Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Road Work Ahead, Summer 2014 N.C. Trip-- Part 21: Honky Tonkin' at Carolina Beach

Well, not this time, but plenty of times in the past.  Maybe next time.

One thing about Carolina Beach, it has been able to maintain its old-time honky tonk place, kind of a Redneck Riviera if you will.  Lots of little souvenir shops (and at one time, no WINGS!!!).  Little grub houses and more than a few bars.  And, there was nothing at all elegant about them like you might expect to find at Myrtle Beach.

These were true dive bars, a little bit ragged as well in some cases.  Sand on te floor and not on purpose, folks tracked it in from the beach.  Now long-gone, at the north end of the boardwalk was an upstairs ballroom which used to keep cool with ocean breezes so the windows were always open.

You could hear the bands and watch folks dancing (mostly the Shag, of course as this is Beach Music Country).  I always wanted to go there, but was too young and by the time I got old enough, it was closed.

I'm thinking it might have been called the Atlantic Ballroom.  Maybe.

Beach Music City.  --RoadDog

Lake Erie Lighthouses Shine On-- Part 1: Put-in-Bay

From the May 25, 2014, Chicago Tribune by Bob Downing of the Akron Beacon Journal.

There are several more lighthouses along Ohio's Lake Erie coast, also called the country's North Shore, and we have seen both he wrote about on our trips to Put-in-Bay, Ohio.


"Most visitors to part-happy Put-in-Bay don't notice the old lighthouse on the island, the one with its own ghosts.  The South Bass Light Station (Put-in-Bay is located on South Bass Island and can only be reached by water or air) is tucked on the island';s southwest corner.

"It's not far from the Miller Boat Line ferry dock.  But most ferry passengers head the other way, into town for the fun at one of Ohio's top travel destinations."

Guilty.  We can't wait to check into our room and start hitting the "fun" places like the Round House, Boardwalk and Beer Barrel, especially when Mike "Mad Dog" Adams or Pat Dailey are playing.  There is entertainment starting at noon every weekend day.

Too Much Fun.  --RoadDog

Monday, September 15, 2014

Road Work Ahead, Summer 2014 N.C. Trip-- Part 20: Carolina Beach, It's a Boardwalk Thing

I was very happy to see that the amusement rides are back at the boardwalk area where they were in my younger days.  At one point, all of them were moved out to Jubilee Park off US-421 as you come into town.  That just wasn't the same as the boardwalk.  A good beach boardwalk needs to have rides.

And, speaking of boardwalk, Carolina Beach's boardwalk is actually made of concrete.  There are no timbers whatsoever.  And, in my much younger days, you could see the ocean as it rolled in a short distance away.  But, not anymore.  Now there is a huge berm running the length of the boardwalk.  Sorry to miss the view, but this was very necessary for the hurricanes which hit here fairly regularly.

It is probably twenty-feet high and maybe a third of a football field wide.  There are steps and walkways to the top and you can see the ocean from there.

Under the Boardwalk?  --RoadDog

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Special Eats at Chicago's Comiskey Park-- Part 2

Some other goodies found by Kevin Pang:

***  Bobak's, the sausage-maker, is offering a grilled mango chicken sausage sandwich.  "It's not too heavy on the mango, the interior is moist and springy, but my favorite part is the satisfying snap of the casing."

***  Chicken sausage sandwich for $6.50.

The Comiskey offerings sounded good, but paled beside those wonder dogs at Wrigley.


Special Eats at Chicago's Comiskey Park-- Part 1

From the May 15, 2014, Chicago Tribune "Sox fans, eat this!" by Kevin Pang.

I don't call this baseball park by the new other name, it remains Comiskey to me.  Same with the Sears Tower.

"CHICKEN AND WAFFLES:  Usually ballpark food happens like this: Wieners are heated up in water, pretzels are heated up in a carousel, 'BBQ pulled pork' is heated up inside the Cryovac plastic bag it came in.  Imagine my delight when I came across this new-for-2014 dish at (the other name): the Southern staple of fried chicken plus waffles, freshly fried on a cart behind section 143!

"For $8, this is the real deal.  Two crisp waffles sandwiching a crunchy, well-seasoned chicken breast.  It's topped with whipped butter and powdered sugar, and comes with a container of maple syrup.

"This is the apogee of every food (at a baseball stadium, anyway) that's ever straddled the sweet-savory divide."

Someone evidently was quite impressed and it would be something I'd sure be temped to try is we went to Chicago.  I see there is a double-header today (last night was rained and colded out).  Featured the two last place AL Central teams, the Sox and Twins battling it out for last bragging rights.  I imagine a lot of these fried chicken and waffles will be sold.

Syrup on Chicken?  --RoadDog

Storied Past: Structures Still Standing from 1963-- Part 3

Using the pictures, I was able to guess the first six.

1.  Alcatraz, San Francisco
2.  Space Needle, Seattle
3.  Guggenheim Museum, New York City
4.  Cadet Cathedral, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado

5.  Fallingwater, Mill Run, Pennsylvania
6.  Parthenon, Nashville, Tennessee
7.  Long Island Duck, New York
8.  Corn Palace, Mitchell, S.D.

My Aching Head.  --RoadDog

Storied Past: Structures Still Standing from 1963-- Part 2

3.  This circular modern art museum stands out against Fifth Avenue's stately, right-angled structures and attracts about a million people a year.

4.  This marvel of modern architecture, designed by Walter A. Netsch and completed in 1963, features six separate spaces for worshipers of all faiths.

5.  Frank Lloyd Wright began this rural masterpiece at age 69.  the vacation home for department store owner Edgar J. Kaufmann Jr. was built over a 30-foot waterfall.

6.  The full-scale replica of its Greek namesake was the centerpiece of the state's 1897 Centennial Exposition.  It also boasts what's missing from the original: a 42-foot statue of the goddess Athena.

7.  A poultry farmer built this beaut, complete with Model T.tail lights for eyes, to hawk his Pekin ducks.

8.  The prairie-meets-Arabia building hosted harvest festivals.  Now it's more likely to accommodate a high school basketball game or an Oak Ridge Boys concert.

I've been to #4 and 6.                                                                                                                                

Answers in Part 3.  --RoadDog

Storied Pasts: Structures from 1963 That Are Still Standing-- Part 1

From the March 2013 AARP Bulletin "Storied Pasts" by Betsy Towner.

"In March 1963 the federal prison at far left (picture 1) closed its doors.  The seven other buildings pictured here--known for their history, grandeur or whimsy-- were part of the American landscape 50 years ago, and all still stand.  Can you identify them?"

Then there were pictures of the eight structures and a brief description.  I correctly guessed the first five, but not the last three.  Of course, I had pictures as well a descriptions.  See how well you do.

If you search AARP Bulletin Storied Past Betsy Towner, you can pull up the page.  Great photos.

1.  Despite popular lore, there were no man-eating sharks in the water to attack escapees.  The water was probably too cold, anyway.)

2.  Centerpiece of the 1962 World's Fair.  Original plans called for a stork's nest atop the 605-foot tower.  Glitch: Storks don't live in this city-- it's too cold.

Answers in Part 3.

I Was At #2 and Saw #1 Off in the Distance.  --RoadDog

Friday, September 12, 2014

Special Eats at Chicago's Wrigley Field-- Part 3: Buffalo, Classic and Reuben Dogs

1960s HOT DOG:  The Buffalo-Wing dog, which tops the hot dog with pulled chicken in Buffalo-style sauce and topped with blue cheese cole slaw.  Phil Vettel says, "The flavors on this creation are so strong that Levy might just as well have omitted the wiener."  This dog would have to be a jolt to the senses.

1920s HOT DOG:  A straight-up classic Chicago dog, sport peppers and all.  Of course, i'd have to take those peppers off.  And, don't even THINK about putting ketchup on it!!

1910S HOT DOG:  The Reuben hot dog (one claim has the Reuben sandwich being created around 1914).  The hot dog here is topped with corned beef, sauerkraut, thousand island dressing and shredded Swiss cheese.

Phil says he's not crazy about corned beef, but does love sauerkraut on his hot dogs.  Me, too!!

Well, I Sure Would Have Liked to have Partaken One of These.  Wonder If They Deliver?  --RoadDog

Special Eats at Chicago's Wrigley Field-- Part 2: Mighty Fine Looking Dawgs

I have to quit staring at the photo.  For some reason I am salivating like a good Pavlov's dog.

The article goes on to say that these four hot dogs are available all season long and cost $7 each.  Now, I have to come out and say that $7 is an awful lot of money to pay for a hot dog, but I am sure I'd part with the dough were I to go to Wrigley, although that is not likely.  We just don't go to Chicago much anymore since the city has gotten way too ripoff in all its prices.

Here are the dogs:

1970s: a pulled-pork dog, with the shredded pork doused in Uncle Dougie's barbecue sauce (a Chicago treat), and topped with cole slaw and fried onions.  (Just imagine if the puled pork had been eastern Carolina-style bbq sauce!!)  This one would definitely have been my first hot dog.

But Wait Until the Others.  --RoadDog

Special Eats at Chicago's Wrigley Field-- Part 1: Decade Dogs

From the May 15, 2014, Chicago Tribune "Cubs fans, eat this" by Phil Vettel.

As we suffer through yet another one of those special Cubs seasons, at least it sounds like the denizens of Wrigley Field have some good stuff to eat, thanks to the ballpark's 100th anniversary, which is being pushed to the extreme as it is the history, not how well the Cubbies are playing, you know.

As part of the 100th anniversary celebration, Levi Restaurants (which handles the Wrigley concessions) is getting creative, linking specialty hot dogs to specific decades.

And then, the mean old Trib boys were nice (or mean) enough to include pictures of the dogs.  Other than the one with the sport pepper, I would like to try each and everyone of them (and the sports peppers could easily be taken off, making for a goon one as well).  

I mean, these could make Hot Doug's in Chicago or the Epic, Deli in Johnsburg, Illinois, sit up and take notice.

They Shouldn't Had Oughta Had That Picture.  Now, I'm "Hongry Agin'"  --RoadDog

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Visiting the 9/11 Sites

From the September 7, 2014, Parade Magazine "Picks: How to Visit the 9/11 Sites" edited by Vi-An Nguyen.

On this 13th anniversary of that tragic day back in 2001.  All seven of my blogs will be about this event.

FLIGHT 93 NATIONAL MEMORIAL:  Construction continues on this monument in the field outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania, but a wall inscribed with the names of Flight 93's 40 passengers and crew and a long paved walkway providing a view of the crash point are open to visitors.

THE NATIONAL 9/11 PENTAGON MEMORIAL:  Each of the 184 people who died at the pentagon is honored with a bench engraved with his or her name and an individual lighted pool of water at this expansive memorial site in Washington, D.C..

THE NATIONAL SEPTEMBER 11 MEMORIAL:  Where Manhattan's twin towers once stood there are two reflecting pools-- each an acre in size (marking the tower footprints) and bordered by 30-foot waterfalls.  Bronze panels surrounding the water list the 2,983 names of those who lost their lives in both the 1993 and 2001 attacks.

Places to Visit and Reflect.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ford Mustang Turns 50-- Part 4: His Mom Turns Into a Co-ed

***  The first Mustang that Ford built was not sold in the U.S..  It was sold in Newfoundland, Canada.  Stanley Tucker bought the only Mustang at his local dealer.  It actually was a pre-production model, not supposed to be sold.

***  The first known retail sale of a production Mustang was to Gail Wise of Park Ridge, Illinois, who still owns it.  She was 22 at the time and bought her baby blue 1964 1/2 convertible on April 15th, two days before Lee Iacocca introduced it.

***  Kids whose fathers bought one were really lucky.  Not only did their family have the "hot car." but also it had an impact on their moms.  John Hitchcock, whose father bought a dark-green Mustang convertible remembers, "It turned mom from a 33-year-old mother into a free-spirited co-ed."

***  Many Mustangs from that first crop were kept by their owners and then their owners' children as family heirlooms.

***  President Bill Clinton kept his stepfather's 1967 Mustang convertible that was bought in 1972.

"All She Wants to Do Is...."  --RoadDog

Ford Mustang Turns 50-- Part 3: "A Piece of Machinery About As Exciting as A Dish of baby Food"

This comes from "Engines of Change," a 2012 book by Paul Ingrassia.

***  On the night of April 16, 1964, Ford blitzed the airwaves by buying the 9:30 to 10 p.m. slot )Eastern time zone) on all three TV networks. (I must not have been watching TV that night.  I don't remember it.)

***  They also bought ads in 2,600 newspapers.

***  The official introduction of the Mustang was April 17th, at the New York World's Fair.

*** Many media outlets liked it.  But some, like Car and Driver, described it as a "piece of machinery about as exciting as a dish of baby food."

***  One dealer in Texas had 15 buyers for his only Mustang.  He auctioned it to the highest bidder, who spent the night sleeping in the car to make sure no one else got it.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Road Work Ahead, 2014 Summer Trip to N.C.-- Part 19: Carolina Beach

After wolfing down my two Britt's doughnuts and drinking the paltry Diet Coke ($1.25 for maybe six ounces and ice) , I took a walk around the boardwalk area which consists of two long pedestrian streets, the one that Britt's is on and a closer to the ocean one to the east.

I first went into the building that used to house the bumper cars for as long as I can remember.  It is now a souvenir place, but still had that burnt electric smell from all those years folks used to bang into each other.  My brother and sister used to go on it every visit and it was literally "kill your sibling" time.  The harder you crashed into them, the better.  I would usually win unless they "ganged up" on me.  Then it wasn't so pleasant. (My worst-ever bumper car experience was at Great America, outside of Chicago, when I made the mistake of going on them with my students during a field trip.  To say I was "battered" would be putting it mildly.)

I miss the bumper cars, but still got that old-time smell, though.

I am happy to see that most store fronts have businesses in them.  For awhile in the past there was one empty building after another.  The city of Carolina Beach realizes the importance of a real boardwalk, sort of even honky tonk area as a beach experience of the past and really pushes it.  Once a week during the summer, they have bands and fireworks at a pavilion by the boardwalk.

Remembering the Old Times at C.B..  --RoadDog