The World’s Best Cup of Coffee!

Many, many moons ago (must’ve been late 2013/early 2014), I spent countless hours trying to track down one of the most memorable locations from Will Ferrell’s Christmas cult classic Elf — the coffee shop, labelled in the film as the “World’s Best Cup of Coffee”.

So I had a first hint. An address number. Starting with that, I scanned almost every single street in New York City, where the entire film (or so it seemed at the time) was shot and came up empty handed.

A second hint I’d noticed: a storefront going along the lines of ‘*unknown* DRUGS’ in the reflection of a window in that sequence, so a store standing on the other side of the street.

Still nothing.

It’s only recently, in July of 2021 that a visitor pointed me in the right direction: Though it is still unknown if it was a real coffee shop, the featured location wasn’t anywhere near Manhattan. It was on the other side of the continent, in another country. The neverending mystery was solved. I traveled back in time as far as I could via Google Street View on Hastings St. in Vancouver, Canada — in 2012. And sure enough, I could spot KNOWLTONS DRUGS’s storefront on the other side of the street properly this time!

Nostalgia

I don’t know about you, but to me, movies are like music in a way: they have the ability to have you remember a specific moment in your life when you consumed them. Nostalgia tends to hit you hard.

My latest addition, Labor Day sure does strike it home on a personal level…

Junction City Prison.. as seen in “Brubaker”

Junction City served as a backdrop for Robert Redford’s 1980 film Brubaker. The fictional¬†Wakefield State Penitentiary was in reality known as the Junction City Prison. The correctional center had closed two years before filming began, in 1977.

Unfortunately, it has been torn down since. The structure lasted a century before being demolished sometime in 2005. It stood on South Adock Road, as seen on the map.

Juliet Mills and daughter back to Naples, 45 years later.

Billy Wilder is undubitably one of the greatest film directors of all-time, and his lifetime accolades speak for themselves: as either a writer and/or director, his movies have received a total of 21 Oscar nominations, in a 27-year span, from 1940 to 1967.

His timeless classics such as Double Indemnity, Sunset Blvd. and Some Like It Hot immediately come to mind whenever Wilder’s name is brought up. However, there are gems to be found in his work, one of them is Avanti!, which he made in the early 70s.

Avanti! was made in the small community of Ischia, in Naples, Italy, starring Jack Lemmon and Juliet Mills. Mrs. Mills’ daughter, Melissa, recently reached out to me to inform that they’ve actually made the trip back to Ischia a short while ago.

45 years ago, Avanti! (precisely, during the summer of 1972), was being made and Mrs. Mills must have made an impression because some people did recognize her all these years later, one of them being the (still to this day) owner of the Grand Hotel Excelsior, Mrs. Lidia Fiorentino


*(Mrs. Fiorentino on the right)

Even a stuntman in the film (now an employee of the hotel) recognized the actress. The Hotel itself has barely changed, it still bears a familiar shape.

Mrs. Mills went back to the place where her character, Mrs. Piggott, met with Jack Lemmon’s Wendell Armbruster Jr., what then posed as a morgue. Unchanged too.


*Mrs. Mills with her daughter Melissa.

For old times’ sake, why not have minstrels sing Core ‘ngrato?

… and enjoy the beautiful view while we’re at it?

*Many thanks to Mrs. Caulfield for the story & pictures.

Did You Know?

The Simpsons has been for a while, the longest running cartoon show of all-time in the U.S.. The yellow-skinned family lives at 742 Terrace Evergreen, in Springfield. Springfield, where? We were never told. What you may not know is that a real-life replica of the house was built in Henderson, NV, almost twenty years ago. The colors, initially similar to the ones in the cartoon, had to be changed due to the local homeowner’s association rules. Such a shame!

This house is located at 712 Red Bark Lane, as shown below.