Gold Medal Flour

Gold Medal Flour
Vintage advertisement for Gold Medal Flour on the wall of Colesante’s Tavern at 480 Factory Street in Watertown, New York. The Washburn-Crosby Company became General Mills in 1928. Their original Gold Medal Flour factory was located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Super Dark Times: A Harrowing and Tense Coming-of-Age Thriller

In Super Dark Times (2017), a teen must come to grips with his increasingly psychotic friend in this harrowing and tense coming-of-age thriller. Written by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, and directed by Kevin Phillips, this indie film’s competency highlights why Hollywood is failing. Younger, more creative filmmakers are using technology and innovation to craft solid, beautifully-rendered films that put big-budget studios to shame.

Director Kevin Phillips is mostly known for his short film cinematography, and he’s spent the past twelve years honing his craft. Nearly every scene in this film is beautiful, but it’s not another example of “style over substance.” The movie is structurally sound, competently written, and the dialogue is believable. It reminds me of films from the ’80s and early ’90s, which tried to ground fantastic or extreme situations in reality.

As Super Dark Times opens, a buck has accidentally crashed into a high school and severely injured itself. Two police officers clear the scene and put it down. This dramatic and brutal scene sets the tone for the rest of the film. Enter four acquaintances, childhood friends Zach (Owen Campbell) and Josh (Charlie Tahan), Daryl (Max Talisman), and an 8th-grader named Charlie (Sawyer Barth). Zach and Josh both have a crush on classmate Allison (Elizabeth Cappuccino), but she eventually chooses Zach.

The kids discover a bag of marijuana and a samurai sword in Josh’s brother’s bedroom and take it to a park to mess around. Josh and Daryl get into an argument and Josh accidentally stabs him in the neck, killing him. The teens hide Daryl’s body in the woods and try to forget about the crime, but Josh’s increasingly erratic behavior stokes Zach’s guilt and paranoia. The film’s sickening climax is disturbing and difficult to watch, but the entire film has you on edge from start to finish.

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Coca Cola – Relieves Fatigue!

Coca Cola - Relieves Fatigue!
Coca-Cola ghost sign on the side of a brick building at 144 Court Street (U.S. Route 11) in Binghamton, New York. “Delicious and refreshing – Relieves Fatigue” … because it used to contain trace amounts of cocaine. Coca-Cola didn’t become completely cocaine-free until 1929.

Crystal Restaurant

Crystal Restaurant
Former neon sign for Crystal Restaurant at 87 Public Square in Watertown, New York. Opened in 1925, it’s the oldest restaurant in Watertown. Dennis and Jerry Valanos owned the restaurant until 1943, when it was purchased by their head chef, Otto Dephtereos. Today, Peter (Otto’s grandson) and Libby Dephtereos manage the restaurant. A Prohibition-era advertisement for “All Legal Beverages” still appears in the window.

Danny’s Diner in Binghamton, New York

Danny’s Diner, at 151 Main Street in Binghamton, New York, is a classic Sterling model from 1939. According to Roadfood.com, “Danny’s is very popular today, due in large part, we’re sure, to the efforts of owner Pam, whose personality is a perfect complement to Danny’s. Danny and Pam were once married, and when that marriage ended, Danny’s became Pam’s (in ownership, if not in name).”