Just when I started to worry about swimsuit season (kale, kale, AND MORE KALE for you, Lisa), would you believe it's snowing in Nashville, today? Or it was when I left the house for work this morning. Blech! I thought we were through with this frosty weather! I realized I left something off my flea market list of scores yesterday, and isn't it a doozy to have missed-- not to mention, ties in with the cold weather we're having this morning.
Folks, ALASKA (in...scarf form!!):
Last weekend, there was a booth set up in the northeastern corner of Antiques Alley that I usually like. I've bought who knows how many things from the eighty year old woman who typically runs it, but she's been absent the last two or three times, and I hope she's all right and comes back (I need more panoramic photos and Victorian capes!). In her stead was a super friendly couple with cardboard signs all over that read "TWO FOR FIVE DOLLARS any item in the booth". Bargain-mad shopper that I am, I combed over the tables twice before I saw this scarf tucked under one of the display cases and trailing loose to the floor. Already overburdened with plastic sacks carrying the things I already showed you, I had to set my parcels down to free one delicate silk corner from under the wooden box, and when I did-- wow! I got a 1930's Ladies Home Companion magazine and this to add to my purchases, and was I ever pleased!
Isn't this even better than an enamel plate to take home to people, engendering the jealousy of those-who-didn't-go-on-vacation from those-who-did? Printed all along the textile in a horror vacui of travel pride, you can see images of things they have in Alaska, surrounding a political map of the state itself. Polar bears, crabs, moose, Inuit people, and a pretty floral border all along the edges.
How romantic does the "Land of the Midnight Sun" and our forty-ninth state look through the lens of this souvenir? As a perpetual twelve year old nerd in my heart, I love the idea of being able to point out to friends, if you bought this to remember your trip, "Wellllll, we started out in Holy Cross..." (tracing finger along the silk), "Took a sea plane out to St. Lawrence Island"...."Ran into a polar bear up at Skagway..." I have to admit
most any of my knowledge about Alaska comes from stories my friend Kelsey has told me about visiting there with her parents in high school (her grandparents lived in Fairbanks in the fifties 'and they still have family up there), or the educational CD-ROM Yukon Trail. So if it's not about how to beat the dealer at Faro, I will admit, you might have me at a disadvantage over whatever you know about this gorgeous state.
Totem pole, and a walrus at the top, a trio of seals at the bottom:
I just think this scarf is great!
The funny thing about finding the Alaska souvenir is that it's the second one of its kind in my possession-- that means one more, and I've got a collection! :) This one is from "La Isla Encantanda", Cuba! I know even less about Cuba than I do about Alaska, but this scarf is a step in the right direction. And GORGEOUS:
I found this a few months ago at an estate sale in the back bedroom of a house in Green Hills. I can remember standing over, in that "Nope, totally looking at this print on the wall" side-eye stance I often take at estate sales, a girl who was examining the scarf, noticed the two holes, and abruptly put it back to move on to bigger fish. One of the only things that helps me in the race against resellers is their clientele's disinclination to buy items in less than mint condition. And who can blame them? If I had to pay thirty dollars for this scarf, and needed it shipped to Sacramento, it had better be in tip top shape! However, for two dollars, holes and all, I have no problem pulling the trigger on this exotic scarf. After all, it's traveled across the sea and probably fifty years since it was made, I guess a few condition issues are to be expected!
Look! At! The! Graphics! Though!
According to this (ALL CAPS!) information on the web:
Le sigh. Too bad! It looks beautiful in the illustration.LA CONCHA BEACH, IS A PLACE WHERE OLDER AND POPULAR GAMBLE AND MUSIC HALLS WAS LOCATED. FORMER CASINOS AND DANCING ROOMS LIKE THE CHORICERA CLUB WAS LOCATED IN THIS AREA. IN THE 30´S THE AREA WAS TRANSFORMATED INTO A SELECTED BEACH WITHIN THE CARLOS MIGUEL DE CESPEDES "MIRAMAR PROJECT", INCLUDING A RESIDENTIAL AREA CALLED HAVANA COUNTRY CLUB PARK & LAKE, HAVANA COUNTRY CLUB GOLF COURSE, THE JAIMANITAS GOLF CLUB, THE HAVANA YACHT CLUB, AND THE NATIONAL CASINO. THE "NATIONAL CASINO OR THE CASINO DE LA PLAYA", WAS LOCATED IN THE SURROUNDINGS OF THE "LA CONCHA BEACH" AND WAS THE MOST EXOTIC AND BEAUTIFUL GAMBLING HOUSE IN CUBA. THE BUILDING WAS A PRECIOUS NEOCLASIC CONSTRUCTION WITH DANCING HALL, DINNING ROOM, BARS, PRIVATE BARS, GAMBLING ROOM, GARDENS AND A SPECTACULAR FOUNTAIN THAS LATER WAS MOVED TO THE ENTRANCE OF TROPICANA CABARET. SADDLY THE NATIONAL CASINO WAS DEMOLISHED IN 1956. A TERRIBLE ARCHITECTURAL LOSS.
Remember when Pete Campbell was going to bring Jai Alai to America on Mad Men? Here you go, the sport in action:
Moro Castel "is a picturesque fortress guarding the entrance to Havana bay in Havana, Cuba", according to Wikipedia. More than the castle, I'm entranced by this girl's nattily dressed, 1920's companion than the 16th century historical site to the right. Also...take this for meta....what if the girl's head scarf...was a souvenir Cuba headscarf...?!?!?!?! The mind boggles.
The Gran Casino Nacional was closed by Castro 1960, but for its thirty year run before that, was apparently "the Monte Carlo of Latin America". Doesn't it look fancy in the illustration:
Now we're talking! Look at the rhumba here! I had (um, HAVE) the most debilitating crush on Desi Arnaz when watching I Love Lucy as a kid, and this reminds me of his traditional rhumba-ruffle shirt (I tried like heck to Google what one of those is called, but it kept trying to make sure I didn't mean ZUMBA shirt, and I gave up). Once again the colors and the drawing is just killer.
And last but not least, this poor, strangely distended couple. I think the artists must have gotten tired by the time they got to Varadero Beach, because...why are Nelson Eddy's and Miriam Hopkins's faces melting? WHAT IS HAPPENING (though this would make a good Universal Picture from the time...Horror in Havana!)
Anyway, I gotta get back to work (and then lunch! Will the lunch hour ever appear), but let me know what you think! Which scarf is more your speed? Do you have any of these in your collection? How do you WEAR one of these to its best advantage (so everyone can see all the cool details)? Have you ended up with an "accidental" collection like this? Let's talk!
That's all for today, but I will talk to you tomorrow with even more vintage rants and ramblings. Have a great Tuesday! Til then.