I never made it to the New York Renaissance Faire

Growing up in the New York area, I was exposed to all sorts of local advertising that will occasionally pop back into my brain. Recently I saw an ad for a local Renaissance Faire and it immediately got me thinking of this commercial for the New York Renaissance Faire/Festival. They would start airing these towards the end of summer and I would immediately begin bugging my family to take me to take me so that I could “spend a day with their knight”. Sadly we never went.

To this day I feel that I missed out on a grand opportunity for fun by never getting to go. It was the type of entertainment that would be in perfect alignment with my interest in history and especially fantasy roleplaying games.

I guess it is never too late to make something like this happen. Perhaps it is time for me to finally start working on that harlequin or rat catcher costume. So that next summer, under the blazing heat of the late august sun, I can be magically transported back in time by way of Sterling Forest.


This Classic Commercials for Seaman’s is all Information

This classic mid-eighties ad for “Seaman’s” does not mess around with flashy gimmicks. No, this is all business. I wonder if the star of the commercial read through the script and thought, “Wow, this is all me. For 30 seconds the entire NY/NJ/CT tri-state area will be hanging on my every word!”

He delivers the good and staring right into the camera and into our homes he breaks down how stupid we would all have to be to not take advantages of “Seaman’s” low low prices and easy credit. Just goes to show there are no boring parts, just boring actors. So when you have to explain department store credit, you own it and the world will stand up and take notices (30 years later).


1965 Hudson City Savings Bank Envelope

Well, I finally got the ol’ scanner working again and I have decided to jump into my many boxes of ephemera. My first handful that I scooped out are largely related to Northern New Jersey, but I think that many of you will get a kick out of the material even if you do not recognize the material from first hand experience.

This is an envelope that is from 1965, which you can see from the postmark (5 cents…what a bargain). It is for a bank that still exists today, “Hudson City Savings Bank”. While the bank might still be around, I am pretty sure they do not have envelopes this cool anymore. I especially like the pattern on the inside of the envelope. It is all very classy.




Enjoy this Legendary Commercial for Pantagis Famous Renascence in Scotch Plains, NJ

Pantagis Famous Renascence seems to still be going strong in beautiful Scotch Plains, but I doubt their advertising today is nowhere near as good as it was in the mid eighties when they ran this commercial. Featuring delicious looking food, theatrical Greek specialties, creepy clowns and a monkey on a pulley, this ad explicitly demonstrates that Pantagis Famous Renascence has everything and more!

Sadly I never got to go here during that magical decades, but this commercial more than makes up whatever sumptuous feasts I missed out on.

Why clown!!?


Action Park is Back!

Summer is here – time to go to Action Park! Luckily, fans of scraped knees and head injuries are in luck. Action Park is back!

I never had the chance to visit Action Park but it sounds like an amazing place; and a dangerous one at that. As the Retroist pointed out when he wrote about his experiences at Action Park, he wasn’t fully aware of the potential dangers of “Traction Park”.


Action Park has been called the most insane amusement park ever. From 1978-1996, it lived up to this claim. With numerous injuries and six deaths, it’s amazing that it was open as long as it was. By the mid-90s, declining visitation, operating without insurance, and mounting debt led to the closure of Action Park. As you’ll see in this short documentary from 2012, despite the insanity, folks still have fond memories of the park that was a lawsuit waiting to happen.

The park was purchased in 1997 and operated as Mountain Creek Waterpark until 2010 when it was sold back to some of the original owners. In 2012, owners decided to rebrand the park as Action Park once again. Declaring “The Action Is Back”, the park reopened this spring. The original Action Park logo is even back in place, presumably, as a throwback to visitor’s nostalgia.

If you’re in New Jersey, stop by Action Park and pick up an “I Survived Action Park” t-shirt. Take your chances on the Tarzan Swing, Zero G, or the Alpine Mountain Coaster. Hopefully, you leave the park with all your teeth and skin intact.



Everyone come join the fun at the Greater Westchester County Fair


If you grew up in the New York Tri-state area in the 1980s and owned a television, then I am sure you are well-acquainted with this ad for the Greater Westchester County Fair. I am not sure what sort of music the theme song is, maybe hoedown music, but whatever it was it was an earworm that wouldn’t leave my ear all summer. A couple of times I asked if my family could take a trip there, but it was met with little enthusiasm despite the promise of “rides, attractions and non-stop action.”

It felt oddly out-of-place to advertise the fair in such a countrified manner since it was being held Yonkers, but for me, that only added to the mystique.

Here are two commercials with the same music that ran during the 1980s.


Mid-1980s Jersey Shore Seaside Heights Commercial with Bonus Footage


Growing up in New Jersey, we had a selection of shore towns to visit during the summer. Where you went was largely based on where you parents had been taken as a kid. My parents were both Asbury Park people. As Asbury Park’s glory days faded though we moved to other boardwalks, chiefly Pt. Pleasant and Seaside Heights.

Those were exciting summer days and this commercial captures a lot of the magic I expected to find on the boardwalk at Seaside Heights. From the pizza to the rides to the video games, everything I liked about summer could be found on a boardwalk.

I hope you enjoy the commercial and that it gives you a taste of what the shore means to a lot of people who grew up within driving distance of it. Please stay after the commercial though, because the person who posted this video found the pre-edited footage shot for this commercial and included it. They have great shots of the beaches and boardwalk, Rainbow Rapids, Maruca’s Pizza, Razzles nightclub, Pac Man, Casino Pier, Sun-N-Fun signs, stands, The Carousel, Dotty’s, The Berkeley Sweet Shop, Sonny’s & Rickey’s, Midway Steaks, the rides The Barnegat Bay, crabbing, fishing, boardwalk wheels and much much more.

This is the Jersey Shore, before “The Jersey Shore”.