Manhattan.

I’m not usually big on naming favorites, but I have no problem giving that honor to the best movie ever, Manhattan. It is my favorite-favorite, and the intro is really just the best thing ever. Total perfection. If you love New York, I defy you to sit through the 3 minutes and 43 seconds of this clip without at the very least getting choked up.

Honestly, I could sit here all day just posting clips from Manhattan and Annie Hall and talking about how awesome both movies are, and how I could really just watch them both over and over and over again and reflect on how my reactions to both have changed throughout the course of my life—and how much Woody Allen’s directorial style and Gordon Willis’s cinematography have influenced my personal aesthetic and feelings about lifestyle and social comforts.

Just this one clip, though. Before I go to bed, to ensure sweet dreams. I love you, New York.

34 comments
  1. saraMar 13, 20091:09 am

    its also the 99 cent movie rental on itunes this week!

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  2. TamMar 13, 20091:44 am

    i am loving your blog..you stay very busy miss lady.

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  3. MonicaMar 13, 20094:23 am

    Oh, I miss NYC! Thanks for sharing.

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  4. lenaMar 13, 20096:33 am

    yup!

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  5. mommyMar 13, 20096:42 am

    That Gershwin tune is so perfect here. I only made it half way before I had to get a tissue.

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  6. JenMar 13, 20097:03 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE those movies and most of the early Woody movie. Unfortunately, I haven’t thought his new ones (except Vickie Christina Barcelona) have delivered. Maybe the style of conversation seems more stilted with people other than Mia?? Oh well. the interiors are still the BEST. My favorite interior was his apartment in Hannah and her Sisters.

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  7. LauraMar 13, 20097:31 am

    I agree! I own very few DVDs (about 10), but Manhattan and Annie Hall are among them. My husband and I were just quoting the “Van Gogh” lines from Manhattan the other day and cracking up. I don’t live in NY, but my brother has lived there almost 30 years, and I visit as much as I can. I love all those small, real moments in Woody’s films.

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  8. RobertMar 13, 20097:38 am

    Funny – I watched this exact clip yesterday and also think it’s the best. thing. ever.

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  9. AndreaMar 13, 20098:16 am

    I just watched this the other day. Makes me wish I was in New York.

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  10. Live a Colorful LifeMar 13, 20099:21 am

    *sigh* I have only been to New York once, but I fantasize about living there. I’ve always felt “unsettled” here on the West Coast (and not because of earthquakes, haha).

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  11. stephanieMar 13, 200910:26 am

    Manhattan and Annie Hall are two of my favorite Woody Allen movies (closely followed by Broadway Danny Rose). I was lucky to catch a double feature of both at a revival movie theater that used to be on St. Marks. Seeing them with a live audience in an actual movie theater just took them to a whole other level of awesomeness. One of my best NY memories for sure!

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  12. ratitaMar 13, 200910:50 am

    love this movie too. our cat is named Mr. Waffles, after Diane Keaton’s dog in this movie. meow!

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  13. ElenaMar 13, 200912:24 pm

    Having been born, raised and lived in the State of New York until I was 25, I’ve only actually been to Manhattan once but fell in love with it. It’s funny, I saw this movie listed on one of my cable stations (HBO, Starz??) this month to order on demand and I thought about watching it then. Now that I know it’s a good one, I’ll watch over the weekend. Thanks.

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  14. KaraMar 13, 200912:31 pm

    Anna, I’d love to know how Woody Allen and Gordon Willis have influenced your ideas about lifestyle and social comforts! Will you do a blog post on this? Pretty please?

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  15. Anna at D16Mar 13, 20091:46 pm

    Kara: Believe me, I would love to! It’s not going to happen, though. I tend to be on the *cough* wordy side when it comes to writing about such things, and the next thing you know, I’ve gone and written a 296-page thesis about nothing. I just don’t have time!

    Jen: I’ve seen everything up to Sweet & Lowdown, but nothing since. Eventually I’ll catch up, but the old Woody movies (and even later ones like Deconstructing Harry and Mighty Aphrodite) are just SO fantastic and important to me. And yes, the interiors in Hannah & Her Sisters are great — Frederick & Lee’s loft was always a fantasy for me!!

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  16. ElissaMar 13, 20094:25 pm

    I loved this! I have to admit I tend to see the city in black and white with a Gershwin soundtrack too! I’ve never seen the movie (shame on me living less than an hour away from Manhattan) now I will definitely have to.

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  17. LylaMar 13, 20095:50 pm

    Thank you for reminding me that it’s okay to fetishize NYC! And know that I’m not alone doing it…!

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  18. EuniMar 13, 20096:26 pm

    Oh my gosh, one of my favorites too! I watched it twice in the last 2 months. (Thanx to netflix online.) So I think I saw you guys this morning, so weird, I promise I’m not stalking you! (Our commutes are very similar.) I was going to say hi, but had to pee like nobody’s business. No more oj before leaving the house…next time I’ll say hi!

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  19. AudrieMar 13, 20096:54 pm

    This made me smile because it’s one of my husband’s favourite movies. He’s got it saved on DVR and refuses to let me delete it ever! I’ll need to get him the DVD for his next b’day me thinks.

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  20. KatieMar 13, 200910:48 pm

    I lurve both of these movies as well! Thanks for sharing.

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  21. YaleMar 14, 20091:26 am

    My mother actually named me after the character of the same name in this movie. She apologized for him being such a womanizer, but she said she just really really liked the name.

    But yes always a favorite movie of mine.

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  22. LonnieMar 14, 200911:34 am

    I was born in New York, and lived there only until the age of four. But my whole family comes from there, and I even after we moved to California, we went back for visits frequently.

    I’ve always felt a deep connection to that city. I have vivid memories of being in my grandparents’ house in Brooklyn. My grandfather had his own theatre company, and my grandmother played piano on the big black baby grand in their living room. It seems that I lived my whole early childhood to similar sounds and scenes as in this little clip you’ve posted (I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t seen Manhattan yet!) I have my grandfather’s old photos from his theater days, and you’ve inspired me to perhaps post some pics on my flickr account.
    Thanks for this heart-warming post!

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  23. my vintage homeMar 15, 20098:42 am

    Thanks for sharing!!!

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  24. KatrinaMar 15, 20099:39 pm

    Annie Hall was the start of my romance with New York. I love everything about that movie, but… err, haven’t seen Manhattan yet.

    I’ve been stopping by your blog for the last few weeks, and have really enjoyed watching how your beautiful home is coming along. I’m always excited to see an update!

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  25. EileenMar 16, 20091:49 am

    Hi Anna – long time fan of your website – you are very inspiring!!!

    My husband and I are embarking on purchasing our first home – a heritage home, in rural NSW, Australia. Although not as glamorous as your home, I hope one day, it will have half the character and oomph that your hoome does!!!

    I check in daily on the blog to see what you have been up to – when we finalise the purchase of our place, I will be sure to start a blog to record the “new” history of our home.

    Congrats Anna!

    Eileen x

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  26. JanetMar 16, 20098:18 am

    Beautiful! I love NY.

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  27. JessicaMar 16, 20093:15 pm

    I don’t know if I’ve ever commented on your blog before, but I just had to chime in and say I couldn’t agree more. My all-encompassing love for Woody Allen aside, this movie is just totally and completely perfect. When I went to NYC last winter my number one pilgrimage was to the dead end of 59th street for that view of the Queensboro Bridge. I even have the Manhattan poster framed in my living room, and every time I look at it I can remember standing there in that spot. I also went to Zabar’s and John’s on Bleeker St. to round out my walk through one of my favorite films.

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  28. CassieMar 16, 200910:50 pm

    This is one of the greatest film openings ever, no question! The rest of the movie kind of pales in comparison though. I’ve seen it a number of times, and I never really remember it (unlike Annie Hall, which is chockablock with unforgettable scenes).

    Rent Vicky Cristina Barcelona! It feels like an old-school Woody Allen movie and has lots of amazing real estate porn in it! Probably my favorite film from last year.

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  29. PamMar 18, 200910:21 am

    It was only 99 cents to rent it on iTunes this past weekend, so I did.
    Verdict:
    Love, Love, Loved It!!!

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  30. RosaMar 21, 20095:17 pm

    What memories those two bring back! Yes, great movies indeed!

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  31. GabrielMar 28, 20092:07 pm

    i first saw “manhattan” when i was 12. (i’m 38 now). i had seen “annie hall” before. right away i asked my dad if i could move there from suburban houston. maybe to live with my cousins. he said “no”. he finally gave in when i was 16.

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  32. DesJul 10, 20097:42 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Woody Allen is a truly brilliant filmmaker.

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  33. andreaJan 20, 20102:29 pm

    MGM has blocked the clip. Silly.

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  34. Anna at D16Jan 29, 20101:30 pm

    I replaced it, Andrea — thanks for the heads up!

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