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Archive for September, 2010

UPDATE! Here’s a link to the Perkasie Carousel Schedule for 2011 :-)

There are just a few more Sundays left in the once-a-month schedule for the Perkasie Carousel in Perkasie PA, so get out there and take a spin on this volunteer run merry-go-round! I mean, who could not be grinning from ear to ear when riding on this:

I discovered the Perkasie (PER, ka SEE) Carousel a few months ago when I was killing time in the area while Retro Roadhusband had a sound check at a venue just down the street. I was positively fascinated to find this reminder of the good old times tucked away in a local park in this quiet community.  While the carousel wasn’t open then, I didn’t realize I’d have to coordinate my calendar to visit there, as they are open only the first Sunday of every month.

Here are the 2011 dates the Perkasie Carousel is open:

  • Monday May 30 11am-5pm
  • Sunday June 19 12pm-5pm
  • Sunday July 10 12pm-8pm (rain date July 17 12-8)
  • Sunday July 31 12pm-5pm
  • Sunday August 21 12pm-5pm
  • Sunday September 11 12pm-5pm
  • Sunday October 2 12pm-5pm
  • Saturday December 3 12pm-5pm

Perkasie Carousel Schedule

I was glad to make it to the area in time to see plenty of families gathering in the park for a Kiwanis chicken barbeque and heading over to where there has been a carousel since 1895.

Perkasie Carousel Sign

The carousel that is currently housed there (and run by volunteers of the Perkasie Anniversary and Historical Society)  has been there since 1951 (replacing the original that was moved off-site) and is an interesting, portable-design merry-go-round, made by the Herschell company.

Restoration of Perkasie Carousel History

It was made to be easily broken down and assembled in a short amount of time for touring carnivals, and that is why it looks somewhat different from the ornately carved ones you may be used to. There is no loss in charm however, as each one of these 36 cast aluminum horses have been lovingly painted by local artists.

Perkasie Carousel Horse

Did I even mention what an affordable treat a ride is on this historic carousel is? Since the Historical Society took over operation in 1970 the ticket prices have only been raised a whopping 20cents. That’s right, you can ride on the carousel for only 35 CENTS! I frankly don’t know much else you can do with 35c nowadays, and this ride is worth 4x as much, trust me.

Perkasie Carousel Ride Tickets

While waiting for my turn to ride I could not help but notice a different yet familiar sort of horse on display in front of the band organ.

Philadelphia Toboggan Horse
Upon closer inspection I could see why it looked familiar, as it was a Philadelphia Toboggan Company horse, similar to those on ol’ PTC #85 down in Nantasket Beach MA. I was curious to see why this horse was singled out, and I could not read past “On a summer day in 1946, 16 year old Rose met a dashing young U.S. Air Force Veteran…” without getting all choked up, despite the happy surroundings.

In Loving Memory(A memorial to Perkasie native Rose Ann Diehl who met her husband here at Menlo Park)

Trying to ignore my teary eyes, I turned towards the carousel and waited with the grandparents and younguns until it was our turn to ride. I climbed aboard the carousel and cheered myself by seeing the reactions of the little kids around me. One adorable blonde-haired little girl was positively bouncing in her saddle, giddy with the fact that she’d be giddy-upping in just a moment. I don’t think she was taking in the nice paintwork of the art deco styled interior of the carousel, but that sure made me smile.

Art Deco Lights at The Perkasie Carousel

With a few words from the operator the music began and the carousel began to whirl, and all of our horses started to up and down. I could not help but break into a smile, much like the little girl in front of me, as we circled around, up and down with the band organ music blaring. I loved the fact that the operator kept note of the time of the rides with an egg timer, and was impressed that the music was able to be muted quickly when it was time to speak to the riders.

IMG_1004

I had seen the punched paper music rolls behind the band organ, but burst out laughing when the kindly ticket taker gave me the insider skinny and noted that the interior of the band organ been retrofitted with a computer so they could mute it from a distance. Ah, the modern world creeps in everywhere. (updated 11/2010 to note that Anglerfly Productions commented on the youTube video of the Perkasie carousel ” its a stinson band organ. it used to be an old one called the merri org.” = love it when people can add pieces to the puzzle- thanks Anglerfly!

So from choked up tears to silly grins to cracked up laughter, all of that was had for the price of a 35 cent ticket. I gave a few more dollars donation at the volunteer-run snack bar, bought a heap of postcards from the nice ladies at the volunteer run gift table, chatted with some of the locals and had a lovely day. FOR THIRTY FIVE CENTS!

This coming Sunday is one of the last that the carousel will be open for the season, so get to Perkasie and get your money’s worth!

Perkasie Carousel
W Park Ave
Perkasie, PA 18944
(215) 257-5460

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For some reason I totally forgot I had to tell you all about Massey’s Frozen Custard in Carlisle PA, and now it’s too late because they’re closed for the season. I had hoped they were still open, but when I called just now the message said “We are closed for the season, see you in the spring” so that’s that. But I’m telling you about it now so it can be on your list of places to check out next spring!

Massey's Frozen Custard Since 1949

It was just about a year ago when Retro Roadhusband and I drove past Massey’s on our road trip south, and I vowed to return in season to check it out. One sunny day a few weeks ago I did just that, and was happy to see that this classic ice cream stand – open since 1949, was doing a brisk business. While they do serve regular ice cream, who could resist home made frozen custard? Not me!

Frozen Custard from Massey'sI couldn’t resist it so much that I dove into my dish of vanilla immediately, totally forgetting that I wanted to take a photo! You can see how thick and good it is from what I hadn’t devoured, right?

Massey’s is handily located across the street from Dickenson College and next to one of the athletic fields (so you’d think they’d be open longer into the school season? Eh, whatevs, their decision, not mine!) and is basically a walk up ice cream window housed inside the small brick building. There are a few picnic tables in the back if you don’t want to get right back into your car.

My fave thing besides my frozen custard was their great vintage sign:

Massey's Frozen Custard Sign
So cheery looking with the bright blue sky behind it, Retro Roadmap Flickr pal I Saw The Sign captured this vintage lovely with the neon all aglow AND animted, in this video below, and graciously allowed us to share it here. I had no idea it was an animated sign – cool!


( if you want to see loads of cool roadside photos check out I Saw The Sign’s Flickr Photos– and thanks, David for the use of the photo!)

So while this season is already over for Massey’s, we have next season to look forward to!

Massey’s Frozen Custard
600 W High St
Carlisle, PA 17013
(717) 249-2258

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I’m very excited to be putting together a get-together of  retro roadside fans, travelers, bikers, RVers, roadtrippers, bloggers, authors, photographers and more, and you’re invited! Glenn Wells of RoadsideFans.com and I are hosting a Retro Roadmap / Roadside Fans meet-up at the Glider Diner in Scranton PA on Sunday November 14 from 12-2.

If you like cool old vintage and retro places, mom and pop businesses and taking the scenic route, then please join us and meet some like minded folks, no experience necessary!

roadside-fans-glider-diner-meetup-retro-roadmap

Glenn has hosted a number of get-togethers throughout the existence of Roadsidefans.com and since this one was almost in my neck of the woods I was excited to help plan this gathering of roadfans, diner enthusiasts and retro-roadtrippers. We’ll meet at the diner, get to know each other, eat hearty and tip heavy (paying for our own meals from the regular menu), share stories of the road and more.

I did a reconnoiter of the Scranton area a few weeks ago and will be posting in detail about some of the great finds I found in the North East Pennsylvania area. There are plenty of cool old places in NEPA worth checking out, heading to or from the meet-up, so why not make a day of it? I’ll be creating a Google Map to give an idea of what to see / do in the area but here are a few things on the short list for Retro Roadhusband and me:

*Just confirmed that the cool old architectural salvage mecca Olde Good Things – right next to the Glider diner – is open on Sundays!
Egypt meets Greece in Pennsylvania

* Old Forge PA is famous for its Trays and Cuts of pizza – Revello’s open on Sundays!

Gallia Flower Shop( This sweet shop is right across the street from Revello’s)

* The Circle Drive In Movie Theatre in Dickson City has its Flea Fair on Sunday mornings starting at 7am!
Circle Drive In Movie Theatre Sign

* Those looking for other diners in the area can scope out Chicks in Scranton and The Six East restaurant in Dickson City.
Diner At 6 East Restaurant - 1949 Mountain View(The 6 East Restaurant is built around a 1949 Mountain View)

* The old Lackawanna train station downtown has been converted into a Radisson…these interior photos look gorgeous!

radisson-scranton-lackawanna-train-station( Speaking of Lackawanna, we’re thinking of taking the Lackawanna county coal mine tour after the meet-up, come along! )

There’s also a Harry Houdini Museum, The Electric City Trolley Museum, The Steamtown National Historic Site, The Scranton Cultural Center and plenty of old neighborhoods in the area,  harboring great vintage storefronts and signage:

Polish Falcons Nest 128 Close up

Grico's

Komensky's Market

Let me know if we can expect you so I can give a head count to the folks at the Glider as the event draws closer. I’ll also be posting about this on The Retro Roadmap Facebook Page and  The Retro Roadmap Twitter feed, so we could have a great turnout of fun and interesting folks, who are interested in cool old vintage places. Come along!

Retro Roadmap / Roadside Fans Meet-up
Sunday November 14 12-2pm

Glider Diner
890 Providence Rd
Scranton, PA 18508
(570) 343-8036

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Not sure why it’s called Victory Pig, but that name and the fun vintage sign shown below was enough to make me swing the Retro Roadmapmobile into the parking lot of this classic roadside restaurant in Wyoming, PA (between Scranton and Wilks-Barre PA). And I am pleased to report I got a winner of a slice of NEPA* or Old Forge style pizza here!

Victory Pig Barbecue Pizza Curb ServiceThe Victory Pig Barbecue and Pizza has been open since 1942 and still provides curb service, as the signs on either side of the stucco building indicate. Not knowing what was on the menu I opted to head into the restaurant. As soon as I walked in I was pleased to see a retro looking decor with brown paneling and orange accents, definitely original. And I didn’t take a picture of the interior because it was so full of families, couples and solitary diners that you’d see more people than vintage details.

Victory Pig Curb ServiceOverhearing the lovely older ladies at the table next to me reminiscing about checking their packages at the Rainbow Room (after a day of shopping in New York City, back in the day) confirmed my decision to stop here for a bite was the right thing.

*This area of Pennsylvania is famous for their distinctive pizza – known as NEPA (North Eastern PennsylvaniA) or Old-Forge style pizza, named after Old Forge, PA. There’s even a different lingo surrounding them, where these square or rectangular pizzas are not called pies, but rather “trays” after the baking trays they are cooked on, or perhaps the plastic trays they are served on. Also you don’t get slices you get “cuts”. Luckily I did not feel too out of place when I ordered a slice, and not knowing if that would be enough food I just knew I had to get a “wimpie” after seeing this sign:

Homemade Wimpies I later found out that a Wimpie is like a sloppy joe, and while it isn’t my absolute fave flavor of sandwich, I was proud of myself for being culinarily adventurous! I did not have any of the barbecue, but from what I read it also is a local interpretation of the dish.

You can see my wimpie right next to my “cut” of “pig pizza” and boy was that pizza tasty! The crust is somewhat crispy from being fried in the tray, the sauce was tangy and sweet with bits of onion in it, and the cheese was just the right amount and flavor to harmonize with this local trio of flavors.

Wimpy and Pig Pizza

Now I’ve heard some people compare this local interpretation of pizza to the frozen Ellio’s version but that does not hold a candle to this distinctive pizza flavor and texture that had me longing for another slice while on my drive home. And I am pleased to report that the ratio of cheese to crust does not allow too much cheese to stick to your teeth as some folks have complained about Old Forge style pizza doing.

Doing a bit of internet research I find out that the Victory Pig is family owned and operated and they are very proud of their secret pizza recipe and crust. They’re also only open on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday…because they can be! While part of me bums out thinking I won’t be able to indulge in Victory Pig pizza when Retro Roadhusband and I scramble up to Scranton on Sunday November 14, I think it’s kinda cool that someone in this day and age can make such odd business hours work for them. And from the hustle and bustle of that Saturday evening, you can tell that local folks make the effort to get there when they’re open!

If you’re feeling a bit full from the food (or beer and cocktails that are surprisingly available in this casual fast-food atmosphere) perhaps you’ll want to check out Rich’s Golf and Fun Center, located just behind “The Pig”. Or maybe you’ve just saved room for some soft serve ice cream?

Rich's Golf Fun Center Sign(you can see the Victory Pig behind this sign – it’s been stucco’ed over, but it’s still cool inside!)

I will warn you that it isn’t nearly as retro and picturesque as its sign, but it could be a fun way to shed some of the calories that you’ll consume once you taste this delicious pizza!

Victory Pig Pizza & Barbeque
905 Wyoming Ave
Wyoming, PA 18644-1360
(570) 693-9963

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Hooray! We’ve got our first Michigan RetroRoadmap Reader Recommendation from Twitter pal Mark “Insanitiki” Cisney. He heard my lament about his state not being represented on the Retro Roadmap that he leaped (leapt?) to my rescue with this gorgeous Art Deco gem, the Elwood Bar & Grill in Detroit, MI. Oh BOY!

Elwood_Bar_and_Grill_ArtDeco_1936_Detroit_ MI_insanitiki_Retro-Roadmap

Mark, who describes himself as having a “fascination with things, places and events of times gone by, and loves Rum, Tiki and Polynesian Kitsch” (all thumbs uppable in my book) writes:

After years of working downtown and having lunch at our desk, we decided to have a Friday Lunch Adventure and visit a new place each week. This is one of the gems that we have found! The ElWood Bar and Grill built in 1936. It survived two new stadiums built in Detroit by being moved a few blocks away from its original location. After its move it received a complete restoration!

If there were places like this near me I’d never eat at my desk again!

Elwood_Bar_&_Grill_-_Interior_(Entrance)_Detroit_MI_Insanitiki_Retro-Roadmap

According to their website:

Built in 1936 by Detroit architect Charles Noble, the historic Elwood Bar & Grill is downtown’s most recognizable Art Deco diner.

The Elwood was named after its original location at the corner of ELizabeth Street and WOODward Avenue (EL[izabeth] WOOD[ward])

In 1997 the Elwood Bar & Grill was saved and moved by owner Chuck Forbes to 300 Adams Avenue to make way for Comercia Park, and now makes its home right behind left field.

After the move the Elwood Bar & Grill underwent a complete restoration, including remodeling of the Art Deco Interior and reovation of the diner’s unique, enameled steel facade.


A place for sports fans to congregate before or after the game, you can see the stadium just outside the window.

Elwood_Bar_&_Grill_-_Interior_(Booth)_Detroit_MI_Insanitiki_Retro-Roadmap

And the bar is a hit with the sports fans, who hopefully appreciate the wonderfully restored historic interior!

Elwood_Bar_&_Grill_-_Interior_(Bar)_Detroit_MI_Insanitiki_Retro-Roadmap

Thanks a bunch to Mark for venturing away from his desk for lunch and finding this cool place. And thanks too, to the owners of the ElWood for realizing the value of it’s historic facade and legacy, and continuing the tradition for years to come. Who knows what sports fan will have a better appreciation for authentic art deco fonts and exeteriors, simply because of seeing this place preserved. A girl can dream!

Elwood Bar & Grill
300 E Adams Ave
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 962-2337

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The book Wildwood’s Neon Nights & Motel Memories by Robert O. and Melinda M. Willams was recently published by my fave local publisher Schiffer Books, and is right up my Retro Roadmap alley. The fact that the Doo Wop Preservation League in Wildwood NJ will be hosting a book signing this Saturday 9/25 with the book’s photographer Robert O. Williams is reason enough to tell you all about this tome right now, so you have time to make it to the signing!

wildwoods-neon-nights-motel-memories-retro-roadmap

This book contains over 220 color photographs of the neon signs, vintage motels and vacation memories associated with the history of Wildwood, NJ. For those not in the know, Wildwood is home to the country’s most densely packed collection of 1950’s motels, hotels and businesses. Inspired by post-war optimism about the future, the architectural designs for these mom and pop motels broke the mold with their inventive use of angles, color, materials and subject matter. The signs that beckoned summer travelers to stay the night also exemplified that same sort of exuberance, with swooping arrows, pointing sputniks and enough colored neon to light up the night for miles around.

More than just a fond reminiscence or collection of striking photos (there are plenty of both in there), the book is also a cautionary tale about how easily these places can fall prey to the wrecking ball in the name of revitilization and profit. A number of the photos show the heartbreaking reality of demolition sales and the colorful and kitschy places that no longer exist.

This book is far from a bummer though, with plenty of bright and detailed photos from Robert and entertaining and informative writing by Melinda. Their original content is featured along with some great vintage shots of the area, including some from RetroStockPix.com (you may remember them being featured here as our Swoonworthy Vintage Motel & Vacation Photos).

If anything, the fact that we realize these places may not be here forever, coupled with the impact of the great photos in this book are motivation enough to book your next Wildwood stay at a vintage motel, today!

Casa Bahama Motel, Wildwood NJ. Pool Area - Retrostockpix.com RetroRoadmap.comFans of diner photographs (myself included) have known of Robert’s work with his acclaimed book Hometown Diners, (get your personalized copy right here at this link). Or perhaps you might recognize his images from his years spent behind the lens as an award winning photographer at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Melinda, his wife is also an alumni of  The Philadelphia Inquirer and now runs The Williams Group “an agency specializing in marketing, public relations, journalism and photography with an emphasis on nostalgia.” Both of them spent over 10 years in collecting and creating the images and content sandwiched between the covers of Wildwood’s Neon Nights and Motel Memories, and we are all the better for it.

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I’ve been hard at work behind the scenes here at Retro Roadmap, constructing a Retro RoadMAP for each state that we have a post on, and VOILA! Those states now have a page of their own, to fill with cool old retro and vintage places to visit and support!

OMG!! Jasper Johns!!(This is not my work, but one of my fave paintings!)

Click here to be taken to the RetroRoadMAPs page, where you’ll find a link to each state we have something written on.

But Idon’t have all 50 states and more  represented! Help me create a map for what we’re missing! Just send some photos and a quick description of one of your fave cool old vintage or retro place and I’ll add it to the map!

* Alabama
* Alaska
* Arkansas
* Colorado
* District of Columbia
* Georgia
* Hawaii
* Idaho
* Illinois
* Indiana
* Iowa
* Kansas
* Kentucky
* MichiganNo longer on the list, thanks to Insanitiki’s submission of the Elmwood Bar & Grill!
* Minnesota
* Mississippi
* Montana
* Nebraska
* New Hampshire
* New Mexico
* North Dakota
* Oregon
* South Dakota
* Tennessee
* Utah
* Vermont
* Virginia
* Washington
* West Virginia
* Wisconsin
* Wyoming

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