NYU Alumni 


The Reel World

A pop culture lover had an idea and decided not
to sit on it

When Gadi Harel (STEINHARDT ’93) moved into Los Angeles’s Hancock Park neighborhood in 2011, he had no clue that the Cunninghams’ Happy Days home was right behind his own. After years in L.A., “It was the most exciting Hollywood encounter I’d had,” Harel recalls. “Fonzie lived above that garage!”

A friend, charmed by Harel’s exuberance, then suggested a visit to the Brady Bunch house in Studio City. “That one blew my mind,” says the Israel-born, Princeton-raised 42-year-old, who started wondering where his other favorite characters had lived. Harel decided: “If I find 100 addresses, I’ll make an app.”

He found far more than that—Reel Estates (99 cents) now boasts 600 locations and counting, sprinkled from coast (Madeleine’s San Francisco apartment in Vertigo) to coast (the Jersey Shore house). When the actual (Pasadena) and fictional (Ossining, New York) coordinates conflict, as with the Draper residence on Mad Men, both are listed. Users can search by title or let the “Map Me” feature surprise them with a nearby hot spot. Pop culturalists will especially love the “trivia” button (example: three Manhattan buildings were necessary to create Glenn Close’s loft in Fatal Attraction).

Harel is best known for co-directing the cult horror hit Deadgirl, so it’s no surprise that two of his favorites are the dwellings in A Nightmare on Elm Street and Poltergeist. “It’s exciting to find a new one,” says Harel, who thanks crowdsourcing for tips. Conversely, those wild goose chases can be buzz kills. Bummer in point: “I spent months looking for the Tanner house from Alf [supposedly in the San Fernando Valley], only to find out that the actual home [in Brentwood] no longer exists.”

Helly Guerre