Popular legend has it that Edward Hopper painted his iconic 1942 "Nighthawks" based on a diner at the corner of Seventh Avenue and Greenwich Street (Mulry Square) in New York's Greenwich Village. It has since been revealed that no diner ever existed at the location—a gas station was on the corner from the 1930s-1970s—and that the painting is actually a hodge-podge of Hopper's memories.
Here's Hopper's lesser-known "New York Restaurant" from 1922.
"New York Movie," 1939
"Room In Brooklyn," 1932.
"Williamsburg Bridge," 1928.
And, of course, there have been hundreds of parodies of "Nighthawks." Four of my faves are below the jump, while you can see a massive collection here.