New York : The must-see places of Nine and a Half weeks

Based on a true story published in 1979, Nine ½ Weeks is about the torrid relationship between John and Elizabeth, an independent young woman who gradually loses control over herself. The strip-tease scene contributed to raising the film to cult status.

Spring Street Gallery

As we mention in our Guide New York of 1000 cult movie, series, music, comics, novel locations, the art gallery where Elizabeth McGraw (Kim Basinger) works is in reality the Judd Foundation.  The building houses a permanent exposition of plastic artist Donald Judd (1928-1994) a pioneer in the Minimalist Movement.  He lived and worked in this building where he set up his works in a very precise way.  Guided visits are organised.

 

Elizabeth's apartment

Elizabeth’s apartment can be found here behind this beautiful and finely worked façade.  Her first encounters with John Gray (Mickey Rourke) take place here.  Not sure the present occupants empty the fridge in the same way!

 

John's office

John works in the world of finance in this 29-floor building.  Former headquarters of the telephone and telegraph company and then of Western Union, it’s from here that one of the first transcontinental calls was made in 1927, between New York and London.  The building also appears in Wall Street.  A rather amusing fact as the two films take place around the same time and the two main characters both work in the same domain.

 

John's apartment

It’s here, to the Joe Cocker song “You can leave your hat on”, that one of the most famous strip teases in cinema takes place.  The apartment is located at the top of a building in the inner courtyard.  We see Elizabeth leaving through a passage closed to the street by a gate.

 

Clock Tower

John and Elizabeth make love near the clockworks.  A crack in one of the windows seems to have been caused by a rather overly passionate lover.  This 19th century clock still works.  It is wound up each week by Marvin Schneider, whose official title is “clock master”, assisted by Forest Markowitz.  The service entrance is on Leonard St, a building where New Yorkers go to pay their fines.

 

The Algonquin Hotel

It’s at the bar that Elizabeth appears dressed as a man.  Open in 1902, the Algonquin has played an important role in the city’s cultural history as it’s here in the 20s that the Algonquin Round Table circle of writers and literary wits would gather.

 

Café des artistes

The Café des Artistes, where Elizabeth, dressed up as a man, dines with John, closed in 2009 but a new restaurant called the “Leopard at des Artistes” opened in 2011 at the same location.  For $40 to $50 you too can dine amidst the superb wall paintings of nymphs by Howard Chandler Christy.

 

Luna Park

John gives Elizabeth some balloons as they leave the Coney Island-Stillwell Ave subway station.  She’ll use these balloons later to hit him once off the Ferris wheel where he purposely leaves her suspended at the top.

 

Chelsea Hotel

The last sensual scene between John and Elizabeth takes place in one of the rooms of this mythical hotel.

 

House Boat

To discover the houseboat where John takes Elizabeth at the beginning is an opportunity for a nice get-away walk on the pontoons.

 

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