YAH YAPS! Travel Blog - YAHGLOBAL.com

The Traveler's Classic Scholastic Movie Tour!

February 28, 2011


Highschool, college, and university based movies have been and continue to be a big part of our lives. We watched them from adolescence into adulthood and saw ourselves within one or more of the characters portrayed on the big screen, identifying with them in one way or another. Almost as pertinent as the actors are the locations of these films. We picture ourselves in Molly Ringwald's shoes as she traipses through the hallway, gym or cafeteria of some nondescript high school that looked much like our own. We envision what we would do if we were in Robin William's predicament (whatever it may be) as he crosses the winter frosted green courtyard of some prestigious university grounds towards the gray column bookended doors. Of course, both of the above references are subjective to whom you identify with; a teenage girl the former, and middle aged man the latter, or vice versa perhaps?


To nail down the point, the locations of these films are as much a character as the actors cast, sometimes even more so. You may have been able to replace Matt Damon or Jesse Eisenberg (albeit to the detriment of both Good Will Hunting and Social Network) but you darn sure could not have used another location in place of Harvard if either film were to work both critically and at the Box Office. The setting set the tone for each and no elaborately decorated warehouse on the back lot of Universal Studios could replicate that.


When something has such a positive impact on our psyche, we desire to revisit the experience as much as possible which is why we watch these movies over and over again on a lazy Sunday afternoon when nothing appears to be on. We stumble upon some random channel to find Breakfast Club playing once again, and we watch it for the 99th time. Trekkies have conventions to attend across the world since flying to space isn't an option, but what are we more grounded individuals to do to get a more physical fix of the flicks we love? While most of us will never get the opportunity to meet any of the stars of our favorite scholastic movies we can do something very tangible about getting up close & personal with those very films.


YAHglobal.Com has put together a list of some notable schools across North America where some of the most popular movies of the aforementioned genre have taken place and used as actual locations for filming. If you are feeling especially inspired and have the resources to do so, you can create a summer vacation itinerary and visit them all. That would make for one amazing themed photographic collage and you will almost be guaranteed a guest editorial spot here on YAHglobal. For the more frugal, if you happen to be visiting any of the below listed cities in the near future, you can make a point out of stopping by the relevant educational institution within close proximity. Eitherway, we think we've come up with yet another cool excuse for you to travel and see the world, and there is no better form of higher learning than that.


1. Harvard University - Good Will Hunting (1997), Social Network (2010), and more
1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA



Pretty much every corner of Harvard has been used in film so you will recognize what is relevant to you once on campus. One of the most notable areas is the Eliot House (Old School, Legally Blonde, Euro Trip, Chasing Liberty, and Social Network) so you may want to concentrate on that location. If you prefer to go the guided route, tours are actually available and FREE of charge for individuals. Groups of over 15 must reserve ahead of time by emailing info_center@harvard.edu. The tour walks you through Harvard Yard and is led by students who will run through the great history of this institution with additions of interesting anecdotes and keep you up to date with current events.


2. Glenbrook High School Breakfast Club (1985), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
2300 Shermer Rd. Northbrook, Chicago, IL




Two of the biggest high school movies of all time were filmed in part at Glenbrook, although the interior scenes were shot at a nearby location – Maine North High - which has since been closed down and re-opened as a police station. Nonetheless, Glenbrook offers prime photo opportunities from the exterior where you can mimic Ferris picking up girlfriend Sloane from the steps of their school before the day of adventure begins. But the real money shot lies on the football field of Glenbrook where the original “fist pump” took place when Judd Nelson's character John Bender raises his arm in victory. Given that it is an actual high school, don't go poking around inside or during school hours as you just may end up at the old Maine North High building, behind bars.


3. Van Nuys High School Grease (1978), Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) and more
6535 Cedros Avenue, Van Nuys, CA




Van Nuys High has served as a home to two of the original high school movies Grease (innocent) and Fast Times at Ridgemont High (not so innocent) and Ridgemont's mascot was the very same as Van Nuy's, a wolf, which remains on the field today. At least two generations will have a soft spot for either movie if not both and thus it is worth visiting. Again, this is a high school so keep your snooping after school hours and outside and whatever you do, don' t take your photos from within a tinted window van across the street. The excuse won't hold up well in court.



4. University of Oregon Animal House (1978)
1585 East 13th Avenue, Eugene, OR




In the same manner that Grease and Fast Times at Ridgemont High sparked a slew of high school movies, Animal House did the same for the college/university genre. Before then, university Deans were a well liked and respected bunch, now they are considered to be the bane of everyone's collegiate existence. The U of O is a definite must visit to see Animal House campus locations in person. The actual residence depicted as the Delta House was home of the Psi Deuteron chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity until 1967 when it closed down and demolished soon after from disrepair (must have been a good party). In recognition of its legacy, a plaque was embedded in stone commemorating the historic value of this location in regards to the classic college film. FREE 90-minute campus walking tours are offered each weekday at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. beginning on the first floor of Oregon Hall. On Saturdays, tours begin at 10:30 a.m. and leave from Oregon Hall.


Have you visited any of these schools? Did we miss any important ones relevant to the topic? If so, let us know by leaving a comment below!


Wish You Were Here,  Editor – YAHglobal.Com

post by : Editor - YAH Yaps


Give Authentic Souvenirs A Shot

February 07, 2011


Las Vegas didn't stand a chance. It fell in what appeared to be slow motion down to the tiles and shattered into a multitude of pieces leaving blue glass shards that formed a nondescript pattern on the floor. It would have looked kind of cool if not for being so tragic. This morning I was reaching for the Cheerios, which I keep beside my "Cities I've Been To" shot glass collection in a not-so-feng-shui manner and in a brief moment of early morning carelessness sent Las Vegas to join Venice Beach, Atlanta, Seattle, San Diego, Honolulu and countless of others in the souvenir afterlife. I removed the box of Cheerios for good and realized the "collection" was down to just two; Jamaica (caption reading "Everyting Irie Mon") and Huntington Beach, CA ("Surf City USA"). It now looks like some post apocalyptic shot glass wasteland with two lone survivors left to fight the dust bunnies and film that collects in every cupboard found above the kitchen stove.


These were the only souvenirs I bothered to collect over the years, a perennial trait of one's inner bachelor. Photographs of travels have gone missing in albums packed away with every change of apartment and who bothers to convert every single digital pic from camera to document folder or hard drive? SD cards are our new photo albums and those too are misplaced in day to day shuffling. "Hawaii 78" t-shirts go from club wear to gym wear to home sick wear to window cleaning rag to the garbage pail. Postcards, boarding pass and baggage claim stubs end up in recycling bins (right?). Seashells became makeshift bathroom soap holders and eventually stained beyond repair. All I had left to prove I've been anywhere were those shot glasses. If aliens came to earth today, commandeered me and my condo for analysis they would think I've only been to Jamaica and Huntington Beach, CA. It could be worse I suppose.


Starting today, well, starting with my next journey, I will begin collecting items from locales worth collecting. No more "Made in China" stamps will exist on tags or the bottoms of housewares purchased in another land unless of course I'm actually in China. I will put together a collection made by the weathered hands of people in that land. Local artisans, crafts people, and mom & pop shopkeepers will reap the benefits of my souvenir travel budget. My home will display regional paintings, ukuleles, canoe paddles, smoke pipes (unused of course), replica weaponry, hand carved bowls and pottery. Not only will I take extra special care of these mementos and have something to hand down and inspire my great grand children with (I plan on living a long time), I can leave each country, city, island and town with a sense of altruistic pride in that I helped support the true local community instead spending my loot at the government run airport gift shop.


What will become of my shot glass collection? For the sake of nostalgia I will not abandon poor Jamaica and Huntington Beach, CA. I will bend my new rule (already) and always include just one stop at the tacky gift shop to keep the legacy alive. Today I will head over to a craft store I heard about and purchase a case to house this collection, which will probably still go in the very same cupboard, but now protected from the elements (my elbow). The rest of the home will become a shrine to the fine works that the varying people's of the world deemed worthy of creation in their workshops or ocean front painting easel so that I have something to take away from their land, a beautiful memory of time spent, albeit a time far too short.

Wish You Were Here,  Editor - YAHglobal.Com



Below are short and admittedly somewhat arbitrary tips and references of where to find authentic souvenirs from destinations on our YAHglobal.Com network. Please support local business when you can and avoid tourist trap shops that sell you things you will regret almost immediately upon your return home.

Honolulu, HI
- Find out where to locate authentic Hawaiian products here


- One of the best places in all of Mexico to find quality authentic goods is from within Guadalajara. Although distance wise it might be like saying to go to New York for great U.S.A souvenirs when your trip is to Florida, but we're just giving you a glimpse as to where one should go if their focus was a Mexican shopping expedition or even for import/export purposes. Guadalajara's Central district as well as Casa de las Artesanias de Jalisco, located close to the Parque Agua Azul is very popular with visitors. On Sundays, Mercado El Baratillo flea market, near Javier Mina is a major destination point for local crafts and the like. Suburbs such as both Tonala and Tlaquepaque, a mere 9 miles from Guadalajara city centre are also great bargain hunting zones.


Major metropolitan - U.S.A/Canada
- Pay attention to upcoming craft fairs and weekly flea markets that gather local artisans specializing in works that convey a sense of the city they live in. Otherwise, if you see big regional flags, license plates and stereotypical mascots in the windows, keep walking. 

post by : Editor - YAH Yaps