From Sesame Street to Greenwich Village: Traveling with the Cookie Monster

Some stories write themselves. This is one of them.

Driving into Manhattan one day recently, the NPR station was featuring their popular interview program called ‘From Scratch’.

Moderator Jessica Harris was talking to Joan Ganz Cooney She’s co-founder of the Children’s Television Workshop, which is now known as Sesame Workshop, a name change that seems quite fitting considering the Sesame Street legacy that she helped create.

I recall listening to Ms. Cooney’s recollections of Sesame Street with a marketers interest of course since her behind the scenes stories of the TV programs and all the related books and other merchandising items connected to the franchise definitely made for super successful package. From Bert and Ernie, to the Cookie Monster, the characters were, and still are, continually popular throughout the world.

So I was arriving at my Greenwich Village destination just as the NPR radio interview was about to conclude. Perfect timing. Finding a parking spot was next. There’s one– right on McDougall Street off Bleecker. Luckily, someone just pulled out as I pulled into the last spot on the block and noticed that just as I was parking, a black van pulled up to double park on the narrow street.

With thoughts of the Sesame Street NPR interview in my mind, I got out of my car and watched as the driver of the black van opened his rear hatch door revealing what I thought was some sort of mirage.

It was a huge Cookie Monster.

Standing on the sidewalk by my car, I watched the man carefully lift this heavy Cookie Monster out and gently place it on an outdoor table by a restaurant. I couldn’t resist asking a few questions (and taking a picture). Turns out, the Cookie Monster was edible, made from scratch and baked to perfection to be gobbled up at a surprise birthday party for a thirty-year old young woman who was known to be a big Sesame Street Cookie Monster fan.

From hearing an NPR Joan Ganz Cooney interview to seeing a real live edible Cookie Monster making its debut on a New York City Greenwich Village Street. The scene couldn’t have been staged any better.

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