Gossip Girl is back and as you might guess, the first two episodes are chock full of juicy drama and salacious buzz. They also feature some iconic NYC locations.
The Gossip Girl reboot takes us back to the Upper East Side to a new generation of New York private school teens dealing with social surveillance, nine years after the original blogger’s website went dark. It's now the start of a new school year at the elite Constance St. Jude and a newcomer finds herself thrust into a blinding spotlight. While other students cling to their comfortable, glamorous lives, a new Gossip Girl upends the status quo.
The show's tone is the same and is undoubtedly Gossip Girl—it should be since it's being developed by Joshua Safran, who was a writer and the executive producer on the original series. The wealthy private school students are woefully in their own bubble, fashion-obsessed and live in incredible but unattainable apartments. There are "cool" musician fathers. Not surprisingly, there's also a lot of underage drinking and drug use done at clubs out of sight of parents. That being said, the show does call out its previous iteration in episode one, mentioning it all took place "pre-cancel culture," raising the odd fact that a high schooler (Dan Humphrey) got an article published in the New Yorker and that the student body was pretty much all-white. There is even a slighted comment about headbands. (Our dear Queen Blair would shudder.)
Without giving too much away, we're also given a glimpse into the private school teachers' lives this time, which plays a major function in the show.
But before we get in too deep, let's pull back and review the rules the new school royalty has set for newcomers before we take you further into the world of Gossip Girl. Already they've name-dropped a bunch of NYC spots you should recognize:
"Sant Ambroeus or Yura for coffee, Starbucks for group orders," influencer Julien explains to her half-sister Zoya. "The Met Steps or the Great Lawn to hang, not the south side; JG Melon's for burgers; Momoya if you're west; Mezzaluna, not Serafina; Sweetgreen but for pickup only; and Dumbo Hall not House."
Got that? Now here's where the group hangs (the real-life filming locations):
The Museum of the City of New York
When we see the group at the center of GG, we see them in the elevated courtyard of Constance St. Jude preparing for their first day of school. Its grand columns and brick are recognizable as the Museum of the City of New York in Harlem (1220 Fifth Ave.) which is now open for visits. Apparently, a few interior shots were done inside the building as well.
The Met steps
Like in the first GG, the popular kids like to take their lunch and spill the tea at the Metropolitan Museum of Art steps at 1000 Fifth Avenue. It's here that Julien invites her half-sister Zoya into her crew officially with an IG story and an invite to a social gathering at Dumbo Hall.
It's at Dumbo Hall where Zoya's first social outing with the group is. It's supposed to be the hottest private club in NYC and these actual children get into it easily. It's no doubt inspired by Dumbo House, Soho House's Brooklyn location, because the scene is shot at Empire Stores (55 Water Street), where it and Time Out Market New York are located. You can see its arched doors and windows, the Brooklyn waterfront, the carousel, the two bridges and the East River—most of which we see when things go south and Zoya walks home in the rain with Julien's boyfriend, Obie. Obie apparently lives "next to" the club and when we see inside his apartment, it has the same architecture and arched windows as Empire Stores.
Park Avenue Armory
The episode culminates at a fashion show the Park Avenue Armory (643 Park Avenue), where Julien has a modeling gig and unwittingly seals the rivalry with her half-sister. We see her walking to the Armory before the show and are taken inside, where she walks the catwalk and where her friends and Zoya mill around.
The Armory is a New York City landmark that houses a series of 16 period rooms from the late 19th century, designed by such luminaries as Louis Comfort Tiffany and the Herter Brothers. The Armory has been transformed into one of the city's premier alternative spaces for showing art.
We pick things back up with a house divided—the two sisters are on bad terms and Obie begins hanging around with Zoya. This time around, we know the filming locations for Julien's penthouse (The Beekman Residences at 115 Nassau Street), Zoya's apartment building on the Upper West Side (127 W 79th Street), Kate's apartment (683 Bushwick Avenue), and Max's townhouse (41 Bethune Street).
And there are a couple of subway scenes—the West 79th St Subway entrance for the downtown 1 Train and the J/M Bowery Station at Delancy Street.
But as for notable locations you can visit for yourself, see below:
New York Academy of Medicine
Gossip Girl continues to film school scenes (the library, Headmaster Burton's office and a classroom) at the New York Academy of Medicine, which has beautiful architecture and a scholarly atmosphere at 1216 Fifth Avenue in East Harlem. The Academy was established in 1847 and opened to the public in 1878. It holds an exhaustive catalog of medical journals, documents and other ephemera, including an amputation kit and documentation about an 18th-century smallpox outbreak in the U.K. Visits, which are usually on the first Monday of each month, are still on hold but the Academy releases monthly Virtual Visits in the meantime and will announce on our website when in-person visits return.
Apple Art Supply Store
Zoya and Obie are filmed doing a romantic shopping spree at an art/school supply store, which is actually Apple Art Supply Store (321 Dekalb Avenue) in Brooklyn. This shop was established in 1940 under the name Jake's and it's stayed a fixture on Dekalb since. It was once a go-to of Patti Smith's in the '60s and still maintains an old-school vibe but carries modern supplies that Pratt students come in for nowadays.
With floor-to-ceiling windows and 60th-floor views of NYC, its bridges and rivers, Manhatta was an obvious choice to film a glamorous school fundraiser scene in. The Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group-run restaurant is at 28 Liberty Street.
Great Jones Spa
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Max gets the genius idea to follow his hottie teacher to the Russian baths during the school day, bringing Aki with him. While there's a lot to unpack in this steamy scene, we couldn't help but wonder which bathhouse in NYC this was filmed in. Here's the scoop—it was the Great Jones Spa at 29 Great Jones Street.
Kings County Distillery
GG was in need of an upscale pub/bar atmosphere, so it turned to Kings County Distillery at 299 Sands Street and renamed it O'Flanagans. The company is New York City's oldest, largest, and premier whiskey distillery—and the first since prohibition. It was founded in 2010 and produces bourbon, Peated Bourbon, Empire Rye and other creative whiskeys.
Things get heightened in episode three when old and new relationships are on the line.
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We see Julien's father's secret girlfriend come out of "Café Cluny," which is actually Snack Taverna at 63 Bedford St.
Tired of looking for love, Julien takes matters into her own hands and goes with Max for a crazy night out clubbing at Soho Club and Paradise Club, which was filmed at The Dance at 428 Lafayette Street.
The Public Theater
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It's everyone's first night back at "The Public" after a year of no theater (no explanation is given but it's assumed it's because of the pandemic). Obie and Zoya are on their first date at the theater to see the fictional play Aaron by playwright Jeremy O. Harris, the real-life writer of Slave Play. Both Max and Julien attend with their dads but do some seat swapping to teach them respective lessons.
That's it for now! Stay tuned for more locations as the show continues.