Tag Archives: Americana

Remember Record Stores? We Found One in California.

Not That There Aren’t Others…

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…But this one is pretty cool. Records stores seem to be a thing of the past, but since the music scene is always changing, evolving, revolving, and so on, we found a place that’s found a way to make it work in the 21st century. We like to look out for our music peeps, so if you’re in San Mateo, CA, check out Vinyl Solution. Plenty of new and used stuff, and lots of old school mementos for all us nostalgic types out. Friendly people inside.

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It’s A Wonderful Life Comes to Life

Bedford Falls is Alive and Well in Upstate New York

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How can we forget George Bailey running down the streets of his hometown, screaming Merry Christmas to everyone as he finally discovers his true purpose in life? Where did this miracle happen? Why, Bedford Falls, of course.

Sadly, Bedford Falls is a work of fiction. However, according to legend, it was inspired by a real life town in Upstate New York. Before the film was made, Director Frank Capra was a familiar visitor to Seneca Falls, NY. Long known for its contribution to the Women’s Rights Movement, Seneca Falls is believed to be the inspiration for the fictional town of Bedford Falls. The names are similar, anyway, although we did run into George Bailey himself. See video below:

Bedford Falls, Seneca Falls…OK there’s that. But the layout of each town is nearly identical, the politics of the time eerily similar. And then there’s the bridge. The famous bridge that George Bailey almost jumped off and into the river below. Seneca Falls has one of those, too.

The famous bridge

There will always be skeptics, but Seneca Falls, NY long ago claimed the title of inspiration for Mr. Capra’s mythical town, going so far as establishing a museum devoted to the film. To celebrate, It’s a Wonderful Life actually comes to life each December in a winter festival. Karolyn Grimes, who played Zuzu Bailey—George’s youngest—returns each year for the festival to sign autographs. 

Zuzu–Karolyn Grimes–signs autographs at the Museum, December 2016

And there’s plenty of reenactors to go around—George, Violet, Mr. Potter, Clarence. They’re all roaming the streets of Seneca Bedford Falls one time each year.

 

LINKS
More info on It’s a Wonderful Life Festival
It’s a Wonderful Life Museum

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Hot August Nights: Nice Cars

Car Shows Are Always a Treat

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Reno, Nevada is known for a lot of things. The “Biggest Little City in the World sits within a morning’s drive to the West Coast–but Lake Tahoe is a lot closer–and the sun’s out pretty much all year round. As the city reinvents itself for the 21st century, there is one staple to this city that will always be here…

Hot August Nights, an annual auto show, is famous for its display of classic cars and adrenaline junkies. For thirty years, it has been well attended by professional and amateur enthusiasts alike. Usually held around the first week of August each year, Hot August nights have numerous venues in Reno and Virginia City, and it has also expanded to include other points of interest, like racing, swap meets (for car parts), and, more recently, drifting.

Needless to say, it’s a big deal and worth a look not only if you’re in the area, but worth the trip if you’re really into cars!

Official Hot August Nights website

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Here in the West

America’s Rural Roots

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The National Western Stock Show, or the “Stock Show”, as it’s commonly known, is a well-established event that takes place in Denver annually. For one week each January, visitors can see the “other” Colorado, the one that exists outside of Denver, Boulder, and the touristy ski towns.

The Stock Show highlights Colorado’s–and America’s–rural side, complete with rodeos, livestock showings, and a forum to buy “western” stuff. Authentic cowboy boots, anyone? Ranchers from throughout the United States and Canada bring their prized livestock to Denver every year to be judged.

For anyone who’s not from the West, like this East Coaster, going to the Stock Show within an hour of getting off the plane from New York was a real culture shock. But it’s a treat to see if you can go.

Official website

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The New Florida

Florida’s West Coast is Hoppin’

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It’s no secret that the Tampa Bay area is seeing a revival these days. It’s becoming a hub for young people in particular. Tampa and Clearwater are growing, but there’s still a lot of Americana in Florida that hasn’t yet fallen prey to overdevelopment, including a sleepy little town called Dunedin.

Known for its Scottish roots, Dunedin is a quiet slice of relaxation in an ever-changing state. It’s Main Street shops and boutiques are far from the busy world of South Florida. Beautiful harbor, too.

Learn more

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