Cross-traffic in vintage communities

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by pdxvintagette, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. pdxvintagette

    pdxvintagette A-List Customer

    Messages:
    362
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    All of us here on the Lounge most likely have vintage-interest communities that we travel in out in the "real world."

    I swing dance, I enjoy rockabilly shows, and when I get down to San Francisco on the right weekends, I like to attend ADSC events. I've noticed that down in the Bay Area, there's a lot of "cross-traffic" - I guess that would be the right word - between the various vintage communities. I've run into people from from the Fedora Lounge at ADSC events**, people from the same events out dancing, and even once at Viva Las Vegas!

    In Portland, sadly there's very little of this. I have a good community of vintage-interest gal friends, but they don't usually dance, and aren't on the Lounge. Nor do the Portland Floungers go out to swing events. Most of the Midcentury Mod League doesn't get out to things outside their circle of events, either.

    How is it where YOU are? How involved are you with the different vintage-interest communities around you (historical societies, collectors leagues, preservation groups, dance/swing/rockabilly scenes, etc) and how much cross-traffic do you see? And don't you think that the more there is the better and richer each community will be?


    (** And was recognized by my avatar pic! Kudos to the Wingnut.)
     
  2. SassyLindaB

    SassyLindaB Familiar Face

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I'd love to join vintage groups if I could find some here in Sydney....I'm not much of a dancer though...two left feet, but I would go for the interaction.

    I moved from my home state of Western Australia to here in Sydney 3 years ago and although I am a friendly and chatty person I have never really made any friends...the closest I have are my students but we don't intereact out of class....how pathetic am I? lol
     
  3. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,441
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    My brother restored old tractors when he was alive.

    I'd like to see more of my swing dance teacher, but we keep such different schedules it's hard.
     
  4. Inky

    Inky One Too Many

    It's varied here - there is a big rockabilly crowd, big relative to the small central coast county we live in, but I haven't the foggiest where they hang out, and they are a bit young for me to hang out with anyway ;) I see them at shows sometimes. We have two rockabilly/psychobilly/pin up stores here, about 20 minutes away from each other, a rockabilly barber and a great hip salon that specializes in vintage styles, and i know of at least two other stylists that specialize in the same. So there is enough "going on" out there that there are a few business catering to the crowd. We have a TON of antique/thrift stores as well, again relative to the rural area.

    We took up swing dancing this year hoping we'd find other like minded individuals, but no such luck. There are two diverse crowds into the swing dance scene - the younger college crowd is famous for their crazy lindy steps, and an older crowd (they primarily favor west coast swing) puts on some good shows/dance venues once a quarter. We do have two swing dance spots weekly here, and then every other week at the local dance class location, but actually none of those people dress vintage, except the first Monday of the month at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo is vintage night - but sadly Monday night dancing is out of the question for us due to schedules, and it's the aforementioned college crowd.

    We went to several car shows this past summer, but you would have thought I was walking around in a balll gown or something (i wore dungarees, a black sweater, rosie style bandana and carried a parasol against the sun!) the way people stared. Most of the car show folks were 60+ and thought we were crazy. Oh well, to each their own.

    So basically we don't have any vintage-y friends here, but we don't care, we still go out and dress up and just enjoy being ourselves. This weekend we went to the local rock dive/sports bar and there was a great funk band playing - and yes, we pulled out some east coast swing moves and more than a few guys and gals commented (positively) on our style ;) maybe, just maybe we can find some other vintage lovers out there somewhere. Or some willing converts!
     
  5. Fletch

    Fletch I'll Lock Up

    If I'm right, the rules are different in SF and LA, because the scene is so old and accepted. Those are also very large cities, where it's cooler to mix with different crowds.

    In other places, I can imagine sticking with your own kind is more natural. The activity becomes the focus and not the era. Dance people stick to dance, car people to cars, and some groups are surely female- or male-dominated.
     
  6. Ms. McGraw

    Ms. McGraw One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    Ohio
    I feel pretty comforatable saying rockabilly isn't a disease, and as that rockabilly fans tend to enjoy my bf's own brand of "mid-western swing" we've spent a lot of time attending events lumped into that category (even though I would argue the accuracy of the categorization of many bands placed in that genre). Being avid hot rodders we spend a lot of time attending car events and I would say that in Northeast Ohio the two mingle in a reasonably amicable fashion. Unfortunately, I don't see as much crossover here from folks who participate in other vintage-minded "scenes" like swing dancing or even reenacting as I do closer to larger cities like Chicago. I have several friends there that are reenactors AND hot rodders AND some of them even like to dance! I like to see "cross-traffic". It allows people to broaden their horizons within the vintage spectrum, make new friends, and network to share information.
     
  7. Dr Doran

    Dr Doran My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,852
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    My Bay Area Vintage Perceptions ...

    I haven't gone to a rockabilly event in quite a while. I'm due for one. My former best friend went rockabilly all of a sudden in about 1999 and started claiming old rockabilly roots (complete nonsense, he was a latter day punk rocker before) so I avoided that scene for a little bit, but I like the music and I'd like to go to more rockabilly shows again. As for the other vintage things I like, I meet up with Fedora Lounge people once in a while here and in Portland, and I go to Art Deco Society events here, although at the latter, a lot of the people are considerably older than I am. I also hang out at Church of Sinatra sometimes, which is on Sunday nights in San Francisco (Julie, if you don't know about it, drop me a line). Naturally, that's much more 1950s and 1960s, but there are people who go there who love the 1930s too, such as Tim Stookey, the bartender at the Presidio Club.

    A lot of the vintage people around here and the vintage stores around here in Berkeley specialize in 1970s and even 1980s "vintage" and I'm just not into that, though. I have to draw the line at mid-sixties at the very, very latest.

    My friend Jaspreet has spent his recent years at Oxford in England and says that half the students there do a Brideshead Revisited thing stylistically. I'd love to see that. I wish I had done grad school there instead of at Berkeley where I get looked at funny because I don't wear tie-dye. My ideal picture would be to live in a place where our period interests weren't so much of a subculture but just an interest that lots and lots of people have, just the same way that lots of people like to read certain periods of literature (ancient, for me) or enjoy watching sports.
     
  8. Rachael

    Rachael A-List Customer

    Messages:
    466
    Location:
    Stumptown West
    I don't know about anywhere else, but here in Portland I would say there is cross traffic:

    [​IMG]
    Oregon Regency Society

    [​IMG]
    Ladies' Tea Society

    [​IMG]
    NW Civil War Council

    Of course, it could be just me.
     
  9. reetpleat

    reetpleat Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,681
    Location:
    Seattle
    I would expect anyone into civil war reenactment, would also be into regency or victorian. I think they are bound to be lumped together.

    As far as rockabilly., thing is, rockabilly is a popular trend that is getting less and less vintage oriented. many rockabilly people are not all that into the fifties or the past. They are interested in their particular things, tatoos, pompadours, cars, music that may or may not be vintage style. the style is all fifties, kind of, but it is now a modern style that kids can adopt knowing very little and caring less about the actual era. whereas golden era aficionados are into it because a certain love for the era. Not to put them down. I just mean that kids get into it not because they look to the past, but because they dress like their peers.

    In San Francisco when I live there, the rockabilly crowd looked down on the swing and golden era crowd because they were still mad about the dancers ruining certain venues, and a guy in jeans tshirt and tatoos pretending to be a fifties working class guy will not have much appreciation for a nice suit or hat.

    the lounge mod crowd that I have known tend to be rather stuffy and snobby, so they don't want to mix with anybody. But some of them are alright.

    Other groups like the gear head crowd are into cars and their scene so again, don't have much appreciation for history or past eras.

    Of course San Francisco has a lot of people and a lot of people into unusual hobbies, plus a lot of venues to keep that alive. But while there is cross over, there is not near as much as back in the early days when the swing music, rockabilly even punk crowd was a lot of the same people, and for a short while, they kind of joined with the lindy hop crowd that existed back in the 80s and early 90s, and also the existing art deco crowd. But it got big enough to fracture and most groups went their separate ways.

    I do think it is too bad there is not much cross over. But most people are into their thing and not necessery into all past eras.
     
  10. pdxvintagette

    pdxvintagette A-List Customer

    Messages:
    362
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I think I would call those all historical-interest, vs. vintage-interest. I would not expect large amounts of people from any of those communities to neccessarily cross over into 1920's-60's groups. (My best friend does do Civil War re-enactments as well as being one of the snappiest vintage dressers around - but I still consider them divergent interests. Maybe he'd correct me on that.)


    It doesn't surprise me that those three groups cross-over, though.
     
  11. Dr Doran

    Dr Doran My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,852
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Yes, the first thing my former best friend did when he decided that he was now a rockabilly is cultivate a particularly transparently conformist scorn for the swing folks. I thought it was very dumb.

    In about 1993 I used to hang at Club Deluxe on Haight Street in San Francisco with Scotty Rehlaender, him being completely duded up in 1940s gear, and I sometimes did the "no hair at all and no eyebrows" thing in that period. I think by 1993, though, it was looking pretty weird, even though I had a bowler derby.
     
  12. Guttersnipe

    Guttersnipe One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,942
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I agree with you on that.

    Being a bonnafied rockabilly, vintage swell, and a civil war reenactor, I think there is a decided separation between "historical" and "vintage." In 15 years of reenacting, I can only think of a couple of reenactors who I've known who are also into "RAB" or vintage.
     
  13. arthur

    arthur Suspended

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    island lake il.
    I'm from the Chicago area and I don't experience much of any kind of scene that could mix if it wanted too.My wife and I are learning to swing dance but the opportunity's to dance are both far in time and distance.I'm really into postwar to pre-Elvis fashion and lifestyle,but I'm 46 yrs old and square as can be so the idea of mixing with a bunch of kids at a psychobilly concert is about as appealing as stubbing my toe on the way to the loo at three in the morning.
     
  14. Flivver

    Flivver Practically Family

    Messages:
    821
    Location:
    New England
    I attend both old car and antique radio shows and swap meets in the Northeast. Many of my friends are also interested in both of these areas, and I see many of the same faces at these events.

    I guess radios and cars would tend to appeal to the same people. They're both style driven consumer products that strongly evoke the era in which they were made...and they both depend on technology as a differentiator. They're both fun to work on and they actually "perform" when put back in working condition.
     
  15. Ms. McGraw

    Ms. McGraw One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    Ohio
    Wow! I guess I should thank my lucky stars I live in the Midwest. Most of the folks I know that are into rockabilly are just as much immersed in vintage living and concerned with remaining period correct as my fellow loungers who may have an interest in an earlier era. It seems I’m even more lucky that they seem to be so friendly in comparison as well.
     
  16. BeBopBaby

    BeBopBaby One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,176
    Location:
    The Rust Belt
    You can add my husband and I to that list. We both do 18th century living history demos and re-enactments -and- we also enjoy RAB and vintage. Hubby is also in a honky tonk/hillbilly band and he does a 1790s era Wayne's Fourth Sub Legion soldier impression. I am but his lowly camp follower/cook. lol

    I think looking into our closets would confuse a lot of people. We've always been avid lovers of the past - whether it be vintage or historical. Maybe we need to start a new discussion board for the vintage & historical people to further pigeon hole the sub cultures and confuse people. Colonialbilly, Civilbilly... lol
     
  17. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,441
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Kind of sounds like Ol' Hickory returned to life.
     
  18. Fletch

    Fletch I'll Lock Up

    They're also both about one hundred percent male workin' joe oriented. This offers a good chance to get away from da missus and spend some serious shed time. Never underestimate the appeal of that.
     
  19. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,938
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I don't have any vintage friends where I live - but I haven't really ventured out into the vintage scene, if there is one. I do know they have a few nice dance places where they do swing dancing every once in awhile.

    I would probably be one of those weird people who did the 18th century/Regency/Victoria reenactment as well as the 1940s. I love all those time periods. :D
     
  20. epr25

    epr25 Practically Family

    Messages:
    622
    Location:
    fort wayne indiana
    I wish there was a vintage, rockabilly, historical scene at all in my area. As far as I am aware of there is nothing. So count your blessing all you people that have scenes to choose from. The only other vintage person I have ran into in my town I totally got snubbed and she was completely unfriendly. So I guess my only vintage scene (besides the one in my head) is here.
     

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