Field of Dreams, Dyersville, IA

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“Is this heaven? “No, it’s Iowa.” So begins the closing exchange between a father and son in the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams.” The movie set is located off paved and gravel roads that wind through Iowa cornfields. The baseball field looks so much as it did in the movie, one can picture the legendary players entering the field through the surrounding corn stalks. The house also looks exactly as it did in the movie; however, it’s private. You can wander around the ball field for free though. Visited June 2015.

Location: 28995 Lansing Road

“The Seven Year Itch” Subway Grate, New York City, NY

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On a September night in 1954, one of the most iconic scenes in American cinema was filmed at this location for the movie “The Seven-Year Itch.” In the film, Marilyn Monroe and her co-star are leaving a theatre when she hears a subway train coming and utters, “Oh, do you feel the breeze from the subway? Isn’t it delicious?” As she steps on the subway grate, her sexy white pleated halter dress billows up around her revealing, well, a lot for the 1950s.

The scene was shot at 1 a.m., but that didn’t keep thousands of fans away from the New York City street. Monroe’s husband, Joe DiMaggio, was present for the filming and reportedly wasn’t too happy about his wife’s display. The couple was divorced shortly thereafter. The film’s director, Billy Wilder, had to reshoot the scene numerous times because of crowd noise. Eventually, the street was replicated back in Hollywood and the scene was reshot. Many sources say this was Wilder’s plan all along and that the New York City filming was a publicity stunt.

This image of Monroe has become part of her legacy and is recognized by several generations. One poll rated it as the No. 1 most iconic fashion moment of all time. It has been replicated in films, photos, sculpture, and even dolls (you can have your own Barbie® version for $100 at Amazon.com!). The movie’s costume designer, William Travilla, stored the dress after Monroe died and it wasn’t seen again until after his death. Eventually, legendary actress Debbie Reynolds bought it for her Hollywood Motion Picture Museum. She referred to it as “the most famous costume of all” (Reynolds’ comments begin at 1:55). When the museum went bankrupt, the dress was auctioned for $4.6 million in 2011.

Oddly enough, Monroe’s pose of the white dress blowing up around her waist was not even in the film; it was considered too racy for the time. Only her legs and facial reactions are shown.  Visited April 2015.

Location: On Lexington Avenue at the southwest corner of the intersection with 52nd Street, in front of Le Relais de Veniuse, a French restaurant (look for the red awnings)

 

“Physical Graffiti” Cover, New York City, NY

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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

World’s Largest Big Mac, North Huntingdon, PA

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“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