Tag Archives: Broadway

A Very Cool Thrift Store Find! San Francisco History!

Very Cool Thrift Store Find!

San Francisco History!
The Condor and Big Al’s on Broadway
Original photograph signed by Bob Kreisel and rescued for $2


Original photograph signed by Bob Kreisel

The Condor   Where It All Began
The birthplace of the world’s first topless & bottomless entertainment
Topless – June 19, 1964   Bottomless – September 3, 1969
Starring Ms. Carol Doda   San Francisco, California


The Condor Club and Big Al’s are located at the corner of Broadway and Columbus Avenue in the North Beach district of San Francisco. The Condor Club opened in 1964. The large marquee sign featured a cartoon image of Carol Doda with red flashing lights on her breasts. Carol Doda’s 44DD breasts were dubbed “the New Twin Peaks of San Francisco” and were insured for $1.5 million with Lloyd’s of London.

NOTE: The other famous clubs on the block are Roaring 20’s and the Hungry 1 Club.


Carol Doda (August 29, 1937 – November 9, 2015) was the first known topless entertainer and a cultural icon of the 1960’s. She made history on June 19, 1964, when she bared her breasts and performed in a topless “monokini”. The club went “bottomless” on September 3, 1969, and remained full nude until 1972 when it became illegal to serve alcohol in full nude clubs.


Carol Doda danced at the Condor Club until 1985 and died in 2015. Her only arrest happened in 1965, when police raided the club on April 22. She was arrested along with Pete Mattioli and Gino del Prete, the owners of the club on indecency charges. They were all found not guilty. She retired as a stripper in the 1980s but continued performing, and she also owned Carol Doda’s Champagne and Lace Lingerie Boutique in San Francisco until her death from kidney failure in 2015.


Broadway and Columbus in North Beach, San Francisco (at night)

The original Condor Club closed in 2000. For a time it was a sports bar (and still is), and then a restaurant and a performance venue. The current Condor Club reopened in 2007 as “San Francisco’s Original Gentlemen’s Club” with a new neon sign.

“You know what’s funny about The Condor? 1) It’s not really a strip club until 6 pm, and 2) it has two entrances: one for the strip club, and one for a pretty unremarkable sports bar with big-picture windows facing Columbus St, a decent-enough draft beer selection, and live music. The two are separated by a small door frame with a velvet curtain drawn, so if you’re new and you make your way in through the Columbus entrance, you might not even put two and two together that you’re in a strip club. And, since we’re in the middle of North Beach, it’s exactly the kind of place a hapless tourist could wander into.” – Lauren Sloss in 2014

Big Al’s (the adult book store) closed in 2009. It is now a sandwich shop and cigar store. They kept the name and the neon sign.

Both clubs are San Francisco landmarks and an important part of the history of the city. The strip clubs of North Beach have been seen in many films and TV shows, featured on postcards and in travel and tourist brochures for over fifty years.

Bob Kreisel


This bio was on the back of the photograph

The Condor Club560 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133 415-968-8678 http://www.condorsf.com

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This is not a paid promotion! Just here to show the Condor Club is still in business!







First time in New York City?

First time in New York City — highlights?

NOTE: This is another long dormant “unfinished draft” that was originally posted on another site and now has been updated and posted.


Manhattan, New York City, New York

Q: What would you recommend to do in the city for a first time visitor, and what deli would you say is the best?

A: What to do in New York City? It’s the Big Apple baby!
Start with Midtown and Lower Manhattan.

Put on your comfortable walking shoes, check the weather report, and hit the streets of NYC walking! There’s so much to see (people, places and things) and so much history on display as you walk around the city. We once walked from Central Park to Battery Park!

Visit Central Park! www.centralparknyc.org

Central Park 1

Alice in Wonderland – Central Park, NYC (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Take a NYC Taxicab Ride!

See the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center and Plaza,  Washington Square Park, SoHo, the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge, the Freedom Tower and the World Trade Center/9-11 Memorial, Wall Street and Battery Park

Rockefeller Center 2

“Prometheus” Rockefeller Center – NYC (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

See the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library and Grand Central Terminal

Visit Liberty Island and/or Ellis Island (ride the ferry, see the sights)

WTC view 14

Liberty Island & Ellis Island – New York/New Jersey (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

The world famous Carnegie Deli is closed. RIP 1937-2016

Katz’s Delicatessen (the “When Harry Met Sally” Diner)
205 East Houston Street,
on the sw corner of Houston & Ludlow on the Lower East Side
Zagat gave Katz’s a food rating of 4.5 out of 5,
and ranked the restaurant as the number one deli in NYC in 2016.


Katz’s Delicatessen in NYC (photo by Alex Lozupone)

Also try Famous Original Ray’s Pizza and Zabar’s for classic NYC food experiences.

Visit Broadway and the Theater District!
See a big budget “Broadway Musical”
See Times Square and eat at Sardi’s (make a reservation) to complete the experience!


TKTS Booth in Times Square, NYC (not my pic)

Same-Day Theatre Tickets at Up To 50% Off!
TKTS Discount Booths operates four TKTS Discount Booths in NYC,
including the flagship location in Times Square.
7th Ave, New York, NY 10036

See an Off-Broadway play (the weirder, the better) in a “black box” theatre.

and Ride the NYC Subway!


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WTC view 11

NYC – View from the top of the World Trade Center (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Monty Python’s “Spamalot” and “A Midsummer Night” at the Hollywood Bowl

Monty Python’s “Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

Saturday night performance at the Hollywood Bowl on a beautiful, warm, summer night in August! And what a great show! The celebrity cast was awesome! It was so much fun!

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – A Beautiful and Warm Summer Night!

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

Picnic on the bench:

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl – No ham, jam or spam. (there was bacon)

On the Menu: steak & bacon sandwich, potato chips, celery, carrots, cucumber, dill pickle, pineapple juice, Heineken, and chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

NOTE: Our bench seats were in section K2, which is high up and way off to one side. The wood benches are really uncomfortable, even with seat cushions. I prefer the Box Seats!

FINGER OF SHAME! This couple insisted on using bench space for their bag! And when asked if they would make more room, they refused and copped an attitude! This is a picture of their shame after being TOTAL A**HOLES in a fun place!

Look at their facial expression and body language!


FINGER OF SHAME! – They know they’re being Total A**holes!

Well the show must go on! And the a*ssholes were ignored.

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl - Sunset!

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – Sunset!

It was great from the opening national anthem, when the orchestra began with “Hail Brittania” before being interrupted and playing the Star Spangled Banner, to the “England” introduction by Eric Idle as The Historian, and the opening number celebrating Finland with the Fish Slapping Dance!

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

The Historian: “I SAID ENGLAND!”

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – “What happens in Camelot, stays in Camelot!”

Loosely based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail there were great bits from the film: “He must be a king”, debating the airspeed of the European swallow, taunting by the French, “large tracts of land” and storming the castle, the Trojan Rabbit, the Ballad of Sir Robin, the Knights who say Nee, Tim the Enchanter, the Vorpal Bunny and of course Camelot!

Warwick Davis gave a fantastic performance as Patsy, King Arthur’s squire complete with coconut shells and amazing facial expressions! He is such a gifted actor.

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

Tom Deckman was hilarious as Not Dead Fred, Prince Herbert and the French Guard. Merle Dandridge was dazzling as the Lady of the Lake and her musical numbers were mesmerizing!

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

Kevin Chamberlin, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Rick Holmes and Christian Slater were just terrific as Arthur’s Knights (and the many other minor roles they alternately played). And Craig Robinson was a very entertaining King Arthur, smiling and “tap dancing” his way through the whole thing.

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – King Arthur & his Knights on a Quest for the Holy Grail

There were wonderfully entertaining musical numbers with inspired dance and fun choreography. And a number of jokes were tailored to the Hollywood Bowl audience including a jab at “overpriced dinner in the Pool Circle” and a little “Uptown Funk”.

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – “The Ballad of Sir Robin” on the big video screen

Wonderful performances by the entire cast! You could tell they were having a great time performing. I was really impressed by how great they all were!

And big kudos to the Hollywood Bowl for their live video on the big screens, as well as the costumes, sets, sound, lighting and projections which really make the musical productions special.

Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

The Grand Finale with the entire cast and chorus was an audience sing along to Eric Idle’s

“Always Look On The Bright Side of Life”

Some things in life are bad…They can really make you mad.
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble, give a whistle,
And this’ll help things turn out for the best……….
And, always look on the bright side of life…(Whistle)

Always look on the light side of life…(Whistle)

If life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten!
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing!
When you’re feeling in the dumps don’t be silly chumps,
Just purse your lips and whistle, that’s the thing.
And…always look on the bright side of life! (Whistle)

Come on. Always look on the right side of life! (Whistle)

For life is quite absurd and death’s the final word.
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin, give the audience a grin!
Enjoy it! It’s your last chance anyhow.

So always look on the bright side of death. (Whistle) 

Just before you draw your terminal breath. (Whistle)

Life’s a piece of shit, when you look at it.
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true.
You’ll see its all a show, keep ’em laughin’ as you go,
Just remember that the last laugh is on you!

And…Always look on the bright side of life…(Whistle) Always look on the right side of life…

I mean – what have you got to lose? You know, you come from nothin’.

You’re going back to nothing. What have you lost? Nothing.

Always look on the right side of life…

Nothing will come from nothing ya know what they say?
Cheer up ya old bugga c’mon give us a grin! There ya go, see!

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – Finale sing along “Always Look On The Bright Side of Life”

Everyone knows the words! Whistle and sing along! A good time was had by all! The full Blue Moon was shining brightly overhead as the large crowd exited the Bowl at 10:30pm. It was packed and we were on the far side, so I sat and waited for the audience to disperse a little and then cut through the seats directly to the exit. I went right when I should have gone left and ended up half-stepping down the hill with the crowd to the escalator and made it back to the car in about 15 minutes.

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – Full Blue Moon over the departing audience

It was warm and humid all night, so by the time we got back to our parking space I was really looking forward to going home and taking a shower. (and yes, my shower was really refreshing later after midnight…)

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

They stacked parked the cars (unnecessarily) for this performance, so it required a little maneuvering to exit the lot. Traffic is always tough after a full house, but we were able to get back to the freeway and headed home in a reasonable amount of time without too much trouble. A wonderful evening, a nice picnic and a great show. Huzzah!

And the week before we went to

“A Midsummer Night” at the Hollywood Bowl

Tuesday night and we had great Box Seats with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra playing Mendelssohn on a warm summer night in July!

Hollywood Bowl

Hollywood Bowl – Midsummer Night’s Dream with Dudamel & the Los Angeles Philharmonic

Terrible traffic on the 101 freeway from the San Fernando Valley to Hollywood. The price of Parking at the Hollywood Bowl has increased $2 this year from $18 to $20 per car.

TIP: GO EARLY! Traffic is always unpredictable, but you can bet it will take at least 20 minutes to get past the light coming off the 101 freeway at Cahuenga and Highland. Provide extra travel time for walking uphill, bag check, ticket turn stalls, refreshments, restrooms and managing your picnic dinner.

NOTE: It is really bad form to arrive 5 minutes AFTER the performance begins and then start your meal! Finish eating before the Star Spangled Banner (snacks and beverages are acceptable during, but avoid any packaging that makes noise. Wait for intermission if you need to have that dessert! And please don’t set up your picnic blanket in front of the restrooms (seriously, they were sitting on the concrete in front of the restroom doors!).

Midsummer Night's Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

Midsummer Night's Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

Dinner in the Box Seats is great because they provide removable folding tables, trash service and if you choose, expensive catered food delivered directly to your Box.

We ordered from Amer’s Mediterranean restaurant in Encino and picked up our “to go” food on the way. They recently changed ownership again, and the menu changed too. We also packed in our own beverages (advisable at events when they’re permitted) and also brought dessert and ice. The only refreshments we bought were a couple bad cups of coffee at intermission.

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl - Middle Eastern food: the wrong order!

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl – Middle Eastern: the wrong order!

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl - Cheesecake for dessert!

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl – Cheesecake for dessert!

On the Menu: Middle eastern food, it was supposed to be an “Amer’s Special” shwarma meat with hummus, tabouli, rice, falafel and pita bread. They screwed up the order. I hate beets. They gave us a “mixed grill” with chicken and ground beef kebabs. And they forgot the rice and falafel. At least there was good cheesecake for dessert.


Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

The first act was Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor with an exceptional performance by Gil Shaham on violin. The second act was “Midsummer Night’s Dream” accompanied by dramatic Shakespearean readings by Bryce Dallas Howard, and guest vocal performances by Deanna Breiwick and Jennifer Holloway with the Women of Los Angeles Master Chorale. It was beautiful.

Hollywood Bowl

Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

The lighting and inspired projections enhanced the wonderful musical performance. The first act was better than the second, and I thought it was a little weird to hear the wedding march played as a classical piece in concert. There was also a lot of noticeable cricket noise during the quiet parts of the show, which I found distracting during the second act.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show! What’s not to like about Tuesday night at the Bowl with Dudamel and the LA Phil? It was a real good time.

Our box was positioned close to the exit, so we were out of there fast. We quickly traveled the long walk to the car and made a fast getaway from the parking lot and onto the 101 freeway home.

The Hollywood Bowl is a great venue! And once you know the “procedure” and tricks to traffic, parking and picnicking it’s a very pleasant experience. I’m looking forward to seeing more shows at the Bowl this summer.

Hollywood Bowl - Parking Lot after the show

Hollywood Bowl – Parking Lot after the show

All Photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel (except the Cast Press Photos)






“HAIR!” at the Hollywood Bowl – 01 August 2014

“HAIR!” at the Hollywood Bowl

A warm “first day of August” summer evening under the stars at the Hollywood Bowl!

HAIR! at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

HAIR! at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)