Flintstones Bedrock City closes; Raptor Ranch is coming

From azcenteral: Bedrock City, an Arizona roadside attraction based on the 1960s animated series “The Flintstones,” has shut its doors after nearly 50 years. In its place will rise Raptor Ranch, where birds of prey will be on display in between performances.

Troy Morris bought the property on State Route 64 in Valle, about 25 miles south of the Grand Canyon. He said the ranch, his dream for nearly 15 years, may be up and flying by the 2020 tourist season.

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Iconic Northampton diner set to reopen under new name, ownership

Isaac Weiner, who is the co-owner of Familiars Coffee and Tea, handles some paperwork as he prepares for the cafe’s opening, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. The business is located at 6 Strong Ave. in Northampton, the former location of Kathy’s Diner. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

From the Daily Hampshire Gazette: NORTHAMPTON — Over the decades, the train car diner on Strong Avenue has been known under various names, including Red Lion Diner, Miss Northampton Diner, and most recently, Kathy’s Diner.

Now, the familiar sight is set to reopen under the name Familiars Coffee & Tea within the first two weeks of February.

While the 1930s-era red train car at the corner of Strong Avenue and Main Street is something of a local landmark, the site has sat vacant since 2013 when Kathy’s Diner closed. But in 2017, the restaurant’s new co-owners saw an opportunity to bring the train car back in business.

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After decades in the dark, Havana’s streets are regaining their vintage glow

Cuban Artist Kadir Lopez, whose studio is in Kohly, says his Havana Light Project is forcing Cubans to look up and notice restored neon signs and forgotten architecture. Some of his work will be on display at the 2019 Havana Biennial.

From the Miami Herald: Working with his partner, Adolfo Nodal, a Cuban American from Los Angeles who helped lead that city’s efforts to restore its old neon signs, the pair and their team have restored more than 50 vintage neon signs over the past four years. Habana Light’s handiwork can now be seen on the brightly hued signs that light up theaters, cabarets, bars, hotels and restaurants across the city.

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Filling ’em up at historic Upcountry gas station

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

From The Maui News: Joe Tomsen fills a customer’s tank at Joe’s Kula Auto at Historic Calasa Garage on Tuesday afternoon. Tomsen said he and wife Andrea sold everything they owned in Wisconsin and moved to Maui after Andrea had a dream that they would live in a green house that had views of the ocean and an observatory. They lease the historic station and nearby garage and house.

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Bonus Article

By Keith A. Sculle

A tourist site in its own right, Joe’s Kula Auto also pumps gasoline on the Upcountry in Maui, and not to be overlooked, passes out information and tips on travel.   Named “M. N. Calasa Garage” on the building’s facade, that title is painted on along with the year of its founding, 1932.   See an adaptation on the gasoline station beside, “M. N. Service, est. 1932”.

Ken Ventura, the founder’s grandson, explained to me that from Portugal came Marcelino Nunes Calasa to help start the sugar cane business along with many others.  Owners of the sugar cane fields understood the automobiles and trucks were going to be essential and they paid Marcelino to learn automotive repair in Detroit.  He added the gasoline station, the operation of which, Ken took over in 1973.

The latest step began with Joe Thomsen, who owned Southtown Motors and Clearwater Appraisal in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, but with his wife loved trips to Maui.  They came upon the former Calasa Garage and station for sale in one of their trips plus a nearby house from which they could satisfy their love of the scenery.

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