Bring on the soup dish, bring on the cup
Continuing the thoughts about The Snoopy Place -- I don't like it as much as I want to, but there is a lot to like about it. For one it's a rare place to get things approximating Mexican food, or to get a pizza which, admittedly, doesn't taste like your standard strip-mall RPI-Union-Hole-in-The-Wall ``You Tried The Rest, Now Try The Best'' greasy pies (you can't get them in Singapore), but which is interesting and tasty on its own. And yeah, Singapore is noteworthy for bringing a fusion of many Asian food styles -- all at quite respected levels of public health -- giving it a reputation as the place to sample all Asian cuisine, but sometimes you just want a Reuben.
They're not afraid to be goofy in the decor, more in their favor. No point having a Peanuts theme restaurant if you're not willing to be goofy. The tablecloths are cardboard mats with a great number of (late 1997) strips printed across them. (You can buy these printed on stiff red or blue paper, which gave me the most wonderfully matched set of Christmas gifts to give one year.) The walls feature arbitrary strips from every era enlarged and wallpapered at odd angles. The ceiling has -- I swear -- ``constellations'' of stars painted in the sky which take the shape of the major (1990s) cast, and they dim the lights periodically to show that off.
There's a large projection TV which, every time I have visited, was playing a tape (based on the occasional video artifact) of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show. I don't know why they don't branch out to the movies or TV specials, but I assume there's a bizarre explanation behind it.
Now and then -- I haven't figured the pattern -- someone dresses in Snoopy costume, to be hugged and have pictures taken by squealing children and bubbly adults. I've got one -- since I feel it only fitting to bring a comic strip book to read there, mine is with me holding a copy of the Fawcett Crest book We Love You, Snoopy (selected cartoons from Snoopy Come Home, no relation to the movie). Features the sequence where Snoopy overhears the pre-Woodstock birds and their terrifying plan.
On the mawkish side, there's also a Snoopy's Doghouse, big enough that little kids could crawl inside. The sign outside says to look inside and see Snoopy's Best Friend, and yeah, at the far end of the inside is a mirror. If I were seven I'd ... have thought that a gyp, but I've always had that fanboy sensitivity. The other insides of the Doghouse are decorated with miscellaneous clutter.
Trivia: On 13 July 1979 the 17-year-old Stan Thornton, a beer-truck driver from Esperance, Australia, arrived in San Francisco without a passport or luggage except for a shaving kit -- but with pieces of plastic or wood insulation from Skylab. This won US$10,000 from a San Francisco newspaper's bounty for the first authenticated piece of the space station brought to its office within 48 hours of reentry. Source: Living and Working in Space: A History of Skylab, Charles Dunlap Benson and William David Compton. NASA SP-4208.
Currently Reading: Louis Pasteur, Patrice Debré.