Thursday, March 30, 2017

Deep Flashback: June 24, 2016 - Hey! Ho! Let's Go!

Last June, we took a vacation day on a Friday to go adventuring in Queens and, somehow, forgot to include the day in any of our blog postings. It was not a day of saling. That was not on our agenda that day so if you are waiting to see what we found that day, you're going to be disappointed. There were no sales. There were no finds. This day was all about a fun day off together in Queens, a drive of less than one hour to our west. It started with the Ramones! 

 The Queens Museum was first built for the 1939 New York World's Fair to house the New York City Pavilion, a place to see displays about the various municipalities. From 1946-1950, it housed the General Assembly of the United Nations and later, in preparation for the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, was called back into duty as the New York City Pavilion. In between and after these specific uses for this building, it was an ice skating rink. In 1972, it began to transform into what it is today, The Queens Museum.

The museum sits on the grounds of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, just in front of the Unisphere, but more on that later.

The main attraction for us was an exhibit called "Hey! Ho! Let's Go. Ramones and the birth of punk". We both loved the Ramones. Rob saw them live four times during the Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee, Marky period (their original drummer, Tommy, left the band in 1978 but remained their producer). Sadly all four original members have passed away but we thought this was a great way to honor their memory and their important contribution to music and this was the perfect place for it, just three miles away from where all four of them grew up. The exhibit was going to be here for less than four months and we were not going to miss it! 

The museum was filled with all kinds of Ramones artifacts

Ramones amplifiers, leather jackets, personal tee shirts, guitars and more! 

Classic show posters

Original photos

Original handwritten lyrics as they were creating their songs

There was so much to see here and there is even a small movie theatre on the premises where they were showing "It's Alive", a Ramones concert movie. It was a fun exhibit! 

The museum had other exhibits, too, including lots of New York World's Fair memorabilia on display.

We saw, in that exhibit, a pair of tiki salt and pepper shakers

A great portion of the floor of the museum's basement is taken up by this 9,335 square foot scale model "Panorama of the City of New York". First introduced in 1964, it is constantly being updated.

To view the panorama from above, you have to walk across the glass sidewalk which Monica had no interest in doing. She enjoyed the view from afar.

The Unisphere stands in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park which is directly behind the museum. Built for the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, it is 120 feet in diameter. It is breathtaking and no picture can adequately describe how incredible it is.

It was a beautiful day and we spent a few hours walking around the park together and, of course, admiring the Unisphere

Did we mention how beautiful the Unisphere is? If we didn't, we are mentioning it now!

The park has so many structures that remain from that 1964-1965 New York World's Fair

The New York State Pavilion "Tent of Tomorrow" ..very space age! 

The New York State Pavilion "Observation Towers". The tallest tower is 226 feet high.

This sign appeared in front of a construction area and we were warned...hard hat area! We didn't know that John Cleese was once a construction worker! 

After our time in the park, it was time to visit the Louis Armstrong House Museum, located less than two miles away from Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Louis and his wife lived here from 1943 until his death in 1971 and was the only house that he ever owned. His wife donated it to the city of New York to be used as a museum to celebrate Louis Armstrong's life and no one has lived in it since Lucille Armstrong passed away years later.

It was very easy to tell that we were in the right place when we drove up. The SATCHmobile was parked across the street! 

The entrance to the museum, his home, has a cardboard cutout of Louis Armstrong himself.

On display was one of his trumpets. Unfortunately, this was the last picture we were allowed to take inside the museum. Pictures are not allowed beyond this point. We had access to all of the rooms and a tour guide to tell us all about what we were seeing. Perhaps the coolest part of the tour was all of the recordings of Louis Armstrong's voice. He loved to record everything including conversations had within the house. Several were played for us and the sound quality was excellent.

This was the garden area of the house where we were, once again, allowed to take pictures. It had an outside bar and a small concrete stage area where Louis and friends could play for their guests. The parties must have been amazing!

After a long day, we were starved and we made the four mile drive to the Jackson Hole Airline Diner. The diner has had this name since 1972. Before that, it was simply called Airline Diner. 

The diner is old, having first opened in 1952 as Airline Diner. It can be seen in the movie Goodfellas and it was the background of the cover of Stray Cats' second album. It became part of the Jackson Hole Diner chain in 1972 but it has retained much of its charm.

The original neon Airline Diner sign remains! 

There is an old Coca-Cola machine in the entranceway

Inside, the diner, is beautiful! 

You can eat in booths or at the counter

There is a small jukebox in every booth.

All of the tables have a boomerang pattern although it is not original boomerang. Still, it IS boomerang! 

There were several different color tabletops but all were boomerang

Yes...all were boomerang

We loved this old telephone sign

The bathroom floor was great! 

There was a big jukebox in the second dining room! It was a fun stop and the food was really good! 

Our drive home was long. It is a 38 mile drive but, at 6pm on a Friday night, it takes a little over two hours in rush hour traffic. We passed Whitestone Lanes which has been around since 1960 and has a great sign. It had been a long day and we were too tired for bowling. We will have to go here in the future! 

It was a great day in which we saw so much and enjoyed every moment together. Sometimes, our days are about saling and sometimes, like this day, they are not but, always and forever, they will be about spending our time together. The ducks are smiling! 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Flashback: Halloween Weekend, 2016

Our fourth "flashback" post is here and it's all about Halloween weekend, 2016. We are catching up on the posts we missed when we took a break from blogging (but not adventuring) and we will cover all the weeks for which we did not post. Halloween, 2016, here we come! 

Halloween, 2016, fell on a Monday this year and that sounded like the perfect opportunity to take a three day weekend...and we did! There wouldn't be any estate sales that day but Halloween naturally (or supernaturally) comes with its own set of adventures. The Saturday before Halloween, however, would offer us some sale opportunities and there were four of them. We wouldn't have to rush back quickly. The carving of our 2016 Jack O'Lantern would be done on Sunday. The decorating of our house, for Halloween, had been done in the beginning of the month. Here are some pictures of the inside of our house in October: 

Yes, our house was ready for Halloween. We were also ready for Saturday saling! With four sales on our list, off we went! 

Sale #1 was a mystery to us. The ad said that they were selling the contents of the house and listed "holiday decorations" amongst the items for sale. There were no pictures in support of the ad but we wanted to give this one a visit just in case. We knew it wasn't being run by a tag sale company. We chose it as our first sale simply because it was the closest to our house.

One of the first things we saw inside was this old pencil sharpener on a shelf. It wasn't mounted but we chose to look at it as a good sign anyway.

There were lots of rooms to search and it was clearly an older house. Our hunch to come here paid off. We left with some records, some old pink elephant glasses, a ceramic turkey, a great old Ballantine Beer clock and more! 

Sale #2 was a sale run by one of our favorite tag sale companies and, despite the sign, it was the first and only day of this sale. It was described as a packed house and the pictures in the ad pointed to this being a house with old stuff. 

Our host, Ron, was pointing out some of the things we should check out.

The attic was big and offered lots of digging opportunities

These old turquoise cabinets were in the basement. They were really cool and, no doubt, once belonged to the kitchen

The basement? Yes! There were lots of digging opportunities here, too! 


There was a pink bathroom, too! 

It was a fun house and we spent a good amount of time here. Even if we didn't find anything, we would have fun just seeing our friends who run this tag sale company but we did not leave empty-handed. Some baseball books, some Christmas things, lots of cake toppers, a kitchen drawer organizer and the famous vintage lamb cake mold came home with us! 

Our third sale was also run by a tag sale company. Some of the pictures in the ad told us that there were old things inside though we didn't see anything that we particularly wanted here.

The basement was, by far, the area with the most things though we didn't find anything down there even though there was a basement bar.

These chairs and the corner table was cool. They did not come home with us. All we found here was two Irish records for St. Patrick's Day.

Our fourth and final sale was a church sale not far from where Monica grew up. Everything was new there. We weren't here long. While in the neighborhood, we got to spend some time with Monica's dad at Monica's childhood home so the trip was definitely worthwhile!

Here are the things we found that day:


Irish records

More records

St. Patrick's Day cake toppers

Halloween cake toppers

Thanksgiving cake toppers

Easter cake toppers

A Valentine's Day cake topper

4th of July cake toppers

A clown cake topper

Birthday balloons cake toppers

Baseball cake toppers

A turquoise kitchen drawer organizer, a vintage "petty cash" holder for Monica, vintage pink elephant glasses, Piels salt and pepper shakers (marked Japan), a ceramic turkey (marked Japan) and a plastic bracelet for Monica

A great old Ballantine Beer electric clock...and it works! 

Christmas things. The ceramic Santa is marked Japan

A vintage lamb cake mold! We have been sharing one with Monica's sister for years. That original one belonged to Monica's mom. Now we have one of our own! 

The lamb mold came with its free recipe book and its original packaging label

Sunday was the day before Halloween and we were ready to carve our 2016 Halloween Jack O'Lantern. 

We chose a great pumpkin. We thought it was very sincere but The Great Pumpkin did not visit our house...AGAIN! 

Our first plate was filled with guts and seeds. We salted and roasted the seeds. Our second plate was filled with what could only be referred to as shavings.

Our 2016 Jack O'Lantern! 

On Halloween, we went trick or treating with our niece (the cat) and our nephew (aka Mario)

One of the houses that we visit has an animated Oscar The Grouch to greet us each year

There were several fun houses in the neighborhood. This one, with scary clowns, was great! 

Monica was scared of the giant spider! 

Rob made friends with one of the creepy clowns

Another creepy clown!

A skeleton clown

We both made friends with the leader of the scary clowns

Another cool Halloween house

We had a lot of fun going trick or treating and a lot of fun together all weekend. We always do. Halloween, 2016, came and went but its spirit will remain with us until next year!