.


Like a lot of my experiences in New York, all I can really do is let the pictures speak for themselves. A lot of effort had clearly gone into these decorations.



The following house in particular was somewhat… extravagant.



I spent a good hour or two walking up and down streets in an attempt to see as many houses as possible. I’m sure I won’t see many houses decorated in quite such a way again.

Back to Manhattan

I journeyed back to Manhattan in a slightly different way, instead walking further east from Dyker Heights to 18 Avenue station (Red ‘D’ line), taking the train across the Manhattan Bridge and getting off at West 4th / Washington Sq. to take a look around Washington Square Park (visited yesterday) at night.


I did my usual routine of walking around, taking as many photos as possible, and waiting for cloud to clear so I could get a nice, atmospheric shot of the Empire State Building before walking back to my hotel to rest my legs for the night.



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