Becoming a photographer wasn’t my first dream. I wanted to be a dancer on Broadway after seeing movies like A Chorus Line and West Side Story. Even though I never came close in real life, I’ve always kept a close eye on dancing. For this tour, I twinkle toe my way past two iconic locations in New York dance history.
West Side Story
I was about six years old when I first saw the movie West Side Story. A love story between a boy and girl on opposite sides of two rival gangs in New York: the Jets and the Sharks. This movie has some of the best dancing scenes I’ve ever seen, accompanied by the unforgettable music of Leonard Bernstein. To give you an idea, here’s a small fragment of the movie. You’ll also see the two locations I’m going to visit in this tour.
Little did I know that most of the movie wasn’t recorded in New York, but on a sound stage in Hollywood. Only the first 9 minutes were actually recorded on location in New York City. For this trip I decided to take a look at the two locations in New York City where they recorded this movie in 1960.
The first location brings me to Spanish Harlem, to the playground on East 110th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, where we first meet the Jets. It’s a bit smaller and feels more grim due to the gloomy weather. The second location unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore. West 68th Street between Amsterdam Avenue en West Side Avenue was the backdrop for this iconic dance move and demolished right after these scenes were shot to make way for the Lincoln Towers. Click on the gallery below, to see how these locations look today and stay tuned for more…