Taylor Swift, Robert De Niro: World Stars Show Their Favorite Places in New York

3:55 pm  |  10.06.2021

Director Woody Allen, actor Robert De Niro, architect Daniel Libeskind, and singer Taylor Swift – they are all united by unconditional love. To their hometown. To New York. 


“I love the city in an emotional, irrational way the way you love your parents, even if they are drinkers or thieves,” admits Woody Allen in the new photo book “At Home in New York”. “I’ve loved the city all my life. She is like a great woman to me. ”In it, 20 prominent New Yorkers told the author Alessandra Mattanza about their personal view of their hometown, which National Geographic recently published in a volume with impressive photos.

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Woody Allen is New York’s “Biographer”

No wonder the book begins with Allen: The director was born in the Bronx, grew up in Brooklyn’s working-class and eventually becomes the “biographer” of his city, to whom he dedicated numerous films: from “Urban Neurotics” (1977) to “Husbands” und Ehefrauen ”(1992) to“ Schmalspurganoven ”(2000). “Allen’s films open secret windows into the history and culture of the city, to the thousands of beautiful faces that make up the melting pot of Manhattan,” writes Mattanza about him.

Allen’s Tip: the “Russian Tea Room” in the North of Manhattan

The beautiful hall view.

You would need a lot of vacation days to visit all of the New York squares from Allen’s films, but one or the other can certainly be steered towards on a city trip: There would be “The Paris Theater”, which can be seen in “Stadtneurotiker”, in which great films are still shown, the “21 Club”, a historic restaurant where the actors from “Manhattan Mystery Murder” (1993) have dinner, or the “Cherry Lane Theater” from “Another Woman” ( 1988), a meeting place for many artists. Allen’s personal tip: the “Russian Tea Room” in the north of Manhattan, one of the most famous tea rooms in the world. “I’ve been a regular there for a long time.”

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Robert De Niro: the Face of the City

Little Italy.

If Woody Allen is your biographer, Robert De Niro is probably the face of this city, whether as mafia boss Don Vito Corleone in “The Godfather – Part II (1974), as a Vietnam veteran in” Taxi Driver “(1976), or as a boxer from the Bronx working class in Like a Wild Bull (1980). It is not just his roles that are inextricably linked to New York. “First and foremost, New York is my home,” said the actor, who was born in Greenwich Village and raised in Little Italy. “I experience endless moments and universes in my city, a wealth of cultures like nowhere else in the world.”

The Tribeca Neighborhood is Close to De Niro’s Heart

The TriBeCa district (Triangle Below Canal Street) around the former Twin Towers is particularly important to De Niro. Through the Tribeca Film Festival, which was founded in 2002, he helped to liven up the district, which is now one of the most expensive areas of Manhattan. “Tribeca is a world of its own, as a village within a city with large tree-lined avenues and parks lined with luxury condos, small shops, boutiques, art galleries, and historic buildings,” says De Niro, who comes from a New York family of artists. Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, where he used to walk with his father, still means a lot to De Niro. This is where artists and musicians meet today, but also many New Yorkers play chess.

Martin Scorsese, “the Heart of the City”

De Niro probably made the legendary director Martin Scorsese the figurehead of New York. Mattanza even calls him the “heart of the city”, to which he – like Allen – dedicated many of his works, such as the classics “New York New York” (1977) and “Goodfellas” (1990) or, more recently, “The Wolf of Wall” Street “(2013). And: Most of his New York films revolve – of course – around the face of the city, around De Niro. 

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Like De Niro, Scorsese grew up in Little Italy, suffers from asthma as a child, and takes refuge in the cinema. “When I was eleven, I started going to the movies by myself, which was just a few blocks down the street,” said Scorsese of the beginning of his love for film, which is inextricably linked with his love for New York.


“For me, New York is street life”

It is not the surface, the world of skyscrapers, that Scorsese is particularly interested in, after all, the “heart” of a city beats in its underground and backyards. “For me, New York is not the sparkling city of a thousand lights, but street life with its crimes, all the contradictions and dark sides.” For Scorsese, his hometown is not simply the promise of the American dream: “New York is a subtle realism, who can make you dream and brood at the same time. “

The Declarations of Love by Taylor Swift, Spike Lee, and James Franco

It is just one of many declarations of love for New York that the book reveals. “New York has everything I love. In New York something happens in every block, every minute, ”the author quotes actor James Franco. 

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For director Spike Lee, New York is “not one, but an infinite number of worlds.” And singer Taylor Swift says at the end of the tape: “What makes New York New York is that it is different from any other place in the world.”

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