Today is our first full day in New York City.
Our first activity was to catch the subway train from where we are staying in Brooklyn to Astoria so we could visit the Museum of the Moving Image. There are a great many subway lines in New York. They are all labelled with letters of the Alphabet and a few are labelled with numbers. The subway can be very confusing to use, so it is important to plan ahead so you can follow the signs to the correct platforms. Sometimes it is necessary to go down flights of stairs and up other flights of stairs to get to the platform you need or to reach the exit.
When we were walking from the train station in Astoria towards the Museum of the Moving Image, we passed the Kaufman Astoria Television studio! This is where Sesame Street is filmed! It is wonderful to be so close to the actual Sesame Street. Miss Hannaford used to watch Sesame Street twice a day when she was a little girl.
Next door is the Museum of the Moving Image. The museum is dedicated to the history of radio, film and television. They are also the home of a collection of puppets, props and artefacts from the history of the Muppets and Sesame Street. Unfortunately, the museum did not have any of the puppets on display as they are developing a new exhibition space, but they do have a wonderful collection of other objects on display.
We did get to see a couple of films from Muppet history that both of us had never seen before. The first film was Jim Henson’s experimental film Timepiece. Premiering in 1965, Timepiece is a short film at 9 minutes long and features many surrealist segments including Jim Henson painting a real elephant pink, animated shapes and colours, and Jim Henson flying past in a home-made flying machine.
The next surprise we enjoyed was seeing a special Jim Henson Legacy screening of The Muppets at Walt Disney World. Hosted by Craig Shemin, the president of the Jim Henson Legacy, the screening started with an episode of the Muppet Show that Miss Hannaford has never seen because it is not on DVD yet! The guest star Wally Boag was a Disneyland Legend who performed in the Golden Horseshow Revue for almost 40,000 shows. He was most famous for his Boagaloons- balloons twisted into animal shapes and for his slapstick comedy spitting out endless fake teeth.
The next film was the advertised screening, The Muppets at Walt Disney World. Unfortunately, we had to leave during the screening so we could get to our next exciting appointment.
Our biggest highlight of the day was a puppet making workshop at the famous Puppet Kitchen in New York. Having made many, many puppets, Miss Hannaford has never made a sock puppet from an actual sock!!! Miss Hannaford has wanted to visit the puppet kitchen for many years, but this is the first time she was able to visit the workshop. Over the 3 hours of the workshop, taught by Weston Long, Miss Hannaford added a red mouth, big eyes and arms to a purple sock. The original intention of the design was to make the puppet a cyclops with a big, single eye, but where the eye was placed, was turned into a trumpet-like snout.