Given how popular fancy dress parties were in the 1970s, you’d think they would turn up more often. Perhaps people are wisely getting rid of those pics before disposing of their snapshots! The awful, tacky get-ups, the stereotypes, the smeared make-up on men, the giddy, gaudy, god-awfulness of it all is so endearing. In the late-hour, full-swing drunkenness of these pics we see true humanity poking through, and it is beautiful.
Category Archives: Bars&restaurants
Here is another pic of iconic Spotty Dog the roadhouse on the Main Road of Retreat, taken in the mid or early 1960s. I’ve previously written about Spotty Dog in another post so go here to read about the history. The building is so iconic and so often photographed without context that it was nice to find a second drive-by photo in the same collection of the nearby Retreat Shopping Centre. Grandly named but actually a small, traditional Cape grocery store situated right on the Main Road and displaying a large array of fresh produce. Together the images give one the flavor (if you’ll excuse the pun) of the area.
Long forgotten by some is the fact that Retreat was once one of the largest ‘locations’ in Cape Town – an area where black South Africans lived. It saw forced removals under Apartheid throughout the 1950s with many people being moved to the new township of Nyanga. In 1961 the area was declared a ‘colored’ group area. Spotty dog witnessed all this South African history (maybe that’s why he’s showing a few cracks). The building is fondly remembered by people all over the world.
Where does the name Retreat come from? “The suburb of Retreat in Cape Town was so named because the Dutch retreated to that area when they were losing the Battle of Muizenberg (1795). The Dutch landed there after the Retreat and declared the area to be ‘Terugtrekking van de nederlandse 1795′ or in English, Retreat of the Netherlands 1795.The signage with Terugtrekking van de nederlandse 1795’ written on it can be found at a Museum in Cape Town, South Africa.” (Wikipedia)
This rundown, rough and ready roadside cafe was snapped from a passing tourist bus. I believe it is the Middle East somewhere, perhaps Iran. It is a classic scene with those rickety tables and chairs. I wonder what is in the glass cabinet.
A bit of a challenge this one as it was blurred, tilted and had window reflections from the bus. However there was enough pixel data to recover and enhance the scene. I corrected the deep shadow in the veranda, grabbed back all the colour and added a deeply saturated vignette.
Before and after.
Click for big.
Belgium or Holland, 1970’s. With a little speculation I can figure out what is happening in this scene. The 3 old people were driving past Der Vliegend Tapijt (The Flying Carpet) restaurant when their blue car broke down. Now it’s up on a jack and someone is fixing it but, oh dear, its going to be a long afternoon. A woman passing by has stopped for a little chat. I like the seventies styling of the restaurant window and the juxtaposition of the old-timers against this backdrop.
A large crop was needed to bring the subjects of interest into focus. Rich color, texture and sharpening did the rest of the job.
Before and after. Click for big.
This old slide is dated 1963 but we don’t know where it was taken. The bar is suitably dingy, but welcoming. I love the classic simplicity and exotic nature of the scene. There are many interesting details, like a fridge set into the wall, counter bell, lopsided twin lamps and trophies on the wall. The hand of a patron (off scene) leans on the bar, with his spectacles resting alongside a nice big jug of beer.
The dark areas of the pic were very grainy and needed to be deepened to smooth them out. As a result I had to increase contrast and lighten selected areas. The slide also had some crystal damage.
Before and after. Click for big.