USA – New York City, 2nd Avenue // Live and Let Die (1973)
After SPECTRE got dumped by Sean Connery, the first quest of Roger Moore brings him to New York City in “Live and Let Die”. In the movie, the city looked like a meltin’ pot of vice and voodoo – the reality is a bit more down to earth.
Why Bond was here
Three fellow MI6 agents got killed, so James Bond (Roger Moore) comes to New York City to investigate. He get’s attacked right after leaving JFK Airport, but soon gets on the trail of a Caribbean ambassador, who uses his status to get big in the drug business. Clues to the kingpin are to be found in the “Fillet of Soul” – a Harlem based restaurant and strip club merger. Though almost every black guy at there is presented as a gritty ghetto geezer, the white and smiling 007 orders himself a drink.
Back in the days, Eon didn’t really made it into Harlem – the “Fillet” restaurant was actually filmed at Upper East Side at the corner of 2nd Avenue and East 94th Street. It is right across the iconic red building hosting a sushi bar. Some other parts of the “ghetto” were then staged at 118th Street – just scratching Harlem. Unfortunatly the “Fillet” was a movie set – same as the façade. At the time of our research, the ground floor was a construction site.
Bus line M15 runs along 2nd Avenue from Lower Manhattan to Harlem, stops at E 88th and E 100th St are the closest to the location. A bit easier would be going by one of the green metro lines and drop off at 96 St – and then walking some blocks east.
Even if the “Fillet” doesn’t offer any drinks nowadays, the Drunken Munkey is a place to order a Martini – and is just around the corner of 2nd Avenue/94th Street. But don’t forget to indulge in some delicacies: La Tarte Flambée offers original “Flammkuechle” from the Alsace topped with French Jazz every Thursday, while the Zebu Grill bribes its customer with Portuguese soul food.
After all this gluttony, a comfy and stylish place to get some sleep is the Marmara Hotel. The hotel is located at the same corner as the “Fillet of Soul” and also a good start to visit the closest sights, e.g. the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Jewish Museum, the Temple Emanu-El or take a stroll in the famous Central Park.
For the real Bond experience check in The St. Regis New York. Ian Flemming put up his literary James Bond at this very hotel – it is still a spoiling place to stay.
There’s more to New York than the Upper East
Of course there is more to discover in the Big Apple than just the Upper East Side. For example the Upper West Side: For a little culture, visit the American Museum of Natural History and stave off hunger at Zabar’s Gourmet Food and Kosher Deli with a sweet Kugel, Matzo Ball soup or a classic smoked salmon bagel.
The best burger place in town is Shake Shack with by now fourteen (!!!) locations in New York, but the most romantic will ever be the one in Madison Square Park. Their homemade buns, the secret Shack-Sauce and the self-made ice tea topped with festoons attract New Yorkers as well as tourists. And veggie-friends don’t worry, Shake Shack will pull a delicious carrot out of their burger-hat.
Close to Chelsea Market is the famous High Line Park and the Meatpacking District with its famous Rooftop Bar “Le Bain” – come before sunset to enjoy the view and a little solitude.
A NYC evergreen is Brooklyn. The home of bohemians and hasidim is neither a secret nor a cheap place to stay anymore, but definitely still worth a visit. A nice cafe is waiting next to hip designer store. A cute one is the rabbithole restaurant at Bedford Avenue – what’s more to say then: do it like Alice – enjoy the ride down the rabbit hole. At weekends there is always a flea market somewhere in Brooklyn, where locals sell food and crafts. For a sundowner the Wythe Hotel at Williamsburg waterfront gives an incredible view over Manhattan. A little bit off the beaten path is Queens – the place-to-go for real South American and Cuban food. Try the plantanes with grilled chicken or king prawns at the Ricon Criollo – but here opt for a Cuba Libre instead of a Martini. And afterwards? Just follow the rhythm to one of the hot’n sweaty bars and shake it off.
Still a day left? Take the Metro lines D, Q, N or F down to Coney Island, a place where NYC somehow still looks a bit like it’s 1973. Enjoy a day with one of Nathan’s Famous hot dogs, a ride at a roller coaster or a visit at the New York Aquarium. Bring a picknick basket – maybe from Aroma Espresso Bar – to have dinner at the beach and enjoy one last sunset.
Well, maybe New York City is not for everyone… No wait, whom are we kidding? It’s just f*cking awesome. Even broke, the city that never sleeps is fun, fun, fun. With every visit there is more to discover, people to meet, food to enjoy – more than what fits in here. Best tip we ever got: Stroll around in Queens cause that’s the new Brooklyn.
© 2015 Huntingbond (1,4 and gallery), © 1973 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation. (2,3),