Last Orders at Carnegie Deli


10433071_10152730175688800_5280109922176715576_n The restaurant business is a fickle one. According to one study by Ohio State University, 60% of restaurants will close within their first year. I imagine that number is even higher within the borough of Manhattan where up to 80% of restaurants will fail within five years.

With that statistic in mind, there are not that many eateries in New York City that have have lasted as long, or can genuinely claim to call themselves an institution, as synonymous with the city as the Statue Of Liberty or Central Park, but Carnegie Deli on 7th Avenue is one such establishment.

It therefore came as quite a shock that this Manhattan institution that opened in 1937 announced that it will serve its final Pastrami on Rye at the end of this year.

Sadly, having been closed for ten months due to a dispute over a gas connection, the business struggled to recover and the current owner decided the stress of running the Deli was too much and made the decision to close the doors.

It not only served as a diner for those looking for a bite to eat before taking in a show on Broadway but also acted as an office for many an agent, writer and budding actor.

Featured on the big screen in Woody Allen’s Broadway Danny Rose, the Deli’s massive four inch thick sandwiches became as famous as the stars who adorned the Wall Of Fame.

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I ate there back on New Years Day 2015 and remember getting the meat sweats from one of their sandwiches and didn’t have enough room left for a slice of cheesecake. Something that I will sadly not get the chance to rectify.

For those with bigger stomachs than mine and find themselves in Manhattan before 31st December, get yourselves over to Carnegie Deli and pay your final respects to a true NYC icon.


Highlander 30th Anniversary Screening + Q&A – EIFF 2016

If you were to do a poll of film fans asking them for the best Scottish film to feature a Frenchman as the Scottish lead character and the most famous Scottish actor of all-time as a Spanish-Egyptian then can be only one winner.

Highlander celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and it certainly celebrated it in style with an extra special screening at the Edinburgh International Film Festival that featured a Q&A with Clancy Brown who played the villainous Kurgan.

Obviously a lot of the movie was filmed in Scotland. Evident by the appearance of James Cosmo and not by Christopher Lambert’s accent!

However a lot of the present day action takes place in New York City with a few notable locations:


R. Nash Antiques – The exterior for Connor Macleod/Russell Nash’s antiques store is located on 73 Greene Street, Manhattan.


Peter McManus Cafe – Forensic expert Brenda Wyatt follows Macleod from this bar in Manhattan. 152 7th Avenue, Manhattan.


Bow Bridge, Central Park – Macleod meets fellow immortal Kastagir (played by Hugh Quarshie) in Central Park ahead of the final Gathering.


Silvercup Studios – The final gathering and fight between Macleod and the Kurgan takes place atop the Silvercup Studios building and sign across the Queensboro Bridge in Queens.

Madison Square Gardens – Connor Macleod watches a wrestling match here before fighting a fellow immortal in the car park. Yet only the exterior of the Gardens was used, with the interiors being filmed in different locations.

Begin Again – Film Locations


Begin Again stars Mark Ruffalo as an A&R executive who is disillusioned with the business when he discovers a young singer-songwriter, played by Keira Knightley, playing at an open-mic night in the East Village.

Inspired by her song, he convinces her to record an open air album, using the city of New York as their studio.

A sweet film with strong performances that showcases how music can affect your view of a place whilst showcasing different sides to the city that don’t often appear on the big screen.

Vazac’s 7B Horseshoe Bar

108 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009. Nearest Metro Stop: 2 Avenue

Dan (Mark Ruffalo) has a drink in here while talking to his estranged daughter (Hailee Steinfeld).


Schiller’s Liquor Bar

131 Rivington Street, New York, NY 10002. Nearest Metro Stop: Delancey St & Essex St

Greta (Keira Knightley) meets her ex-boyfriend and rock star Dave ( Maroon 5’s Adam Levine) to talk about their relationship.


Steps on Norfolk St. & Rivington St.

121 Norfolk St, New York, NY 10002. Nearest Metro Station: Delancey St or Essex St 

Greta listens to Dave’s new record while sitting on these steps across from Schiller’s Liquor Bar.

Arlene’s Grocery

 95 Stanton St, New York, NY 10002. Nearest Metro Station: 2 Avenue

Arlene’s Grocery played the venue of Steve’s (James Corden) Open Mic Night where Dan hears Greta sing for the first time.

Washington Square Park

Washington Square, New York. Nearest Metro Station: 8 St – NYU

Greta and her band, assembled by music producer Dan, record a song underneath the Arc.

Bethesda Terrace

Terrace Drive, New York, 10021. Nearest Metro Station: 72 St 

Another location where Greta and the band record an outdoor song.

6 Romantic spots in New York to visit this Valentine’s Day

Looking for a place to have a romantic moment straight out of the movies? Why not visit one of these great locations…

1. Top of the Empire State Building 

The most clichéd of the locations but it is a classic and many a memorable proposal have taken place on the observation decks.

It also featured in the films An Affair To Remember and Sleepless In Seattle.

2. Brooklyn Bridge


There are few better walks in New York than the walk from Brooklyn to Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge, drinking in the incredible views of the skyline.

Many couples over the years have attached locks symbolising their love to the metal grates on the bridge.

Gisele takes her Prince Charming to the bridge on their first date in the city in Enchanted.

3. Tiffany’s


Whether it is for a diamond engagement ring or simply a spot of breakfast while window shopping, no trip to New York is complete without a visit to Tiffany’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue.

4. The High Line


A relatively new addition to New York, the High Line is a 1.45 mile stretch of disused train track which has been transformed into an urban public park and art space.

5. Central Park


Central Park is an oasis of calm and tranquility in the middle of Manhattan and full of beautiful spots that will make you feel like Alice In Wonderland.

It has featured in many a romantic moment on film including When Harry Met Sally, Serendipity and Vanilla Sky.

6. Sutton Place


Famously appearing in Manhattan, this is where Woody and Diane’s characters start to fall for each other following a late night stroll in the city.

It is also where I proposed to my fiancée.

Be warned though, if you are planning on recreating this iconic moment, you had better bring your own bench as there is not one there in real life!

John Wick


John Wick was the best action film released in 2015 that wasn’t Mad Max: Fury Road and saw Keanu Reeves make a welcome return to the genre.

Set in New York City, Reeves plays an assassin who comes out of retirement to hunt down the men responsible for killing the puppy given to him by his late wife.

You can find my full review here.

A lot of the film was shot in the Financial District in Lower Manhattan, including the pivotal location that stood in for the exterior of the Continental Hotel.

The Continental Hotel is a hotel that caters for a specific type of clientele: hitmen (and hitwomen); and has a particular set of house rules, including no “business” to be conducted on the property.

The building is the Beaver Building aka 1 Wall Street Court, located at the corner of Beaver Street and Pearl Street.

Similar in style to the architecture of the Flatiron Building, it is the former home of the New York Cocoa Exchange.

It is not actually a hotel but residential condominiums as well as housing a sushi restaurant.

The awesome Dark Bunny Tees have recently released a Continental Hotel t-shirt, to accompany their Specialized Waste Disposal Tee (as seen in the above photo).


When Harry Met Sally – Valentine’s Day

when harryThis Valentine’s Day, romantic comedy classic When Harry Met Sally screens at the Belmont Filmhouse in Aberdeen.

Many films have dealt with the issue but this was first film to openly ask the question:

“Can men and women be friends or does sex always get in the way?”

The answer, in this particular case, is no… well, yes… but no… then yes.

When Harry Met Sally is one of the greatest romantic comedies of all-time and feels like the best Woody Allen film he never made.

Billy Crystal is at his neurotic best in one of the most realistic portrayals of a man in the genre. This movie also kickstarted Meg Ryan’s reign as the Rom-Com Queen resulting in her own New York Trilogy that also included Sleepless In Seattle and You’ve Got Mail.

It might have taken a long time for Harry and Sally’s “Will they? Won’t they?” relationship to come to fruition but one connection which was instantaneous was the film’s love for New York City. Filmed in such a way that it would create a long-lasting bond with the characters and the audience.

Harry actually meets Sally when they drive from Chicago to New York City after graduating from college. Along the way, their differing views on life, love and the ending of Casablanca result on them deciding they wouldn’t be friends. Years later they meet again on a flight leaving from New York and once again they go their separate ways.

It isn’t actually until they meet face-to-face in New York in a branch of Shakespeare & Co bookstore that they finally become friends. Perhaps it is the magic of the city that helped to build this relationship.

Different areas and faces of New York were used depending on the film’s plot at that time. Moments between Sally and her female friends take place in restaurants like The Loeb Boathouse in Central Park. Conversations between Harry and his male friend Jesse are set in typically male venues like a batting cage in Coney Island or the perfect comic timing of the Mr. Zero speech at a New York Giants game.

Despite being “just friends”, Harry and Sally spend a lot of time in ideal “meet-cute” locations like Central Park, The Metropolitan Museum Of Art and dining out together in various restaurants, resulting in the most famous film food moment in cinema history as Sally demonstrates the art of the female orgasm over lunch at Katz’s Deli.

So make sure to “have what she’s having” by visiting some of the locations where Harry Met Sally.

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Katz’s Delicatessen

205 E Houston St, NY 10002. Metro Station: 2 Av

No trip to New York is complete without a visit to the world’s most famous deli and home to some of the biggest sandwiches you are ever likely to see. This is where Meg Ryan showcased her infamous fake orgasm to Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally so make sure you grab their table (it’s signposted) and have what she’s having! The deli also featured in Enchanted.


Washington Square Park

Metro Station: 8 St–NYU

This public park is most well known for its giant arch honouring George Washington, hence the name of the park, and the large fountain located at its centre. It is also a cultural hub of Greenwich Village, where it is located at the bottom of Fifth Avenue, and you can often find it full of avid chess players, musicians and students simply taking a break from their studies at the nearby New York University campus.

New York Revisited

Returned to New York this past weekend with the finished book.

Was great to revisit some classic locations as well as finding new ones including a couple from Shame that I’ll be posting on here soon.

Also took the book to a couple of bookstores to gauge interest and hopefully might be able to get it on some shelves so New Yorkers can pick up a copy.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

It’s December and so begins the season of Christmas films on the television and on the big screen.

New York has no shortage of festive films, ranging from classics such as Home Alone 2: Lost In New YorkElf and Scrooged.

If a film is set in New York at Christmas time, it is a guarantee that it will feature establishing shots of the city in December that will include Wollman Ice Rink in Central Park and the iconic Christmas Tree at the Rockefeller Center.

The most iconic Christmas film set in the Big Apple would be Miracle On 34th Street. If you wanted to try and catch a glimpse of Kris Kringle then head over to Macy’s on, surprise surprise, 34th Street.