Reel Estate

Reel Estate: New Year's Eve is best spent in a weirdly enormous elevator

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When a movie or TV show is set in New York City—and if the people making it are savvy—real estate becomes part of the story itself. In Reel Estate, we look at some of the more memorable domiciles to grace the screen.

If you're still nursing a New Year's Eve-induced headache, trying to untangle the plot of New Year's Eve, the 2011 uber rom com, may not exactly help. But if, like us, all you really care about are the apartments, it gets at least a little more manageable. 

First up there's Randy (Ashton Kutcher), a sad sack cartoonist, who hates New Year's Eve (so unconventional!) and plans to spend the holiday locked in his poorly lit downtown digs, but not before tearing down and spitefully rearranging decorations in his building's hallway, saying, "According to the lease agreement you can't decorate hallways." Seems like a fun neighbor:

As he's heading downstairs to trash a bag full of decorations, he tries to close the elevator before his new neighbor Elise (Lea Michele) gets in—rude—but she manages to force her way inside. She's a backup singer on her way to a big holiday gig, and wouldn't you know, the elevator gets stuck. There's no cell reception, and the enormous red service phone doesn't have a connection ("The phone doesn't work—the super doesn't work either," Randy tells her). On the plus side, if you're going to be trapped in an elevator, it might as well be a giant one with a window and a full-on bench: 

The exterior of Randy and Elise's building was shot at 20 Bond Street in Noho, according to On The Set of New York, and a quick browse of the building on StreetEasy indicates that you'd be hard pressed to rent there for less than $7,000 a month. Unclear how a backup singer or an underemployed cartoonist can afford it—or why a building this pricey wouldn't have a decent super—but Elise does accuse Randy of living off trust fund money.

The only other apartment we really see belongs to Kim (Sarah Jessica Parker), a costume designer for the Rockettes who lives alone in Brooklyn with her teenage daughter, Hailey (Abigail Breslin). When Abigail ditches her mom to spend the night with friends, we see her fleeing the apartment and hopping on the subway at the Myrtle-Broadway JMZ stop, right on the Bushwick border. Makes sense that a single mom working in the fashion industry would want to live in a budget-friendly neighborhood, but there aren't exactly a whole lot of buildings around "StuyShwick" that look like this:

Sure enough, OTSNY points out that the house we see here is actually 367 Henry Street in Cobble Hill, a single-family brownstone that Zillow estimates is worth around $9.8 million. (Guess the Rockettes pay well.)  If Bushwick residents are unfamiliar with the area shown below the Myrtle-Broadway stop, that's because it was actually shot below the Forest Avenue station in Queens (note that address in the background). From personal experience, the Myrtle-Broadway area has far too much free-floating garbage to work for a Gary Marshall movie.

It may be more than a little divorced from reality, but if new year's in New York means fantasy apartments and attractive single neighbors with trust funds? Well, there are worse things.


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