Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wright in Alabama

This house was built for newlyweds Stanley and Mildred Rosenbaum of Florence, Alabama in 1939, and survives as another great example of Wright's particular Usonian style.

The Rosenbaums were the sole owners and occupants of the house until 1999, when it was purchased by the city of Florence. At that point the house was in a sad state as years of prolonged maintenance had taken its toll on the structure and foundation. The City developed a plan to save the house and it is now preserved as a museum.

I visited the Rosenbaum house in 2002 while vacationing in Alabama. Volunteers at that time were frantically preparing for its donors reception and public grand opening. I was able to snap these quick photos of the exterior and grounds.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Thrift Store Finds

Today I took a trip out to the Unique Thrift Store in Falls Church, VA. While I'm no stranger to the local flea markets it had been awhile since I had been to this particular store.

I think it was a pretty successful voyage.

A collection of Roger Miller's greatest hits and Howard Jones' first studio album. Price: $4.00.

A wooden snack dish (walnut?). I believe it is from the 1980's - perhaps older. The country-of-origin and materials inscription on the bottom has, unfortunately, worn away. Price: $.99.

The score of the day was this amazing vintage COSCO step stool. It's missing one of the rubber chrome foot covers, but with a little Brasso, a new vinyl seat, and perhaps a paint job this chair may become the envy of every 1950s housewife. Price: $9.99.

Friday, September 25, 2009

With a Little Help From My Friends

Joe Cocker's stage mannerisms are legendary. This is one of his great performances, bar none.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Curb Hops and Soda Pops

The original Wright's exterior - 1952

I have been traveling quite a bit the past few weekends, which has allowed me the opportunity to visit some of my all-time favorite roadside food joints.

Wright's Dairy-Rite in Staunton, Virginia, is right up there on the list. My family originally discovered this drive-in 1995 and I have stopped in as often as possible ever since.

According to their website:

Wright's Dairy Rite has been serving visitors and residents of Staunton for over 50 years. Wright's is an original Drive-In restaurant, and continues to offer quality, homemade food and delicious ice cream treats in a 1950's atmosphere.
I usually order the Carolina Burger (standard chili-cheese burger) with a side of onion rings and a shake, but you really can't go wrong with any of their featured items.
They host two classic car cruise-in events each year.

Paul calls in our order.

Wright's exterior - 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Retro Dinner

My 1950's inspired meal. From the wok to the table.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Keep 'Em Flying

The amazing story of the Dottie Mae from recovery to restoration. Follow along and help contribute to this great cause:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wright in Your Own Backyard

I had been waiting for the weather to clear up so I could take the short drive over to Woodlawn Plantation to view Frank Lloyd Wright's, Pope-Leighey House. Commissioned in 1939 by journalist and author, Loren Pope, this former home survives as an example of Wright's more modestly-designed "Usonian" houses.

The price of admission is $8.50, but for $15 you can also gain entry to Woodlawn Plantation. Each tour lasts about thirty minutes. This is more than enough time considering the floorplan is only 1,200 square feet. Interior photographs are strictly prohibited as a good majority of the furniture is original to the house.

Visit the website for more information.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Royal Enfield Bullet - The Bike that Time Forgot

There is just something about vintage motorcycles that grips me. The classic styling. The untethered exhaust notes. The smell of the oil. They have a cool factor that is seemingly lost on today's more refined pieces of machinery.

However, the challenges that come with ownership of classic motorcycles are the same, if not greater, than old automobiles. They require a huge chunk of reserve cash for repair and maintenance in order for them to remain roadworthy, and finding a well respected motor service shop can be tricky.

Enter Royal Enfield Motors. The original Redditch, Worcestershire based company dissolved in 1971, but Enfield of India, based in Chennai, continued, and bought the rights to use the Royal Enfield name in 1995. Today you can buy a brand new Bullet 499cc motorbike, virtually unchanged since 1955, for as low as $5,000. Many of the newer Royal Enfields now come standard with upgraded fuel ignition engines and automatic well as the traditional kickstart. There are a load of options and accessories available to customize to your personal tastes, and rider fan clubs are popping up all across the web.

Find a dealer in your area: Royal Enfield Motorcycles USA.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hey Kids, Fitness is Fun

The last couple of weeks I have been working on returning to form in the gym, but something seems to be missing from my routine.

Maybe I just need a little more motivation...

A torture device for undersized orphans?

A two button suit and leather oxfords provide optimal workout flexibility.


I wonder how many of THESE rackets John McEnroe destroyed?

Monday, September 7, 2009

C'├ętait un Rendez-vous

A true racing film classic. Shot by Claude LeLouche in 1976 on the quiet early morning streets of Paris, France. For the legend behind the making of the film check out the Rendevous DVD website.

"What'll ya Have"

The late great Erby Walker
I just returned from a long football-filled weekend in Atlanta. While in town I had a chance to visit The Varsity restaurant, which is the self-proclaimed World's Largest Drive-In. The original Varsity dates back to 1928 when a former Georgia Tech student opened the restaurant near the university. Today, the drive-in spreads across two city blocks and on game day feeds, on average, over 30,000 people. That's a lot of hot dogs and hamburgers folks.

Over the years The Varsity has become synonymous in Atlanta's folklore with a clever and unorthodox catchphrase. Originated by frazzled cashiers as a way to keep the lines moving the blunt and abbreviated greeting "What'll ya have?" caught on with both staff and public and eventually became the restaurant's unofficial slogan. Today it appears on takeout boxes and cups as well as Varsity memorabilia and is the required greeting to all customers.

I found the food to be pretty standard fare...not as flavorful as some of the other drive-ins I have frequented. But, what it lacks in taste it sure makes up for in personality. The place is a retro time capsule. So, what'll ya have?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pigskins and Letter Sweaters

Trinity College player Charles Sticka (The broken smile is aces)

To say that I am excited about the upcoming college football season would be an understatement. For as long as I can remember I have lived and breathed the sport. The weather has been unseasonably cool here in Virginia this week which has elevated my obsession to a near fever pitch.

The college football game is an American classic - steeped in tradition. Just take a look at some of these great old photos of athletes and the fans that worshiped them:

Play-By-Play Radio Announcer

Coach Consoles Player After a Faulty Pass (sunglasses, scarf, trench coat, cigar - how svelte)

Georgia Tech vs. Notre Dame (difficult to tell the teams apart because of the mud)

Navy Football Players (very little has changed from waist down uniform-wise)

Fans Defend Against the Rain During Purdue's Homecoming

Football Fans (the letter sweater is priceless)

West Virginia vs. V.M.I.

Villanova vs. Texas A&M (modern ball caps can't match the safari hat for style)

College Coed (love the rolled denim capris)