With neon and nostalgia, a giant root beer mug returns to its perch in LaPlace


A newly refurbished mug sign stands over the LaPlace Frostop on Airline Highway once again after Hurricane Ida blew it from its perch in 2021. (Contributed photo by Terry Toler)

From Nola.com: In LaPlace, one of the river parishes communities hardest hit by hurricane Ida last year, the vintage burger spot the LaPlace Frostop (411 E. Airline Highway, LaPlace, (985) 652-6361) was among the first wave of local businesses to get back open. But while it served up burgers quick, something was missing from the Airline Highway restaurant.

A giant frosty root beer mug has stood atop this Frostop through six decades, a neon-laced emblem of Americana that has helped make the restaurant a roadside landmark.

Hurricane Ida’s fierce winds blew the mug off its pedestal; it landed in tatters a good distance from its original perch.

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‘Elvis stayed here’ motel listed for sale in Clinton


The Trade Winds Inn in Clinton, once favored by Elvis Presley, has been listed for sale. (Courtesy photo)

From The Journal Record: HotelBrokerOne recently listed the historic Trade Winds Inn for sale in Clinton.

The 82-room motel, just off Interstate 40, stands adjacent to the Route 66 Museum. However, its greatest claim to fame is that it was a preferred stopping place of Elvis Presley in the 1960s. Clinton has a distinction that made it perfect for The King and his entourage; it is the approximate halfway point between Las Vegas and Graceland in Memphis.

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Philly’s Neon Museum to close less than 2 years after it opened


Signs in the Neon Museum are turned on by motion sensors and stay lit for only a minute. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

From WHYY: The Neon Museum of Philadelphia, which opened last year at 1800 North American Street in Kensington, will close in December.

“We’re seeking a new home for the collection that allows it to stay unified, local, and publicly accessible,” the museum said in announcements made on Instagram and Twitter.

Museum manager Alyssa Shea said the new organization was not able to generate the revenue needed to survive its first two years.

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Memo’s Hot Dogs, A Pilsen Mainstay For 65 Years, Closes Amid Showdown With City Over Mural


Memo’s Hot Dogs has a mural that extends from the front of the building into the alley. Google Maps

From Block Club Chicago: PILSEN — Another beloved restaurant on Pilsen’s 18th Street has closed because of a dispute with the city over a mural painted on the restaurant.

Memo’s Hot Dogs, 1447 W. 18th St., closed over the weekend, but owners are hoping a they can reach an agreement with the city to reopen soon. Memo’s is one of the neighborhood’s oldest establishments, having been owned by three different generations of families since 1956, according to current owners Gerardo and Jeanette Garza.

The restaurant hasn’t been able to renew its business license and has been slapped with fines because city inspectors have taken issue with the large, colorful mural on the exterior of restaurant, the owners said.

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Tracing the History of the Green Book in Southern California


A 1949 edition of the travel guide, archived in the New York Public Library. Image: New York Public Library

From Jalopnik: Being drivers in the 21st century, modern technology has allowed us to have tons of information at our disposal. From travel times with ETAs that are accurate down to the minute to real-time traffic information, many of us take these conveniences for granted. It wasn’t always this way, as those of us who used to print out Mapquest directions recall. But consider that, just over half a century ago, paper maps and travel guides existed to keep certain portions of the population safe while they were out driving. The Negro Traveler’s Green Book, sometimes known as The Negro Motorist Green Book, was that guide. For 30 years, it provided information to help Black drivers navigate America’s roads safely.

Jalopnik has written about the Green Book in the past, and the 2018 movie Green Book informed a new generation of the existence of these guides. California alone had more than 80 businesses listed in the Green Book over the years — restaurants, hotels, gas stations and more, all known for being friendly to Black travelers. I wanted to dig deeper, to find out if any of these businesses were still around today.

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Legend City: An Oral History of Phoenix’s Iconic Bygone Theme Park


The Blakely sports car ride at Legend City. Courtesy of John Bueker

From the Phoenix New Times: John Bueker’s cache of Legend City memorabilia would make any fan of the long-defunct local theme park jealous. Inside his home office, there are posters, maps, and concept art depicting its attractions. In the kitchen, old signage from an ice cream parlor at the park decorates the walls. And wandering aimlessly is an energetic teacup poodle previously owned by the late Louis Crandall, Legend City’s founder.

Right now, Bueker is pointing out various souvenirs in a 6-foot-tall curio cabinet while it’s gotten harder to score even more treasures these days.

“Legend City stuff has really dried up on eBay lately because it’s gone up in value and [people] are holding onto it, or they remember the park from their childhoods and want a piece,” he says.

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