Sunday 25 February 2018

'Girls' TV phenomenon is New York's latest tourism draw

Fans of Lena Dunham’s comedy-drama are flocking to previously untoured sections of the city

Four play: Jemima Kirke, Zosia
Mamet, Alison Williams and
Lena Dunaham, the stars of Girls
Four play: Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Alison Williams and Lena Dunaham, the stars of Girls

Will Dean

Despite a lot of its most famous shows (Friends, Seinfeld, Taxi) being filmed in warehouses in Los Angeles, New York City has made the most of its use as a setting in TV and films. Or, at least, entrepreneurial locals have done.

Kenny Kramer (Larry David’s ex-neighbour, the “real” Kramer who inspired the character) offers weekend tours of famous spots from Seinfeld.

Meanwhile, offers visits to places where Carrie and co romped in Sex and the City (which was filmed in the city) and the Pulitzer Fountain near Central Park from the opening credits of Friends. (Except it’s not from the opening credits of Friends because the entire thing was re-created in LA, but close enough.)

The latest New York TV phenomenon is, of course, HBO’s Girls which is drawing fans of Lena Dunham’s quarter-life crisis comedy-drama to previously untoured sections of New York City. Specifically Greenpoint and Bushwich, two gentrifying neighbourhoods in northern Brooklyn where many of the scenes in the show are set  (though many are actually filmed further south in the borough).

The coffee shop where Dunham’s character Hannah briefly worked, Cafe Grumpy in Greenpoint,  has become – according to Crain’s New York Business  – a magnet for lovers of the show , with locals worried that the boost in Greenpoint’s cool might unduly boost rents in a previously run-down area. There’s no such worries for lauded pizza joint Roberta’s, which hosted a scene in Monday’s Series Two finale. With queues down the block already, the Williamsburg restaurant (which has previously hosted the Clintons) can’t get any busier.

Independent News Service

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