Category: Weirdo

Vort daglige brødPoulsbo, WA

Poulsbo, WA sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Like the town of Solvang in California, there’s a Scandinavian town in my neck of the woods, too. Except in contrast to Solvang, I love Poulsbo. Even though it’s a bit of a tourist trap, Poulsbo feels more humble, more down-home, more real. Its Norwegian roots run deep—I have even heard Norwegian spoken on the… More

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Soup’s onBuellton, CA

Pea Soup Andersen's sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Now this is more like it. Solvang might have seemed a little too much like a polished Disneyland for my taste, but in the next town over was something much more my speed. Though its name has changed slightly over the years, Pea Soup Andersen’s has been a Santa Ynez Valley institution for over 90… More

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Cheese DanishSolvang, CA

Solvang sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I think you know by now that I’m a fan of roadside attractions—anything cheesy, hokey, corny and kitschy has a special place in my heart. But I need to clarify something: I’m pretty snobbish about my kitsch. It’s got to be either bizarre but well-executed, or so bad it’s good, or of epic scale—or else… More

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Mixed-metaphor missionSolvang, CA

Mission Santa Inés sketch by Chandler O'Leary

This is the eighth installment of my Mission Mondays series, exploring all 21 Spanish Missions along the California coast. You can read more about this series, and see a sketch map of all the missions, at this post. For most of the missions along El Camino Real, the mission itself is the main feature (and… More

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Capital capitolsBaton Rouge, LA

Baton Rouge old and new capitols sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Mary-Alice and I were only in Baton Rouge long enough to grab a quick lunch and glimpse the city’s (fraternal) twin capitols—but that was long enough for me to add the city to must-return places. The new capitol—while lovely—mostly just reminded me of the Superman Building in Providence. It was the old capitol, however, that… More

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Goonie weekendAstoria and Cannon Beach, OR

Old Clatsop County Jail sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I’m a bit of a movie nut—especially for anything shot on location. I’m a sucker for films that center around real places—and Astoria, OR has featured prominently in so many movies that the entire town has become a cinema icon. This Sunday marks the 30th anniversary of the release of the 1980s free-range-kid classic, The… More

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Pea-cocktailDavenport Hotel, Spokane, WA

Peacock Room sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I’m not generally into bars, but the Northwest is full of vintage cocktail lounges that are often a hoot in the theme-decor department. The Peacock room at the Davenport Hotel might just take the kitsch cake. The stuffed albino bird and sensory-assaulting wallpaper greet you at the door, but that’s just the beginning. Not pictured:… More

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