Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been fascinated by one of the most beloved shows in the world, Sesame Street. It was a staple in our immigrant-filled home back in the early 70s. I was even nick-named Cookie Monster by my mom (and later on Cookie by my friends) due to my love for, you guessed it, cookies. I remember watching the show and feeling like it was really “my neighborhood” for something that I couldn’t understand then, but do now: the diversity of those who lived there.
Maria, Luis, Gordon, Scott…these were my television family, not to mention the monsters: Elmo, Cookie Monster, Grover, Grouch, Snuffy and Big Bird, Bert, and Ernie.
I always wondered, “How do you get to Sesame Street?” I really wanted to know!
When my first son was born, I continued the Sesame Street morning traditions. By then new characters had emerged: Mr. Noodles, Telly Monster, Baby Bear…Elmo’s World. I felt almost a sense of pride and definite joy in sharing a piece of my childhood with my children. By then it was my children who wanted to know how to get to Sesame Street.
Well, today, I finally did get there in a way I least expected: on a shuttle bus from Lincoln Center crossing the Queens Borough Bridge and heading to Kaufman Astoria Studios in Astoria, Queens. This is where, along with some other bloggers, I finally lived out my childhood fantasy of visiting Sesame Street.
There it was, Hooper’s Store…there I sat, on the stoop of building 123, there it sat, empty and dark, Big Bird’s nest. Bert and Ernie weren’t home either, and apparently neither was Grouch. But the child in me didn’t care…it took all I had to not cry and laugh and shriek and run around like a little kid full of crazy joy. No, not me. I mean, there were other bloggers there..and you know, I’m too cool, almost 39, and well, they were taping and I didn’t want to get kicked out.
Was it the coolest Adventure I have ever been on to date? Um…yeah. Was it everything you would imagine it to be? So much more. Am I going to remember this day forever? Yes, FUH-EH-VAH.
To boot, I met some amazing new friends, Melanie from Savvy Auntie, Todd from The Reluctant Daddy, and Vera from I’m Not Obsessed. I also got to hang out with some pretty awesome “old” friends: Amy from Selfish Mom, Jen from Babyriffic, Kim from Mom in The City, and Esti from Primetime Parenting.
I also met Marty Robinson (Telly Monster and Mr. Snuffleupagus) and Annie Evans (a writer for Sesame Street) and their two lovely twins, Lyra and Ripley, and found out about their fabulous blog, Sesame Family Robinson. They are the true Sesame Street family and it was fun just hanging out with them and hearing their adventures!
I also learned a few interesting tidbits, like
- This was the first time a group of bloggers was ever given a tour of Sesame Street (yay!) and, no, they do not offer tours on a regular basis.
- On November 10, Sesame Street will turn 40! 4-0…I still can’t believe it! It is currently in it’s 40th season, 41st season being taped now for next year.
And we all got some sound advice too while there: Never, ever, never brush a monster’s fur. Ever.
Looking at Sesame Street now, and thinking back at what I remember it to be, it hasn’t changed much at all. My children still have the same fascination over Elmo and Big Bird and Cookie monster as I did at their age, and they still like to count numbers with The Count and sing the songs for the letter of the day. It’s truly a treasure to be able to continue to have this to pass on to them, and a piece of Any Neighborhood, New York to fantasize about. Just take the subway or bus, and you’re there.
Check out Sesame Street’s website: www.SesameStreet.org for fun games, videos, playlists, and more!