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  • Writer's pictureSteven Hansen

Watch 'Real Life' TV

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

Bored? Can’t sleep? Well, there’s a new TV genre streaming online that may pique your interest and while away the time: LIVE, 24-hour streaming webcam channels with sound! Web cams with sound are still a rarity, due to the bandwidth required for the audio component, but we’ve selected a few special channels that are guaranteed to turn you into a regular viewer. Watch -- and listen -- to real life as it happens!

Friends of Felines Rescue Center

Felines of every size, stripe, and personality are the stars of the show at this no-kill cat shelter in Defiance, Ohio. They wander around the shelter’s main living room, jump up on cat trees and leap off the tops of tables and refrigerators, flip out, snack, snooze, spar, and generally enjoy being pampered by the staff and volunteers who run the place.

Tune in for the daily breakfast rush at 4:30 a.m. (ET) or the opening of donation boxes at 5:30 p.m. (ET). Keeping up with the daily goings-on at the shelter is oddly addictive. Did Freckles escape again? Has Rocky been adopted yet? Who was that at the front door? Hundreds of viewers from around the globe enjoy the action here at any given time of day or night and chat live about their favorite residents.

St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City

Live streaming views of St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro), in the Vatican City, located within the city limits of Rome. This is the view of the large square in front of St. Peter's Basilica the largest church in the world. The tomb of apostle Peter is located beneath the basilica whose principal designers were Michelangelo and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

During the day, the square teems with tourists and Catholic pilgrims; Vatican police cruisers and street sweepers roll through at night. The Pope appears at a window of the Vatican Palace (on the right-hand side of the image) every Sunday at 12 noon (6 am ET) to rouse the crowd and give his blessing.

Tehachapi Pass Trains

Tehachapi, California, located just south of the Sequoia National Forest and just north of Los Angeles is a small town popular with rail fans. That’s because each day, 35 Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight trains wind their way through the scenic Tehachapi pass. Amtrak’s Coastal Starlight Seattle-Los Angeles train also uses the track as a detour when its normal route is closed.

In 2017, Cheryl and Mike Butters bought a house in a rise that overlooks about a mile view of the railroad tracks, allowing them to watch trains moving through the Tehachapi Pass from their back porch. Soon they set up web cams to share their views with rail fans friends and family. This can view is located on the west side of Cable in Tehachapi.

The Butters have three other live web cams, including one with views of the Tehachapi Loop a .73-mile section of railroad track that literally forms a circular loop.

Cheryl and Mike also have opened Tehachapi Bed and Trains, an Airbnb that occupies the ground floor level of their home. “It’s like having your own private train watching platform,” Cheryl told in 2020. “You can even sit up in bed and see it” or while floating in their above ground swimming pool outside.

Times Square, New York City

The famous webcam sights and sounds outside the TKTS Broadway tickets booth in NYC’s Times Square. It’s always a busy scene here, but things really get hopping at night between competing buskers and hordes of tipsy tourists roaming all over the place looking for fun.

African Watering Hole

This live cam provides views of the watering hole and river at Mpala Research Centre in central Kenya. Watch as elephants, hippos, and giraffes gather to drink and swim, and keep an eye on the acacia trees lining the riverbank--they are home to vervet monkeys, olive baboons, and many birds. Nighttime sightings are scarcer, but the scene is enhanced with the eerie sounds of trills, hoots, squeaks, grunts, and heavy footfalls plodding through the underbrush.

The Mpala Research Centre receives hundreds of students, educators, and scientists from around the globe each year, conducting research on everything from parasites to elephants.

Sloppy Joe’s Bar, Key West

Key West’s most famous cantina opened on December 5, 1933 – the day Prohibition was repealed – and has remained open nearly every day since (except for hurricane and Covid closures). Sloppy Joe’s Bar, named after a popular dive bar in Havana, was a favorite haunt of Ernest Hemingway. His Key West home is located nearby. The bar’s menu includes the world-famous Sloppy Joe sandwich, Sloppy Rita margarita, and the Papa Dobles rum cocktail, Hemingway’s favorite.

Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world visit Sloppy Joe’s every year and the bar has the laid-back vibe of adults savoring the last few days of their vacation before trudging back to the workaday world. Three acts of rock, bluegrass, and R&B bands command the stage nightly – dancing ensues.

Sloppy Joe’s is the site of the annual Ernest Hemingway Look-Alike contest, started in 1981.

Photo: Header, Woman watching TV - Envato Elements/Vladans

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