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! 


  1. Thanks for sharing your day of no saling. It was as enjoyable as when you buy lots of stuff. Especially loved your comment about John Cleese. LOL

    1. Ha Ha! Thanks, Granny Annie! It was a fun day! (Rob)

  2. WOW that looks like a fun day!!! For some reason I always thought the Unisphere was not open anymore, and the fountains not working, but so glad to see I was wrong. You've given me a day trip idea - thanks a bunch! Mod B.

    1. Yes, Mod Betty! You should definitely go! Everything that we saw that day is available to you except the Ramones exhibit which has, sadly, ended (Rob)