Places where (almost) everybody you know has been

A long time ago, I was at the haunted mansion at Disney World. While I was standing (as instructed) at the dead center of the stretching room, it occurred to me that I was participating in an experience that was as darned close to universal as can be found.

The room is maybe 60 feet across, 100 feet tops. And it occurred to me that pretty much everybody I have ever known has been in that room - standing within 50 feet of my position - at least once in their lives. So have most of the people I will ever work with, and so will the unknown wom(e)n I will marry (if applicable).

I have been told that everyone who has ever lived was there when Moses brought the 10 commandments down from the hill, according to some beliefs (we say that we weren’t because we do not remember). Perhaps he delivered the slabs at the haunted mansion.

What other locations are like this? What springs to my mind:

  1. The 1/2/3/9 platform at Times Square. If you’ve visited New York, you’ve probably been there.
  2. The neon-and-mirrors corridor at Chicago O’Hare airport. Most people I know have been there at least once; I do not know if it’s still around though.
  3. The Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

This is most definitely more applicable to Americans… I’d also be interested to know about other secular meccas, where everybody on a given continent has probably been.


I’ve been to the Haunted Mansion at DW/MK and I’ve been to the Lincoln memorial. I have nto been to O’Hare or anywhere in NY.

I have also not been to LAX, since we flew into John Wayne when we flew to CA last year.

I can’t think of anymore secular meccas I might have visited, except various places in the Keys (Cheeseburger in Paradise, anyone?)

Haunted Mansion at Disney World? Nope - though I have been to DW, we didn’t do the Haunted Mansion.
The 1/2/3/9 platform at Times Square? Nope, though I have been to NY.

The neon-and-mirrors corridor at Chicago O’Hare airport? Nope, never been to O’Hare
The Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. ? Yep.
Hmmm…other secular meccas: The Empire State Building, perhaps.

For the people in the area I grew up in, as well as surrounding states: Rock City, Ruby Falls and the Incline Railway, but that wouldn’t be common to most people in the US.

A place where almost everybody I know has been?

A womb. It’s a mecca, I tells you.

A sure-fire place to run into everyone you’ve ever met: Dr. Mueller’s sex shop at the Frankfurt airport:smack:

Haunted Mansion at Disney World - (I went to the one in Disney Land) Yes.

The 1/2/3/9 platform at Times Square - (Too many times) Yes.

The neon-and-mirrors corridor at Chicago O’Hare airport - Yes.

The Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. - (With the perpetual pigeon on his head?) Yes.

LAX - Yes.

The Empire State Building - Yes.

I will raise you a…Fisherman’s Wharf - (Yes for me)

Haunted Mansion at Disney World - No. But I have been to the one at Disneyland.

The 1/2/3/9 platform at Times Square - No.

The neon-and-mirrors corridor at Chicago O’Hare airport - No.

The Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. - No.

LAX - Yes.

The Empire State Building - No.

Fisherman’s Wharf - Yes.

Anyone care to guess which side of the country I am from?

in front of a monitor?
“Fisherman’s Wharf” - I know of two. To which do you refer?

I’m thinking it would be difficult to get a “universal” list for people in the U.S., because the country’s just so darned big. I’ve never been to Disney World, for instance, although I’ve been to DisneyLAND. And while I personally have been to most of the NYC tourist spots, many people I know haven’t been east of the Mississippi. Around here, the Grand Canyon is a more common place to have been than the Statue of Liberty.

How about the St. Louis Arch? It’s in the middle there.

Disneyworld Haunted Mansion: Yes, once

Times Square 1/2/3/9 Platform: Yes, but only recently

Neon and mirrors corridor at O’Hare: Yes, at least a few times. But it’s the United terminal, and I hate United with a passion so I try to avoid it.

Lincoln Memorial: Yes, too many times for me to count. At least 10.

LAX: No. For all the places I’ve been to, I haven’t been to LA yet. I should go one of these days, I really want to. I’m thinking maybe working at the LA office for the Democratic candidate in the summer of 2004 (maybe even take a semester off as well, I have the credits for it) so I can spend time in the city.

Fisherman’s Wharf: Yep, once, on my family’s West Coast tour (sans LA).

St. Louis Arch: Yep, when I toured Washington University I went into the city too.

How about the Jersey Pike? Everyone I know has been unfortunate enough to have traveled on it at least once. We are 2 hours+ away.

Disneyland Haunted Mansion: Yes
the copy in Florida: No

Times Square 1/2/3/9 Platform: Yes, once. (I line in NYC.)
The Empire State Building: No.
WTC: Yes.

O’Hare: No

Lincoln Memorial: No

LAX: Yes.

Fisherman’s Wharf: Yes, once. (I’m from there.)

St. Louis Arch: No.

Jersey Pike? No.

This isn’t quite what you mean, but virtually all of my friends have at some point in their lives been Rocky or RenFaire freaks. When I mention having been part of the RHPS cast at the River Oaks theatre people always say, “When were you there? Maybe I saw you.” The reverse is true for working at Ren (I never did, but most of my friends did, and I visited their booth at some point, even if I didn’t know them at the time.)

Haunted House: Yes

LAX: Yes

FIshermans Wharf: yes

Times Square Platform: Yes

Empire State Building: Yes

Lincoln Memorial: Yes

WTC: Yes

For baby boomers, the Vietnam Memorial.

And being from Texas, I “remember the Alamo.”

I would say top has to be a tourist attraction, for sure:

In the US / Canada:

Statue of Liberty, NY
Empire State, NY
Sears Tower, Chicago
CN Tower, Toronto
The Space Needle, Seattle
Old Faithful viewing area
Grand Canyon lookouts Points

Outside the US:
Sydney Opera House / Harbour Bridge / Uluru (Ayer’s Rock)
Tower Bridge / Tower of London / London Eye
Giants Causeway (?) / Blarney Castle
Eiffel Tower
Duomo, Florence
Vatican / St. Peter’s, Rome (Biggest tourist attraction in Europe)
Wailing Wall, Jerusalem
Mecca (is there a central meeting place there?)

Just throwing some options out there to make the discussion a little more inclusive. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m Australian but I’ve never been within coo-ee of Uluru. Very few people I know have been there either. Actually, I can’t think of anyone, off the top of my head.

Trekked across the Harbour Bridge and visited the Opera House though.

But everyone I know from the UK / Ireland who has been to Oz has been there. :wink:
But I’m sure, as you say, Sydney Harbour has been seen by many more people than any other single place in Australia.

Haunted House: no

LAX: yes

FIshermans Wharf: yes

Times Square Platform: yes

Empire State Building: yes

Lincoln Memorial: yes

WTC: no

the Vietnam Memorial: yes

the Alamo: no

If we’re going to stick to the States, Cave of the Winds, Niagara Falls

Worldwide: the 2nd level of the Eiffel Tower, Paris

The strip in Las Vegas
(I live next to LAX and am not a big traveller).

This is an interesting topic, since it seems to be a lot more dependent on region than people would think. I’ve never been to Disney World or NYC (there goes the regional thing, I guess), but I have been to LAX and O’Hare. The first thing that popped into my mind, though, was Niagra Falls. Literally, everyone I know has been there, but that could be because I’m from the Northeast.