How have I been so wrong, yet…feel so right?
Welp! It happened! This morning I became aware of something that has left me confused and feeling…different. To sum it up: I found out that Hey Arnold! doesn’t take place in Brooklyn like I’ve thought for my entire existence. It takes place somewhere else which I will get to in a second, I just need to make a point real quick.
Alright, sooo, not to brag but I’m a born and bred New Yorker. I grew up on these streets! And to me, the streets in the cartoon seem very much BROOKLYN-Y.
I mean, there are yellow taxis.
There’s a famous skyline, and that looks like the random island in the East River and the FDR to me 🧐.
There are public school kids hanging around on a stoop. I was a public school kid and I hung out on a stoop!
This could literally be the place that’s around the corner from my apartment in Bushwick.
And I just figured that the people that lived in Arnold’s house were just a typical group of New York Weirdos™️. Kind of like an artist’s loft.
Buttt, after literally the fastest google search ever, I learned that it does not take place in Brooklyn. I shared this info with my friends at work.
No, DAVE!! It’s not Queens! It’s none of the five boroughs!!! Turns out, this fictional town is located SOMEWHERE IN WASHINGTON STATE. YAH! THE PNW!
Yep. I try not to be specific, since it's an amalgam of large northern cities I have loved, including Seattle (my hometown), Portland (where I went to art school) and Brooklyn (the bridge, the brownstones, the subway). It's a fictitious, unnamed city.
In 1998, in the episode “Road Trip,” Helga and her mom took a road trip to South Dakota. On their way home there was a billboard to the right that literally says “Welcome To Washington State.”
In 1996, in the episode “Wheezin Ed,” it’s mentioned that an Island called Elk Island is located in the Skookumchuck River. Even though that sounds made up, the Skookumchuck River actually exists. GUESS WHERE? Yeah, in Washington.
And in the 2001 episode “Old Iron Man,” it is mentioned that Arnold’s grandpa and his best friend Jimmy worked on the
Grand Coulee Dam together. Which is a real dam located in none other than the great state of Washington!