Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tom Sawyer Island pt 2- Fort Wilderness

Fort Wilderness, which was once an intricate part of Tom Sawyer Island, offered kids, and adults the opportunity to recreate the experience of a true frontier. The outpost of the island, Fort Wilderness had a small store, and guns that made shooting sounds. What I enjoyed the most was the peek in scene, similar to those at knott's Berry Farm, of the Regimental Headquarters. Unfortunately, I never took any pictures of it.

A "Vintage" picture of Fort Wilderness. From the outside, it looks very much the same then as it does now.

The entrance of the fort as it looked after it was closed. So sad to see the fort not get a true final farewell.

My attempt at an artistic shot of the fort. I kind of like it.

It's dusk, and the sun sets on Fort Wilderness. What will be in store for this Disneyland real estate? A newer and better Fort Wilderness? An empty parcel of land? A stone fort similar to those seen in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies? Only time will tell.

Find more information on Fort Wilderness here.

Next Time: A few more shots of the fort.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Tom Sawyer Island pt 1- Castle Rock

With this week's opening of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island, I thought that I would share a few photographs of the island before its transformation. These posts will also include a couple of vintage pictures of the island (If you consider 1980's pictures taken with a Kodak disc camera vintage).

Castle rock before its 2003 remodel. About fifteen years before. Sure it may not be as safe as it is now, but aesthetically, it was very beautiful. Although, the addition of Tom and Huck's lookout was done very well.

A slightly different angle just before the remodel. I always got confused when I roamed around the caves as a kid. They seemed so large and mysterious.

One thing Tom Sawyer Island Has is Signs. Every piece of rock work, or bridge had a name. I suppose it helped kids remember their favorite part of the island.

Teeter rock before it they sealed it to the ground. That really made me sad.


I have to admit that I am intrigued by the new Tom Sawyer island, but I am also sad that so much of it changed, especially with the rumors of Fort Wilderness' impending demise.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Riviera United Methodist Church

The Riviera United Methodist Church is a terrific looking building on Palos Verdes Blvd in Redondo Beach. The church has been around since 1956, and the building had major improvements in 1968. I have no idea what changes were done to the building back then. In any case, it looks really cool. More like a concert hall than a church.

An old sign showing where the parking is.

A slightly closer view of the building that shows the cross and the windows.

A fairly simple, yet classic sign in front of the building.

The church building is located at 375 Palos Verdes Blvd, Redondo Beach Ca, 90277.


Friday, May 18, 2007

Movieland- Dinner at Eight

I usually post pictures of Movieland Wax museum on both this blog, and my wax museum blog. The last time I posted about Movieland on the other blog I totally forgot to post it here also. So here's a (relatively) new post from the late great wax museum.

This figure of Jean Harlow is from the 1933 motion picture Dinner at Eight. Considered Hollywood's first platinum blonde, Harlow quickly became a major star, but died tragically at the age of 26. This movie highlights Harlow's sex appeal, as she was one of the most popular leading ladies of the 1930's. Harlow died in 1937 of a kidney disease.

The tableau with flash on shows how the lighting really set the mood for the scene. The set is filled with light colored props and dressings, allowing the lighting to better recreate such an intimate setting.

Without the lighting, you'd think this was Harlow's preserved corpse. A little too much make-up was applied to the figure.

Some of the props from the set. For some reason they remind me of my grandmother's house. All the props and the set sold at the auction for a combined $2900. This includes the beaded curtain and chandelier(not shown), as well as the couch and end table.

The clapboard giving more information about Jean Harlow and Dinner at Eight. Jean Harlow's wax figure sold at auction for $7,250, a relatively large amount.

View more information on Jean Harlow here.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Busch Gardens- Yahoo Flume Ride Part 3

The final drop is the most exciting part of any log ride. Here at Busch Gardens, the drop seems especially fun because of the cool 1970's environment. Look at the amazement on the faces of the two women in the log. No wonder they called this the YAHOO flume ride. The difference between a flume ride and a motor boat ride is the wonderfully thrilling drop!

After the drop is the part of the ride where the wake may or may not get the rider wet. The men in this photo share the same excitement that the women in the previous shot do. Upon closer look at the shot, one very interesting thing can be seen in the log...

THE MAN IS HOLDING HIS BABY ON THE RIDE! That's right, this must be from before height limits were established for theme park attractions. I would have been scared silly if I was that baby. Only the man's arm is keeping her from flying out into the water. But all's well that ends well.


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Busch Gardens- Yahoo Flume Ride Part 2

As a few minutes have passed, and we're enjoying the beautiful scenes of Busch Gardens, we come across this beautifully designed tropical paradise. We hear the birds singing in their habitats, and other guests view us from a nearby walkway.

After the calm tropical section, we now enter the most exciting part of the flume ride. The conveyor belt lifts us higher and higher, as we now get a beautiful view of the entire park. Only a small section left before the big payoff. All log flume rides have a giant drop, and it looks as if it's right around the bend.

Next Time, part 3


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Busch Gardens- Yahoo Flume Ride Part 1

This three part post will take us on a virtual tour of the Yahoo Flume Ride from the defunct Busch Gardens amusement park in Van Nuys California. The Ride is your typical flume, featuring barrels that hold up to four people. Unlike Knott's Berry Farm's Timber Mountain Log Ride, and Disneyland's Splash Mountain, The Yahoo Flume had no theme other than highlighting the beauty of Busch Gardens itself. Instead of animatronic loggers or singing alligators, real birds, gardens, and lakes surround the visitors of this modest attraction. The Yahoo Flume is a similar experience to Magic Mountain's Log Jammer. Let's begin our tour.

After boarding the log/barrel, we begin a calm and relaxing tour of the south side of the park. A rushing waterfall greets the travelers, as they get a rare glimpse at the backside of water. Riding Disneyland's Jungle Cruise is not the only way to see this amazing phenomenon.

After we pass the waterfall, another of Busch Gardens' rides is in view. The Motor Boat ride gives guests a similar experience to the logs with one major difference. That difference will be exposed in a couple of posts.

Next time, part 2.


Monday, May 07, 2007

Chester Plumming and Supply

Chester is a great little old logging town in Northern California. It borders Lake Almanor, which is near Mount Lassen. Although most stores in this area are gift shops, the classic old town feel is alive and well in the old buildings along the main street. This building is the Plumming and Supply store which has some nice old signage and design. The services that this business provides betrays the needs of the town, and is very different than the suburbs of Los Angeles where I live.

I don't know what I was thinking when I took this picture, as the beginning and end of the sign are cut off. Oh yeah, I couldn't get further out into the street without getting run over by a truck. Although Chester is a small town, the main street was quite busy.

A close up of the broken neon sign. It's little details like this that most of our contemporary architecture is missing.

Learn more about Lake Almanor here.
And here.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Pacific Coast Highway Orange 76 Ball

A few shots for todays focus from a 76 station on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. In the south bay there is only one 76 station left with a ball (Hawthorne and 182nd st in Torrance). How long that will last, I do not know. If and when the station gets remodeled, I hope that it will receive a new red ball instead of the plain sign all the other stations received.

A little closer view. I never thought that a company would abandon its trademark so easily. But because of the efforts of the ball will live for a while longer with a new color scheme. I still wish they kept the orange though.

This picture is not a ball, but a really large sign so people will know the station is there from a mile away.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Old Towne Mall- Singing Security Guard

This picture of the Old Towne Mall Singing Security Guard is probably the most accessible picture of the mall on the web. I held off posting it because most people who are interested in the mall have most likely already seen it. For those of you who have not, here is the singing security guard in all his happy 1970's glory. I like the banjo player and pianist in the background. One interesting feature of this photo is the carousel in the far background. It's not the double decker carousel that many of us remember in the mall. I have no verification, but I assume that the mall opened with this smaller carousel, then upgraded to the double decker shortly after.

As a bonus, here's an ad from "The Book Experience" discount bookstore in Old Towne. Anybody remember this place, because I don't. Although, I would love to believe that it was a small store with a wooden ladder on rollers so patrons could reach books on the top shelf. In reality it was probably just your standard bookstore. They did seem to offer many full featured services like 14K Gold imprinting, gift wrapping, and mailing service. I remember the B. Dalton (or was it Walden books) which came later, and was one of the last stores to remain at Old Towne.