In 2002, there was a great deal of hype about the dedication of a statue of Mary Richards on the Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. As it did at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City (where a statue of Honeymooners bus driver Ralph Kramden was erected), cable television channel TVLand came up with the very brilliant idea of placing a statue of Mary Richards joyously throwing her tam into the air near the exact spot Mary Tyler Moore actually did in the opening credits of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I was following this piece of news for months when I found out that the actual dedication of the statue was to take place on May 8, 2002 in downtown Minneapolis. This was, I concluded, the perfect time for Mark and I (not to mention best friend Jim from NYC) to head to the Midwest and take in the sights and sounds. This trip, of course, would include a complete Mary Tyler Moore Show tour of Minneapolis landmarks presented in the opening credits of the show. I didn't miss any of them. Not to mention, I got up at 4:00 am in the cold, pouring rain to get a good spot at the statue's debut, where Mary herself was on hand to unveil the statue. It was incredibly fun and nostalgic and I was even on the local Twin Cities news as the goofy guy from San Francisco who traveled all the way to chilly Minneapolis to witness this monumental event. All in all, an experience I will never forget. Here are my pics from the Mary Richards leg of my Minneapolis grand tour.
Here I am standing in front of the "apartment house" that Rhoda,
Phyllis and, of course, Mary called home. Apparently, the previous owners
of the house were tired of people like me stopping in front if it and snapping
pictures, so they changed to color of the house from the classic white to
brown to throw us off the track. You didn't think that would stop me, did
you? I have numerous pictures of this great house. And this is where the film
crew for WCCO-TV found me
and asked if I would be interviewed
for that night's 5:00 newscast.
A direct view of "Mary's apartment".
Lake of the Isles. The park where a strolling Mary Richards is passed by two joggers.
The WJM Building. Well, its real name is Midwest Plaza, but I can pretend
Office workers with a sense of humor, I'm sure, knew how much I would appreciate the "WJM-TV" sign in the window of Midwest Plaza.Thanks, guys!
Inside the atrium of IDS Center, a landmark Minneapolis skyscraper in and around which many scenes were filmed for the show's opening credits, is a "Building History" kiosk display. Before the dedication of the new statue across the street, this display was the first to memorialize one of the most famous events to take place in the city.
Mary does some window shopping in the opening credits. Only back in the 1970's,
this store was Mary Jane Shoes. Now it is Badiner Jewelers.
Overlooking the IDS Center's Crystal Court atrium is the restaurant where Mary and a male friend have a friendly lunch. The restaurant, Basil's, accomodates fans like me by offering the Mary Tyler Moore table. Unfortunately, we didn't get to eat lunch there, but I did see it from across the atrium.