Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Summer 2018 - Day 105: Jamestown, New York - Birthplace of Lucille Ball


We managed to be awake and ready to hit the road by 8:30 am. Driving along, we were looking for a gas station for the 74-mile drive from Clarion, PA to Jamestown, NY. Luckily, we remembered there was an Exxon on the right where we could get some gas and sweet and salty snacks.

Surprising for an Exxon, things pump wise weren't that great. Of the four pumps, two were out of commission and you had to go inside to prepay for the ones that were indeed working. After we got the fueling sorted, we attacked the snack aisles, getting one of those large 20-oz Coca-Cola cans and some snacks to last us until our arrival in New York.

At last we were in New York. Not exactly our first visit if you count a brief layover we had, but it felt like a first to us! Stopped at Allen Street Diner, a great place if you're wanting some breakfast. Ordered some pancakes and a spinge omelette. Yes, spinge. New to me as well! Allen's grandmother came up with spinge omelettes as she always had meatballs and pepperoni in the house and would use them to make omelettes.
From Allen Street Diner, driving through the warm weather over to the Lucy-Desi Museum & Gift Shop in Jamestown, New York.

We were able to find parking in front of the building and go inside, which was great because although the weather said it might rain today, it was in the high 80s and walking wasn't very fun. Though the doors stated no photography or video, the lady inside instructed us not to use flash.

Any museum worth its salt has a gift shop. The museum begins and ends right here in this store filled with Lucy memorabilia.

There was no wide entrance, but a door we were directed to. Just inside the door displayed items from both Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.


The story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz began here in Jamestown, New York, where Lucielle was born on August 6, 1911. The museum doesn't overwhelm you with too much information, but leads you along as you read the stories of both Lucy and Desi as they grew up, found each other, and went on to create the I Love Lucy show.

As you progress through the story of Lucy and Desi, you see photos and items from their live shared together.


The story of Lucy and Desi opens up into a room with painted portraits and clothing from the family.

Here's Lucy's Key to Beverly Hills. Lucy lived in Beverly Hills for 37 years and was presented the key in 1989.

Here is a West German poster of The Long Long Trailer from 1954. I didn't think anyone would be able to pull a trailer with a car, but I guess that's exactly what they did! From here the museum was focused more on Lucy and Desi's careers after the show left the air in May 5, 1957 after 180 episodes.

Props from Mame - Though I Love Lucy was over in, Lucy and Desi continued to work together on TV on The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour (1957-1960).

Remember Circus of the Stars? Some outfits sported during different Circus installments. Lucille Ball would continue her work on TV with The Lucy Show (1962-1968), Here's Lucy (1968-1974), and Life With Lucy (1986).

That's one swanky trailer! Interior of The Long Long Trailer

Some of the shows made at Desilu Studios.

We also learned of Lucy's collabboration with Milton Bradley and a series of games: Pivot Pool, Solotaire, Slam Back, and others.
The games were located in the same room as her 1972 Mercedes.

And then we reached the last room of the Lucy Desi Museum, a room featuring paintings and a guestbook, although some people wrote on the wall for whatever strange reason. I'm sure they have to repaint the walls every few years to remove the misplaced well regards from perplexed pencil packing people.

This was the final room in the Lucy-Desi Museum. Any museum worth its salt always ends at the gift shop and the Lucy-Desi Museum is no different. We exited back to the same gift shop and entrance we walked into.

The entrance of Desilu Studios Museum

Inside the Desilu Studios Museum. The first thing on display is the radio comedy My Favorite Husband, which in many respects was the precursor of I Love Lucy.

There's plenty of props and costumes from the show, and even a recreation of the New York apartment.

It's hard to think of the Ricardos without friends and landlords the Mertzs.

I Love Lucy had a number of sets in the studio where all the scenes took place. Here's a little diorama of what it would look like to attend a taping of I Love Lucy.

The show went on to win loads of Emmy Awards.


Reading off a script isn't easy, as you can find out for yourself as you try pitching Vitameatavegamin on one of their sets.






Walking in the mid-80s temperature looking for this parking garage painting. 

We had this black and white printed map that we used to see other Lucy locations. We looked for our next stop, the Lake View Cemetery.

At Lake View, finding the gravesite is as simple as following the red hearts painted on the ground.

The hearts lead us here, to this walkway up to the headstone.


After walking in the heat to see the gravesite, we consult the map to check out the Lucille Ball Memorial Park.

The park has two statues of Lucille Ball that we saw.

The second statue was of the Vitameatavegamin scene, but seemed to lack the resemblance to the first statue.

The park is next to a body of water, nice and cool on a warm day. We walked over but tried to steer clear of the numerous birds in attendance.

While it was nice being near the water on a warm day like today, it was time to head back to the RV park in Shippenville again. On the way back we stopped at a Sheetz and got slushees or whatever they called them. Can't remember the last time I had one, but it was great on a hot day!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Summer 2018 - Day 92: Luigi's Italian Ristorante


DuBois. Here it's pronunced "Dew Boys" which confused me at first. We're here to try out another Italian restaurant that isn't Bettinas.

If you park next to the building, it'll run you 25 cents an hour. Although rumor has it there's free parking across the street, but you'd have to cross the potentially busy traffic to save money, so be careful if that's your plan.

Getting the feeling the Luigi's building started out as a department store or something else.

I'm guessing Italian restaurants want to play up the whole family aspect, which means having lots of pictures on the wall, even if they're of celebrities you don't know or even movie posters.

Tucking into a calzone. The chef was nice enough to come by the table.

Final thoughts: while certainly a nice place, I'm not sure we'll be schlepping all the way to DuBois for Italian food. I think Bettina's still comes out ahead. And we're even close to another Italian restaurant, Sweet Basil, that we haven't been to in months. We were driving back home when we saw someone who's definitely ready for winter!