Much has been written about the history of postcards and there are a plethora of websites, collector’s clubs, blogs, and books on the subject. The earliest known picture postcard dates back to 1840. It was a hand-painted design on a card, sent in London to the writer Theodore Hook with a penny black stamp.
A rather eclectic postcard collection is among the many treasures I have accumulated over the years. Easy to store in one large shoe box, I take these out on occasion as inspiration for my collages. I have yet to sell any of this collection, but really have no attachment except for a few postcards that evoke long-lost personal memories. Some of these postcards date back to my youth – a few are vintage late 1890s-early 1900s. I have fond memories of riding my bike as a young teenager to Archie’s Coins in Edgebrook and buying a few really cool antique postcards for pennies. I also have an attachment to beautiful, early handcolored photographic postcards bought in 1979 at the Porte de Clignancourt in Paris – my first trip to Europe. Continue Reading
Last night was the season opener for NCIS, which has been our favorite show for a few years – although recently Breaking Bad overtook this honor. Since last season’s cliffhanger, we’ve been highly anticipating this and although it had a somewhat satisfying ending, it was disappointing due to a number of vast plot holes. The writing was less than stellar – in fact it was downright sloppy at times.
First off at the beginning there was a glimpse of the criminal/bad guy (Scott Wolf as Jonathan Cole) who tried to redeem himself by defusing the car bomb. He was dead on the ground and virtually intact. OK, we knew he would be dead because he was kneeling on top of the bomb when it went off. But considering the size of the blast, he should have been incinerated. Continue Reading
Jeff and I enjoy watching tennis as much as playing tennis. So we look forward to watching the four Grand Slams when they air – either on network TV or streaming from ESPN. This year the streaming quality from ESPN was sketchy, but we still managed to watch enough tennis to get our fill. It is our ultimate dream to attend the US Open in person one day – my sister has done so at least three times for free – thanks to a connection she has, or had. Ironic, considering she doesn’t play tennis and really has no interest in the game other than to rub shoulders with celebrities.
Reflections on Flushing Meadows – The 2012 US Open
The closest I have ever gotten to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center was when I flew out of LaGuardia Airport in late August 2010 and got a spectacular birds-eye view of the entire complex. My daughter and I had been staying at a hotel where some of the qualifiers were staying and we spotted many others in Midtown – very cool, indeed.
I was rooting for Andy Murray to win his first Grand Slam – the guy tries so hard and always seems to be the runner-up … with the exception of this summer’s Olympics. I was very happy to see him beat Novak Djokovic in what turned out to be a mind-blowing, exhausting 5-set match. It was very windy, but not as bad as it was during Murray’s match against Tomas Berdych – that was downright insane. Continue Reading
Windy City Memories of the Way We Were
A few weeks ago I picked up a really cool matchbook from a long closed girlie show/burlesque club in Chicago. The club was located on West Madison in a stretch until recently known as skid row and now gentrified and pricey. This sparked an idea about researching the history of a few select defunct places based on my personal matchbook collection. I have an unusual clear glass lamp that is filled with matchbooks, as well as a few other jars stuffed to the brim. Perusing this collection resurrected memories of places I had visited with my ex-husband, as well as unearthing matches for places I had never frequented but collected because they were visually intriguing. Think about it – with smoking banned in most public places, promotional matchbooks have really become a thing of the past and have a decidedly nostalgic vibe.
Club So-Ho at 1124 W. Madison gave out some of the coolest matchbooks I have ever seen. According to this blog, this girlie show was housed in a 220-seat theater and sparked the attention of the Chicago Tribune in 1948 as quite risqué. What exists at this location today – apparently nothing at this precise address, but The CrossRoads Bar & Grill is doing business at 1120 W. Madison.
A few months ago I embarked on the rather difficult task of helping my elderly parents rid themselves of 53 years worth of amassed stuff in their home. A longtime art collector, my dad has a rather impressive collection that theoretically (depending on the fickle art market) will contribute to a very nice inheritance for my two sisters and I. However, it is not the art that has fueled my desire to analyze the psychology behind collecting. As the daughter of a psychoanalyst, it is very tempting to delve into this subject and learn WWFS in the process – that is, What Would Freud Say? I am guessing it is your mother’s fault, but we’ll see. In any case, in cleaning my parents’ home, I have uncovered a lifetime of junk and a few goodies, including:
- Rusty tools and hardware that is worthless
- Ancient papers that should have been shredded decades ago
- An old suburban bus schedule, circa 1964
- A huge stockpile of Ace bandages, gauze pads, band-aids and other assorted first aid items that would make Clara Barton jealous
- A nearly full box of Tampax tampons circa 1950s that I actually sold on eBay
- Tons of traditional camera parts such as filters, meters, lens caps/hoods, film splicers, but it appears these have little value on the secondary market
- An Abercrombie & Fitch pocket warmer NIB, circa 1950s that I sold on eBay
- An old reel of metal/rubber weather-stripping, circa 1960s that I transformed into a funky art piece that is currently in the Crest Hardware Art Show
- A leather Hasselblad case for one of my dad’s classic Hasselblads sold long ago – I sold this on eBay to a European collector
I was very sad today when I heard about the death of actor Don Grady, known for his role as Robbie Douglas on My Three Sons. The show aired from 1960-1972 and I don’t recall watching it much back then – after all, I was still in diapers when it started. It was actually my older sister Debbie who had the mad crush on Robbie and plastered pin-ups of him from 16 Magazine on her wall. But since losing my full-time job last June, I admit I have been waxing nostalgic and vintage TV helps me stay lighthearted about my situation. I am grateful to Me-TV for airing these programs since I don’t have cable.
When CVS Pharmacy first opened in metro Chicago, I was impressed with the selection and prices. They were certainly competitive with Walgreens and Jewel-Osco, but in the last few years this chain has slid downhill at a rapid pace. Of course some locations are better than others – I went to the Palatine store today and it is vast and well stocked compared to the locations I normally frequent. Unfortunately the two closest to my home should be renamed CVS: Consumer Valueless Shops. But in general, not only are some of CVS prices out of sight compared to other discount stores, but the selection is meager. And even worse, the clerks are often incompetent and rude. That old adage I used in my recent Deals blog, when a deal is not a deal – certainly rings true here.
I think I was Italian in a previous life – what else would explain my love of Italian grocery stores and cuisine, Italian art, Italian designers, and the country itself. I traveled to Italy twice in the early 1980s and fell in love with Venice and Florence. But alas, time passed and obligations piled up over the years and I have not been back to glorious Italia. For now I have to satiate my quest for unusual Italian food products by frequenting the best damn Italian deli this side of the Atlantic Ocean! And listening to Louis Prima when the mood strikes. So twice a year we drive to Kenosha and thoroughly enjoy shopping at Tenuta’s Deli, a Kenosha tradition since 1950. Continue Reading
This morning Betsy called to tell me she had heard on the radio that Ray Bradbury had died. Just moments later on Facebook a friend posted the news of his death. Now, less than an hour later the story of his passing has been covered by virtually every news outlet and blog that I follow. He was 91.
Even though the most recent generation may not remember him, Ray Bradbury is certainly one of the most beloved American writers of all time. He is also one of the best. His prose lifts you to new heights of wonder. The pacing of his words is remarkable and no other author sounded quite like him. The legacy of his stories planted deep roots in our culture and entertainment. To me he had a special place in my heart, and here’s why: Continue Reading