Come with me on a pop cultural interstate American journey as we explore landmarks that are part of the roadmap we all share. These places all have played a part in our shared heritage of books, music television and film. These are all just snippets. An appetizer, if you will. They will all be explored individually and in much greater in future posts. But for now, enjoy part one of your pop culture potpourri (Part two is tomorrow.)
New York City. This mosaic is from “Strawberry Fields” in New York’s central park. This section of the park is across the street from The Dakota Apartments where John Lennon lived and sadly, where he died.
Albuquerque, New Mexico. This restaurant served as the setting for the “Los Pollos Hermanos” a chicken place run by Gus Fring on “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul”
The Joshua Tree National Park California. This was the location for U2’s iconic album. For me at least there is something deeply spiritual about the place.
Dyersville Iowa. The house from “Field of dreams”. The house looked much different before the film. The producers added the wrap around porch. The baseball diamond in the cornfield still exists.
Estes Park Colorado. The Stanley hotel. This is the hotel that inspired Stephen King to write “The Shining”. Author James Mitchener also wrote his book “centennial’ here as well. They say the hotel is haunted. All I can say is when I visited I was very spooked.
Minneapolis, Minnesota The ‘Mary Richards house’ from the ” Mary Tyler Moore Show”. Actually, it wasn’t her house. She only rented an apartment.
Woodstock, Illinois This is the bed and breakfast, Phil Connors played by Bill Murray stayed in from the movie “Groundhog Day” (One of my all-time favorite movies). A lot of people thought the film was shot in Punxatawney Pennsylvania, but they actually filmed in Woodstock a town northwest of Chicago. There are some great stories about the town and their experiences having the movie shot in their town, but that’s for another day…
Astoria, Oregon. The “Goonies House’ from the movie of the same name. Astoria is a beautiful city right on the Pacific coast right across the Columbia River from Washington state.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin The “Bronze Fonze”. Unfortunately, the local response to the statue was less than cool. It’s too long of a story to tell on this post but I’ll definitely discuss it on a future post.
Fairmont, Indiana. For a town of fewer than 3,000 people, Fairmont is doing well on the per capita famous scale. Of course, you have James Dean but also Jim Davis the creator of “Garfield” House that for incongruity?
There really is a “Mystic Pizza” and even was one before the film. The pizza isn’t bad but it’s no Julia Roberts
Jamestown, New York. Here’s Lucy. Or should I say here’s Lucy 2.0. The original Lucy statue was taken down because it was considered “too homely”. It really was pretty bad. They wanted to do their hometown lady proud.
Winchester, Virginia. Patsy Cline will never be replaced. In her short career, she set a benchmark that really hasn’t be surpassed by anyone. The park has a nice belltower her fans had built in her memory as well.
The Titanic Museum, Branson, Missouri. ( Pidgeon Forge Tennessee also has one too) The museum honors both the actual ship and the film of the same name and has sets, props, and costumes from the movie.
Albany, Georgia. The Ray Charles Plaza. The city honors its native son. Ray may have had Georgia on his mind, and it’s reciprocal.
Grounds for sculpture. New Jersey, across from Philadelphia. If you love sculpture and statuary art. You MUST see this park. The giant Marilyn is especially nice.
Mark Twain Statue. Hannibal, Missouri. Even though the city was called Saint Petersburg in “Huckleberry Finn” and “Tom Sawyer” the city isn’t taking that personally. The city is like the books came to life.
Saint Paul, Minnesota. The Fitzgerald Theater. Honoring native son writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, the theater is a great venue for live entertainment. It is also the home of “The Prairie Home Companion” and the film of the same name was also filmed here.
The Surf Ballroom, Clear Lake City, Iowa If February 3rd, 1959 was the “day the music died”, then the surf ballroom was the place where it all ended. But like music, the ballroom resurrected and the venue still has live shows all year round.
Indianola, Mississippi. The BB King Museum. The museum honors one of the blues greatest stars and his guitar Lucille. Why did he name his guitar Lucille? (No one spoil it) Find out in a future post.
Well, that’s Part One. What did you think? If you like a particular offering let me know and I’ll make posting the complete story a priority.
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4 Replies to “Pop-Culture Potpourri Part 1”
This is fun. Good job. But this list could go on for several hundred entries.
I can think of several dozen off the top of my head.
But keep em comin. Jer~
Thanks Jerry. maybe we can collaborate on a Part III
My thoughts: 1) I love driving through the Joshua Forest Parkway, which I will be doing this afternoon. It is very surreal. 2) Fonzie looks demented.3) Watching I Love Lucy will always put a smile on your face. 4) Love Patsy Cline, and have her CD in my car. Will listen to her on our road trip this afternoon! Does anyone know where the tradition of placing pennies on her grave came from? My brief internet search didn’t turn up anything.
Joshua tree is a deeply spiritual place for me, but I love pretty much all of the desert, the bronze fonze was very unpopular when it was first revealed. many of the businesses around the statue wanted it removed. You are right it does look demented, but suprisingly is a tourist draw. The local businesses have softened a bit. The first lucy statue in jamestown ny was god awful. it was when she made a face in the meata vita vega min episode, I know what the artist was trying to go for, but it didn’t work. The new statue is much classier. perhaps milwaukee needs a fonze 2.0? I am right there with you on Patsy cline. Her grave is right next to the funeral home which is also in the cememtary. They said the pennies are “for luck” but are uncertain as to how and why this tradition started