Monday, November 10, 2008

More Sopapias, Please

We are expecting snow today. Right now it's cold and rainy. I spent part of the morning trying to persuade SuperCat to let me read to her. Today, for whatever reason, she wants to play on the computer. Mean mommy (me) has other ideas, though, so we've been having a tug-of-war over what we're going to do. While she was working on her computer, I was arranging photos on Picassa(^), labeling photos of Casa Bonita.

Every time we go to Casa Bonita(^), I feel as though I should be taking more pictures.

Casa Bonita, known to many people because of the South Park episode(^) of the same name, is a real place. A huge, cavernous Mexican-themed restaurant with cliff divers, rampaging gorillas, Black Bart's Cave, a volcano and all the other stuff Eric Cartman schemes to go see.

The food is, at best, so-so. But you don't really go for the food; you go for everything else.

Casa Bonita is a few minutes west of downtown Denver, but is actually in Lakewood, Colorado. It's on Colfax Avenue, not the best part of town, in a shopping center. So, you're driving along one motel after the next, gas stations, liquor stores, and so on, until all of a sudden, on your left, is the garish, bright pink facade in the corner of a half-empty shopping center.

After our last visit, it was still bright outside when we were done with dinner, and I took a lot of pictures of Colfax itself, which will be in my next post.

We make a point of taking the kids once a year, or when someone from out of town wants to visit. I always take tons of pictures; the colors are bright and garish, there is a vintage puppet theatre and old gaming devices (think: tall wooden love tester and the Zoltar Speaks fortune telling machine in Big(^)). Between the vintage artifacts, the colors, the lights, the people in costumes, and the rest, there is the sense of stepping into a freaky perpetual carnival.

I take a lot of photos in Casa Bonita. It doesn't matter how many times I've been, I take tons of photos and have a special fascination for the puppet theatre. It's wooden, carved with angels and jesters and strange little faces with a zillion layers of paint.

Here is a photo of the jester on the puppet theatre:
From Casa Bonita Interior
That was taken with flash. I don't like photos taken in the dark with an unfiltered flash, and this is no different. The room is normally dark, lit only by tiny light bulbs and some neon, and this not how it looks in real life. Standing in front of the puppet theatre, you notice the dark shadows and the blinking marquee lights that briefly illuminate features on the face of the center jester.
Like this:
From Casa Bonita Interior

Or this:
From Casa Bonita Interior

or this:
From Casa Bonita Interior


or this:
From Casa Bonita Interior

or this:
From Casa Bonita Interior

They aren't perfect... I guess that 'perfect' would be to be able to photograph what I see. Does anyone ever happy with their photographs? I am rarely, unless they are photos of my children or my husband. Those are always perfect.

More of the puppet theatre:
From Casa Bonita Interior

Angels positioned on the side. I am guessing that these were added later, since the jester and the grimacing faces seem a bit more sinister and mean than the angels.
From Casa Bonita Interior

Never wonder why I have a clown phobia (which is called Coulrophobia(^), in case you were wondering. Which you probably weren't. But still.

Clowns.

Yuck.
From Casa Bonita Interior

If you've seen the South Park episode, Black Bart's Cave is mentioned (Cartman: Come on, you guys! Black Bart's Cave!). This skull is carved into the outside of the cave. Inside is a narrow, dark passageway that winds its way around and around.
From Casa Bonita Interior

I don't know why the following few came out the way they did. They look almost double-exposed, but that's not possible on my camera, as far as I know. Even setting the camera on a hard surface didn't fix them, so the camera wasn't shaking.
From Casa Bonita Interior

From Casa Bonita Interior

Close up of a skull on a tree:
From Casa Bonita Interior

I was really disappointed with the next photo. It's of the "Love Tester" machine, which is really cool. All wood and glass and metal. Proto-video game, I guess. Anyway, it's spiffy and deserved a lot better than the out-of-focus blur I ended up with.
From Casa Bonita Interior


Next summer on our annual trek, or sooner if someone visiting who wants to go, I'll take more to add to the hundreds I already have. There is a neat jail cell I'd like to photograph, other old machines, lots of things.

By the way, if you'd like to see the Casa Bonita episode of South Park, here it is at South Park Studios(^). It is South Park, so here's your naughty language warning.

Namaste.

1 comment:

Taru said...

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Sarah

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