If you let your imagination run wild, could you concoct a structure like the Teapot Dome Service Station in Zillah, Washington? What is even more amazing is that its architect was inspired by a 1920s government scandal. The town’s residents hope to convert this National Historic Site to a tourism center. Maybe the project is done and over?
I was flustered right after reading about China’s Plank Road In The Sky. Why did my tour guide fail to mention this insane attraction during my last visit?! Moments later I realized the mountain I was capable of climbing and had climbed only partially was AnHui Province’s HuangShan, not the much more treacherous HuaShan in ShaanXi Province. Accompanied practically by the same set of photos, several Internet posts marvel at the magnificent scenery and the teahouse at the end of the plank path. But where are the pictures of the teas and cups, and the teahouse’s interior that was once a temple?! Did someone hallucinate so badly after the perilous hike that he or she dreamt up the tearoom?!
I love visiting converted spaces. In Southern California, one can find Ivy Substation, a traction current converter plant more than a century ago and now a performance venue; Engine Co. 28, an American fare restaurant and bar; and the Edison, downtown Los Angeles’ premier nightspot whose visionary designer painstakingly preserved century-old artifacts, from generators to high water marks stained in place by a flood, and incorporated them seamlessly in that nostalgic, arcane club scene. During my latest visit, I learned the adjacent Spring Street was named not after everybody’s favorite season but after a creek streaming down the road. No patron should be shy about requesting a tour from the management at this must-visit destination.