Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Wizard of Oz on Coronado Island and New York City

Can you believe that next year will be the 75th anniversary of the movie, The Wizard of Oz," based on L.Frank Baum's original book, written in 1900, entitled "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"?  I still own my two childhood copies of later editions of the book, where the titles were changed to match the popular 1939 movie title. I was always enchanted with this story, although the original book version is some what different than the movie version, as often is the case. In the book, Dorothy's shoes were silver, but in the movie version they were changed to the color red, as that color showed up more dramatically for technicolor film! The movie version of The Wizard of Oz began showing on TV in 1956, and I have fond  memories of anticipating its yearly TV screening in the years afterward. The flying monkeys were always the scariest part in the movie to me, but in the book the Wicked Witch used even more scary tactics to try to keep Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion from reaching the Emerald City and the Wizard of Oz!

When I was on a recent trip to San Diego, California, I found out on a tour that L. Frank Baum and his wife were frequent winter guests at the Hotel Del Coronado, that is located on Coronado Island, across the bay from the city of San Diego. He wrote three more Oz books during that time: Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, The Emerald City of Oz, the Road to Oz, and parts of The Marvelous Land of Oz.  It is said that the hotel's iconic red castle-like turrets and enchanted fairy tale setting inspired Baum, and the island of Coronado is even nicknamed "The Emerald City"

Later, Baum rented this house nearby the Hotel Del Coronado, located on Star Park Circle.  It is now a private residence.

The house is proud of its Oz connection!

It has even allowed the Wicked Witch to visit!

The gift shop inside the Hotel Del Coronado had a wonderful display of Oz memorabilia for sale. (All photos in this post will enlarge if clicked on once, and then again to see full size)

But what is the connection of the Wizard of Oz to New York City, you ask?  Well, the actor that played the great and mighty Wizard of Oz, was known as Frank Morgan, but.......

...his real name was Frank Philip Wuppermann.  He was born in New York City and is buried in the historic Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

You can see the skyline of Manhattan while standing near his grave site.

I also think the Manhattan skyline looks a little like the Emerald City!

photo source 

What do you think? 

PS: My photo of the Manhattan skyline was taken a few years ago before the new One World Trade Center was built. Standing at a symbolic 1776 feet, 1 WTC was recently officially named the tallest building in North America by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

An artist rendition of what the new New York City skyline will look like when the new World Trade Center buildings are completed.  It's going to look even more beautiful than ever, isn't it?

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The Quintessential Magpie said...

I loved reading this about Oz and it's writer and wizard! And yes, NYC does look like Oz. Neat! I love the skyline SO much and love the movie, too. I eagerly awaited it each fall on TV. did I tell you I met some of the Munchkins at a theatre event in Florida? It was at a 1920's atmospheric theatre, and I got to hold their hands and escort them to the powder room. I loved it! It was a dream come true for me.

My favorite character was the Scarecrow. How I loved him, and I still get chills thinking about the flying monkeys, don't you, and that scary music???



Bill Nicholls said...

I watched the wizard of OZ but never read the book and there was a cartoon series I used to like watching as well. Still your not the only one with bragging rights to famous authors.

Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

I had a friend with a huge Oz collection! I probably would have shortened my name if I was Frank too:@)

MastHoliday said...

Fabulous modern architectural buildings!
Great post..

La Petite Gallery said...

Thanks for another wonderful post.
I love that view of Manhattan.
As a child, that OZ was a favorite
of mine. Thoughts of Judy Garland
again. There is a movie out about her life. I have to see it.
By the way I can't stand Monkey's
maybe because of OZ.. lol

Anonymous said...

Only in the States you can find a thing like this! I really like it and wish to be able to visit one day...

Pallavi said...

Such splendid memories of the wizard of Oz came rushing back to me as I read your post :) it was truly an enchanting book. I can see how the author got inspired to create the fantasy from the sorroundings. Lovely!

Betsy Adams said...

Great post, Pat, and I loved reading all of the info about the authors of the Wizard of Oz--and about the lead actor all of those years ago… NEAT!!!!! I had no idea that Frank Morgan's name was Wuppermann… Interesting…


ellen b. said...

Wonderful post with wonderful views from coast to coast!!

From the Kitchen said...

When we lived in La Jolla, we loved going to the Hotel Del for brunch. Delicious! I did not know about the Baum connection. A town nearby, Chesterton, hosted an Oz Festival for years and the munchkins came to town. They stopped last year when there no munchkins left/able to come.


Lisa @ Grandmas Briefs said...

It truly is amazing THE WIZARD OF OZ is that old. What a gem of a story! Incredible photos! And I agree: the Manhattan skyline does indeed look like the Emerald City.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

The Coronado Public Library has two amazing glass walls that recreate a key Wizard of Oz scene.
I was lucky as a child in that my next door neighbor had acquired all of the wizard of oz original books. I devoured them! When I read one of them again as an adult I was greatly surprise to see that the books were written on two levels, the obvious child story and also with sly humor that only an adult would understand...quite clean but hilarious about society.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I love posts that have serendipity and cross country connections plus grave sites. So you get the perfect post award of the day.
I remember being scared out of my wits by the monkeys. Also, my family had a black and white television set until pretty late in the game so I didn't get to see the movie in color until I was in high school. Pretty bad huh?

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I love this post! You always have the most gorgeous photos, too! Have a wonderful Thursday!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Most interesting...all the history involving Wizard of Oz. We enjoyed our visit to Dorothy's house in Kansas on our recent road trip...and met a Dorothy look-alike walking down Dorothy's Street.

Vee said...

Ohhh, yes! The monkeys were the scariest part. Nice view from the cemetery. I haven't understood the logic of wishing to be the tallest building in North America, but it sure is pretty.

Terri Buster said...

How interesting! Thanks for sharing...I did not know any of the history behind the Wizard of Oz

Swati Singh said...

Fantastic glimpse of the city! but I have no idea about this story..nice post.

Proud Italian Cook said...

We are all Wizard of Oz fans here, even my 4 year old granddaughter, I must have watched it a million times with her, she knows all the scenes by heart. Yes NY beat out Chicago, bummer! Great photos Pat

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

What a fun post Pat! I loved those books and also looked forward to the TV showing. And the movie was the first videotape movie I ever bought! Watched it with our older grandchildren...I'm not much of a one for watching movies over and over, but this one is an exception!

Jeanne said...

Hi Pat, I loved reading about The Wizard of Oz history. I have always loved the movie (original) and it doesn't seem possible that many years have gone by. I have liked some of the newer ones as well.

The new plans for New York's Manhattan skyline is so interesting. Actually the skyline is a favorite of mine. The plans for the new one just adds to the beauty of an already fantastic view. Losing the Twin towers is a tragedy with losses we can never forget. However, the new building will be stunning.

I have wanted to thank you for the sweetest comment you left on my post a few weeks ago. I feel fortunate to have met you and from the beginning I have considered you my dear blog friend. Making friends like you is the bonus of blogging. A blessing in my life for sure.

Wishing you happy days this weekend and always.
Hugs, Jeanne

Susan said...

Hi Pat, I enjoyed your post. We stayed one night at the Hotel Coronado for our honeymoon then moving on to San Diego. We were at the hotel 2 years ago for our anniversary. We plan to go there in August. We are also planning a trip to DC and NY next fall. Looking forward to seeing the Freedom Tower. Was last there in 2008. Have a nice weekend!