Cinematic Atlas: A Guide to Spike Lee's New York Photos by Ian Stroud

Carl Schurz Park (25th Hour, 2002)

Neighborhood: Upper East Side
AddressEast End Ave and 85th St.

The gray mists and endless row of benches in this park provide the perfect backdrop of emptiness and regret for 25th Hour’s Monty Brogan (Ed Norton), a guy with some heavy things on his mind (an impending bid being chief among them). That said, Carl Schurz Park is probably not the first park you think of when you think of parks in New York City. Nestled on the edge of the affluent Upper East Side, it's not a locale one associates closely with Lee's work, either.

What you don’t see from these shots, however, are the housing projects that overlook the park. Many locations in Lee’s films are overlooked by projects. From Clockers' Gowanus Houses to the O’Dwyer Gardens in He Got Game, Lee’s work often takes a projects’ eye view of New York City, reflecting a specific vision of Gotham, one by turns brutal and hopeful.

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