Friday, July 29, 2016

Shirley Joyrides

A vintage shot of Shirley Temple with singer James Melton. Here's the accompanying publicity blurb:


HOLLYWOOD, CALIF…James Melton, MGM's singing star, and collector of ancient horseless carriages, such as the one he is teaching Shirley Temple to drive. Melton has a collection of around seventy cars whose vintage date back to the gay nineties. 8/22/44

Melton was renting a house from actress/comedienne Zasu Pitts, who was the next-door neighbor of Temple's. Apparently Shirley enjoyed tooling around in Melton's vehicles. Nothing more than that, folks; the guy was twice Shirley's age and already married. His biggest break in Hollywood was the "La Traviata" segment of 1946's "Ziegfeld Follies."

More 1940s Shirley Temple at my main website.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Food and Art: What a Combo!

Thanks to a spot-on recommendation from a friend who lives in NYC, I was able to experience dining at Leopard at des Artistes near Central Park West. Not just dining...the evening was what I would call an experience. Accompanied by a long-time friend I had not seen in years, it was a night to remember. Arriving first, I went next door to check out the "hotel" portion of this complex, which was actually never a hotel, but rather an apartment building for artists.

Residents have included Norman Rockwell, Isadora Duncan, Alexander Woollcott, Fannie Hurst, and Noel Coward. Not too shabby. Back at the restaurant, I had a beverage while waiting for my friend to arrive. I was glad I had that extra time, as it afforded me the opportunity to have the Ukrainian bartender fill me in on the hotel and restaurant's history.

The restaurant is probably best known for its murals by artist Howard Chandler Christy titled, "Fantasy Scenes with Naked Beauties,” completed in 1935.

These were created when Christy lived in New York City and had his studio at the Hotel des Artistes.

Oh yes...and the food.

Every course was out of this world.

And dessert...

No, I didn't order two desserts. We shared.

If you are rushed, do not eat here. This is a place to be savored and appreciated.

More New York City photos at my main website.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Maxfield Parrish in New York

A somewhat hidden art treasure in New York City can be found at the King Cole Bar located in the St. Regis Hotel.

I waited patiently for the bar to open so that I could get a front row seat.

While drinking a Bloody Mary, patrons can feast upon the site of this amazing mural by artist Maxfield Parrish.

I was in heaven.

More New York City at my main website.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Chrysler Building

Built in 1930, The Chrysler Building is one of my very favorite buildings in New York City. William Van Alen was the architect of this Art Deco masterpiece.

I was first introduced to this marvel through the opening credits of the Norman Lear comedy "Maude," and it has stuck with me ever since.

Just check out these details that you wouldn't even notice from the street:

I am in Art Deco heaven. Apparently the gargoyles on the building were modeled after Chrysler automobile products such as the hood ornament of a Plymouth.

If you want interior photos, better snap fast as the sphincter police are quick to tell you that photos are not allowed.

Fortunately, I snap fast.

More Chrysler Building photos at my main website.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Less Than Marvel-ous News

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror holds a very important place in Disney California Adventure history as its first real "A-List" attraction for guests of the Disneyland Resort. Previously, the entire DCA Park was a snoozer that generated very little (positive) buzz. Even though my stomach does not usually do well with drop rides, this is one that I made an exception for. The thematic detailing of the queue rivals that of Disneyland's Indiana Jones Adventure. With the recent announcement that the Tower would be completely redone as a Marvel attraction (no comment other than the title of the post), I decided to make today's post a virtual ride-through.

The lobby has always been my favorite part; so much to see, and so little time to observe it. I could happily saunter through this part of the queue for a few hours noticing all of the little details.

Where you would have checked-in if it were 1929.

A personal favorite: the vintage Shirley Temple doll and Oz book.

The elevator directory:

Off to the library; will it be the one on the left...

or the right?

Either way, you get to see Rod Serling on the television:

It doesn't look good for this group of 1929 Hollywood elite.

The boiler room is another personal favorite, with its eerie lighting and abundance of props:

Before you know it, your elevator is ready:

The unsuspecting group:

Hard to tell which one is me, right?

Whoa...where'd we go?

You shouldn't get off the elevator just yet:

A closer view of what's outside the hotel room doors:

The Hollywood elite have returned in a ghostly form:

And now it's time to say goodbye...

A comparative view from the top; September 2006:

How it looks now; be sure to click on this wide panorama shot:

And finally, you get to exit the attraction.

Ever notice this under the stairs?

If you want to check-in to the Hollywood Tower Hotel one more time, you have until early 2017. The "new" Guardians of the Galaxy version will be opening Summer 2017.

See more classic Tower of Terror photos at my main website.