Because of whatever often-fleeting eye candy I might chance upon when venturing forth into the urban arena, I rarely leave home without some sort of photographic documentation device in hand — and that goes double whenever I find myself in the Arts District south and east of downtown. Case in point, discovered near the 6th Street Bridge and signed by what looks to be “dreb” near her left hip (click to enlargify):
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Certainly not THAT bridge. Nowhere near the one Anthony Keidis sings of drawing blood and giving his life away. But a bridge’s under nonetheless — in this case the one that carries Sunset Boulevard over Silver Lake Boulevard — that the majority of passers-through traverse safely installed within the confines of vehicles. Perhaps there’s a scant percentage of those commuters who know that it was designed by none other than Los Angeles bridge-building master (and unsung LA hero) Merrill Butler, constructed in 1932 and was declared Historic-Cultural Monument No. 236 in 1981.
Since it’s in my neighborhood, I travel beneath it on foot or by bike pretty regularly. It’s often more foreboding than friendly, but that’s precisely why I venture through… to keep a claim on it. That, and it’s got some nice Romanesque architectural details (groined vault arches, FTW) that go otherwise unnoticed.
Another thing that would otherwise go unseen is a recent addition from Caché (pronounced cat-chay), my favorite muralist, famed around these here parts of LA’s Upside for his prolific chickens. This one, painted simply on the inside of the column in the deepest darkest part of the bridge (shown at right, too dark to capture in the above panorama) is nothing less than a pleasant surprise, a bit of whimsy in a serious place, a ray of light in the shadows. A hidden caché, if you will.
Ever since I saw this plumbing truck with its slogan “The Smell Good Plumber!” driving in the Culver City area, I’ve wanted to snap a photo of it. Finally, I had my chance the other day as I ended up behind the truck while we were stopped at a red a light. I guess that’s the plumbing equivalent of camping out for a new iPhone, and thus I call it good marketing!
I bought this 6 oz. container of grated parmesan cheese at my local Ralphs today, & then noticed the little label on the container. It reads: “20% MORE CHEESE Than 5 oz. Packages”. What exactly are they bragging about? Note that it’s not 20% more for free, it’s simply, “our container is bigger than a smaller container.” Wow.
Last week I looked up in the sky at the super moon. This week, I looked down and found this undated though well-worn pleasant surprise from a once or perhaps would-be street king on an old piece of sidewalk during an early morning dog walk up near the top of Descanso south of Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake. All hail, Patrick.
I’m not always successful, but whenever I’m biking around Los Angeles, I try to return a way different from whatever way I came and/or devote a little bit of my rides to exploring someplace new and/or at least revisiting an area I hadn’t been through in a while. Such was the case yesterday coming back to Silver Lake from a trip out to SPCALA headquarters near the Jefferson Park community that I ventured up through the Pico-Union area from Hoover, and made two discoveries.
The first is the hole-in-the-wall bakery pictured at right, seen just as I crossed Washington Boulevard. Looking up I spied that yellow banner hanging outside a Panaderia for the Bicycle Bread Company (BBC). While it’s true I hadn’t been on Union in about six months, unless this place opened during that time than I was guilty of never seeing it before. Because if I had seen it I most certainly would’ve stopped and bought something, given much I like bikes. And bread.
Sure enough: guilty. According the the BBC website it’s been in business since 2009. Also according to the website they’re hours in that space are limited to 5-8pm on Thursdays, but I apparently got both lucky and over-charged in that the place was open and I was able to come away with a one-pound round loaf of BBC’s cinnamon raisin whole grain sold by the panaderia owner for $5 (apparently there’s a hidden 25% commission surcharge above the $4 per-loaf price listed on the BBC website). Thankfully that extra dollar dinged didn’t detract from the absolute homemade milled-on-site scrumptiousness of the bread.
A little bit more about the BBC as well as a great mural found up the street, plus a bonus Victorian that surprised me after the jump.
Sunday I ventured out to the Fabulous Fords Forever car show. Among the cars there was this recently wrecked Mustang in a “cast” for anyone to sign. First time I’ve ever seen that at a car show or on the streets. Pretty clever. Hope it gets it fixed soon without much hassle. Click to embiggen the image.
Snapped with what amounts to a really old and really low-tech motion-sensor triggered webcam that I set up after our Silver Lake house got hit by taggers last October, I was amazed to find the following stills archived from last month of an entirely brazen coyote stopping by at the decidedly uncoyote-like hour of 11 a.m. for any potential bites in the form of our cats, which would have been far more readily available had they not been inside and staying out of what had been a cold and rainy morning that day (click the the thumbnails to enlargify).
Whoa. I mean, it’s not often you see what amounts to our city’s alpha predator (and even rarer in broad daylight), much less capture images of them acting like its their home, not yours.
We don’t need a guidebook to tell us that some parts of the Los Angeles area are teeming with toys. One such object sits in the Marina del Rey boat harbor, and is now a major feature on the local skyline, even though it floats. It’s the Asahi, a sailboat 184 feet in length, with masts the size of giant redwoods. And it can be yours for a chartered excursion. All you need is a cool $290,000 per week.
I spotted this PINK fur covered bike in Santa Monica yesterday afternoon near the Promenade. I loved this bike, totally impractical but so expressive. I stuck around a bit for the owner to find out the why’s and how’s but unfortunately I had to split for a meeting before they showed.
Pretty Terrific stuff there.
As I and a cohort wandered through a posh new townhouse block near the beach the other night, my gaze was drawn to a semicircular pink and white object sitting in the dirt amidst the well-manicured plantings. Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a set of dentures (I’m guessing the term is “uppers”). Being a movie geek and having a vivid imagination, I immediately thought of the ear found on the ground at the beginning of “Blue Velvet“, and wondered what sordid events may have led to this deposit. I doubt that it is a deliberate form of fertilizer. Anyone care to speculate with me? Do you think it had something to do with Heineken?
Walking back from a trip this afternoon to a neighborhood bakery to get some valentine sweets for my sweet, I chanced to look down and discover this intriguing silhouette of a certain historic luxury cruise liner (that I immediately recognized because I’m a history geek like that) sprayed upon — of all places: a Silver Lake driveway apron (click to embiggen):
The approximation of the logo above it is that of the ill-fated ship’s owners, but with with a “4,” a “12,” and a “12″ appearing in the banners under the flag where the words “White,” “Star” and “Line” would be.
It’s interesting (at least to me) that the piece would reference the date of April 12, 1912 — an entirely normal and uneventful day at sea in RMS Titanic’s brief history — instead of the far more infamous date three days later when she sank into the depths of the North Atlantic, taking the lives of 1,517 people with her.
No doubt much more attention will be paid to the the hundredth anniversary of April 15, 1912, when it rolls around in a couple months. But rather than jump on that tragedy bandwagon, perhaps the artist focused on April 12 in homage to the spectacular ship when she was full steam ahead on calm seas and in all her awesome glory.