New Yorkers will now be able to tell folks how to get to Sesame Street thanks to Mayor Bill de Blasio and the friendly neighbors of 63rd Street in Manhattan.
The city renamed the West Side of 63rd Street, which is home to the muppet workshop, in honor of the classic childrens' show which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
“Since 1969, Sesame Street has been a quintessential part of New York’s identity and now the city will honor the organization by renaming West 63rd Street and Broadway ‘Sesame Street’ on May 1st,” the show posted on its official Facebook page.
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Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Elmo, The Count, and other recognizable Sesame Street characters joined de Blasio and City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal at Wednesday's unveiling. “Sesame Street changed this country. And for everyone who has been a part of it, I hope you feel that – that what you’ve done has been profoundly important,” de Blasio said in a statement. “You know, we focus a lot in this city on early childhood education but long before that, Sesame Street was helping this entire country to know how much we can achieve if we reached out to kids in their earliest years. And Sesame Street did so much to help people realize those young minds – the potential of those young minds, that they could be reached early.”
The city temporarily renamed a street to honor the show's 40th anniversary in 2009, but Wednesday’s celebration was a permanent installment.
“A lot of us up here raised our kids with the help of Sesame Street and it made them better, stronger, more self-confident,” de Blasio said. “So, this is something to celebrate today.”
Sesame Street reaches kids in 150 countries and 70 languages, according to its website. The show is celebrating its anniversary with events all year long, including a 10-city national roadtrip that will kick off on June 1 in New York City.
“This summer’s road trip will demonstrate the power of media to engage and teach – something Sesame Workshop has focused on from the very beginning,” said Steve Youngwood, Sesame Workshop’s President of Media and Education and Chief Operating Officer. “As we celebrate our decades of impact and look ahead to the next 50 years, Sesame Street’s timeless lessons remain the same: Everyone, no matter who they are or where they are from, is equally deserving of respect, opportunity, and joy.”