Winter’s only barely begun and already we are looking at a long couple of months to entertain ourselves as we are (mostly) stuck indoors. I see a lot of dress-up and performances in our future.
So…we did end up going to see the 40th Anniversary Sesame Street Christmas screening yesterday. It was painful though. First we had to get Mia out of bed, who insisted on coming even though she was lethargically not feeling well all day. Then we had to trudge through the pouring rain and navigate through ridiculous puddles for 5 blocks to the train station to get off 1 stop later near BAM. At least it wasn’t cold. But here comes the worst part. People, if you are buying movie tickets ahead of time with your credit card, please remember to double check, triple check, quadruple check that you have your wallet with that credit card on you when you pick up your tickets or else you’ll end up a jackass and pay $100 dollars to go to the movies with your family of 5. Sure, we could have turned around and gone home, because really, what idiot pays that much money to watch Sesame Street on the big screen? But given how much trouble it took to get there, I knew the only option was to purchase another set of tickets as we all stood around dripping in wet clothes.
And so was the $100 dollar Sesame Street Christmas special worth it? Yeah, kind of. Claudine didn’t freak out like she did on our first trip to the movie theater and she squealed with delight when she saw the Swedish Chef. Mia would periodically look over at me with a cheesy smile and squeeze my arm during schmaltzy feel good musical numbers. And me? I got to relive my childhood in the 70s moment all over again, something I seem to be doing a lot of this year.
Unlike the girls who actually didn’t watch a lot of Sesame Street, I totally grew up on that show, and watching it for the first time in a long time cemented the fact that Bert might totally be the best Muppet character of all time: neurotic, sarcastic, grumpy, ambiguous in so many ways (are Bert and Ernie “adults”?) and a total drama queen. Watching the main feature, “Christmas Eve on Sesame Street” may also have answered the age-old question “just where the hell is Sesame Street anyway?”. People, you know what? The gang got on a subway after their ice skating party and got off at 86th street. Say what? It wasn’t clear from the signs if it was East or West, but I always thought Sesame Street was downtown or in Brooklyn. So another thing about the old, original Sesame Street? It was a gritty place. Garbage can be seen on the subway platforms, the brownstones and buildings looked a little run down, trash cans, random oil barrels and crates littered the street, laundry was hanging out the windows. Awesome!! It wasn’t a sterile place. It felt kinda real and like what I remember living in high rise apartments in NY in the 70s to be like, but it didn’t erase any of the magic that was Sesame Street.
For me, childhood in the 70s consisted of these things: rollerskating, Sesame Street, Electric Company, the Donny & Marie Show, Michael and the Jacksons, Soul Train, the Bay City Rollers (anyone remember them? no one does…), What’s Happening (seriously might be my favorite nostalgic sitcom of all time), Wonderama and the Magic Garden. When we got home it just so happened that Spike Lee’s Crooklyn was on BET which continued the nostalgia train. I know I’m totally dating myself by now, but from my naive memories as a young child in the 70s, I don’t so much remember the crime, the Great Blackout of 1977, the Son of Sam, or the gas shortage crises. I just remember that the 70s were awesome. So I’ll continue to look back at that decade with rose colored glasses and hopefully catch some old episodes of What’s Happening somewhere. It was fun to time trip yesterday. Just wish it didn’t cost me 100 bucks.