expo 67 lounge

Mid-century fashion, vintage pop culture and retro cool... from Expo 67 and beyond.

30 April 2006

Expo 67 Through the Eyes of Lillian Seymour

This is an amazing collection of vintage vacation photos I came across while surfing the internet.

Taken by an elderly Lillian Seymour, an abandoned scrapbook of these photos was recently found on the streets in Cambridge, Massachusets. Included in the set are photos of the New York World's Fair in 1964, Expo 67, and Expo's 1968 follow-up: Man and His World.

Not much is known about Lillian Seymour, and this mystery intrigues me.

These photos are amazingly sophisticated for a little old lady on vacation...!

Of course, Lillian would never see the invention of the internet. I can't help but wonder, though, what she would say if she knew her pictures would one day be seen all across the world...

photo: www.flickr.com/photos/ninecormorants

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Colored Toilet Paper

By now you realize that I love the 60's and 70's. One of the things I love the most when it comes to popular design in those days is the unabashed use of color in just about everything.

I don't know exactly when sterile, boring white came back in style, but I'm really sick of it. Take appliancs for example: kitchen appliances use to come in all sorts of cool colors: Gold, Brown, Avocado, Red, etc. Now? White. Black. Oh yeah, and stainless steel. How exciting...

So, knowing how much I appreciate color, and how much I detest white, you can imagine my surprise, and, oddly enough, my delight in having seen colored toilet paper while in Paris last summer. I really flipped out! I even brought back some pink tissue...

Colored toliet paper was removed from most North American markets when it was rumored that the dyes caused allergies and just weren't "good for you"... I'd be willing to bet that bleached white toilet paper is just about as toxic.

We live in a society where nothing is "good for you" anymore. I even read an article that warns against food charbroiled on the barbecue. The burnt part is supposed to be carcinogenic. There are no little guilty pleasures left in life. Like flame-broiled steaks.

Or pink toilet paper.

photos: www.stephens-wholesale.co.uk


29 April 2006

Expo Opening Ceremonies

Expo 67 was officially inaugurated on a sun-filled April 27th, 1967.

39 years later, on an equally sun-filled afternoon, I accompanied my friend and fellow Expo 67 aficionado Denis on his traditional pilgrimage to the Expo islands. Denis and I headed to Place des Nations to watch archival footage of Expo's official opening on my iPod Video.

Place Des Nations was the ceremonial centerpiece of Expo 67, located at the western tip of Saint Helen's Island. All official ceremonies, as well as each participating countries' national days were celebrated there. Today, Place Des Nations is a modern concrete ruin. The place is pretty much abandoned except for the occasional outdoor concert.

Our day consisted of a tour of the Expo islands on foot, visits to the former U.S. pavilion and Place des Nations, ending with dinner at the Montreal Casino, the former France and Quebec pavilions.

Place des Nations photo: www.publicacts.ca


Why Expo 67?

Why do I love Expo 67 so much? That's a question many have asked me over the years. I was born in July 1977, ten years after Expo.

I think that Montreal was at it's peak during the 1960's. Montreal was certainly the coolest place in Canada at the time (still is if you ask me). There was such a sense of optimism in those days, people really thought they could change the world. Expo 67 was held to commemorate the centennial of Canada's Confederation (meaning Canada was 100 years old in '67), so there developped a sense of pride in being Canadian.

My favorite part of Expo 67 is the way in which people got dressed up to go to this international event. Women wore hats and gloves. There was a sense of respect and honor that people don't have these days.

Anyone who is old enough to have seen and remembered Expo say it's the best summer they ever had. Anyone who hadn't seen it have been told they really missed out on something special.

In this blog I plan to explore that Expo magic, and, in doing so, will feel a little closer to an extraordinary event.

photo: naid.sppsr.ucla.edu/expo67/



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