Already two posts into the series, I am compelled to confess I am breaking genre slightly. Not too badly, I believe still within the conceit of the title. My dearest native informant had me over recently for a very lovely dinner, with cold trays of priscutto, smoked salmon, radishes, and fresh guacamole, to match the hot weather in which baking and frying would be altogether too much.
My informant lives in one of the apartment buildings to the south of Burton, and east of Robertson, in Beverly Hills. That is, this was in that 90211 zip code area that was built for working class residents in the post-war (WWII, that is) era. It’s not a cheap place to live, but it is an area of apartments and moderate sized single-family houses (with just a few ugly McMansions scattered among its fifth-of-an-acre lots). My informant’s apartment, or anyway the bathroom art (by conceit, a “restroom”) fittingly matches its neighborhood.
Even now, 60 years out, and in stark contrast to the 28% renters over across the tracks to 90210, 90211 is a renters’ community. City-Data.com’s 90211 Zip Code Detailed Profile gives a basic breakdown:
Houses and condos: 3,980;
Renter-occupied apartments: 2,388
% of renters here: 64% State: 43%
Of course, the cheap post-WWII houses mentioned nonetheless carry million-dollar sales prices now. Location, location, location (and incorporated municipality).
The restroom art of my fine meal matches the architectural decor of the building it took place in. Thoroughly post-War aesthetic, or perhaps a carryover from just a few years before the building itself was constructed to house such posters. The tire advertisement is a striking bit of subliminal subversion. Just why is our sitting damsel leaning against the advertised product, looking so raptly at the Amazonian shorts of a massively oversized, and nicely trim “companion?” Los Angeles’ passionate love of automobiles just might be one that dare not speak its name.
Another mid-century icon was naturally present while I freshened up after my meal. How did Joan Crawford ever get edged out as high-camp icon by Betty Davis or Judy Garland? An undeserved decline surely, as this other poster works to show.