XOXO, Gossip Girl

This is a guest post by my favorite Gossip Girl fan, Izzy Jones.

Gossip Girl

Welcome to the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite.

A trip to New York City is not complete without a walk through the Upper East Side, full of grey buildings and green awnings. Looking around, had you watched Gossip Girl in the early 2000’s, you would feel as though you were Blair Waldorf, buying macaroons and shopping in the designer shops.

On Location Tours gave my mom and I the full experience, minus the social-life-destroying posts that would be written about everyone in the show–– I am thankful that that was left out. 

The Gossip Girl Tour

Thanks for snapping this picture, Maurice!

Before even beginning the tour, we got sucked into the world around us. Maurice, who works at the New York Palace Hotel where many scenes of the show took place, including the Cotillion, insisted that we get pictures there before we left. He coined himself an “honorary tour guide” because he loved the show just as much as our guide, Carly. 

On the actual tour, we were shown clips of Gossip Girl in between sites, though the locations were everywhere. The show was shot in the actual city, so we were able to see the exact streets and buildings that were shot and utilized. We heard from Zuzanna Szadkowski, the woman who played Dorota, about how distracting the busy New York streets could be while trying to get a scene done. Also, I should note, she did not have the classic Russian accent that her character had. 

We went past Laduree– the shop where Blair always bought macaroons, and the Empire– Chuck’s pride and joy, something that to him could be acquired by trading Blair for the deed.

Blair is the one found in most of the locations that we visited, including the infamous MET Steps. Given a clapboard, the group was set to take pictures on the steps that defined people’s status in the show, at least during high school. The higher on the steps, the higher in the hierarchy you were, and probably the more “Gossip Girl” blasts are about you.

Maybe we should have been higher up the steps??

We stopped at Dylan’s Candy Bar– the location Vanessa shops for Nate, and Nellie overhears a conversation that she shouldn’t about Dan’s family.

We saw the homes of the Vanderwoodsens, Waldorfs, and Bass, and learned about the perfect location for the Archibald’s– the owners of which did not have to change a single thing, other than the episode where the apartment was completely desolate. These sites were when I really felt like I could be one of the background characters walking to Constance (fun fact: the school was filmed in two locations and clipped together!) past the buildings of my socialite friends.

We ended the tour at Grand Central Station, bringing us full circle to the first episode of the series. I could imagine watching Dan when he first spots Serena, and could hear the Gossip Girl blast at that moment.

Grand Central Station

I think it’s fair to say that I need to rewatch the entire series so that I can tell everyone “I’ve been there! And there! And–”.

Xoxo Gossip Girl

On Location Tours

In addition to Gossip Girl, On Location Tours offers tours of other iconic New York scene sets: Sex and the City, When Harry Met Sally, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and the Sopranos. There are also tours that cover locations used for shows like Glee, Friends, and superhero movies. I think it’s safe to say: if you’ve seen scenes shot in New York, On Location Tours has them on a tour. Choosing just one is the hardest part!

Would you take a tour based on a show you’ve seen? Which show?


14 responses to “XOXO, Gossip Girl

  1. Great Post! A few come to mind like Friends, Sex and the City, Mystic Pizza, etc. I still remember being like hook, line and sinker for the Pretty Woman or Dirty Dancing life as a teenager. I have been to Astoria where Goonies was filmed. Happy Exploring – Enjoy 🙂

  2. I love visiting film locations and often seek them out when I travel. The Gossip Girl tour sounds like it was lots of fun for you and your mom to do together. I would really like to go on the On Locations Marvelous Mrs. Maisel tour. Great show!

  3. What a fun way to explore a destination. Seeing the familiar sites unfold in front of you must have been an amazing experience. Thanks for taking us along on this fun adventure.

    • It was very fun. And watching clips of the places we’d just been, or were about to visit made it all more exciting. I felt like we were getting an inside look at how they filmed some scenes.

  4. I’m not sure why I haven’t seen the show but I’d love to. Your review is inviting so I hope Gossip Girl comes to London one day – I will be happy to go with some friends.

    I would like to take a tour based on the Lion King or Alladin.

  5. Not familiar here with that show of course. The film/location that first springs to mind for me is Ryan’s Daughter. The cast (Robert Mitchum, Sarah Miles, Trevor Howard) spent a year on the Dingle Peninsula in the west of Ireland shooting it. The film was epic, the off-screen stories legendary. Many of the locations are still to be found with a little guidance.

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