Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Fancy Meat Section at the new Ralph's Signature Store

I stopped by my new Ralph's SIGNATURE store on Sunday to lay in a few supplies for the pre-Emmy show and Emmy broadcast couch potato marathon.
Whoa! This new Ralph's Grocery Store is really beautiful. It's always been a large store, ever since Alpha-Beta replaced the old Boy's Supermarket at this site, subsequently replaced by a Ralph's. I call this mid-town location the crossroads of L.A. Many diverse groups shop at this center. The market always has ample selections of Asian, Latin, Kosher and classic American items.

Piano and Saxophone Duo @ Ralph's MidTown

This Sunday was part of the grand re-opening. There was a barbecue in front with sizzling hot dogs; all kinds of in-store free tasting options; raffles for prizes AND live music!!! I've heard that this "celebration" will continue on the weekends for at least another month.
I loved standing in line, groovin' to the electric piano and sax stylings. The duo was wailing on "Night Train" during my check-out experience.
Ralph's Signature Store 4760 West Pico Blvd. @ San Vicente, Los Angeles Ca., 90019

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Potholder Swap

I've been participating in a potholder swap on Ravelry. This is a small swap, only 6 people. One month is designated to each participant. During that month the other five people must send a crocheted potholder to the Person of the Month. My Month is August. So far, I've received 4 potholders.
I was asked for my colors of preference. My kitchen is in upheaval right now, but I plan to have a classic black and white kitchen with other bright colors as accents, like red, bright blue, sunny yellow, green, etc. Really, I like all colors of potholders!
Here are the potholders I've received from my fellow swappers:From Lora in Rhome, Texas

From Maria in No. Little Rock, Arkansas
From Elsa in Lake Forest Park, near Seattle, Washington
From Lynda in Douglasville, Georgia

I've made 3 potholders for this swap....only 2 more to go!Ellen's Hand-Crocheted Potholders for Swappin'


Friday, August 27, 2010

Vintage Photo Friday

It's finally starting to heat up here in Los Angeles. Our summer has been very cool so far. It's going to be a hot fall!
Not sure who this is in the photo above. I don't remember where I found it on the innernetz, but it really says SUMMER to me! Love those sunglasses and that cute little bucket hat!
Have a wonderful summer weekend!

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oh Pico, My Pico

S/E Corner of Pico Blvd. & Shenandoah Street, L.A.
the sign is there, but the business is long gone

I've lived near Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles most of my life. There have been lots of changes since I was a child. I grew up near Pico and Roxbury Dr. There were small markets, nurseries, a little motel and some post-war apartments. Now, there are high-rises, gated apartment complexes, a religious school and museum.
Later in my life I lived near Pico and Robertson, for years a Jewish cultural center of the City...it still is! The buildings on this stretch of Pico haven't changed so much, but many different businesses have occupied these buildings. A former movie theater is now a synagogue, for example.
Now I live just a few blocks east of Fairfax, near Pico, which also used to be a Jewish center of City. Not so much, anymore. This section is a diverse part of the Boulevard containing Ethiopian, Jewish, Caribbean, East Indian, African-American and even Scandinavian businesses, along with a few hip-gentrified-centric businesses.
I hope to be around to experience even MORE changes along my favorite street. Have you noticed changes in your neighborhood?

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sometimes Sunday Crochet

Carol's Shrug

My "Sometimes Sunday" crochet group met last weekend, just as my family was leaving to continue their tour of historic L.A.

Julie's Shawl

It was a warm day, the first of our current heat wave, and a perfect time to sit inside, sip some cool lemonade and crochet a bit. Everyone is working on interesting projects.
Lori's Teensy Bikini for a co-workerJulieCarol and LoriEllen's Famous Granny Mandala
Snacks!Lori and Natalie

Sorry, Sabine, I didn't snap your picture on Sunday! What's your favorite hot-weather yarny project?

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Oh, Those Wacky Blooms!

Carol, Mort and Frances looking at old photos

It was my Uncle Mort's 93rd birthday this past weekend. Instead of having a party, Mort wanted to tour some of his old favorite places in Los Angeles. His daughters, Amie, Barbara and Carol put together the "Mort's Guide to L.A." map and, along with my Aunt Frances, they set off to tour the City.

Carol and Amie

They hit some former Bloom family stomping grounds like Boyle Heights, Downtown L.A., Hollywood and points west. On Sunday, OUR house was on the tour map. Frances and Mort hadn't seen our new room addition, so Amie and Carol brought them over in the afternoon.

Amie, telling me about their previous adventures

I had prepared a notebook filled with some vintage photos that my grandmother, Ethel (Mort's mother) had given my Dad (George) years and years ago. Mort loved seeing the old photos from his youth. They toured the house and then had a few snacks.
My recent crochet projects were on the dining room table. The Granny Mandalas were in progress.

Mort picked up one of the mandalas (doily) and plopped it on his head. Luckily, Larry was ready with the camera.

Nothing like a feisty 93-year-old! Happy Birthday, Uncle Mort!1950, Hollywood, California
L-R: Pop, Lawrence and Brothers, Mort, George and Hi Bloom
Front Row - my brother, Ken Bloom

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Monday, August 23, 2010

The Wild West, City Style

On Saturday I drove out to the Gene Autry Museum at Griffith Park. It was a beautiful clear day and the Zoo, next to the Museum was packed.

Gene Autry, the singing cowboy and biz tycoon, in bronze

My friend, Joan Tapper was at the Autry Gift Shop signing her new book, "The Wild West on 5 Bits a Day." There were quite a few people there to commemorate the Museum's latest program, Women of the West.
Joan's new book is highly entertaining. Here's a good synopsis by Laura Friedkin that will give you an idea of what the book is about.
I must say, I do LOVE museum gift shops. The Autry has one of the most interesting gift shops in the City. They carry lots of western style clothing, books, accessories, pottery, dishes, jewelry and they even have craft and knitting books!! I always like visiting, just for the sensory overload.

Knitting Books!!

On the way home, driving back through Los Feliz, I stopped at Yuca's Hut on Hillhurst Ave. for one of their fabulous carnitas burritos and a lemonade. All of the food at Yuca's is very fresh and cooked in the Yucatan style...very simple, clean and perfectly spiced. It was a divine day to sit in the parking lot of the adjacent liquor store and enjoy my lunch!

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Vintage Photo Friday

From the L.A. Public Library photo archives:
Participants dining at the Morris Kopiloff Banquet at the Yiddish Culture Club,
located near LACC, July 1951

I tried to do some online research on this historic club, but came up with many listings of Yiddishkayt in Los Angeles, not necessarily this Yiddish Culture Club. Look at the smiling faces in this group....happy to be celebrating their love of Jewish culture together in a land of freedom.
I like to look at the practical side though....so, who planned the dinner? Who hired the caterer? Did the participants cook the food? Who set the tables? Who notified the guests? Oy! What a job!
Wouldn't it have been easier just to call the Takosher Truck to roll up to the Club? There is a proliferation of taco trucks, gourmet and not-so-gourmet, rolling around Los Angeles right now. The star taco truck of this golden age is Kogi Taco, serving a mixture of Mexican and Korean fast food. So many trucks have follwed suit.
I received an e-mail today about the Takosher Truck! What a great idea! Think how much easier it will be planning family get-togethers? Chaunukah, Passover, Purim!! Everyone will be happy. Mom won't have to slave over a hot stove for hours of preparation; the kids won't have to help clean up the house or prepare the dining room; Dad won't have to listen to everyone complain about all the work! Call the truck to come on over, set up picnic tables on the front lawn, crank up Matisyahu and you're ready to party!

The Original Brisketaco
Have a delicious weekend!

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Thursday, August 19, 2010


My Ripple Dishcloth from a pattern by Claudia

Lately, I've been seeing the crochet ripple design everywhere I look. My friend Lori F. is working on a beautiful ripple baby blanket in very fancy cotton yarn...bright colors, photo below.

Lori's Rainbow Ripple Baby Blankie

Since seeing Lori's blankie in progress, I've been hankerin' to crochet some ripples too! There's just something about this design that is so mezmerizing! Maybe the ripples remind me of the sea...it's summer...the beach beckons.
I've been looking through a few of my vintage crochet books. The ripple was queen of crochet in the 70's!

Ripple Coat and Beret, 1975
I've been seeing all sorts of gorgeous modern takes on the ripple design on Ravelry too:

Colorful Afghan from Min Inspiration

Baby Blanket from Attic24

I'm really taken with this round ripple blanket by Melissa. I certainly have enough soft acrylic in my stash to start a colorful ripple afghan. I may just start out crocheting a ripple tote bag. I'm still thinking about the possbilities!

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

That's What a Hamburger's All About

HBO Employees enjoying a free lunch!

Yessirreee! It was In 'n Out Burger Day at my office today! Woo Hoo! The truck rolled up just outside our building @ 12:30, courtesy of the company. We each received a lunch ticket which included a burger of our specifications, potato chips, soft drink and a chocolate chip cookie. We're lucky to have a beautiful park as part of our office campus. Many of us spread out blankets under the trees and had a delicious lunch! Thanks HBO!

Neighboring office workers at the Kogi Truck looked jealous of our free lunch!

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery