WHAT ‘THE NIGHT OF’ GETS RIGHT AND WRONG ABOUT THE UPPER WEST SIDE

the night of main
A film still from “The Night Of” showing a townhouse at the fictional address of 144 West 87th Street.

Editor’s note: The info below contains some mild spoilers, so please skip this post if you’re interested in watching the show with a clean slate. Most of the info we discuss is mentioned in the first episode.

Have you been watching “The Night Of”, the fictional HBO drama that centers around a murder that took place on the Upper West Side? It’s a solid show, in our humble opinion, and worth checking out. It was apparently shot entirely in New York, according to director Steve Zaillian.

“We shot everything in New York. Every interior, every exterior, for 150 days. And it shows. You can’t fake it in Toronto. I’m really proud of that. I’m proud to have made a New York movie.” He then added: We shot everywhere. We shot at the courthouse. We shot at the prisons. We shot in the subway.”

The show does feel very authentic. Even the things they get “wrong” are most likely just meant to keep real addresses out of the show — a homeowner might not want their townhouse to be the site of a crime, even a fictional one, for instance.

What They Get Right About the Location of the Murder

What They Get Wrong

144 west 87th

What They Get Right About the Police

What They Get Wrong

“The Night Of” is on HBO on Sundays at 9 p.m. EST.

Did you see anything in the show that felt just right, or out of place? Let us know in the comments. QNS.com also took a look at the show’s filming locations in Queens.

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ART, NEWS | 33 comments | permalink
    1. dannyboy says:

      $11 million.

      Used to be $1 for an abandoned brownstone.

      • ScooterStan says:

        Ummmm……how much for an OCCUPIED brownstone, one WITHOUT rats, mice, roaches, water leaks, holes in the exterior, mold in the interior walls, et-cetera, et-cetera, et-cetera! (thank you, Yul Brynner….oopsie, forgot you are quite dead!)

        It’s called basic economics….supply and demand….the profit motive….and even, YES, good old fashioned human greed (which, to quote Michael Douglas…ooops, his character Gordon Gecko, “Greed IS Good”.)

        Perhaps the time to worry is when the real estate market fails to rise or plateaus for a few years and the incentive to risk and plan also disappears, dragging down the economy.

        Oh, of course the liberal pipe-dream is a planned economy where there is no greed, no capitalism, no inequality and we all sit around singing “Kum-Baya” or humming “alle menschen” from the 9th.

        Ask the people of Venezuela how well THAT worked out !

        • dannyboy says:

          “YES, good old fashioned human greed (which, to quote Michael Douglas…ooops, his character Gordon Gecko, “Greed IS Good”.)” – ScooterStan

          enjoy that GREED thing. It’s good for you (not me)

        • B.B. says:

          Even many of the occupied townhouses/brownstones (with or without vermin) were no great shakes and could be had for little money back in the day.

          It is only within the last decade or so that private home living (brownstones/townhouse/mansion) has returned to favor in Manhattan and much of Brooklyn.

          Don’t think it is as much to do with greed than people once again wanting to live and raise families in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn. That and a push back against the often seen as intrusive co-op buying process.

          If you can swing the cost (or a mortgage)a brownstone or townhouse often makes more sense than buying a condo or co-op. You get far more square footage on average and privacy.

          • Independent says:

            “You get far more square footage on average and privacy.”

            But far /less/ security, no? No doorman/ 24 hr. guard. No buffer of being surrounded by others.

            Also, how many brownstones, etc. have views such as those that can be found on the higher floors of co-op, etc. buildings?

            BTW, thanks for replying to my questions in past threads.

            • B.B. says:

              Judging by the number of famous persons who have chosen to live in a NYC brownstone or townhouse guess the privacy issue is moot.

              Living in any of our white glove fortress buildings is no guarantee of total security. It wasn’t back when those buildings went up and certainly is not today. Things can and do happen: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/manhattan/manhattan-man-found-dead-apartment-found-decomposing-article-1.2567752

              As for doormen, not everyone sees them as a plus. There are those who consider them nosey gossips that by nature of their employment know too much about residents lives. One of the draws of all those new condos downtown is that they do not have doormen and or at least only part-time.

              You have to remember the well off or whomever really only abandoned their private mansions/townhouses in response to several issues;the growing servant problem, security, and the changing nature of many NYC neighborhoods. But that was back then, things have changed.

              How you run a home in 2016 is vastly different than 1906. Various modern appliances mean you don’t need a small army of servants. Camera, intercom and alarm systems can and do provide security. There are a wealth of services that perform duties once assigned to a caretaker.

              Beauty of living in your own home is that unlike a co-op, condo or rental apartment is you are free to do whatever you wish (subject to limits of the law). There isn’t a board or management agent to send nasty letters telling you to knock this or that behavior off. You have to reveal intimate details (financial and otherwise) of you, your spouse and children in order to buy a townhouse/mansion. OTOH if you want to get into the Dakota…

              That Neil Patrick-Harris, his husband choose an East Harlem brownstone to raise their family speaks volumes. Madonna decamped for an UES mansion. Mark Zuckerberg who can afford to live anywhere and probably would be welcomed into any of our white glove UES or UWS buildings chose a townhouse in the West Village.

      • B.B. says:

        And if all of us knew then what we know now we’d have snapped up all those abandoned townhouses/brownstones going for very little money on the UWS through Harlem. Eleven million back then could probably have gotten you one or more entire blocks..

        Lower East Side/East Village is another “who knew” area.

        For generations people worked hard, scrimped and saved to get away from Ludlow Street or East Third Street, now their grand-children or great grand-children are spending millions to move back down there.

        • Independent says:

          Could’ve, would’ve, should’ve

          There is so much that most of us can say that about. But such thinking is not healthy or productive (except in so far as it may inform our current and future decisions and actions); one cannot go back in time.

        • ScooterStan says:

          Re: “now their grand-children or great grand-children are spending millions to move back down there.”

          YES !! And that was the gist* of one of the great lines in the HBO-TV version of Tony Kushner’s amazing “Angels in America” many years ago.

          *in the play it was phrased more succinctly and in a lot more…errr…shall we say “colorful” street-language; theater-buffs will remember it!

    2. Luis says:

      I am a big fan of the show and as a newly retired member of the NYPD i have to give kudos not only to the precinct interiors but the actor portraying the sgt. on duty he transported me back to when i was a rookie officer and walked into the 20th pct and was met with a sgt. exactly like the one in the show, so i applaud this actors authentic portrayal of a desk Sgt. JOB WELL DONE!

      • dannyboy says:

        Thank you for sharing your review Luis. A while back I asked Jimbo (retired NYPD) if Police watch cop shows (he’s quoted ” Be safe out there” from Hill Street Blues). It sounds like you watch AND relate to the show!

    3. KLuther says:

      Haha, ‘right out of Pier 1 Imports’ I’ll have to look again. Many studios by their set stuff at P1……I work there. ?

    4. To your point about the townhouse decoration, I thought it was strange too but all made sense when more details on the victim was revealed in last week episode.
      The other thing a little strange to me too is the cat wandering around the house at night. It’s a nice story point but does not seem very realistic. Or maybe I should pay more attention when I walk in the evening?
      Great mini series! A gem.

    5. B.B. says:

      Regarding the interior decoration of the townhouse, think some are confusing the UWS with UES.

      Yes, there are some wonderful and even “stately” townhouses and brownstones on the UWS, but those living in them past and present were and are often a mixed lot. It isn’t the same UES mentality where one’s home is one’s calling card; decorated, fussed over and readied for (the hoped) feature in Architectural Digest, Vanity Fair or publications of equal merit.

      UWS townhouses and brownstones IMHO reflect the more working class to bourgeois values of many inhabitants.

    6. James Ryan says:

      In terms of the address and the Precinct, they had no choice; whenever possible, fictional addresses are used in dramas to insure that the real life owners of the property don’t make claims based on either how they are depicted, or out of undue attention given afterwards.

      This has been standard since the early days of television. For example, the Ricardo’s apartment in I LOVE LUCY was located at 623 E 68th Street, which is actually mid-East River…

      As for the 21 Precinct, the producers may have wanted to avoid issues with NYPD if they were sensitive to how they felt the cops were portrayed; the best way to sidestep that is with a non-existing precinct. Case in point, the way the 9 Precinct became the 15 Precinct on NYPD BLUE, a show that the producers certainly felt they were on potentially shaky ground with.

    7. Jay says:

      Fun fact: many of the interiors on this show were shot up in Washington Heights, on 160th street, in my SO’s old building. We reached out to his super to confirm–pretty cool, and a truly excellent show.

    8. Jon88 says:

      It’s piling on to complain about the fake address of the brownstone. Hollywood does that all the time (also with phone numbers). Did you miss Box filling out his papers, listing an address that would be in a river?

      File also under “What They Got Wrong” that you don’t know that EST doesn’t mean Eastern time. The show airs at 9 p.m. ET or EDT. If you use ET all year ’round, you’ll never have to think about it again.

    9. Jimbo says:

      I like the show but no cop would puke after viewing a crime scene.Believe me that’s B.S.
      Also the detective “sgt.” has the wrong shield(badge).

    10. jimbo says:

      Re:mistakes on the show—any cop would almost NEVER respond to an additional call with a poss perp in your radio car.Furthermore you would ALWAYS ‘toss’ a poss perp before transporting them therefore the butcher knife would have been found in his inside jacket pocket.Come on–BE CAREFUL OUT THERE….

    11. Dan says:

      I loved how Naz made a left off of Broadway onto 65th, and I thought, that’s an illegal turn. And then he gets pulled over for it.

    12. Independent says:

      B.B. linked to a story about Christopher Cooley, the 78-year-old man who was found dead in his Upper East Side apt. in March. I was able to find later articles that said that his death was ruled a homicide but little additional information; as far as I have been able to tell, the case remains a mystery, with any number of unanswered questions.

      Has any further info come-out since March? Would anyone happen to know?

      Thanks in advance.

    13. dannyboy says:

      I watched 1 episode.

      …too scary for me