Sesame Street: Watch as New York City names road after groundbreaking children's TV showComments
Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street? The answer, finally, is yes after a New York City street is renamed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking children's show.
West 63rd Street, between Central Park West and Broadway, will now officially – and permanently – be known as Sesame Street.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday unveiled the new street sign – with the help of Sesame Street stars including Oscar the Grouch, Grover, Big Bird, Elmo and Bert.
"It's really this kind of amazing thing," marvelled Bert. "Now when people ask 'How do you get to Sesame Street?', I'll just point right over there."
Elmo echoed his enthusiasm, saying: "Elmo is excited. Yeah, we just named 63rd and Broadway Sesame Street. It's official."
The series, often credited as a pioneer in programming which combines education with entertainment, reaches children in 150 countries and in 70 languages. It has from the outset featured characters from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, reflecting the diversity of its New York City setting, and last year introduced its first autistic character – a puppet named Julia.
A willingness to tackle difficult subjects for young children – the show did a special episode on dealing with grief when the actor Will Lee who played regular character Mr Hooper died – and a healthy dose of controversy over the years (the sexuality of roommates Bert and Ernie being one recent example), plus Jim Henson's puppetry, has ensured the show's status as a cult favourite over the decades.
Mayor de Blasio touched on its cultural significance as he thanked the crowd for coming, saying: "This is a labour of love for all of us. We're here because we believe in what Sesame Street means and what it's meant for half a century, what it's done for our children.
"A lot of us raised our kids with the help of Sesame Street and it made them better, stronger, more self-confident. So this is something to celebrate today."
While the Waze navigational app announced it will now recognise Sesame Street as a location and provide accurate directions, Sesame Workshop president Jeffrey Dunn said: "We also think Sesame Street is as much a metaphor as it is a physical location.
"Wherever people treat people with respect and welcome people and friendship, that's also Sesame Street too."