Director Stella Meghie’s Guide to New York


Filmmaker Stella Meghie’s career has taken her all over the world. Born and raised in Toronto, she has lived in New York City, London and Los Angeles and travelled to countless locations in between. Much of her latest film, The Photograph, which stars Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield and hits theatres on Valentine’s Day, was shot on location in New York City. We caught up with Meghie to talk about her favourite spots in the city to go between filming.

enRoute What was your favourite part about living in New York City?

Stella Meghie I think the best part about New York City is that it’s so spontaneous. The old adage that the city never sleeps is true. In Los Angeles, when someone asks you to plan something, they ask if you’re free in two weeks. But in New York City it is very much your friends asking what you are doing right now, and you go from thinking you’re going home to staying out until 3 a.m.

ER Why did you choose New York City as one of the filming locations for The Photograph?

SM I lived in New York City for so long, and it was important to have Issa Rae’s character, Mae, be from there. I loved living there. My great–grandmother lived there, so I really wanted Mae to be kind of that girl that I had seen in New York City and had been for a while.

ER What is your favourite season in New York City?

SM My favourite season in New York City is summer. Even though it can get too hot and the subways can be gross, there is nothing like being in New York City in the summertime. The vibe is like nowhere else.

January 24, 2020
The Empire State building can be seen behind a cluster of red and yellow brick buildings
   Photo: Paulo Silva (Unsplash)

ER What is your ideal day in New York City?

SM My ideal day in New York City probably starts and ends with food. I love the energy of the city as you walk around, grab a coffee, get food, meet up with friends, see a movie and then go and meet someone else for more food and drinks.

ER Best spot to grab a coffee in New York City?

SM There is a little café called Café Angelique on the corner of my old street in NoHo that I just loved. They knew me, and when I walked in they would have my order ready.

ER What is your favourite restaurant in New York City?

SM My favourite restaurant is Bar Pitti, in the West Village. It’s a little Italian restaurant that’s been there for so long. There are no reservations, but the food is my favourite.

The terrace at Bar Pitti
Bar Pitti.   Photo: Alamy

ER Favourite bar in New York City?

SM I was at Sel Rrose a lot when I was shooting on the weekends. It’s a little bar in the Lower East Side that has very strong drinks and great oysters.

ER Where is your favourite spot to watch a film in New York City?

SM It would probably be the Angelika Film Center. It has so much history and plays all the great independent films.

The bar counter at Sel Rrose
Sel Rrose.     Photo: courtesy of Sel Rrose
The front facade of the Angelika Film Center
Angelika Film Center.     Photo: Alamy