We’re Moving!

We have been remiss in our correspondence as of late but with good reason!

Darlings, Miss Havisham’s Tea is dipping our toe into new waters.

Firstly, we are moving our blog to www.MissHavishamsCuriosities.com.

Because we’re really more of a lifestyle movement after all, aren’t we dearies? Why limit ourselves to tea and gossip?

All of our content, social media, and discussion forums will now be in one lovely little hub.

Secondly, and this is a big one, we will be adding an online store in the near future.

So many of those trinkets we’ve showcased will eventually be available to you online. How else can a lady support her weekend flea market addiction?

And so it is out with the old and in with the new including our fancy new logo courtesy of Mr. Havisham (Thank you, Tim).

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So please visit us at our new home, subscribe to our newsletter, and look out for more exciting announcements soon.

xoxo

Miss Havisham’s Curiosities

We’re getting curiouser and curiouser…

War Brides and Movie Stars: The Queen Mary

This is my love letter to the Queen Mary.

Docked in Long Beach, the Queen Mary is rumored to be one of the 10 most haunted sites in the country and for a small fee you can take one of her many tours including several night time ghost walks.

I’m not going to lie, whenever we go to the Queen Mary, we are usually the youngest people there by a good 30 years, but that’s probably part of why I love it. There are a number of exhibits that, frankly, I am not the target audience for like the Princess Diana exhibit, but just walking around the ship and looking at the art deco interiors is enough to keep me coming back.

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The Queen Mary made her maiden voyage in 1936 and was considered the height of luxury. “She boasted five dining areas and lounges, two cocktail bars and swimming pools, a grand ballroom, a squash court and even a small hospital. The Queen Mary had set a new benchmark in transatlantic travel, which the rich and famous considered as the only civilized way to travel. She quickly seized the hearts and imaginations of the public on both sides of the Atlantic, representing the spirit of an era known for its elegance, class and style.” -QueenMary.com. Photos are also from the ship’s website.

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My favorite exhibit is a display of the collected memories of former passengers. It’s a poignant look into life during the war because after those first three glamorous years, the Queen Mary became a warship transporting soldiers to Europe for World War II. As many as 16,000 soldiers were transported during the war. Painted to camouflage her from enemy sights, she was nicknamed “The Grey Ghost.”

The ship’s website also tells us that “Adolph Hitler offered $250,000 and the Iron Cross to any U-boat Captain that could sink the Queen Mary.”

After the signing of the armistice in May 1945, the Queen Mary was dedicated to bringing US troops home and, more interestingly, carried thousands of war brides and children born to American soldiers to the US to begin their new lives.

One woman recalls leaving England to join a husband she hadn’t seen in two years. She said she didn’t recognize him out of uniform. Watch her story here.

The following pages are taken from a promotional pamphlet for the Queen Mary who was bigger and faster than the Titanic.

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A few of the deco details (pictured above) that were restored to the ship after it was decommissioned in 1946. It was returned to its former glory and sailed for nearly two more decades of commercial use.

With the rise of commercial airlines and the decline in the market for luxury sea travel, the ship was sold to the city of Long Beach in 1967 for $3.45 million. She docked in Long Beach after her final cruise and she has remained there ever since as a hotel, museum and events space. She was even in an episode of Arrested Development. Lucille Bluth hijacks her and there are gay sailors. Heaven.

While a bit shabby, the rooms still maintain their original charm. Just go in with an appreciation of what the lady’s been through and what she’s done for so many people. Aging gracefully is a bit rare here in LA so let’s embrace it, hmmm?

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We had tea on the ship twice. It was great. The waiter, clearly accustomed to explaining every single detail of the tea service, was so delightfully bored by his own talking that I wanted to wink at him and say, “Shhhh, it’s ok. We don’t really care, just bring me all of it and I will eat it.”

He seemed to sense it though and did exactly that. I left feeling like I had willingly done terrible things to myself by eating so many scones, but then returned and did it again recently and will surely do it again soon. Make reservations and try to go on a weekday or you’ll be surrounded by screeching bridal showers and fussy groups of ladies asking all those questions our waiter friend is so very tired of answering.

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There are any number of events throughout the year you can use as an excuse to visit the ship. The Fourth of July is a big one and usually sells out right away. I hear the fireworks are to die for and yes, there are themed old timey sections where you can drink and get rowdy. Valentine’s day is another one, bask in the vintage romance. Halloween is a bit crazy there so be warned. There are lots of teenagers going to the haunted house, loud music. Meh. We recently went to a flea market next to the ship which was small but fun and came with free admission to the boat. Check out their calendar of events here, you’ll find something to do, I’m sure.

The Art Deco Society of Los Angeles apparently hosts an Art Deco Festival on the ship in August. Side note: the society also seems to host a lot of drinking events at historic bars…interesting. Cocktails and pretty? Yes.

Now the big question, is The Queen Mary HAUNTED?

There have been numerous sitings and as many as 150 different spirits have been “documented.” At least 49 people have died on the boat. If ever a place SHOULD be haunted, it’s this one. The engine room is supposed to be the hotbed of paranormal activity. It is definitely creepy.

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Also on the haunted list: both of the swimming pools. A young girl is said to have drowned in one of the pools. Again, it is creepy.

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And here it is empty…even more creepy.

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The number of spooky stories is countless, doors slamming, phones ringing, a phantom baby that cries. Stateroom B340 is no longer rented to the public because of its supposed paranormal activity. Faucets are said to turn on by themselves and the bedsheets fly across the room.You can read all about the ghosties on Haunted Honeymoon.

So is she really haunted? Rumor says yes. I can’t confirm it. While I barely slept the night I spent there, it was largely due to the air conditioning vent being aimed right at my delicate little face and the sink drip drip dripping and…my waiting for the ghosts to come. No ghosts came. It should also be noted that Tim slept like the dead.

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The boat does offer their own ghost tours…plural. I haven’t done any of them. If you do, email me because I’m curious about all the secrets that lurk inside The Grey Ghost. It should also be noted that this is the first in a series of haunted hotel reviews. Stay tuned.

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Port bow view of the QUEEN MARY at anchor. The Queen Mary on war service. 28 September 1944, Greenock. The 84000 ton Cunard Liner Queen Mary in her grey white war paint as she prepared to make another atlantic crossing taking wounded us troops back to America.

May your nights on the ship be spine tingling. xoxo

 

 

Freaky Friday

Welcome to Freaky Fridays where I post links to the odd and the fantastic. Thank you to my friends, especially Sally and Susan, who provided me with pure gold this week. Have a weird news story? Send it to dearmisshavisham@gmail.com

Cameos carved from Oreos by artist, Judith G. Klausner. Delicious.

Mugshots of female criminals of the Edwardian period as found on Dangerous Minds. These ladies will cut you.

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Want to sleep in the Paris Catacombs? I mean, who doesn’t? It was listed on AirBnB as a contest (I didn’t win).

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A pony dressed like a unicorn leads police on a wild chase near Fresno. I love everything about this story.

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Then there are people bending over and filming themselves as creepy round creatures. I hate everything about this story.

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Folk art from the golden age of secret societies? Yes. On display at the American Folk Art Museum in Manhattan until May 8.

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18 rare catbreeds you’ve maybe never heard of. I like cats, shut up.

Who hasn’t done a thing or two out of spite? Would you build a house just to infuriate your neighbors? Explore the concept of the spite house as found on Hyperallergic.

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You just have to love the British. Giant walking porcelain dolls spotted all over London. Brilliant.

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Likewise, a pack of Miss Havishams took to the streets and subways to promote the BBC’s version of Great Expectations. Flattering, dearies, flattering.

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May your weekend be filled with mirth. xoxo

Miss Havisham’s March Appointments

March! Ever striving to approach the majesty of Martha Stewart herself, I humbly submit my own schedule for your eagle eyes. Here are the LA events I will be attending in the next few weeks, maybe I’ll see you there, dearies.

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Miss Havisham’s March Social Obligations:

Thursday, March 3 Planned Parenthood LA’s Food Fare

Like food? Like reproductive freedom? Believe in affordable healthcare for women? Then attend Los Angeles Planned Parenthood’s annual fundraiser. There will be well over 150 of LA’s best restaurants, caterers, wineries, breweries, libations and vendors. Proceeds from Food Fare benefit Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.

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Friday, March 4 Le Bal Drag

A one night drag extravaganza at the Ace Hotel Theater. “An homage to the last sixty years of variety entertainment, Le Bal brings the art form of drag back to the stage and seeks to introduce new audiences to counterculture entertainment. The production celebrates the evolution of variety performance, from cabaret to theatre to contemporary drag.”

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Saturday, March 5 Halloween Club’s 4th Annual Spook Show

“This all-day outdoor festival will be filled with a curated selection of Southern California’s local spook makers, vendors, artists, collectors, cooks, teachers, musicians and enthusiasts of Halloween.”

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Sunday, March 6 CicLAvia The Valley

“CicLAvia temporarily closes streets to car traffic and opens them to Los Angelenos to use as a public park. Free for all, CicLAvia connects communities to each other across an expansive city, creating a safe place to bike, walk, skate, roll, and dance through Los Angeles.”

I’ll be the girl with the red bike with baskets and a bell looking fashionable and wildly out of shape.

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Sunday, March 6 Alice in Wonderland Tea

The Victorian Tea and Dance Society is new to me. They are apparently hosting an Alice in Wonderland themed tea with dance lessons. Will there be magic mushrooms?

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Wednesday March 9 Miss Havisham dines at Bestia for the day of her birth.

That’s right, it’s my 153rd birthday and have finally secured a reservation at Bestia. Review to come. Nom nom.

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Friday, March 11 Poltergeist screens at The Great Horror Movie Night 

Come to an outdoor screening in the old zoo in Griffith Park brought to you by the same folks to run The Great Horror Campout each year.

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Saturday, March 12 Brewery Tour

Atlas Obscura hosts a tour of The Brewery Arts Complex  which is composed of twenty-one former warehouses (including the Edison Electric Steam Power Plant and Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery) and is known as one of the oldest and largest art colonies in the world.

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Saturday, March 12 and Sunday March 13 Cherry Blossom Festival

Descanso Gardens will be filled with cherry blossoms and those who flock to view them.

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Saturday, March 12 Jane Austen Spring Assembly

The Victorian Tea and Dance Society annual Jane Austen fete. It is apparently the biggest event they throw. I, for one, have two left feet but I’m told the dance lessons are fun.

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Sunday, March 13 Spa Day for Miss Havisham

The lady will be accepting no invitations this day, apologies. In the words of Dolly Parton, “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.”

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Sunday, March 13 Rose Bowl Flea Market

I need to get one of those collapsible wagons this time and a sun hat. It’s time to get serious.

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Friday, March 18 Odd Nights at the Autry Museum

Flea markets abound! Crafts, food vendors, live music. And who doesn’t love a cowboy museum? Select galleries will be open as well.

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Saturday, March 19 Gardening classes at Theodore Payne

Back to back California native gardening classes. My day is planned.

Native Plant Garden Maintenance with Lili Singer 9:00-1:00 pm

Designing with Color in the Native Garden with Steve Gerischer 1:30-3:30 pm

Must bring a snack. Must bring a snack. Must bring a snack. I always forget.

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Saturday, March 19 Esotouric’s Birth of Noir Tour

If you don’t know about Esotouric, get in the know. Murder, mayhem and the occult are the focus of these LA tours. They’ll take you to the underbelly of LA’s past while riding comfortably on an air conditioned bus. These aren’t your typical tourist attractions.

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Sunday, March 20 Pet Cemetery Tour

Another gem by Atlas Obscura. Tour America’s largest pet cemetery with writer, Hadley Meares.

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Sunday, March 20 Long Beach Antiques Market

My favorite of the flea markets. Antiques galore. Check out some of my previous finds here.

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Saturday, March 26 Esotouric’s Hotel Horrors and Mainstreet Vice Tour

Another great tour offering by Esotouric. I haven’t done this one before.

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Saturday, March 26 Pretty in Pink

Street Food Cinema presents the 30th anniversary of the teen angst and fashion DIY film, Pretty in Pink.

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Have an event you’d like us to review? In the LA area and like to have tea? Email us at dearmisshavisham@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday, Edward Gorey

The king of creepy himself. The duke of dainty death. He inspired a generation of illustrators and storytellers. He thrilled and terrified children across the globe. The one, the only, Edward Gorey.

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He had a lot of cats.

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I’d bake him a cake if I could.

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Kafka had nothing on him.

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I bet he knew how to treat a lady.

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He looked fantastic in fur.

People like really really looove Edward Gorey. There was an Edward Gorey Ball in LA. It was before I moved here. Let’s have another!

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He loved Halloween. He inspired Tim Burton.

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What are these creatures? I love them.

Check out 13 Facts You Didn’t Know about Edward Gorey

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I hope he is in heaven covered in cats, drinking tea, and eating cake just as I shall be this evening.

 

Freaky Fridays

Welcome to Freaky Fridays where I post links to the odd and the fantastic. Thank you to my friends, especially Sally and Andrea, who provided me with pure gold this week. Have a weird news story? Send it to dearmisshavisham@gmail.com

Breaking News (hardly): George Washington’s teeth weren’t made of wood says Smithsonian.

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Curbed wants you to party like the Bauhaus did and so does Miss Havisham.

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If you ever find yourself in Budapest, you simply must go to Memento Park which is essentially where all communist statues go to retire. After the fall of communism most of statues and monuments pertaining to that period of history were immediately removed from around Budapest. Here they now live for your viewing pleasure.

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The controversial practice of sin eating existed from Medieval times up through the early 20th century. Believe your sins can be consumed by another person leaving your soul free to enter the kingdom of heaven? The church sure didn’t think so.  Read all about it here.

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I am obsessed with this story. Read about the Russian family who lived alone in the Siberian wilderness for over 40 years then watch the video by Vice of the last surviving member of the family. They had no idea WWII ever happened.

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Love taxidermy, hate the idea of dead animals? These beautiful pieces by artist Kelly Jelinek may even be better than the real thing.

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And another:

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I’m not going to lie, I hate this furry nail trend as reported by Bored Panda. No person who actually needs to USE THEIR HANDS could have these. It has to be a joke or some runway fashion gimmick, right? Very teen wolf, baby.

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Only slightly less practical are the Guinness Book famous nails of Lee Redmond who owned the longest natural lady nails in the world. Sadly, Ms Redmond lost her nails in a car accident. She tells of her tragic loss here.

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Want to stay young forever? Try the vampire line of cosmetic procedures where blood is injected into your various body parts for a youthful undead glow. I’ve been bathing in the blood of doves for centuries, dearies. How do you think Elvira stays so young?

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And I leave you with some real life haunted houses for sale.

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May your weekend be fantastically fanatical.  xoxo