I was a fan of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel before 2018, when the Amazon Prime Video series filmed a short scene on the Manhattan street where I lived at the time. I never found out why they chose my particular block of 121st Street, but it was thrilling to peek behind the camera of such a gorgeous show set in the late 1950s. When the episode finally aired months later, my window was barely visible in the nighttime scene. It’s a few forgettable seconds in a show with a lot of more memorable ones—but I’ll never forget the production department’s attention to detail, immediately obvious to anyone who has watched any or all of the five sumptuous seasons.
Sadly, a lot of the old Big Apple painstakingly recreated for the small screen doesn’t exist anymore (including the Horn & Hardart Automat, Toots Shor’s, or the Stage Deli), but here are six real-life New York City filming locations for the fifth (and final) season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
The series finale started streaming on May 26, so beware of spoilers ahead.
1. Central Park
In the opening of the series finale, Susie Myerson (Alex Borstein) is sleeping on a stone bench in Central Park (identified by shots of the curving Bow Bridge and dual towers of the San Remo apartment building) when she’s roused by a cop. Susie gets into a fight with him and other officers, she’s arrested, and in a callback to the first season (when the roles were reversed), Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) bails her out of jail.
The most-visited city park in the U.S. sees more than 40 million visitors annually; Central Park is home to a world-class zoo, dozens of historic bridges, ball fields, statues, fountains, ponds, a reservoir, and a bird sanctuary. Designed by landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the park has no doubt changed a lot since it was conceived in the late-1800s (and since Susie’s snooze in the 1960s), but it’s always been a place where locals and tourists alike can go to have a patch of grass—or a bench—all to themselves, even if it’s just for a New York minute.
2. New York Transit Museum
On her first day of work at The Gordon Ford Show, Midge takes the subway downtown like a proper working girl. While riding, she spots a past love interest (Milo Ventimiglia) on a passing train, and they chase each other through several stations. Although commuters today ride more modern train cars—gone are the “straps” that gave straphangers their name or the overhead ceiling fans—the experience of navigating New York’s miles of underground subway stations hasn’t changed much since they were built in the early 1900s.
Visitors hoping to travel back in time via the MTA have a few options: Located in a decommissioned subway station in Downtown Brooklyn, The New York Transit Museum displays a rotating collection of 20 subway and elevated cars dating back to 1907 on a working platform spanning a full city block. Hopping from car to car is encouraged (don’t worry, they’re stationary), and don’t miss the vintage ads which make you feel like you’ve stepped directly into the set of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. At the end of the year, look out for the museum’s Holiday Nostalgia Rides, which offer the chance to catch a vintage car on a limited route every Sunday between Thanksgiving and Christmas for the price of a swipe.
3. Building New York Expo 1961
While this particular event didn’t happen, the show’s Building New York Expo is clearly based on the very real New York World Fairs, both of which took place in Queens’ Flushing Meadows Corona Park from 1939 to 1940 and 1964 to 1965. While most of the fairs’ elaborate structures were built to be temporary—and have long been demolished or relocated—there are still a few remaining remnants, including the New York State Pavilion, the Queens Museum (home to the Panorama of the City of New York next to the the Unisphere), and the New York Hall of Science.
4. Rockefeller Center
It makes sense that when Midge reports to her first day of work at The Gordon Ford Show, she’s seen walking into Rockefeller Center. The complex comprising 19 art deco buildings in Midtown Manhattan includes Radio City Music Hall, the Rainbow Room, and NBC studios. Today, the most famous of the buildings, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, is home to Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Rockefeller Center is also a major tourist destination, with shops, restaurants, offices, a 70th-floor observation deck offering 360-degree views, and a seasonal ice rink. During the holidays, there’s no more iconic place to skate than under the famous Rockefeller Christmas tree. The Rink is where the crew of The Gordon Ford Show celebrates being ranked number one—but best not to mix booze and blades like they do. Indulge after you skate at Jupiter, a newly-opened Italian restaurant on the Rink Level.
5. TWA Hotel
Midge accompanies one of Susie’s other clients, a magician named Alfie, to the TWA Terminal at Idlewild Airport (the international airport in southeast Queens wouldn’t be renamed JFK until President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963). Midge is tasked with making sure the nervous first-time flier gets on his plane to Las Vegas, Nevada; luckily for them, it’s the 1960s and Alfie is flying TWA. They sit in the sunken lounge and Midge tries to calm Alfie’s nerves by assuring him, “Flying is fun—they bring you drinks and food!”
The TWA Flight Center opened in 1962; TWA ceased operations in 2001, and after sitting abandoned for years, the Eero Saarinen-designed New York City landmark began its second life as the central hub of the TWA Hotel in 2019. As Midge is leaving, she runs into Lenny Bruce (Luke Kirby) in one of the terminal’s red-carpeted tubes, also a filming location for the 2002 Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio movie Catch Me If You Can.
6. La Bonbonniere
Twenty-four-hour diners have always been a staple in the city that never sleeps, and La Bonbonniere (rebranded for the show as the City Spoon) is a recurring filming location in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel—and a beloved West Village landmark in real life. Midge has a habit of getting arrested, and her post-jail meal is usually at this small diner, shared with a rotating cast of suitors (keep in mind that, like bail, La Bonbonniere is cash only). The production department had a head start choosing this time-warp eatery—now open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily—which feels as if it hasn’t changed in decades.