By Steve Harvey
Pop culture humorist Charles Phoenix calls our fair city “Long Beachland,” as though it were a section of Disneyland.
And why not? I can see the Traffic Circle as the equivalent of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, the Gaytonia Hotel as Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, the Queen Mary as the Haunted Mansion.
And the Blue Line, of course, could be the Monorail (if you disregard a few things, like the illegal vendors, panhandlers, religious fanatics and free riders).
Phoenix, author of “Southern California and the ’50s,” grew up in the IE (as TV weatherfolks now call the Inland Empire). But he has fond memories of Long Beach dating back to visits he made to relatives here (one kin owned Redondo Paints, now the site of the Silver Fox nightclub). So, knowing of Phoenix’ interest in Long Beach, I attended a sold-out show he gave the other day at the Art Theater on Retro Row.
Read more: ONLY IN LB: Recognizing Amusement Park Elements Of Long Beach
By Steve Harvey
Charles cooks up Halloween in the kitchen with Queen Latifah !!!
Charles Phoenix brings his love of kitsch to cooking
For Charles Phoenix, imagination is the magic ingredient. Hence dishes such as the Astro Weenie Party Tree or Bambrosinana.
By Noelle Carter
August 10, 2013
“The colors need to be bright, like saturated neon,” Charles Phoenix says, describing his Seven Layer Soda Pop Rocks cake. “You can’t have too much food coloring. Think Day-Glo!”
Phoenix is visualizing the elements of an ideal summer party. His ideal summer party. “A pool would be nice, because pool parties are classic summer. And there would be those motorized pool toys with remote controls for the gearheads, so they can fight in the water.” A little something for everyone.
“But I think they should be unicorns. Imagine remote-control unicorns fighting in a pool.”
Phoenix is an entertainer who is all about Americana, exploring and celebrating our kitschy pop culture past and present through his books and tours, historic slide shows and unique culinary creations. “I was born on a used-car lot,” he explains, smiling (his father was a used-car salesman), and he calls himself a child of Disneyland. “I’m very theme-oriented.”
Don’t have unicorns for your summer party? No problem. Focus on the spread.
Read the entire article here
Charles Phoenix is a performer, humorist, chef and author who explores America's classic and kitschy pop culture -- past and present -- and predicts retro-inspired, future trends.CLICK FOR MORE!
L.A.’s KCET TV invited me pick my fave restaurant in Los Angeles, have lunch there and share the experience with you. YAY!
Without skipping a beat I chose Pann’s, the greatest Googie style coffee shop on Earth. This was the perfect opportunity for me to share this amazing L.A. landmark and introduce you to a local hero of mine, the original owner, Rena Poulis, age 94. Dressed to the nines, she greets guests there every day just as she has since she and her husband opened the doors in 1958. Rena and son Jim who now runs the place (and beautifully I might add) are the queen and crowned price of coffee shops.
They both deserve a big giant lifetime award for all their years of great service and an even bigger historic preservation award for maintaining the spectacular original Googie décor of their legendary restaurant.
Thank you, KCET for this opportunity and lunch! That fried chicken is the best in town!
Have you dined in a lipstick red vinyl semi-circle booth lately?
Here’s to the KCET, Pann’s, Queen Rena, Prince Jim and YOU!
October 18, 2011