“Physical Graffiti” Cover, New York City, NY

LZ

To a lot of people, this is just a picture of two brownstones. But Led Zeppelin fans will immediately recognize them from the cover of “Physical Graffiti,” the group’s sixth album that was critically acclaimed and sold 8 million copies.  The opening scene of the Rolling Stones’ “Waiting on a Friend” video was also filmed here. The buildings are in an area of the East Village in Manhattan that is a cultural hub, lined with stores, restaurants, clubs, hotels, and theaters. The street has appeared on albums, in lyrics, and in TV and film. Visited November 2008.

Location: 96-98 St. Mark’s Place (8th Street), between First Avenue and Avenue A

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World’s Largest Big Mac, North Huntingdon, PA

Big Mac

“Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickle, onions on a sesame seed bun” — and it’s 14 feet tall. The World’s Largest Big Mac is inside a McDonald’s located along the historic Lincoln Highway in North Huntingdon, Pa., just south of Pittsburgh. The restaurant also houses a Big Mac Museum, featuring items such as bobbleheads, Big Mac packaging through the years, and old equipment that once helped make the sandwich that launched an advertising and food craze. According to Roadside America, the museum was opened in 2007 on the 40th anniversary of the birth of the Big Mac. RA explains the restaurant isn’t the actual birthplace of the famous double-decker sandwich, however; that honor goes to another McDonald’s located in nearby Uniontown run by the same family. The North Huntingdon location is right off the Pennsylvania Turnpike, so it gets more traffic. I wonder what’s in that special sauce, anyway? Visited December 2008.

Location: 9061 Route 30, one-half mile west of the I-76 Irwin exit

“Mary Had a Little Lamb” Schoolhouse, Sudbury, MA

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The Redstone School is reportedly where Mary Sawyer and her little lamb went in the famous nursery rhyme (based on a true story). Henry Ford moved the schoolhouse from its original location in Sterling, Mass., to its current site in Sudbury, Mass. Long before his Greenfield Village became a reality in Dearborn, Mich.,  Ford purchased the property in Sudbury in the hopes of creating a living museum of American history. Also on the grounds are:

Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, a historic stagecoach stop that claims to be the country’s oldest operating inn. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow immortalized the inn in his  “Tales of a Wayside Inn,” a book of poems published in 1863.

Longfellow’s Grist Mill, built in 1929, was used by Pepperidge Farm for many years and it still grinds corn meal and flour for use at the inn, making it the oldest operational grist mill in the Northeast. 

Martha-Mary Chapel, built by Ford and named for his mother and mother-in-law, was built from trees damaged in a 1938 hurricane. It is a popular filming location for movies.

Visited August 2014

Location: Wayside Inn Road (begins and ends off Route 20/Boston Post Road)

World’s Largest Bug, Providence, RI

Big Blue Bug

This giant termite, known as the Big Blue Bug or Nibbles Woodaway (get it?), is quite the landmark in Rhode Island’s capital city.  It has been featured in movies, on TV, and even on the state’s lottery ticket.  At 9 feet tall and 58 feet long, it is reportedly the world’s largest bug.  New England Pest Control erected the Big Blue Bug on its roof in 1980; the exterminating business changed its name to Big Blue Bug Solutions in 2012.  The bug was named Nibbles as a result of a contest in 1990.  Visited August 2014.

Location: Big Blue Bug Solutions is located at 161 O’Connell St.  The bug can be seen along an elevated portion of I-95, just south of the interchange with I-195 (making it a bit tricky to take a picture!).