It Caught My Eye: Staff Of Life & Graff Of Life

I’m not always successful, but whenever I’m biking around Los Angeles, I try to return a way different from whatever way I came and/or devote a little bit of my rides to exploring someplace new and/or at least revisiting an area I hadn’t been through in a while. Such was the case yesterday coming back to Silver Lake from a trip out to SPCALA headquarters near the Jefferson Park community that I ventured up through the Pico-Union area from Hoover, and made two discoveries.

The first is the hole-in-the-wall bakery pictured at right, seen just as I crossed Washington Boulevard. Looking up I spied that yellow banner hanging outside a Panaderia for the Bicycle Bread Company (BBC). While it’s true I hadn’t been on Union in about six months, unless this place opened during that time than I was guilty of never seeing it before. Because if I had seen it I most certainly would’ve stopped and bought something, given much I like bikes. And bread.

Sure enough: guilty. According the the BBC website it’s been in business since 2009. Also according to the website they’re hours in that space are limited to 5-8pm on Thursdays, but I apparently got both lucky and over-charged in that the place was open and I was able to come away with a one-pound round loaf of BBC’s cinnamon raisin whole grain sold by the panaderia owner for $5 (apparently there’s a hidden 25% commission surcharge above the $4 per-loaf price listed on the BBC website). Thankfully that extra dollar dinged didn’t detract from the absolute homemade milled-on-site scrumptiousness of the bread.

A little bit more about the BBC as well as a great mural found up the street, plus a bonus Victorian that surprised me after the jump.

The Bicycle Bread Company came about  via Stephen and Ben Gordon two brothers from Florida who according to legend arrived in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles in 2009 and traded 10 loaves of bread made from their mom’s recipe for a bike within which to make deliveries. The Bicycle Bread Company was born. And I will definitely be back (but via their online ordering system for Thursday pickup when it’s open).

WHAT: Bicycle Bread Company
WHERE: 1840 S. Union Avenue, Los Angeles, 90015
INFO: Order online for Thursday pickup or Monday delivery (delivery restricted to immediate area around USC).
CONTACTS: 213.550.7645 (Facebook)

After stowing my loaf in my backpack I proceed north on Union, and just south of Venice Boulevard I found this heretofore unknown-to-me awesomeness that I cobbled together into the five-frame panorama below (click to biggify):

From the upper left corner it’s the work of a group known as “Da Crew” painted at The Graff Lab, which is located there and bills itself as:

“…an urban sanctuary for artists, kids, and adults that opened after the Los Angeles public school district cut its after-school art programs in 2006. World famous for its graffiti and aerosol art, the Graff Lab is dedicated to providing artists with a safe space to develop their skills.”

Best I can tell the City of Angels mural went up in September of last year. I like the juxtaposition of the mural of Michael Jackson peeking out from above and behind it on the west wall of The Graff Lab’s headquarters. That was painted in the summer of 2010.

WHAT: The Graff Lab
WHERE: 1308 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles 90015

From there I cranked my way up Union Avenue to Wilshire and then up Witmer past Good Samaritan Hospital, where I continued beyond Third Street up to Miramar. Last but not least, after hanging a right to get over to Lucas and make my way downhill to Glendale Boulevard, I stopped in my tracks when I found this magnificent Victorian (built in 1901 and still a single-family home according to at 1425 Miramar (click to biggify):

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