Atomic Redhead, focuses on my adventures, which mostly include shopping for vintage clothing, fun roadside Americana, museums, and amusement parks. Sometimes I share tips and tricks regarding vintage clothing and furnishings.
Many know that Palm Springs is a mid-century mecca, and a perfect place to have a vay-cay lounging by the pool. But what few may know is that on your way to Palm Springs there is a perfect place for a vintage shopping pit stop in the citrus rich city of Redlands.
I find myself in Redlands fairly often, because the main office for the company Patrick works for is in Redlands. While he works from home, sometimes he has to go in for meetings, and if I tag along I get to go shopping, see friends and family in the area, and we get to use the carpool lane, making his commute shorter. If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have seen some of my shopping adventures here, so I think it was only a matter of time before I got around to this post!
A Rolling Stone – While A Rolling Stone is primarily a bead and jewelry supply shop, it also offers a ton of vintage jewelry, including brooches and earrings, all at fantastic prices! I find many gifts for my fellow vintage loving friends here. 320 E Citrus Ave.
If turquoise is your thing, then you might want to pop across the street to West of Texas. Here you’ll find both new and vintage pieces of turquoise jewelry, along with a plethora of western wear, some of which have a wonderful vintage flair. West of Texas is located at 401 Citrus Ave., just across the street from A Rolling Stone.
Back in Time – This is a fairly standard antique mall with a mix of true vintage, newer items, and shabby chic that we have sadly all grown accustomed to, but there are still several dealers with vintage accessories, jewelry, home goods, and ephemera, but not much with regards to clothing. Back in Time also features an outdoor area to meet your garden decor needs! 1740 W Redlands Blvd.
Red Door Vintage – This is one of my favorite shops in Redlands. I almost always find something here. Red Door Vintage offers true vintage with a little 80s/contemporary items thrown in, all at really reasonable prices. 127 Cajon St.
The Red Rooster Vintage – A shabby chic antique mall if there ever was one, with a plethora of painted and then sanded furniture and industrial style lamps, but there are many good vintage houseware items, such as Pyrex and ceramics. 409 N Orange St.
Redlands Galleria – This place is huge, four floors to be exact. Redlands Galleria is a similar mix of what Back in Time has to offer, but with more clothing. I’ve found some gems here over the years. There is plenty of furniture, home goods, lots of ephemera, plus a fair amount of jewelry and other vintage accessories. 17 E State St.
RUST – At RUST you’ll be in denim heaven, but there is also some true vintage treasures, including purses and accessories. This place tends to lean a little newer, but it’s still worth the stop. 115 Cajon St.
If you’re really wanting to dig in and find a diamond in the rough, Redlands is also home to a few thrift stores!
Please note, it will be very beneficial to double check Facebook and Yelp pages for hours prior to visits. Additionally, any shop that is an “antique mall” is made up of many different vendors who pay monthly rent, plus a commission to sell their wares within the antique mall. This means that large areas of the store can change wildly within a short time period if someone moves out and someone else moves in.
Redlands is also home to many stunning Victorian mansions, including the beautiful Kimberly Crest House, which I still have yet to tour! But when I do, I’m bound to blog about it!
So, next time you’re road tripping it to Palm Springs or Joshua Tree from LA, stop in Redlands for a quick shopping excursion and maybe you’ll find a treasure or two!
I’ve been working to expand my wardrobe to feature more of just anything and everything I like. I’ve always been a big fan of Victorian inspired looks, which is one of the reasons I love a good Gunne Sax dress, and had a soft spot for gothic looks as well, which we all know takes some cues from the Victorian era. Well, awhile ago I was at Hot Topic (yes, I still shop there on occasion, as they have Harry Potter, American Horror Story, and Disney wearables) and I spied this dress on the clearance rack. It was like a gothic, slightly more risqué Gunne Sax, with a touch of Stevie Nicks thrown in, whose style I greatly admire. Also, I love me a good high-low skirt (I blame saloon girls).
In the meantime I’ve had the pleasure of doing some modeling for the shoe company Oak Tree Farms, and in doing so received a couple pairs of shoes. For the most part, Oak Tree Farms specializes in authentic looking Victorian style shoes (no zipper!), as well as funky and unique shoes. A pair of their Jasmine boots paired perfectly with this dress, and all of it worked flawlessly for a day spent in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios.
Gower Gulch. Sounds like a small town in the deserts of Arizona, right? But you’d be wrong. It’s in fact a western themed small strip mall that sits at the corner of Gower and Sunset in the middle of Hollywood. But why a western theme? And just how did this corner get its name?
The American west gave birth to the cowboy, and soon Hollywood would immortalize the fabled western hero on celluloid. Even by the time the motion picture industry took over, the Los Angeles area was still teeming with real life cowboys, all of who looked to earn a little extra cash by being extras in the Hollywood westerns being made. The corner of Sunset and Gower was the perfect hang out for them; it was close to many movie studios and the Columbia Drugstore had a phone that these hopeful extras could use. Dressed in their own clothing of H Bar C shirts, Levis, and Stetson hats, these real life cowpokes stood by looking to get work as extras, quickly earning the nickname “Drugstore Cowboys.”
But it wasn’t until a real life shoot out between two cowboys that this corner got its name.
In the hustle and bustle of 1940 Hollywood, Jerome B. “Blackjack” Ward stood among his fellow drugstore cowboys. Soon, he spied fellow cowboy extra John Ainsworth Tyacke AKA Johnny Tyke. Blackjack accused Tyke of “fooling around” with his girl. The two exchanged heated words, and Blackjack took out a .45, Tyke responded by lunging for the gun, but Blackjack fired, getting Tyke in the shoulder. As Tyke lay on the ground, and Blackjack proceeded to fire the remainder of his bullets at Tyke, supposedly naming the steps to hell, all of which he believed Tyke guilty of doing.
Newspapers grabbed hold of this jealousy fueled murder, and headlines like “Film Cowboy on Trial in ‘Gower Gulch’ Slaying,” giving name to this corner of Hollywood.
Blackjack pled not guilty, claiming that Tyke had a bowie knife, and that the killing was therefore in self defense, he also plead insanity. A multi-day trial took place, but at the end of the day, the charges were dismissed and Blackjack walked free.
While the murder of Johnny Tyke fell into obscurity, the name that came out of it stuck and became a Hollywood in-joke in multiple films and even animated shorts.
Abbott and Costello teamed up in the 1942 picture Ride ‘Em Cowboy where Gower Gulch is a bus stop.
In 1943 Disney created the war related short “Victory Vehicles” which showcased Goofy as a “Hollywood Drugstore Cowboy” in front of Gower Gulch Pharmacy.
Western swing king Spade Cooley stared in the 1950 film The Kid From Gower Gulch, which also features a song titled “Gower Gulch is Home Sweet Home.”
Looney Tunes also got on the bandwagon, and named a train station Gower Gulch in the Sylvester and Tweety cartoon “All a Bir-r-r-rd.”
They followed up with “Drip-Along Daffy” in 1951 which starts with Porky Pig singing a song called “The Flower of Gower Gulch.”
By the late 1960s though the western was falling out of favor, and the need for the drugstore cowboys had passed. In the meantime the Columbia Drugstore was razed. In 1976 though a developer decided to pay homage to the corner’s western heritage, and built this western themed strip mall, naming it Gower Gulch.
The strip mall features multiple western themed facades, complete with faux businesses, including a bath house, livery stable, and even a medicine wagon in the middle of the parking lot, which supposedly the caretaker used to live in. On one wall a giant mural of a stage coach is painted, and nearby several murals of western icons, both of the real wild west and the Hollywood variety are painted. It so happens features a Rite Aid, so the legend of the drugstore cowboy of Gower Gulch lives on
Overall April has been quite hectic and extremely busy, and to add to it, my birthday fell on Easter this year. So there wasn’t really the opportunity to celebrate proper, however, a few of my fellow heathens and orphans and I decided to get gussied up and head to Disneyland. I call us “heathens and orphans” meaning we don’t celebrate the holiday and/or we don’t have close relatives in which to celebrate with.
As it was my birthday, I decided to wear one of my birthday presents, instead of going for a pastel Easter inspired ensemble.
It’s no surprise to long time readers of the blog that I love a good vintage California themed textile (I did a whole blog post on linens and scarves awhile back), and I almost passed out when I spied this skirt on Pinterest eons ago. Honestly, I had resigned myself to the fact I would never get it, because border prints are notoriously expensive, (and I swear getting more expensive by the second) and I had never seen one for sale! But I was overjoyed when fellow blogger, Frances of Polka Polish mailed this to me. I paired it with one of Match Accessories latest creations, a wooden poppy flower brooch, as the poppy is the official state flower of California, along with my California themed charm bracelet.
As Knott’s Berry Farm’s Boysenberry Festival ran a whole extra week this year, and offered way more unique food offerings, it should come as no surprise we made another visit to Knott’s!
It was surprisingly cool this last weekend, which was perfect for a dress I had been hoarding specifically for Boysenberry Festival, as well as my latest addition to the boysenberry wardrobe, a boysenberry pie hat from Miss Doolittle.
Sunset Boulevard is synonymous with Hollywood. It’s home to a plethora of iconic buildings and linked to many legendary people. One such building is Crossroads of the World, a bizarre little 1930s shopping center turned office complex that looks like something out of a Disney theme park, with a steamship style building “sailing” past storefronts inspired by various countries.
The history of Crossroads of the World is just as classic LA as its fanciful architecture – a tale of prostitution, corrupt politicians, and murder on the very grounds where it would be built. Our story begins in the 1890s, up in the rainy city of Seattle, Washington, which became a stop for those looking to get rich during the Klondike gold rush. Here a man by the name of Charles Crawford made his initial fortune with dance halls and saloons, entering the gritty underworld of vice, with gambling, prostitution, and getting chummy with politicians. But when things got heated with the law, Crawford moved to sunny southern California. Here, Crawford didn’t waste time. At 5th Street and Maple Avenue Crawford set up The Maple Bar, not just a place for spirits, the Maple Bar also offered gambling and women of the night, and was frequented by the well-to-do of LA.
During the roaring 20s, Crawford more or less ran LA, becoming close with the police department and even had his very own puppet mayor. His crew became known as the City Hall Gang. Soon Crawford had a vast vice operation, with multiple casinos and bordellos. With so many operations, he needed help and brought in his buddy Marco Albori to look after the brothels. Albori’s stay in the City of Angels ended when he was found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to San Quentin, only to later be deported back to Italy.
By the arrival of 1930, Crawford’s vice empire was beginning to shake, and it wasn’t because of an earthquake. He was facing multiple charges, and he fled to Europe, leaving his wife, Ella Crawford, and his cohort, Guy “String Bean” McAfee, a former LAPD officer, in charge.
Oddly, when Crawford was back stateside, all of his charges were dropped, and he claimed to be a “reformed sinner.” He opened up a real estate office, and even financed a radio program hosted by Reverend Gustav Briegleb, and was known to donate to churches. He started a publication “Critic of Critics” with Herbert Spencer at the helm as editor, however the magazine was more a less a place to rage against city officials.
Then on May 20, 1931, it all came crashing down. Crawford and Spencer were shot at their office on the site of what would become Crossroads of the World. Spencer died at the scene, but an unconscious Crawford was rushed to the hospital. Crawford briefly regained consciousness just before entering surgery for his kidneys that were ruptured by the assailant’s bullet, but refused to identify his shooter, passing away moments later. At Crawford’s funeral, St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church was filled to its 1000 person capacity with a supposed 6000 more mourners outside, his murderer still unknown.
Weeks later David Clark, a former deputy district attorney, and judicial candidate, turned himself in for the murders. He also happened to be the man that prosecuted Crawford’s Seattle brothel buddy, Albori. Clark, who refused to bow out of the race for judge (and, yes, he later lost), claimed the killings were self defense. In his testimony, Clark said he arrived at Crawford’s office, where Crawford showed his true underworld colors again, attempting to make a deal with Clark, which involved framing the chief of police and winning Clark the election. Clark refused, threatening to expose Crawford, which is when Clark claimed Crawford pulled a gun, and Clark did so in return, firing both at the man known as “The Grey Wolf of Spring Street” and Spencer.
Even though no gun was found in Crawford’s office, Clark was able to charm all but one of member of the jury. That lone juror who voted “guilty” awoke to find a bomb on his front lawn the next day. There is still debate if Clark really did pull the trigger, but he did later plead guilty to murdering the wife of his friend and former law partner in 1953 or 1954 (sources vary) and he soon died of a stroke in prison.
After the drama of her husband’s trial, Ella Crawford set her sights on creating something new, Crossroads of the World. Here, people could find merchandise from all around the globe, and all in appropriately themed storefronts, ranging from English to Middle Eastern. The unique shopping center was designed by Robert V. Derrah and after opening in 1936 it was soon filled with a variety of shops, including Peasant House and Garden, which featured “Imports with a provincial feeling,” John Macsoud ‘Kerchief Bar, where one could find lingerie, handbags, and of course handkerchiefs, a barber shop known as The Barber of Seville, a French parfumerie, a chocolatier, an Oriental arts and gift shop, a marionette theater, and three restaurants that all began with “A Bit of” followed by the country, which included Sweden, England, and Italy. The stationary streamline modern ship in the middle of it all was home to the Continental Cafe, where people could dine on the “upper deck.”
Things have been going pretty non-stop lately, and there was no slowing down this last weekend as it was Dapper Day! Long time readers of the blog and perhaps some new ones, will be familiar with the twice annual event here at Disneyland that encourages Guests to visit the parks in their Sunday best. Plus there is the Dapper Day Expo where attendees can shop from authentic vintage dealers, as well as vendors offering retro infused garments, plus a plethora of jewelry and even vintage inspired beauty products!
If I’m totally honest, this Dapper Day was tough, as I really hadn’t given much thought as to what I was going to wear. I really quite enjoyed the Gunne Sax I wore for the last spring fling, but all of my latest additions to my Gunne Sax collection are either white (not my favorite to wear to Disneyland) or autumnal colors, which perhaps I’ll break out for the fall event. But after staring into my closet for about fifteen minutes, I pulled out this psychedelic number and ended up with a late 60s fortune teller look that I quite loved.
In addition to my ensemble, you also once again get to see snapshots of some of my favorite gal pals, Nikki, Mandy, Dor, and Kaitlyn in their cute looks, as well as the elusive Patrick!
On August 9, 1969, four people, including aspiring actress Sharon Tate walked into El Coyote and sat down for what would unknowingly be their last meal, for just a few hours later they would be brutally murdered by members of the Manson Family.
El Coyote first opened in 1931, on First and La Brea by Blanche and George March, recent Arizona transplants. By 1959 they moved to this larger location on Beverly Boulevard. Outside, vintage red neon buzzes above the white stucco building, and inside, Mexican inspired murals and vintage decor dot the walls, while the ceiling features a plethora of colorful Christmas lights strung throughout.
Sixty years after relocating to this location, and fifty years since the ghastly Manson murders, El Coyote remains a hot spot for locals, including many celebrities, and tourists alike, who come to nosh on California inspired Mexican and Tex-Max fare.
The list of celebrities is long, and you need only look to the wall of autographed head shots to spy one of your favorites. Back in the early years cowboy tough man John Wayne, and Star Trek and Fantasy Island star Ricardo Montalbán could be found here, and even Grace Kelly visited after becoming Princess of Monaco. In more recent years the likes of Kevin Spacey, Cuba Gooding Jr., Seth Rogan, and many more have dinned in the kitschy but warm atmosphere. And it should be no surprise that Quentin Tarantino frequents this place either, with his upcoming Manson inspired film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood due out this July.
Okay, I know I literally just wrote about Knott’s Berry Farm’s amazing Boysenberry Festival, but you’ll have to endure another post about it! Because first, it’s hard to eat all of the unique food offerings and enjoy all of the fun live entertainment all in one day! Plus, last Wednesday was National Boysenberry Day!
Shortly after we moved to California, I met and befriended a gal by the name of Kiley. Despite having insanely different backgrounds, I a theatre kid, her a jock, we quickly bonded over I Love Lucy, Disneyland, a love of roadside attractions, and much more. One day during a visit to Knott’s we popped into the Western Trails Museum, and spied this photograph…
That’s Walter Knott on the right, in case you’re wondering.
Immediately we said “We have to make that for next year’s Boysenberry Festival!” And after saying that for two years, we finally did it! And we couldn’t have picked a more perfect time to do it, as Knott’s decided to have a “Berry Best Dressed” contest to celebrate National Boysenberry Day!
Last week kicked off Knott’s Berry Farm‘s Boysenberry Festival! And Sunday Patrick and I were there to enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes! This year, the festival lasts four weeks, up from three last year, giving locals and tourists alike more time to visit and eat to their heart’s content!
In case you didn’t know, Knott’s Berry Farm is the home of the boysenberry, and each year Knott’s celebrates its famed berry by offering all manner of boysenberry flavored concoctions, along with fun and games for the whole family, as well as live entertainment, and a craft fair! The event also gives me the perfect excuse to wear all things purple!
What brings most people to Knott’s during this time is the food, and the best way to enjoy a good portion of the food is through the tasting card, which allows Guests to try eight out of fourteen available options. The flexibility allows Guests to pass on items that may not interest them, and maybe double or triple up on items that are their favorites. But if more than eight of the options appeal to those with a hunger for boysenberry, Guests are welcome to either purchase another tasting card, or purchase the items individually.
I really enjoyed the boysenberry elote, pictured above, as well as the boysenberry chili, served in a boysenberry sourdough bread bowl, the boysenberry pot roast, served with boysenberry mashed potatoes, the boysenberry habenero baked mac and cheese, and the boysenberry jambalaya. The tasting card itself is enough for more than one person to snack throughout the day, and costs $35.00.
In addition to the items on the tasting card, there are many more boysenberry infused items scattered throughout the park, including this perfectly delightful key lime boysenberry tart!
There are still the old favorites such as the “Fun Stick” which is a slice of boysenberry cheesecake deep fried, and slathered in boysenberry cream cheese frosting. All special offerings are noted within the event guide.