Tuesday, March 24, 2009

vintage metropolitan detroit ad of the day

Vintage Ad #760: Listening to a CD Next to Carnegie Hall

Compact disc players were introduced to the consumer market in late 1982. By the time this ad appeared four years later, portable players had arrived that allowed early CD buyers to listen as they wandered by Carnegie Hall. Nearly a quarter of a century later, some units of the XR-P9 continue to function.

(Sorry folks - the Detroit-Windsor ads in this issue weren't that spectacular)

In the August 1986 issue of Metropolitan Detroit:

* Cover story on the best and worst restaurants in Greektown. The control meal at each spot was Greek salad, moussaka and grilled lamb chops. None received glowing praise. Pegasus Taverna and Olympia fared best (two stars out of four), New Hellas and Greek Islands the worst ("poor", two rating levels below one star). Among the culinary dangers of noted by writer C.J. Chandler were "woefully overdone lamb, the shade of an exhaust pipe," "Salads a la Frigidaire, with lettuce the colour of yesterday's newspaper," and "service so bad that visitors actually find humour in it."

* A profile of three companies that staged comebacks from bankruptcy (or the brink of): Crowley's Department Stores, Michigan Baptist Homes and Allied Supermarkets. No idea what became of MBH, but Allied's Great Scott! stores disappeared in the early 1990s and some remnants of Crowley's were purchased by Value City, who called it quits last year.

* An interview with "the funky grandpas," two twenty-something dancers who won $50,000 in prizes on Dance Fever by performing as hunched-over, heavily made-up elderly men who suddenly sprung to life on the dance floor.

Random Windsor Restaurant Review
Himalaya *** (out of 4)
841 Ouellette

Review: "No place to go if you're interested in fast food, as it can be an hour before you see bite one. The trip is in the waiting, and talking, and waiting...and it is time well spent. Chef Oza is a treasure, his kids are disciplined waiters, and there is the food...tandoori chicken, beef and lamb curries, curious appetizers and things otherworldly. For Indian holdouts, there are French dishes like coq au vin and veal cordon bleu. All of this happens in an old Victorian house steeped in India, from the tapestries to the quiet, discordant music to the smells. An etheral experience."

Have I Ever Been There?: No. We had a take-out menu in a box of early 1970s maps I loved looking through as a child. My introduction to Indian cuisine occurred in Windsor, but at the New Asian Curry House on Wyandotte Street West.

My theories as to why we never went to the Himalaya:
1) The leisurely experience alluded to in the review, which I wouldn't have handled well as a teen.
2) Uncertainty as to whether it was still in business. It never received any press and the sign had faded significantly.
3) Though memory tells me that Dad said he enjoyed it, perhaps my mind is playing tricks on me.

Is It Still There?: Appears to be. The building and sign are still there and the odd review floats around the internet.

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