Friday, February 26, 2021

Columbia State Park in 3D!

Although it may not be as famous as some other Ghost/Gold Rush/Mining Towns, visits to Columbia State Park were a staple of my childhood. I still recall riding the stagecoach which was magically held up by bandits of the Old West each time. Even though I knew what was coming, it never failed to disappoint…especially the time my smart-ass brother decided to heckle the bandit. Back to this post… By 1852 (only 2 years after gold was first discovered here) there were 8 hotels, 4 banks, 17 general stores, and over 40 saloons. The images presented here are from 3D strips of film from the 1970s, presented to you in genuine FauxD©! Let’s start with a visit to the old Columbia School House, bult in 1860. While less ornate than the one you might see at Calico or Knott’s Berry Farm, it still gives a feel of the era. The school had 368 students in attendance in its first year and was staffed by two teachers and a principal. It was open for biz until 1937 when it was closed for not meeting earthquake safety requirements. Renovated in 1960, it is open for tours.

Saint Anne’s Catholic Church was the first brick church built in California back in 1856. Brick…not adobe!

Here is a recreation of the original Columbia Gazette Printing Office, which was lost to fire in 1857.

The historic Wells Fargo Express Office, built in 1858.

The last one for today shows the Fire House, Drug Store, and Dentist's Office:

I still remember the candy store in Columbia, where you could get rock candy (which looked like rocks) wrapped in a metal mining dish. What a thrill! See more Columbia State Park photos at my main website.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Pete on Bourbon

Sorry - not sorry - but we are back in New Orleans! Today‘s vintage image is from June 1965 and shows a dashing gent posing in front of Pete’s Place at the corner of Bourbon and St. Ann Streets in the French Quarter. The club opened in November 1960; previously it was La Lune.

From the website nola.comJazz clarinetist Pete Fountain, who was known to music fans around the world, often joked that he attended the “Conservatory of Bourbon Street,” eschewing his studies at Warren Easton High School in favor of the musical education he received as a teenager playing in French Quarter clubs. “We tried to call it the French Quarter Inn [note the sign in the photo above], but everyone ended up just calling it Pete’s Place,” Fountain told The Times-Picayune in 1987. “I think my name is still out on the sidewalk.” Fountain recorded two live albums in the club, “Pete Fountain: French Quarter Inn” and “Pete Fountain on Tour.” In 1968, Fountain relocated to a larger space at 231 Bourbon St. He continued performing there until 1977, when he moved to a club in the newly opened New Orleans Hilton Hotel, now the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. Although Fountain died in 2016, he remains an icon on Bourbon Street. His life-sized statue is one of nine included in New Orleans Musical Legends Park at 311 Bourbon Street.

The photo on the side of the club was from the cover of his 1963 album “Plenty of Pete,” which included such classics as “Stardust” and “Just One of Those Things.”

Today, this location is known as Oz, a gay nightclub:

See more Bourbon Street photos at my main website.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Temple Tuesday: Shirley and Robert

Shirley Temple and Robert Young costarred together in two films, starting with the 1936 smash hit “Stowaway,” where she plays an orphan who charms a wealthy playboy, Tommy Randall, played by Young. Unable to speak Chinese, Shirley’s character (Ching Ching) steps in and assists him in buying a souvenir mask. As is so typical in Shirley movies, moments later she’s living the high life with new dresses and all the toys that Depression-era children could only dream about.

Tommy Randall is definitely a “player,” at least until he meets the lovely Susan Parker, played by Alice Faye. Unfortunately, Susan is engaged to a drip with a meddling mother-in-law.

Ching Ching’s matchmaking attempts for the two almost fail, thanks to mistakenly getting thrown in jail and then narrowly avoiding being put back into an orphanage.

But let’s face it, NOBODY says “no” to Shirley, who gets Susan to delay her marriage to the drip so that Tommy will wed Susan in order to temporarily adopt Ching Ching. You still with us?

Ching Ching works with the divorce court judge to make sure that Tommy and Susan stay married so that she can have a Merry Christmas with lots of toys and song!

Robert Young autographed this photo for his young costar inscribing it with:

To Ching-Ching, My screen daughter whom I couldn't love more if she were my very own, Uncle Tommy, Robert Young

Young was apparently a bit of a prankster, as demonstrated by this shot of him putting the sign “Exhibit 496 Cuttlefish (Extinct) Do not touch” over napping costar Arthur Treacher:

Despite the autographed photo and the pranks, Shirley had absolutely ZILCH to say about Robert Young in her autobiography Child Star.

Thirteen years later, Young again played Shirley’s father (albeit biological, this time). According to The New York Times, Melvyn Douglas was the original choice for the role. As an Episcopalian pastor in this “Meet Me In St. Louis”-esque film, Young’s character attempts to balance the gossipy judgmental community he presides over vs. the liberated views of his daughter, played by a now mature Shirley.

With a little graying at the temples, he played the part well. You could definitely see the father-daughter chemistry between the two.

The most touching scene is when he wins the dance contest with his daughter, beating out her beau (played by Shirley’s then husband, John Agar) who had temporarily dumped her for another girl. Don’t mess with Robert & Shirley!

Shirley ended her film career shortly after this one while Young found the fame that eluded him in the movies on television, beginning with “Father Knows Best” (1954-1960) followed by “Marcus Welby, M.D.” (1969-1976). And let’s not forget his Sanka Coffee commercials, like this one:

OF COURSE you can trust a man who plays a doctor on TV to give good sound medical/dietary advice!

See more Shirley Temple photos at my main website.

Monday, February 22, 2021

New Orleans vs. New Orleans Square, Pt. 4

What to do in New Orleans, Louisiana? So many choices, but how about something sedate like City Park? Hop on a Streetcar named Desire, oops, I mean St. Charles, and venture out to the Museum of Art:

Or perhaps you’d prefer something a little more kitschy like Storyland:

The New Orleans version of the Three Little Pigs:

For those that enjoy cemeteries (yes, there are a few of us), Saint Louis Cemetery is one of the most famous:

The future eternal home of Nicolas Cage is located here:

Back in the Garden District you can find the less famous Lafayette Cemetery:

If you love Mardi Gras, you’ll want to see where most of the parade floats are created and stored:

To get yourself prepared for that annual celebration, how about a beverage at the famous rotating Carousel Bar inside the Hotel Monteleone? HIGHLY recommended (but get there early!).

With all the rich food and booziness of New Orleans, seeking out the Athletic Club might be a nice change of pace. For me, it’s probably the best/coolest gym I've ever gone to.

Got a thing for Vampires? Visit Oak Alley, used for the exteriors of “Interview with the Vampire”:

For a home tour closer to the French Quarter, the 1850 house is located on Jackson Square:

Need to pray away those French Quarter sins? Also on Jackson Square is St. Louis Cathedral:

This is not the piano that killed the Wicked Witch (or was that a house?), but rather the grand piano of Fats Domino on display at the Presbytere Museum (also on Jackson Square). This is what Hurricane Katrina did to it:

Well readers, now you have four posts worth of information on both New Orleans in Louisiana and New Orleans Square at Disneyland. Which one would you rather visit?

See more New Orleans, Louisiana photos at my main website.

Friday, February 19, 2021

New Orleans vs. New Orleans Square, Pt. 3

Welcome to New Orleans Square! To experience the attractions here, it’s best to board the train at the Main Street Train Station and head to the first stop, which is Frontierland/New Orleans Square. As you approach the station, you know you’re in the right place as you see the decor from the Mardi Gras Supply Company. This is one of my favorite stations at Disneyland, as the detailing is rich.

Tired? You can always hang out and relax at Magnolia Park while the kiddies run wild.

Into history? Take a moment to read the plaque purporting this to be the anchor from a pirate ship commanded by Jean Lafitte.

Want to know your future? Consult with Fortune Red:

Shopping in New Orleans Square was once a unique experience. Slowly as the years went by, the antique shops and other unique places were replaced with emporiums of plush. You can still shop at Cristal d’Orleans, but many of the items here can also be found on Main Street. Sigh.

Two of my favorite Disneyland attractions are located in New Orleans Square. It was typical of me to run to this area as soon as I crossed the turnstiles to experience them both, beginning with the Haunted Mansion:

The Hitchhiking Ghosts, perpetually looking for that ride into eternity:

Down the way you can find my other fave attraction, the Pirates of the Caribbean:

I have yet to experience it since the Red Headed Wench was replaced with her gun-toting lookalike.

As requested, here’s a side-by-side comparison shot of the Castle/Central Plaza at Disneyland…

and New Orleans’ Jackson Square:

Come back Monday and see what there is to do at Disneyland’s real-life counterpart!

See more Disneyland New Orleans Square photos at my main website.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

New Orleans vs. New Orleans Square, Pt. 2

I had to cover food; anyone that knows me is aware that the restaurants have a heavy bearing on whether or not I like a city. Antoine’s in New Orleans was one of my favorites, but I had noticed the quality had definitely deteriorated on my last visit. The front of the restaurant could have been part of the inspiration for Disneyland’s Blue Bayou. Below is a shot of a delicious steak I enjoyed at Galatoire’s; probably one of the best I have ever eaten.

And dessert...the cheesecake was incredible. When I travel and dine, I do not count calories. That's what the daily routine is for.

New Orleans is known for its beignets and coffee that you would get at the world famous Café du Monde:

At Disneyland’s New Orleans Square, I once enjoyed these Mickey Mouse shaped beignets at the Café Orleans. Good...but not quite as good as their New Orleans cousin.

The exterior of the Blue Bayou Restaurant at Disneyland, one of my favorite places to dine at Disneyland. While the food may not necessarily be out of this world, the experience and atmosphere help make up for that.

Their Monte Cristo sandwich was a staple for me until they changed the recipe and made it a bit more healthy. The fried cheesecake was also a casualty of that trend.

The nearby Mint Julep “bar” offers a refreshing non-alcoholic version of the southern beverage.

When Walt wanted a VIP supper club at Disneyland, it’s not surprising that he picked New Orleans Square as the location. While the city of New Orleans may be known for its decadence and partying, many of the restaurants have a very strict dress code not found out here in Southern California.

A lamb chop from my dinner at Club 33.

Speaking of partying, here is one of the most famous tourist traps in New Orleans, Pat O”Brien’s. It is known for its radioactive red Hurricane drink.

Club 33 added a jazz lounge/bar of its own back in 2014. Very few watering holes in New Orleans are this refined and sedate.

Still, it’s a fun place to sip and savor a beverage while at Disneyland.

Overall review of the food comparison is very similar to that of the architecture and atmosphere; if you want the deliciously decadent artery clogging experience, go to Louisiana. If you prefer your food sanitized and a little less greasy with drinks that are less potent, go to Disneyland.

Will there be a third post in this series? Of course!

See more New Orleans photos at my main website.