Posts under ‘Kitsch Stuff’

The biggest little city in the world

The Reno Arch is an iconic landmark along Virginia Street in Reno, Nevada and is as iconic as the “Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign of its big brother up the road. The original arch dates back to 1927 when it was built to celebrate the copletion of the Lincon and Victory Highways. The slogan “the Biggest Little City in the World” was actually a slogan from a winning competition and it was put on the arch in 1929. After some complaining the slogan was later removed but more complaining saw it return. There have been quiet a few versions of it over the years and the one standing today dates back to 1987.  The sign has had a few facelifts since then including new LED bulbs and is still one of the most photographed icons in Reno.

Raygun Gothic Rocketship

No aliens have not landed in San Francisco, but someone passing the bayfront along The Embarcadero might think otherwise. Standing at 40 foot the Raygun Gothic Rocketship is a pretty impressive piece of artwork on display in the bay city. 

Some say the Raygun Gothic Rocketship (RGR) is an 80 year old vessel that has a duty of scientific discovery and exploration. Reports say she has crash-landed on the frozen seas of Mars, gathered specimens from every last one of the 400 volcanoes of Io and charted the caves of Mongo. While others might try and diffuse the myth by saying shiny silver retro themed rocket ship is the work of dozens of bay area artists, but we like the earlier.  Hope they brought back some cheese from the moon! Read the rest of this entry »

Soaking up the sun and sights in LA

Well when we think of travelling to LA you usually plan a trip to Disneyland, Universal Studios and a look around Hollywood and Rodeo Drive, but high on the list of many visitors it to check out Venice Beach. Especially on the weekends Venice Beach’s beautiful boardwalk is a colourful collection of sites from the weird to the sometimes unimaginable. There’s art and craft, music, people of all types- and I mean all types and a non stop well lets face it freak show. There’s the muscle beach enclosure as one example, where the ”beautifully fit’ exercise for not only for fitness but to be seen. There’s the freaky post modern hippies with their Rasta clothing, and of course the perfectly toned, manicured and (nipped and tucked) on show for all to see. Venice Beach is fantastic for a walk or even a bike ride along the wide paths. There’s plenty of places to stop for a eat or drink and soak up the unique atmosphere and step away into a weird world of sun and fun.
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The Heritage Listed Big Pineapple

The Big Pineapple

The Big Pineapple

When you think about a building that is on the heritage register you probably think of everything else but a huge fiberglass pineapple.  Today the Big Pineapple was named on the heritage register in Queensland, and while many people may consider the pineapple and the fact that it now has heritage protection a bit of a joke, you must remember the pineapple has been a tourist icon of the state for some time. The Big Pineapple was built in 1971 and has attracted a huge amount of tourists over the years to not only the pineapple but also to the plantation it sits on where the Nut-Mobile ( a nut shaped train) takes tourist around the plantation of pineapples and macadamia nuts finishing up at the gift shop next to the huge plastic fruit. The Big Pinapple is located near Nambour on Queensland Sunshine Coast. Read the rest of this entry »

Dine in a A380 without taking off

Recently in the Taiwanese capital Taipei a novel restaurant opened which has caused a bit of interest around the world. Known as the A380 In Flight Kitchen the restaurant is themed as the giant Airbus A380. There is although a bit square, airline like seating for 84 people and people are served by waitresses dressed as flight attendants and serve their food on plastic trays.  People queue up to board with their boarding passes before the ‘flight’ and are welcomed aboard by the head steward before being show to their seats. The restaurant looks and functions just like a aircraft but its really just a clever fit out in a shopping centre and guests never leave the ground. Taiwan has a history of interesting dining experiences, they have one restaurant which is set up as a hospital ward and we did a story a few months back about one which was a giant toilet block where diners sat on toilets- said a lot for their food.

Soviet statues and a zoo you can eat

After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the fall of the Soviet control of much of Eastern Europe many of the huge monuments to the rule were removed and in many cases destroyed. But many in Lithuania were later retrieved and restored and are now on display at Grtas park, near Druskininkai in Southern Lithuania which opened in 2001. The park has become a family amusement park, and has a very odd list of attractions, there are over 80 of huge statues of just about every leader to rule the East, including Lenin and Stalin. There’s a few wooden huts with over a million pieces of memorabilia from this period and even a zoo, well a pretty crappy one in more ways than one. Don’t expect any exotic animals unless you are counting the chickens, pigs and the odd ostrich or pheasant- if you like the look of them, head down to the restaurant, they have a few of their zoo exhibits on the menu.. tasty. There’s plenty of market stalls where you can buy your very own Soviet era treasure or even some dodgy beer brewed on the premises. It may not be Disneyland but you will certainly be amazed, although in different ways. if you know what we mean.

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Who opened their lunchbox?

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There are museums for just about everything and here’s another unusual one- the Lunchbox Museum in Columbus USA. Allen Woodall who started the museum started collecting lunchboxes late 1980’s and today has over a thousand of all shapes and sizes. There’s some fascinating boxes on display including hundreds of rare metal cases dating back to the 50’s and beyond. Many of them feature American pop culture of the time with musicians of the day like Elvis, the Osmonds or TV stars like Flipper and Bonanza. Now lunchboxes are made of plastic or cardboard and don’t have the same nostalgia as the old metal cases but there are some great ones on display including a huge Star Wars collection. The collection is so unique it is even recognised by the Smithsonian.
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Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman & a giant mango

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You have probably noticed here at Tripandom love big things and on a recent road trip to central Queensland we have found another, this time a giant mango. The Big Mango is located at the Bowen Visitor’s Information Centre about 4 km south of Bowen. Built around 2002, the Big Mango celebrates Bowen as the home of  well what else the Bowen Mango. The upside down fiberglass fruit isn’t the only thing Bowen has to brag about, it is also the home of much of the filming of Baz Luhrmann’s $130 million dollar outback epic called Australia, which features Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. This 1940’s romantic period piece looks like becoming one of the biggest films ever to come out of Australia, if the hype and the big name stars are anything to gauge it by. It is expected the film will be released around November this year. We just wonder if Nicole and Hugh had their photo taken beside the Big Mango..our guess is they wouldn’t have been able to resist it. Read the rest of this entry »

Tijuana Donkey – Zebra – Zonkey?

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Going back to the thirties some bright entrepreneur in Tijuana Mexico decided to paint their donkey with black and white stripes to look like a Zebra, the idea was to make the animal look better on black and white photographs. Most of the donkey’s were white or fairly light and photographed badly in the bright Mexican sun. Like any good idea, others followed and decades later the tradition continues. The zonkeys or painted donkey are there for the tourist, it’s amazing how many people will spend the $10 or so to have themselves photographed wearing silly Mexican hats and ponchos with these dopey striped animals. Read the rest of this entry »

The legendary Rex Hotel

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Starting out as a two story garage complex for the French in the late 1950’s and later being renovated into a trading centre with cinemas, cafeterias and dance halls what is now Ho Chi Minh City’s Rex hotel has seen a lot of changes in this vibrant city. During the Vietnam War the building located in District 1 the hotel’s rooftop bar was a favorite place for the American troops to relax within a magnificent view of the city. It is also beloved the hotel was used by the CIA during the 60’s. Today the hotel is pretty interesting and fairly kitschy although it has had a serious makeover, bamboo detailing and huge crown shape lampshades and plenty of bud lighting to make it feel like Christmas. The location, atmosphere and history its of this hotel makes it worth cent. Even if you are not planning to stay there make sure you visit the upstairs bar, its open around the clock and serves great food and refreshing drinks. Read the rest of this entry »