Friday, January 31, 2014

Shots from the Road

I've been doing a lot of traveling lately, which although often tiring, offers an excellent opportunity to take in some local scenery of the midwest. While en route back to Missouri a few weeks ago, I decided that I owed it to myself to make a stop in Pontiac, Ill. The postcard-esque signs from the freeway boasted a historic downtown area, and I had time to kill. 

I slowly rolled into town, making sure to scope out any signs of strong photo opportunities. As you can clearly see, Pontiac is home to a few original pieces of midcentury signage.

My favorite example was Sam's Sewing & Cleaning. Although the sign wasn't anything spectacular, the ceramic tile facade of the building itself stopped me in my tracks. A hastily-scrawled sign in the window reported that they had moved locations, so the future of this unique building is unknown. 

Sam's Sewing & Cleaning 

Notice the elaborate tiles. Some may argue to restore the building, but I'm really a big fan of the patina. 

J.E. Brady, Neon. 

Similar to the last, this time a more sports-oriented motif. 
Last week, I made the trip to Blackwater, Mo. A town of 199 citizens, there isn't really much going on. I did manage to take a few pictures of this great decaying service station. It's built in a southwestern style, which made stand out in Mid-Missouri.

Blackwater, Mo. 

No gas here. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tasting the Winter Blues While Sporting My Favorite Coat

There are two things I am absolutely sure of: my name is Nick, and I like hot weather. You probably know that the 2013/2014 winter has been a pretty rough one. I am only twenty-six years old, but this is definitely the coldest and snowiest winter I have ever experienced. Do people up north think this 'polar vortex' thing is very unusual and troublesome? I guess I could ask Joey; he hails from Michigan. The weather has been quite the story here in the lower part of the mid-west. We don't really prepare for multiple snow storms and so many days dipping into negative Fahrenheit temperatures. Personally, I am sick of the bitter cold. Luckily I finally found one thing I love about this winter: my maroon pea coat.

I stumbled upon the fine vintage garment at a St. Louis area estate sale in late 2012. I never have much luck with finding vintage clothes. They hardly ever fit me properly, and when they do, they usually have a big hole or a stain. I saw the great looking coat hanging in the closet with a few men's shirts. I was doubtful, but to my surprise it actually fit! I can't say that I have ever seen anyone else wearing a maroon pea coat, which is one of the reasons I love it so much. I did some quick Google research on the Sleigh Bell by Lo-Bel brand, only to find some obsolete trademark information and an address of 1350 Broadway, New York, NY. Even though I'm not able to guess a date on it, I know that it is in impeccable shape for its age.

Joey was kind enough to photograph me, wearing my favorite piece of outerwear, last Saturday. He was headed back to school near the end of his winter break so he stopped here in St. Louis for a bit. I took him to Blues City Deli for lunch, where we were able to snap the pictures for this post. Anyway, If you haven't heard of Blues City Deli, it is an amazing sandwich shop in the Benton Park neighborhood of St. Louis, MO. The place is tiny but the food is so good that it is worth the wait even if the line is out the door and down the sidewalk. Even during peak hours you'll be handed a white bag full of delicious food quicker than you can say, "THIS IS THE ONLY RESTAURANT I WOULD STAND OUTSIDE IN THE SNOW WHILE WAITING FOR MY FOOD." The main reason we couldn't get a seat inside that day was because it was Saturday and that meant a packed house to watch the live music. This time the acts were the always incredible Little Rachel and The Loot Rock Gang. We would have loved to stick around for more than one song but it was far too cold to stand outside the door.

Here's to hoping the weather starts to warm up so I can save my classy old coat for another winter. Either way, don't be surprised if you catch me eating all of the Chicken Shack Ranch sandwiches from the deli at 2438 McNair.

Standing in the snow next to Blues City Deli.
The only tag left in the coat. Sleigh Bell by Lo-Bel.
Mat Wilson shown stepping outside before his band performs.
Blues City Deli on a cold, snowy January day.
Blues City Deli. Saturday January 18, 2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Favorite and Unseen Photos of 2013

Hello friends! The last time you saw us was mid December of 2013. Well, we are back and we thought of no better way than to start off 2014 with a picture heavy post featuring some of our favorite and unseen images that we snapped last year. Enjoy.

Hot Rodders and Casey's "Gas Station Pizza." Somewhere near Byron, Ill.
The Royale: Fantastic restaurant and drinking establishment in South St. Louis.
There's Joey, telling me about some of the finer things in life such as Hondas and Faygo.
Sippin' on a Coke on the east riverfront before a St. Louis Cardinals game.
A Model A Ford sedan at the Radius Rod Roundup in Pocahontas, Ill.
Our good pal, Wesley, seeing the sights of Stl.
H.A.M.B. Drags, Asbury, Mo.
Bill Bierman, Aaron Grote and Joey. They are happy because they stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.
Luke's shop. A fellow Fruity Butt and possible our most outspoken member. You'll be seeing more of this in the next couple weeks.
An awesome little mid-century house in East Alton, Ill.
Fuel Altered pilot completing his burnout, H.A.M.B. Drags, Asbury, Mo.
"I'm going to a Mexican Block Party" Meltdown Drags, Byron, Ill.
Nick sitting in Paul Stroker's Model A coupe at the Meltdown Drags.
Grabbing a bite of fried chicken and waffles with Joey at Goody Goody Diner in North St. Louis.
Andrew Ukrop's 1972 Buick GS at Bates Hamburgers, Livonia, Mi.
1974 CL125 Barn Find, The Chick-Inn, Ypsilanti, Mi.
Hudson Eight hood ornament, Plymouth, Mi.
View from our booth at the Beer, Bourbon, Bikes + Bacon event on Washington Ave. in St. Louis
A view of our booth from the Beer, Bourbon, Bikes + Bacon event.
King Chassis sign located at Creative Customs Chop Shop in St. Louis, Mo.
Doin' what we do. Eatin' ice cream and livin' the dream.
This is just a really fantastic window found in on of the historic Lemp Brewery buildings in St. Louis, Mo.
So Steve. Much Doge. Wow.
Broyhill Brasilia.
Sunrise at the River's Edge Motel, Louisiana, Mo.
Andrew, Zach and Nick at the 2013 Meltdown Drags in Byron, Ill.