So I was having dessert with a friend the other night and we got onto this great riff talking about the hidden parts of LA we’d love to explore, all the places we’re intrigued by.
For example, I want to explore the swap meet that’s across Broadway from the Orpheum. It clearly used to be some big old theater, but now all you see is a little glimpse of baroque architecture hidden behind the dropped ceilings of the subdivided knockoff-t-shirts booths.
Or the grids of thick glass squares on the sidewalk in downtown: when I was a little girl my family was taking a touristy tour through downtown Seattle and those glass grids were actually the skylights in the old town’s “underground.”
So those are the things I want to explore, but I bet each & every one of you knows a place that’s always intrigued you. Now’s your turn to tell me your dream urban archaeology trip! Have you ever wanted to explore the dark cobwebbed skeletons of L.A.’s past? You know, original things are disappearing all over our city every day. Maybe we should think about exploring these traces before they become permanent history.
Thanks to Vix over at her “History, Los Angeles County” blog I’ve discovered yet another restaurant at Union Station. At first, I assumed Traxx had been built within the old “Harvey House,” but upon inspection it appears as if Vix’s photos of the deserted Harvey House date from 2007, while Traxx opened in 1997.
Apparently Harvey House is now used primarily for wedding receptions and the like. This evening while we’re at Traxx for Classic Eats I hope to sneak in to the former Harvey House location and snap some pics.
I’m also intrigued by Union Station’s Union Station’s environs’ former occupants, the original citizens of LA’s first Chinatown (now relocated several blocks to the northeast) and am grooving on this great collection of images of relics unearthed from beneath the station, from opium bowls to Bromo-Seltzer bottles.
That’s right–it’s LA Metblogs’ first “Classic Eats” evening this Saturday. We’re doing it a little early because (1) we figure you might have plans for later that night and (2) Clifton’s Cafeteria closes early.
I’m attempting to make some silly bingo games in time for the get-together and I’m planning on raffling off a day of guest blogging on LA Metblogs (raffle tix are free for all attendees, I ain’t tryin’ to raise money).
We’ll meet up at Clifton’s at 5:30pm for “slightly depressing kitsch” (as stated on Chowhound), because there’s no kitsch like slightly depressing kitsch. Really, I just want to eat cubed jello out of those thick bakelite cafeteria bowls under the watchful gaze of fake deer. I can’t believe I’ve never been to Clifton’s, so I’m really looking forward to this.
Around 6:30 or 7 we’ll wander, stuffed with meatloaf and lemon meringue pie, over to the Bonaventure Hotel to enjoy after-dinner cocktails at their 360-degree rotating rooftop lounge, the BonaVista.
While we plan to create some sort of prepaid meal package for these events in the future, we’re goin’ lo-fi for our first event and you enjoy the privelege of purchasing your very own food (we ain’t gettin’ rich offa blogging)! So exciting!
Having Griffith Park named a historic cultural landmark has extremely important benefits beyond the designation itself which creates opportunities for additional funding for maintenance and care of the park, and protection and acknowledgement of the special place this park has in Los Angeles’s colorful history. MacArthur Park is already a historic landmark; doesn’t Griffith Park — ALL of Griffith Park — deserve to be?
That said, this application is much bigger than just the designation. The bottom line is that Griffith Park is the front line in the struggle to keep our green space in Los Angeles away from developers and special interest groups. Sadly, Councilmember Tom LaBonge is fighting this application against the wishes of the Griffith Family, his constituents and the vast majority of Angelenos for exactly this reason — if all of Griffith Park becomes a historic cultural landmark, then every special interest project must go through a very public process for approval. No more backroom deals!
The item copied below is a great letter from the GGPNC outlining some of the sneaky ways politicos are trying to derail this application (very important!) and explaining exactly what action steps each of us needs to take to successfully support the Griffith Park application.
I hope everyone can take a few minutes out of their busy days to help support this pivotal application…
…and please share this with message with others.
Kristin Sabo (parks volunteer, and steward-caretaker of Amir’s Garden)