Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sign Malfunction....!!!

I learned a funny story about the hotel we are staying at in Chicago.
The property fell into "disrepair" several years before the big renovation of 2007. The small hotel offered cheap rooms and not much more. A story centered around the shabby neon sign near the entrance. Apparently old-style neon signs are wired in sections. When the sign for "Hotel Cass" malfunctioned......the result was this (see below).

The sign stayed for awhile. It was later removed when the hotel got it's big facelift.
Imagine pointing a cab driver to this address......!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sunny Sunday Finds

A quick trip out to a few sales on Sunday amounted to a box and bag of goodies. I found some cool paper items at a driveway sale near my house. Then I drove to an estate sale that was full of REALLY dirty stuff. I felt like I needed a shower after that one. But the house had many old things from the 1930's-50's. Included were an art deco clock, watering can salt & pepper, flower frogs, Japanese ceramics, and two shabby glass domes. I found an amazing original framed watercolor from Germany. After about 45 minutes, I returned home to spend time in the garden and doing projects. What a great sunny Sunday!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A date with Mary

I have a date with Mary Poppins! The national touring company of the Broadway hit musical "Mary Poppins" is launching the tour in Chicago.....and we've got tickets. I have wanted to see this show since it opened in New York in 2006. The lead actors from the original production are starring in this Chicago version. The show is amazing (I've heard) and I can't wait to finally see it.

Mary Poppins is probably the most memorable and favorite movie from my childhood. I'm excited to see what they do with it onstage. This production is huge with elaborate sets and costumes. The show is housed in the historic Cadillac Palace Theatre. It's over 80 years old and started out as a vaudeville and "circuit" theater. All of the big names (Garland, Crosby, Hope, Durante, many others) have performed there.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Driveby Shopping / Friday Finds

I was doing some errands this a.m. before the shop opened. I normally "drive by" regular crappy garage sales. You know the ones with obsolete stereos, baby clothes, 80's sofas, and VCR tapes. I did stop at one that an elderly couple (a good sign) were having. They didn't have alot in their tidy garage.....but I did score the fruit cannister set & the cool wooden soap boxes.

When I was venturing back to Hollywood, I saw a "moving sale" sign. Usually that's not a good indicator of wonderful finds. Most people move and take the great stuff with them.....leaving a bunch of discards and crapola. But this sale was 'mis-labeled'. I discovered that the garage and driveway were full AND the first floor of the house. Then the lady told me it was an estate cleanout. Hmmm.....why don't you say that on the signage? Lots more people enjoy an estate sale than a crappy ol' moving sale!!! I got two bags full from this house. Plus....the lady said that they "hadn't gone through the bedrooms and basement yet and that's where the old stuff is". She informed me that next week would be the sale of those you know where I'll be next Friday!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hotel Adultery with Cass

I cheated on a hotel. Not "in a hotel".......on a hotel.
A few posts ago, I mentioned that we were staying at the Ohio House Motel in Chicago. That was the plan until this "pretty girl" caught my eye. I love the "Ohio House". It's always the best bet for cheap and clean rooms in Chicago. It's always booked and popular. People know it's a good deal and it's location is fantastic. But the Ohio House room rates stay current (no discounts, seasons, deals).
The sluggish economy has changed the hotel playing field a bit.
Hotels in Chicago are slashing rates for the Spring/Summer season. That's where "Hotel Cass" comes into play. Built in 1927, it was completely redone ($16 million) in 2007. It is one of the newest "hot" small hotels in Chicago. Premium bedding, fancy trims, high-tone lobby, and free hot breakfast every morning. Four blocks closer to Michigan Avenue (that's a good thing). And drumroll please.....$9.00 more a night!
They are featuring room rates about 50% cheaper than in 2008/2007.
After reading several good reviews, I booked a room here for our Chicago vacation. I do feel sad and naughty that I "cheated" on the Ohio House. But when I cancelled, the front desk was very cheerful. They know that my old room will be snatched up right away.

Hotel, fresh, and trendy. This hotel will be something different for us.
I will feel like a cast member of "Sex in the City".....!
All for $9.00 more.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My kind of town....!

We will be cruising this river in just two weeks! Our vacation outings will include a Chicago river cruise. The tour boat also ventures out to Lake Michigan for some awesome views of the city and buildings. I'm excited to travel to a really big midwest city. So different than Portland and the Pacific Northwest. I'm crossing my fingers for good weather!

Friday, May 8, 2009

I can't stop looking at it

I recently found this painting. It's a mid-century abstract. Original frame. Probably framed and sold in Springfield, Illinois. Artist is "Wiley". I'm really attracted to this piece of art. I think there is a story here. I can't stop looking at it.
It's not for sale.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Different Look....

We recently had some "different" things arrive at the shop. I say different because these items are older, darker, and more antique than we usually feature. We have two very old mirrors including a nice 'federal style' example. The old pendulum clock runs and I've had it tick-tocking to keep me company. It has a really nice (quiet) chime that is pleasing to the ear.

Very ancient typewriter. Much loved but still works!

Collection of old pottery in dark browns, greens, and golds. These would be great in a 1920's room or old Portland bungalow house. Very unusual....!

This table arrived with the other items. It's more typical of what we carry at the shop.
1950's era kitchen table. Chrome legs and details. Fabulous enamel fired top (not formica).
Smaller size perfect for nook or use as a side table/utility table.
All items available right now at: Rita Deco Shop - 1925 NE 42nd / 503-253-5793 /Portland

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ohio House Motel in Chicago

When we travel to Chicago later this month we'll be staying at the "Ohio House Motel". Built in 1960, this motel is a retro gem from the past. Lodging in Chicago is mostly made up of large fancy hotels and newer "boutique" hotel remodels. It's expensive to stay downtown but the Ohio House offers reasonable rates and a fantastic location. The buildings are very 1960's and look like they came straight from Route 66!

This motel looks different than any other lodging in Chicago. This place resembles a roadside "motor court" that you might find way out on the highway......not in the heart of Chicago. The rooms are plain and simple. They still have have most of the old furnishings and even have old-style phones. There is a retro diner attached to the motel that is advertised as: "the world's largest littlest restaurant". They have 4 booths and about 10 seats at the counter. They feature breakfast and lunch served in American diner style. The large 'Ohio House' sign on the rock wall actually lights up (vegas style) in the evening. I stayed here about 2 years ago and loved it. I can't wait to visit the Ohio House Motel again soon!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Found it Friday....

New treasures landing in the shop this week. Wonderful 50's cannister set.....shabby off-white paint with shiny chrome lids. Art pottery and a selection of rose-themed items.

Kitchen finds including cookie jars and sweet birds. Nice pack of unused vintage bird stickers!

And last but not least.......ELVIS!
Shown here in his (cute) younger days. Great metal sign for the Presley fanatic.