“I love being in the city so much. I have lived here a couple of times over the years. And every time I get here I am like, ‘Yes! I am back!’ I mean I used to have my go to spots. But now there's not time when I am here for three days to go to the likes of Brooklyn Bowl or Nitehawk.”
“I used to live in Williamsburg. I was there just when it was heating up and becoming a cool spot. Now there is like a Whole Foods there. And I lived in Bed Stuy. I was there six years, when there was no gentrification. I left when I saw someone get murdered in front of me. I was like, ‘You know what, I am kind of done'."
“I just like to walk the streets of New York. That’s always good for me to just walk around and people watch a little bit. I always just people watch downtown. I like that, that’s my favorite.”
“What do I miss about New York? I miss Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden, MetLife Stadium. I miss those the most.”
“Whenever the plays were here I would do four months solid, and loved it every time. So I feel like New York is my second home really. I feel like really comfortable here."
"I love just watching films here. I love walking to the Angelica in the day time, too, especially when people are at work. It is so walkable. The trick would be to be here for a while and not party as much as you do when you are just here for a week.”
Dave Franco & James Franco
DF: “I like to eat.”
JF: “Dave’s a big foodie. We went to Uncle Boons on Spring last night.”
“Go home. See my parents. See my grandma. Get yelled at by my grandma.”
"Eat street meats. Spicy sausage with mustard and sauerkraut, but not just from the water. You’ve got to take it out cut it, put it on the grill, charcoal, do that sort of thing."
“I lived here in 1986, but I am back all the time. I love it. I go to shows, museums. I hear there is an incredible Hockney exhibit that is supposed to be genius."
"But this is where I get my theater. I just saw 'Mary Jane' down at the New York Theatre Workshop. I heard about that because I read about it, and because the woman who directed it, Amy Herzog, is in my circle of friends. I don’t know her, but I follow her. I had a dear friend who is in it as well. Brenda Wehle, a wonderful actress, And it was superb. Just amazing. ”
“I love New York. I was in my late 20s when I moved there. Me and my wife miss New York. We miss everything about the city and we are always looking for opportunities to go back. I could see us being bi-costal. Or tri-costal. “
“Once the kids are both off at college we might spend more time in New York. Or maybe London. Maybe other places besides LA. Obviously the centers of the English speaking theatre world are London and New York.”
“I started off for $60 a week, but eventually got to Broadway. I spent 5 years on Broadway after spending 13 or 14 years in regional theater here and there. It was 100% theater. But really since then it has been 100% film and TV.”
“My wife and I talk now, our kids are teenagers, but we begin to talk about going back to theatre in 2 or 3 years. LA is where we ended up, and where our kids ended.”
“We moved from New York because after our theatre careers ended we thought that LA was the place to be so that daddy didn’t have to constantly be flying around for work.”
“Normally I like to get around on my bicycle. I have a place here in Chelsea that’s on the market right now because I haven’t been in New York as much as I want to be.”
“I walked in there last night and it broke my heart because I suddenly realized this might be the last time I actually get to come here. I built it all and it is an interesting place. It took me four years, it shouldn’t have taken so long, but I did it bit by bit.”
“Putting down new floors, new windows and like that. I didn’t do it with my own hands. I am making myself out to be way handier than I actually am. I was there for a lot of it, but I am not a builder or a contractor in anyway.”
“But just coming back to this city … Every time I am here, as soon as I land at JFK, I just think, ‘What am I doing in LA?’ The second I get from the airport I just have to get out of the car. And I just love to walk and get lost in it.”
“No matter how funky my mood is as soon as I get out on the streets of New York it just takes me into a different headspace. There’s just such a great blend of cultures. There’s so much going on here, be it in the art scene and entertainment scene, just even visually to be in Manhattan.”
Benj Pasek & Justin Paul
BP: “I have lived here for 13 years. I don’t know. I just love the city. It is the best. I love that you can just wander everywhere. I feel like there is a movie playing out on every corner. You are constantly entertained.”
“I am a New York guy. I am born and bred there. I moved to LA about 4 and a half years ago. The only thing I really miss about New York is various friends that I don’t see anymore. There wasn’t much in New York emotionally to keep me attached.”
“I’m from New York and the truth of the matter is that New York has changed so vastly in recent years that most of the things I remember and loved about the city have changed. New York to me is largely just another big city.”
“There was something in New York when I was growing up there, there was this very bohemian element. New York has always been very expensive. But it was possible for people that were kind of on the fringes to still eke out a living and still be able to live in New York. And that created a lot of the vitality of New York, artistically and otherwise. It made it an exciting place.”
“What’s happened is, because of how commerce and real estate has gone, those people have been completely squeezed out. There’s just no way for those people to live in New York anymore. Maybe I have too cynical a view of it, but New York has just become full of stock market people, and wealthy people from across the world.”
“I remember when Brooklyn was an alternative, where there was still some interesting people and places. But now it is just as prohibitive as Manhattan. So this idea that it is a rich arts capital, it can’t really be that way because it is just so expensive. It used to be possible that you would get a couple of roommates and just tough it out, but now it is impossible.”
“Culturally, Broadway tickets are $800. It’s a different world. When I was growing up in New York people who were into theatre would go to Broadway once a month, or go and see a show every so often. But now it has changed.”
“It’s not that LA is Hemingway’s Paris. If I weren’t an actor I don’t think I would want to live in LA, too.”
There’s something indescribable about New York City that immediately grants it a special place in the heart of anyone who ever visits it.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve just squeezed in a quick 24-hour jaunt to the Big Apple, are spending five days in New York for the first time, a week for for your second, third, or fourth visit, or have been living amongst the hustle and bustle for years, something new always emerges that makes you fall in love with the city all over again.
Of course, even celebrities aren’t averse to New York’s charms.
Over the last few months I have had the opportunity to sit down and speak with some of the city’s past dwellers and inhabitants who have had to move on elsewhere for their careers, as well as other actors, writers, directors, and members of the Hollywood elite about New York.
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They revealed what they love most about it, what they miss, which areas they love to visit, what makes it so unique, and what they get up to whenever they are back.
You can take a click through the above gallery to see what Larry David (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Jared Leto (“Blade Runner 2049”), Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”), Martin McDonagh (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Dave & James Franco (“The Disaster Artist”), Annette Bening (“Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool”), Timothee Chalamet (“Call Me By Your Name”), Armie Hammer (“Call Me By Your Name”), JK Simmons (“Father Figures”), Gerard Butler (“Den Of Thieves”), Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“The Greatest Showman”), and Fred Melamed (“Lady Dynamite”) each had to say.
Unsurprisingly,Times Square and the MTA wasn’t mentioned once. While, rather than singing the praises of the city, Fred Melamed took this opportunity to give an impassioned diatribe about the current state of New York, which is most definitely worth your time.