My ultimate dream car is a 1955 Chevy convertible in two-tone, preferably green and white (but who am I kidding, any color would do) with white wall tires. The big, yet skinny steering wheel, the push button radio, the hood ornament, the headlights, the tail fins, the cavernous front seat. . . I’m getting misty-eyed just thinking about it. Yes, I know, they’re not exactly “road friendly” but I suppose some updates to it would do the trick, because I would drive this – everywhere. I would eagerly take this car over any other car that could be offered to me. Of course, I just have to dream about, and drool at seeing, classic cars when I get the chance, because I think the chance of me ever having one is slight to non-existent.
Anyone who knows me, knows I love a good happy hour. Giant margaritas and cheap tacos? Yes, please. But what about cocktail hour in the home done with a little more sophistication?
The cocktail hour (which is essentially moved to a restaurant and called happy hour) was a staple of life beginning in the 1920s, and probably best recognized in the 1950s and 60s. You can always have your own private cocktail hour. You come home from work, a glass full of goody liquid, and a relaxing chair, perhaps some music in the background. Think:
“Honey, I’m hoooome.”
“Oh, dear, how was your day? Here’s your scotch on the rocks. I think I’ll have a Tom Collins.”
The above scenario could be envisioned either the man is coming home or the woman, and is greeted by their significant other at the door with a drink. How come people don’t do this anymore? (Not as many alcoholics?)
Long ago in a faraway land, when someone said, “I’m so gay!” you knew they were having a good day. Or people exclaimed, “Oh golly gee!” instead of “WTF!” When food was hot, and not a way to describe an attractive woman. When being sick meant you were stuffy and achy.
Every generation and era has its own lingo, slang, and catchy phrases. Sometimes the words have a long life, and sometimes they are short lived and soon forgotten. Often new generations invent their own, and the previous are rarely ever used again.
I often utilize words that people give me strange looks for, or just plain have to ask what they mean. Some I use frequently, others I’m on a campaign to use more and resurrect in general. They either have a nice ring to them, or I just have an aversion to using the contemporary equivalent. Mostly they’re just fun to use and say, with a lusciously fulfilling impact.
Do you know the password?
You approach an inconspicuous door, with a look over your shoulder and a lick of parched lips you signal with a rap of your knuckles. The hatch slides open and a gruff voice says, “Password?” You respond, “The milk steak is good.” The hatch slides shut, and you wait with anticipation. The door opens and you make your way through the darkness until you reach a shabby looking door. You step through into the bustling, smoke-filled world of the speakeasy. The gin and moonshine flow freely, the jazz intoxicates the ears, and everyone is carefree and decadent. Any moment the lights might flash three times, signaling everyone to down their libations and hide the evidence – the police have arrived.
Finding a place that has been in existence since 1949 is a win for me. Finding Rudford’s Restaurant, is a definite win. Even though this place doesn’t have diner in the name, it is your typical, classic diner.Which is a good thing.
It has that classic feel and atmosphere to it, a great variety of locals who frequent the place, yummy “home cooked” food, and oldie songs playing in the background. The booths are covered in red, the lights hanging overhead are stark in blue shades, and the walls of the kitchen and windows are metal. You can see it was built and has been around since 1949, all of which I love.
A friend and I went (who I have to thank, she is the one who sent me the Yelp link to the place) this morning. The staff is super friendly and have that “down home, we’ll probably remember your name” kind of vibe.
Attention spans are wonderful things. Too bad they are noticeably lacking in society today. I would appreciate even a small attention span, going to dinner with someone or walking along having a conversation without them looking at their cell phone, sitting down to watch a movie in its entirety without needing to log on to the Internet, and so on. So I’m reaching here when I suggest watching silent films. An activity that not only requires one to read (how dare I suggest such a thing), but paying attention to body language, facial expressions, and a story entirely dependent upon the viewer actually grasping it. Plus, there are no explosions to distract you and no computer generated creatures to stifle your own creative insights. Forgive me for wanting you to use basic reasoning skills, an imagination, and an awareness while viewing a film.
I thought I would start with a couple of my favorite horror films. (With other installments for other genres to come.) If you are of the minority (as I am) and love silent films, then you most definitely know about Nosferatu (1922) and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920). If you are of the other or some how think silent movies are “dumb” or “too old”, then you are greatly missing out (and mistaken).
For those who haven’t seen Nosferatu, it is the story of Dracula. Pretty simple. Although it is a German expressionist film, it doesn’t carry heavy signs of it. That fact makes it no less beautiful in it’s scenery and lighting, nor it’s artistry. The use of shadows, sweeping shots of the sea, and towering buildings all speak to an expressionist subtlety.
He’s coming for you.
Carousels have that distinct quality of being able to enamor me in a beautifully historical way and an unadulterated childlike makes-me-want-to-go-weeee kind of way.
Santa Monica Pier Carousel inside the Looff Hippodrome. Built in 1922.