Recently, I figured out how to get Google Street View on my iPad. (I’m a little slow sometimes.) And, even more recently, I realized that I can take screen captures of the pictures I find. Thus, a new feature: Pretend Tourist, in which I talk about places I’ve never actually been to.
First up is the Eiffel Towers. There’s more than one of them. I found this out when I searched for “Eiffel Tower” in Google Maps. The first match wasn’t the one in France, but this one, in the Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio:
The Kings Island web site informs me that this is a one-third scale replica of the Eiffel Tower in France. There are observation platforms at 265 and 275 feet above ground, from which you can see other features of the park, such as Oktoberfest, Planet Snoopy, and the Soak City Waterpark. There is apparently another one-third scale Eiffel Tower in the Kings Dominion amusement park in Doswell, Virginia, but Google Street View does not have an image of this, sadly. I assume it looks just like this one.
For a slightly larger replica of the Eiffel Tower, you can try Las Vegas:
The “Eiffel Tower Experience” is located on the Las Vegas strip. According to its website, “From the rivets in its beams to its glass elevators, the Eiffel Tower replica at Paris Las Vegas encompasses the same je ne sais quoi as the original.” This Tower is half the size of the one in France, but, as its website assures me, “While these two vary in height, there are many similarities between them. Both have an enclosed observation deck for safety as well as a glass elevator to admire the stunning vistas on the way to the top.” It features a private area – bookable in advance – in which you can proffer a romantic proposal to the girl of your dreams, the girl of someone else’s dreams, or whoever.
In Paris, Tennessee, there’s an Eiffel Tower Lane and an Eiffel Tower, but they’re not in the same place. Eiffel Tower Lane isn’t much to look at:
The Eiffel Tower in Tennessee is on Maurice Fields Drive:
You had one job, people. Put the tower on the right street.
There’s also an Eiffel Tower in Paris, Michigan (unfortunately not pictured) that is only 9 feet high. It should have little tiny people going up and down in a little tiny elevator, and little tiny angry people waiting in a long long lineup for the little tiny elevator, including children losing their little tiny tempers.
And no list of American Eiffel Towers is complete without a picture of the tower in Paris, Texas. Yee-haw!
There’s a sign for it too:
A gun and knife show. In the Love Civic Center. I can’t make this sort of thing up.
Of course, there are imitation Eiffel Towers all over the world. There’s the full-size Tokyo Tower:
And the Rue du Paris Café in Brisbane, Australia:
A tourist attraction in Bulgaria:
And in Montmartre, Saskatchewan, which was settled by three families from France, and is nicknamed the Paris of the Prairies:
I like this one – it’s kind of cute. It was built in 2009. Montmartre’s population was 476 in 2011, up over 15 percent from 2006.
There are more, many many more, but it’s time for the Paris original:
I don’t want to go all Francophile on you, but I have to admit that this one’s the best.
Some fun facts about the original tower:
- The design drawings for the tower specified rivet holes to a precision of one-tenth of a millimetre.
- In 1912, a man tried testing his parachute design by jumping off the first level of the tower. It didn’t work. (There’s video footage of this – it’s painful to watch.)
- In 1926, a con artist named Victor Lustig sold the Eiffel Tower for scrap metal – twice. The first buyer was too embarrassed to admit that he’d been conned, so Mr. Lustig was able to do it again. He also conned Al Capone out of a few thousand dollars, so I guess he was good at his job.
Finally, there’s the Eiffel Tower co-op in Hackensack, New Jersey:
I’m not sure why they chose this name, but I like saying “Hackensack, New Jersey”, so I included it here.