Tag Archives: Grand Hotel

Actress: Greta Garbo


Garbo is noted for her quote, "I want to be alone." In 1954 she won an honorary Oscar for her screen career, but didn't show to get the statue. I guess she really did want to be alone. Uploaded by wallpapermenu.com.

Few actors or actresses made the transition from silent films to talkies while maintaining their popularity. Greta Garbo was a clear exception. Born in Sweden as Greta Gustafsson, she made several hugely popular silent movies, including Flesh and the Devil (1926) and A Woman of Affairs (1928). She feared her Swedish accent would be her undoing with sound, but she needn’t have worried. The publicity campaign was “Garbo talks!”, and she became the queen of MGM throughout the 1930s.

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Did she ever say, “I want to be alone”? Yes, in the 1932 film Grand Hotel. The American Film Institute voted it the 30th most popular movie quote of all time. Though she was certainly a private woman, she disputed the characterization of her by the press as an eccentric . “I never said, ‘I want to be alone,'” she explained. “I only said, ‘I want to be let alone.’ There is all the difference.”

Garbo was nominated for four Academy Awards (Romance, 1930; Anna Christie, 1930; Camille, 1938; and Ninotchka, 1940) but never won. She did receive an honorary Oscar in 1955 for her lifetime of performances. (She didn’t show up to receive the award.) Daily Variety voted her Best Actress of the Half Century in 1950. And the AFI named her number 5 in its list of Greatest Screen Legends. Garbo, who worked in the USA most of her life and lived in New York after retiring from films, became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1951.

Travel: Mackinac Island

Motor vehicles are banned on Mackinac Island. So the only ways to get around are by bicycle, on foot -- or in horse-drawn carriages. Uploaded by planetware.com.

First, let’s make sure to get the pronunciation right. Call it MAK-in-aw. Mackinac Island is located in Lake Huron, in the straits between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. It’s not large at all, only 3.8 square miles. Eighty percent of the island is reserved as Mackinac Island State Park. And here’s the thing that probably sets it apart more than anything else – no motor vehicles (except for emergency and service vehicles) are permitted on the island.

As a result, Mackinac Island has a slower pace that’s centered around horses. If you want to get around the island, you’ll either engage a tour carriage, take a private carriage with driver, or rent your own carriage during your visit. Or if you prefer a more energetic choice, bicycles are available (and so is walking).

The whole island has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. Its history goes back to Native American tribes, who used the island as a meeting place following long winters. In the 1600s, French traders and Jesuit missionaries came to the island along with the fur trade, which dominated Mackinac Island for 150 years. In the late 1800s, folks found what a beautiful and relaxing place the island could be, and tourism became an economic mainstay. Wealthy businessmen built large hotels for the public, and Victorian mansions for themselves.

The Grand Hotel. Uploaded by mackinacisland.org.

Today, you can enjoy a visit to one of the island’s many resorts, hotels, bed and breakfasts, historic inns, and rental cottages. Maybe you’ll choose the Grand Hotel, which certainly lives up to its name. You can visit downtown where there’s a wide variety of well-regarded restaurants and interesting shopping.

And maybe you’ll buy some fudge. Don’t laugh. Mackinac Island may be the fudge capital of the United States, with a half dozen shops devoted to the rich confection. In fact, you may hear yourself referred to as a “fudgie” while you’re in town. It’s a local term used to describe tourists, many of whom won’t leave without taking some gourmet fudge back home. Don’t be offended, though; they say it’s a word used with affection. That’s what they say, at least…

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