Saturday, December 02, 2006

Blue Noses On The Loose Again?

I suppose they always have been.

An item in today's Sacramento Bee about a shop opening in the Sacramento area got me to thinking about similar efforts in the past around here. In the case of Cupid's Love Boutique, the name of which isn't even on the store, some folks aren't happy that the business will be selling, among other things, sex toys and XXX DVDs.

So what's the big deal? I say leave them alone. Then again, I don't live there.
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The most recent situation that comes to mind around here was the opening of T. Great Razooly's Tip Top Club on Humboldt Hill. As many of you know, The Tip Top Club is an "exotic dancing" establishment. For those of you in Arcata, that means it's a strip joint.

The Tip Top Club took over an old restaurant, the name which escapes me right now, just off the freeway across from King Salmon. If memory serves me correct, the building had been vacant for some years prior to Razooly becoming interested in it.

After much broohah, which included Libertarian T. Great Razooly being arrested for opening the business without a permit, Tip Top opened. There have been no problems to date, at least that I'm aware of.

There was an effort by people in the neighborhood to stop Tip Top from opening. I might have been sympathetic to their concerns, except it's not like a business, namely a restaurant, hadn't been in the same building before. It wasn't like a new invasion of their neighborhood.

I was also to learn later on that Tip Top doesn't even have a liquor license. What the point is of having a strip club without a liquor license is, is beyond me. Nonetheless, that's Razooly's business. I would think the place probably attracts less traffic than the restaurant there before it. The signs outside are tasteful enough. What's the problem?

I don't know that there is one, except for some folks that don't approve of certain types of behaviour.

I could see some cause for concern if Razooly was opening a Humboldt branch of The Great Alaskan Bush Company. The Bush Company is in Anchorage, Alaska- a world reknowned strip club which I've had the pleasure of visiting a couple times. A great place to hang out at, even without the girls, the only exception being the cost of liquor there.

But even with the Bush Company, it's pretty tame on the outside. What's the problem?
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I'm not sure it was always that way around here, as I haven't followed it to closely. I do know, when I first moved up here in '73, the building on 5th Street in Eureka that housed the old Co- Op and previously Kacy's Supermarket, used to be a XXX book store, at least I think that's the building it was in. Maybe it was down the street a little further?

The blue noses in Eureka, along with the Eureka City Council, finally got rid of that place. I think they changed the zoning or came up with some ordinance, or some such, to shut it down. I didn't think much of it at the time and, in hindsight, did think the place was pretty tacky: A XXX bookstore with a sign, if memory serves me right, announcing such, on one of the main drags of Eureka.

Maybe no one would have bothered with them if they'd been a little more low key?
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Back around then Eureka also had it's very own Head Shop, Fool's Jools. Anyone remember that one? They sold drug related paraphanelia, among other things, and were on H Street, right across from the Post Office/ Federal Building.

I paid a bit more attention to it's demise, if only because I knew at least one person that worked there. Barry Scarpellino, whose family I worked for at the time, even sang a jingle that ended up on a Fool's Jools radio commercial.

Some in the city weren't happy with Fool's Jools. Seems to me an ordinance was drafted prohibiting businesses that sold drug paraphanelia. Either that, or they chose to enforce some law or ordinance already in existence.

I was kind of irked to see that happen, even at my young age. Why not just leave them alone? They weren't causing any problems.

The Eureka blue noses were having their day back in the '70s.
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I forget what year it was, but there was a big stink some decades ago over the Fortuna Theater. I forget how it happened but the Fortuna Theater became an X Rated theater (did they even have x ratings back then?).

Many residents were outraged. Police ended up raiding the theater and arresting people. Eventually, I forget the details, the X rated Fortuna Theater was closed down, never to be reopened as X rated again. I believe it is open for family entertainment, though, to this day.

One seemingly permanent victory for the blue noses, and I almost can't fault them. Do you really want the only theater in town to be X rated?
*******

Hard to say if the blue nose's victories in Eureka were long lived, or not.

At least a couple sex shops have opened over the years. One, the Pleasure Center, on 3rd(?) Street, went out of business. It wasn't the blue noses, though, I don't think. I was told they either moved to Arcata, or, the Arcata store that was the main business decided not to bother with the Eureka store anymore.

I'm not sure when the other one opened. Good Relations (is that on 2nd or 3rd Street?) opened in Eureka. It sells sex oriented stuff. I can't help wonder if someone isn't trying to shut them down, although I haven't heard of any such movement.

Maybe the difference is they're fairly low key, despite being right out in the open. If you drive by the place I think you'll agree it's nice and low key with no one shouting sex slogans, or anything else. From what I've seen, it fits right in with Old Town, Eureka.
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I'd like to think that's the key to this whole thing of the sex industries and other such things: If you keep them low key, and not right in people's faces, maybe the blue noses wouldn't get so aroused, but maybe not. That Cupid's Love Boutique, in the Sacramento Area, hasn't even opened yet and they're getting hammered.

34 Comments:

At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you mean "blue bloods?"

 
At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm color blind. What the hell is Fred talking about?

 
At 11:26 AM, Blogger Fred said...

No. A blue blood is described as an member of the aristocracy, or some such.

Definition of bluenose is:

blue·nose audio (blnz) KEY

NOUN:

1. A puritanical person: "Bluenoses demand restraint against the porn and violence that are the staple of popular culture" (Charles Krauthammer).
2. often Bluenose Canadian A native or inhabitant of Nova Scotia.

 
At 1:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The old restaurant was called Volpi's. Really good Italian food with a great view.

 
At 1:30 PM, Blogger Fred said...

There you go. I was right on the tip of my tongue. I can remember it one day and forget it the next.

 
At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of Fool's Jewels, I worked at a head shop manufacturing business in L.A. in 1970 called Glass Head Products. We manufactured glass bong and pipes, as well as made T shirts, posters, bumper stickers, patches, brass smoking pipes, and all sorts of stuff sold in head shops. We also imported tapestries from India for resale. Three local shops we sold to were Fool's Jewels and Globe Imports in Eureka and Pacific Paraphenalia in Arcata. When I moved here in 1971 those shops were still here. Head shops were outlawed in '72 or '73 and the Arcata shop changed it's name to Pacific Paradise. Last I checked it's still in business. My job at Glass Head was to ship the products and I'd also do customer relations on the phone. When a customer had a complaint about an order, they'd route the call to me and I'd take care of it. What I'd do is send them a new shipment with a bunch of extra stuff. The boss didn't know, it didn't cost me anything, and the boss was real happy that I could take such good care of his customers.

 
At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Pleasure Center guy died. While the County searched for his wife/heir who was supposedly in Australia or somewhere like that, the County had the obligation to keep the shop operational.

Pretty funny, if you think about it.

If I remember he died on some sex drug or weird practice...

 
At 5:58 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Seems to me I heard something about that.

 
At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Mous Anony said...

Actually, the name of the restaurant was called Caddy's before it was the Tip Top Club. Volpi's was prior to Caddy's and was in business for eons. A Eureka icon in it's day. I would just like to clear up those facts.
Are we forgetting Pacific Paraphenalia (sp?). Eventually renamed to Pacific Paradise. The only time I've ever witnessed a fist fight in a business (besides a bar)was inside Fools Jools and it overflowed onto the street when I was getting my mail from across the street. Just for reference, I believe Fools Jools was next door the the massage parlor that was just raided this past couple of months. Oh, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. The worlds going to Hell.

 
At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:03 said: Are we forgetting Pacific Paraphenalia (sp?). Eventually renamed to Pacific Paradise.

I covered that in my last post. I had dealings with them in 1970.

 
At 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I owned and ran a head shop for a couple of years in Ojai in 1967-68. Tripstone was the name of my store.
The town of Ojai at that time was paranoid of hippies and Ventura County cops routinely rousted vagrant hippies a lot. We spread the rumor that we were going to import 10,000 Chinese Red Guards to Ojai but I don't think the townspeople took us seriously for some reason.

 
At 7:41 PM, Blogger Greg said...

Bachelor Book Store? Charlotte's Club?

 
At 7:42 PM, Blogger Carol Ann said...

A fellow name Ted owned the Fortuna Theater. Last I heard he was a police officer in Rio Dell and had a family. That was several years ago.

 
At 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Ted. I was trying to remember his name. He lived on Palmer. An old friend of mine was the projectionist. He now has a chimney cleaning business. Not Ted, but my old buddy.

 
At 9:02 PM, Anonymous Kat said...

People were so pissed about Tip Top because South Bay Elementary School is nearby.

 
At 7:49 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Greg wrote, "Bachelor Book Store? Charlotte's Club?".

I don't recall a Bachelor Book Store, but Charlotte's Club sure rings a bell. Can't remember where it might have been, though.

 
At 8:20 AM, Blogger Carol Ann said...

Years ago the Carlotta Hotel had a couple of male strippers from Yreka. I admit that I attended with some girlfriends and we sat right in front. I was embarrassed and couldn't look up the guys dancing around in their skivies. I just looked at the table. One of my girlfriend's kept sticking dollar bills in the fellow's g-string. It was really wierd. Women were bidding on who could see one of the fellows take off his g-string. In the evening there was a female stripper "for the men". The 2 dudes got in a fist fight, then ditched the gal stripper. One of the patrons gave her a coat, as I think the guys left with her clothes. Yes,that was really a wierd scene.

Another time Greg and I attended Hobart's Gallery Halloween Party. Razooly performed some ceremony with a BBQ with a couple of strippers from the Tip Top. That was amusingly wierd.

It is sad to me that people have to strip to make a living. Writng about his makes me feel wierd, too.

 
At 8:28 AM, Blogger Greg said...

Bachelor Books didn't last too long. It was across from the old post office in the early seventies (?) or late sixties. Charlotte's Club was in Old Town and had go-go dancers--in a cage. This is all hearsay, of course.

 
At 9:02 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Oh, but of course (wink, wink).

Seems to me I'd been to Charlotte's a couple times but I think I might be mixing that place up with Jim Dunn's.

Believe it or not, I've very rarely made the bar scene in Eureka. In the over thirty years I've live up here I don't know that I've gone to any of the bars more that twenty or thirty times altogether, if for no other reason than it's too expensive.

 
At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kat said...
People were so pissed about Tip Top because South Bay Elementary School is nearby.

9:02 PM

The PG&E Nuclear Power Plant was close to that school too, but the neighbors never raised a stink about the Plant the way they did about the Tip Top Club.

 
At 10:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how many people actually read these writings.

 
At 10:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also wonder if anyone here remembers the "Ebony Club" that used to be down on "Two Street."

 
At 6:38 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I don't recall it although I feel like I should remember the name. What years was it up and running. I assume it was oriented toward blacks?

 
At 7:59 AM, Anonymous Mous Anony said...

Fred, Fred, Fred......You assume the Ebony Club was oriented toward blacks?
Because of the name Ebony? Shame on you. You do realize ebony is a type of wood. Besides, at that time only about 1% of the population of Eureka consisted of African Americans. Hardly enough to maintain a clientle.

Does that mean Cracker Barrel is oriented towards southern caucasions?

How's that for getting my political correctness ire up? And that rarely happens.

Hmm, unless the club was owned by an African American. Does anyone know?
I know Mr T's was. Part nightclub, part BBQ joint. Just for a short time. Replaced The Den...you know, where Yen Ching is now. Sorry, no cage dancers or CR students working their way through school

 
At 8:14 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Well Excuuuse me! I guess I got that idea because Ebony magazine is is oriented toward blacks.

Keep in mind that the commentor has yet to say when the Ebony Club was around. You are correct, though: Assuming it was back in the '70s, I could count on one hand the number of blacks I'd see in Eureka on any given day.

 
At 8:18 AM, Blogger Fred said...

You also wrote, "I know Mr T's was. Part nightclub, part BBQ joint. Just for a short time. Replaced The Den...you know, where Yen Ching is now.".

Wow. Don't recall Mr. T's, but I do remember The Den. In fact, that was the first place I ever drank legally- on my twenty first birthday. When we closed down Sabrina's for the night on my birthday, some of us walked the hundred or so feet down to The Den and had a few drinks.

 
At 8:24 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Which reminds me of the place I used to drink after work before I turned 21. It was where Hunan's, in Henderson Center, is now. I think it was called Graces(?).

Don Mckenna and I used to stop by there after work fairly often. I liked that place. Which reminds me, I guess that means I went to the bars more than I alluded to, earlier on.

Then again, Grace's wasn't what I would consider a bar, at least in the night life sense. It was more of a redneck watering hole with a deer's head mounted on the wall, photos of all kinds of people with fish and game they'd caught, and some pool tables.

My only complaint was it was fairly dark in there, as are most bars, which is another reason I tend to not like bars. Of course, at 11:30 at night, it would be dark pretty much anywhere so it didn't really matter.

 
At 10:22 AM, Blogger *Mermaid* said...

Wow, I was still sleeping while you all were reading and reminiscing. Well done.

Good Relations is owned by my bf's ex, they actually started it together as a home party thing, then the shop on the Plaza which moved to old town. Their whole thing is about being user friendly, for lack of a better phrase. Open and informative and not creepy. She is a sex therapist or some such who teaches at hsu. So I guess that combo works... socially acceptable or whatnot.

But have you ever been in the pleasure center in arcata? It's as well lit as Figs. Safe and friendly, but almost embarassing cuz you can see everyone and what their shopping for. Ha.

I guess it is all about being able to play the game, appease the powers that be or quietly fly under the radar. TG Razouli does neither, which is what makes him so awesome! I think he should have won the mayoral race. Wooo!

 
At 10:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Snug, on Snug Ally, was owned by an African American, my old friend Charlie McD. He also once owned TP Tarps, as well as Charlie Chips. Way back in the 70's somebody actually set a cross on fire in his front yard. Was the Den later called The Centaur Inn?

 
At 12:41 PM, Blogger Fred said...

I don't recall what it changed to after that.

 
At 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted was a good guy when he operated the Fortuna Theater, too.

But he was controversial, so there were plenty of people willing to judge him harshly without knowing anything about him.

It's good that he has continued to be one of the good guys, for real.

 
At 7:01 AM, Blogger Carol Ann said...

Didn't Ted also have a health food store next doo to the Fortuna Theater, as well?

 
At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this discussion has been closed for quite some time, but I felt the need to comment. I was in no way against the Tip Top Gentlemen's club opening, but I can say for the defense of the people against it's original opening, that the club has caused some harm. I thought that if my boyfriend went to the club, he would just be looking at naked women and tipping them... that was until one of the strippers started text messaging him on a daily basis. Just to 'talk' yeah. SO wives beware. They are not just about stripping, with the right show of green stuff, they will give up more.

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger Kate Newton said...

My dad owned Charlotte's Club. It was on 2nd and C. The Chapala's building.

 

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