Holding grand court over 2011's New York Pier Antiques Show were style icons, The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas a/k/a Jean and Valerie. "Growing Old with Verve" is their motto and they did exactly that as they were peppered with questions during a Q&A, all in the promotion of their new book "Life Dressing: Setting a Bad, Bad Example for Older Women Everywhere!" A fashionary tale of two real women (who dress to live), this clever new book was created by cartoonist Joana Avillez. The Fashionistas are truely trendsetter "of a certain age." (Their words, not mine.) Surrounded by paparazzi, television crews and enough iPhones to put a small Korean factory into triple shift overtime, these vintage powerhouses rocked the house... er. Pier. After this crazy media event (held front and center of Pier 94 with some 600 dealers set up behind), Jean and Valerie cat walked through the show like Queens on their way to a Leopard Tea Dance-- though I suspect they'd switch out it out for martinis without sympathy any day.
When another treasured little collection stumbles onto the stage, take moment, take a listen, take a read.
I find these to be quite clever; dated, but still Catskills funny. (Take my reservation, please!) Many a peanut must have been spilled over these comic ditties. But being way to cool to use (even in their vintage time), unused matchbooks don't get reprinted, hence the rarity.
Another failed product from Tip'n Twinkle, Inc., 1957. They struck out, but rarely flared.
TimeOut Chicago 2011 Readers' Choice Double Award Winners: Randolph Street Market & Broadway Antique Market
FROM DANNY: When Sally and I decided to start this blog almost a year ago, the only thing we could agree upon was that we each thought the other rather disagreeable. Time has now passed, we've both grown as bloggers and antique affectionados, yet our mutual dislike for one another is still as solid as the American economy. While Sally blathers on about my lack of authenticity and social graces, I turn the other cheek and remind her that at least I still have a cheek to turn. So what a surprise it was for Sally and I to suddenly be nominated by the Editors of TimeOut Chicago's "Best of..." Awards for our mutual markets. Further the shock: Both Randolph Street Market & Broadway Antique Market WON in their respective categories. Of course, a HUGE THANK YOU to all our customers, supporters, fans, stalkers, debt collectors, etc. FROM SALLY: I'd like to be gracious and thank Danny for this win... but he had absolutely nothing to do with it. Secretly, I know he was messing with my links and hoping that he could be lovely to me if I lost. But I didn't, RANDOLPH STREET WON!!! and now, get this, we have to grin and pretend we're excited for the other. And so the saga goes on, who can be the ultimate tippy top of this vintage game we play? Stay tuned and drop by again soon!
Was Dr. Jack Kevorkian a man ahead of his time? Or just a specialist in helping others run out of their own? Time, it would seem, has been kind to the infamous "Dr. Death" on many a level, both above and below ground. Today, nearly half of all Americans believe assisted suicide is acceptable. However the dear doctor, unfairly or not, did 8 years of a 10-25 year sentence for murder. The times, they are a changing: Something's dripping in the wind...
Does anyone else remember when soap operas were gripping, breath defying dramas? Before "Harry Potter" or "Twilight" or "The Vampire Diaries" there was something WAY scarier out there in the darkness of the night. And no, I'm not referring to the disturbing animatronics behind Donald Trump's hair. For me "Dark Shadows" was suffocating suspense-toothed gothic horror that ran through the late 1960's like a street of endless blood. Or at least it looked like blood. I'd hate to think they wasted good ketchup just for effect. Every day after school I would run home as fast as I possibly could (usually because some bully was hot on my trail), but also because I didn't want to miss the latest cliff hanger that glowed so earily on my parent's b&w television set. Damn those rabbit ears and the pesky horizontal hold button.
In our continuing search to bring you the very best in Vintage obscurities, today’s discovery is a real treat of tricks, Halloween excluded. Periodical House (of Canton, Ohio) published two related magazines, circa 1958-59. The first was “HO!” (No not, THAT ‘ho…) with their clever slogan being “The Long Magazine For Men.” (Note: Both mags have very strange format measurements of 3-3/4”W x 10-3/4”H.) Their second mag was “HIGH”… “The Tall Magazine for Men.” (No, not a magazine for Tall Men.) It was a great though failed concept, as the two magazines are virtually identical in editorial (clear throat here) content.
At the end of 2010 the last antique store on New York’s infamous Bleecker Street closed. There was a time when over 20 stores thrived in the heart of the Village. On this four block stretch and adjacent streets, such as Christopher & Hudson, passed a Pirate’s treasure trove the likes of which the world had never before seen. “So where are all the antique stores?” This is a question asked with equal frequency in Chicago as well: "What happened to Belmont's Antique Row?" What happened to Halsted Street?" Few wish to acknowledge this, but AIDS happened. Just as it decimated the arts and theater community around the world, some of the finest antique dealers and the best vintage stores were swept forever away. This first wave began in New York City in the early 1980’s, then it slowly began to erode some of the best vintage resources in America... the Gay antique dealer.
There is a legend amongst us and his name is Joey Arias. Flashback a vintage future where film, music, dance, story and song combine to push back time itself. Vaudeville meets an alien abduction. The ghost of Billie Holiday is probed, um, literally. It's where hard rock meets a soft Zeigfeld Follies Showgirl review. It's a psychedelic trip down a black hole where all things are made possible by the spectacular artistry of Joey Arias. Oh, and did I mention the most incredible puppets since Jim Henson revolutionized the medium? That would be the genius of puppeteer Basil Twist, equally talented and almost as famous as his gender bended vixen. And let's not forget the out-of-this-astral plane vintage-inspired fashions by Thierry Mugler. This is ARIAS WITH A TWIST now running through October 16th at the Abrons Art Center in New York's Lower East Side.
In the spectrum of Vintage there are niche interests... the works of specific jewelry-makers, industrial designers... artisan glass from a specific time period... and then there is Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks. The niche BEYOND the niche. With 18th, 19th & 20th century cookbooks her specialty, this is no ordinary bookstore. (Imagine a vintage bookstore JUST for photography? Scarcer than Betty Crocker's apron!) But Ms. Slotnick goes one better with a broad collection of New York restaurant ephemera, pamphlets, postcards, Jewish cookbooks, baking cookbooks, cocktail books... even books on etiquette, should you need a refresher read on how NOT to make a fool of yourself in the 19th century. (I'm sure Bonnie herself could write one for the 21st, as we could all use that. Get off your cellphones, people!) The store is tiny, but sophisticatedly organized and chock full of treasures that make "paper people" lose their bookmarks and their checkbook balance.
When you witness the INVASION OF THE GIANT MUSHROOMS growing from storefront window to window, you have to ask: Is something sinister going on here? In JACK SPADE’s West Village store, dazzling graphic leather wallets slither aside the rest of their decidedly masculine, drool worthy stock. But you don’t have to be a druggie to miss actual (real) dead stuffed mice in their display window. Yes, taxidermy on a Mickey Mouse scale. However if you ARE stoned, they are located right next to the Giant Mushrooms. Now put your tongue back inside your head, you big doper. The mice seem to be little mascots as they’ve remained there in the window since the shop’s opening. The Giant Mushrooms however are new--- drugs being hard to find and not inexpensive… with Shrooms of this exotic prop variety being particularly pricey.
WARNING: Yes, this is perhaps one of the cutest things you’ve ever seen. Your vision and bladder may never be the same. Clearly this overload of puppy love drag can cause one too many trips to the fire hydrant.
But for as delightfully adorable as it is, this frightens me greatly. Even though this was filmed by BritishPathe in 1956, I fear this can become a powerful weapon if used by the wrong people, thinking they’re in the right... the far right.
Yes, if used by those of the very far right, they could well affect the gravity of the earth. No, not with their vote, but with their closed-hearted bigotry, their homophobic lunacy and their endless conspiracy theories. This is a group with one mega-persecution complex and we're fresh out of those dusty DR. PHIL dolls we had in storage. I think they went on etsy.
Now it's not as if the Left doesn't have it’s own sizeable group of crackpots, but we tend to keep them in the Arts where they seem to do well and create jobs for other crackpots.) It’s all very… Democractic.
However consider that for many people, the following course of events could become a greater truth:
FACT: According to this film... considered a documentary in some canine circles of tails, in 1956 dogs were allowed to marry. Although this is a British film and the Brits have always been known for their homosexual leanings… (just look at the Queen; she’s an actual Queen, for Godsake), America will never have a Queen. We're knee deep in Kings & Kingmakers. And RuPaul is the smartest real man in the country.
FACT: The defense of Marriage Act will pass in a Republican administration... and one of its strongest proponents will be the film you have just seen. This film… and “It’s a Chipmunk Christmas, 4D.”
FACT: All cats are sluts. They don’t believe in marriage. They believe in f*cking. A lot. And having many, many babies. Also, it has recently been discovered that going as far back as Egyptian times, cats didn’t like wearing formal wear. Not their style. More into getting naked. More into loud f*cking. Like if you’re not screaming out loud during orgasm, you may as well just be a stupid dog.
FACT: Gay Marriage is sweeping the country like Mary Poppins with an industrial Swiffer. There will be couples in tuxedos, dress clothes and work wear. Gays & Lesbians will fight over caterers, mostly because they both know so many of them. And many will have children. Most of their children will be straight. Gay parents will be happy either way, just as long as their kids are healthy. Even if they turn out to be Republicans. Children, afterall, are born to drive their parents (straight or gay) crazy.
FACT: There will be straight and gay people who will f*ck like cats. They will be safe, but they will choose sex over children. (Too many kids in the world!) These f*ckers will be people from both the Left and the Right. And sometimes, they’ll happily f*ck one another.
Happily, for a change.
I pronounce you very well groomed! You may now lick the Bride.
And all you cats, get a room!
By Danny Alias. WDMS. Copyright 2011
First, I must apologize for these photos-- I took dozens just to get a "feel" for the creep factor of this most wonderful spookhouse of a store. So, sorry; this is the best I could do. Unfortunately the windows need a good washing from the inside... and such is not possible. The grime is Marionette skin deep. The residents within are more than just a tad Puppet dusty, they are greasy old and aging badly. Think Rod Stewart.. or better yet. think Rod Serling, as he's dead now and has that look down cold. You see, this Marionette & Puppet Shop has been in this slow state of decay for years.
In the 18th &19th centuries travel was not an easy, especially if you had very little money. Hence the closest attractions were the most popular. Not surprisingly, Niagra Falls quickly became the #1 tourist attraction of North America. They came for the running water and stayed for the souvenirs. Miniature Golf would grow to the legendary Olympic scale sport it never became, then fizzle. OK, you can see where this is going: #2. Yes. Green-Wood Cemetery of Brooklyn, New York. Carved by the glaciers (the original landscape architects) we discover 478 rolling acres of hills valleys, pond and cobbled pathways.
Born With A Greasy Spoon In Your Mouth? New York's Luncheonette, La Bonbonnaire Has The Knife & Fork
It's been called the "Temple of Grease" and not because John Travolta ever ate here. However, that's not to say a generation of stars haven't made LA BONBONNAIRE their morning haunt... sans the West Village paparazzi. Ethan Hawke breakfasts here frequently (I've seen him with my own eyes!) and he is always very quiet and gracious when recognized. Add Julia Stiles, Jane Seymour James Gandolfini, Molly Shannon, Philip Seymour Hoffman... even mega-star Kate Winslet... and you can see why this no-b.s. diner/luncheonette has become an culinary institution of the bacon & egg set. Over the years there have been very minor changes made to the space. It always feels that they'd rather be clean than remodeled... and there is something rather special about that attitude.
What can be deemed worse: The Spector of Phil Spector above your mantel... or Phil Spector himself? Is everything better in Black Velvet? Black Light? Black Panther TV Lamps? Certainly the subject matter can influence one's like or dislike of such art in question. Technique aside, it's hard to turn blind when the beauty is in the oh-so-certain eye of the beholder. Of course there is good art; that is not what this article is about. Good art is everywhere, as well as it should be. Average art is everywhere, which is unfortunate. Especially for those that have to insure and/or dust it. But bad art, bad taste, as John Waters has so maniacally taught us over the years needs to be really, really bad. Otherwise, it's truly worthless-- Monetarily, aesthetically void of value. Average art shouldn't even bother getting up in the morning. Seriously. If you're bad art, just call in sick-- Trust me, no one will miss you.