What to stream if you're missing New York City

These streamable series and movies will give you a nostalgic taste of mask-free New York City

Written by
Christina Izzo
Russian Doll, la serie de Netflix protagonizada por Natasha Lyonne
Foto: Cortesía Netflix

Even though we're in New York, we miss New York: The New York of the Before Times, when the streets were alive and the restaurants were bustling and the lights were dimming at the theater and the only real frustrations were glacially slow subways and picnic-blanket congestion at Sheep Meadow. But even though it might still be a while before that New York returns, you can still get a taste of it thanks to shows and movies that aren't only set in NYC but feel like NYC. We already waxed poetic on the New York nostalgia—not to mention the quotable quips—conjured up by Fran Lebowitz and Martin Scorsese's Netflix series, "Pretend It's a City". Here are five other shows and movies to stream if you're missing New York: 

On the Rocks

This Sofia Coppola newcomer is a frothy, fizzy sip of a bygone New York: The kind of New York where art dealers could still afford glamorous apartments on the Upper East Side, where lunch is of the martini sort at the 21 Club or Bemelmans Bar, where you could see Bill Murray and Rashida Jones barrel down cobblestoned downtown streets in a vintage convertible full of caviar. Starring Jones as Laura, a writer who thinks her husband is having an affair, and Murray as her suave, winking dad Felix, it's a father-daughter buddy-comedy but it's also a love letter to the elegant, effervescent Manhattan of our dreams. Streaming on: Apple TV +

"Broad City"

Few shows embody both the familiar and the fantastical nature of living in New York City quite like this Comedy Central charmer from UCB alums Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. From the Tolkien-worthy adventures of tracking down packages, to the horrors of haggling at Beacon's Closet, to frequenting Bed Bath and Beyond so often you have a secret handshake with the employees, BC's five seasons showed the good, the bad, and the downright hilarious about everyday New York life, and honored all of the best friends and chosen family we find along the way. Streaming on: Hulu, Comedy Central

Uncut Gems
Photograph: NetflixUncut Gems

Uncut Gems

Between this and Good Time, Josh and Benny Safdie's New York films are becoming a genre in and of themselves: Often fast-paced, frequently anxiety-inducing, and packed with characters with a capital-C. Starring Adam Sandler as a Diamond District dealer with a high-stakes gambling habit, with supporting work from Broadway queen Idina Menzel, former club kid Julia Fox, basketballer Kevin Garnett, and a motley crew of real-life Gothamites, Uncut Gems glimmers with all of the chaos and charisma of a hustling New York. Streaming on: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Youtube, Vudu, Google Play

"Russian Doll"

Set and filmed entirely in the East Village and Lower East Side, this Netflix original helmed by Natasha "Cocka-roach" Lyonne is a psycho-comedic ode to late-night New York—a mess of bodega cats and Chloë Sevigny, yeshiva parties and smoky strolls through Tompkins Square Park. As Lyonne's Nadia deals with the ghosts of her past, we encounter the haunts of ours: Odessa and 7B and Sunny & Annie's. Binge the whole thing and you'll be yearning for a 2am mixed drink at a sticky downtown bar. Streaming on: Netflix

Do The Right Thing

A list of New York-y movies isn't complete without Spike Lee, and he's directed plenty that fit the bill: She's Gotta Have It, 25th Hour, Crooklyn, Clockers. But of all his NYC-based output, this iconic 1989 flick still sizzles and crackles like a New York summer day. Playing out in Bed-Stuy over the hottest day of the year, it's a kaleidoscope of old-school brownstone Brooklyn: The pizza boxes, sports jerseys, racial tensions, and open hydrants. Everybody knows a Mookie and a Sal, a Tina, a Buggin Out and a Pino. It's a Brooklyn that barely exists anymore, but a rewatch takes you right back into the heat of it. Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Youtube, Google Play

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