Tag Archives: Drama

Welcome to Sal “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero’s House from The Sopranos

Birds call in a cemetery in the early hours. Two men appear on a balcony. One hands the other a newspaper. Their faces are grave.

This is the backdrop for a classic scene of The Sopranos. Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero brings FBI Special Agent Skip Lipari onto his balcony, where Lipari questions him about a high profile murder. Both suddenly clam up when Pussy’s wife comes out with the trash.

The lonely calling of the birds and Pussy looking out over a graveyard make a haunting image. The headstones, so close to Bonpensiero, subtly foreshadow his murder later in the season, when Tony Soprano finds out he’s an informant.

Big Pussy’s house is in Jersey City, NJ and I had the opportunity to visit yesterday. While we don’t see it from the outside in the series, when Tony visits in season 1 you can clearly see the same metal door and brick pillar as above.

The street is a dead end and Pussy’s house borders the vast Holy Name Cemetery. The house is upscale…evidently Pussy’s heroin business paid well! The cemetery itself seems like something out of The Sopranos, with the profusion of Italian names on the markers.

On the way home, I stopped by another Sopranos filming location, this one from season 6. Tony and Paulie are on the run as the FBI investigates a decades-old murder. On Kennedy Boulevard near Pussy’s house, Silvio Dante breaks the bad news to Tony that the FBI has found the body.

The liquor store has had a facelift since then, but the streetscape is still quite recognizable.

It was quite the thrill to see where these great scenes really happened!

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Christopher Moltisanti Hit Rock Bottom at This Diner

“Wanna follow me to that dive on Sip and JFK?”

Julianna Skiff, The Sopranos

So begins the romance between mobster Christopher Moltisanti and Julianna Skiff in season 6 of The Sopranos. The troubled pair meet at an AA meeting. Soon they’re having an extramarital affair that spirals into a return to heroin addiction.

Their romance begins and ends at the VIP Diner in Jersey City, NJ. Being a big fan of this episode and the show in general, I took a little trip there yesterday. The diner is exactly as it appeared on the show in 2007, and indeed seems not to have changed at all since at least the 1970’s.

The restaurant was nearly empty when I entered in the late afternoon. I sat at a weathered booth near the window and enjoyed a coffee and newspaper. Cocooned in a nearby booth, Christopher tells Julianna about his entry to the mafia and they reflect on their return to heroin use at the end of episode 12.

As they leave the restaurant and head for an AA meeting, Julianna already senses that their relationship is over. It was interesting to walk down those same steps as I headed home.

Enjoying a coffee in the same spot where these great scenes happened was a lot of fun! If you’re in the area, I’d recommend popping in.

Bonus location: the hair salon across the street was used for a scene in season 1, episode 9, where Bobbi Sanfilippo discusses Uncle Junior’s “talents” with her pedicurist. Through the window, you can see the VIP Diner across the street.

It appeared to have been heavily remodeled and didn’t look much like the beauty parlor in the episode, but it was still interesting to see it! I actually looked at an apartment in this building a couple of years ago without realizing it was a Sopranos shooting location!

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