The 1961 Blake Edwards-directed film Breakfast at Tiffany's, immortalized in the 1990s pop canon by Deep Blue Something, stands the test of time. The romantic comedy, which is handily available to stream on Netflix this Valentine's Day, stars Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, clad in the now-iconic little black dress and pearls, as an aspiring lady who lunches (a.k.a. a gold digger, but of a very charming variety), who lives in a subdivided townhouse on the Upper East Side. (Which, by the way, is currently on the market for $8 million.) Opposite her George Peppard plays Paul Varjak, a struggling writer who moves into an upstairs apartment due to his relationship with an older woman. Holly, of course, immediately proves alluring, and their romance unfolds over New York City's streets. Based on the Truman Capote novella and featuring iconic music from Henry Mancini (including the mood-setting "Moon River"), the movie manages to be zany, sweet, funny, romantic, and poignantall at the same time. Because it's a heart-warming classic, get versed in its geography.Read More
Breakfast at Tiffany's Most Romantic New York Scenes, Mapped
Tiffany & Co.
It's the eponymous location. This is where the movie starts, and we first see Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn). It’s morning, but she’s still on the go from the night before, dress and all. She continually seeks out dates with rich men, usually managing to get at least $50 for the powder room. She does some window shopping, while eating a pastry and drinking coffee.
169 East 71st Street
This on-the-market townhouse is where Holly, Paul Varjak (George Peppard), and Mr. Yunioshi (Mickey Rooney, yes, Mickey Rooney) live. A good chunk of the movie takes place there. There are several points where we can clearly see characters entering a door marked “167.” The building is, however, 169. Holly and Paul first meet because when he arrives, he is sans key. So, he buzzes her apartment on the off chance she'd let him in. They hit it off right away, as she's getting ready to head upstate to visit someone in prison at Sing Sing. Paul is actually "kept" (an archaic term today) by a character he calls “2E” (portrayed by Patricia Neal). That's to say he is living on her dime and in return, she getslet's put it delicatelybenefits. One night, after she leaves, Holly joins Paul, who reminds her of her brother Fred (in fact, she calls him Fred at several points in the film), in bed. We're not led to believe any funny business happens at that time, but Paul sees she's having a nightmare and when he wakes her to ask what was wrong, she storms out, saying she hates "snoops." She realizes she freaked out and, the next day, she invites Paul to come down for a drink in the evening. It turns out that she's having a house party, one that will get more kooky by the minute. One of the guests brings a man named Jose, a very rich Brazilian. Eventually, Mr. Yunioshi calls the police to break up the loud party, and Paul helps Jose escape via the fire escape.
Sing Sing Correctional Facility
This is where Holly and Paul visit mobster Sally Tomato, who has been sending coded messages through Holly in the form of odd weather reports, such as "snow in New Orleans." While she thoroughly enjoys the time she spends with Sally, his lawyer does pay her $100 a week for it. She, of course, has no idea she's an intermediary. It's also never made clear how the two met, but with the way she seeks out rich men, it's hardly surprising that she crossed paths with him or his circle. This is the only part of the movie that takes place outside Manhattan.
Central Park - Conservatory Water
"2E" comes to visit one day and sees a man lurking outside Paul’s apartment building. So, he leaves to see if the man will follow. We see him walk down 71st Street and then end up at Conservatory Water in Central Park, where people still pilot remote-controlled boats.
Central Park - Naumburg Bandshell
The lurking man (portrayed by Buddy Ebsen) follows Paul to the Naumburg Bandshell (one of Central Park's original features) and identifies himself as Doc Golightly, Holly's husband, who married her when she wasn't yet 14 years old. He is much older than she isolder than her than 2E is older than Paul. In real life, Ebsen was 21 years older than Hebpurn. He seeks out Paul's friendship in an effort to get her to return to Texas with him and the four children he already had from a previous relationship when he married Holly (who was then known as Lula Mae Barnes). It turns out that they were married, but that marriage was annulled "ages ago." She ran away from Doc because being tied down in Texas to an older man just wouldn't work for her. When Doc tells her he loves her, she utters one of the most iconic lines of the movie: "That's just the trouble. It's a mistake you always made, Doc, trying to love a wild thing."
New York Public Library
After Paul and Holly see Doc off at an unnamed bus station, Holly gets drunk and the two have a big fight. One morning, Paul shows up at Holly's door to make up and share the news that he's had a story published. She says they should celebrate and asks him to open a bottle of Champagne before they go to breakfast. He comments that while he's had it with breakfast, he's never had it before breakfast. This leads her to suggest they spend the day doing things they've never done before. After doing more than window shopping at Tiffany's (they ask to have Paul's ring, pried from a Cracker Jack box, engraved) and then stealing party supplies from a five-and-dime, they proceed to the New York Public Library's main branch, where Paul autographs a copy of his own book "Nine Lives" (to the dismay of the librarian). Paul returns to the library later in the film to find Holly, who is studying about South America because she plans to go away with José (the rich Brazilian seen at the wild party earlier in the film).
The night before Holly is meant to fly to Brazil, she plans to make dinner for her and Paul. Her cooking ends with an explosion and rice all over the kitchen. So, they decide to go out for this farewell dinner. En route, they stop and sit down in the plaza in front of the Seagram Building for a chat. The 1958 building is both an individual and interior city landmark.
NYPD - 19th Precinct
When Holly and Paul get home from the farewell dinner, they find the police waiting for them. She is charged with sending messages on behalf of Sally Tomato. After they are placed in cuffs, they are brought to the NYPD's 19th Precinct, located not far away on East 67th Street. While it may have been a set, the building seen in the movie does bear a resemblance to the actual 19th Precinct and may have been shot there. This arrest leads Jose to dump Holly, but she's still determined to get away from it all (despite still facing criminal charges) and go to Brazil. The movie ends in a downpour when Paul finally convinces her to stay with him and "Cat."