Monday Rounderp

The Whip, Lakeside Amusement Park, 2012

I’m going to try something new here, and will list out the things that I plan to write about this week. This will both force me to actually have a plan, and encourage me to stick to it. In addition, you can choose in advance which days to skip. But you’d never skip a day of ShoesAndPie, would you? NO OF COURSE YOU WOULD NOT. Right? Right?

Now, while this means that some Mondays could conceivably be as simple as a To-Do list, we all know how I run at the mouth…erm, keyboard. And Mondays invariably occur after Saturdays and Sundays, during which I don’t write posts, so there’s bound to be something to write about which happened over the weekend. Maybe.

WEEKEND IN REVIEW

After a few false starts this season, I finally got an evening in at our local Lakeside Amusement Park. Woody’s own tagline for the park is, “Where The Fear Is Real.” This once-stunning amusement complex still has a unique beauty, but I’ll readily admit that I avoided it for more than a decade after moving to Colorado because the entire place looks as though it will fall down any minute. My first visit wasn’t until the 2010 season, and I now try to make it at least a once-annual adventure. If you follow my Instagram feed (If you don’t use Instagram, you can view my feed via that link. Hover over a photo to read its caption.), you’ll see that the rest of this week’s daily #signporn posts will all be from Lakeside.

My mom bought me a coffin. I bought her an urn. (Long story.)

Also a weekend thing: my mom brought over this little coffin and so far the only use for it I’ve found is as a not-very-convenient case for my eyeglasses. Any ideas?

Plymouth Fury fender badge, 1965–67

Another weekend thing: A Plymouth Fury emblem that I ordered arrived, and now I need to figure out how to attach it to my currently favorite vintage (leatherette) handbag. I’m guessing that I’ll have to trim, if not outright remove, the original mounting posts. But of course I hate to make a permanent change like that if there’s another way! Do any of you have experience with this?

Okay, on with the week’s schedule!

MONDAY: You’re soaking in it.

TUESDAY: I acquired another small stack of vintage cookbooks over the weekend (thanks, mom!), including a Royal (baking powder) cook booklet from 1937. While skimming it, mom found a dubious recipe that seems to be custom-tailored for the ShoesAndPie Test Kitchen. Let’s try it!

WEDNESDAY: I now spend a few weekends every summer camping at dusty, dirty, noisy, primarily-male-dominated drag strips. There is nothing in that sentence that inspires thoughts of clean, well-lit, convenient bathrooms, amirite? After discussing the problem with A Friend Who Knows About These Things, and much reading of reviews, I wound up buying myself a device called a pStyle. My lone (so far) test has gone well, and I’m sure I’ll, um, “get better” with practice. However, carrying this item on my person at a race track will hardly be discrete. It’s not as though I tote my purse around with me, and it sticks out about 4 inches from even my roomiest cargo pockets. But lo! I am Creative! And I plan to sew up a cute little drawstring pouch that I can clip on to whatever I’m wearing and most people will probably assume it’s a sack for sunglasses. Let’s see how it goes!

THURSDAY: Let’s keep the creative juices flowing and see if I can’t make a replica of an unaffordable (for me) vintage necklace from new supplies found at a craft store.

FRIDAY: Kitchen p0rn! A look at some of the newest (and some merely new-to-me) acquisitions in the ShoesAndPie Test Kitchen.

Poodles and polka-dots!

ALL WEEK: I hope, I really really hope, to have enough time to get a whole stack of vintage aprons steamed, photographed, and listed at Tiddleywink Vintage in between all of the cookbooks that I’ve been listing. Keep your eyes peeled!

The Town That Fun Built

An old Jersey friend (that is, I’ve known her for a long time, not that she’s old!) shared this vintage promotional video today. Seaside Heights was a day trip for me growing up, and I used to go down a couple of times every summer. I spent HOURS in Lucky’s Arcade, without ever knowing that it had such history! After all these years, only two mementos remain from my days on the boardwalk: a Lucky Coin (perhaps two, but I can’t currently find PROM 88 DEWD), and the uppermost piercing in my left ear. Also, the memory of my friend Kim looking at me at the top of the log flume and saying, “Your hair DOES look better when it’s wet!” Good times, good times.

Note: this little film is 16 minutes long! However, it’s totally worth watching if you enjoy amusement parks, or the shore, or boardwalks, or hyperbolical marketing videos, or 1960.

Wonder Wheel, Tillie, and pink popcorn.

While out to dinner with Erin last night (at Bombay Clay Oven, where we sat barefoot in a cozy booth, littered with pillows and enveloped in curtains), she asked about my new header for July. Here’s the scoop, short-story-long:

I’m from New Jersey. That is, I lived there from infancy to the age of 18, and then on and off until I moved to Colorado when I was 24. As a result, summertime reminds me of mosquitos, oppressive heat/humidity, and trips down the shore. Yes, DOWN THE SHORE. Not “to” the shore, thankyouverymuch. The beach I visited most frequently was Seaside Heights (oh please, PLEASE click on the link), though I’d also made trips to Bradley Beach, Wildwood, Cape May, and environs. One beach that I didn’t go to was Asbury Park. At one time a thriving resort, it had become a run-down ghost town filled with derelict buildings and people of dubious moral character. Eventually, my sister moved full-time down to Ocean Grove, the shiny, sparkling, Rockwell-esque town right next door. And started working at the venerable Stone Pony, in good ol’ Asbury Park. On a visit to see her, I finally took a stroll through town. Still derelict, I was able to see first-hand the crumbling remains of what had once been popular beach-side attractions such as the giant carousel and the Palace arcade, complete with the peeling portraits of Tillie, unofficial mascot of the Jersey Shore.

What does all this have to do with anything? Not a helluva lot. I was going to use a photo of Tillie as my July masthead, to honor this most summery of months. But… all of the photos I could find are either too closely cropped to work in my horizontal format, or are too frighteningly run down. So I had to rethink.

Do you know what else is vintage, and beachy, and indicative of summer, especially to this here gal who was born in Brooklyn and spent the “off” part of those previously mentioned age-18-to-24 years there? CONEY ISLAND! Home of the other, original Tillie, also known as Steeplechase Jack. Home of Philip’s Candy (closed in 2001) and their infamous pink popcorn. Home of the Coney Island Aquarium. Home of the annual Mermaid Parade. Home of The Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel.

If you listen to the Wonder Wheel turn, one is likely to hear screams and some sort of rolling sound. That is the devilish charm of the wheel. The Wonder Wheel is unlike most Ferris wheels in that it has eight stationery cars and sixteen that roll along tracks within the wheel’s structure.  In his book The Outdoor Amusement Industry William Mangels said, “In its revolving structure are built-in curved tracks on which small passengers cars operate.  When the wheel is in motion these tracks incline, causing the cars to roll back and forth.”  Each car has two rows of two seats, both facing the same direction.  As the engine turns the wheel, the swinging cars stay stationary until they are a little above the wheel’s axis and then quickly fly down about twenty feet of track until they swing to a stop.

If one looks east down the Bowery it is easy to spot one of the Wheel’s best pieces of advertising. It is a large neon sign that has the words “Wonder Wheel” on top of each other, and the blinking word Thrills! in the middle of an arrow pointing south to the great wheel. There are only two similar Ferris wheels in the world. The first stands in Yokahama, Japan […] (and the) Sunwheel at Disney’s California Adventure.

While I have eaten a bagfull of pink popcorn from Philip’s, I have never actually ridden on the Cyclone or the Wonder Wheel. Who wants to go for a ride?