Driving around Los Angeles, you may have a sense of deja vu when you pass 11122 Dilling St. in Studio City. Here is the house where Mike and Carol Brady lived with their six children, their dog, Tiger and their housekeeper, Alice. Sometimes cousin Oliver was there too.
The Brady Bunch house was sold to HGTV for $3.5 million and subsequently renovated by the original Brady kids. Former N’Sync member, Lance Bass, had put an offer on the home, but it was turned down when someone said they wanted the house at any cost.
After The White House, it is the second most photographed house in the United States. The house at 11222 Dilling St. was only used for the exterior shots. The interior of the Brady abode was done on a soundstage at Paramount Studios, in reality it only had 3 bedrooms.
During the renovation, the house was remodeled to look like the classic show. HGTV hosted a very Brady scavenger hunt for fans to help source the many bits of set decoration necessary. Among the props that were found were the Horse statue in the living room, a stuffed giraffe from the girl’s room and that flower covered couch in the sitting room.
Next time you’re in California, take a trip back to the 70’s and say hi to Alice.
As of 2021, there are 41 skyscrapers in New York City. Among those are Central Park Tower, the tallest residential building in the western hemisphere. If you’re in the market for a new apartment a small studio can cost $1,000,000. If you need some more space be prepared to pay as much as $95,000,000 for a 4 bedroom apartment.
In 2020, the tallest office tower in Manhattan opened. One Vanderbilt Place is the 4th tallest building in the city. This structure boasts a glass elevator that travels up the outside of the building and an amazing observation deck.
Out of all of the buildings in The Big Apple, The Chrysler Building is my favorite. It was constructed by the chairman of the Chrysler Corporation but funded the entire project himself so that his children could inherit it. It was the tallest building in the city for only 11 months, losing out to the Empire State Building. Among it’s ornaments are gargoyles, 1929 Chrysler radiator caps and American eagles.
When visiting Times Square, it’s very important to keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings. With 350,000 pedestrians visiting every day, the streets get very crowded and attract a lot of individuals looking to make a quick buck.
Unofficial costumed characters can be aggressive, pulling tourists to take pictures with them and expect a tip. These are not the same characters you might see at Disney World, so beware. Everyone from Elsa to Mickey and Minnie Mouse share the area with Bumblebee from transformers and The Incredible Hulk.
Other street performers try to get your attention even for a few moments in their quest to separate you from your money. Break Dancers, Musicians, Singers, Artists and Musicians can be found at all hours of the night.
Buddhist monks, evangelical preachers and others add to the overall chaos and mayhem that is Times Square.
Spending a few weeks in New York City, I had lots of time to explore. One of the most interesting places is Times Square. It’s loud, bright, colorful, smells funny and is full of unique individuals. Named after the New York Times, Times Square was their headquarters beginning in 1905. By the end of World War I, most theaters had moved uptown to Times Square. High-end hotels and restaurants attract over 50 million visitors a year. On any given day, almost 350,000 pedestrians cross Times Square.
In 1959 a statue honoring Broadway composer, George M. Cohan was erected in the square. His song “Give My Regards to Broadway” became a well know standard all over the world.
If you’re feeling a bit hungry on your way, you may stop at one of the dozens of food vendors operating out of their mobile carts. “Dirty water” dogs are a popular staple in Times Square.
You can find everything here from Mickey Mouse hats to Hershey’s Chocolate, M&Ms, Hard Rock, The MTV Store, The CBS Store, Sanrio and Sephora. No matter what you’re looking for, you are bound to find it here.
If you find yourself in the British Virgin Islands, make sure that Pusser’s is on your itinerary. As you wait for a seat in the Dining Room, grab a seat at the bar decorated with ship’s chandlery and Victorian stained glass lamps. Order a Painkiller and watch the world go by, you may even share a stool with a real pirate.
Travel in the time of Covid has been an adventure in and of itself. Flying over seas in a mostly empty plane and being locked in a hotel room for a 12 day quarantine made it all the more interesting. I was in the UK for work and had planned on staying in London for a few days, but the universe had other plans.
Even though London and the UK were emerging from lockdown, the country wasn’t necessarily open to foreign travelers. I had to cancel my plans and leave as soon as my work was done. Until, the flights home kept getting cancelled. In the end, I had about 4 hours in London the night before my flight.
I mapped out a route from Leicester Square down to St. Paul’s and set out to see as much as I could see.
To celebrate the 350th anniversary of Leicester Square, a series of statues depicting famous movie scenes were in stalled. If you aren’t looking for them, you may actually miss them.
A short distance from Leicester Square is where you can find Cecil Court. This hidden thoroughfare in London is the home to some of the most unique bookstores. Second-Hand books, Antiquarian books, even the residence of an 8 year old Mozart can be found on this narrow street. I didn’t get a chance to explore as most of the shops closed early or had yet to open from the lockdown.
Winter in Europe is a beautiful and magical time of the year. A dusting of snow covers the narrow streets as people scurry about preparing for the holiday. The city of Hamburg, Germany was one of the most wonderful Yuletide celebrations that I had seen. The city is home to over 30 different Christmas Markets where one can shop for unique gifts, enjoy homemade treats and have a warm mug of Gluhwein in a specially decorated mug. You pay a small deposit that gets returned if you give it back or you can choose to keep it.
The largest of the Christmas Markets is in the City Hall Square. The ornate Rathaus serves as a backdrop for rows and rows of holiday booths and carnival rides for the children.
You can find everything from hand carved Nativities, decorated gingerbread cookies, handmade Kissing Balls and miniature replicas of the city’s famous buildings. The shops are laid out on different “streets”, Handwerskgasse for homemade crafts, Naschgasse for sweets and Spielzeugggasse for children’s toys.
Santa Claus is well represented in Germany at Christmastime. In most of Germany, Der Weinachtsmann is Father Christmas or Santa. He didn’t appear in Germany until the 1800’s but that doesn’t make him less important to the season. The Jolly Old Elf makes an appearance over the heads of the market goers on his reindeer driven sleigh.
There are other Christmas Markets throughout the city and it’s impossible to see them all.
One of my favorite parts of any film studio is the backlot. The Warner Bros. Studio saw many classic films produced in their backlot. From Spiderman to Annie, used the famous Hennessy Street set.
Originally called Tenement Street, it was renamed Hennessy Street after Art Director Dale Hennessy. Hennessy was the Art Director for John Huston’s movie “Annie”. He redesigned Tenement Street to represent Annie’s New York city and the Orphanage where she lived.
If you saw the Movie “Gremlins” then you may recognize these steps down to the basement store where Hoyt Axton buys his son Gizmo. Unfortunately, the magical shop doesn’t exist at the bottom of the stairs.
The many fire escapes set the scene for Tobey Maguire’s and Kirsten Dunst’s upside kiss in “Spiderman” and Prince’s “Purple Rain” cover.
Around the corner from Hennessy Street you may see Hazzard County from “The Dukes Of Hazzard” where the Bo and Luke Duke would raise cain.
Even the Tanner Family from “Full House” have a house on the backlot. If you expect to find Uncle Jessie or Kimmy Gibbler hanging out on the front steps you will disappointed. It was only used once for a photo shoot and never appeared in the original series or the new version “Fuller House”. Even star Candace Cameron featured the fake Tanner House on her own Instagram.
There’s so much more to explore at The Warner Bros. Studio. For more information on tours check out this link below.