Tag: R.I.P.

R.I.P. Liberace Museum

R.I.P. Liberace Museum Photo by Ethan Prater via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by Ethan Prater via Flickr (Creative Commons)

The Vegas classic is closing its doors after more than 30 years—apparently, due to shrinking revenue, from both the museum itself and the Liberace music royalties that help support it. Over at Flyover America, Sophia Dembling laments:

What is the world coming to?

I’ve been to the Liberace Museum more times than I should probably admit. Three? Four? I’m not sure, but I’ve been dazzled every time. What’s more, even though I lived through the Liberace era, I didn’t know until I visited the museum how really huge Liberace was—he sold out the Hollywood Bowl, for Pete’s sake! (Or George’s sake. And if you don’t know what I mean, then you don’t know Liberace.)

The Liberace Foundation is hoping to reopen the museum someday. In the meantime, some traveling exhibits are in the works.


Six Travel Writers (and an Artist) Who Didn’t Make it Home

dan eldon Ho New/Reuters

Frank Bures remembers fellow travelers who've been lost on assignment

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R.I.P. Dennis Hopper

Hopper wrote, directed and starred in the road trip classic “Easy Rider,” which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year. The New York Times obituary includes an overview of his long and varied career.


R.I.P. Charlie Gillett

The veteran British DJ, who spent the last four decades bringing world music to a wider audience, has died at 68. The Guardian notes his impact on the globalized music scene:

His discoveries were numerous, from Johnnie Allen’s Cajun version of Chuck Berry’s Promised Land in the early 1970s, through Youssou N’Dour and Salif Keita to Mariza, the young singer of Portuguese fado music who went from appearances on Charlie’s show in 2001 to sellout concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Throughout the last decade he compiled CD anthologies, presenting the best of new music from around the world.

(Thanks for the tip, Frank.)


R.I.P. Alex Chilton

The singer-songwriter behind Big Star, the Box Tops and classic travel song “The Letter” died of a heart attack in New Orleans. He was 59.

The greatest tribute song to Chilton has already been written, by Paul Westerberg:


R.I.P. Peter Graves

The prolific actor who played Captain Oveur in “Airplane!” died of a heart attack Sunday. He was 83. Graves almost turned down the role in one of the greatest travel movies of all time. From the New York Times obituary:

But he was appalled when his agent sent him the script for the role of a pedophile pilot in “Airplane!” (1980). “I tore my hair and ranted and raved and said, ‘This is insane,’ he recalled on “Biography” in 1997. Some of the role’s lines (“Have you ever been in a Turkish prison?”) looked at first as if they could get him thrown in jail, never mind ruining his career. He told his agent to tell David and Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams, the director-producers, to find themselves a comedian. He relented when the Zucker brothers explained that the secret of their spoof would be the deadpan behavior of the cast; they didn’t want a comedian, they wanted the Peter Graves of “Fury” and “Mission: Impossible.”

Those lines are now movie classics. Entertainment Weekly honors Graves today with Peter Graves-y things to say today.

I’ll let his work speak for itself:

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R.I.P. J.D. Salinger

The famously reclusive novelist, best known for “The Catcher in the Rye,” has died at age 91. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks of Salinger, and his “Catcher” protagonist Holden Caulfield, as being inextricably linked to New York City, and to Central Park in particular. Here’s a memorable passage from the novel:

I live in New York, and I was thinking about the lagoon in Central Park, down near Central Park South. I was wondering if it would be frozen over when I got home, and if it was, where did the ducks go. I was wondering where the ducks went when the lagoon got all icy and frozen over. I wondered if some guy came in a truck and took them away to a zoo or something. Or if they just flew away.

World Hum contributor Beth Harpaz has a guide to Holden Caulfield’s New York City in USA Today.


R.I.P. Lhasa de Sela

The gifted Mexican-American musician, who sang in Spanish, English and French, succumbed to breast cancer Jan. 1. She was just 37.


R.I.P. 2009: From Mercedes Sosa to Frank McCourt

R.I.P. 2009: From Mercedes Sosa to Frank McCourt REUTERS

We said goodbye to writers, adventurers, musicians -- people who had an impact on travel and the way we see the world

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Tags: R.I.P.

R.I.P. National Geographic Adventure

The National Geographic Society announced today that its 10-year-old adventure title will cease publishing, apparently due to declining ad sales. This month’s issue will be its last. Here’s West Coast Editor Steve Casimiro on the loss of the magazine:

For those of you who are just passing readers of the magazine, its demise might be a mere curiosity or random note of economic discord. But for those of us who care about good writing, great photography, insight and curiosity and advocacy for an engaged relationship with the world at large, it is a truly remorseful day.

We interviewed National Geographic Adventure editor John Rasmus about a new travel anthology a couple months back.


R.I.P. Binion’s Hotel

R.I.P. Binion’s Hotel Photo by Eva Holland
Photo by Eva Holland

The “gambling hall” portion of Binion’s Gambling Hall and Hotel will remain open, at least for now, but KVBC is reporting that the venerable downtown Vegas casino is closing down its nearly 400 hotel rooms. Roughly 100 staff are being laid off, too. Sad news for those who prefer Fremont St.‘s vintage charms to the super-sized fun of the Strip. (Via @jenleo)


R.I.P. Claude Levi-Strauss

The famed structural anthropologist has died at 100. We blogged about his 100th birthday—and some of his travel-related accomplishments—just under a year ago:

Travel lit readers know him in part from his 1955 travel memoir of sorts, Tristes Tropiques, which begins with the memorable line, “I hate travelling and explorers.” More importantly, as NPR points out, Levi-Strauss “changed the world’s perception of so-called ‘primitive’ tribes in Asia, Africa and America.”


R.I.P. Kiddieland

The 80-year-old Illinois amusement park won’t be reopening next summer, USA Today reports. It’s a shame to see another vintage park closing its doors.


R.I.P. Gourmet

The 69-year-old magazine, which has published many fine foodie travel stories over the years, will be ceasing publication along with several other magazines cut this week at Conde Nast. Here’s just one travel classic from the Gourmet archives, David Foster Wallace’s Consider the Lobster.


R.I.P. Patrick Swayze

The actor has died at age 57, after a two-year battle with cancer. Swayze starred in the surfing favorite “Point Break,” and his biggest success, “Dirty Dancing,” recently made our list of great summer vacation movies.


R.I.P. Orient Express

Don’t worry: The modern, private luxury line to Venice is still going strong. But, as we’ve noted before, the last true descendant of the original Orient Express was a line from Strasbourg to Vienna—and that service has just been cut. The Independent’s Simon Calder offers an obituary:

As an announcement of a momentous death foretold, it is remarkably economical. “Train 468/469,” reports the September edition of the Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable “Strasbourg to Wien [Vienna] will finally be withdrawn.” Between those two phrases is the most momentous pair of words in European rail travel: Orient Express. Seventy-five years after the publication of Agatha Christie’s bestselling crime novel, Murder on the Orient Express, the train that epitomised trans-European travel for more than a century is finally being killed off.


R.I.P. John Hughes

Hughes, who wrote “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” has died of a heart attack at age 59. Other travel movie favorites from the prolific writer-director included “European Vacation,” “Christmas Vacation,” “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” and “The Great Outdoors”—the last two made our lists of great travel race movies and great summer vacation movies, respectively, while we gave “Vacation” the World Hum Travel Movie Club treatment for its 25th anniversary last summer.

For my part, I’ll never be able to visit Chicago without thinking of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” another Hughes classic.


R.I.P. Sandy van Ginkel, Montreal Architect

The Dutch-born architect and city planner, who is credited with saving the Old Montreal we know today from development, died earlier this month at 89. In the late 1950s, van Ginkel “almost single-handedly persuaded the good burghers of Montreal to abandon plans for an expressway that would have cut through the old city, destroying much of its heritage and the ambience that still draws tourists and visitors,” writes the Globe and Mail’s Sandra Martin.


R.I.P. Frank McCourt

The author of “Angela’s Ashes,” the Pulitzer-winning memoir about his impoverished Irish childhood, has died at 78. The Limerick Leader looks back at McCourt’s last visit to his childhood home, when he tagged along on the “Angela’s Ashes” walking tour, while Book Bencher Cressida Leyshon remembers editing the first excerpts of the unpublished manuscript for The New Yorker.


R.I.P. Julius Shulman

R.I.P. Julius Shulman REUTERS/Fred Prouser/Files
REUTERS/Fred Prouser/Files

The famed Los Angeles architectural photographer died yesterday at his home in Laurel Canyon at the age of 98. Among his most iconic photographs: a shot of Pierre Koenig’ Case Study House #22—the photo within the photo here.

Dwell magazine put it well: “His photography helped define mid-century modernism and no one can claim more credit for documenting, and in some ways inventing, what post-war California cool looked and felt like.”