This summer, travelers will descend on U.S. landmarks historical, natural, and generally edifying. That’s all to the good, of course, but bear in mind that ours is not a country built exclusively on the high-minded and serious. In fact — ask around — some of the best known landmarks in the United States have achieved their notoriety because of events that never actually happened.
I’m speaking of movie settings, of course, places made immortal in movies by screenwriters, actors, actresses, the Hollywood machine. These are among the places that Pop Pilgrims will visit.
Pop Pilgrims is an online travel video series run by the A.V. Club, a sister publication to the The Onion. They’ll visit 12 cities, tracking down 36 pop culture landmarks. Not all are movie-related — pop culture includes television, books, music, after all — but of the nine that have aired so far, I think the movie-related videos are the most fun. Check out this San Francisco episode, which explores a key landmark in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo: Jimmy Stewart’s apartment on Lombard Street.
Other cities they’re visiting include New York, Chicago, Austin, New Orleans, Portland, Seattle, Washington DC, and Philadelphia — and they’re throwing it open to fans to nominate and vote on Pilgrim’s last stop. Check it out here, some of the suggestions are pretty funny. (“The pothole Bill Murry steps in over and over in “Groundhog Day”?!?) Since mine is a darker nature, I’m rooting for Mansfield Reformatory, Mansfield, OH, where the Shawshank Redemption was filmed.
Alison J. Stein
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