Thursday, May 23, 2013

Flower Mart, December 1959

The Flower Mart lasted a long time; for over 20 years, baskets and bouquets of artificial flowers brightened West Center Street. I wonder if that means that the sale of these faux blossoms was pretty brisk? 

The boy reminds me of Lon Chaney Jr. (I'm honestly not trying to be unkind), and the lady reminds me of Barbara Bel Geddes in "Rear Window". She also reminds me of my favorite teacher, Mrs. Cole, from second grade. I loved her! I wonder what they are both looking at... maybe they are reading the names on the second-story windows.


Nanook said...

Barbara Bel Geddes - well kinda. But Mrs. Cole - absolutely-!

Nancy said...

The flowers certainly were popular. I never noticed the little hanging pots there on the wall before.

I love the soft coloration on the second image, especially the sunshine showing thru trees on the right :-)

CoxPilot said...

The great thing about the area was the smell that came from the candle shop. It made all those plastic flowers seem real. I remember sitting outside at the Carnation Co. and enjoying the atmosphere.

K. Martinez said...

Do you think those potted plants in the lower right corner of the first image were for sale? Or just real potted plants used as props?

I love the soft color feel of these images. Very dreamlike.

Raimundo said...

Major, from a Hitchcock fan: Bel Geddes was in "Vertigo" and several episodes of Hitch's TV show. The blonde on the left resembles Doris Day, or maybe she's Betsy Palmer.

Anonymous said...

@CoxPilot. I remember that candle scent too.

This was a favorite spot for my Mom. We always spent a few minutes at the end of the day browsing through here, but I was in a hurry to get to the bookstore.

These are wonderful pictures, the colors are so gentle. The young man is so patient with his mother.

I remember the place much brighter, maybe because the '70's color schemes were less subdued.

Thanks, Major.


Brian Fies said...

As a kid/teen, I never "got" the Flower Mart. Who goes to Disneyland to buy flowers? I never saw anyone walking around the park carrying a bouquet. I didn't know if they were for sale or just for show (part of the Main Street atmosphere), real or fake. In fact, I may not have known they were fake until I read this post; were they ALL fake? Even though I appreciate the Mart in retrospect, it still seems a strange use of prime space to me.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I wonder how accurate my memory of my 2nd grade teacher is… if I could put it side by side with a photograph from that time, would it be completely different?

Nancy, the coloration is soft because these slides had turned magenta, and this is the best I could do at correcting it.

CoxPilot, that is an interesting factoid! Thanks!

K. Martinez, I really have no idea, though I would assume they were for sale. Money talks!

Raimundo, well, I feel like a dummy! Of course Barbara Bel Geddes was NOT in "Rear Window". Not sure how my brain did that, but that's what I get for writing posts in a hurry.

JG, did your mom ever buy anything at the Flower Mart? I am positive that the actual mart would have been pretty dazzling.

Brian Fies, it IS a weird feature… almost as if they couldn't think of anything else to put there. It has a kind of Parisian feel to it. As for buying the flowers, I believe that they would ship them to you once they were paid for.

CoxPilot said...

Major: Even though your pics have an obvious magenta cast, the look of the area is "right on". I can say that because I have a very good visual memory, and my graphic arts training helped. It was quite bright and the colors seemed to all blend together. The sun seemed to wash out all the colors until late afternoon, then it all took on a gray/green cast. Then, when dark came and the lights came on, it was magic.

ps: I remember quite a few people buying the flowers. In those days (and having them shipped). It was unique to find all those kinds of flowers in one place. A lot of them were cotton or silk, and were quite expensive. (The ones under the canopy were the best ones.) Most were imported from France and Italy, and actually very little of them were plastic.

K.M.: Yes, everything in the photos are "fake", except for the potted trees, which were part of Carnation.

Major Pepperidge said...

CoxPilot, thanks for sharing your great memories! I can almost see it for myself. The flower mart must have been there when I was a kid, but something like that would not have interested me at all. I always wanted to see the monster masks in the magic shop!

K. Martinez said...

CoxPilot - Thanks for answering my question. I had no idea the potted plants were part of Carnation.

Anonymous said...

@Major: Yes, Mom bought items here almost every trip, also from the candle shop.

She had several bouquets made up and cycled them seasonally in our home. I remember the "spring" and "fall" vividly. She put them on the big console TV.

Many of her flowers were bought here. Fancy shops at home carried similar things, but not in so dramatic a setting. Decorating with artificial flowers was more common in the '60's, I don't recall it becoming considered "tacky" until later.

We usually stopped at the end of the day, so carrying an arrangement to the car wasn't a big deal.

She also gave them as gifts. Cox is right, the merchandise was very high quality and rather expensive.


Unknown said...

Gorgeous shots! I love how nicely everyone used to dress!

Unknown said...

Gorgeous shots! I love how nicely everyone used to dress!