Movies as urban time capsules, redux.

Three years ago, I discovered and linked to a fun new website called Scouting New York. The site, run by a movie location scout named Nick Carr, has lots and lots of photographs, as well as lots of interesting historical information — but what caught my eye initially was the three albums he posted, comparing how certain locations looked when they were photographed in Rosemary’s Baby (1968), Taxi Driver (1976) and Ghostbusters (1984) with how they look now.

Since then, Carr has posted lots of other interesting photo albums, but nothing like those three albums — until now. Last week, he posted part one of a two-part series on Annie Hall (1977), and today, he posted part two. Some of the locations were difficult to track down, but he digs up some fascinating information on, say, that house under the roller coaster on Coney Island (it was razed in 2000, and the lot where it stood remains vacant), or the racquet club that used to stand on a couple of piers near Wall Street (it was demolished in 2002, but the piers still show up on Google Maps). It’s especially fun to see how the trees have grown in some shots, e.g.:

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Where sibs are a sin

For the haziest of reasons, there is a near taboo on the portrayal of adult brothers and sisters in film

In When Harry Met Sally, Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan famously argued over whether men and women could be friends without one of them wanting to have sex with the other. When I first saw the film 11 years ago, I found it funny, entertaining and a good conversation piece, but I couldn’t help thinking that Crystal and Ryan — neither of whom seemed to have any family beyond their fellow single New Yorkers — had overlooked something. I could certainly think of a few women in my own life for whom this was a non-issue, and one of them was sitting right next to me in the theatre. I refer, of course, to my sister.

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