Sesame Street (fictional location)

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Sesame Street is a fictional street located in Manhattan (a borough in New York City). The street serves as the location for the American children's television series, Sesame Street, which is primarily set at 123 Sesame Street, a fictional brownstone building.[1]

Location[edit]

The fictional Sesame Street is set to represent a neighborhood of New York City. While Sesame Workshop staff agree, the specific neighborhood that it is supposed to represent is still disagreed upon by staff. Art director Victor DiNapoli has stated that it is supposed to be located on the Upper West Side. Sesame Street's founder, Joan Ganz Cooney, stated in 1994 that she originally wanted to call the show 123 Avenue B, after the Alphabet City area of the Lower East Side and East Village.[1]

The opposite side of Sesame Street is not part of the set, though there are some rare occasions of seeing the other side from either another location. The opposite side of Sesame Street would often be seen in the Sesame Street movies.

Notable locations on Sesame Street[edit]

123 Sesame Street[edit]

Sesame Street primarily revolves around a brownstone-type row house called 123 Sesame Street. The house is a three-story building with a daylight basement, totaling three known apartments.[1]

The building was meant to appear typical of New York neighborhood brownstones, being described as a "survivor of gentrification" by art director Victor DiNapoli.[2]

Oscar the Grouch's Trash Can[edit]

Oscar the Grouch's Trash Can sits in front of a fence made of salvaged doors and is where Oscar the Grouch lives. Oscar the Grouch's Trash Can is deeper than anyone suspects. In the first episode, Gordon mentioned that the trash can had three and a half bedrooms. The seemingly bottomless domain houses a variety of diverse Grouch amenities and luxuries. Oscar's girlfriend Grundgetta is his most recurring visitor to his Trash Can.

Big Bird's Nest[edit]

Behind the doors is where Big Bird's Nest is which is where Big Bird lives. One of the windows of Gordon and Susan's apartment overlooks the nest. Big Bird's Nest was later redesigned following a hurricane that hit Sesame Street. Big Bird's best friend Mr. Snuffleupagus is the most frequent visitor to his nest.

Arbor[edit]

To the left of 123 is a forecourt which serves as the entrance to a carriage house. The forecourt called the Arbor serves as a playground, and separates 123 from a tenement. The set continues to the left of the arbor as the street turns to the left. In the late 1990s, the characters decided that the neighborhood needed more green space and built a garden in a vacant lot behind the Arbor.[1] The garden behind the Arbor is where Stinky the Stinkweed resides.

At one time, the building that serves as its backdrop housed a garage. For a while, it was the location of Gina's veterinary practice. Now, it is Charlie's Auto Repair garage.

Hooper's Store[edit]

Hooper's Store is located immediately after this bend in the road. It is a lunch counter and general store.

Hooper's Store was first run by Mr. Hooper when it was opened in 1951. David worked at the store and became the proprietor of Hooper's Store following the death of Mr. Hooper. David ran Hooper's Store from 1982-1989.

From 1989-1998, Hooper's Store was run by a retired firefighter named Mr. Handford.

By 1998–Present Day, Hooper's Store was run by Alan.

Other employees at Hooper's Store included:

  • Tom - He was an employee from 1971-1982.
  • Petey - He was an employee from 1984-1986.
  • Gina - She was an employee from 1987-1995.
  • Carlo - He was an employee from 1995-1998.
  • Gabi - She was an employee in 2004.
  • Miles - He was an employee in 2006.
  • Chris - He was an employee from 2007–present.

Sesame Street Library[edit]

The Sesame Street Library is a common point of interest on Sesame Street. It was originally located next to Hooper's Store in the spot that has since housed the Fix-It Shop, the Mail-It Shop, and the Laundromat. All the residents of Sesame Street would come to borrow books. Maria worked there as a part-time job when she was still in school while Grover would often come and help out at the library.

Fix-It Shop[edit]

The Fix-It Shop is where Maria and Luis work. The residents of Sesame Street would bring their broken items to the Fix-It Shop to have it repaired.

Mail-It Shop[edit]

In 2002, the location where the Fix-It Shop was ended up converted to the Mail-It Shop where it was still operated by Maria and Luis. Residents of Sesame Street would use the Mail-It Shop to send and receive letters and packages. Gover occasionally did delivery work for the Mail-It Shop. The location was converted back to the Fix-It Shop in 2006.

Laundromat[edit]

In 2008, the Laundromat is the current location next to Hooper's Store after the Fix-It Shop was moved to another location and near the Subway Station. This is where the residents of Sesame Street do their laundry. The Laundromat is run by Leela.[2]

In The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, the Laundromat was seen across from 123 Sesame Street before it was moved to being next to Hooper's Store.

Subway Station[edit]

Sesame Street has its own Subway Station which is a replica of the 72nd Street Subway entrance. It was originally seen on the "Around the Corner" part of Sesame Street until it was transferred to the main Sesame Street set.

Bicycle Shop[edit]

In Season 45, a Bicycle Shop appears in that vacant lot near the Subway Station that was briefly used for a flower shop. It is run by Luis who sells bicycles and also repairs them. As part of the rare views of the other side of Sesame Street, the Bicycle Shop is next to a CGI depiction of Manhattan where it shows a playground and the Triboro Bridge among the cityscape.

Other locations in the neighborhood[edit]

Like most New York neighborhoods, Sesame Street has other locations:

  • Mr. MacIntosh's Fruit Cart - This is where Mr. MacIntosh sells his fruits from the 1970s to the late 1980s.
  • Willy's Hot Dog Stand - A rolling hot dog stand that Willie operated from the 1970s to the late 1980s.

Around the Corner[edit]

Around the Corner was considered an expansion for Sesame Street in the 1990s from Season 25 to Season 29.

According to Sonia Manzano, she quoted that "By expanding the street and going around the corner, we will have other places to hang out beyond the stoop of 123 Sesame Street, and we will be able to explore family issues which we think are so important to kids today."[3]

The Around the Corner parts were dropped by Season 29 (though it did appear in The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland). Caroll Spinney and Martin P. Robinson commented that the kids would have a hard time keeping up with the characters.

Among the known locations of Around the Corner include:

  • 10 Sesame Street - A two-story brick building that adjourns the Subway Station.
    • Finders Keepers - A second-hand store that is operated by Ruthie which is on the first floor of 10 Sesame Street. It contains items that were previously owned by fairy tale characters.
    • Celina's Dance Studio - A dance studio owned by Celina that is on the second floor of 10 Sesame Street.
  • 456 Sesame Street - A brownstone that was referenced in "The Sesame Street Treasury" where it was the home of Betty Lou (as revealed in Volume 5) and Herry Monster (as revealed in Volume 9). It housed a Daycare Center that was run by Angela (who also lived in the building with Jamal and their baby daughter Kayla).
  • Birdland - A jazz club where Hoots the Owl often introduces its acts. Birdland is based on a real jazz club that was inspired by famed musician Charlie Parker, whose nickname was Bird and who served as the headliner for the club. The original Birdland was in operation from 1949–1965, but a club with the same name opened in 1986.
  • Furry Arms Hotel - A Muppet Hotel owned by Sherry Netherland with her employees Humphrey and Ingrid (who work as the hotel managers), Benny the Rabbit (who works as a bellhop), Otis the Elephant (an earlier version of Horatio the Elephant that works as an elevator operator), Ernestine the Telephone Operator, and a Dinger (who works as the call bell). It is located next to 456 Sesame Street. The Furry Arms Hotel was one of the few exterior street sets specifically built to puppet scale rather than to accommodate both puppets and human cast members (although human guests occasionally appeared inside). As a result in Episode 3139 when Gordon and Susan chose to spend the night at the Furry Arms Hotel while their apartment was getting painted, they had to bend over when they went through the revolving door and also had trouble getting their suitcase through the door. The Furry Arms Hotel also houses an indoor swimming pool and a lounge.
  • The Park - The park contains a playground and some trees (where one of them is the home of The Squirrells). In the video "The Best of Elmo," the Park was shown to be located across from the Furry Arms Hotel. Although the Park is dropped alongside the other Around the Corner locations, it is still reference in later episodes.

Near Losses[edit]

There have been at least two occasions where Sesame Street almost got torn down.

  • In "Sesame Street Live" Production Save Our Street, Mr. Meanie planned on turning Sesame Street into a parking lot.
  • In Sesame Street All-Star 25th Birthday: Stars and Street Forever!, millionaire Ronald Grump (a parody of Donald Trump) attempted to evict the residents of Sesame Street, tear the street down and build a building called a Grump Tower. The residents of the street were against this and did whatever they could to stop this from happening. However, Ronald Grump later learned that he couldn't just evict Oscar the Grouch for Oscar had to agree to move. Even after offering to buy him a bigger trash can and more trash, Oscar the Grouch refused to agree to move just to be mean to Ronald Grump. Ronald Grump eventually decided that everybody on Sesame Street is too nice to deserve a Grump Tower.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "How to Get to Sesame Street". News. The Stranger. Retrieved 5 Sep 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Sesame Street: Made in NY". This week in New York. Time Out. Retrieved 5 Sep 2011. 
  3. ^ Bangor Daily News - Google News Archive Search