Does Hotel Del Ring a Bell?

First Issue (2008)

The first online edition of Zoom Street appeared November 1st, 2008. It was born not far from the Hotel Del Coronado. I was living on the island at the time and the Del was such a familiar landmark I never bothered to photograph it. A forest-from-the-trees kind of thing. Well, I did take a night shot of some palms from one of its patios facing the ocean, but not the grand structure itself.

Now, living in northern California, I miss the old place. But to really kick up the nostalgia, you’ve got to get your hands on WISH YOU WERE HERE: VINTAGE POSTCARDS FROM THE HOTEL DEL CORONADO.

Wish You Were Here

Here is a history of the famed hotel presented in postcards dating back to 1898. Adding to the pleasure of this rare collection are the inclusion of the card’s handwritten messages which appear as captions.

The book is a time-machine transporting us back to luxurious holidays and vacations when the world moved at a stroll.

Take a deep breath and you can smell the fresh salt air (no pollution from naval vessels back then), watch the sunset at cocktail hour, and look forward to dinner and the evening’s entertainment. I wish I could say I remember those days…but at least with this book I’ can pretend.

My favorite postcard shows a moonlit Del circa 1915. (Click on the images for a large view.)

1915

 

While all these cards were designed to entice, I found one anomaly in the batch. which is decidedly gloomy and forbidding. This odd view captured in 1912  might easily have inspired the artist Edward Gorey.

1912

The anonymous message: “Having fine time. Leave here tomorrow for Del Monte.”

Hmm, I wonder if s/he made it.

 

You can order the book here.

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