The Dalmatian and the Curio Shop

About three years ago while walking along Sunset Blvd, just east of Echo Park Blvd, MAKSTER and I came upon a store labelled “Curious Shop”, with an old Mexican gentleman half asleep out front. Around him were various curios and odd items that he had collected over the years and was now selling.

BewareWhen we started looking he awoke and talked to us, telling us of his involvement in World War II and how he used to paint propaganda posters – “for the other side”, he said. I believe that he said he lived in Mexico at the time(I am still trying to figure out the Mexico/Germany connection that I have seen allusions to in various places and situations).

We chatted with him(and I really wish I could remember his name right now) for about a half an hour or so, and bought a fossil fish for ten dollars, and then bid him adieu, never to see him again.

Months later when we walked by where the shop had been, we saw only the handpainted sign of a Dalmatian with the word “Beware” underneath. That was it.

I am not sure what is there now, or who he was, but I would certainly love to know more, if any other Echo Park oldtimers might have an idea…

5 Replies to “The Dalmatian and the Curio Shop”

  1. That is very bizarre. Sorry I have no information for it, but keep us posted if you hear more of that man. I’ve never heard anything about a Mexico/Germany connection. Very curious indeed.

  2. I snapped that doorway a ew months ago on a walk back from AAA Grocery Warehouse up Sunset a couple blocks away. The jux’t of the friendly dalmation with the stark BEWARE beneath it has always made me wonder what’s going on behind that green door. Thanks for cracking it open a bit.

  3. Okay, here’s the recent history of the store as dictated to me by an artist (www.maryaustinklein.com) to busy painting to type.

    3-4 years ago, the owner of the storefront died and the daughter from Florida came out to LA to resolve her mother’s finances. The shops proprietor, who apparently paid little or no rent, was evicted and the space was leased to a private investigator from Long Beach who wanted to open a gallery/coffee shop.

    At this time the above artist and an acquaintance were looking for a venue to hold a Holiday Art Sale to replace the one formerly held at the recently closed Ojala. Finding the old shop empty, they inquired at the neighboring Hair Salon who put them in contact with the owner who let them use the storefront for the Echo Park artist sale in Dec 2004.

    After the holidays some work was done in preparation for the coffee shop, floor drains were plumbed, and some vinyl lettering placed on the sign above the shop. During the last year it appears that no work has taken place.

    Several months ago a sign went up saying the property was going to probate auction, the date has passed, the sign is gone and just days ago we noticed that the door was propped open…

  4. Thanks for clarifying that there were no mutant attack Dalmatian’s loose in LA. I was beginning to dread my return to the firehouse :-)

    …another urban legend demystified. Thanks b/la!

    Brian Humphrey
    Firefighter/Specialist
    Public Service Officer
    Los Angeles Fire Department

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