Do you have Billy Joel stuck in your head yet? (I’m sure Michelle does!) This weekend, I had the pleasure of spending a great amount of leisure time walking around New York City, and was excited when I got the opportunity to drag my dear writing friend, Alissa, on a short but sweet “Muppet Tour”.
I first heard about this shop when I watched the documentary, Henson’s Place, a few weeks ago. The store was exclusively Muppets, Fraggle Rock, and Sesame Street merchandise, and was around from 1980-1993. In the documentary, there is a short clip of a child and their parent walking around the store. Wall-to-wall craziness. I think it’s probably better for my wallet that it is no longer around. The store hosted events, had characters walking around – much like The Disney Store on 55th & 5th (R.I.P.) Unfortunately the shop closed in 1993, and is currently home to Le Pain Quotidien, a teenie tiny bakery. No evidence of the Muppets having been there exists. But there are some edible beauties in the window.
Sidenote: Although it’s not even close to being the same, you can visit The Muppet Whatnot Workshop at F.A.O Schwartz at 5th Avenue and 58th Street.
And last, but not least 117 E. 69th Street, a stone throw from Muppet Stuff.
Jim Henson bought this studly townhouse in 1977 for $600,000 as a new headquarters after The Muppet Show began to hit the big time. Originally home to the New York Pharmaceutical Society, the building underwent extensive renovations before Jim moved in. Soon the place boasted Muppet wallpaper in the bathrooms (I need this) and an Ernie & Bert stain glass window, in addition to a lot of other Muppet decor.
Seems like Jim and I share a love for circular staircases… the one in the townhouse convinced him to buy the place. In 2005, Jim’s estate sold the townhouse for $12.4 million (quite a turnaround). According to curbedny.com, it was bought once again in March of this year for $23 million. A little rich for my blood. As of this weekend, there’s construction going on around the main entrance, and a lovely sign that says the building is under 24 hour surveillance. Don’t worry… I didn’t loiter too much. I just took pictures from across the street. (Like an innocent, crazy stalker.)
There you have it. Two moments in Muppet history right in my own backyard. If you are ever in these parts, maybe throw a little “Moving Right Along” on your iPod and take a gander.
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Check out DAPs Magic for their own Muppet Monday.