Cole’s or Philippe for your French Dip?

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

 

 

 

1975 LA County Sheriff training film – call it retro Sunday

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.

Los Angeles Plaza Historic District In 1869

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.

Continue reading “Los Angeles Plaza Historic District In 1869”

Mapgasm: The Stars In 1937’s Hollywood Galaxy

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.”

 

Maptastic: Los Angeles in 1891

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.

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

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.

Venice Vintage Motorcyle Rally this Saturday

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.

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

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.

Baby Let’s Cruise: 1940s Bunker Hill

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) :

Papoo’s Hot Dog Show Closing After 62 Years

How can you not trust a hot dog with a halo??
How can you not trust a hot dog with a halo??

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!

Feast Yer Eyes: Fast Food 1979

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: