Friday, June 28, 2013

Vintage Photo Friday

1960. Victor Barnaba, Photographer.  Photo from LA Public Library Archives

Above is a vintage photo of the Santa Monica Bank branch located on Pico Blvd. at 32nd Street, just west of the eastern border of the City of Santa Monica.  This building is currently a U.S. Bank branch.  The huge sign is gone, but many of the late 1950's architectural elements remain.  I love this building.  I love the arches, the poured concrete forms, the marble siding and the sleek lines of this little bank.  I pass by this location constantly.  Today, while I was searching for other photos I came across an Architectural Review Board application to alter this building when and if Chase Bank moves in.
U.S. Bank as it appears today, 2013.

Chase Bank has been unusually considerate in it's conversions of former Home Savings and Loan Buildings designed by Millard Sheets.  The beautiful mosaics have remained intact as have many of the stained glass interiors.  I only hope that Chase is as thoughtful in its remodel of this lovely little mid-20th century bank in East Santa Monica!  Thanks to the investigative work of Steven Keylon, we know that Weldon J. Fulton designed this building in 1956.

Bank Building, Rear
Textured Concrete at Rear of Bank Building
Stylish Overhang
West facing side of Bank Building
Marble, Tile and Textured Glass Block
...and don't forget those gorgeous concrete arches!
Yes, I love this building!  It's simple, elegant and innovative!
It's going to be a hot weekend in Los Angeles.  Stay cool and have a great time!

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Yarny Wigs

It's not Halloween, but for some reason I've been thinking about yarny wigs. It must be because my  friend, Laurie sent me the above photo.  This looks like a yarn ad from the mid-1960's or thereabouts.
I've fashioned a few yarny wigs over the years for myself, but nothing compares with the ones I've found via this Ravelry search!  Here are a few:

The Princess Leia Wig-Hat

Crochet Today's Brain Wig

Knitty's Hallowig

Kim's Freeform Bouffant Wig

Natalie's Pink Poodle Wig

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hollywood B-Day Party

Streamline Moderne / Deco Home, Hollywood Hills

On Sunday we were invited to Carolyn's birthday party at Johanna's house in the Hollywood Hills.  I've been to Johanna's and Stuart's home many times, but never for an intimate gathering.  It was great seeing this gem of a streamline-moderne / deco home with less than 25 people inside!  Johanna knows how to entertain!  She is definitely the hostess with the mostess.  The house looked fab, inside and out; the food was yummy and the company was highly entertaining.  I'm so glad we were included in this grand celebration!
There's that curved window!
Ready for "House Beautiful" close-up!

B-Day Girl, Carolyn and Hubby, Greg

Everyone had a marvelous time!

To see more photos, click here.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

S.S. Lane Victory

Commodore Larry @ the S.S. Lane Victory, San Pedro

On Saturday night we attended a birthday party for our pal, Chris.  These parties usually have a theme.  This year, the theme was 1945 Victory Party aboard the S.S. Lane Victory in San Pedro Harbor.  

Most people came dressed for the occasion.  There were sailors and waves, admirals, German soldiers, army men and women, visitors from the Hawaiian Islands, many civilians dressed in their 1940's garb.   
B-Day Boy Chris Nichols w/ sailors, Chris Green and Vince Hue
Marsha conquers the Navy
Soon to be wed, Brooke and Deyo
Larry and I were from the future.  We dressed as the Commodore and Commadorable from the Del Rey Yacht Club (which was founded in 1952).  My Dad was Fleet Captain at DRYC for many years and Larry wore Dad's official blazer.
The Commodore and the Commadorable.  Photo by Marsha

It was a beautiful evening, but a bit chilly later on.  The super moon was out, shining on the sea.  There was a combo playing swing music and everyone had a swell time!  Thank you Chris and Charlene for another fantastic party!

Click here to see more photos.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Top Round

Top Round is a new sandwich shop that just opened in our neighborhood.  Warning....there is nothing healthy offered here.  HOWEVER, the sandwiches are DELICIOUS.  Uh oh.  I can definitely see this becoming an addiction.  
The beef is thinly sliced, placed, steaming hot on a toasted bun with various sauces, and accoutrements.  I ordered the Beef and Cheese, accompanied by BBQ sauce.  Larry ordered the Horse and Hole, which consists of  beef with Provolone cheese, horseradish cream and roasted mushrooms.  You can get horse radish cream and BBQ sauce which they call "round" sauce on the side.  The horse radish cream is the best I've ever tasted....better than Lawry's!  Larry ordered a small chocolate shake and said it was yummy.  We did not order any of the French fry selections, nor did we try their "custard" which is really soft-serve vanilla ice cream with various toppings.  Ack!  There is nothing green served at this restaurant.

Top Round is a former doughnut shop, so it's not huge, however there is seating inside and a few tables on the patio.  The place is very slick and art-directed in a Googie style.  They have one of those fancy multi-drink machines.
The sandwiches are wrapped to go, so this is a perfect stop for a take-home dinner.  Prepare a nice, fresh green salad at home to go along with your sandwich and it's almost a healthy meal! 
Top Round Roast Beef
1000 So. La Brea Ave. (at Olympic Blvd.)
L.A., CA  90019  
open 11 am - 11 pm, daily

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Vintage Photo Friday - Lotus Festival

1985 Lotus Festival, Echo Park Lake

I used to like to visit Echo Park Lake every year around my birthday in July, either during or just after the Lotus Festival because that's when the lotuses were blossoming and at their best. The story of how the lotus blossoms came to Echo Park is shrouded in confusion.  There are many conflicting stories of who brought the lotus plant to Echo Park.  You can read about it here

The Bridge at Echo Park Lake, 1985

About 5 or 6 years ago, the lotus plants started to die.  The flowers did not bloom in the Lake every summer.  Recently, Echo Park Lake has been dredged, refurbished, revitalized and rehabilitated.  It reopened a few weeks ago to great success. Cuttings were taken from the lotus beds illegally, years ago by horticulturist, Randy McDonald.   His act of thievery saved the lotuses at the Lake.  Without McDonald's lotus cuttings, this beautiful plant would have been lost from the Park.

1985.  Picnic at Echo Park.

There is still netting and there are special underwater fences around the lotus beds to protect the plants until they grow stronger.  I'm just happy that the lotus plants have returned to Echo Park Lake.  
New Lotus Plants with Protective Netting @ Echo Park Lake.  Photo from Eastsider L.A.

Visit the new lotus plants at Echo Park Lake!  Have a wonderful Summer weekend!

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Thursday, June 20, 2013


Merriam-Webster Dictionary's definition of "bleak"

1: exposed and barren and often windswept
2: cold, raw;  a bleak November evening.

3 a : lacking in warmth, life, or kindliness : grim
   b : not hopeful or encouraging 
   c : severely simple or austere 

Yup.  That is what our backyard is.  Bleak.  Larry is very particular about his stuff.  His stuff is all over OUR yard.  Just airing my grievances in public for a change. I try to be positive on this blog, but sometimes my negativity eeks out.  Sorry.
Over the years we've had multiple construction projects encroaching our very large backyard.  This has left less room for Larry's stuff.  Too bad.  Time to get rid of the stuff.  I've suggested (kvetched) for years and years that I'd like to have a place to sit and entertain in the backyard.  Larry, however does not respond to guilt.  He's not Jewish OR Catholic.  He calls himself a Generic Gentile.  How did guilt pass by this group?

Larry asked me what I wanted for my upcoming birthday next month.  I suggested that I'd like the exterior of the house painted and a patio/deck installed with some sort of tarp or overhang.  No gifts.  Just a nice place outside to enjoy.  We'll see what happens.  The deadline is approaching.

I suppose you could consider our yard  a wealth of photographic opportunity.   Time to reorganize that wealth into a habitable place. 

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Current Yarny Faves

Yes, I'm on the Ravelry website A LOT!  It's like Facebook for Crocheters and Knitters.  There is so much inspiration here!
Below are a few patterns that I have pegged as possible future projects:
Blossoming Bag

Slip Stitch Dishtowels

Christmas Afghan
Pear Trivet (photo by Melanie702)


Of course, I already have TONS of works-in-progress right this minute and should not even be thinking about new projects!  How many projects do you have half-finished?

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

License to Snap

Bristol Farms Parking Lot, Beverly Hills adjacent

There's so much traffic along my route this summer that it has given me ample time to snap many vanity license plates.  Some of my friends have also contributed a few for your viewing pleasure!
Translation:  A Bug Lover, 405 Fwy.

Del Rey Yacht Club Parking Lot, Marina del Rey

Translation: Hippo Man.  Hi job or his figure? 10 Fwy.

Translation:  Stamp Art.  A fellow artist! 10 Fwy.
Translation:  Hockey. 10 Fwy.

West L.A.

Always in debt?  Pico Blvd., Mid-City

Experimental Musician? Trader Joe's Parking Lot, WeHo

Beverly Hills
Santa Monica, of course
Culver City

Pico Blvd., West L.A.
No! No!
Have you seen any great plates lately?

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