Peter Petz lives and works in The Pink Carousel House in a little village in the middle of nowhere, about one hour from Munich.
Under the slogan 'It's A Pleasure For All' he has been building his nostalgic carousels here since 1967. Evidence of his work is seen all over the place: Canopies, giant ladies torsos, metal frames, painted signs and guilder archways are scattered around the grounds.
This man knows the difference from an American and an English carousel (one spins clockwise and the other counter clockwise). He can tell what woodcarver in Italy in 1920 started to make his horses with pointed ears and he collects artefacts from amusement parks and circuses. He spells 'fantasy' and 'fantastic' the way he says it ('phantasy', 'phantasmic') and his children are named Cinderella and Merlin
Being an old school showman he doesn't believe in exhibiting at trade shows. Instead he walk the aisles dressed in a pink suit and a top hat, handing out business cards.
His proudest moment was when Michael Jackson came to visit. He ordered a carousel for his Neverland Ranch and Peter Petz have pictures to prove that the star actually was there. He also build a carousel designed by Keith Haring, and had a wooden trailer refurbished for the artist to live in during his stay. The perfect gypsy fortune teller trailer. But Keith wanted to stay in Munich 'close to the bars for boys' as Peter puts it.
On his website he writes: 'Pleasure For All being my guiding principle I endeavour to bring happiness to many more children, young and old, by making my phantasies and their dreams come true.' My phantasie is one day to return to The Pink Carousel House again for another cup of green tea. Perhaps I get to sit in the chair Michael Jackson sat in.
Walking down Hollywood Boulevard I turned into North Orange Drive, a little side street with a few parking garages and some houses scattered around. Nothing special until I got to the end of the street where I encountered this beauty of an apartment building. A wonderful example of early Hollywood's fascination with 'the exotic' - Asia, Egypt, you name it. Transforming a well proportioned but ordinary and pretty boring box of a building into a chinese pagoda of some sort. If that isn't make believe I don't know what is.
The building is aptly named The Nirvana - how perfect is that? - and was build in 1925. The architect is a gentleman by the name of E.M. Erdaly.