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TRAVEL HISTORY

CHASEN’S – The world-famous Hollywood Celebrity restaurant opened in the late 1930s and lasted into the 1990s. 

Chasen’s was a glamorous world – “Celebrity chefs” will never replace stylish hosts and personalities such as Dave Chasen or Vincent Sardi or Mike Romanoff. The “chefs” were in the kitchen. Not greeting you at the front door! Now the once famous eatery is a supermarket catering to the newly rich and what Dave Chasen would call the déclassé. No ... Read More »

Movie stars were aboard the fatal voyage of the SS Andrea Doria

SS Andrea Doria, Ruth Roman,Betsy Drake, Cary Grant, Nantucket, MS Stockholm, SS Ile de France, Tennessee Williams, Anna Magnani, Elizabeth Taylor, Kim Novak, Christine Jorgensen (the world's first transsexual woman), Clark Gable, and comedian Gracie Fields.

In July 1956, the SS Andrea Doria sank on the last night of its voyage from Italy to New York City. With over 1,134 passengers aboard, including Hollywood movie stars Ruth Roman and Betsy Drake, barely 100 short of her passenger capacity of 1,241. There were 190 first class passengers,  267 cabin class passengers and 677 tourist class passengers, which ... Read More »

President John Kennedy onboard the RMS Queen Mary

The floating palace for the rich and famous: Vintage photos reveal glamor on board the Queen Mary during her early voyages sailing from New York to Europe – Across the Pond! The Art Deco liner was the largest and fastest passenger ship in the world when it launched. The Queen Mary hosted the wealthy and elite, including Winston Churchill, John F ... Read More »

Video featuring Night Boats and Cruises aboard the Eastern Steamship Company.

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Eastern Steamship Lines operated coastwise overnight passenger services along the Long Island Sound between New York and Boston and to other Northeast Coast ports including Portland, Maine, along with services to Canada and cruises. VIDEO OF EASTERN STEAMSHIP LINE CRUISE 1937 CRUISE – NEW YORK TO NOVA SCOTIA ABOARD EASTERN STEAMSHIP COMPANY The vessel at the beginning of the movie ... Read More »

Remembering the Pullman Porters

Benjamin Gaines, 93, worked as a Pullman porter from 1945 to 1954. “The porters, believe it or not, we had a celebrity status,” he said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. (Cover Photo: CW: Janet Leigh, star of Hitchcock’s PSYCHO boarding the Super Chief in fashion layout; Porter during the 1960s looking out at the Kansas prairie: Pullman Porter’s ... Read More »

Horrifying Murder of an Actress on a Cruise Ship – Death, Sex and Lies on the high seas!

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Murder, suspicious deaths and disappearing at sea aboard liners from Cunard to Union-Castle have made cruise history.   The romantic decks of “The Love Boat” can be a very dangerous place. As for cruising the past, history finds there were two or three murders supposedly linked to Cunard Line’s RMS Queen Mary before WW 2.  Another murder during the winter of ... Read More »

San Francisco’s fabulous Fox Theatre was a lesson in the city’s tenuous loyalty and devotion.

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When the Fox Theater was built in 1929, it seemed as if there weren’t enough adjectives to describe the movie theater’s magnificence. The San Francisco Chronicle called the opening “a spectacle of such beauty and magnitude that it seemed rather a fancy of one’s mind rather than the inaugural night of another commercial enterprise.” OPENING NIGHT But the life of ... Read More »

ZIM LINES – Israel’s premiere liner and cruise ship company in the 1950s and 1960s

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Connecting Israel with Mediterranean ports began after the State of  Israel was established in 1948 and for 20 years Zim Lines operated an excellent fleet of passenger ships. Zim provided regular trans-Atlantic, the Caribbean, and Israel/Europe cruise and liner services. The company quickly built a fleet of modern passenger ships. In the early 1950s, Zim became a member of the ... Read More »

In the 1950s SUDDEN FEAR film star Joan Crawford heads to San Francisco on the famed California Zephyr.

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The streamliner California Zephyr was featured in Columbia Pictures 1952 thriller SUDDEN FEAR starring Joan Crawford and Jack Palance. Included were exterior and interior scenes aboard the train. Grand Central Station and the Oakland Mole were highlighted where Crawford respectively boards and disembarks to head across the bay to San Francisco by ferry boat. After playwright and wealthy heiress, Myra ... Read More »

The elegant MS VICTORIA cruised out of New York.

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Enjoying a long and colorful history, Incres Line’s MS VICTORIA offered Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises with first class service to 600 passengers. The VICTORIA was built by Harland and Wolff of Belfast in 1936 for Union-Castle Line as the DUNNOTTAR CASTLE for the company’s round Africa service from London. She operated as a passenger-cargo liner into the early 1950s, except ... Read More »

Clive Palmer’s Titanic II pitch fails to wet the sails…

TITANIC II, TITANIC, WHITE STAR LINE, CRUISE THE PAST, MICHAEL L GRACE

Billionaire Clive Palmer’s pitch about Titanic II – the ship he is funding to be built before a maiden 2020 voyage – hardly had the imagined grandeur and prestige of the original ship’s build in the early 1900s. The mining magnate and former federal Australian MP featured in a bizarre promotional video last week for Blue Star Line, the company ... Read More »

Chicago’s streamlines ELECTROLINER – 90 MPH north to Milwaukee

The North Shore Line’s Electroliners streamline interurban trains operated from the 1940s into the early 1960s. For most street railway and interurban lines the coming of the automobile put an end to an industry that was just a few decades old.  The 1920s and the Great Depression later that decade bankrupted and shutdown many intermediate lines while the strongest companies ... Read More »

Retro Thursday: The CHICAGO CUBS cruise to Catalina

CATALINA ISLAND, CHICAGO CUBS

Chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr.’s twin interests in baseball and Catalina Island – he bought Catalina in 1919 and gained a controlling interest in the Chicago Cubs in 1921 – dovetailed nicely when he made the decision to have the Cubs train on Catalina starting in 1921.  In doing so, he became the first baseball owner to bring a ... Read More »

RED CARPET treatment started with the 20TH CENTURY LIMITED

20th Century Limited, New York Central, Red Carpet, Marshall Field, Bing Crosby,  Robert R. McCormick, Bob Hope, Bette Davis,  Doris Day, Wrigleys, Henry Dreyfuss Art Deco, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Beatrice Lilly, Carole Lombard,  John Barrymore, Alfred Hitchcock, North by Northwest,  all-Pullman, streamliner, MICHAEL L GRACE, CRUISING THE PAST

Have you wondered where the much-overused phrase “the red carpet treatment” originated? It all started with the 20th Century Limited. The train of tycoons and movie stars. The “Century” was an express all-Pullman passenger train operated by the New York Central nightly from New York to Chicago. From 1938 until the last run in 1968, passengers walked down a crimson carpet ... Read More »