Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone, grew up in Greater Binghamton: his boyhood home still stands on the West Side of Binghamton, he graduated from Binghamton High School in 1943, and his work has not only touched but left its mark on several locations in the area.
Enter… The Serling Zone
Pencil in on your itinerary plenty of time to retrace the steps of the magnificent Rod Serling.
Zone 1: Recreation Park
Visit Recreation Park on Binghamton’s West Side to marvel at the inspiration for The Twilight Zone’s fifth episode, “Walking Distance,” in the first season. Ride the carousel, visit the pavilion featured in the broadcast, and see his commemorative bronze plaque, just a few blocks from his boyhood home. See the newly renovated carousel with “Fairground Art” style panels by artist Cortlandt Hull honoring Rod and the Twilight Zone.
Zone 2: Binghamton High School
Stomp around Serling’s old stomping grounds at Binghamton Central High School. Serling graduated from this high school in 1943. It’s now home to the Rod Serling School of the Arts.
Zone 3: Metrocenter Courtyard
Strut your stuff on Binghamton’s very own version of Hollywood’s “Walk of Fame” at the Metrocenter Courtyard in the Downtown District and see Rod Serling’s sidewalk star.
Zone 4: Forum Theatre for the Performing Arts
Spend time viewing a display chronicling Rod Serling’s life in photos and artifacts at the Forum Theatre for the Performing Arts.
The Rod Serling Video Festival
“Submitted for your approval…” Each year, The Rod Serling Video Festival at Binghamton High School not only sustains the Serling legacy but stirs the creative imaginations of students K through 12 tewide (and now nationally, as well), who submit their entries in several titive videomaking categories.
The festival draws visitors from nearand far. For more info, call (607) 762-8202, or visit www.rodserlingvideofest.com.
Photos courtesy of the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation and Rod Serling Video Festival
"Everyone has to have a hometown, Binghamton's mine. In the strangely brittle, terribly sensitive makeup of a human being, there is a need for a place to hang a hat, or kind of geographical womb to crawl back into, or maybe just a place that's familiar because that's where you grew up.
When I dig back through my memory cells, I get one particularly distinctive feeling and that's one of warmth, comfort and well-being. For whatever else I may have had, or lost, or will find, I've still got a hometown. This, nobody's gonna take away from me."
- Rod Serling