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Take a Hollywood Tour ... in Park Slope

A new bus tour, which drives around Brooklyn to visit different film locales, features 13 sites in Park Slope.

Park Slope is no stranger to movie sets.

First, the orange “No Parking” fliers appear on street signs. Then, thick electrical wires snake along the street, the catering trucks come, and crewmembers race around while talking into their earpieces, asking pedestrians to cross the street.

But if you’re in the right place at the right time, you just might catch Jason Schwartzman on set for "Bored to Death," or Slope native Steve Buscemi walking into the Montauk Club for a scene in "Boardwalk Empire."

Now, Slopers aren’t the only ones who get to see productions for the silver screen in action.

On Locations Tours, a tour bus company, launched its "Brooklyn TV & Movie Sites Tour" last month. The tour leaves from Manhattan with a bus filled (well, let’s just say around 15 passengers) with movie buffs and tourists. The guide speaks into a microphone while pointing out all of the locations, and then shows the bus clips from particular movies that take place at the site on the TV. The ride goes over the Manhattan Bridge and into Brooklyn for a four-hour sightseeing ride of film locales, including 13 sites in Park Slope.

“They are always filming something in Brooklyn. If you’re here long enough you’ll see a live set,” said the tour guide, Amadeo Fusca, while on his sixth trip.

The tour bus squeezes down the borough’s narrow streets, barely fitting its girth, twisting through Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Park Slope and Fort Greene, all while locals, sitting on their stoop, stare at the spectacle of a tour bus easing passengers around brownstone Brooklyn.

“These tours are small and personal. You get great insight to the local flavor,” said Rosalie Morales, who was born in Brooklyn but then moved to Puerto Rico at nine years old. “It’s not going to see crammed tourist destinations, it’s cozy and you see real neighborhoods.”

Although the tour only spends 20 minutes in Park Slope, and doesn’t stop to let the tourists walk around, there are still big-name movie locales worth mentioning. 

The first site in the neighborhood, after eating cheesecake from Junior’s (thanks to Carrie Bradshaw’s wedding reception in "Sex and the City"), was on Fifth Avenue and Carroll Street. The restaurant was featured in "Julie and Julia," where Meryl Streep played chef Julia Child. The cafe stood in for one in Paris, France, but the director thought Moutarde looked more "French" than modern-day Parisian equivalents.

As the bus continued up Carroll, Fusca pointed out , at Sixth Avenue, which was featured in "The Departed" with Matt Damon and "Boardwalk Empire."

On Seventh Avenue, , between Carroll and Garfield Place, appeared in "Baby Mama" with Tina Fey.

Passing through Seventh Avenue, the bus approached a brownstone across from Fiske Place at 799 Carroll Street, where a scene in "War of the Worlds" was filmed with Tom Cruise.

Then the tour went to Prospect Park West, made a right, and rode long the park, where Fusca spoke about "Good Fellas," "As Good as it Gets," "My Idiot Brother," and the live-action Smurfs movie, which were all filmed in the 585-acre span. 

The bus then headed up to Ninth Avenue, to pass by The Flame House at 16th Street, where parts of "Blue in the Face" was filmed, Farrell’s Bar & Grill where Jack Nicholson in "As Good as it Gets" had a scene, and Terrace Bagel, which was in "I Hate Valentine’s Day."

After Fusca pointed out each site, he then played the scenes on the TV’s on the bus. And during downtime between locations, Fusca would ask trivia questions, rewarding the winner with a Blow Pop.

At Prospect Avenue, the bus made a right and then turned on to Eighth Avenue. The Park Slope Armory was in "Meet Joe Black" with Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins, and then was in the TV series "Damages," staring Glenn Close and Ted Danson.

The Montauk Club, at Lincoln Place, has always been a staple for movies and TV. Currently "Boardwalk Empire" is filming its casino scenes there. Also, a casino scene in "Rounders" took place at the elegant hall. In addition, "Definitely Maybe" and "Aluminata," starring John Turturro, Susan Sarandon, and Christopher Walken were shot at the historic site.

The bus made its way down to Sixth Avenue and Park Place to see St. Augustine Church, which was in "Mona Lisa Smile" with Julia Roberts and Kirsten Dunst (coincidentally the bus driver was baptized there).

The last site in Park Slope was the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch at Grand Army Plaza, which was in "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Bored to Death."

“I’ve never really seen Brooklyn, we always miss it,” said Jack Hilton, who was in from St. Louis with his wife to visit their daughter, who lives in Manhattan. “It is so peaceful and quiet. I expected it to be a loud and bustling urban experience. But it was pleasant, I could live here.”

Eric McClure July 14, 2011 at 03:47 PM
Fantastic! A giant tour bus, clogging up Park Slope's streets and spewing diesel exhaust, and that "doesn’t stop to let the tourists walk around" or spend a few bucks in the neighborhood! How do we encourage more of this?
tom murphy July 14, 2011 at 09:08 PM
I can not believe they don't do a Sunset Park/Bay Ridge/Bensonhurst tour for Saturday Night Fever. That's what the tourist want! Farrell? How about the Irish Haven and Greenwood, even Greenpoint, for the Departed. How about 86th Street for Mr. 888(1945?). Cinema verite!
Parksloper July 15, 2011 at 03:14 PM
And Dog Day Afternoon with Al Pacino


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