1950s

The American Luncheonette
September 4th, 2015 in Eatable

The American Luncheonette

“I’ll see you at the luncheonette” is not a phrase most people hear anymore in America and most people wouldn’t even recognize the term luncheonette. A luncheonette is similar to a diner, but is not a diner – the biggest differences being that a diner has a larger range of food and is a full restaurant. The main focus of a luncheonette was to serve...

Appreciating Exotica Jazz
August 12th, 2015 in Music

Appreciating Exotica Jazz

Exotica jazz is no longer well-known to the average joe. It’s a genre of jazz that is based on exotic locales and sounds that emerged after WWII, predominately within the span of the 1950s to mid-1960s. The music was influenced heavily by Asian, tropical islands, South American, and African sounds, whether native beats or sounds of nature. Many men and women musicians emerged after the...

The Cocktail Nation Podcast

The Cocktail Nation

Stylish Mid-Century Shopping Malls

I’ve always been a sucker for shopping malls, even as a kid I thoroughly enjoyed going to the mall with the folks. Nowadays most shoppings centers are just loud, generic and boring. Where’s that sense of soul and character? Well fear not, Ultra Swank takes you back to take a look at some of the mid-century gems. Every mid-century mall needs three things; a water...

Stylish Mid-Century Hotels & Motels

Why does even the most standard Hotels and Motels look so much better in mid-century America? It would seem that generally they cared much more about the looks and aesthetics, and making the guest feel right at home. They were often themed and the color schemes could have been copied straight from a Eames chair. Large, buzzing, sometimes Googie inspired signs, advertising a plethora of...

The Challenge of a Vintage Lifestyle in a Twenty First Century

When it comes to living an authentic vintage lifestyle nowadays, I believe it’s a lot harder than when I first started hanging out in the Rockabilly scene in the late eighties. Back then it was easy to avoid technology, it was easier to be separate from the mainstream society. Back then if a buddy pulled out a cell phone or admitted to us that he...

Video

Let’s hop on the Japan express and head off to Tokyo for a weekend getaway in 1959. We will be flying with a Britannia airliner from London Heathrow airport to Tokyo and back. We will also make pit-stops in Bombay and Bangkok to take in the sights. Look at Life was a regular British series of short documentary films of which over 500 were produced...

Avenue of Light – The Lost Underground Shopping Mall of Barcelona

The historically and culturally rich city Barcelona in Spain dates back to Roman times and holds many secrets, but even this one was new for me. Having lived here for quite a few years I thought I knew about most of the well known places from the past, but this lost underground shopping mall just appeared out of the depths one night. Knowing that Barcelona...

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