new Things I Ate in Cambodia: Awesome Old Photos From Sacramento's Checkered Past!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Awesome Old Photos From Sacramento's Checkered Past!

Here's some neat old food photos from the Sacramento History website.

Trolling through the Sacramento History website, I was most chuffed to discover these wonderful artifacts from Ancient California. Sacramento was a real railway hub back in the days of yore - its other claim to fame beyond the whole "state capital" thing - and interesting paraphenila from those bygone glory days abounds. Apparantly that Golden Spike thing was the 1800's equivalant of a Britney Spears revival concert: this stuff was big. As a railway hub, Sacramento saw a fair share of Northern California's produce and goods circulate through its warehouses and packaging companies - most of the stuff below hails from these forgotten raisin n' almond shillers. Ah, for more innocent times. Well, beside the early death and polio crap, I can do without that.

Some gems:
Hustler Brand Bartletts

Young Larry Flynt hated his job shilling Bartlett Pears for the packaging company: out by the street corner at all hours, getting paid next to nothing as he hollered and yelled at the people frequenting J Street's many charming and hip saloons and flophouses. But little Larry did very much enjoy watching the bustles and bosums of the women going by, jiggling alluringly under their coverings of lace and calico. Hmm, I can do something with that, the boy thought one day...

I would require a pyschology degree before I could interpret what exactly is going on here. Does the pig represent good ol' William Randolph Hearst, king of the Gilded Age douchebags? Is the pig a veiled, winking reference to the common sight of patriotic and corpulent homosexuals on San Francisco's early street? What the hell was a dude back then anyway - was it a subtle reference to something naughty and fascinating? (This was rather healthily prior to The Simpsons, ancient as that show may be.)

I do know this: if I found a teeny tiny little monocle and top hat in a grocery store package of pork, I would probably cry for days.

Mr Bondi: shiller of fine fruits, vegetables, and unnerving, sexually deviant stares. The neighborhood women never let their little boys buy Bartlett pears from Funny Old Mr. Bondi.

The joke makes itself.

"Mother, how have things changed since you were a little girl?"

"Goodness, what a question! We didn't have any cars, or McDonalds, or television sets. And my mother didn't have a torso, that's one thing. She'd just sort of float around everywhere, her and her shoulders and her disembodied hands, just drift around on the wind. Sometimes we'd run races for her and she'd just sit there and cry. All these tears would just run down her poor old cheeks. And we could just tell she wanted to have legs and she could just never have em'. "

"Grandmother's creepy, Mom."

"Well, yes."

The homo-erotic Olympics continue. Here, Senor Man Titties appears to be rending a waterfall from rock with the sheer manly manliness of his big man hands. I imagine there is also some serious grunting going on up in here. The fetching loin-cloth is still worn on ceremonial occasions in Northern California: guess things haven't changed since Mother Was A Girl.

Yes, folks, this is J Street, Sacramento's favorite Avenue of the Tragically Hip (or just unwashed.) I imagine back in the day dandies with convincingly rustic canes promenaded up and down the street, stopping in occasionally for a spot of small producer absinthe and a down-market chic Hang-town Fry, containing only sustainable and cruelty free ingredient. Perhaps they'd all hang out at the bar when it got late and make derogatory comments about the losers who liked to listen to ragtime. What DID Gilded Age hipsters do all day, anyway?

The ice cream girl's expression is clear: "If you do not buy some delicious ice cream from me, I shall kick you in the gonads."

You had better buy some ice cream.

They used to have TRAIN CRASHES at the State Fair. REAL LIVE TRAIN CRASHES. Now we just have the World's Biggest Cow and sweaty people. This is so heinously unfair. I have spent my entire life being deprived of witnessing a REAL ACTUAL TRAIN CRASH while eating meat on a stick and I blame YOU, America.

Coming soon: old menus from the California railroad! See what weird junk people ate back then! Marvel at how they managed to stay skinny despite surviving on butter and bacon!


Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud and now my stomach hurts. I blame you Faine.


Anonymous said...

One of your best ever. I am deeply amused.

Auntie Lyn

Anonymous said...

I love your gilded age hipsters! And I think dudes were cityfolk who were incompetent in the country.