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Showing posts from May, 2014

Grand Budapest Hotel

Popular this year in Andersonia:  mustaches, the colors purple and pink...and yet more mustaches. Continuing to trend very well:  uniforms, exotic names and art direction so inlaid with detail and saturated with color to produce retinal overload or high blood sugar.  Or both.  If mise-en-scene be the food of love, give me surfeit of it! one might say...if one happened to wander off the set of Twelfth Night and onto the set of Wes Anderson's latest film, where the forgetting of one's lines, not to mention connection to life on planet Earth would be quite understandable.
It is the fictional European Alpine state of Zubrowka in which Grand Budapest Hotel is set.  But make no mistake:  we're deep, deep in the heart of Andersonia.  Perhaps deeper than we have yet been, we brave souls who have witnessed all eight of the director's feature-length films.  Yet only eight?  Can that be possible?  Surely there has been enough madly specific art direction, ample bolts, nay acres …

Century 16 Suncoast, or Leaving Las Vegas

But no hookers with a heart of gold.  Not enough time for the male protagonist to drink himself to death.  A soundtrack bereft of thick slaps of cheese courtesy of Don Henley and Der Stingel.  Not a sign of - and I can't stress this enough - Julian Sands as a Latvian pimp.

Only a couple of days in Las Vegas.  A third season of the week.  I walked through a late breath of winter on the streets of Butte Sunday night.  Experienced giddy spring in Brigham City and amid the staggering beauty of Capitol Reef National Park on Wednesday.  And then summer in Las Vegas.  100 degrees Friday.  Only in the 90s while many lucky motorists, like myself, were parked on I-15 in the Valley of Fire, 30 miles north of the city, waiting for an accident to clear Thursday afternoon.  Then back to the mod interior of my cabana suite at the El Corrtez.

About 36 hours after my second arrival at the El Cortez, it was time to leave.  Of course, when I returned my keycards to reception at the main building ab…

Towne - Ephraim

Capitol Reef is particularly remote among the many national parks that stretch across the extraordinary landscape of southern Utah.  Perhaps its relatively recent establishment (1971) as a national park, or the location, accessible via a long, lonely stretch of Utah Highway 24, are why it is overlooked among other of the nation's great parks, or even the more heavily visited ones in Utah like Zion and Bryce.  To say it stands alone among all the natural sites I beheld just on the trip would be strong words indeed.  But Capitol Reef might be the most striking landscape in which I have ever found myself.  Even before the park began, I thought, "this must be it,"  But no, it was merely the spectacular prelude, west of Torrey, Utah.   When the park proper does begin as you wind east on Utah 24, the red rock buttes seem to go on forever.   Utterly stunning.  I was amused to read a sign just past the visitor center that read something like "scenic drive ahead."  This…

Capitol - Brigham City

I had very reluctantly decided in Missoula to head south on Tuesday.  Instead of going all the way up to Glacier National Park,which was the original plan.  But there was little I could do at Glacier, aside from driving a small portion of Going to the Sun Road.  The park had only begun to thaw enough to allow for hiking into its interior.  It would be going north merely for the sake of going farther north, compelling enough reason for me.  But to insure that my last four days wouldn't be defined mainly by driving, I decided to get a lot of it out of the way and go south beyond Salt Lake City, as far as nearby Heber City.   
As interstate experiences go, one could do so much worse than the corridor of I-15 heading south from Butte, through Idaho and into Utah.  When I had come north a few days earlier I had hardly gotten the full effect of the landscape, obscured as it was by rain and grey skies.  Heading south I had a fair day and  a brilliant blue sky.  What clouds that were prese…