Allee Willis’ Kitsch ‘O The Day – Staggering Signs Along Route 1, Saugus, MA.

Although when I was in Boston the week before last for the fluffilectable Fluff Festival, all I did was participate in all things Fluff, I did manage to get in an hour of sightseeing, at least the only kind of sightseeing I’m interested in, which is looking for the best and most kitschtastic signs and edifices a city has to offer. I nearly lost my choppers when I came across the Hilltop Steakhouse on Route 1 outside of Boston. This place was so astounding –  from this greatest sign I’ve ever seen, at least 40 feet high and I can’t even imagine what it looks like it night, to the herd of plastic cows grazing outside – that I’m going to give it its own post. I’m shooting for tomorrow but with all the work I still have to get done for my grand performance on the 18th, only time will tell  when I’ll actually get that done. But trust me, it’s coming.

Of course, whenever a name has “hilltop” in it and it’s not on a hill, not to mention that it’s sitting on the side of a flat freeway, it’s astounding kitsch time.

I don’t care where it’s located, any pizza place with a leaning tower is where I’m going to munch Italian. That it’s next door to Giggles makes it even better.

I love when plaster flags that are constructed in “blow” motion.

I also love vintage stacked signs like this:

“Cocktail Lounge” and a working clock make it even better. That John Sebastion is performing at a Chinese restaurant, even better. But best of all is the massive hunk of the Kowloon itself:

Giant tiki = giant kitsch. If I ever Fluff it up again, I’m going to see if the portions inside loom as large.

You can’t really appreciate this next sign, especially blocked by that pole. But 15 feet of sake can’t be bad.

I love, love, love the Dairy Castle, miniature golf and baseball compound sign, all structures and features of which it beckons you to seemingly untouched since the 1960′s:

This angle is great:

You can spot a rocket ship, dinosaur and this happy Humpty facing the highway from the golf course:

Other than vegetarians, who doesn’t like hot dog signs, especially when an attempt is made at mustard and toppings, and it’s been boiling since 1958?

The Karl’s building is pretty great too, almost as if they couldn’t decide on the exact style of architecture they were going for so they went for everything.  Though 1950′s and 60′s are most predominant in the house.

And last but not least, Ferns, where you’re lucky if you can get the “new room” – only one? – and a Whir Poo. Though I don’t think I want to participate in anything Poo happening in a motel.

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Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Architecture, Art, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Place, Sculpture, Sign, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – The Statue Of Liberty, Live In Beverly Hills

One of my favorite things about living in a climate where it’s warm enough for people to keep their front lawns going all year round is the crazy things they stick on top of them. I’m a strong believer in your house, your lawn, your car, your clothes, your hair, your anything being a canvas for self-expression. I’m fascinated enough when people dress up concrete penguins or make picnic areas for plaster frogs and the like. But sticking a giant Statue of Liberty on your front lawn is a statement that only some are bold enough to make. This is one of my favorite things about Beverly Hills.

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Categories: Architecture, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, Sculpture, Travel souvenir

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Never Too Much Madonna Inn

Heading out of LA last Thursday on the 5 was a mess.  An overturned 20-wheeler heading south spilled oranges, lemons and an entire tank of fuel, cloggin up both sides of the freeway like cholestrol in arteries. My travel mate, Snappy P, and I almost had an anuerism baking in the 106 degree sun at a standstill on the fuel-with-lemon-zested highway. So we cut over on 126 to the 101, which added a couple hours onto the trip but also took us past one of the most blessed sights in California, The Madonna Inn, in San Luis Obispo.

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Categories: Architecture, Art, Bar accessory, Bathroom, Furniture and Housewares, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Place, Self expression, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – My Saturday Drive/Food Fest With Charles Phoenix – Torrance and Inglewood, CA.

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As we are oft to do, Charles Phoenix and I took another one of our kitsch spins around LA and environs this past weekend. We were dressed smartly for the occassion, at least from the ankles down:

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Categories: Architecture, Clothes, Food, Hats, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, Sculpture, Sign, Transportation, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Getting To Kenosha and Beyond

LAX last Friday morning, with people leaving for 4th of July, was like D-Day at the stockyards. My whole morning had been like that. Snappy P and I were flying to Chicago to go to friends’ wedding in Kenosha, WI. We figured we’d beat the holiday traffic and take an early flight, but by 7am. the pigs were chomping full force at the trough. I’ve never traveled on prime getaway day for  a holiday before in my life and now I know why.

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Categories: Architecture, Consumer Alert!, Food, Hair, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, People, Sign, Technology, Transportation, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – My Early Morning Drive Through Hollywood

Bleary eyed from chasing a friend’s cat through the hills above the Hollywood Bowl all night last night – finally captured I’m happy to say! – I had to get up bone-breakingly early this morning to pick up a keyboard in Hollywood. My eyes were still practically glued shut but there’s so much kitsch along the roadways in this city, I can always deal with a situation as long as I remember to bring my camera. In addition to the above mural painted underneath the 101 on Argyle, here are but a few of the gems that crossed my car and eyeballs as I made my tired trek this morning.

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Categories: Architecture, Art, Celebrity, Film, Forgot to Categorize, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – The Wigwam Motel on Route 66, CA

Last Saturday night my friend, Chris Nichols, threw a party at The Wigwam on Route 66 in San Bernadino, CA.

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Categories: Architecture, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, Nature, Party, People, Place, Sculpture, Sign, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – I’m in the New York Times today!

Nice, big, fat story in the Times on me today + 12 photos. Thank you, Bob Morris, for seeking me out (no press agent involved here!) and writing such a heartfelt, spirited, and happily long piece. My house thanks you too (at least the part of it that made the photo)!

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Categories: Architecture, Art, Awards, Creativity, Fashion, Furniture and Housewares, Hollywood, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, Music, Painting, Press, Sculpture, Self expression

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Allee Willis Marches on Detroit! Part 13, Burk’s Igloo & Lafayette Coney Dogs

Burk’s Igloo in Hamtramck, the once Polish center of Detroit, not only has KILLER ice cream but is famous now for being in the opening titles of HBO’s Hung.

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Categories: Animals, Architecture, Art, Detroit, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, People, Place, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Allee Willis Marches on Detroit! Part 10 , The Restaurants

An important part of any urban experience is where and what you choose to eat. Anyone who knows me knows that no money needs to be wasted on the fanciest or trendiest restaurants in town. I wanted to hit the institutions in Detroit that not only involved the excitement I had as a child driving to them but that have proven to be quality enough (or, preferably, kitschy enough) to live on, restaurants whose very presence defines the personality of the city. Most of my all-time favorites have long since succombed, like Dinah Inn, Jerry’s, both great steakhouses off Woodward, and my all-time favorite deli, Darby’s. Even Carl’s Chop House closed a few years ago.

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Categories: Architecture, Celebrity, Detroit, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Place, The Color Purple

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