Sesame Street is the public thoroughfare where the central characters live on Sesame Street.
Officially located in New York City — as is often confirmed by various sources — Sesame Street was designed to resemble an urban, inner city landscape, recognizable to children (although slightly idealized). While many of the inserts took place in puppet-scale interiors, ranging from Ernie and Bert's apartment and Charlie's Restaurant, to the countless walls or the varying game show sets of Guy Smiley, the main storyline scenes have almost always focused (or at least begun) on the street and its environs, outside of special location episodes. It serves as a meeting place for human and Muppet cast members alike.
The most prominent location is 123 Sesame Street, the apartment building whose front stoop is a frequent gathering place for the main characters (and home to others). Another significant structure is the building which houses Hooper's Store and the Fix-It Shop, which also features some apartments above (including that of Bob and, in the early days, David). Between the two is a more open courtyard area, dubbed the arbor, highlighted by an old carriage house/garage decorated with letters. The surrounding area includes the fire-escape of 123, and items such as a tire swing for the neighborhood and picnic benches, which are often used by patrons of Hooper's.
To the right of 123 are the somewhat more unusual abodes of Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird. Oscar's trash can is situated upon a pile of crates and often near other debris by the front steps, while a line of salvaged doors demarks the area for Big Bird's nest, consisting of a large literal bird's nest and many other accessories. From the 1970s through the late 1980s, the itinerant fruit cart of Mr. Macintosh and the rolling hotdog stand belonging to Willy frequently dotted the landscape. In later years, the neighborhood expanded Around the Corner, with a host of new sets, which were eventually dropped. Through it all, the street lamppost has been a constant, the green fixture with its familiar "123 Sesame Street" sign often seen at the beginning or end of episodes, and which has essentially become the program's symbol, used on merchandise and, in variations, on most of the international versions of the show.
The actual studio sets used for Sesame Street have changed over the years, taping in stage G at Kaufman Astoria Studios since 1993. In the feature film Follow That Bird (filmed in Toronto), a more elaborate version of the street was constructed with an auto shop, bakery, and other buildings. For The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, the same set from the show was used, adding a laundromat, a deli, and an assortment of outdoor cafes and vendors, including a snowcone stand.
The street has been around since at least 1951, the year Hooper's Store opened. According to an appearance by The Count on Late Night with Seth Meyers in 2015, there are currently 85 residents of the street.
How to Get to Sesame Street
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; Oscar had to agree to move. Even after offering to buy him a bigger trash can and more trash Oscar refused to agree to move just to be mean to Ronald Grump and Ronald Grump eventually decided that everybody on the street is too nice to deserve a Grump Tower.
Rare Views of the Street
- In a 2009 ceremony, in honor of the show's 40th anniversary, the intersection of West 64th Street and Broadway was temporarily renamed "123 Sesame Street.". Ten years later for the 50th anniversary, the corner of West 63rd Street and Broadway was renamed "Sesame Street," now a permanent change. A "Sesame Street" sign, matching those used in the city, was applied to the lamppost at the intersection facing West 63rd Street.
- Oscar was quoted in Life Magazine about the street, "It used to snow… but it got to be too expensive."
- ↑ "The Reflections of Oscar the Grouch", Oscar the Grouch, Guest editor, November 5, 2009. Life Magazine.
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kClLgohCrI
- Interactive Map on Sesamestreet.org (archived)