Cinematic Atlas: A Guide to Martin Scorsese's New York

St. Patrick's Old Cathedral (Mean Streets, 1973)

Neighborhood: Nolita
Address263 Mulberry St.

As a boy, Martin Scorsese attended mass at St. Patrick's Old Cathedral. Given the autobiographical nature of Mean Streets, it's not a surprise that the cathedral, the first Catholic cathedral built in New York, should make an appearance. It's inside this church that Charlie famously holds his hand above the candle flame, a scene that has a rhyming visual equivalent in Taxi Driver. Near Mean Streets' end, Charlie and Johnny Boy (Robert De Niro) break into the graveyard to talk privately.

Because it's a church, the site still looks very similar to its onscreen counterpart. The door that Charlie and Johnny Boy force open to break into the cemetery still stands. The brick wall has aged and cracked just as you would have expected it to. Through a hole in one of the doors I photographed the inside of the graveyard, though the angle didn't match the shots from the film. The padlock on the door was relatively new; it didn't budge.

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