Sunday, May 19, 2013

"Antique" Shopping 2--Albuquerque

     This is not a great photo of this poster.  I had some trouble photographing it because it is covered with glass and I kept getting a distracting reflection of the room, so ultimately, I went with this slightly blurred off-center photo.
     BUT, I wanted to put this up because I so love this poster!  I have had the strangest experience with it, and when I saw it at the antique store the other weekend, I had to buy it.
This is a photo of the famous Route 66--or Central Ave.-- in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1969.
There is a silly sort of kitsch version of this poster that has actual lights embedded in it, like in the car tail lights.  That was the poster I first saw.
     I was in a cheap Let's Go budget traveller lodging in Amsterdam around 1993.  We were sitting around one night chatting with the proprietor in this big open room they had there overlooking the street and as we talked and joked and exchanged stories I was staring at this poster.  At some point it came to me that I knew all of the signs and all of the buildings in the picture.  In fact, I knew them quite well!  I was very excited and incredulous.  Here, half way across the world, was a picture taken from my childhood.  One that I had never been aware of until that moment.
     When I was a kid, we used to drive this street fairly often.  We would sometimes beg my mother to take us down it at night so we could see all the lights and neon.  For example, in the top right near the front there is a flower/star type shape that used to light up in neon petal by petal and then appear to spin. And so many advertising icons are here.  I cut it off in my picture, but on the right there is also a huge bucket of chicken that used to rotate above Kentucky Fried Chicken.  There is the Travel Lodge sleepwalking bear in his nightshirt, and the huge Ramada Inn man with the long trumpet, and some kind of larger than life lumberjack guy atop a building, though I never did know what he was advertising.  You can see how all of these images appealed to a child.  The tall gold and white First National Bank on the right was always a cue for me so I knew where I was.  I believe it had a sort of rampish parking lot that let drivers go under the building to drive-up tellers--though I may be mistaken.
The car on the right in the foreground is a Chevrolet similar to one my father used to have.  In fact, I remember rolling the syllables of Chevrolet around and being told it was the best kind of car to own.
     I am so happy to have found this poster on the cheap--and framed as well. It not only brings back memories of my childhood, but it brings back Amsterdam and all those crazy years I lived abroad.  I have had a rich, full life--and it's still going.

. . . and speaking of Holland!  Here's some tulips!!  (But that's--yep--another story!)

1 comment:

  1. I love this. I can see how that picture would capture anyone's imagination with all it's detail and it's just so very American, but even more so if it's somewhere you remember from your own childhood. x