About Christmas TV History

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

New York City Christmas/Pop Culture Travel Destinations--Part 2

You know I love to travel and document my stops at Christmas/Pop Culture destinations. These posts are some of my most popular ones on the website. Here are some of my favorite Christmas/Pop Culture travel destinations:

Mary Tyler Moore/Peanuts in Minneapolis, MN
Little House on the Prairie in Walnut Grove, MN & DeSmet, SD
John Denver statue/Mork & Mindy House in Colorado
Perry Como's statue in Canonsburg, PA
Dean Martin's hometown of Steubenville, OH
Rosemary Clooney's home in Augusta, KY
The Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, PA
It's a Wonderful Life Museum in Seneca Falls, NY
Lucille Ball's birthday celebration in Jamestown, NY
A Christmas Story House & Museum 5k Run in Cleveland, OH
The Waltons Museum in Schuyler, VA
"Twas the Night Before Christmas" & "A Child's Christmas in Wales" in NYC-Part 1

Why New York City? I've been doing more research at the Paley Center for Media.

I've made a couple more trips to New York City and found myself looking for more pop culture destinations with a Christmas tie-in. New York is filled with film and TV shooting locations. Christmas TV movies set in New York quite often use the ice rink and the giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center as establishing shots.

Look familiar? The tree lighting ceremony & concert in Rockefeller Center has been a nationally broadcast NBC TV special since 1998.

Ice skating and Christmas go hand in hand. In December, I had to grab a quick selfie down on the ice while skating.

I also love statues. NYC has many, but my favorite with a Christmas/TV connection is the Ralph Kramden statue standing outside the Port Authority bus station (Ralph was a bus driver!)

Life-size Ralph Kramden statue at Port Authority.

Up close: "The Great One" Jackie Gleason

In the reflection of the windows and my glasses you can see the taxis (not buses!?) along 8th Avenue.

Christmas TV fans know that The Honeymooners made several holiday episodes over the years--both Christmas and New Year's. I wrote about the 1955 Honeymooners' Christmas episode HERE.

A screen shot of the opening of the series. The address for Felix and Oscar is clearly visible: 1049 Park Ave.

A quick Google search told me that it was the correct address for the original exterior shots of their residence.

In February, I easily found another TV destination--the Park Avenue apartment building used in the opening of the 1970s TV series The Odd Couple. Capturing snapshots was a bit tricky as Park Avenue is a divided boulevard with landscaping. It was a challenge to find a clear view of the building--but I was determined! On the TV show, Oscar and Felix had a doorman and the building still has one. As I continued getting closer to the structure for my photos, he was watching me. I tried to exclude him from my shots. He must see TV fans like me there all the time! (I told myself).

A full shot of the building reveals the exterior hasn't changed much since the 1970s.

I wonder what Felix & Oscar's rent would cost today?

The entrance where Felix stabs Oscar's discarded cigar on the sidewalk with his umbrella, and hands it back to him. The green awning has changed somewhat. I swear I can hear that Neal Hefti theme song.

I previously wrote about the 1970 Christmas episode of The Odd Couple HERE.

Do you like to stop at film and TV travel destinations too? How about ones with a Christmas connection? Tell me all about it in the comments below.

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

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