Northern Exposure...


Permalink 07:12:45 pm, by daryl Email , 634 words, 50183 views   English (US)
Categories: Fun, Etc.

Northern Exposure...

Remember "Northern Exposure"--the TV show that ran in the early 1990's? If you're as old as I am (41) you probably do. I used to watch the show now and again back when it originally aired, but I've had even more fun watching on DVD now that it's available that way.

Roslyn Cafe
The real Roslyn Cafe--the ornate painting on the side of the building features prominently in the Northern Exposure intro and in many episodes.

I had the opportunity to drive to Roslyn, Washington with my folks last week--while taking a few vacation days off work after Labor Day. We figured it would be fun to see the setting first-hand and maybe even track down some of the buildings and locations where filming took place.


The Northern Exposure story was set in Cicely, Alaska but was filmed in and around Roslyn, in central Washington state. It revolved around a young doctor from New York City--Joel Fleischman, played by Rob Morrow (now the star of CBS's "Numb3rs" drama)--just out of school, contractually obligated to serve as the doctor in a small and quirky town in southern Alaska.

Northwest Mining Company
The Northwest Mining Company building served as Dr. Fleischman's makeshift office in the show. It's now a gift shop, but the original sign (seen in the show) remains.

Dr. Joel Fleischman
The doctor's name was added to the window of the shop that would serve as a medical office on the show. The writing remains on the window of the current-day gift shop.

One of the show's more interesting characters, Chris Stevens, broadcast an eclectic mix of music and philosophy over the local AM radio airwaves. The KBHR studio (along the main street through town, just as it appears on the show) has been left with props intact--vinyl records, books, a microphone. The town seems to welcome visitors' interest in the 17-year-old TV show once filmed there.

The street-level studio of KBHR, home of the Chris In The Morning Show.

Across the street from Chris's radio station is The Brick, a local eatery and pub run by Holling Vincoeur and girlfriend Shelly in the show. It's more a pub than an eatery in real life--the interior shots must've been filmed elsewhere.

The Brick, from across the street
The Brick, a local pub, appears about the same on the outside, but smaller inside.

The Brick
The Brick's neon sign over the front entrance.

Life in the real Roslyn, Washington originally revolved around coal mining in the late 1800's and early 1900's. It's estimated that a majority of the coal being mined back then remains underground, untapped. That which was removed rolled through tunnels on small trains like the one in the picture below.

Coal train
Coal, loaded into a small train car like those used in coal mines 100 years ago.

The trip was a lot of fun. We made a large round-trip loop that involved the Columbia River Gorge and up into central Washington in the morning, then over the Cascade mountains through Snoqualmie Pass in the late afternoon, eventually to I-5 near Everett and south to Portland again.

If you're interested in the show, just google "northern exposure" for fan sites and Wikipedia articles. Make plans now: there's a 20-year reunion already in the works, with some of the cast planning to be in attendance!

"Moose Chick" fan site--lots of good information and links.
Wikipedia article about Northern Exposure
IMDB (links to actor bios, etc.)


UPDATE (11:35am Sept. 15, 2007):
Found the Northern Exposure intro on YouTube--interesting to compare with the photos I took and the town of Roslyn as I saw it. My folks and I enjoyed some great pizza and garlic cheese bread at the Village Pizza (seen in the intro below). The rustic building, terrific pizza and warm, friendly staff made it the perfect addition to our day in!

Comments, Pingbacks:

Comment from: Carol Omer [Visitor] Email ·
LOVE this photo essay...thankyou very much for sharing!
My partner and I have fully immersed ourselves in Northern Exposure episodes after getting the dvds and just love the quality of the writing, the set, the environment...
Wine, chocolate and 4 episodes of Northern Exposure is a great night in!!

Great to hear about your trip! We will get there one day I am sure.

Carol Omer
PermalinkPermalink 04/28/08 @ 16:47
Comment from: daryl [Member] Email
4 episodes in one sitting definitely qualifies you as hard-core Northern Exposure fans! If you can make the trip to Roslyn sometime, you really should do it. The whole town is very Northern Exposure fan-friendly, and you'll enjoy noting places you saw first-hand the next time you load a DVD into the player!

BTW, the town holds an annual Moose Days celebration during the last full weekend of July each year. See for more info.

PermalinkPermalink 04/28/08 @ 17:49
Comment from: Jim Moore [Visitor] Email
Hi new visitor here i watched Northern exposure again last month wathd the whole series in a couple of weeks i cannot get enough of it
PermalinkPermalink 10/06/12 @ 05:28

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Daryl's Take...

"Meandering ruminations, shared for the benefit of those who probably need to get out more."

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