Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Another Sign

Remember? A few weeks back I wrote about some of my favorite signs in and around Los Angeles? I received MANY comments regarding this post. An especially intriguing remark was from Chez Shoes in Pasadena. CS wanted to know if I'd seen the "Asthma Vapineze" neon sign on North Fairfax Avenue in Hollywood. Hmm? I never noticed it. We searched the name on the nets and came up with this wonderful black and white photo by "K" on the Jimson Weed Gazette. However, there wasn't any explanation of what this sign is about.
Street View

Is it some sort of asthma medicine sales place? Is this an old sign representing some strange elixir? Is it an art piece, erected to mess with our minds? Does the old bungalow beneath the sign have any significance? CS wondered if the sign was still there. Last weekend I drove up Fairfax from my neighborhood to the south and searched for the sign. During the day, it was difficult to spot, but I finally found it on the east side of Fairfax Ave., just north of Romaine St. I parked and took a few snapshots. There are businesses surrounding the bungalow. There were no signs of life coming from the front of the bungalow. There are surveillance camera signs and motion lights near the iron gate. At night, this can be a rather raucous section of Fairfax. There's always barfing rockers coming out of nightclubs...hence the cameras, lights and gates, I'm assuming.
I saw lots of vegetation in front of the porch. There was a dried up Christmas tree in the patio. Thru a side window I spotted an old-fashioned wall clock in the front room. The building backs up to a DWP or maybe SoCal Edison office on Spaulding Ave. There is no alley behind the building.
Front Porch

Side Window
I've also driven by at night and the neon sign is burning. Maybe I should send a letter to the address of this mysterious bungalow. What's the deal? Does anybody know?

Photo by "K" of Jimson Weed Gazette



At 6:15 PM PST, Blogger chez shoes said...

The mystery continues! I'm so glad that it's still there.

At 10:39 PM PST, Blogger KnittingBlueContent said...

Thank you Ellen! I just went on a fun ride on the internet because of this picture, lol.

Doing my own Google search, I found this lady's interview:

Noone I know has ever heard the song 'Buffy come back to me' (based on the Family Affair tv show) so I began to wonder about my sanity.

Hillary Carlip was in the band that sang that song!!

While I haven't solved the mystery of the "Asthma Vapineze" sign (yet!) you sent me on a fun mission so far.

The b&w picture you linked? That man's blog makes me sad.

At 10:57 AM PST, Blogger Madge said...

No clue here. (Anyone at ModCom in on the secret?)

Maybe it's a cult. Or a family of cannibals. Or a 1960s rock star turned recluse. Or....

Hmm, you and Larry could always go incognito (bring a copy of the Watchtower with you!) and ring the doorbell....

At 11:48 AM PST, Blogger Faith said...

I have been wondering about that sign for about 10 years! Please!!! Someone find out about it!

Thanks El!

Oh, and I know the Buffy song. Too well.

At 1:36 PM PST, Anonymous Suzette said...

Hi Ellen. Vapineze sounded to me like some sort of medicine, with the "eze" maybe being a product suffix (e.g. Kof-eze, for coughs). I searched for just "vapin" and came up with a bunch of marijuana related sites and found that vapin' seems to be slang for "vaporizing" which seems to be some way of smoking marijuana (gee I sound like a middle-aged square dork). Anyway, maybe what with all the security cameras, etc., the sign has somthing to do with smoking (selling?) pot or some pot-related product. Have Asthma? Smoke pot in comfort with Vapineze!

At 2:05 PM PST, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Wow! Suzette! I'll bet you're right. I'm a dorky middle-ager too (high five).

The neighborhood sounds perfect for a product like this. Thanks so much for your interpretation. We'll see what others come up with!

At 5:00 PM PST, Anonymous Suzette said...

. . . although why anyone would have a big, retro-looking, neon sign on top of their house specifically directed to pot-smoking asthmatics is beyond me! =^..^=

At 6:59 PM PST, Blogger -K- said...

Thanks for posting my "Asthma" picture. I, too, thought it was just a real strange place. When I took the picture they were still turning the sign on (it was blood red I think). Shortly after, they turned off the juice.

As for an earlier comment - "The b&w picture you linked? That man's blog makes me sad"....well, I'll just have to think about that.

At 9:11 PM PST, Anonymous i heart goji berries said...

This post reminded me of how curious people really are. LOL.

At 10:17 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 2:25 PM PDT, Blogger J said...

The mystery is solved! While my friend and I were snooping around the house in question we noticed that there was a shop right next door called Filth Market which has vintage t-shirts and motorcycle jackets ect. We went inside figuring that if anyone would know what going on there it would be them. My friend asked the girl at the counter if she knew anything about what the Asthma Vapineze sign was about. She told us her name was Maggie and that she sometimes sees the gentlemen who lives there. She described him about 70 years old, tall, skinny and often walks around the neighborhood with no shirts on.

Maggie said that she told him that there is a few websites online of people wanting to now what the sign was about. She asked him if he knew this and apparently he doesn’t pay any attention to it. She went on to explain to us the story he told her, in the 60’s he had a business which sold a product for asthma and the bungalow was the office. The product didn’t work out but he now lives there and enjoys the sign so he keeps it on. She said he wouldn’t really explain what the product did. Even though the business didn’t work out. He still keeps the sign up and now lives there with many pet birds in the back yard(I noticed this while snooping).

I was hoping it was some kind of cult or something more sinister. All this still doesn’t exactly explain all the surveillance cameras and motion detectors and the 2 coded gates but maybe that is just his cover story, who knows.

At 3:02 PM PDT, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Thanks for the explanation, J. I, too was hoping for a more exotic story!! Oh well, at least we know some of it. Thanks!

At 6:17 PM PST, Blogger Stacy J said...

I live in Tulsa, OK and was looking on the internet to find out what my newly purchased, vintage, Vapineze Inhalant Outfit was exactly. I came across a few posts about the Asthma sign and I believe I own the product this man was selling in the 60's. I have a picture if anyone would like to see it I posted it on the "Asthma Vapineze" Facebook page. Enjoy!!

At 2:22 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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