Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Passover Seder - 2014

Jackie, Megan, Amelie, Mira, Jake, John (in the kitchen)

We had an excellent family gathering for our Passover family Seder.  Our family is shrinking.  Instead of our usual 25 participants, we only had 15 people this year at Carolyn's and John's home.  Kids are away at college, cousins had to work, some have left us for that great Seder in the sky.
Carolyn pours wine for Elijah
Carolyn, Marilyn and I cook most of the meal, along with a little help from Roz and Mae.  Everyone helps in the preparation of the Seder tables.
After reading and singing from my abbreviated and transliterated version of the Haggadah, we commence the feast!


Gefilte Fish


Matzoh Ball Soup
Kugel, Chicken Marbella, Fruit Compote, Spinach Souffle, Carrots w/Dill
Before dessert is served and before the kids start searching for the Affikomen, we read a few more pages, sing a few more songs, say some prayers and drink our last cup of wine!
Amelie found the Affikomen this year!

She was delighted with the prize!  Thank you, Auntie Marilyn!

Dessert
 
 
"Once again, we have completed the telling of our ancient story.  Why do we tell this story, again and again, for hundreds of generations?  Because it is the foundation of our hope, and the basis of all Jewish dreams. This freedom that we cherish does not mean only freedom from slavery, but freedom from want and fear, from prejudice and bigotry for all men."
Amen. 
For more pictures of our family Pesach Seder, click on this link.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Bowlarama

"Bowlarama" Exhibit

Friday night was the opening of the FANTASTIC exhibit, "Bowlarama" at the A + D Museum on the Miracle Mile.  This exhibit encompasses California bowling architecture, technology and design from 1954-1964.  There are some wonderful artifacts, photographs, architectural renderings and films from this magical era.



The opening was in the back room of the Museum and there were tons of people there.  It was difficult to really see everything, so I went back the next day to take more photos.  Wow!  I want to live in this exhibit.  Well, I guess I did live here...back in the 1960's!


"Bowlarama" runs through May 11th.  Go see it.  You'll be enchanted.

 To see more photos, check out my Facebook album.
A + D Museum
6032 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA  90036
323/932-9393

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Vintage Photo Friday

The George - Paul Company, 8551 Venice Blvd., L.A., 1960

My Dad was in the lumber business.  His company made doors and wardrobes for many houses, apartments and commercial buildings in and around Los Angeles from the mid-1950's through the mid-1960's.  My Dad, George Bloom had a partner in this business, Paul Kane.  They called their business the George-Paul Company.  The lumber yard was located at 8551 Venice Boulevard., Los Angeles, just west of La Cienega Blvd.
This is the only photograph I have of my Dad's office from that era.  George liked to use his "spy" camera, a Minox, because it was so small and handy.  Although this camera was excellent for taking photos of documents for nefarious purposes, it wasn't that great for taking landscape photos, as evidenced by this grainy photo.  The negatives were teensy tiny.  I remember Dad storing them in a small letter file.
I vaguely recall another store-front building in this location before George and Paul erected this "tilt-up," concrete modern structure.  One door was next to George's office (left) and the door at the other end of the building was for Paul's office (right). I just love those super tall doors with the tiny windows.  The whole building is a simplified version of the very popular mid-century Regency architectural style of the time. In-between the bosses' offices was a galley-style room with desks, file cabinets and other office furniture.  Along the back wall was a long window facing into the lumber yard where the office staff could see what was going on in the yard, full of lumber, door frames, hardware, trucks and more.
Business was excellent during the post-war building boom of the 50s and 60s.  Around 1966, new construction ceased in the immediate L.A. area, moving out toward the far reaches of the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys.  This is when the George-Paul Company folded.  Subsequently, my Dad went into the store mannequin manufacturing business.  That's another story.
That old concrete tilt-up at 8551 Venice Boulevard is still there, now housing an auto upholstery shop. They changed the doors, added security gates and reduced the stylish simplicity of the design, but I'm amazed that the basic building exists.
8551 Venice Blvd., L.A., 2014

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

A New Holiday

Palm Springs, 1964

After perusing Facebook this morning, I found out that today is National Siblings Day.  Sheesh!  There's a holiday for EVERYTHING now.  Used to be we'd just celebrate each other on our birthdays.  Now, my brother and I have a particular day where we can reminisce about how he used to call me "Shrimp," "Pokey" and "Pipsqueak." 

At Grandma & Grandpa Bloom's house, across the street from Hollywood H.S.

Halloween, 1957.  Beverly Hills

Ken's Bar Mitzvah Reception, 1958.  Sherman Oaks

San Francisco, 1959

I must say, I'm eternally grateful to my brother, Ken for teaching me how to play the ukulele, guitar and banjo and for furthering my love of American Roots music.  We are seven years apart, so I cannot remember too many favors I did for Kenny.  He was out of the house by the time I was 11 or 12.  I do remember Mom saying that he couldn't use the family car unless he took his little sister along, thus ensuring that he wouldn't get into any REAL trouble.  Little did Mom know that I was sitting in smokey back rooms at The Ash Grove (L.A.'s premiere folk music club) listening to the less than wholesome sounds of Reverend Gary Davis, Ramblin' Jack Elliot and Bill Monroe rehearse before performances!
After all these years, Ken has maintained his interest in music, making it his life's work.  This weekend he's hosting the Pilot Mountain Bowed Dulcimer Festival in North Carolina. 
Me, I'm still playing the same three chords on the ukulele!

Ken, Dad, Ellen.  1955. San Diego Zoo

Ellen, Mom, Ken.  1955. Ferry to Coronado Island.
Ken, Ellen.  2004.  Los Angeles
Happy Siblings Day, Kenny!

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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I Want to Make This!

I'm constantly bombarded with yarny inspiration.  Visiting 11 yarn stores over the weekend must have had something to do with this!  Wherever I look I see something colorful that I can translate into yarny goodness!  I know this sounds weird, but many times my dreams at night contain yarniness.
Here are a few items I've seen in the past few weeks that I want to make:
Adorable Dolly, seen at Abuelita's Yarn Shop, Pasadena

Sweet, Simple Teddy, seen at Carolyn's House, Burbank

Knit Afghan, also seen at Carolyn's House, Burbank

Granny Reindeer, photo sent to me by Laurie K.

Peggy's "Jewel" shawl with beads and leftover sock yarn

I need more yarny time in my life!

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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

License to Snap - Reader's Choice

All vanity license plates were sent in by my reporters in the field.  Thanks to Brenda, Stephanie and Thane for these great plates!  Keep 'em coming!
An efficient person.  Beverly Hills

Near Beverly Vista Elementary School, Beverly Hills
Latin Jazz Lover Translation:  Cal Tjader

Seen on a boxy Scion SUV!
Translation:  Force Be Wit' Ya! - They like "Star Wars" in Wisconsin!

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Monday, April 07, 2014

L.A. County Yarn Crawl 2014

My Yarn Crawl Passport, Stamped by 11 Shops!

OK, I'm officially yarned-out!  I traveled to 11 yarn shops this past weekend.  Yes, I love yarn shopping, but I love crocheting and knitting more.  Time to get to work.  If I crocheted or knit everyday for the rest of my life, I'd NEVER use all of the yarn that I own.  Phew!
On Friday, Laurie-Ann, along with Brenda and Diane picked me up for our first day of crawling.  We met up with Leah at the Little Knittery in Atwater Village.  Leah joined us for the rest of the Crawl.  


Creative Doily Mobile at The Little Knittery

After thinking about ALL of the shops we visited, I do believe that I liked The Little Knittery the best.  Of course, this was our first shop.  We were all bright-eyed and awake, brimming with yarn enthusiasm.  The Little Knittery just feels hipper than most shops.  It must be the vibe from the high cool-quotient in Atwater Village.  Also, this shop is relatively close to where I live, so I will definitely visit again.
Next stop, Needle in a Haystack in Montrose.  I've been to this shop numerous times.  The Montrose Downtown area is a flash from the past.  It's 1960 again.  Montrose is a charming area, full of restaurants and interesting shops.
Shopping at Abuelita's in Pasadena

We piled back into the car for the short trip to Pasadena's Abuelita's Knitting and Needlepoint Shop.  Abuelita's re-located recently from Mission Avenue in South Pasadena to Colorado Boulevard in the heart of Pasadena.  The shop is located in a picturesque courtyard.  it's a two-storey shop, beautifully decorated.
We zoomed south through the streets of Pasadena and South Pas to yet another adorable shopping village on Huntington Drive in San Marino.   Destination:  A Stitch in Time.  This very large shop is primarily dedicated to needlepoint, cross-stitch and embroidery, but they do have a very nice selection of fine knitting and crochet yarns.
A Stitch In Time, San Marino

We were beginning to feel weak.  All of that yarny goodness was giving us blurry vision.  We zoomed down Huntington to the border of South Pas and Alhambra and had a yummy lunch at Twohey's.  


Notice the George Nelson light fixtures!  Very Mid-Century Modern.


Twohey's is an institution in the San Gabriel Valley.  It started out as a carhop drive-in in 1949.  There has been some remodeling since that time, but the current interior renovations have brought this restaurant back to Googie greatness.  Twohey's is the home of the Stinko Burger (pickles and onions).  I just had a regular cheeseburger.  It was delish.
We then made the long drive to purlSide in Glendora. Their motto is:  "Get Your Knits on Route 66."  Cute.  
Leah, Marie, Brenda, Diane and Laurie-Ann @ purlSide, Glendora

My friend, Marie recently moved to Glendora.  She had been following our Crawl progress on Facebook, so we invited her to meet us at purlSide and then to the HIGHLIGHT of our trip, The Donut Man for FRESH STRAWBERRY donuts!  It was so nice seeing Marie again.  Although we keep up with each other's lives on Facebook, we rarely have a chance to visit.  In years past, we both knit with a group in Montrose.  We will have to make an effort to reunite that fun group!


After our delicious dessert stop on Route 66, we made our way to Claremont.  Driving through the downtown area of historic Claremont is always fun.  The area is filled with craftsman bungalows, arroyo stone fences and other quaint structures.  Colors is housed in such a little building.  This has to be one of the friendliest yarn staffs on the Crawl.  We were plied with freebies, assaulted by the colorful, artful shop and welcomed to hang out.  Next time I'm in Claremont, I will definitely stop at Colors to peruse their stock more carefully.  There are also tons of darling restaurants and coffee houses nearby.  
Colors Yarn Shop, Claremont

Our next to last stop in Claremont was Phebe's Needleart, located in the historic College Heights Lemon Packing House near the railroad tracks.  This is a small shop, upstairs.  They displayed some beautiful samples, knit and crochet.
Although we were all very tired, we were only about 10 minutes from the Hobby Lobby in Upland, so off we went.  I do not agree with Hobby Lobby's politics, but their house-brand cotton and acrylic yarn are excellent quality in a range of colors.  The yarn abides.
After a long freeway drive home on a late Friday afternoon, I was exhausted.  Thank you, Laurie-Ann for driving!  I had a great day!
On Saturday, I just could not bear to visit another yarn shop other than my home, go-to shop, The Knitting Tree in Culver City.  The place was full, everyone was happy and I was glad I stopped in.  I've written about this great shop previously, here.  Naturally, I just had to purchase a sweater's-worth of lovely blue yarn!  Ack!
Leo and Andrea at The Knitting Tree, Culver City

On Sunday, my friend, Nancy and I zoomed out to Van Nuys to visit A Major Knitwork.  Neither of us had visited this shop and we wanted to check it out.  Due to it's proximity to Trendsetter Yarn factory, this is the go-to place for an excellent selection of Trendsetter product.  Too bad I stopped here on the third day of yarn shopping.  I probably would have given this shop more attention if I hadn't been yarned-out. 
Nancy @ A Major Knitwork, Van NuysNotice the gigantic yarn swift in front of the shop!

My very last yarny stop was at Compatto Yarn Salon in Santa Monica to drop off my passport.  This shop is very close to my office.  Wouldn't it be nice if I won the gift basket?!!
I was fairly frugal in my yarn purchases during the crawl.  Naturally, I want to drop all of my current projects and start making something with my NEW yarn.  I have yarn A.D.D.
Yarn purchases from The Knitting Tree, purlSide, Little Knittery, Compatto, A Major Knitwork and Hobby Lobby

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery