If you’ve got a spare $100 burning a hole in your picket, and have never had Afternoon Tea at The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, then you need to check that off your bucket list, because the experience is sublime. But if you find yourself at the Plaza for any reason at all, be sure to wander up to the Rose Club, which is the bar / jazz club on the mezzanine level just off the lobby, so you can check out the rad ceiling lighting!
Maybe have a drink and a snack while you’re there, so you have more time to take in the ambiance.
It was a very hot and sunny day in late December when my sister and I visited the Queen Mary, docked at Long Beach, California. Formerly a luxury cruise liner specializing in North Atlantic crossings (between US and England) for the Cunard Line, the ship has been retired since 1967 and now has a permanent home at the Port of Long Beach, where it does a brisk business as a luxury hotel, special exhibit venue, event space (get Married on the Queen Mary!) and one of Southern California’s most popular tourist attractions.
Having been on several cruises myself, it was especially fun for me to explore the ship and appreciate how all of the interiors and finishes have been preserved in the ship’s original Art Deco design. While some people might say that these finishes and interiors should be modernized, on the contrary, I think it would be a shame to obliterate so many visual remnants of this ship’s rich history.
Wood Inlay Mural of the Ship
I have a background in architecture and interior design, so I found myself drawn to photographing a lot of interior details that some people might miss, but I think these photos will give you a good feel for the historic atmosphere on board the ship. It is no secret that the ship is haunted and, in fact, you can choose to purchase several different self-guided or guided tours which will clue you in on the history of the various ghosts and hauntings that figure into the Queen Mary’s personal story.
Bar with Haunted Piano (Far Right)
What I was reminded of most is the Overlook Hotel, made famous by Stephen King’s The Shining. I can only imagine how eerie it would be to roam the ship at night. This might be reason enough to investigate staying the night as hotel guest if that works with your plans.
Observation Bar and Deco Lounge
Located around the ship are tons of display cases that hold items for the ships history, such as serving dishes, china, bar ware, furnishings and souvenirs from the time when the Queen Mary regularly transported passengers across the Atlantic.
This Deco Planter Flanks Two Rows of Glass Cases Filled with Historic Items
Each case has a write up on the background and history of each item.
Deco Ceiling Fixture
Deco Pendant Light
The Pendent light above can be found inside this very cool shop, Royal Gifts and Fashions, which sells dresses and other clothing and accessories, as well as jewelry and fun items similar to what you might find in a cross between a vintage clothing boutique and a Hot Topic. Very Fun!
The Dragon Shoppe is an tiny import store that sells all kids of imported chotskies, collectibles and souvenirs.
Miniature Tea Sets Sold in The Dragon Shoppe
This is the door that leads to to the ship’s indoor swimming pool. Although it is not accessible to the general public, I believe there could be a guided tour you could purchase that would take you through that area.
The ship’s original Ticket Office has been preserved with its original furniture, brochures and old fashioned office equipment. When the ship was functional, this is the place that passengers could go to book land transportation, trains or whatever they needed once the ship docked in the UK.
The Queen’s Salon is still used for banquet and wedding functions.
These elevators are no longer in use.
A few of the public rooms have been preserved or recreated to show them as they looked more than fifty years ago. One of those rooms is the Children’s Play Room. I imagine that children did have a nice time playing in this room, but to me it seemed rather sterile and reminded me more of a Pediatrician’s waiting room from the sixties.
I bet there are some ghosts in here.
This is the Grand Salon, which is massive, and where the famous Sunday Champagne Brunch is served. You can find out more about Sunday Champagne Brunch aboard the Queen Mary at This Link.
If you can’t afford $50 for brunch, the ship has many excellent restaurants, including the Promenade, where we enjoyed a fantastic BBQ Pulled Chicken Flatbred Pizza and an awesome Club Sandwich!
I had a great time exploing The Queen Mary and recommend you check it out when you are in Southern California. Find out more about all of the different tours and attractions that the Queen Mary has to offer and plan your trip by visiting This Link!
“In September 2006, I spent 10 days shooting the interior of legendary NYC rock club CBGB. Six weeks later the club closed its doors forever, and the fabled walls and stage were dismantled. A year after that, as former owner Hilly Kristal succumbed to cancer, a high-end clothing store negotiated to take over the space.
The club had been a favorite venue for countless rock and punk acts, but for those few days my experience of the club was the exact opposite of most people’s. I came to look forward to my visits as a time of peaceful solitude. I arrived each morning at 11:00 with my tripod and camera, greeted Hilly at his desk, and then passed into a silent and empty club. During the following three to five hours of shooting, I rarely saw another human. The club was so dark, even during the day, that I had to carry a flashlight. After framing each shot, I took five to seven bracketed exposures, with each exposure lasting as long as 30 seconds, and I ended up with more than 1800 individual frames.
And that’s how I came to spend hour after hour sitting stock still in CBGB, alone in the dark among the empty beer bottles and broken guitar strings and abandoned drum sticks, waiting in the silence for the shutter to close.”
Limited edition prints of the CBGB Stage (Above, click This Link) and the venue’s Cash Register (Below click This Link) are available while supplies last via Jen Bekman’s 20X200. All prints are available framed or unframed, Artist-signed + numbered with a certificate of authenticity included. These prints are very reasonably priced and will sell out fast, so get them while you can!