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Ice Men: 1941

Ice Men: 1941

December 1941. Washington, D.C. "Diners in Washington Hot Shoppes restaurant." An exciting night of ice skating awaits, or has just concluded. Medium format nitrate negative by John Collier. View full size.


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"Ankle Beaters"

What they called it in the 50's when you wore your jeans like that.

Condiment Choices

That condiment bottle does look like ketchup, which wasn't always blood-red, according to oldsters in the know. Some ketchup was more orangey-red before artificial coloring became widespread. My maternal grandmother used to make her own ketchup when we had a particularly good tomato crop. I remember it being acidic and tangy and quite runny, not so sweet like the corn-syrup laden goo sold today. She canned it with a paraffin wax seal and served it right out of the jar with a spoon. Right beside it was her homemade chow-chow sauce, another tomato-based condiment that contained finely-chopped onions and hot peppers, vinegar, and salt. Both of my grandmothers made chow-chow, maternal "Mimi" made it soupy and paternal "Mamaw" made it chunky.

Sugar, sugar

I'm fairly certain the bowl with the metal lid is a sugar bowl. (This was before sugar came in little packets.) The hinged lid allowed one to level the teaspoon before removing it and prevented spills on the way to the coffee cup.

Sugar cubes were also sometimes used at places like this and often stuck together in the bowl. When I was a kid we would sometimes stick our fingers in the sugar bowl (yuck!) and grab one or two cubes to suck on.

Apres Skate?

Seeing the young men's cuffs rolled up that they had already had their "skate." I used to do the same, as a kid, when I roller-skated around the neighborhood - and, of course, one cuff rolled up when riding my bike.

Re: Bottle

The same type of bottle is seen at Girls' Night Out: 1941 but also lacking a view of the label. I too would guess ketchup but have been unable to find anything similar on the intertubes.

I'm also curious what was in the bowl with the metal lid. Relish? Sugar?

[Another Hot Shoppe shot shows that bowl seemingly immediately before or after use. - tterrace]

Close to Home

Lived in a small garden apartment complex just up Yuma Street from where this Hot Shoppe was located. It had a drive-in as well. Good to know that the 'Ice Palace' building has not been altered that badly over the years, hope WMAL [ABC] stay there for a long time. There used to be a Mercury dealer on the other side of Yuma Street from this restaurant.

Before or after

It appears that both men have their trousers cuffs rolled up.
Easier to skate with not so much material in the way
Sooooo, I would assume it is an after skate snack.

Chevy Chase Ice Palace

Where the Ice Men cameth from...

Fuzzy Memory

I lived in Fairlington in Arlington from age 2 thru 5. My distant memory may be deceiving me but I seem to remember there was a Hot Shoppes in the Shirlington Shopping Center not far away. My mother went shopping in Shirlington a lot and I can picture myself as a young tyke eating there on occasion. Same booths and table setups. Anyway, Hot Shoppes is gone but last I knew Shirlington lives on.

What's in the bottle?

I'm not quite old enough to remember what it might hold, but any idea what's in the shapely bottle closer to our diner on the right?

At first I thought it might be some long-forgotten beverage, but it appears to have rings in the glass neck, so maybe it's ketchup. Or a Hot Shoppe special topping? But where's the label?

Inquiring, somewhat younger, minds want to know.

The Hot Shoppes

I remember when the Hot Shoppes operated the restaurants on the NY State Thruway. It didn't matter what time of day or night you went there, there would be someone mopping the floor with some smelly ammonia based liquid.

Across from the Ice Palace

Could this be the Hot Shoppe across Connecticut Ave. from the Ice Palace? (approx 4400 block) In 1941, we ate dinner there before going skating with the Washington Figure Skating Club. Full dinner was either 66 or 88 cents depending on whether you got dessert. Note the coin box on the wall for the jukebox. The Marriotts thought their choice of music was superior to what the diners might choose. After WW2, what had been the Ice Palace became the studios for Channel 7.

Nice Collar Flip

on the blonde guy. The Army will straighten him out.

Celebrity look-alikes

The guy at the left front of the table looks like a young version of the blond half of the Siegfried and Roy (Las Vegas and white tigers) act. The guy reflected in the glass block mirror (sitting with a girl) looks like a young Jimmy Stewart. The plates of food look like burgers and fries.

Material for Future Nostalgia

Soon this prosaic scene will be remembered with some poignancy should either of these young men end up at Guadalcanal or Anzio or Omaha Beach. In Vietnam, I found myself recalling fondly such odd moments as spaghetti day in my elementary school's cafeteria or the day Suzie Egan smiled at me for no good reason. The recollection of an evening's skating, followed by a burger with a friend, and all the while nobody's shooting at you ... priceless!

Poor plants.

Those stringy philodendrons need some tender loving care!

mirror. mirror

I love the woman in the mirror who is checking out the photographer.

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