I recently took a trip to the Steens Mountains and Alvord Desert in the extreme southeast corner Oregon for a week. On my way, I took a little side trip and stopped by Brownsville, OR. The reason I stopped? Major scenes of the movie Stand By Me were filmed there.
Despite the movie being 31 years old, this movie is an icon of my childhood. It hearkened me back to a time when I wasn’t absorbed in digital entertainment and still had adventures in real life with real friends with real tree forts and camping adventures.
The city still has a majority of the locations easily spotted right on the main drag. The town is very tiny – only 1 or 2 main streets really and a central core that’s about 1000 feet square. Spotting all the sites can be done in just a small 20 minute stroll. Seeing all the sites in town can easily be done in a couple of hours (depending on how long you want to stroll around).
Here’s a really good guide if you’re planning on making a trip.
It’s Fall – my favorite season. Which means Halloween is just around the corner.
I’m heading to Europe here for a business trip that will take me through Paris. While looking into things to do, I found out about this theater. It was located in the Pigalle area of Paris (20 bis, rue Chaptal). From its opening in 1897 until its closing in 1962, and specialized in naturalistic horror shows. Its had live staged graphic, amoral horror entertainment, a genre popular from Elizabethan and Jacobean theater (other examples include Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, and Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi and The White Devil). Today, we might call them splatter films. While it was always staged horror, the “special effects” would sometimes be too realistic and it was reported audience member would faint or vomit during performances. It was said the ‘success’ of the show was rated by how many people fainted.
It didn’t help that the building was an old chapel. The Gothic interior added to the ambiance. Here were some of the plays for example:
- Le Laboratoire des Hallucinations, by André de Lorde: When a doctor finds his wife’s lover in his operating room, he performs a graphic brain surgery, rendering the adulterer a hallucinating semi-zombie. Now insane, the lover/patient hammers a chisel into the doctor’s brain
- Un Crime dans une Maison de Fous, by André de Lorde: Two hags in an insane asylum use scissors to blind a pretty, young fellow inmate out of jealousy
- L’Horrible Passion, by André de Lorde: A nanny strangles the children in her care
- Le Baiser dans la Nuit, by Maurice Level: A young woman visits the man whose face she horribly disfigured with acid, where he obtains his revenge
It’s interesting that it waned in the years following World War II then closed in 1962. Management attributed the closure in part to the fact that the theater’s faux horrors had been eclipsed by the actual events of WW II two decades earlier. Apparently people had their fill of realistic horrors.
Read more about it here:
I’ve mentioned this phenomenon before – but the BBC did a small documentary on it.
Hundreds of thousands of young men are turning their backs entirely on society and real life. They are choosing instead to lock themselves away, usually in their bedrooms, for years. They literally enter their rooms and refuse to leave. The phenomenon is called hikikomori in Japanese and it literally means ‘to withdraw from society’.
Most of the sufferers of this condition live in the suburbs that surround Japan’s major cities. Recent surveys show that the majority are male and usually the first-born child. There are many stories of young men who give up on society. Some seem to be unable to handle academic or job pressure, others simply got fed up of people and still others do it out of fear of not being good enough and anxiety about their future.
Japanese teens are growing up under an overwhelming amount of technology, which seems to have replaced the inherent human experience, making teens handicapped when it comes to communicating honestly and openly with other people.
After a few years, some hikikomori victims recover enough to re-enter society. Another young man who spent three years as a recluse is now a counselor working with a support group for parents. In Japan it takes parents up to four years of not seeing their child before they seek outside help.
Going to Tokyo or other locals in Japan? Want to go to a cat, dog, owl, or other animal bar? Here’s your guide – AnimalCafes.com!
I’ve heard good things about Forest of Owls in Akihabara
Tokyo has a bar that’s themed like Portland, OR – including the beers right near the Shibuya district. Is this a sign PDX has jumped the shark?
Here’s their facebook page.
Or try their website: http://www.pdxtap.com/
Amazing travel links:
- TheFlightDeal – Best site for getting the current super deals from your home city.
- Kiwi.com – not sure where you want to go? Check out a live map of cheap fares from anywhere to anywhere.
- Hitlistapp.com – If you’re destination- and/or date-agnostic and just want a great deal, use this. Works especially well on short notice.
- Skyscanner.net – If you’re not set on your destination, use the “everywhere” destination search to search … everywhere.
- Seatguru.com – Indispensable for previewing the indignities of your chosen seat on any specific flight.
- Loungebuddy – Review, preview and purchase access to lounges at airports here and abroad — both members-only and those offering walk-up entry.
- Airgrub – Pay by app, then pick up your meal on the way to the gate — it’ll even apply discounts for alliance members where applicable.
- Mobile Passport – Skip the largely unliked MyTSA app and install this instead — it’ll get you through immigration a lot faster, as long as the airport you arrive at (there are 21) has a separate line handling Mobile Passport folks.
- GateGuru – From delay notifications to gate-proximate directions to the closest Starbucks, this aims to streamline your journey from airport entry to jetway.
- AirportParkingReservations – A fast and holistic way to book discounted parking near your airport of choice.
Finding something to do:
- Airbnb: Experiences – The room-booking behemoth’s next big play: Use it to plan outings and activities.
- Spotted by Locals – Travel guide apps are a dime a dozen, but a commitment to locals’ perspective guarantees a unique mix of picks.
- Party With a Local – Like meetup.com except only for parties. It might be the fastest way to connect with locals looking to mingle.
- Google Translate – Little known fact: Everybody’s favorite desktop translator offers downloadable packs in 52 languages, from Afrikaans to Welsh
- Citymapper – The indispensable tool for navigating a city and public transport — use it once and you’ll forget Google Maps ever existed.
- Google Trips – An easy, intuitive way to get recs for nearby restaurants and attractions — plus it’ll organize all your travel details in one place.
- Hotspot Shield – Free VPN – can help you watch shows overseas as in your own geo.
- WhatsApp – There are dozens of ways to connect with friends and locals, but this might be the most popular and most convenient — call home over a wifi connection and you might be surprised at the (high) quality of the reception.
Twitter account to follow for blooper fares and flash sales
Jack Johnson captured this stunning 4K flyover of Japan’s cherry blossom trees. With the help of an app called Litchi, he was able to repeat his drone’s flight path over time to show them gradually blossoming.
Did you know that Germany is the world’s #2 Tequila importer? A team there used ultrasonic humidifiers to create a tequila mist cloud that rained every time it rained in Berlin. And yes, people drank it by sticking their shot glasses into the fog.
TEQUILA CLOUD // Case from Rodrigo Cantalejo on Vimeo.