It always amazes me the old cars that get used around here. This sure is a nice 1930 Ford Model A but its not your typical trailer queen this driver actually pops up around town every now and then just being driven and enjoyed. I spotted it yesterday afternoon at the Celebrate the Arts here in Monrovia (an art festival I participate in every year at this time). They owner just popped into Library Park to check out the art exhibits leaving it unattended to draw a crowd all on its own.
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On Bunker Hill has blogs and historical archives of the history we lost when Downtown LA grew so explosively after World War II. George Mann has quite the historical archive of images of some of the old homes that once stood on Bunker Hill taken in the 40′s and 50′s. (They are for sale too if you are so inclined). A little quoted from their blog to get you interested in checking out the site:
Bunker Hill is a ghost, and though you may today walk streets named Grand and Hope and imagine that you stand where once were grand Victorian homes turned flophouses, you are in fact one hundred feet beneath the old roads, which the city shaved away to make a wider footprint for the high rise tenants that replaced them.
Its always just a little interesting to see what we have lost in the name of progress.
The Shelby Car Show last Saturday on the Santa Monica Pier was just about the greatest thing ever. But instead of gushing about it in words, I’ll show you more photos after the jump.
Did ya know that near Union Station was the village of Yangna back in the days of the Tongva Nation? That name means “Place of the Poison Oak” and fortunately the settlers of the area saw fit to rename us to Los Angeles. Need more history this month? You just need to simply meander over to the Militant Angeleno blog where he is celebrating 230 years of Los Angeles city-hood with a giant history lesson on the native peoples who first inhabited the area.
He has several posts, the one I found most fascinating was the map of Tongva Villages overlaid onto a map of the L.A. area. Militant Angeleno went as far as to take that map and list the villages by name and the modern city built over them. I just wish I lived in one of those cities that had a Tongva name, I’d go as far as using it as my official city of residence instead of the current name…mail would still get to me using the zip code but how fun would that be to pay homage the natives that were here first and confusing stalkers at the same time.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time leading up to today’s anniversary putting off thoughts on how to commemorate it. But when I was awakened far too early this Sunday for no good or known reason, I moped around drinking coffee as the clock advanced toward the moment that changed everything when that first jet struck the World Trade Center’s North Tower at 8:46 EDT. When it arrived I was of a mind just to pour another cup and let it march past unacknowledged, but that didn’t seem right. So instead I lit a candle and set it out on the porch in the dark next to the American flag and I said a little prayer to no entity in particular about no one in particular. Amen.
Thanks to the Internet Archive by way of Blogdowntown I found this high-resolution digitization of some amazing footage of 1940s downtown, apparently filmed for use in some unidentified motion picture. Look close and you might see John Fante (or perhaps even Arturo Bandini) walking around.
The clip is made up of several segments, and is literally the next best thing to actual time travel. As best as I can plot it the car follows this route from 2nd Street to Grand, to 5th Street to Flower and back up to 2nd. I’ve already spent too much time scrolling through it frame by frame just entirely mindblown at the slice-of-life details to be discovered in the people and places and passenger vehicles the camera captures in passing, and invite you to get lost in this record of a long-gone Bunker Hill (best viewed full screen in 1080p) :
Since 1949, Papoo’s Hot Dog Show has been filling the tummies of Toluca Lake residents and visitors with tasty hamburgers, sandwiches, fries and of course….hot dogs. Countless movie and TV stars have been regulars over the years. Though the owners and recipes have changed, it has always remained a great hole-in-the-wall place for some really good grub. Well today, Sunday August 28, 2011 marks the end of 62 years of Papoo’s Hot Dog Show.
Hot Dog Show holds a special place in my heart as I’ve been going there since….well before I was born! My mom worked there when she was 16, her initials STILL carved into the counter. In fact, I only just found out that my parents met there. If it weren’t for the Hot Dog Show, I wouldn’t exist! Having lived only 1 block away for most of my life, I can remember riding my scooter or bicycle up there on a regular basis. I always ordered 2 plain dogs with ketchup, fries and a Dr. Pepper. While I would wait for my food I would play either Galaga or Ms. Pac Man with the “WOOZ” (upside down “ZOOM”) button. With that “WOOZ” button I could fly through to the banana stage in about 4 minutes flat.
I’ll miss you Hot Dog Show and I’m not looking forward to the rumored Italian restaurant taking your place. At least we still have
Dale’s Jr. Money Tree Hampton’s IHOP Copper Penny Bob’s!
My friend Stephen Roullier just posted this Super 8 clip he and his fellow-filmmaker John Watson made (and co-starred in) showcasing a nice variety of the quick eateries found in and around the East Hollywood, Los Feliz Village, Silver Lake and Atwater Village area from back in a day when McDonald’s boast wasn’t the boringly general “Billions and billions served,” but rather the relatively paltry and more specific “Over 30 billion served.” Those were the days my friend.
My favorite moment comes when the legendary and still sorely missed Jay’s Jayburgers at Virgil and Santa Monica Boulevard makes an appearance at the 1:34 mark. Dig in:
If, like me, you desire a small-town feel from our giant metro area every now and then, Culver City‘s Fiesta La Ballona, which takes place August 26-28, may be just the ticket. The Fiesta, which occupies Veteran’s Park at the intersection of Culver Blvd. and Overland Ave., is part cultural heritage festival and part small-town carnival.
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Glendale’s A Noise Within (ANW) has been the region’s premiere classical repertory theater company for a long time now. Other than about a year at the end of last century spent at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex at Cal Sate Los Angeles, the company’s home has been the landmark Masonic Temple building at 234 S. Brand Boulevard.
But the company is Glendale’s no longer. It’s leaving its home and heading to its own dedicated space in Pasadena, a move that’s been more than five years in the making. And today as one of its final acts in the Jewel City before beginning its life in the Crown city, the company held a rummage sale to clear out its inventory. Everything from lighting equipment and furniture to props to costumes was priced to move.
But instead of looking for bargains, I took the opportunity to go looking around, sneaking backstage and up the stairs to explorie the 1928 building’s upper levels where I found this jaw-droppingly amazing top-floor space in mid-demolition/arrested decay (click to panoramally enlargify and/or check out this rotate-ready version of the image):
UPDATE (8.26): Where’d the picture go? Short-ish story is that a representative of the building’s owners, Frank DiPietro and Sons, contacted me the day after this post went live wanting to discuss the photograph’s publication. After some further consideration, it was politely requested of me today to remove the above image, for several reasons. First, it was taken and published without their permission. Second, the picture shows the hall in a condition that doesn’t showcase it in the best light. Third, the company is in the midst of submitting plans and obtaining permits for a renovation/remodel of the space and the company is sensitive about photographs and information about the
building being released as that process progresses. So, basically, I have agreed to honor their request because the simple fact is that it’s their private property and I was there on those upper floors without their knowledge. Since it’s not OK for them to sneak into my house and take pictures and put ‘em up on the internutz, down comes the pic.
I have no idea what the plans are for this hall and the rest of the building. But in the meantime I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that it doesn’t become a gym..
After the jump, a brief bio on the building’s historical significance excerpted from the Glendale Register of Historic Places.
The City of Burbank is celebrating its 100th Anniversary today! Tonight, from 5pm to 10pm, you can join in the Centennial Celebration at the city’s “Party of the Century.” The free event is happening in Beautiful Downtown Burbank and will include appearances by local dignitaries and celebrities, an air parade, a mascot parade, a variety of live stage shows and special deals at many local restaurants. The night will be capped off with fireworks.
Burbank will always be a special place for me since it is where I first lived when I moved to L.A. nearly seventeen years ago. Besides, I only moved a few blocks outside of it, so it’s still a big part of my life. You can read a brief history here of the area that started as a sheep farm and is now one of the world’s preeminent media capitals.
Burbank’s Party of the Century is TONIGHT from 5pm to 10pm and is FREE!
I’m a bit of a collector of vintage cookbooks, mostly from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, and I recently picked up a copy of the Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes from Famous Eating Places, initially published by the Ford in the late 1940s. It’s a fascinating little book – each page has a recipe from a different restaurant somewhere in the U.S. The book is organized by region, and was, apparently, designed to fit in the glove compartment of your car, so in addition to being a recipe book, it’s a travel guide. The book is also beautifully illustrated, with a picture of each restaurant by a different artist, so it’s also a neat little anthology of mid-century design.
Los Angeles restaurants are extremely well-represented – below are some of the images and recipes from the book of L.A. restaurants of the past. Most of these are now long gone, but we can now re-create them in the comfort of our own kitchens, thanks to the magic of used bookstores and the internet!
“Blade Runner” is, for Angelenos, part of our cinematic DNA. It envisions a dystopic future Los Angeles that borrows from the past but, to some, it disturbingly resembles the present. However, I suspect that more than a few Angelenos are jaded by the repeated “Blade Runner” viewings and the comical number of versions that have been released, especially the “Blade Runner For Dummies” narration of the original U.S. theatrical release. As one such Angeleno, I was mesmerized upon discovering the above video showing the real-life “Blade Runner” filming locations matched shot-for-shot with their depictions in the movie.
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The handmade sign on the front door of mobster James “Whitey” Bulger‘s former home on 3rd Street in Santa Monica reads: “Go Away. People Live Here”. That’s the message I’d like to send to mobsters in Los Angeles and across the country. But they seem to keep popping up near where I live, or vice versa.
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Coming back from the Hollywood Home Depot yesterday afternoon, my wife Susan and I opted for surface streets back to Silver Lake instead of the backed-up southbound 101, and boy am I glad we did. Heading east on Fountain I looked south as we passed Kingsley Drive to find none other than renowned and prolific muralist Kent Twitchell doing some touch-up refreshment work to his 1971 Strother Martin Monument mural. With Susan understanding my OMG as we went around the block to pull up across the street from him, I got out and went pretty much total fanboy, interrupting him apologetically to gush about what an honor it was for me to see him in action, and get a picture of him:
I asked him if there was any hope of restoring the Ed Ruscha mural that had been despicably painted out in 2006 (and for which he ultimately settled a lawsuit in 2008 for a reported $1.1 million). He said he hoped for its return but that it would be put up in a different location.
The one mural of his also unceremoniously destroyed whose return I’ve long hoped for is his two-story cool-as-ice-blue Steve McQueen Monument, painted the same year as the one above.