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I'm most specifically interested in the Cooper Station post office that was often shown in a quick clip prior to a Newman or post office scene.

Cooper Station is downtown. It's a few blocks from Elaine's gym that appeared in one episode, but I don't think her gym matters because she was often working jobs and she moved once or twice, so she could have been working or living near there.

Jerry lived in the upper west side. The Restaurant (Tom's Restaurant is the visual used in the show) is also a bit out of the way, a little over a mile uptown from where they lived, so maybe those shots were selected purely for visuals, but it's conceivable that Jerry would eat at Tom's as it wasn't too far.

Neither Jerry nor Kramer worked regular jobs and Jerry and Larry David both had to be quite familiar with the city. So why show a shot of the post office all the way downtown? Is it purely photogenic or is there another reason? Was this ever discussed in an interview anywhere?

I have a personal theory, but it's pretty thin and I've discussed this with a few people and most don't agree with me, but I worked in the cooper station neighborhood in the late 80s and I was in that post office a fair bit and there was a postal worker who was always behind the desk who was fatter than Newman. I don't remember ever talking to him, but he looked surly. I've always wondered if there was a connection, and if that's why the Cooper Station is used in the show, or if it's simply because it's a photogenic post office being on a corner and the curved entrance. It's very photogenic.

Larry David said on record that the Newman Character was based on two people who lived in his building, so, but that doesn't mean that there couldn't be a reference to a fat postal worker, but back to the main question. Did anything tie Larry David or Jerry Seinfeld to a 12th street post office when both lived uptown?

Or were the clips of buildings in the show purely aesthetic and really representing where they went when they lived in NYC?

  • Thanks for the edit. Apologies for my too-wordy style of writing. – userLTK Apr 27 '17 at 8:42
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    That's grasping at straws. I'm sure there are plenty morbidly obese people, that's hardly a defining trait of a character. Newman is fat, but what makes Newman Newman is his despicable character. – CyberClaw Apr 27 '17 at 9:31
  • Your confusing the theory with the question. The question is, why they chose that station and if anything was ever said about it. Anyone who knows NYC knows the station is downtown and Jerry lived uptown. – userLTK Apr 27 '17 at 10:08
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    I'm sure they just liked the way that post office looked. Plenty of locations are shot and substituted as somewhere else in films and TV. – sirjonsnow Apr 27 '17 at 11:49
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    The show was filmed in LA, so maybe whoever took the NYC shots didn't have a clue. – user25738 Apr 27 '17 at 14:42
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Newman, according to several accounts, was an employee at the Cooper Station Post Office, which is why (as you noted) it was often shown just prior to a Newman scene. It's quite normal for quick exterior shots to be shown just before an interior shot, both in movies and TV, to clue the viewer as to where the interior scene is occurring.

Newman, as a character, was actually first envisioned to be an African American. His character morphed several times; from being suicidal, to being the son of the landlord who owned the building, to being a permanent resident that acted as a friend to Kramer and a foil to Jerry. As such, you can't really say that he was based on anyone specific, or even on the employee you're referring to in your question.

If you're asking why Seinfeld chose that particular post office, there's never been any word on it. Maybe they liked the look of it (it's on the List of Registered Historic Places in New York), maybe Jerry or Larry used to go there, could be any reason. It's not unusual to have to work further from where you live than the nearest "company office"; my son worket at a Target one Summer that was 30 miles away, even though there's one 2 miles from us.

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