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In Ed's Neighborhood

You know, back when Ed was first airing, I wanted to live in Stuckeyville. It seemed to me that Stuckeyville was just what I wanted in a town: A nice main drag, a bowling alley, a park in the middle, nice neighbors. A pie shop, a bar. What a great place to live! Where could that be, I wondered? Not L.A., certainly, and not New York, because the color of the air was all wrong. Some place in Ohio or Illinois, I figured, just where the fictional Stuckeyville was set.

Then I found out Ed was filmed in my home state of New Jersey. Holy crap!

You know that shot in the opening credits sequence, the one where Ed is pulling into Stuckeyville and the camera cranes up and up, looking down this beautiful perfect American main street? That's Westfield, New Jersey, and about five inches to the right is Route 22, possibly one of the most congested highways in this great state -- and that's saying something. Houses in this wonderful slice of Americana, by the way, run easily up into the $2 million range. You can get a three-bedroom shack starting at $220,000. Ed's house, I find myself shouting at the TV, is probably over half a million bucks.

So it turns out I can't afford the American nirvana so effortlessly portrayed on Ed, at least not in this state.

Once I had the idea of performing an Ed pilgrimage, going to find Stuckeybowl (I got the street address from the Web) and visiting locations. A friend of ours, she knew a guy who drove a truck for the production company or whatever. I was going to pull some strings, find out when they'd be around, maybe try and catch up with the filming. Like that.

But then the show stopped being worth that kind of effort.

You know, I'm just a short distance away from being one of them loser fanboys.


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