Hey everyone, hope you’re all having a happy holiday! I know that in the past I’ve been absent from my blog a lot due to illness (but recently it’s been because of school) and I think I ought to come clean about that: I’ve been ill in past months due to abhorrent treatment from my ex (the one I’ve blogged about in the past). I thought about making this giant scorching expose of him and his family on here, but then I thought that it would be too inflammatory (even for me) and that you will lose respect for me and I would end up losing respect for myself too. Maybe I’ll save the scathing expose for my memoirs. However, because it’s the holiday season, I thought I would talk about all the good things that he has done for me. Everyone comes to you for a reason, after all.
So, thank you ex-boyfriend, for so many things:
Thank you for constant verbal abuse. It was strange to have you calling me horrible things while my friends at school were telling me that I am beautiful inside and out. It taught me who my true friends are and it taught me to seek those who see beauty in others always.
Thank you for lazy, stay-at-home attitude. It has increased my sense of adventure and exploration. While you’re probably spending your nights reading the expiration dates on your dairy products, as a friend of mine so famously said, I’ve been going out and seeing new places and meeting new people. Thank you for that.
Thank you for never defending me when I needed it. While you sat there like an ass, other male friends have rushed to my defense. It taught me that chivalry isn’t as dead as you make it seem to be.
Thank you for ridiculing me on a public forum. It taught me that only sissies and losers would publicly make fun of a girl on Facebook and not to feel hurt by your comments.
Thank you for saying that you were the one who blocked me on Facebook. That’s why I’m looking at your name and your sister’s name under my block list, right?
Thank you for being misogynistic. It’s been the butt of jokes amongst many, many people. Trust me.
Thank you for always turning the conversation to yourself. It taught me to seek the humbleness and modesty in others.
Thank you for being a liar. It taught me that honesty is the best policy.
Thank you for being narrow-minded. It taught me to open my mind and to be accepting towards all people.
Thank you for your disdain of the arts. It has only increased my artistic passions and creative pursuits.
Thank you for trying to tear me away from my family. It taught me that they are #1.
Thank you for insulting my friends. It has only made me love them more.
Thank you for trying to destroy my male friendships. They have become like brothers to me.
Thank you for trying to destroy my self-esteem. I may be different, but I enjoy being different. And other people appreciate it too.
Thank you for driving me to suicide several times. Now I can’t even entertain the thought.
Thank you for hating the city in which I live. Now I’d never move out of here for anything.
Thank you for thinking that you are a better-looking version of Gary Cooper. It still cracks me up that you can actually think that about yourself. Bless your little heart.
Thank you for disrespecting me. It taught me that good relationships should be based on respect above anything else. Too bad that means you can never have a good relationship, since you don’t respect women.
Thank you for calling me “crazy” and “kooky” every time I showed emotion. It taught me to seek those who understand emotion and know how to behave accordingly.
Thank you for your lazy attitude towards work. It has encouraged me to work a job, volunteer, and to seek a second job.
Thank you for always doing poorly in school. It has spurred me to keep up my good grades.
Thank you for hating 95% of the world’s population. And for silly things too, like their religion or their sexual orientation. It taught me to never judge anyone and to appreciate what each person has to offer.
Thank you for being racist and supporting white supremacy. It further showed me something that I always knew: that all people are beautiful.
Thank you for always shitting on my culture. It taught me that all cultures are fascinating.
Thank you for touting yourself as a “real man.” I bet you don’t even have a penis, kinda like a Ken doll when you pull his pants off.
Thank you for calling yourself a Christian. It taught me that a true Christian is the exact opposite of what you are.
Thank you for being intolerant of other faiths. It taught me to never judge anyone on their beliefs.
Lastly, thank you for cheating on me with multiple girls. It gave me the energy and realization to leave you and to make my life so much better without your miserable presence.
This is for his sister, who’s just as bad as he is:
Thank you for trying to ruin the relationship. It taught me to never stick my nose in other people’s business. It also taught me that you need to get a life.
Thank you for being jealous of me. I didn’t know that living in New York City and being a size 4 was that special or important, but it taught me that materialistic and shallow people like you are always the most miserable.
Thank you for saying that I “live in a fantasy world.” Meanwhile you think you live in an episode of “Gossip Girl.” It’s always fun to deal with people of meager intelligence such as yourself.
Thank you for your mindless celeb-worship. It taught me to look up to people who actually do something besides make assholes of themselves.
Thank you for your alcoholism. It taught me to take good care of myself and to look my best always, not like some drunk slob who vomits and pees herself.
Thank you for not going to college. It reminds me that someday I’ll be making money while you’ll be living off mommy and daddy for as long as you live.
Thank you for spending 20 out of the 24 hours a day on your X-Box. It taught me to actually go out and to actually meet people and gain new experiences.
Thank you for falling in love with your brother. Because who else would marry someone like him besides someone like yourself?
I write this because I know that many women have or will go through an abusive relationship. It’s so tough and it tears you apart. I don’t want something like this to happen to anyone. Please, take my experience as an example and let yourself go of those who fill you with negative energy. No one is worth the damage that such a relationship can cause. I’m glad I’ve found the strength to shake these bums off and lead a happy, fulfilling life once more. What are you thankful for this holiday season? xx
No, guys, I’m not Gerald O’Hara rejoicing that the Civil War is finally over. But I’m rejoicing that in several hours, THIS SEMESTER IS FINALLY OVER.
WHAT A NEVER-ENDING NIGHTMARE THIS WAS.
And after this winter break begins…so I will blog by day and go to the 1000 Christmas parties I’ve been invited to by night!
I’ve even got my first grade of the semester…and IT’S AN A+!!!!!!
Which means that tonight I’ll be completely losing my mind at my favorite show/dance performance/immersive theater piece Sleep No More.
But don’t look at me funny, there are people out there who have seen this show OVER 50 TIMES. Some people have all the time (and money, geez Louise, a ticket is $90 a pop!)
See y’alls real soon! xx
It’s yet another reason why I’m World’s Worst Blogger.
I hope y’alls forgive me for not writing these past three weeks, but this semester has been absolutely EXCRUCIATING! Honestly, it feels like it has dragged on for three years. The work is never-ending (CAN THESE PROFESSORS PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT I HAVE A LIFE OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL) that sometimes I feel like I’m going to lose all sanity because of it. Seven term papers and three finals and one final project is probably worse than Medieval torture. I actually sprained my thumb last night writing my study guide for a final >:(
But on December 20th, it will ALL. BE. OVER. FINALLY. And I’ll write again, I promise!!!
Sorry again guys. Just gotta finish all this schoolwork! (if that’s even possible…)
Hello my lovelies,
As you’ve probably heard, Hurricane Sandy has terribly impacted us here in New York. Power has been out for millions and there has been flooding in the streets and in homes.
The MTA is still completely shut down and even some bridges have closed. The New York City skyline looks so sad without all of its bright lights :’(
I am so thankful to say that I still have power and apart from minor leaks and the loss of cell phone service and WiFi, my family and I are okay. However, I’m not going to be able to blog until my Internet service returns (right now I’m connected to a faulty free public WiFi and I’m not sure if I will even be able to post this because the connection is that bad).
However, not everyone was as lucky as I was. Areas such as The Rockaways, Howard Beach, and Breezy Point have been totally devastated and destroyed by the hurricane. Fires in Breezy Point have destroyed approximately 100 homes and the death toll nationwide has risen to 40.
I ask you all to keep the East Coast, especially those in The Rockaways, Howard Beach, and Breezy Point who have lost homes and loved ones, in your thoughts and prayers. If you have been severely impacted by the hurricane, please seek shelter and relief. If possible, do what you can to help those who need it. New Yorkers are the strongest most determined people in the world, and nothing can ever take us down! We always band together like a giant family of 8 million people in times of crisis, and we can overcome anything
New York City. The Big Apple. The City That Never Sleeps. Destination of the world’s leaders and tourists from every corner of the planet. Home to the world’s freaks and geeks, the wealthiest of the wealthy, the most renowned celebrities, the dirt poor, and your humble blogger. I know I make a mighty big deal about being a New Yorker, but being from a glittery yet gritty place like this, how could I not? Everyone is aware of the magic of New York. Even Old Hollywood! Nowadays, New York is a prime filming destination (Who can forget when Sacha Baron Cohen paraded down Manhattan on a procession of camels for his film The Dictator?) and often my school has been used as a film location, the most notable being that inane series Gossip Girl (that day was a TOTAL NIGHTMARE…school was a circus because Leighton Meester and Ed Westwick were outside) and the Kevin Bacon series The Following (which happened at the same time as touring the Freshman class around the campus for their orientation. My school plans these things well, doesn’t it? Oh well, we got to see Kevin Bacon AND an exploding car!) You’d never think that Old Hollywood was up for location filming when it was cheaper and quicker to film on a soundstage. However, Hollywood is not the only place to travel to for your classic film fix, New York has its own classic film landmarks too! So if you don’t live here, don’t forget to come for your classic movie pilgrimage!
And may I recommend flying to New York at night? This might not be possible though, because I’m not sure how many hotels would allow night check-ins. But the aerial view of New York at night is just so beautiful, like sparkling golden jewels nestled in a case of black velvet:
Adam’s Rib (1949)
Summary: Married lawyers Adam (Spencer Tracy) and Amanda Bonner (Katharine Hepburn) find themselves on the opposite sides of the courtroom when Adam is prosecuting a case involving a woman who tried to murder her cheating husband and Amanda is her defense attorney.
The entire beginning sequence of the film, which is about the woman and her husband, was filmed in New York:
This is the scene in which the woman sees her husband going into his gal pal’s house. “Allan’s Steak Heaven” no longer exists, but it used to be located on East 52nd Street and Lexington Avenue.
Here’s an easy location: The Criminal Courts Building, 100 Centre Street
This location is apparently 104 Bayard Street and Baxter Street…but I kinda doubt that. In the screenshot from the film, you see the awning for Carmine’s Restaurant, a legendary eatery famous for its GIGANTIC Italian dishes (I’ve eaten there before, and trust me, one dish can comfortably feed you and a date, with some to spare). But Carmine’s is located in the Theater District, at 200 West 44th Street. Hmm…
All About Eve (1950)
Summary: Broadway newbie Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) gets lucky when she befriends the great, legendary stage diva Margo Channing (Bette Davis). Through her friendship with her role model, she gets close to Channing’s other connections. Everyone thinks that Eve is an innocent, star-struck, obsessed fan, except for cynical theater critic Addison DeWitt (George Sanders) who sees Eve for what she truly is: a manipulative snake who uses Margo to make her way up in the notoriously merciless world of theater.
Here is the famous 21 Club, located on 21 West 52nd Street. The 21 Club is a restaurant and a former 1920s speakeasy (it was opened in 1922. Also notice how the doors are a little bit under the ground.) Although the joint was raided numerous times by the police, the owners of the speakeasy were never caught, since a system of levers was used to tip the shelves of the bar and throw all the liquor down a chute and into the sewers. Sounds like a scene straight from a Pre-Code! The 21 Club also had a secret wine cellar, accessed through a secret door in the brick walls and leading to the basement of the building next door, 19 West 52nd (!!!) This wine cellar became the storage spot for the private wine collections of numerous celebrities, including President Gerald Ford, JFK, Richard Nixon, Elizabeth Taylor, Ernest Hemingway, Frank Sinatra, Al Jolson, Sophia Loren, Gene Kelly, Gloria Swanson, Judy Garland, and Marilyn Monroe. Every president since FDR with the exception of George W. Bush (who was an asshole anyways) has dined there. Can you say New York legend?
Bell, Book, and Candle (1951)
Summary: Gillian Holroyd (Kim Novak) is a modern-day witch (such people do exist…this is New York I’m talking about here!). When publisher Shep Henderson (Jimmy Stewart) walks into her building, she falls in love with him and decides to have him all to herself…especially since he’s engaged to her former enemy from her college days. So Gillian casts a spell on him. Will it work?
You can’t really tell because of the use of close-up shots, but this scene was in fact shot on top of the Flatiron Building, located on 175 5th Avenue. The Flatiron Building was built in 1902 and is considered to be the world’s first skyscraper (I know, I know, it’s impossible to think that this was actually once thought of as a skyscraper). At its time, it was the tallest building in New York City.
Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961)
Summary: I don’t like the film or the book (don’t hate me) but much to my chagrin, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is considered a legendary New York story. Holly Golightly is a madcap prostitute who lives in a brownstone on Manhattan’s East Side. Her apartment is only half-furnished, her cat has no name, she constantly loses her keys, and she loves to visit Tiffany’s because it “feels like home.” (and NO, you can’t eat breakfast at Tiffany’s, it’s a jewelry store for goodness sake. Unless your idea of breakfast is a bunch of diamonds and semiprecious gems.) After spending a day in the city with Holly, her neighbor Paul Varjak falls in love with her. But Holly is determined to marry Jose, a millionaire from exotic South America.
It ain’t Breakfast at Tiffany’s without the Tiffany and Co. flagship store, located on 727 5th and 57th Street. In the film, Holly would spend every morning eating a pastry and drinking coffee while admiring Tiffany’s window displays. When filming this scene, hundreds of onlookers were watching Audrey, which made her nervous and caused her to constantly mess up. It wasn’t until a crew member was nearly electrocuted behind the camera that Hepburn was able to collect herself, forget about the crowd, and finish the scene. This location has been the flagship of Tiffany’s since 1940.
This beautiful locale is the Conservatory Water in Central Park, which stretches from 72nd to 75th Street.
This scene was filmed at the New York Public Library, located on 5th between 40th and 42nd Streets. It is one of the most iconic and largest libraries in the world and one of the leading research libraries.
This final film exterior was shot at Park Avenue and East 52nd Street.
Butterfield 8 (1960)
Summary: Fashion model Gloria Wandrous is embroiled in an illicit affair with married socialite Weston Liggett. However, Gloria’s desire for respectability causes her to reconsider her lifestyle.
In the film, Liz Taylor tells the taxi to take her to 38 Horatio Street. However, the actual location is 15 Gay Street and Waverley Place.
In this scene, Liz takes a stroll down 5th Ave and pauses to look at the window display of the store on the corner of 5th and 55th. However, what is located there is now…the Disney Store. Something tells me Elizabeth Taylor wasn’t interested in the latest Mickey Mouse toys and Disney Princess dolls!
42nd Street (1933)
Summary: Big-time Broadway director Julian Marsh (Warner Baxter) is putting on a new show and has to deal with the torrential love life of its star, the stuck-up diva Dorothy Brock (Bebe Daniels). On the night before the premiere of the show, Dorothy breaks her ankle, and it’s up to unknown chorus girl Peggy Sawyer (Ruby Keeler) to take the lead. The show must go on!
Okay. I totally cheated here. 42nd Street wasn’t really filmed on 42nd Street. It was instead filmed in Warner Brothers Studio in Burbank, California. I passed through those same soundstages where Ruby Keeler tap-danced her way into the hearts of millions of Americans. But it’s fun to see the real location where the famous finale of the film is supposed to take place!
This is what West 42nd Street looks like today. Obviously, the 1933 recreation and the 2012 reality cannot be compared. When the film was made, West 42nd Street was a hotbed of crime, porn, and prostitution. It remained so until the early 90s when Giuliani cleaned it up (I was a little kid then…dear God, do I feel old!) However, there are still one or two adult film schowcases lying around there. Now 42nd Street is the center of the city: it’s in the heart of Times Square and the Theater District. It’s also Tourist Central…so GOOD LUCK walking through there. I have to bite my tongue to prevent the unleashing of the Potty Mouth on the Midwesterners wearing Bermuda shorts and fanny packs and taking VIDEOS of the Empire State Building. Because apparently the Empire State Building moves. People like that don’t last a day in a city like this. End tourist rant.
The Godfather (1972)
Summary: Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) is the aging Don of the Corleone Mafia Family, one of the five greatest Mafia families of New York. As soon as his youngest son, Michael (Al Pacino) returns home from World War II, the ten year peace is broken when a drug dealer named Virgil Sollozzo asks the Corleones for protection of his drug ring in exchange for money and a share in his drug dealership. However, the Don is morally against drugs and refuses. This prompts Sollozzo to hire hitmen to attempt to assassinate the Don. While the Don recovers, it is up to his sons Santino, Frederico, and Michael to lead the Corleone Family in one of the most violent Mafia wars in New York history.
Who doesn’t know Radio City Music Hall? Built in 1929 by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., this legendary venue has remained largely unchanged since. Renowned interior designer Donald Deskey (ever heard the term “Deskey Deco”? He’s why) designed the elegant, razzle-dazzle interiors which still remain today. The theater’s gold curtain is also the largest in the world. Radio City has also premiered some of the greatest classic films, including the original “King Kong,” “It Happened One Night,” “National Velvet,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Mame,” and “To Kill A Mockingbird” (whose star, Gregory Peck, was a former usher at Radio City). Nowadays, Radio City is one of New York’s most iconic Christmas venues. Every year it stages Christmas Spectacular, featuring the New York Rockettes, who are celebrating their 85th anniversary this year.
This is of course, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, located on 5th Avenue between 50th and 51st streets. A note here: the cathedral is undergoing major renovations, so its famous facade is temporarily hidden by scaffolding. St. Patrick’s is the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of New York.
How To Marry A Millionaire (1953)
Summary: Three models, Shatze (Lauren Bacall), Pola (Marilyn Monroe), and Loco (Betty Grable) hatch a plan: tired of cheap, poor boys, each one of them plans to trap and marry a millionaire. However, it is difficult to tell the big money apart from the hucksters, and in the end, will the money even be worth it?
Pola’s apartment is located on 36 Sutton Place and East 55th Street. Some of Manhattan’s wealthiest have lived in this neighborhood, including Freddie Mercury (one of the greatest loves of my life), Bill Blass, Joan Crawford (another love of my life), Marilyn herself, and her then-hubby Arthur Miller.
Here, my friends, is the George Washington Bridge. One of the world’s busiest bridges, the George Washington spans the Hudson to connect Manhattan to New Jersey.
The Hucksters (1947)
Summary: Fresh from the war, Victor Norman (Clark Gable) is looking for a job in the competitive world of advertising. His first task is to get widow Kay Dorrance (Deborah Kerr) to endorse Beautee Soap. He does so and gets the job, but things don’t go smoothly when Vic finds himself attracted to Kay instead of his current girlfriend, the young Jean Ogilvie (Ava Gardner).
The Jazz Singer (1927)
Summary: Cantor Rabinowitz (Warner Oland) is upset because his son Jakie (Al Jolson) would rather become a jazz/ragtime musician than uphold the family tradition of five generations and take on the role of cantor in his neighborhood’s synagogue. Relations between father and son get so bad that Jakie leaves home, changes his name to Jack Robin, and gets a big opportunity through stage actress Mary Dale. However, Jakie constantly remembers his family and is torn between his career as a jazz singer and his family’s wishes for him to become a cantor.
King Kong (1933)
Summary: Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) is finishing up his film starring leading lady Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) and has found the perfect location: the mysterious, eerie Skull Island. The crew does not know what they will encounter here, but they soon find out that this island is the home of the giant menacing gorilla King Kong. Kong kidnaps Ann, and it is up to the crew to rescue her.
The most iconic scene of the movie and one of the most iconic scenes in film history was shot at the Empire State Building, located at 350 5th Avenue and West 34th Street. The scene I’m talking about is, of course, the one in which Kong climbs the Empire State, Fay Wray in his hands, and swats away at the fighter planes. The establishing shots of the fighter planes were shot in my great homeland Brooklyn (at the U.S. Naval Airbases). The scenic NYC views in the film were shot from the top of the Empire State, and the scenes involving the monkey were shot on replicas of the building in Hollywood (the filmmakers secured the original architectural plans of the Empire State in order to create a convincing recreation for the movie). This 102-story Art Deco landmark was built only two years earlier than the film, in 1931. Here’s a sweet little secret from someone who was walked right past this building numerous times: if you look closely, the windowpanes of the Empire State are red!
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Summary: A heartwarming classic New York story. At the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, an old man discovers that the actor portraying Santa is drunk. Special events coordinator Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara) persuades the old man to take his place and becomes a sensation, quickly gaining the post of in-store Santa at Macy’s. Doris then finds out that the man calls himself Kris Kringle and truly thinks of himself as Santa Claus, which makes her uncomfortable since she does not believe in fantasy. However, the people also believe there is something special about Kris. But unfortunately, Kris is soon held at Bellevue and all seems lost until his friend Fred Gaily promises to release him. A hearing is then set up in which Gaily argues that Kris is in fact Santa Claus. Will he win?
This scene was shot at East 61st Street and Madison Avenue.
Parade scenes were filmed down Central Park West between 76th and 77th Streets.
And of course, parade scenes were filmed at Macy’s, located at 34th street between 6th and 7th avenues, Herald Square. Ah, Macy’s. I’ve got a love/hate relationship with that place. The world-famous flagship location has been standing in Herald Square since 1901. A tip for all of you who are planning a trip to New York and have Macy’s on your agenda: the store has ten floors. It is a behemoth, a monster that saps up all your strength and energy and sanity after awhile. So make sure to give Macy’s an entire day for itself. It is also always unbelievably crowded. And the shoe department is a total nightmare. But if you are an international visitor, go to the Information Desk at the Visitor’s Center on the second floor for a discount card good for 11% off your purchases (yay!) What I like about Macy’s is that it has a large range of products for people of all economic standings (it’s the only place I can think of where I can buy a pair of new Louis Vuitton flats and a Gucci purse and a pair of dirt-cheap jeans from the juniors section) and some of the store still has the old wooden escalators from the early 1900s (although with the recent renovations happening in the store, I don’t know what will become of these relics).
The court scenes of the film were shot at the New York County Supreme Court, located at 60 Centre Street in the Financial District.
North by Northwest (1959)
Summary: New York advertising exec Roger O. Thornhill (Cary Grant) is kidnapped by a gang of spies led by Philip Vandamm (James Mason) because they mistakenly believe that Thornhill is CIA Agent George Kaplan. Thornhill is able to escape Vandamm’s clutches, but he now must find Kaplan to clear himself of a murder that is believed he committed. Thornhill then meets the beautiful femme fatale Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint)…but is Eve really trying to help Roger?
The scenes of Cary Grant’s character exiting his workplace were filmed at the CIT Financial Office at 650 Madison Avenue. You know, I’ve walked past this building many, many times, never knowing that Cary Grant did so too.
Thornhill then walks into the world-famous Plaza Hotel (750 5th Avenue and Central Park South) this 20-story palace of luxury will be featured greatly in a one of my favorite films, which will be coming up soon on this list.
Sensing that he is being followed, Thornhill then goes to the United Nations Headquarters on 1st Avenue between 42nd and 48th Streets. Nowadays, this is where Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad (dunno if I spelled that right) comes to perform his crazy antics every year.
Summary: Linus (Humphrey Bogart) and David (William Holden) are wealthy brothers, while Linus is all work, David is all play. Sabrina Fairchild (Audrey Hepburn) is the shy, awkward daughter of the family chauffeur and is in love with David “who hardly knows she exists.” Sabrina then goes to Paris for two years and comes back an elegant, beautiful, society women who not only captures the heart of David, but Linus’ as well.
The Seven-Year Itch (1955)
Summary: Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) is the exec of a publishing firm and your regular average Joe. He sends his wife and son for a vacation in the country. Always a faithful family man, Sherman often dreams of being successful with women…and temptation strikes when a beautiful sexy blonde (Marilyn Monroe) moves into the apartment upstairs.
Arguably THE most iconic scene in cinema history was filmed right here in New York: the scene in which an oncoming subway train rushes past, causing Monroe’s skirts to billow upwards as she stands above the subway grating. This legendary grating is located on 52nd Street and Lexington Avenue. The scene was shot on September 15, 1954 at 1 in the morning. However, portions of this scene had to be re-shot in Hollywood because onlookers whistled and cheered Monroe on as her skirts flew up, causing her to forget her lines.
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Summary: One of my favorite, and most underrated, Hitchcock films. Creepy Bruno Antony (Robert Walker) thinks he has hatched the plan for the perfect murder when he meets pro tennis player Guy Haines (Farley Granger) on a train. If Haines kills Antony’s hated father for him, he will kill Haines’ slut of a wife, freeing him to marry his elegant socialite girlfriend, Ann Morton (Ruth Roman). Guy laughs off the plan, but Bruno is serious and murders Guy’s wife. When Guy chickens out of his end of the bargain, Bruno threatens him by telling him that he will plant evidence at the scene of the crime, framing Guy for the murder. Not only is the police suspecting Guy, his career is tainted, his relationship with Ann is strained, and he is being stalked and blackmailed by a psycho. Will he go through with the plan?
Once again, we see Penn Station in a classic film. Penn Station is one of the busiest rail stations in the world. However, the original Penn Station, built in 1910 was much grander and larger, a Beaux-Arts gem of New York City. However, in 1963, orders were given to demolish the head-house and train shed of Penn Station to make way for an office complex and expansions to Madison Square Garden.
That Touch of Mink (1962)
Summary:Sweet, conservative little country girl Cathy Timberlake (Doris Day) meets the man of her dreams, wealthy city man Philip Shayne (Cary Grant) when his Rolls-Royce splashes her with mud while on her way to a job interview. Philip is in love with Cathy as well, but there is one problem: he is not the marrying man, while marriage is the only thing she has on her mind.
This glorious scene of topless Cary Grant was filmed at the new York Athletic Club (180 Central Park South and 7th Avenue). It used to have a red awning. Today it is green and has the initials of the Athletic Club instead of the full name like it used to have.
Week-End at the Waldorf (1945)
Summary: Pretty much a happier, light-hearted remake of 1932′s Grand Hotel but taking place in the swanky Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. It stars Lana Turner in the Joan Crawford role, Edward Arnold in the Wallace Beery role, and Walter Pigeon in the John Barrymore role. The biggest plot stretch from the original comes with Van Johnson as a war hero about to undergo major surgery, and who wants to enjoy what would perhaps be the last days of his life. There is also an appearance by humorist Robert Benchley and a cameo appearance by Xavier Cugat as the Waldorf-Astoria’s bandleader.
The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel is located on 301 Park Avenue between East 49th and 50th Streets. This 47-story luxury dream of a hotel was built in 1931 and is a world-famous Art Deco landmark. It is also the first hotel in the world to offer room service, forever changing the face of the hotel industry. The hotel houses three American and European restaurants, a beauty parlor, its own railway station as part of Grand Central Terminal, a collection of boutiques, and an elevator large enough to fit FDR’s automobile (!!!)
Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992)
Summary: Okay, okay, this isn’t a classic film in the true definition of the term. But I consider it a classic because EVERYONE adores it! Ten year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) and his unbelievably large family decide to spend Christmas in Florida (ew…) However, our young hero loses his family and accidentally boards a plane to New York City. Kevin then discovers the power of the credit card, checks into the Plaza Hotel, and leads a life of luxury (i.e. being driven in a limo to the toy store while eating pizza and having banana splits delivered to your hotel suite every day). However, his dream life is ruined when he runs into his old enemies, Harry and Marv (the hilarious Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern). Kevin hatches a plan to put Harry and Marv behind bars once again when he finds out of their plan to rob a toy store on Christmas Eve. Because no one messes with kids on Christmas, bitches.
Here Kevin visits Battery Park, where he uses one of the many binoculars to get a closer look at the Statue of Liberty. It’s a warmer, dryer option than taking the ferry to Liberty Island (I once made the unfortunate mistake of doing this in a pink silk summer dress…Worst. Idea. Ever.)
One of the most heartwarming scenes of the film, when Kevin wishes for his mother to come find him, was filmed at Rockefeller Center (5th Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets). Since 1931, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has lit up the holidays each December for native New Yorkers and tourists alike. It has become a Christmas icon and has brought holiday cheer to millions. Indeed, I cannot imagine Christmas without this tree. The first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was a 20-foot Balsam fir. Today, the tree is a Norwegian spruce that can be anywhere from 75 to 90 feet tall.
Phew! What a post! I hope you enjoyed and learned something new, and if you are a classic movie fan who lives in or is planning to visit New York, I hope this will be a help to you! If I’ve forgotten anything, feel free to post in the comments
The award for Worst Blogger in the History of Blogging goes to Miss Carole Irene, age 19, of Brooklyn, New York.
I apologize deeply for not blogging for almost two weeks now. I stink. And my lovely readers, I’m going to have to ask you to please sit tight for another week or so. Again, because I stink. I’ll explain why.
Usually, when people my age say “my life is falling apart” it’s because one thing isn’t working out for them. Something stupid, like the Internet is too slow on their iPhones (I say as I write this post on my iPhone) but when my life falls apart, it’s because EVERYTHING isn’t working:
1) Things at home are as rotten as they can be. I’m not getting into details here, but things are happening that make me end up crying and wallowing in misery for days on end. I just wish I can pull a leaf out of Harry Potter’s book and Apparate out of here to a place far, far away. Like Guam.
2) Things with friends are as rotten as they can be. Some friends think it’s cool to neglect me and speak to me only when necessary. Others whom I have known for years make plans with each other in front of me as though I don’t exist. And others I thought I can trust with my life, but they abandon me at a time when I need them most. I guess the cliche “nice girls finish last” is true. I haven’t done anything to upset anyone, and yet they seem to be trying their best to make me feel like crap. I’m really tired of feeling under-appreciated. It’s like no matter what I do I’m not pretty enough, not smart enough, and not popular enough for anyone. No one likes me.
3) School is an absolute nightmare. I have a full scholarship, but it comes with a catch: you can only keep it if you get a 3.5 GPA or higher. Any lower and it’s revoked. It’s hell on earth trying to keep up with the never-ending pile of homework, the hundreds of pages of reading every night (no joke), and the monstrous paper assignments. I feel like I can’t keep up, I can’t catch my breath, and that I can’t do all of this work well. I’m a student, not a miracle worker. I wish professors can understand that! But no. Lately I can’t finish my homework, and I feel that my grades are slipping. This, in addition to points 1 and 2, leaves me in tears.
4) Because of all this, I’m very ill. My nerves are frayed, I’m having trouble eating, I’m weak, I’ve had a sharp dip in my weight, and I’m suffering chronic migraines which don’t go away, no matter how much medicine I take. I feel like I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
So I think that right now, it’s perhaps for the best that I put the blog on a short hiatus, until I feel better. I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity, and I want to give you guys the best work that I can. Right now, I don’t think I would be happy with the work I turn out, and neither would you guys. I’m only going to do a post for Carole Lombard’s birthday tomorrow and then I’m gonna have to take a break. I have some posts in the works for later, and I promise you I will publish them once I get things under control and I get my creative inspiration back. If you would like, I have a tumblr, http://lookatallthesedamnpictures.tumblr.com/ it includes not only plenty of classic movie stuff, but my other interests as well. I promise you it’s a great insight into my crazy, mixed-up brain.
Thank you all so much for your patience and for putting up with this. I apologize again. Love you all <3
I apologize for not blogging for awhile. I’ve been quite busy. A lot of things have been happening to me, and I’ve been enjoying “Summer Under The Stars” as I’m sure most of you have been doing as well!
One reason I haven’t been on here in a long time is that I’ve been quite sick. For over two weeks now I’ve been suffering from an extreme lack of appetite. I pick at everything, and I pretty much live on water and Capri Sun juice. I don’t know why, but lately the smell and sight of food disgusts me. Like I’m a pregnant mother. But I know I’m not pregnant.
I’ve also been suffering from severe migraines and I’ve been feverish for a couple of days now. I’m attributing this to my lack of appetite, but I’m not too sure.
What’s the worst is that whenever I eat, I vomit it up five minutes later. My stomach literally expels everything I eat out of my system I’ve lost A LOT of weight these past weeks because of this. This is the only upside I can think of here. But even though now I finally have my Harlow-esque dream body, I’m paranoid that I can gain back all the weight just as quickly as I lost it because I didn’t lose it in a healthy way
Does anyone know what these symptoms may mean? Could I just have a stomach cold or is it something worse? I’m really worried because I’ve never been sick like this before. Any help would be appreciated
Why do most boys think it’s good to be total assholes and douchebags to the people who actually give two shits about them?
Whoever can answer this question should win a Nobel Prize or something.
Honestly, men are either REALLY smart or REALLY dumb. Unfortunately, a lot of them fall into the latter category.
I’m gunna give up on boys and become a forever alone cat lady. Actually, I’m more of a dog person. So I’ll be a forever alone dog lady. Does that make me a forever alone bitch? Whatever.
Thank you and good night.
Like The Humphrey Bogart Murder Case before it, The William Powell and Myrna Loy Murder Case is just another cheap knockoff of a novel-turned-movie, this time The Thin Man. It’s not the plot that’s a copy of The Thin Man, but the characters. My my, Dashiell Hammett must be turning in his grave.
The plot: Basking in the success of The Thin Man series, best friends and costars William Powell and Myrna Loy are suddenly thrown into real detective work when Claire Young, madam to the stars, is diagnosed with an inoperable cancer and threatens to reveal the contents of her little black book in order to get some money from her famous patrons so she provide for her secret son after she’s dead. This blatant blackmail leads to the murders of Claire’s best friend Fern Arnold, and her secretary, Amelia Hubbard (to whom Claire was dictating her memoirs). Of course, there’s your usual cast of weirdos, including a Hungarian prostitute who works for Claire, her violinist, a young naive prostitute, and a notable doctor. It’s up to detective Herb Villon, along with Nick and Nora…I mean Powell and Loy…to figure out who would be desperate enough to kill for this little black book.
Many things about this book both shocked and disgusted me. First was the characterization of the celebrities. Baxt doesn’t understand that Powell and Loy have personalities of their own. Instead we get a very poor rendition of Nick and Nora Charles, their characters from The Thin Man. The two of them speak purely in quips and are never found without a martini in hand. They also never show any emotion towards the murders, instead making sarcastic jokes about them. This appalled me more than anything else in this book, especially when it comes to Myrna Loy, who was one of the most compassionate, kindhearted Hollywood figures. If someone she knew got murdered, she never would sat there, said “the poor bastard” or something to that effect, and take a swig from her martini. But that’s precisely the Myrna Loy we are presented with here. I find it so sad that Baxt obviously knew nothing about the actors he was using in his books, and instead resorts to bad imitations of their famous film characters. Actors are not always like the characters they portray! There’s also Louis B. Mayer, who does nothing but bang his fists on his desk and pass out in a dead faint (was Mayer always this prone to fainting? He faints at least three times in the book) and Jean Harlow, who does nothing but pout at William Powell and sashay down the MGM in a sheer swimsuit. Again, Harlow wasn’t a loose woman like those she played on-screen!
The friendship that Powell and Loy have with the madam, Claire Young, also confuses me. Each MGM contract player had a morality clause in their contract, correct? Now, I know that many of them had extramarital love affairs and in fact did visit prostitutes, but all this was done in secret and I’m not so sure but I guess it was considered okay as long as it wasn’t publicized and as long as the movie-going public didn’t get wind of it. At that time, stars could get fired for breaking this clause. So why was it okay for Bill and Myrna to publicly visit a whorehouse, get their picture taken by every camera in Hollywood, and get interviewed by reporters!?!? They literally just barge in on this mystery! They had NO point being there. They just walked right into this whorehouse and said they were “researching for their next Thin Man film.” The hell?? THEY HAVE A MORALITY CLAUSE, REMEMBER? And what does Mayer do? Faint in his office. I think the real L.B. would’ve wiped them off the face of the earth!
The way the dialogue in the book is written is dizzying. It’s very dialogue-driven (which in itself gets annoying after awhile. Sometimes you need a break from all that talking and need to read a description or something) so it should always be clear exactly who is speaking. But Baxt rarely ever mentions the speakers. He does only once in the beginning of the conversation and then you have to follow for a good couple of pages. It gets so confusing, and sometimes you have to start again from the beginning to figure out exactly who is doing the talking by the bottom of the page. Talk about frustrating.
I also hated how everyone was an alcoholic in this book. Loy and Powell never stop drinking martinis (God knows how they were still sober enough to do detective work) and you also have drinkers in Hazel Dickson (Herb Villon’s girlfriend) and in Hellman and Hammett. Just because it’s Hollywood doesn’t mean everyone lives solely for their next drink! Honestly, I was waiting for Powell and Loy to die from liver failure by the end of the book.
Another shocking plot point was, believe it or not, Paul Bern’s death. Firstly, Baxt states that Bern was the one who got Claire Young her start in the prostitution business, but then he goes so far to say that Bern was involved with silent film actress Barbara LaMarr and provided her with the drugs that would end up killing her. I don’t know much about LaMarr, let alone her relationship with Bern, so if someone knows anything about this and can tell me, I’d appreciate it! He’s also definite that Bern’s death was not a suicide but a murder. It is a possibility, and there’s evidence that can point that way, but it’s also equally possible that it could’ve indeed been suicide. How can Baxt be so sure? And in this book, the person who murders Claire’s friend and her secretary also murdered Bern, since he was in a way connected with Claire as well. In my opinion, fooling around with an actual murder mystery in a fake murder mystery is playing with fire!
If you want a real murder mystery, read The Thin Man instead.
I’ve been under a lot of emotional stress lately, so I won’t be posting for about three or four days. I just need to rest and relax and take some time to feel better. I hope you understand.
Love you all,
Some of you may know that I love art. Drawing, painting, printing, carving, I’ve done it all and I love it all. So of course, for my art class in school, most of my subjects dealt with classic films. Here’s some of the work I’ve done recently:
Jean Harlow…not really happy about how this one came out…
Gable and Lombard, publicity shot for No Man of Her Own (1932).
I know this is a bit of a short post, but I wrote a review of Lone Star (1952) and WordPress decided to just delete the entire thing >:( I’m way too frustrated to re-do the entire post now, so keep your lovely eyes peeled for it tomorrow!
I am happy to announce that today, May 23, 2012, was my last day of school! Woooooooohhooooooo! Now I can blog as much as I please! Today’s post on Mary Pickford is guest written by Imogen Reed. She did me a great favor by writing this when I didn’t have the time to be writing myself. Here’s her wonderful piece, and enjoy!
Mary Pickford – A Celebration
April 8th 2012 saw what would have been the 120th birthday of Mary Pickford and May 29th marks the 32nd anniversary of her death. Mary Pickford was a trailblazer for the glamorous women of Hollywood and such an important figure within the movie industry (from their very earliest inception) that she mustn’t ever be forgotten.
Mary Pickford was born Gladys Mary Smith in Ontario in 1892. She had two siblings, Jack and Lottie who would also both go on to become actors and performers in their own right although they both had distinctly troubled lives.
From her earliest years all Mary ever knew was acting and performing. She toured the US with her family performing in plays and vaudeville (doing what actors these days call “cutting their teeth”). Her early years were lived out in pretty much intolerable poverty. Ramshackle housing with no heating, hot water or electricity. Little in the way of health and safety passed in those days so houses would be very often dangerous to live in with not even anything in the way of an asbestos survey or a damp proof course to keep the family from illness or injury.
The family had to try and earn their keep somehow even though being an actor at this time was considered the lowest of the low, unless you were performing in “proper” things like Shakespeare or Chekhov. Anything else was deemed highly inappropriate. When the movies were first established in the very early years of the twentieth century, they were seen as an even lower form of art than stage acting and heavily frowned upon.
Nevertheless, in the year 1909 Mary was taken in for a screen test by the famed director DW Griffith for his “Biograph” company. She passed her audition with flying colours, so much so that Griffith was prepared to give her more than the going rate per day for other actors. Here she is in one of her very first supporting roles, seen properly in the second scene (the sound quality of this clip is quite poor unfortunately, but even here you can see what a glorious presence she had.)
Her Film Career
From 1909 onwards her film roles came thick and fast. However, in those days actors were not credited for any acting they did in the same way stars are billed now. Mary is one of the actors who managed to change this notion. One day she saw a huge picture of herself on a sandwich board outside a movie theatre, advertising a film she had taken top billing in with the caption “The Biograph Girl”. She was incensed that people knew who she was but not her name, and left Biograph to work for DW Griffith’s opposite number Carl Laemmele – also ensuring that from then on she was “named” in pictures alongside other actors.
Over the next few years she yo-yoed between different picture houses and directors making films for Biograph, Famous-Players-Lasky and Paramount. This is her in a role from 1915 in Madame Butterfly, made with the director Sidney Olcott
Mary, at the young age of twenty three could now seriously and choose the work she did. She was a respected actress, moviegoers loved her youthful innocence, she was one of the few actresses that kept her long locks at a time in which most other women cut their hair into bobs, feeling that women had no need to emasculate themselves in the name of fashion.
The “Move” That Really Made Her
Pickford was working for Adolph Zukor at Paramount Pictures when her contract came up for renewal, she chose not to stay with Paramount and instead moved to “First National Pictures” who offered her complete control over her work. This wasn’t to last. In 1919 she, along with Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and DW Griffith formed the motion picture company “United Artists” which gave not only her, but the other gentlemen complete control over their work and how it was distributed. This made Mary one of the richest women in the US, not only that but it proved that she was not only a great and consummate actress with wonderful talent and beautiful classical looks but an incredibly shrewd businesswoman.
She continued her career in the silents and right into the era of the talkies, making this Oscar winning performance in the 1929 film coquette (in which she’d finally flouted the long hair in favour of a bob!
However, by 1933 she realised she could no longer play the roles she had been so adept at, the innocent teenager, the young vivacious girl etc and didn’t have the “voice” in her to play elegant heroines so she gracefully retired from the business of acting instead choosing to work as a producer instead making films for people like Claudette Colbert and The Marx Brothers.
She was married three times and divorced twice, firstly to Owen Moore then to her business partner and respected actor Douglas Fairbanks and finally Charles “Buddy” Rogers and never had children of her own, instead choosing late in life to adopt and care for two children Roxanne and Ronald. However adept she was as an actress, her life as a mother was less successful and her relationship with her adopted children was never easy. She received an honorary Oscar in 1976 for her services to the film industry, directing and producing and died three years later in 1979 following a stroke.
She blazed a trail for other women to “make it” in Hollywood, not just as actresses but behind the camera as directors and producers too. Her strength of character and feisty nature made it possible for women to believe they too could make it if they chose and hat’s just what they’ve been doing ever since!
If anyone is interested in doing some guest writing for An Elegant Obsession, feel free to contact me!
No folks, I am not dead.
Nor have I lost interest in this blog.
Nor have I lost interest in classic films.
It’s just that your favorite dame is trying to get through that monstrous hell-hole known as college! If you’ve already been through it, you know how difficult that first year can be, and if you aren’t there yet, you’re in for something! It’s quite fun, but tons of hard work, leaving me with a lot less time to watch the films that I love, let alone deliver high-quality posts on them for you guys! And on a more personal note, I’m going through a pretty bad breakup right now Alas, the young man that this dame has spent so much of her love, time, and energy on turned out to be quite hateful I wish I didn’t have to end things with him, but the guy drained me out and couldn’t appreciate a nice dame when he saw one Oh well, c’est la vie. A word to all the ladies out there: be wary when a man can charm you with his words…and if you’re going through a tough breakup, just remember that it’s ok to cry a little and get mad a little. But in the end, forgive him, stand up tall, pop in a classic, move on with the present, enjoy your life, and be the best dame you can possibly be!
I promise that I will make up for this disgusting lack of blogging as soon as school is over, which will be in a month <3 I love you all, and I promise to give you the best blog ever! Feel free to pop me any of your film-related questions/comments!
Love, CI <3
Merry Christmas everyone! I know I haven’t blogged in a while, but now I’m on winter break, so I promise to blog often. To make things festive, and to avoid the embarrassingly hilarious “Christmas Special” from last year, I’ll post some Christmas-themed glamour portraits to liven up the holiday spirit!
Joan Crawford: every man’s fantasy Santa
Joan and a wreath.
I’d like to end by wishing a happy birthday to classic Hollywood’s own Christmas baby, Humphrey Bogart!
Just incredibly busy.
Right now, I’m juggling a lot (college is so insane!) and I no longer have the time to blog as often as I would want to. I promise promise promise two new posts by the end of the week, and I will most definitely be participating in the Fashion in Film Blogathon on September 24th. I love you all!
Clara Bow’s 106th birthday was a couple of days ago. To celebrate, here are my favorite glamour shots of this iconic little flapper and fellow Brooklyn dame. She was a beauty in her own right:
A shot from one of her rare talkies, “Call Her Savage” (1932). She was unsuccessful in talkies for a few reasons, including false, destructive rumors about her lifestyle and her heavy Brooklyn accent. Unfortunately, her star power just died out.
Many of you lovely readers know that I’m a New Yorker, born and bred. But it wasn’t until I fell in love with all things vintage that I’ve realized how special being a New Yorker is. I used to be able to pass by the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building without giving them a second glance. Times Square was just some flashy tourist attraction. Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s were just some other places to shop. Now, I’m still kinda jaded to it all (I see it all the time!) but knowing how important New York was in classic film (most films took place there) and how it was the most important city in the entire world then and now, I kinda get the shivers (as a matter of fact, I’m going to the city tomorrow, so it’s time for me to get those chills again, despite the prediction of 100 degree weather!). It was so cool then, and it definitely is still cool now. Although many new glass structures have been built, look around and you can still see why New York was (and still is) the Art Deco capital of the world. New York is still very much proud of its vintage culture. (photos from timefreezephotos.com)
This one’s a total timewarp…5th Ave, ca. 1900. The large building in the back is the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, which was torn down in 1929 to build the Empire State Building. The spire in the back was Brick Presbyterian Church, which was torn down in 1938
The 9th Regiment Armory on 14th street ca. 1900
Greely Square, ca. 1910
Oh my Lord. Broadway and 73rd street, in front of the Ansonia Hotel, ca. 1903
Hooray for Brooklyn pride! The Brooklyn bridge with the Union Ferry underneath it, ca. 1910s
View of Brooklyn from the Brooklyn bridge, ca. 1950s
Burlesk Theatre, located on 118-120 East 15th street, ca. 1930s. In the 1930s, this was where stripper Gypsy Rose Lee got her start. This theater was torn down in 1985.
Central Park, the Great Lawn, ca. 1950s
Central Park at dusk, ca. 1950s
Central Park benches, ca. 1950s
Central Park lake, ca. 1910s
View of Chambers St. from the Municipal Building, 1938
Coney Island girl, 1953
Coney Island lifeguard, ca. 1912
Coney Island ball toss, 1953
Coney Island Boomerang ride, 1953
Coney Island Fun House, 1953
Coney Island jet ride and Ferris Wheel, 1953
A couple taking a stroll on the George washington bridge, ca. 1930s
The Dewey Arch, ca. 1900. It stood in Madison Square for only one year.
Tugboats at a dock, ca. 1940s
This is a photo I love. It’s a view of the Empire State Building (and the famed city skyline) ca. 1940s. The city is shrouded in its characteristic fog/smog.
The Empire State Building observation deck, 1950s
The ferry terminal in lower Manhattan, 1940s
Ahaha I LOVE this one! A hot dog shop, ca. 1950s. Everyone secretly loves these things, but I’m not so sure many would dare eat from them. I know I won’t!
The George Washington bridge, 1930s
Here’s another favorite of mine: New York in a snowstorm, ca. 1940s. The building across the street is the now-gone Gimbels department store.
Grand Central Station, 1940s
The Graybar Building, still located at 43rd street and Lexington ave, is a beautiful example of New York Art Deco (and get a load of those trolleys! My how we have changed).
Now HERE’S the most surprising of all: Herald Square in the 1920s!
The Long Island Railroad passing the Louis Sherry Plant and the Fuller Brush Building
Another favorite: the New York Life Building in the 1940s. I love the snow on the branches.
Broadway and White Street, ca. 1913
The 14th street Theatre, which was located between 6th and 7th avenues
15th street and 7th avenue, 1913. Looks like there was a rainstorm when the picture was taken.
The 1939 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadow Park
The entrance to 19th street Hudson and Manhattan Railroad, now the PATH, ca. 1913
The corner of 6th ave and 42nd street, 1936
Snow! Broadway and 105th street, ca. 1915. But as, you can see, the snow in New York turns disgusting after a day or so. On the sidewalk, it turns into enormous piles of shit, and the roads…fuhgettaboutit!
Here’s a fun one: Broadway and 47th street, 1951
Broadway and 56th street, 1906
A really awesome photo of the Brooklyn Bridge, late 1800s
The Central Cafe, which was located on 7th ave and 15th street
Central Park skating, 1916. There’s a guy falling on the right lol
Central park Biddle Walk, 1916. How romantic
This is another side of New York: the tenements. Christopher street between Bedford and Bleeker, 1906
The INCREDIBLY EMPTY Columbus Circle in 1914. Now it’s crowded as hell, and has a huge mall there.
The New York City Diner, 1916. This restaurant was razed to make way for the World Trade Center.
AHAHA the fire hydrant in the 1930s!
The famous Fraunces Tavern, 1918
New York in a snowstorm, 1940s. Look how deserted!
New street, looking towards Wall Street, 1916. Kinda looks the same today
Park Ave. and 69th street, 1920s
Getting a shoeshine at 3rd ave and 42nd street
The New York skyline from New Jersey, 1950s
6th ave an 31st street, 1911
Another street hot dog vendor, ca. 1950s
The Woolworth Building and the old Post Office Building, ca. 1920
The graveyard of the Trinity Church, early 1900s
The old New York Times Building, ca. 1900
The Coney Island Parachute Jump, 1958. The tower was declared a landmark in 1977 and is jokingly referred to as “The Eiffel Tower of Brooklyn”
An almost divine moment in Penn Station
Playing baseball on Wall Street
The Plaza Hotel, 1950s
The Queensboro Bridge at sunset, 1936
The view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from New Jersey, 1950s
The Chrysler Building under construction, ca. 1929. Notice the older buildings against the modern, sleek Art Deco skyscraper
My all time favorite: Times Square in 1939. You can look at this photo for the rest of your life and constantly find new things in it.
Grand Central Station, 1941
The Chrysler Building, which stands at Lexington Ave. and 42nd street. It’s the second-tallest building in NYC
This one is FREAKY. The Woolworth Building peeking over the clouds, 1923
The Flatiron Building after a snow, 1905
Times Square after a snow, 1948
Mulberry Street in Little Italy, 1910
The New York Stock Exchange, 1925
Inside the Stock Exchange, 1910
Aerial view of Coney Island, 1950
I’ve recently realized that I’ve never really written about music. Yet, music was such a major part of the golden age. My taste is quite wide and varied. I have almost every genre of music on my iPod, except country (no offense to those who like it, but NO, just no, to it all) . I love classical music (my fave is Tchaikovsky), show tunes (Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked…)foreign music (especially French and Italian), pop/dance music (Michael Jackson <3), and last but DEFINITELY not least, vintage music! I have more of this genre than any other on my iPod, and since this is a golden age blog, I will concentrate on the golden age songs that I’m playing at a constant loop nowadays:
Adelaide by Frank Sinatra
Any song that comes out of Frank Sinatra’s mouth is instant gold. From the 1955 film Guys and Dolls, this song has a lilting rhythm and is really fun to sing to. It also makes me wish my name was Adelaide since it sounds so nice when sung. Now can someone help me with the Nathan Detroit/Sky Masterson debate? I’ll never be able to choose one over the other!
All I Do Is Dream Of You by Debbie Reynolds and Chorus
This is the first of many Singin’ In The Rain songs that I’m listening to right now. I got the film on DVD for my birthday in April so I’m always watching it. This song is fast and fun, and very 20s (the decade in which this film takes places, duh).
Anything You Can Do by Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, and Dick Haymes
This song is so much FUN. There are five people singing in it, and they’re all making unusual sounds and voices, so it’s a great exercise in harmonizing. It’s pretty witty to boot. You can totally let out your inner goofball with this one.
Babalu by Desi Arnaz
This song is entirely in Spanish, but who cares? It’s so much fun! Between the sultry beat of the conga drum and screaming “BABALU! BAAAABAAALUUUU!” on the top of your lungs, who needs to understand the language?
Beautiful Girl by Jimmy Thompson
All songs from Singin’ In The Rain are absolutely fantastic. But this romantic number is about fashion (the fashion show in this song is epic). I like fashion. It teaches that beauty is not based on looks alone. As Thompson sings: “A beautiful girl is like a great work of art. She’s stylish. She’s chic. And she also is smart.” If we all had this guy in our lives to serenade us with this song, life would be bliss, wouldn’t it ladies?
Because of You by Gloria DeHaven
This song is so lovely and romantic, and brings out that inner dreamer in me (which I always try to suppress!) “Beautiful Girl” plus “Because of You”, is a formula for a lasting relationship.
Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen by The Andrews Sisters
Everyone loves the Andrews Sisters. In my opinion, this is one of their best. It’s a clever, modern, jazzy love song. The kind of thing that expresses feeling while being fun to dance to.
Blue Moon by the Casa Loma Orchestra
If you’ve seen the film Manhattan Melodrama, you’re probably familiar with the song “The Bad In Every Man”. Unfortunately, I can’t find an mp3 with these lyrics, so I’ve settled with “Blue Moon”, which has the same music and rhythm, but different lyrics. This song is now a great jazz standard, covered by everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Elvis Presley.
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by The Andrews Sisters
Yes, the Andrews strike again. Probably their most famous song, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” is a gem of the swing/big band era. And everyone loves to sing along and dance to it! If my sister’s airhead Jersey Shore-loving friends know this one, you should too.
By A Waterfall by Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell, and chorus, choreographed by Busby Berkeley
This is the song I’m obsessed with the most. I listen to it on a constant loop! Another lovey-dovey romantic song, it’s so whimsical, dreamlike, and so…1930s, a decade marked by escapism. Busby Berkeley’s over-the-top, delightfully unrealistic stage numbers (with their signature dash of pre-code) were the ultimate in escapism. The song by itself is wonderful, but when you watch the full number in the 1933 film Footlight Parade, it borders on the fantastic.
The Charleston by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra
It’s the CHARLESTON!!! What’s NOT to love?
Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief by Betty Hutton
Not only is this a good, incredibly fun song, but Betty Hutton makes it okay to sing, scream, and screech on the top of your lungs. Because she does too, and she was a famous singer, right? So when you sing “NO, NO, NO, IT COULDN’T BE TRUEEEEE..” you should feel good about yourself.
Egyptian Ella by Fats Waller
The most important event of the 1920s was the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in Egypt. This sparked an Egypt craze in the 1920s (strong lip and eye makeup, jewel tones, beaded, ornately styled clothing). Everyone wanted to look exotic (for example, stars like Theda Bara and Clara Bow), and this song definitely cashed in on the craze, but in the most hilarious way possible. It’s about a dancer named Ella who becomes so fat, she loses her job. So she goes to Egypt to become a bellydancer, because they like their ladies hefty there. I’ve been to Egypt, and it’s 100% true!
El Relicario by Rudolph Valentino
Unfortunately, we will never hear Rudolph Valentino’s voice on-screen. Fortunately, he recorded two (very rare) songs: Pale Hands I Loved (Kashmiri Love Song) and El Relicario. I’ve obsessed over Pale Hands I Loved for so long now, it’s time to rave over this one. I must say, Valentino has a sexy, deep voice. And the way he fumbles a little on the Spanish is simply adorable!
Fit As A Fiddle (And Ready For Love) by Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor
Another Singin’ in the Rain gem! This one is not as well-known, unfortunately. It’s excellent, and shows great chemistry between Kelly and O’Connor (who is seriously now the love of my life). The song is reminiscent of vaudeville and dance halls, and Kelly and O’Connor make dancing look a lot easier than it is(my sister tried one of the moves from this song for two seconds and almost faceplanted).
How Could Red Riding Hood? by the Hot Rhythm Orchestra
Oh those naughty twenties! Messing around with our childhood! Nothing was innocent in the Jazz Age, not even fairy tales, apparently, since this song actually suspects that Little Red Riding Hood was a prostitute! But seriously, it’s a good, jazzy song.
I’ll Sing You A Thousand Love Songs by Eddy Duchin and his Orchestra
I’m back to the slow, romantic ballads. Along with “Because of You” and “By A Waterfall”, this is one of the tops. Featured in the 1936 musical Cain and Mabel, it’s sappy and sweet, with a lot of heart.
I’m Sitting On Top Of The World by Al Jolson
Al Jolson is amazing. Although this song is short, it’s fun, jazzy, and makes you get up and dance like a crazy person. You’d feel like you were on top of the world after this one!
It’s Winter Again By Hal Kemp and His Orchestra feat. Skinny Ennis
I heard this on a commercial about a cruise line and it was so good I had to desperately search the internet to find it. And I love the winter. Enough said.
It’s A Good Day by Peggy Lee
The ultimate in happy, upbeat, optimistic music. It can make any crap day feel like new. And who doesn’t love the line: “I said to the sun, good morning sun!”
Ja So Bin Ich by Marlene Dietrich
We all know Marlene Dietrich was an accomplished actress, but not many know of her prolific singing career. She had a wonderful, husky voice, and even though half her songs are in German, it really doesn’t matter. They were good!
Je Cherche Apres Titine by Charlie Chaplin
This sweet, funny, wonderfully ridiculous ditty from Modern Times (1936) was the first time Charlie Chaplin spoke on-screen. And WHAT a talkie debut! The song is entirely in gibberish, borrowing and tweaking here and there from various languages such as French, Italian, etc. Although it’s comedy gold, it has a deeper message, the Little Tramp is international, he’s an everyman that represents humanity.
La Mer by Charles Trenet
This song was sent to me by a friend. I loved it. I sent it to another friend, who never got back to me on it, even though I worked hard translating all the lyrics, so I’m supposing he hated it But what does he know? This song, (entirely in French), is beautiful. It’s romantic, summery, and very expressionistic. And what gal in her right mind doesn’t like a sexy French guy crooning in her ear?
The Lady Is A Tramp by Lena Horne
This is my theme song every single word in this song describes me perfectly. It’s my personality in a nutshell. Except for the “Hate California” part. Other than that, I’d like to imagine Lena sang this for me!
Ma, She’s Making Eyes At Me by Kay Kyser
This song is fun and hilarious. From Kay Kyser’s opening wail (“MAAAAAAA! SHE’S MAKING EYES AT ME!”) to the jazzy music, I never get tired of this one. And the fact that Kyser comes off as a big baby in this song!
Music, Maestro, Please by Kay Kyser feat. Ginny Simms
With the summer time comes summer love, right? Well, what happens when your summer fling heads for splitsville? You gotta forget about him, that’s what! And that’s the lesson of this song. The music is lilting and romantic, and Simms’ voice is husky and full of emotion. When the going gets tough…music, maestro, please!
My Baby Just Cares For Me by Ted Weems and His Orchestra
This 1930 tune is simply fun and jazzy, and the lyrics are easy to memorize. It’s basically about a guy singing about his dream girl, who wants nothing but him. In some versions, there is a line about Clark Gable’s smile, but alas, it’s not in the version. Gable or no Gable, this is a good song.
My Dancing Lady by Joe Venuti’s Orchestra
This was the theme song to the 1933 film Dancing Lady, a musical that combined the team of Gable, Crawford, and Tone with Ted Healy and his Stooges, and marked Fred Astaire’s film debut. Sounds crazy, huh? This is a cute song that reminds me of all the antics that took place in this film!
Nice Work If You Can Get It by Fred Astaire
All of Fred Astaire’s songs are fun. But this one gets particularly jazzy in the end and it’s fun to dance like a crazy person then! Also, like the rest of Astaire’s work, this can get stuck in your head forever.
Pass That Peace Pipe by Bing Crosby
I first heard this song on I Love Lucy (sung by Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley) and I scrambled to find an mp3 version of it. Thankfully, I found an equally good version by Bing Crosby. I can’t stress how fun this song is, from the Native American style music to listing all the tribe names.
Puttin’ On The Ritz by Clark Gable
This song is 56 seconds of pure hilarity. You need to watch the entire clip from Idiot’s Delight to get the full experience. Even though Clark really can’t sing, I adore his deep, manly voice. And even though he can’t really dance, I replay this scene over and over again like someone who’s hypnotized. This song is an experience, let’s leave it at that!
Reckless by Jean Harlow
Jean Harlow is one of those people whose singing voice sounds a heck of a lot like their speaking voice. Since Jean Harlow’s speaking voice is amazing (she may be from Missouri, but her accent sounds distinctly New York), no complaints! The beginning part of the song is all her, but in the second half, when the real singing kicks in, she is dubbed over by someone else. Oh well, at least we get to hear her sing for a little. This song’s first line also gets stuck in your head forever (“I wanna live, love, learn a lot. I’ll light my candle and I’ll burn a lot!”) and also taught me to say “I wanna go places and look life in the face” whenever people ask me what I want to be when I grow up. It’s the ultimate vintage rebellion song.
‘S Wonderful by Gene Kelly
Who could dislike this song, and the hot French guy that sings with Gene Kelly in it? It’s amazing! ’S wonderful! Okay, that was corny.
Shanghai Lil by James Cagney and Ruby Keeler
One of my favorite Busby Berkeley numbers, from Footlight Parade (1933) when you watch the clip (specifically the opium den scene) you sometimes have to make sure you aren’t seeing things! And James Cagney singing and dancing, and doing it much better than Ruby Keeler? An instant favorite!
Sunday by Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
Why do I have a photo of a flapper here? In my opinion, Sunday is the ultimate 1920s song. It has jazzy music, Charleston-worthy moments, chorus girls with high-pitched, child-like voices that were favored at the time, and even a couple of de-oop! de-oop’s!
Teacher’s Pet by Doris Day
This song has a fun rhythm and a good beat. but I hope hope HOPE Doris Day was singing about an all-adult situation here…
Verlaine by Charles Trenet
This song sounds SO romantic, from the slow music to the sexy French the guy says in the middle of the song. But actually, it’s really sad. And that’s when I pretend to stop understanding enough French to translate the song and imagine that I’m dancing with some handsome man to it. Doesn’t Trenet look a bit like Franchot Tone on this album cover?
The Waters of the Minnetonka by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball
This song is from one of my all-time favorite I Love Lucy episodes: The Indian Show (also the episode where I first heard “Pass That Peace Pipe”) This song is hilarious. It’s for the bad singers, the loudmouths, the noisemakers. It’s for people like you and me.
Whatever It Is, I’m Against It by Groucho Marx (and a line sung by Zeppo Marx)
Marx Brothers=hysterical. First of all, Groucho is like, the best dancer ever. He can twist his knees, flap his hands like a bird, dance on tables, and wave his arms like he’s in the middle of a riveting version of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”. He also has an average singing voice that can go a little high-pitched at times. And he (and the rest of his brothers, including Harpo) also had that traditional New York accent. The way this song ends is PRICELESS.
Whatever Lola Wants by Sarah Vaughan
This is the ultimate femme fatale song. A song that is enough to make a man kinda fear for his life. With Vaughan’s smoky, cool voice and that (kinda creepy) male chorus, it’s become a very popular song, and was recently featured in a commercial.
Why Am I So Romantic? by Harpo Marx
It’s no secret that Harpo Marx is my favorite Marx brother. He’s cute, funny, and incredibly talented. He’s my go-to man when I’m feeling angry, sad, sick, or nervous. There’s nothing his beautiful harp music can’t cure!
You Are My Lucky Star by Debbie Reynolds
The last Singin’ in the Rain one, I promise! This song is slow, sweet, sappy, and downright romantic. Favorite line: “You’re my Fairbanks, my Moreno, Rod La Rocque, and Valentino”.
You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me by Maurice Chevalier
French men are, and always will be, my greatest weakness. This song by Maurice Chevalier (famously spoofed by the Marx Brothers in Monkey Business) does nothing to quell that desire within me. If I were alive then and he serenaded me with that ditty, can someone say, “shotgun wedding”?
42nd Street by Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell
The ultimate Busby Berkeley number from the ultimate Busby Berkeley musical, 42nd street has it all: a colossal, realistic set, daring lyrics, outrageous costumes, fun tap dancing, the lovely Ruby Keeler and goofy Dick Powell, a metropolitan feel, and even a fake rape and a fake murder. They don’t make musicals like this anymore! Although 42nd street has long since been cleaned up of crime and seediness by former mayor Rudy Giuliani, it’s fun to look back at this piece of Old New York (and when you walk the city streets today and look around you, remnants of Old New York are everywhere, mixed in with the ultramodern glass skyscrapers), and honestly, New York is still pretty much the same. It’s loud, restless, noisy, with people milling about doing what they have to do so help you God, the homeless and the fabulously wealthy sharing the same pavement, cars loudly honking their horns, …it’s all very distinctly American, and what an exhilarating place to be!
Art Deco water! Can you believe?! I freaked out in the drugstore where I saw these and picked up two bottles. I’m not sure I ever want to throw them out once I’m done drinking the water…they’re so pretty. They’re also quite useful for a vintage dame like me…now my preferred beverage of choice is flapper-chic!
The Chrysler Building would be quite proud
June is wedding month, right? To celebrate, here’s a group of photos of actresses posed in bridal glamour shots and of some on their big day (or days, that would be a more accurate term!) A couple of week ago, the wonderful site Carole and Co http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/ had a post featuring Carole Lombard dressed as a bride for a glamour shot. Thank you for the inspiration, Vincent!
Marion Davies in a replica of Princess Mary’s wedding gown, ca. 1922
John Wayne married his wife, Josephine, on June 23, 1933 (78 years ago today!) at the home of Loretta Young (standing behind the bride)
Vilma Banky rocks a flapper-style wedding gown in the film The Dark Angel.
Jean Harlow’s wedding to Paul Bern in 1932. To her left is her stepfather Marino Bello. To her right is Bern, and on the far right is best man, John Gilbert.
Joan Crawford and Douglas Fairbanks in the film Our Modern Maidens
Joan Crawford publicity shot for Dancing Lady
Joan Crawford and Clark Gable in Forsaking All Others (notice the slip-on sleeves of her dress!)
Joan sports a more demure gown in Love on the Run
One of my all-time favorites…Joan in The Bride Wore Red! (this is real color)
Now here’s something modern! Joan and Douglas Fairbanks Jr’s wedding on June 4, 1929. How much do you love her without makeup, her freckles showing?
Gloria Swanson’s wedding dress in Her Love Story (1924) has one epic train!
Gloria Swanson in Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife (1923)
Jane Powell and Geary Steffen’s wedding on November 11, 1949
Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher on their wedding day, September 26, 1955
Debbie Reynolds marries again, this time to Harry Karl in 1960
Doris day posing in a wedding dress
But she opted for a simple suit on her wedding to Marty Melcher in 1951
Bette Davis cuts the cake with husband William Grant Sherry on December 3, 1945
Mary Pickford poses in a wedding dress, ca. 1925
Mary Pickford (she’s second from left) in quintessential 20s wedding wear on her wedding to Douglas Fairbanks Sr on August 3, 1922
Mary Pickford opts for a suit on her wedding to Buddy Rogers in 1937
Katharine Hepburn’s wedding dress in Woman of the Year is nice and simple
Marilyn Monroe chooses a demure black suit with a white fur collar for her wedding to Joe DiMaggio on January 14, 1954
A young Marilyn Monroe with her first husband, James Dougherty, in 1942
Newlyweds Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe on July 16, 1956
Judy Garland and Vincente Minelli’s wedding, June 17, 1945
Judy Garland and Mickey Dean cut the cake on March 15, 1969 (no effense to anyone, but he gives me the creeps)
Judy Garland and Mark Herron getting married on November 30, 1965
Jeanette MacDonald and her wedding attendants on her marriage to Gene Raymond on June 19, 1937. From left to right: Mrs. Johnny Mack Brown, Mrs. Warren Rock, MacDonald’s sister, MacDonald, Fay Wray, and Ginger Rogers
Ginger Rogers getting married to Lew Ayres on June 23, 1944 (67 years ago today!)
Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea in Banjo on My Knee
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz kiss on their wedding day, June 22, 1949. Love those gloves!
Lucille Ball and Gary Morton on their wedding day, November 19, 1961
Norma Shearer and Irving Thalberg’s wedding, October 3, 1927
Another favorite: Claudette Colbert’s elegant wedding dress from It Happened One Night (1934)
The bridal photo of Lombard featured in Carole and Co
Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth on their wedding day: September 7, 1943
Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra on their wedding day: November 8, 1951
And on her marriage to Mickey Rooney in 1942
Vivien Leigh on her marriage to Leigh Holman, February 1932
The most famous classic movie wedding gown: Grace Kelly’s. She married Prince Rainier of Monaco on April 19, 1956.
All classic film fans are well-aware of the Debbie Reynolds auction, which took place on June 18th. Debbie Reynolds had been collecting Hollywood memorabilia for manydecades, in hopes of building a museum. Unfortunately, her dream never came true and the bills hiked up, and she soon found it necessary to sell her treasures. Many of the 587 costumes and props unfortunately went to Saudi Arabia and Japan (I apologize in advance for any offense this may cause, but I found that shameful. I’m a firm believer in countries keeping their own history. Things that are purely American should remain in America). If I had money, I would’ve bought at least one of the priceless pieces! Of course, Marilyn Monroe items were the highest-selling (the white subway dress was sold for the most money in the auction) and Audrey Hepburn’s Ascot dress from “My Fair Lady” took second. Here’s some of the highlights of the auction and what they were sold for (I know I’m reporting about this a little late, but it took me awhile to find the photos and figures):
Rudolph Valentino’s costume from “Blood and Sand”: $210,000 + $48,300 buyer’s premium
Harold Lloyd’s personal suit and hat: $4000+$920 buyer’s premium
A lock of Mary Pickford’s hair: $3500+$850 buyer’s premium
Charlie Chaplin’s “Tramp” bowler hat: $110,000+$25,300 buyer’s premium
Laurel and Hardy’s suits: $16000+$3680 buyer’s premium
Carole Lombard’s gown from “No Man of Her Own”: $11000+$2530 buyer’s premium
Claudette Colbert’s gown from “Cleopatra” (the most beautiful costume in the auction, in my opinion): $40,000+$9200 buyer’s premium
Harpo Marx’s hat and wig: $45,000+$10,350 buyer’s premium
Charles Laughton’s uniform from “Mutiny on the Bounty”: $42,500+$9775 buyer’s premium
Clark Gable’s vest and breeches from “Mutiny on the Bounty”: $30,000+$6900 buyer’s premium
Leslie Howard’s costume from “Romeo and Juliet”: $$20,000+$4600 buyer’s premium
Katharine Hepburn’s costume from “Mary of Scotland”: $35000+$8050 buyer’s premium
Norma Shearer’s costume from “Marie Antoinette”: $8000+$1840 buyer’s premium
Judy Garland’s blue test dress from “The Wizard of Oz”: $910,000+$209,300 buyer’s premium
Judy Garland’s Arabian-style test ruby slippers (never used in the film) from “The Wizard of Oz”: $510,000+$117,300 buyer’s premium
Clark Gable’s personal robe worn while filming “Gone with the Wind”: $10,000+$2300 buyer’s premium
Olivia de Havilland’s costume from “The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex”: $5000+$1,150 buyer’s premium
Gary Cooper’s uniform from “Sergeant York”: $55,000+$12,650 buyer’s premium
James Cagney’s jockey shirt from “Yankee Doodle Dandy”: $27500+$6325 buyer’s premium
Claude Rains’ uniform from “Casablanca”: $$55,000+$12,650 buyer’s premium
Elizabeth Taylor’s riding costume from “National Velvet”: $60,000+$13,800 buyer’s premium
Judy Garland’s gown from “Meet Me In St. Louis”: $16,000+$3680 buyer’s premium
Vivien Leigh’s headpiece from “Caesar and Cleopatra”: $250+$977.50 buyer’s premium
Joan Crawford’s waitress uniform from “Mildred Pierce”: $22,500+$5175 buyer’s premium
Ingrid Bergman’s suit of armor from “Joan of Arc”: $50,000+$11,500 buyer’s premium
Hedy Lamarr’s gorgeous costume from “Samson and Delilah”: $12000+$2760 buyer’s premium
William Powell’s suit from “Dancing in the Dark”: $2250+$517.50 buyer’s premium
Errol Flynn’s costume from “The Adventures of Don Juan”: $13000+2990 buyer’s premium
Vivien Leigh’s robe from “A Streetcar Named Desire”: $18000+$4140 buyer’s premium
Leslie Caron’s peacock dress from “An American in Paris”: $15,000+$3450 buyer’s premium
Debbie Reynolds’ dress from “Singin’ In The Rain”: $15,000+$3450 buyer’s premium
Debbie Reynolds’ ‘Good Mornin’ flapper dress from “Singin’ In the Rain”: $27,5000+$6325 buyer’s premium
Gene Kelly’s uniform from “Anchors Aweigh”: $27,500+$6325 buyer’s premium
Marilyn Monroe’s red sequin gown from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”: $1,200,000+$276,000 buyer’s premium
Red MG TD used by Marilyn Monroe and Cary Grant in “Monkey Business”: $210,000+$48,300 buyer’s premium
Lucille Ball’s shirt, blouse, and coat from “The Long, Long Trailer”: $16,000+$3680 buyer’s premium
Marilyn Monroe’s costume from “River of No Return”: $510,000+$117,300 buyer’s premium
Marilyn Monroe’s costume from “There’s No Business Like Show Business”: $500,000+$115,000 buyer’s premium
Marlon Brando’s costume from “Desiree”: $60,000+$13,800 buyer’s premium
Perhaps the most-recognized costume in film history…Marilyn Monroe’s white “subway” dress from “The Seven Year Itch”: $4,600,000+$1,058,000 buyer’s premium
Grace Kelly’s dress from “To Catch a Thief”: $450,000+$103,500 buyer’s premium
Elizabeth Taylor’s gown from “Raintree County”: $16,000+$3680 buyer’s premium
Leslie Caron’s schoolgirl costume from “Gigi”: $65000+$14950 buyer’s premium
Charlton Heston’s tunic from “Ben-Hur”: $320,000+$73,600 buyer’s premium
Elizabeth Taylor’s headdress from “Cleopatra”: $100,000+$23,000 buyer’s premium
Richard Burton’s tunic from “Cleopatra”: $85,000+$19,550 buyer’s premium
Bette Davis’ bloodstained dress from “Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte”: $11,000+$2530 buyer’s premium
Audrey Hepburn’s Ascot dress from “My Fair Lady”: $3,700,000+$851,000 buyer’s premium.
That’s all, folks! If you want to see the rest of the items featured in the auction, you can still download the catalogue for free in the Profiles In History website.
Since I love history and Hollywood, I was excited beyond belief to visit the Hollywood Museum, located at the former Max Factor building. I’ve heard beforehand that the museum is chock-full of rare artifacts and collectibles…and boy was that an understatement! If you ever visit this museum (which you totally SHOULD!) I recommend you take two or three days to see it, so you can fully view and appreciate everything it contains. Obviously, this was one of my favorite parts of the vacation.
The entrance to the museum, which has the scariest Marilyn Monroe statue of all time waiting there. “Hooray for Hollywood” from the film Hollywood Hotel was playing on a constant loop there, which meant that I was whistling along on a constant loop as well!
The people who work there are very nice. They complimented me endlessly on my hair and makeup (yay!) A lot of people complimented my style in Hollywood in general. Hollywood people are a lot nicer than New York people for sure! Anyway, The entire first floor is intact from the Max Factor days, and is now a tribute to the master behind our favorite faces and hairstyles. So, they still got the pink lobby (which has a ton of stuff to look at as well), and you know that Max Factor’s makeup was created based on hair color, right? (he would create a line for redheads, another for brunettes, blondes, etc) Well, he actually had rooms for the hair colors as well, where he would treat the actresses. Today, each room features a famous actress well-known for having that hair color. The room “For Redheads Only” features Lucille Ball and Rita Hayworth, and even some Joan Crawford. “For Blondes Only” features mostly Marilyn Monroe. “For Brunettes Only” features mostly Judy Garland.
In the pink lobby:
Another pair of Joan’s eyelashes, and what I suppose is the stuff she would use to apply them. I think the black thing is mascara, which was dry at that time and quite different from what we have today.
In the Redhead Room:
In the Brunette Room:
In the Blonde Room:
Randomness inside the museum (second and third floors):
Then there was a “portrait room”, full of nothing but glamour photos and shots of vintage Hollywood. That room on its own would take hours! Here’s some highlights:
More bits of vintage Hollywood awesomeness:
I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I saw the Harlow at 100 exhibit at this museum. Here are the photos from it:
A souvenir program from the premiere
A menu from the MGM commissary signed by all the major stars of the time: Jean, Robert Taylor, Franchot Tone, William Powell, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, Robert Montgomery, and Myrna Loy, among others
Beyond the Harlow exhibit:
More vintage film equipment:
The entire basement of the museum was replicated to look like the prison from Silence of the Lambs. Since my family and I were the only people in the museum that day, it was 364237623 times creepier than it should’ve been:
There’s no avoiding it. No matter what you do, no matter what precautions you take, you are going to get drama. However, this exercise in drunken dancing is beneficial for only one reason: it shows you the true faces of people. I usually “read” (understand a person’s true nature) a person quite easily, but it was amazing to see how everyone realized what real bitches some of their “friends” really are.
Several things really annoyed me about prom. First of all was the rampant amount of PDA going on. Yeah, I understand the guy is your boyfriend, but that is absolutely no excuse to make out with him in front of everyone and constantly touch each other as though you ain’t ever gonna see each other again! My God, it’s disgusting! If you need to constantly have physical touching, you’re obviously not confident in your relationship, and it’s a pretty damn shallow one if you cannot connect on an emotional level and merely on a physical one. And the dancing! People must have grinded their ugly asses to a fine pulp with the way they were behaving! There were two friends in my group who took their boyfriends to prom with them and they disgusted me so badly and made me feel so uncomfortable that I was planning escapes from the limo and from the prom place in general. Kiss, kiss, kiss, touch, touch, touch, hug, hug, hug, cuddle, cuddle, cuddle it NEVER ENDED. Me and my fellow single friend were squirming in our seats out of embarrassment for them because they looked absolutely desperate and stupid. YOU ARE IN A PUBLIC PLACE DUMBASSES NOT YOUR BEDROOM. I’ve never seen people with less respect for themselves. I really would’ve thrown up, but judging on how bad the food was, there was nothing but bile in my stomach to upchuck on their slutty dresses and cheap tuxes.
Second thing that annoyed me was this one particular girl. See here, I’ve hated this girl ever since freshman year. But everyone else positively LOVED her, and she was stuck in my group like gorilla glue for the past four years. Now, everyone knows that I was right all along, I’m not the mean girl, and yes, this girl is truly a bitch. She had her own date to prom. HER. OWN. DATE. An entire boy for her to dance with, flirt with, talk to, laugh with, etc. But NOOOO that boy isn’t good enough for her. She flirted with another friend’s date as soon as we got into the limo (she has a crush on him and even though the other girl asked him to prom first, she still tried to steal him in the beginning of the year and tries AGAIN in prom). She was incessantly speaking to him so his date couldn’t speak to him as much as she wanted to, laughed too hard at all his jokes, tried too hard to make him laugh, and behaved wildly with him in general. Congratulations, whore, you did a shitty job at flirting discreetly. Who the hell does that to their friend? Honestly, she isn’t a good friend if she tries to steal your date like that! Then during the prom, she steals ANOTHER friend’s date and dances with him for practically half the night! And no, it wasn’t platonic, friendly dancing! It was dirty, and flirtatious beyond belief. Even though my friend took her aside and YELLED at her that he already has a girlfriend, she still continues flirting with him! I’m sure this flirting continued all through the after-prom (I didn’t go). After-prom is traditionally where things really get dirty. And I’m glad. I wouldn’t want to have been there with all the girls dressed like sluts and acting a helluva lot like them! After all, who else roams the streets at the wee hours of the night dressed in tight jeans, tube dresses six inches long, and belly shirts? WHORES.
And to make it all worse, my best friend actually SIDES with this girl. Well, I think she’s my best friend, but she really isn’t because she likes the flirting girl way over me and probably is friends with me just to use me as gossip fodder for her and the other bitch. I’m really angry with her that she would let her friendship with the girl get in the way of basic principles of right and wrong. But since everything is going to be over soon, I will refrain from fighting and instead treat her a little colder. If the greatest friend in my life were to steal someone’s date in such an overly obvious way when she KNOWS he’s dating someone else, I would confront her and give her the yelling of her life STAT! Why are girls so fucking nasty and retarded? Boys forever! Oh, and the girl had the audacity to bring up the boy again today at the senior lunch! What an attention-starved, annoying, ugly, and nasty bitch! How can a person stoop so low?! She’s already stalking him on facebook! I hope she suffers a great pain for doing this. She’s not even pretty, she’s a six-foot pile of ugly!! I’m so glad, SO GLAD that everyone understands exactly why I’ve always hated this girl. I’m always right
I’m in a totally rotten mood today because of this. I’m so glad I’m graduating in a matter of days. Then I’d never have to see any of these ugly faces ever again.
Guess who’s back in her Brooklyn tenement, fresh from the glamour that is Hollywood! Yours truly arrived to her homeland at about 12:30 AM (it’s 8:30 AM now). I’ve seen and done many things on the trip, and I will soon put them up here in a series entitled, well, The Dames Hit Hollywood! I’ll tell you the play-by-play of my journey into Screenland, the pros and the cons, and of course, I’ll put up a buttload of pictures! I just need to get settled down, and I have college-level exams coming up in the next week (can you believe I already need to STUDY?!) so I might not start this until a week into May. I’ll have to see what I can do, but rest assured, you will feel as though you were there with me! Think of it as the Classic Movie Lovers’ Guide to Hollywood. I can’t wait to share this with you!
Let’s start off with a pro/con list of Hollywood in general:
The weather was quite nice. In the morning it’s a bit chilly, but it warms up as the day progresses. Sometimes it gets a little breezy. Those were the best days.
The people are nice too! You’d think LA is snotty, but most of the people really aren’t. Thye are a lot more laid back than the impatient, angry New Yorkers. I got so many compliments on my looks, I’ve lost count. Here in New York, I’m never complimented.
Large, spacious area, not cramped like New York.
The palm trees!!!
The food is goooooooood
And of course, the history that is left is worth everything in the world! Seeing and being in places where the likes of Crawford, Cagney, Gable, Harlow, etc is the greatest thrill!
There are a LOT of bums. And people protesting that the end of the world is near. I swear.
You really need to rent a car or use a taxi to get around. LA really doesn’t have much of a public transportation system. This will be expensive.
The MONEY. Save up as much as you can for this trip, I cannot tell you how expensive it was! The taxes here are unbelievable too–14%!!!
Although I haven’t run into any of this on my trip (thank goodness), there are still some issues with gang activity. It is mostly cleaned up, and a lot better than what it used to be, but some areas such as Venice Beach still have high crime rates. Please exercise sensibility and caution, and try to limit all sightseeing and activities to the daytime.
The history that isn’t there. LA has done a pretty good job of getting rid of or changing many of its historic venues. Alas, places such as the Brown Derby, Ciro’s, the Ambassador Hotel, etc no longer exist. Whatever is there has been greatly changed as well, and you most likely aren’t seeing it the way it was seen in the 1930s, 1940s, etc. Visiting the former MGM studios was thrilling, but at the same time a major disappointment, compared to what it used to be. And more is coming: the Chinese Theatre has been sold to a nightclub owner, and will no longer function as a theater after May 20th. The employees (all of whom will lose their jobs), have no idea what will happen to the theater, or to the prints. Please pray that nothing much is changed!!!
I will also update my Famous Brooklynites post with Marion Davies and the Talmadge sisters at this time as well. I am ecstatic to talk about this trip!!!