All the NYC Places Mentioned in Taylor Swift Songs
The ultimate guide to New York (Taylor’s Version).
Welcome to New York, Swifties. Real fans will remember when Taylor Swift announced she was moving to the Big Apple in 2014, and the city has never been the same since. There is plenty of Taylor lore to consume here, which is why we’ve rounded up all of the NYC spots Swift has referenced in her songs. From the dive bar on the East Side to Coney Island, hit up all the locales that inspired your favorite tunes; just don’t forget to bless the rains on them as you go.
Swift’s Cornelia Street rental is indeed the titular townhouse of the beloved Lover track, “Cornelia Street,” where she walked around barefoot and memorized the creaks in the floor. Swift rented the $11.5 million apartment for a few months in 2016 while getting her current Tribeca place renovated. The song strongly implies that it’s also where Swift spent the budding beginnings of her relationship with Joe Alwyn. Even though they’re not together anymore, we choose to believe the memories are immortalized there. The townhouse is a particular hotspot amongst Swifties, so don’t be shocked if you see a crowd outside. After you pay your respects, go for a picturesque stroll among the brick row houses in charming Greenwich Village.
While it’s not confirmed, fans speculate that this aptly-named East Side dive bar from the song “Delicate” where Swift had a clandestine rendezvous with Alwyn. Regardless of the veracity of this rumor, the ambient mood lighting at Lovers of Today is perfect for cosplaying a celebrity on an undercover date. While you’re there, sip on the Handsome Devil, a cocktail likely inspired by the iconic “Cruel Summer” lyric, “He looks up grinning like the devil.” It’s a potent mix of tequila, fresh lime, and lavender honey: Just don’t cry like a baby coming home from the bar.
Cue up “Cardigan” and take a stroll on The High Line, a public park that sits above street level on a historic renovated rail line. In the second track on Folklore, Swift recalls hearing “your heartbeat on the High Line” in a series of loving memories. Swift even says images that “popped into her mind” inspired the album, among them “lovestruck kids wandering down the evergreen High Line.” And it’s no wonder why — the 1.45-mile-long stretch is perfect for a romantic stroll, especially if you visit during off hours like first thing in the morning or at sunset.
In Evermore’s “No Body, No Crime,” Swift spins a whodunnit tale of a housewife’s murder that is only discovered after her friend ghosts her on their weekly trip to Olive Garden. The song’s main character, Este, bears the same name as one of the famous Haim sisters. While “nailing down some lyric details,” Swift texted Haim, “You're not going to understand this text for a few days but... which chain restaurant do you like best?” according to an interview with Entertainment Weekly. And that’s how Olive Garden earned a starring role in the song. Luckily, NYC has its own outpost of Olive Garden in Times Square where you can eat endless salad and breadsticks while pondering who, exactly, did it (and what Este Haim orders at Olive Garden).
For most, this carnival wonderland on the southernmost tip of Brooklyn conjures up images of Nathan’s relish-topped hot dogs, Ferris wheels, and sandy shores. But Swift fans know this is the ideal spot to sit on a bench and wonder, “Where did my baby go?” For Coney Island’s namesake track on Evermore, Swift teamed up with The National for a moody ode to lost love. While there are few images more evocative than brooding on a bench as a dreary day mutes the neon colors of the nearby carnival, Coney Island is best visited on a picturesque summer afternoon when you can check out the rides at the iconic Luna Park or enjoy classic carnival concessions. Sorry, Taylor.
If you questioned the lyric “I thought I saw you at the bus stop” from “The 1” on Folklore, you’re not the only one. Let’s be honest, it’s highly unlikely Swift has taken the bus in decades. However, because Swifties are nothing if not resourceful, many believe the lyric actually refers to Bus Stop Cafe in the West Village, as the restaurant is only a 10-minute walk from her famous Cornelia Street abode. And whether you believe in certain Taylor conspiracy theories (you know the one) or not, the cafe is only a five-minute walk from Karlie Kloss’s former West Village home. Whether or not Swift loves brunch at Bus Stop Cafe, there’s no harm in grabbing a table and feasting on some French toast.
In All Too Well: The Short Film, a red-headed Swift reads her novel aloud in this string-light-adorned bookstore. The bookstore, staffed solely by volunteers, puts all of its profits toward providing all people living with HIV/AIDS access to housing and healthcare. It also serves as a very sought-after wedding venue (take notes, Swifties). A cafe inside makes it the ideal spot to romanticize your time in the city by picking up a coffee and sifting through the two stories of bookshelves. Per the Swift-recommended reading list, nab a copy of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, which inspired Swift to write the devastating track “Tolerate it” on Evermore.
Swift may not mention Electric Lady Studios in a song, but it’s where she records them—and definitely worth a visit on any Taylor-themed tour of NYC. The studio has operated in Greenwich Village since 1970, when Jimi Hendrix and his manager Michael Jeffery bought a defunct nightclub and converted it into a professional recording studio. Since then, the space has hosted everyone from The Rolling Stones and Patti Smith to Adele, Frank Ocean, and, of course, Swift. You might even have some celebrity sightings if you stop by, lest we forget the chaos that ensued when photos dropped of Swift leaving the studio with her (at the time) rumored lover, The 1975’s Matty Healy.