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by frazgo

The Kept Girl and other bits of Los Angeles

8:42 am in Books, Entertainment, Fictional LA, History, LA, Maps, People, Vintage, Which Side? by frazgo

Kim Cooper, author of The Kept Girl, click to embiggen

If you know me, by now you know  I’m a total fan of Raymond Chandler. Angeleno and author Kim Cooper has a wonderful book that stars him and and is set in 1929 Los Angeles. Its told in the tone of his books which makes it a very easy and entertaining read.  Its centered around the Great Eleven cult that was active in Los Angeles that year.  Its been historically researched and based on several characters that may or may not have met in real life.  For the sake of this piece of fiction they all crossed paths and their tale unfolds in “The Kept Girl“.

Kim Cooper and Richard Schave also run the Esotouric Tours.  These social historians research a topic or person then put together lively bus tours on that theme around historic Los Angeles.

This past Sunday was the monthly Sunday Salon presented by the Los Angeles Visionaries Association.  Kim Cooper was there to talk about her book.  Also present was the graphic illustrator Paul Rogers who did the cover art for The Kept Girl. Read the rest of this entry →

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by frazgo

A drive through Bunker Hill in the 1940′s

11:54 am in Downtown, Filmmaking/Filmmakers, History, Vintage by frazgo

There is no sound so don’t fret.  Just enjoy the scenery.  Los Angeles in the 1940′s in and around Bunker Hill.

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by frazgo

I want that shirt and our old ‘stang back too.

8:56 am in Driving, Entertainment, Fashion, Food & Drink, History, Hollywood, People, Shopping, Vintage by frazgo

50 Years Mustang and Fashion

50 Years Mustang and Fashion shirt back

Blogging leads to adventures and fun soirees. Last night I was invited to a pretty swanky affair celebrating 50 years of Mustang and Fashion. It was held at The Standard Hotel on Sunset in WeHo.  This shirt was worn by the wait staff from the hotel’s Event Department and we couldn’t get them to give one up for us.

The event is documented in my flickr set, and was actually a lot of fun. Great food, nice cocktails and cars with pretty models next to them.  The Standard itself is quite the place. I remember it as the Golden Crest Hotel, then a retirement home when I first moved here, then it was abandoned for a while.  Quite the come back as you will note from the pictures.

The show itself was a fun bit of high zoot fashion history intermingled with a particular generation of the Mustang.  The speakers were L.A.’s own Christos Garkinos an expert in all things vintage along with Ford Design Director Joel Piaskowski who talked about the cars. Read the rest of this entry →

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by frazgo

Cole’s or Philippe for your French Dip?

4:30 pm in Downtown, Food & Drink, History, LA, Vintage by frazgo

I have to admit, I’m a fan of the French Dip and its quite the conundrum for me to chose between Cole’s and Philippe’s sandwiches. Both are very good, terrific au jus, tender meat that tastes the way it should.  They aren’t that far apart in price and neither is going to break the bank.

Atmosphere, both got a ton.  Philippe’s is more of a fast food vibe with lines and find your own table at your own risk during peak times.  Cole’s is more of a sit down dark old timey bar that has charm all onto itself starting with the tinned ceilings and going down to the antique booths.

Both claim to be the original French Dip.  Neither will relinquish the title to the other, suffice it to say I think L.A. can lay claim to the sandwich as its own and we can move on.  You won’t go wrong with either French Dip Sammy.

Philippe has the edge on convenience for me. Getting there is a quick hop on the Gold Line to Union Station and a 5 minute walk.  Cole’s is more involved and finding parking in the area can be a challenge, except for weekends.

Which is your favorite?  Why?  Sound off in the comments for kicks and giggles.

Cole’s   118 East 6th Street, Los Angeles 90014 213-622-4090 MAP HERE

Philippe  1001 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, 90012 213-628-2731  MAP HERE

 

 

 

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by frazgo

1975 LA County Sheriff training film – call it retro Sunday

11:55 am in Driving, Entertainment, History, LA, LA bloggers, Vintage by frazgo

Or how to drive a tank fast on bias ply tires!

This film is a hoot.  The tips apply if you drive a rear wheel drive tank on bias ply tires.  The commentary is still sorta relevant when it comes to fast driving a car with rear wheel drive.  I love the brown haze they called sky back in the day, my how things have improved!

Tip o the hat to Sergeant Tom LeVeque at Arcadia Pd who found this old video.

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by frazgo

Christmas from back in the day where everyone dressed for the holiday

3:58 pm in History, Hollywood, LA, Seasonal, Vintage by frazgo

Love this video, just wish it had a sound track.  Love the old stock footage from 1940′s Los Angeles where they really went out of their way to decorate for Christmas in Hollywood.

Merry Christmas all…

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Los Angeles Plaza Historic District In 1869

10:39 am in Downtown, History, LA, Vintage by Will Campbell

Happy 4th of July! Being a sucker for historic images of our city, I just had to share the following two exquisite views of Main Street, La Placita Church and the historic Los Angeles Plaza that I found on the History, Los Angeles County blog and the Watt Way blog. Both photographs were reportedly made in 1869, and may very well have been done by the same photographer on the same day — the first one facing east from Fort Moore Hill and the second facing north from the Pico House Hotel that was completed that same year (click to slightly enlargify):

Bonus image after the jump is one from Fort Moore Hill looking a bit more southeast of the location seven years later with Pico House at the right and the plaza having adopted its round configuration that remains today.

Read the rest of this entry →

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Hiking the M*A*S*H Set

8:00 am in Entertainment, Media, Movies, Television, Vintage by Matt Mason

Ambulance

M*A*S*H ambulance with recent paint job

Two of my L.A. area loves, hiking and filming locations, were married recently when I joined a group of hikers to tour the set of the television series M*A*S*H in Malibu Creek State Park. As a bonus, much of the original Planet of the Apes movie was shot there too.

More pics after the jump

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Mapgasm: The Stars In 1937′s Hollywood Galaxy

1:46 pm in Art, Entertainment, History, LA, Maps, Movies, Vintage by Will Campbell

If I’m getting redundant in my topics — maps, cycling, birds, maps — file your complaint with the other contributors here who have far better things to do than post. In the meantime, I just keep plugging away in this lonely place — this time with another historic map from Big Map Blog — and  just in time for that local trade association’s annual function known as the Academy Awards this Sunday. If I were giving out the Oscars, Big Map Blog would get one for bringing all us little people out there in the dark this awesome and timely 1937 addition to its collection of cartrography: Hollywood Starland, at right (moderately embiggenable if clicked).

Sure the artist misspells Katharine Hepburn’s name, and strangely enough the then 14-year-old Hollywoodland sign isn’t anywhere to be found. But don’t let those oversights keep you from clicking on over and marveling at the full-size version of this otherwise meticulously glorious representation of a bygone era in celebrity worship so bitingly chronicled just a couple years later in Nathanael West’s “Day of the Locust.”

 

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Maptastic: Los Angeles in 1891

12:32 pm in Art, History, LA, Vintage by Will Campbell

I have sung the praises of the Big Map Blog in the past, most recently in December when a 1932 map of Los Angeles was added to its extensive cartographical collection. And here I go again, because they just posted another jaw-dropper in the form of H.B. Elliott’s birds-eye viewpoint of our town when the population was only 65,000 back in 1891 — one that looks like the artist drew inspiration for it from an imagined vantage point aloft above what is now Elysian Park.

What makes this document so exquisite is not just the map itself, but the detailed representations of both exteriors and interiors of some of the commercial and civic landmarks of that time, most of which are long gone. Click the above image to biggify it. But better yet, got here on Big Map Blog and click the full size download link and get yourself the 157″ x 111″ version to marvel at available there for free.

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Retrogasm: Los Angeles in the 1950s

7:12 pm in LA, Vintage by Will Campbell

Found this vintage mid-century motoring gem courtesy Ed Padgett on his Los Angeles Times Pressmens’ Blog.

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Next In An Occasional Streetfiti Series: Swastika-Star-Swastika

9:52 pm in Biking in LA, History, Vintage by Will Campbell

One of the cool things about biking around Los Angeles is the stuff you get to discover that’s hidden in plain sight, with a favorite of mine being sidewalk vandalism. Most of the time you’ll just see a name and maybe a date scratched in the concrete or perhaps a decades-old shoe print. But sometimes you’ll come across more enigmatic stuff — like the following for example, written into the sidewalk by George, Bobby and Robert on the east side of San Fernando Road south of Figueroa Street, directly under the Arroyo Seco Parkway overpass (here) and right at the bottom of the steps leading up to what I like to call the “super-secret freeway bike/ped path” paralleling the southbound 110 between here and the what once was Chavez Ravine (click to enlargify):

Streetfiti

I’ve accessed those steps easily a couple dozen times over the last few years, but it was only today that I looked down and found this odd permanent record of the existence of George, Bobby and Robert. That crack running around it like a frame is interesting, but I’m at little more than a guess at the significance of the comma-delineated numbers that follow each name: 28, 1969; 27, 1969; 29, 1969. Birthday date and birth year, maybe? Or their ages during that fateful year? Or perhaps a year yet to come in the lives of these future thinkers?

What’s most curious is the decidedly more faint shapes scrawled at the bottom: a five-pointed star bookended on either side of it by swastikas that mirror each other. Three names, three figures. Kinda makes you go hmmmm.

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Venice Vintage Motorcyle Rally this Saturday

5:23 pm in Entertainment, Events, History, Transportation, Vintage, West Side by Matt Mason

Venice Vintage MC Rally Poster

Rally event poster, used with permission


If you’re a fan of engineered machinery as I am, the words “Venice Vintage Motorcycle Rally” may be among your favorites. This Saturday, October 22, the Venice Vintage Motorcycle Club will hold its annual Vintage Motorcycle Rally on the Venice Farmers Market lot at 400 Venice Blvd. South, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event will feature vintage bike judging, live music, a barbecue, beer garden, pin-up girl contest, and vendors.

Admission to the rally is free. If you want to enter a vintage bike in the judging, the cost is $10 and includes VIP parking. Others arriving by motorcycle can park for $5. According to The Argonaut newspaper, proceeds from the rally will benefit the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA). I plan to arrive on foot, but if there are bikes for sale, then who knows, I may be leaving in a different manner.

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by frazgo

Blogging (in) LA: Preserving what we lost in LA with On Bunker Hill

9:22 am in Blogging (in) LA, Downtown, Entertainment, History, LA, Vintage by frazgo

Hat tip to my friend Petrea Burchard over at Pasadena Daily Photo for turning me onto On Bunker Hill this morning via a tweet.

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.

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Shelby Car Show on Santa Monica Pier: Check Out the Photos

1:42 pm in Driving, Entertainment, Events, History, Transportation, Vintage, West Side by Matt Mason

PierThe 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.

Read the rest of this entry →

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