Hey, gang- back for more of my trip to NYC. Last blog post was about Watchmen. This time it’s about Ghostbusters and the New York Public Library. I’ll be doing several Ghostbusters filming locations blog posts, so here’s the first of those.

If you’re a Ghostbusters fan (aka “ghosthead”) like myself, you probably remember the library’s exterior and iconic lion statues from the opening shots at the beginning of that 1984 movie.

Unfortunately when my wife Nicki and I stopped by last October we didn’t get to see them.


They were being cleaned and restored. Apparently the maintenance to the lions happens about ever 10 years, and just our luck it was that time again during our visit.

We did get to read a lot about the lions and the library from the walls they had constructed around the lions during the restoration process.

Pretty interesting stuff. (You can find out more about the history of the library by clicking here.)

Our hotel was just down the street from the library- about a block or so closer to Times Square, so we were able to walk over to it easily and got to see a lot of it. We noticed there were some restorations going on with the steps and main entrance of the library, too. With as many folks that enter/exit that building I wasn’t surprised.

We had been all over the outside of the library and the surrounding Bryant Park, but didn’t get a chance to go inside until our last day in New York. I do regret waiting until the last day to see inside it. The line to get in moved pretty quickly.

After going through the security check we made our way around the lobby and then upstairs to see some of the larger reading rooms.

The interior was gorgeous, and massive! There were amazing details everywhere.

The rooms were HUGE, and eerily quiet. I loved all the wood, high ceilings, and large windows. Like the interior firehouse scenes in Ghostbusters, the interior of the NY library wasn’t shot in NY.

It was actually filmed on the opposite side of the country at the L.A. library (the Los Angeles Central Library – 630 W. 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA to be exact) and was edited to look like the same location.

Ah, the Hollywood magic of being in two places at once..!

We had great weather while we were in town so we did a lot of walking and exploring inside and out. We shopped at the book store and souvenir stand inside the library before we left. Picked up some pins, postcards, stickers, and a book on the library. I always like to pick up a book about the town or something in the towns we visit- any interesting any history ones. I love any roadside attractions types of books, too.

One thing we found interesting outside the library was a gaming area with tables and a games carts.

Folks can enjoy board games, chess, checkers, and more in Bryant Park.

Bryant Park is small and only a few acres of public park (privately managed), but is jam packed with amazingly cool- and FREE stuff. It’s open to the public, has restrooms, free wi-fi, and even outlets so you can recharge your phone or laptop while you sit and recharge yourself.

The park is located around the library between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas, and between 40th and 42nd Streets. The library itself actually extends under the grassy area of the park and has escape hatches that lead outdoors to safety in case of an emergency in the library. (Check out this video for some more info about Bryant Park.)

We loved visiting the part of the park courtyard that was at back of the library. Again it was very close to our hotel and within walking distance of so many other great NY attractions. Inside the park there was an awesome fountain, carousel, landscaping, and great views of the city- both day and night. It was definitely was one of the places we saw most of while we were there. It was a lot more relaxed and less crowded than the time we spent on Times Square.

There was also a restaurant, bar, and a few places to get some coffee and deserts, and plenty of seating to just chill and take in the view of the surrounding trees and buildings. There was a Whole Foods store directly across from the park that came in handy for snacks for us that weekend.

One night got very chilly after dark so the coffee available in the park hit the spot for us. If you get a chance to try some Wafels & Dinges with your coffee I definitely recommend it. (So according to W&D “dinges” apparently is a Belgian slang word that means “whatchammacallit”, which is what Wafels & Dinges calls their toppings- of which there were several.)

The park workers were setting up a temporary outdoor ice skating rink and some seasonal holiday shops for the upcoming Winter Village. The ice skating rink is free and open to the public. We would have loved to have seen that operational and enjoyed some ice skating while we were there. We’ve enjoyed skating at The Mid-South Ice House near us and at the Bridgestone Arenahome ice of the Nashville Predators.

Can’t imagine what New York is like around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but would love to experience it at least once- although I’m not all that interested in being there for any New Years activities- especially around Times Square. Nope- WAAAAY too many people and tourists for me. I’m really not a crowds kinda guy. October was nice, and wouldn’t mind visiting in early November. I imagine spring in Central Park could be great, too.

I really enjoyed seeing the library lit up after dark. It had such a spookier feel to it. I honestly felt safer walking around New York than I do Memphis, which can be very scary at times.

The library building has so much character, and the lighting helped to bring out a lot of the details you might miss during the day.

I definitely want to see some museums and take a tour of the library the next time we visit NYC. Even though we weren’t lucky enough to see the lions in person, we were there before the pandemic struck, so we did get to at least get to visit some great places like Bryant Park and the library.

Check it out if you get a chance.



New York Public Library
5th Avenue and East 42nd Street
Manhattan, New York