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Author Topic: Where is Ronald?  (Read 8545 times)

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Offline stethacantus

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Re: Where is Ronald?
« Reply #225 on: June 05, 2020, 04:19:46 AM »
GAME #190

The 2008 Summer Olympics was held in Beijing, China, which in turn influenced the next three weeks of Where is Ronald games.



Offline stethacantus

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Re: Where is Ronald?
« Reply #226 on: June 06, 2020, 09:16:51 AM »
GAME #191

Every time an Olympics air, I make up my mind way before hand that I am not going to watch them, because these aren't even sports I follow. Even way back during the Cold War I had initially intentionally avoided the Olympics, because I could not care less if the U.S.A. got more medals than  the U.S.S.R.  I always thought the American Olympics Team, being mostly government funded, was a form of communism. If it was capitalist, then the entire team would be financed by Wheaties and other sponsors, and the smaller events like water polo and curling wouldn't even be sponsored at all, because Americans don't even watch those sports. I thought it was incredibly dumb that America was proving they were  better than the communist countries with the medal count, via a form of communism.  When the Olympic Games of both the Summer and Winter roll around, I look forward to two and a half weeks of taking a break from television as nothing new is ever counter programed against the Olympics, and everything is in reruns. But then the hype, coming mostly from the host network, begins to work. So I watch the opening ceremony, even though you get to that too damn long parade of athletes which lasts a good two hours with nothing interesting ( no marching bands, no floats, no balloons ) to break up the tedium. But then I usually begin ignoring the games, at least for the first week. But by the final week I am watching every game, even events for sports I didn't know existed, and have no plans to ever watch again.

The hype for the 2008 Summer Olympics was in overdrive. And much of that hype was aimed at an athlete named Michael Phelps, who was on the verge of breaking the records held by Mark Spitz, one of the few athlete names I remembered from childhood, and only because it sounded like the announcer was saying a guy named mark was spitting. Phelps was a swimmer, a sport I really could care less about. But once again, the hype worked, and eventually I was watching every race he was in to see "history being made". There were no high resolution pictures of any of the races, otherwise there would have been one with one of the Ronalds and Grimace racing him, and the other Ronald cheering from the side. But I did eventually find this high resolution picture of the pool before the event. In retrospect, I think I may have replaced Phelps with Ronald in the photoshop.

« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 09:18:37 AM by stethacantus »


Offline stethacantus

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Re: Where is Ronald?
« Reply #227 on: June 07, 2020, 06:13:24 AM »
GAME #192

Here we have the stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. NBC, the network airing coverage,  had been hyping the Olympics up all that month, including having their Today Show broadcast live from outside of this arena every morning. Or 6pm to 9pm in the evening Beijing time. By the time the ending ceremony rolled around, NBC had mad the fa├žade this arena iconic.   At least enough for a High Res image to exist online.



Offline stethacantus

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Re: Where is Ronald?
« Reply #228 on: June 08, 2020, 05:52:03 AM »
GAME #193

When the Olympics finally came to a close, there was still two more weeks of television preemptions due to coverage of the presidential conventions. First up was the Democratic National Convention where Barack Obama became the first African American to win a nomination as a presidential candidate. After eight years of what was then considered a disaster of a president, George W Bush, the Democrats were eager to win the Whitehouse back. They had tried four years earlier with the safest candidate they could muster, John Kerry, but still lost against a president who half the country believed was illegally installed in the previous election,  had gotten America into an endless war with Iraq with lies of WMDs, and was otherwise just as much of a disaster in his first term as he was in his second term. And yet, in what was being the most important election of all time, still Kerry lost.  The Democrats should have selected an even safer candidate for the next election, and had Hillary Clinton on deck, but instead decided to risk everything with a black candidate. Unfortunately I was unable to get any high res images from that historic convention, but did find this image from one of Obama's rallies.



Offline stethacantus

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Re: Where is Ronald?
« Reply #229 on: June 09, 2020, 05:11:47 AM »
GAME #194

The week after the Democratic Convention was the Republican Convention. Despite a backlash against George W Bush, the chances for the Republicans to win the Whitehouse again were pretty good  thanks to nominating war hero John McCain as their candidate. And then all of that was nullified with the selection of Sara Palin as the candidate for VP.  Once again I could not find a high resolution image from the Republican Convention, so chose a rally picture that came as close as I could to the  actual convention. With the Olympics and both conventions out of the way,  normal television returned just n time for the 2008 season, and the debut of Parks and Recreation, The Mentalist, Shark Tank, Fringe, and the celebrated reboot of Knight Rider.That is until the season was cut short by a writers strike.




Offline stethacantus

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Re: Where is Ronald?
« Reply #230 on: June 10, 2020, 06:40:55 AM »
GAME #195

I was a week late on this tribute. Astroland closed on Labor Day, but that was the week of the Republican National Convention.

Back in 1869 food peddler Charles Feltman , who leased land near the site, introduced his invention, a soft sausage in a bread bun called the Coney Island Red Hot. The new sack became a rage, and by 1871Feltman had enough money to purchase the entire block that would some day be Astroland. There he built a sprawling complex that included a huge dining pavilion and dance hall called Feltman's with an attached bathhouse and private beach. By 1900 Feltman's would include a roller coaster and other rides and attractions. Other snack bars and restaurants at Coney Island began serving their own Coney Island Red Hots, but under it's more popular name, the Hot Dog.  One of the chef's at Feltman's, Nathan Handwerker, left to open up his own hot dog stand blocks away next to where the city planned to build what would become the Stilwell Subway Terminal, calling his stand "Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs" even though no one had ever heard of him.  The Feltman family continued to run Feltmans before selling the complex to other investors in the 1940s. In 1954 Feltmans closed for good, and the land was put up for sale. At the time, Robert Moses proposed the city buy the site and use it along with the city owned blocks nearby for another housing project. Worried what would become of the historic site, Nathan Handwerker attempted to buy the property to relocate Nathan's Famous there. Bu what had ultimately bankrupted the original Feltman's  was the same thing that made his Hot Dog stand successful. It wasn't close enough to the subway terminal where all the hungry visitors debarked from the trains. Handwerker could not get any banks to lend him money for such a poor location.

Handwerker eventually got together a group of investors to bid for the site. The majority investor was Dewey Albert who owned 90% of the stocks for the LLC they formed. Moses had been foiled, and instead of using the city property for housing, relocated the New York Aquarium there. Not sure what to do with the property now that they owned it, Dewy allowed his son to demolish the bathhouse and replace it with a kiddie park. The rides were so successful, that when a fire destroyed most of the abandoned pavilion a couple of years later, Dewy Albert decided to turn the rest of the block into an amusement park. It was the beginning of the Space Race between the United States and Russia, so Albert decide his amusement park should have a space age theme. Astroland opened in 1962. A couple of years later Steeple Chase Park closed. Astroland became Coney Island's largest amusement park., and would act as it's anchor for the next 40 years.

The space age theme was eventually dropped, but the name stayed. When the city wanted to demolish the Cyclone for a parking lot, which was located in between the Aquarium property and Astroland, the Alberts intervened  and offered to pay for the restoration of the coaster, provided it became part of Astroland. The intervention save the Cyclone.  After Dewey Albert died in 1992, his shares on the Astroland site were evenly split between Albert family members, while his son continued to own and operate Astroland. In 2004 developer Joe Sitt attempted to buy Astroland from the Albert family, but only managed to get about 10% of the stocks for the LLP from  the families of the other investors, including the Hanwerker family who were promised by Sitt that  the site was to be used for an amusement park. At the time Bloomberg was pressuring property owners in Coney Island, most who were families who had held onto their properties since the 1800s,  to sell to developers so Coney Island could be redeveloped. Carol Albert hired a firm to design a multimillion dollar enclosed amusement park and presented City Hall with the proposal to redevelop their property. The city rejected the Albert's plan, and let them know that Bloomberg wanted a single developer to develop a single amusement resort over the entire amusement district. Faced with the possibility that the city was going to force them to sell their property anyway, and wanting to collect on the $60 million Sitt was offering for the remaining stocks, the Alberts had a family meeting where they voted on selling Astroland, and selling to Sitt won out the vote. Sitt had promised to continue leasing the Astroland site to the Alberts so Carol Albert could continue to operate Astroland, ad that Astroland would be offered a site inside his proposed amusement resort. Even though his plans to build condominiums in his resort had been outed, the Alberts decided their best chances of Astroland remaining open was to sell to Sitt  and hope he kept his promise. However, within a year Sitt was threatening to shut down Astroland if the city didn't expedite his demands to rezone the amusement district to allow condominium towers.  Astroland nearly closed for good in 2007, before Sitt's friend, councilman Domenic Recchia, got him to agree to lease Astroland the property for the 2008 season. As the season closed, the Alberts needed to know if Sitt would lease them the property for the 2009 season, because if not then they would need to start breaking down the rides immediately after Labor Day so they could be removed by January 1st. ( Any rides or structures still on the site when the 2008 lease ran out would become the property of Sitt. ) Throughout the summer Sitt  refused to give them an answer. As labor Day approached, Sitt claimed he wanted to use the site for something else the next summer. Astroland had no choice but to announce they would be closing for good, their final day of operation being Labor Day 2008.

Bloomberg tried to intervene.  He publicly asked the Alberts to warehouse their rides instead of selling them, because the city was not going to allow condos, and would try to get Sitt to sell his property. The only attractions that could not be broken down by the January 1st deadline was an observation ride called the Astrotower, the two story Dante's Inferno spook house and a giant water flume ride which at the time was the largest in the world. And the fence which surrounded the park with it's two gates. Also on the site was the last remaining structure from Feltmans which was said to be one of the kitchens, and a building near the entrance which was once part of a space age ski lift ride. Also on the site was George & Paul's, who had a block long food stand along the boardwalk on property they leased from the Alberts. On the roof of George & Paul's was two giant figurines and the Astroland rocket, a  rocket shaped motion ride that had been moved there after it had broken down in the 70s. George & Paul had already sold the business to Paul's daughter, and during the 2008 season it had been renamed Paul's Daughter. Even though Astroland had not been offered a 2009 lease, Paul's daughter had been offered a 2009 lease in late August. When Astroland closed for good, Sitt went to the press and claimed the Alberts had closed Astroland against his wishes, and he had wanted the park open in 2009. He then announced he had plans for an even bigger park on the site for the next summer. During the winter, the flume and Dante's Inferno were demolished. The ground was also needlessly torn up. The Feltman kitchen, the structure by the entrance, and the Astrotower were not demolished. The  better park Sitt promised was actually just a traveling carnival that was leased the site for the entire summer, and would not show up until mid July. The other half of the site was leased to a sideshow, the owner which got in trouble for yelling anti-Semitic jokes at an elderly Jewish patron of his sideshow, and throughout the summer had started trouble with or publicly insulted almost every business in the amusement zone. Since Sitt had needlessly torn up the blacktop and underground electric cables of Astroland ( and it's drainage ) the carnival that replaced it was forced t set up on  a lot of debris and puddles. Sitt named this amusement park Dreamland. On Labor Day weekend 2009, the owners of the carnival and sideshow found the gates to the site padlocked. A week earlier Sitt announced he wanted double the rent, which neither traveling show had yet. ( Sitt's lease for the site allowed his company to raise the rent whenever they wanted. ) Claiming Dreamland failed to pay their rent, hw ordered it closed for Labor Day, and also padlocked Paul's Daughter and businesses leasing from his other properties. Eventually Recchia talked Sitt into allowing the carnival and businesses to open for Monday. But that was the end of Dreamland, as Sitt was unable to find another carnival willing to lease from him again.

Paul's Daughter was not offered a 2010 lease, and announced they would be closing. On their final day they gave away all their food for free. That winter Sitt agreed to lease Paul's Daughter the site for 2010. Paul's Daughter is still there. Sitt was eventually pressured into selling the city Astroland and a lot of his other Coney Island property, this in trade of rezoning his remaining land for hotels that would have residential units. None of those hotels have been built, and currently Sitt's Coney Island property is on the market. Once the city owned the Astroland site again, they refused to lease it to the Alberts, but instead chose to lease it to Zamperla, who also got the lease to all the other properties the city acquired from Sitt. asking Astroland to warehouse their rides had been a publicity stunt for Bloomberg. The city even refused to lease the Alberts a vacant lot on another block for a scaled down version of Astroland. Carol Albert still continued to operate the Cyclone, until the city awarded  the franchise to Zamperla. In 2013 the city demolished the Astrotower and Feltman kitchen building, possibly because both became eligible for landmark status and could not be demolished once they won that protection. The city claims that they received a phone call from a worried beachgoer who witnessed the tower swaying in the wind. Today the Astroland site is called Luna Park. So far it has not opened this year because of the pandemic.

NOTE: THE WONDER WHEEL IS NOT PART OF ASTROLAND,  BUT ON A PARK NEXT DOOR.

« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 06:43:23 AM by stethacantus »


Offline stethacantus

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Re: Where is Ronald?
« Reply #231 on: June 11, 2020, 07:44:42 AM »
GAME #196



Offline stethacantus

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Re: Where is Ronald?
« Reply #232 on: June 12, 2020, 05:39:00 AM »
GAME #197



Offline stethacantus

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Re: Where is Ronald?
« Reply #233 on: June 13, 2020, 08:32:33 AM »
GAME #198

« Last Edit: June 13, 2020, 08:36:50 AM by stethacantus »


Offline stethacantus

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Re: Where is Ronald?
« Reply #234 on: June 14, 2020, 10:01:28 AM »
GAME #199



Offline stethacantus

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Re: Where is Ronald?
« Reply #235 on: June 15, 2020, 05:08:42 AM »
GAME #200

It was another milestone, the 200th game. I knew it was coming up, and at least a couple of months before it arrived, I had decided it should be the final game. For one thing I had gone through periods where I really didn't want to do it any more but continued because I felt an obligation to, followed by periods where I was enthusiastic about the games. The week I made the decision to end the game was during one of the periods I wanted to quit. The 200th game seemed like a good ending point. Second, I had continued the game for so long because I was getting a lot of positive comments. But those comments began to wane by the 100th game, and were almost non existent by the 150th. And like any popular forum, it had gone from being very active with thousands of members a day, to about a handful of regular members still visiting on a daily basis.  Knowing the 200th game would be the last, I decided the theme should be everyone waving goodbye. This would be every character I had photoshopped onto existing images, and a the more prominent characters that were the subjects of images that were used for the photoshops. Well, almost everyone.


And that was it. I didn't mention on the site it would be the final game. Maybe a couple of days later a few members began to comment on how the games seemed to have stopped, speculating I may have been too busy or sick, and would be back in a couple of weeks. I answered them with a photoshopped picture of the Ronalds in a trash can combined with the words "GAME OVER" in large print. One member said he wanted to continue doing it, then a week later said he was working on one, and then we never heard from that member again. And after that the thread was dead. But because the site had low traffic, it took a few more months for it to actually drop off the first page of the forum's "Off Topic" section. And so this is my final game here as well, as these are only reposts of existing images and I feel no obligation to do any more. Just as with that original thread, anyone is welcome to continue posting their own photoshops, but I don't expect there to be many once everyone figures out how hard it is to do a decent one. So basically this is...

GAME
OVER