Posts Tagged With: architecture

Haunts of Hollywood

Graumann’s Chinese Theater has been a landmark on Hollywood Blvd. since 1927. Since then it has played a part in many motion picture premieres. In 1973 it became Mann’s Chinese Theater until Ted Mann divorced the wife, Rhonda Fleming. A year later he went bankrupt. It reverted to it’s original name until TCL, a Chinese electronics company purchased the naming rights 2013, renaming it the TCL Chinese Theater.

West Side Story, Mary Poppins and even Star Wars all premiered at the Chinese Theater over the years. Today it is still a hot property that Motion Picture Studios still try to book the theater for new movie premieres.

One of the most famous features of the theater is the celebrity handprints immortalized in cement. There are a number of stories about how they came to be, but the most widely retold, involves an actress, Norma Talmadge, accidentally stepped in wet cement.

Here you can see the handprints of John Wayne along with his fist. Whoopi Goldberg pushed a dreadlock into her cement and Mel Brooks wore a sixth finger on his right hand. Not all of the handprints are on display at any one time. With several hundred prints having been done, there are always some being repaired and just in storage.

Like many historic landmarks, The Chinese Theater is also haunted. In 1982, actor, Victor Killian was bludgeoned to death in his nearby apartment in 1982. He is purported to search the streets looking for his murderer. Employees have also reported strange noises and movement behind the theaters heavy curtain.

Categories: Haunted Travel, hdr, Hollywood, Theaters, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Here’s A Story….

Driving around Los Angeles, you may have a sense of deja vu when you pass 11122 Dilling St. in Studio City. Here is the house where Mike and Carol Brady lived with their six children, their dog, Tiger and their housekeeper, Alice. Sometimes cousin Oliver was there too.

The Brady Bunch house was sold to HGTV for $3.5 million and subsequently renovated by the original Brady kids. Former N’Sync member, Lance Bass, had put an offer on the home, but it was turned down when someone said they wanted the house at any cost.

After The White House, it is the second most photographed house in the United States. The house at 11222 Dilling St. was only used for the exterior shots. The interior of the Brady abode was done on a soundstage at Paramount Studios, in reality it only had 3 bedrooms.

During the renovation, the house was remodeled to look like the classic show. HGTV hosted a very Brady scavenger hunt for fans to help source the many bits of set decoration necessary. Among the props that were found were the Horse statue in the living room, a stuffed giraffe from the girl’s room and that flower covered couch in the sitting room.

Next time you’re in California, take a trip back to the 70’s and say hi to Alice.

https://www.hgtv.com/shows/a-very-brady-renovation

Categories: Los Angeles, Photography, Studio City, The Brady Bunch, TV Houses | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Towers of Steel and Glass

As of 2021, there are 41 skyscrapers in New York City. Among those are Central Park Tower, the tallest residential building in the western hemisphere. If you’re in the market for a new apartment a small studio can cost $1,000,000. If you need some more space be prepared to pay as much as $95,000,000 for a 4 bedroom apartment.

In 2020, the tallest office tower in Manhattan opened. One Vanderbilt Place is the 4th tallest building in the city. This structure boasts a glass elevator that travels up the outside of the building and an amazing observation deck.

Out of all of the buildings in The Big Apple, The Chrysler Building is my favorite. It was constructed by the chairman of the Chrysler Corporation but funded the entire project himself so that his children could inherit it. It was the tallest building in the city for only 11 months, losing out to the Empire State Building. Among it’s ornaments are gargoyles, 1929 Chrysler radiator caps and American eagles.

Categories: hdr, New York City, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Skyline

New York City has one of the unique city skylines. Out of all of the places I’ve visited, I always consider The Big Apple to be one of my favorites. Giant skyscrapers densely populate the city and the best vantage point is from high up.

Famously, The Empire State Building stands proud and tall. There are 1,872 steps to the Observation Deck on the 102nd floor. But don’t worry, there’s a high speed elevator if you prefer to save your energy. From the Deck of the most photographed in the world, you can see six different states on a clear day.

The upper deck was originally designed as a mooring post for Airships and Dirigibles. The building was part of a mad rush to build the tallest building in the city. The nearby Chrysler Building was topped off by a spire making it 1048 feet tall. The Empire State Building beats that at 1250 feet. It was the tallest building in the world until 1970 when the World Trade Center was completed.

If you want a great shot of the NYC skyline that features the Empire State Building, you have to venture to one of the other observations decks around Manhattan. I can recommend The Edge in Hudson Yards or Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center. Both will give you breathtaking views of this magical city.

The building is often lit in a myriad of different colors throughout the year. On the night I visited, the tower was bathed in red light to celebrate New York Comic Con. You can even see a schedule of when the tower is lit at this link.

https://www.esbnyc.com/about/tower-lights/calendar

https://www.esbnyc.com/

https://www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com/discover/edge

https://www.topoftherocknyc.com/

Categories: New York City, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Brooklyn Bridge

Spanning the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Bridge is an architectural marvel of 19th century engineering. Opened in 1883, it is about 6000 feet long and sits 127 feet above the river. The pedestrian walkway is 18 feet above the traffic lanes.

The suspension bridge was the first of it’s kind to use steel for the cable wire. The bridge is open to cars, bikes and pedestrians. Although it only spans the river of about 1500 feet, being more than a mile long and often take an hour or so to traverse mighty East River.

Just before it was scheduled to open, someone started a rumor that the bridge was going to collapse. To put the rumors to rest (and to promote his circus)The Greatest Showman, PT Barnum led a parade of 21 elephants, including his star attraction Jumbo, across the Brooklyn Bridge.

The New York Times reported on the spectacle. “At 9:30 o’clock 21 elephants, 7 camels, and 10 dromedaries issued from the ferry at the foot of Courtlandt-Street… The other elephants shuffled along, raising their trunks and snorting as every train went by. Old Jumbo brought up the rear.” It went on to observe that “To people who looked up from the river at the big arch of electric lights it seemed as if Noah’s Ark were emptying itself over on Long Island.”

Did you know that there were hidden wine cellars in the bridges towers. New York City rented out the space in order to fund it’s construction. They were eventually closed in the 1930’s, but in 1978, a faded inscription was found.

“Who loveth not wine, women and song, he remaineth a fool his whole life long.”

Categories: hdr, New York City, Photography, The Big Apple, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pirates and Rum

If you find yourself in the British Virgin Islands, make sure that Pusser’s is on your itinerary. As you wait for a seat in the Dining Room, grab a seat at the bar decorated with ship’s chandlery and Victorian stained glass lamps. Order a Painkiller and watch the world go by, you may even share a stool with a real pirate.

Categories: B.V.I., British Virgin Islands, hdr, Painkiller, Photography, Pirates, Pubs, Tortola, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dragons Of London

You must believe that the city of London is protected by Dragons. In fact, there are 13 Dragons marking the boundary of the city. There used to be a building called the Coal Exchange built in 1849. Adorning the building were 2 seven foot tall Dragons. In the late 1960’s the Coal Exchange was demolished, but the Dragons live on. The 2 Dragons were mounted on plinths on either side of Victoria Embankment to mark the boundary between Westminster and London.

These 2 Dragons served as the model for the city Dragons. Another Dragon was in contention for the honor and can be seen at the site of the original Temple Bar. This lone Dragon is much fiercer than the others.

If you have any doubt as to whether or not you are in London, look to these guardians. Each Dragon faces outward to protect the city. If you are seeing the Dragon’s backside then you are truly inside London.

Why Dragons? The City of London crest has been supported by Dragons since the 17th century. Since the 17th century the City of London crest has been supported by a pair of dragons. It makes sense as the City of London has used the St. George’s Cross and Emblem, in heraldry having animals (real or mythical) as supporters for a crest is quite common. One theory for the choice of dragons for the City is that the since the 14th century the City of London has used St. George’s cross as an emblem and a dragon. Since a Dragon is a key part of the legend of St. George, it makes sense.

Categories: Dragons, Europe, hdr, London, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Come Feed The Birds

Early each day to the steps of Saint Paul’s
The little old bird woman comes
In her own special way to the people
She calls, “Come, buy my bags full of crumbs

Categories: Church, Disney, Europe, hdr, London, Mary Poppins, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Art Of The Pub

Categories: Europe, hdr, London, Photography, Pubs, SIgns, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Art Of The Pub

Categories: Europe, hdr, London, Photography, Pubs, SIgns, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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