Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

1970s

Games and Gadgets of the ‘60s

The ‘60s is a decade known for Beatlemania, fallout shelters, go-go boots, tie-dye shirts and some of the most well-known games and gadgets ever made. If you were lucky enough to be a kid in the ‘60s, you were alive to witness the creation of brand names like G.I. Joe, Twister, Life and others that are still family favorites today. Die-Cast Army Men The 1960s...

Lotus Esprit – The Quintessential 1970s Supercar

In the mid-1970s, English automaker Lotus replaced the Europa, a boxy, mid-engined pocket-racer for driving enthusiasts, with a now-classic wedge design, and called it the Esprit. With sharp ‘folded paper’ lines and flat surfaces courtesy of legendary designer Giorgetto Guigiaro, the outrageously low and wide Esprit looked like nothing before it – and nothing since. It represented Lotus’s attempt to step into the higher-end exotic...

The Cocktail Nation Podcast

The Cocktail Nation

If I Can Dream
The Cocktail Nation on February 7th, 2016

Podcast #390: If I Can Dream

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...

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...

The Secret Tunnels Under the Playboy Mansion – Direct Access for Hollywood Celebs

Apparently, there once were secret tunnels with direct access from underneath the Playboy Mansion in Hollywood to the basements of some of the crème de la crème actors of the 1970s and 1980s. Legendary “bad boy” Hollywood casanovas such as Jack Nicholson had his own direct access to Bunny haven. The tunnels were built around 1977, and as you can see in the diagrams, they...

There is a Performing Arts Center Inside this Egg

Upstate New York was a far cry from Washington, D.C. and Capitol Hill, where I had spent the last two years taking in the culture and politics of the Nation’s Capitol. But being the restless spirit that I was, I decided it was time to go back to school. Less than challenging and low paying jobs and a desire for something more propelled me to...

Let’s Play Swinging JiveCat Voodoo Lounge – A Retro Board Game

Game designer Seth Roback was raised in 1970s southern California and was considerably influenced by Disneyland, Googie architecture, and Jay Ward cartoons. Today, Roback resides in Seattle and has taken his love of mid-20th century pop culture and turned it into his first board game, Swinging Jivecat Voodoo Lounge, which is currently crowd-funding on Kickstarter. Here’s what he had to say when he discussed his...

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