Alice | 1990
Another trip with Woody Allen around the classier joints of Manhattan, as the well-heeled but distracted Alice Tate (Mia Farrow) visits Chinatown herbalist Dr Yang (Keye Luke) and picks up some very peculiar concoctions to help sort out her tangled life. Dr Yang’s store is 18A Doyers Street, Chinatown, near the Nom Wah Tea Parlor, seen in Allen’s Radio Days.
The 'school’ where she drops off and picks up her daughter and begins her flirtation with another parent, Joe (Joe Mantegna), is the House of the Redeemer, 7 East 95th Street near 5th Avenue on the Upper East Side. Built in 1916 as the town residence of Edith Fabbri (great granddaughter of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt) and her husband, Ernesto Fabbri.
Edith deeded the building to a Board of Trustees, under the auspices of the Episcopal Church, to be used as a religious retreat under the name 'House of the Redeemer'.
The interior decoration is the work of Ernesto’s brother, Egisto Fabbri, who incorporated Edith’s collection of Italian Renaissance and Baroque furnishings. Its outstanding feature is the library, built in the 1400’s for the Ducal palace in Urbino, Italy, boasting a beautifully painted coat of arms, from 1605-1607, on a vaulted ceiling.
The swanky clothes store where she takes the first lot of magical ’erbs is the Euro-design showcase the Valentino Boutique, 825 Madison Avenue between 68th and 69th Streets on the East Side, after which Alice soon finds herself eloquently talking jazz with Joe.
She gets cold feet and ducks out of her assignation, leaving him waiting at the penguin tank in the Central Park Zoo, East Central Park at 64th Street.
The illicit romance with Joe takes off again when they both take their kids to the Big Apple Circus, which performs every winter, from October to January, at the Lincoln Center, Columbus Avenue between West 62nd and West 65th Streets on the West Side.
Her ambition reignited, she pitches script ideas to old friend, now TV exec, Nancy (Cybill Shepherd) at her office in 101 Park Avenue, just to the south of Grand Central Station. You might recognise the building as ‘Clamp Tower' in Gremlins 2, or from its appearances in Terry Gilliam's The Fisher King, Brewster’s Millions, The Secret of My Success and The Avengers (Avengers Assemble).
The pair get invisible together at New York’s oldest Italian restaurant (which celebrated 100 years of business in 2006), Barbetta, an elegant townhouse at 321 West 46th Street near 8th Avenue. It’s a favourite of Woody Allen’s, seen also in his Celebrity and in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed.
Later, Alice invisibly follows her gossipy friends into the deluxe Ralph Lauren Madison Avenue, with its pricey antiques, walnut fittings and oriental carpets, in the Rhinelander Mansion, 867 Madison Avenue at 72nd Street, one of the few remaining turn-of-the-century homes in Manhattan.