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Sometimes it is not enough to simply watch our favourite shows, read interviews, reviews, spoilers, watch DVD commentaries, and stalk the stars. Sometimes we need to live inside them, by visiting the very same locations that the characters go to. Here’s our guide to making that dream happen.
What if I told you that you can hop a bus from the bustling mess of Railway Square in the heart of the city, and be in Summer Bay in just over an hour? While this seems like an idyllic sea change to make, in reality, you’d just be hopping across to ritzy suburb Palm Beach, home to the outdoor beach scenes on Home and Away. You’ll see the Surf Club and Alf’s (flamin’) Bait Store too, and you may also catch cast members filming there most days. There are official Home and Away tours that zero in on the actual filming schedules, or you can take your chances. Be prepared to befriend a bunch of Poms though – they love it at Summer Bay!
Monk’s in Seinfeld is the local coffee house that’s home to some of the most ridiculous and pointless conversations on the show’s history. In reality this place is actually named Tom’s Restaurant —located at 2880 Broadway, in the Morningside Heights neighbourhood — and is rather famous in its own right, being the inspiration for the famous Suzanne Vega song ‘Tom’s Diner.’ Monks? Tom’s Diner? Won’t anybody get the name right?
You’ll notice in Seinfeld the ‘Tom’s’ part of the sign is never visible, but the glowing red ‘Restaurant’ is instantly recognisable.
It’s there, emblazoned in our minds with the Golden Gate bridge, and Steph Curry’s shot arc as examples of the most singular and beautiful architecture of the San Francisco area. Of course, this might just be nostalgia talking, but who hasn’t dreamed of living in the Full House house? As with the Friends apartment — below — this modest two-story townhouse has an actual real-world value far outside the reaches of the characters that inhabit it, recently selling for $4 million. If you want to visit — or stand outside and gawk — the house can be found at 1709 Broderick Street in San Francisco.
Ray — aka the secret breakout character on HBO’s Girls — runs a cafe that is perfectly suited to his personality, Cafe Grumpy. Lena Dunham’s character, Hannah, lands a job in the cafe, which is how we were introduced to both the wonder of Ray and a very cute, very real cafe in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Grumpy is actually a chain with a number of locations around NYC, but it’s the Greenpoint location — actually named Cafe Grumpy — that fans flock to in order to take photos and then scuttle off, much to the amusement of the staff.
“It’s kind of silly to see someone want to take a photograph,” roaster Adam Crandall told the NY Daily News. “It’s comical. This has been our job long before the show ‘Girls.'”
The only part of Monica and Rachel’s cavernous apartment that rings true is that its exterior location is actually in Greenwich Village, where the show purports to also be set. The rest is complete fantasy though, as the outside of this rather drab high-rise would suggest, the actual apartments are cramped and dark – a world away from the spacious, inviting place that a chef and a Ralph Lauren exec in their 20s can somehow afford. To spy their apartment, look above the Little Owl cafe on the corner of Grove and Bedford St. If you want a photo, you may have to wait your turn, as this particular corner is often overrun with tourist groups and other savvy mappers.
Image: Google Maps
It’s quite possibly the most popular cul-de-sac in the world, and with Neighbours having beamed out to over eighty countries for three decades now, it’s not at all surprising that Ramsay Street is the destination for overseas and local tourists alike, hoping to catch a glimpse of Toadie and co.
The street is actually Pin Oak Court in Vermont, Melbourne, and they zealously guard the Ramsay Street signs that are put up each day before filming, such were the brazen souvenir-ings that took place.
There are official Neighbours tours, which take you to the location, as well as other places such as the Lassister’s complex, but you’ll be able to find it fairly easily with Google Maps – and for free, too. For the record, the interiors of each house are completely different – and shot on a set in nearby suburb Nunawading.
All it took for the cupcake craze to blow up in NYC was a thirty-second scene of Carrie and Miranda, sitting out the front of a bakery on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village, eating the delicious little treats. That bakery happened to be Magnolia Bakery, and overnight lines were snaked around the block, with SATC fans anxious to take a bite of Carrie and co.’s lifestyle.
“These girls had the means to do and buy whatever they wanted. They wore Manolo Blahnik shoes, they went out to the hot nightclubs and got Cosmopolitans. Anyone could afford a cupcake”, reasons head baker Bobbi Lloyd. “So anyone could come in the bakery, maybe not in a pair of Manolo Blahniks, but they could have Carrie’s experience by buying a cupcake for $3 at the time.”
Seems like a sound theory.
Although Kingsroad is a severely dangerous place in Game Of Thrones, the reality is a lot more serene. The ancient beech trees — planted back in the 1700s — line the road of Dark Hedges of Northern Ireland, which is public land to be wandered through for free. Of course, given the popularity of the series, this once-calm road has turned into a bit of a circus, although the ancient majesty of the beech trees will still give off an otherworldly feel – especially if you turn up dressed in character!
One of the very funniest moment in Breaking Bad was when a frustrated, angry Walter White hurled a pizza onto the roof of their family house, later retrieving it once the annoyance had passed. The actual house from the series is located at 308 Negra Arroyo Lane in Albuquerque, New Mexico and, as often happens when a TV show becomes massive, fans camped outside the place 24/7, forcing the owners to install security cameras.
Worse than this, fans decided to recreate the famous scene, and started tossing pizzas onto the roof. Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan clearly felt terrible about this particular part of his legacy, saying on a Better Call Saul podcast. “They’re throwing pizzas on roofs and stuff like that. Let me tell you: There is nothing original or funny or cool about throwing a pizza on this lady’s roof. It is just not funny. It’s been done before. You’re not the first.”
The final scene of the Sopranos is one of the most discussed, dissected, and divisive in television history, and if you want to relive it in real time, you’ll want to visit Holsten’s Brookdale Confectionery Ice Cream Parlor, which is in Bloomfield, New Jersey.
After James Gandolfini’s passing in 2013, they paid tribute to the late actor by keeping the Sopranos’ famous booth empty for thirty days, with a poignant ‘reserved’ sign. Nowadays you can sit there anytime throughout the week, although the official tour has a long-standing booking on Saturdays.
Posted by Nathan Jolly
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