Monday, September 01, 2014

Bird Yizkor


The other morning we were woken up by screeching birds outside our window.  In the summer, we sleep with the windows open and the room fan on so the cooler air will circulate during the night.  When the windows are open, we hear the sounds of our 'hood.
I've never heard such shrill howls from the bird community before.  It was light outside, so we got up and inspected the sky.  There were tons of birds gathered in this one palm tree and on the electrical wires near our front yard.
 All photos by Larry Underhill
It appears that the birds were conducting a memorial or Yizkor service for one of their fallen.   Yizkor in Hebrew means 'remember.'  The local birds were honoring and remembering a member of their congregation with their grievous screeching. 
The Fallen Bird in our Neighbor's Driveway

The bird community is a close-knit one in Wilshire Vista.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Vintage Photo Friday - Labor Day Weekend


This is Labor Day weekend, traditionally celebrated on the first Monday in September, (direct from the U.S. Department of Labor website):
"...is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."
The first Labor Day was celebrated in NYC in 1882.  Since that time, celebrations and the meaning of this day has changed.  NOW, it's an excuse to get out of town, shop at the local store sales OR enjoy a backyard barbecue.  Labor Day typically signifies the end of summer for many. 
Larry and I have nothing planned for this weekend.  We'll probably stay close to home and do some seasonal clean-up and re-arranging.  We will definitely have a mini-barbecue on Monday and toast to the end of summer. 
1947.  Check out the spread for this barbecue!  Security Pacific National Bank Photo Collection

Whatever you decide to do this weekend, have a safe and happy one!  Think about all of the people laboring on your behalf during this national holiday.

 

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

You Can Count on Shakey's

Vintage Shakey's Signage

You Can Count on Shakey's to always mess up a sign.  The Shakey's Pizza Parlor (and Ye Olde Public House) in our neighborhood gets lots of business.  They host fundraisers for schools, birthday parties, retirement parties, little league get-togethers and more.   As an added feature, you can have a customized welcome sign presented on the outdoor Shakey's building sign when you plan a party.  These usually say, "Happy Birthday Joe" or "Congratulations Susie."  You get the idea.


I drive by the Shakey's on Olympic and San Vicente Boulevards at Fairfax Avenue every single day.  I LOVE reading their signs.  There's always a misspelling or grammar error.  I know it's not funny to laugh at other people's mistakes, but I'm tickled by their signs.  Hey!  Maybe they make these errors on purpose to amuse us and bring us into the restaurant!
My WeHo SnB friend, Sarah lives close-by.  We always comment, "Did you see the Shakey's sign the other day?  It was so funny!"  Sarah has even scheduled sign messages in the past, resulting in hilarious errors.
Sarah and her fiancĂ©, Leon were married last weekend in Madison, WI.  Many of our Stitch 'n Bitch group made pom-poms for the wedding ceremony to be thrown at the happy couple instead of rice as they walked back up the aisle.  There was definitely a yarny theme to this wedding!

Pom-Pom Wedding of Sarah and Leon.  #sleonwedding

I thought it would be fun to have Shakey's write a special message congratulating Sarah and Leon on their recent wedding.  I TYPED the message for Shakey's in block print, bold:

POM POM LOVE
SARAH & LEON 

As you can see, the clever employees at Shakey's got the message all wrong, which is PERFECT!  I was counting on them to mess up the wording.  Thanks again, Shakey's.  You did not disappoint us!



I do feel a bit guilty that I made a false reservation and then did not show up for dinner.  Oh well, one of these days we'll head over there for a pitcher and a pie.


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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Learning to Use My Camera

Last spring I purchased a sweet little Canon Elph Power Shot camera.  I wanted something small and easy to handle with better lens capability than my phone.  I took my new Canon on our vacation to Louisiana and was very pleased with my photos.
Sometimes, when I shove my camera in my pocket or into my purse, I switch up the settings on the top.  There is an AUTO mode, SPECIAL EFFECTS mode and MOVIE.  The Special Effects mode takes 6 rapid shots, using different filters.  Ack!  This might be a nice feature for some photographers, but I like to do my editing on the computer, not in-camera.  
Multiple Snap/Special Effects Mode

I had the button switched to Special Effects when we were walking down Alameda Street on Sunday afternoon, on our way to lunch.  Here are the results:
"Normal" Mode.  I like this stark, white building with orange awnings only on one floor.

This one is kinda' cool




"Normal" Mode.  LAPD Auto Lot




One of these days, I'll learn about ALL of the features that this little camera offers! 

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

L.A. Arboretum


While the rest of the City was over at the Huntington Gardens looking and smelling the stinky Corpse Flower, Larry and I were at the L.A. Arboretum on Sunday.  It was extremely HOT in the San Gabriel Valley, but the grounds at the Arboretum are really beautiful.  I couldn't stop taking photos, in-between water breaks.




We wanted to check out the California / drought resistant plants.  The cactus and succulent gardens are awesome.




After walking through the steamy hothouses to view the orchids, we needed to LEAVE the San Gabriel Valley.  Yes, it's beautiful there.  The mountains at the edge of the Valley are majestic, but the heat trapped in that Valley is oppressive!  Take me back to Los Angeles please where the temperature was at least 15 degrees cooler!




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Monday, August 25, 2014

Little Jewel, Indeed!


Larry and I had heard sooo much about The Little Jewel of New Orleans in Chinatown, that we just had to try it.  On a very hot Sunday afternoon, we drove downtown, found a spot to park near Philippe's and walked over to Ord Street.  
This place really is a little jewel.  It's a grocery store and deli.  The grocery store is stocked with products from Louisiana.  With a nod to the neighborhood, there are also many Asian and Latino products.  This is a perfect place to stop in for a quick lunch or even to buy household items along with your take-out.  The staff is very helpful.  The place is clean and cheerful and they have a killer soundtrack of Louisiana music playing throughout the shop.





We inspected the grocery items and then checked out the menu.  We decided to order two Po' Boy sandwiches and split them.  Larry ordered the Shrimp Po'Boy.  I ordered the house-made sausage patty Po'Boy.  There's also a huge selection of soft drinks.  I was tempted to try an order of crawfish mac 'n cheese, but the sandwiches looked like enough for lunch.

Italian Sausage Po'Boy Sandwich

Everything was delicious.  The staff has taken extra care to preserve the authentic style of New Orleans food.  My big complaint with Po'Boy sandwiches in places other than Louisiana is the bread is usually too hard.  Little Jewel imports soft rolls direct from Louisiana.  They are a perfect compliment to all the fixings in these yummy sandwiches.  I can't wait to try their other menu items.
Chef Marcus





I did buy a bag of Camellia Red Beans that are soaking in my kitchen right now for the traditional Red Beans and Rice Monday night dinner!
You can follow the Little Jewel of N.O. on Facebook for menu updates and specials.  It's fun to look at their online photo album to see the transformation from a decades-old Chinese restaurant to this spic 'n span gem of a shop.  


The Little Jewel of New Orleans
207 Ord St., Chinatown, Los Angeles
(213) 620-0461

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