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

Smith and 9th Streets (Goodfellas, 1990)

Neighborhood: Red Hook, Brooklyn
AddressSmith St. and 9th St.

The meeting between Jimmy (Robert De Niro) and Karen (Lorraine Bracco) is one of the last moments of real danger in Goodfellas. Jimmy's talking dressers; all Karen hears is, "You're going to get whacked." The drama plays out down 9th Street, Karen scuttling along at Jimmy's urging. The metal ugliness in the background, in reality just the supports for the G and F trains, makes the atmosphere all the more claustrophobic.

Today, a number of trees and the presence of a yoga studio defuse whatever sense of danger might linger in the Goodfellas' fanatic's consciousness, standing at this famous corner. If filmed there now, the trees would block the view of the supports and Karen would have to creep past a yoga studio, neither of which would create the air of palpable tension that makes the scene work so well.

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