It's our 10th Anniversary and we're partying tonight! Georgette Blau founded On Location Tours in 1999 at the age of 24. A 1996 graduate of Skidmore College, she is a success story who turned her passion for classic television and movies into the largest TV and movie location tour company in the world. When she realized that her first apartment in New York City was a stone’s throw from where George and Louise Jefferson lived, Blau got the idea to scout out other New York City locations that had been used in filming TV shows. At the time she was working at an entry level position in publishing. She spent her weekends in a rented a minivan leading tours to locations that had been used in TV shows shot in New York City and what would eventually become the New York TV and movie tour was born. Soon tours began selling out and Blau quit her day job in publishing to build her business. With the help of the Hebrew Free Loan Society she bought a van and added weekday tours to the tour schedule. As business grew, so did the products offered by On Location Tours. In 2001 Blau added the tour of Sex and the City Hotspots and the tour of Sopranos Sites. Since then, more than100,000 people from 40 countries have taken the tours each year. On Location Tours now runs more than 30 tours a week and employs 32 people. In October of 2006, On Location Tours expanded by launching a tour of Washington DC TV and Movie Sites and in May of 2009 the company launched a Gossip Girl Sites tour. Blau has plans to launch tours in three other US cities in the next five years. On Location Tours has been featured in thousands of media outlets around the world including TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, People, E!
By THE NEW YORK TIMES Published: September 27, 2009 Georgette Blau, 35, is president of On Location Tours, a Manhattan-based company that offers entertainment-themed tours of New York locations from movies like “Sex and the City” and television shows like “Gossip Girl” for about $40. Tourism from Europe rebounded more quickly than many tour operators had expected, providing a pleasant surprise, Ms. Blau said. Customers have started tipping again but they still are not paying up for premium-priced limousine tours, she said. She said she has decided to raise prices by about 5 percent next year. I am definitely less worried. I was kind of nervous, especially around January, and thinking, oh my God, we’re going back to 2005. We always hold our breath in January and February in tourism. I was so on edge I didn’t know what to expect. We’re still a little bit on edge. I’ve heard the numbers are down 5 percent overall in New York. We’re 20 percent above 2007 and about 15 percent below 2008. We’re seeing not only more Italians and French, but, specifically, younger Italians and French who are noticing how much cheaper New York is. This summer, we got tons and tons of people just post-college who were staying in hostels. So many of them are saying that they are staying in hostels or hotels that are becoming more affordable. The hotels literally went from $400 a night to $150. The streets were flooded with tourists. Whenever we ask people in the international crowd, they don’t really know what the recession is. So we say, “We’re not going to tell you, just keep spending.” One thing that definitely happened over the winter and spring was our tour guides were not getting tipped.
On Saturday's 3pm Sex & the City Tour, Selena's group was lucky enough to spot not one, but two and a half celebs! Spotted:
- Mickey Rourke (in front of the White Horse Tavern on Hudson)
- Matthew Broderick & son James Wilke sitting on their stoop in the West Village.
Hop on board the Gossip Girl Sites Tour with tourguide Lindsey ("like Lohan but I don't smoke crack!"). Here's a sneak peek from our newest tour:
Super-nice Justin Long was on-set filming Going the Distance when our eagle-eyed (and newlywed!) guide Brian happened upon him with the TV & Movie Tour. Rather than run away, Justin was awesome and took pictures with the bus and signed autographs!
Lucky SATC Guide Ally got to see Sarah Jessica Parker filming Sex & the City 2 on yesterday's tour!
[gallery] Our Gossip Girl Tour ran into the show filming today on the steps of the Met -- tons of cute extras in Constance Billard and St. Jude's uniforms. Apparently because The Met is closed on Mondays it makes for the perfect shooting time on the steps. Check it out next week!
Today's rainy day reminded Meagan of her misadventures several weekends ago: trying to entertain visiting friends in New York in the rain. Can you believe a resource on this does not exist? So we created our own! What to do in New York City in the Rain
- Visit a Museum. From The Metropolitan Museum of Art to The New York Transit Museum; from The Lower East Side Tenement Museum to the Museum of Sex, there’s an exhibit for every body and every budget. Check out a list of museums in New York here.
- Take a TV and Movie Tour. No open double deckers here – these buses are closed and cool in the summer/warm in the winter and will not only show you all the familiar sites from your favorite TV shows and movies, but they provide a great tour of Manhattan while keeping you (mostly) dry. Check out www.screentours.com. There’s also the always-fun NBC Studio Tour inside 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
- Check out Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. Get up close and personal with your favorite personalities.
From Gossip Girl Blog: Chuck and anyone else? DO. NOT. WANT. Still utterly confused by what’s going on with him and Blair. You’d think that if the two of them broke up, B would out in the city finding a new man to scratch her itches. Could Chuck have broken her heart? Again? Hmm… I’m totally in the dark on their status. Even Blair’s beloved maid Dorota is providing little to no details. She’s been tweeting all summer (follow her at http://www.twitter.com/DorotaNYC). Dorota’s made only a limited amount of refs to B. Project Runway parties? Trips to J Sisters? Multiple “Julie and Julia” viewings? Boring! We want more dirt, Dorota. It’s your job to come clean!
On Location Tours, New York’s only TV & Movie Tour Company, is seeking an extremely outgoing, personable, fun actress in her 20's as tour guide for bus tour of Gossip Girl sites. Stand up comedy experience a plus. Tours are approximately 3.5 hours in length. Position is part time -- three or four tours per month. Candidate must be willing to obtain New York City tour guide license. Email acting resume and headshot to email@example.com. Headshot can be attached, but RESUME MUST NOT BE ATTACHED. The Tour: Hello Upper East Siders and Gossip Girl Fans! Enter the playground of the privileged prep school teens on a brand new tour of Gossip Girl Sites, courtesy of On Location Tours. Scandal has never been so much fun. Live a day in the life of Serena, Blair, Chuck, Dan, Vanessa, and Nate on this three hour guided bus tour that goes to more than 40 locations that were used in filming the hit TV series. Find out behind the scenes information and little known facts about the cast and crew of Gossip Girl from local New York City actresses who are the guides on this exciting tour.
- Visit the hotel that is home to the Bass and Van der Woodsen families, where so many of the scenes from Gossip Girl take place.
- Be "spotted" by that most ubiquitous blogger at the Constance Billard School for Girls/St.
Gossip Girl Season 3 Premiere Viewing Party At Southern Hospitality Monday, September 14th, 2009 Party starts at 8pm, Season 3 debuts at 9pm No cover
- Come dressed in your best Gossip Girl Gear
- Gossip Girl trivia & Character Costume contests with drinks, appetizers & gear as prizes
- Award for Best Headband
- Free shot for anyone with Brooklyn driver’s license!
Alright, Tweeples, listen up! We're having our first Twitter Contest! Want free tour tickets to one of our fabulous tours: New York TV & Movie, Washington DC TV & Movie, Central Park TV & Movie, Sex & the City, Sopranos, or Gossip Girl? Here's what you have to do:
- Follow us on Twitter!
- Send us a Tweet @onlocationtours with the name of the tour you'd like to take and why
- We'll draw a random winner on Friday and send out a gift certificate good for two (2) tour tickets!
From marieclaire.co.uk: Carrie Bradshaw may adore her Manolo Blahnik heels, but the designer himself saves little love for the TV show that helped make his name. As filming for the sequel kicks off in New York, Blahnik has revealed that he's more than a little bored of being linked to the fashion-filled franchise, telling the Sunday Telegraph, 'If people talk to me about Sex and the City I get sick.' Although a designer for nearly 40-years, Blahnik's status soared when Sarah Jessica Parker's small screen fashionista namechecked her love of his heels week-after-week on the hit show. Now, speaking on his newfound fame he told the paper in horror, 'It's sweet but it becomes too much and I don't feel comfortable. I have never wanted to be a celebrity designer.' Admitting the association had provided his business with a boost though, he added, 'Well, we had a very good year last year, thanks to those stupid satin shoes (which SJP wore in the movie). That shoe saved our company.' Filming for the SATC sequel started last week, with Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kim Cattrall all already spotted filming on location in NY. And perhaps word of Mr Blahnik's distaste had already got back SJP. While she was rocking her signature skyscrapers, there wasn't a Manolo in sight, and she's instead sported a string of Christian Louboutin designs. Looks like Carrie has a new favourite!
From The Star Online While most teens will fall over themselves at the mere mention of Blake Lively, Penn Badgley, Ed Westwick, Taylor Momsen, Chace Crawford and Leighton Meester – the cast of Gossip Girl – but the New York Police Department probably aren't that crazy about the stars or their show. Why you ask? Just over the weekend police personnel had to step in to protect their cast of the hit TV show when fans swamped the outdoor production set. According to The New York Post, police barricades and security guards had to be brought in to keep devoted fans at a distance as the cast shot scenes in and around Manhattan's Empire Hotel. The fact that Lively and Badgley are also an off-screen couple didn't help. While taking a break from shooting a scene, the couple were seen cuddling and that sent not only fans wild but it also gave the ever present paparazzi photo opportunities. “It was chaos. Fans were screaming and people were rushing to get to rooftops to get a glimpse,” a source at the scene told the newspaper. The cast were on location for Westwick's character's roaring '20s party.
From the Gossip Girl Blog: Oh Serena. She’s becoming a household name all over Europe. Our favorite blonde bombshell just spent a weeklong holiday in France. From partying with royals in St Tropez to wining and dining in Paris (rumor has it S was spotted out w/ French actor Louis Garrel – trés sexy), S sure has shown the county her joie de vivre (among other things…). We can only hope that when our “it” girl returns to the states she’ll cause the same commotion here as she did overseas. But hey, doesn’t S have to pack up and head to Brown soon? Very interested to see what the people of Providence will think of her naughty ways…
In honor of the Season 3 Premiere of Gossip Girl next Monday, we've added a special tour! Monday, September 14th at 12pm. Be there or be square!
[gallery] Thanks to Elena Landano for sending along these super cute pics of her enjoying the Gossip Girl Sites Tour! We love our fans! If you have photos of yourself and friends on any of our tours, send 'em our way! Thanks, Elena!
Deep breaths, people. Gossip Girl had this to say about our favorite dysfunctional couple:
Now what I’m about to write might make people very upset. Please, if you’re reading this on your phone you should probably sit down. Okay. Ready? Chuck and Blair have not been spotted together all summer. Deep breaths. Deep breaths. B has been practically non-existent these past few months. Every now and then I’ve heard she’s gone to J Sisters or seen a movie with Dorota, but other than that it’s been silence. Chuck, on the other hand, has been spotted with random girls all around town. So far no evidence of any physical contact…yet. I know how heartbreaking this is. But let’s not give up hope (how uncharacteristically optimistic of me, right?). Maybe Waldass is just playing mind games with us…