Tuesday, April 30, 2013

License To Snap

We didn't do a lot this past weekend except go to the movies.  We saw "Kon-Tiki."  LOVED it!  There were MANY vanity license plates in the parking garage of the Landmark Theater in WLA!  Bonus!
An Australian? OR, just someone that wants to be under water?
Wisconsin person who got to Hollywood...as far as the movie theater!
Music Lover?

Labels: , ,

Monday, April 29, 2013

I ♥ Vera Neumann

"Vera" scarves @ Target!
Vera Neumann has been one of my favorite artists and designers since I was a kid.  Her designs were super popular in the '60's.  Between us, my Mom and I have about a dozen "Vera" scarves.  My buddy, Beth knew of my obsession with this designer, so a few years ago she collected a beautiful selection of Vera's designs for me on eBay and gave them to me for my birthday.  
I'm still obsessed with Vera's designs.  Imagine my delight when I heard that Target and Vera Neumann Designs were re-issuing many of her scarves!  I zoomed over to my local Target and scooped up some of these luscious art pieces.  I love them all!
All of the scarves are either very large squares or rectangular shaped pieces.  Some are chiffon-like and flowing, others are linen-like.   

The display at Target was less than appealing, which is good.  There wasn't a mad rush for these scarves like there was a few years ago for the Missoni-Target collection.  Also, the people that remember Vera skew a bit older than the Missoni fans...thank goodness!  I was very happy that I did not have to fight hordes of westside fashionistas at my Mid-City Target for this booty!
Look out, birthday buddies for these DIVINE works of art included in your gift-bags this year!
Textile Designer and Artist, Vera Neumann
Read more about Vera Neumann here

Labels: , , ,

Friday, April 26, 2013

Vintage Photo Friday - "Kon-Tiki"

Newspaper boys for the Herald-Express posed before the Beverly Canon Theater after they saw a special showing of the 1950 motion picture, "Kon-Tiki," as guests of producer Sol Lesser and the manager of the Theater, 205 No. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills.  1958.  Photo from LAPL Archives

I wish the Beverly Canon Theater was still there.  Sigh.  
Ooooo...the newest version of "Kon-Tiki" opens today.  I must admit to never having seen the 1950 version.  I was waiting for over 60 years for more special effects.  
Have a wonderful spring weekend!

Labels: , ,

Thursday, April 25, 2013

License to Snap

MATRQL8.  Translation:  Matriculate.  Driving north on Fairfax Avenue near Melrose

We were out and about so much last weekend, that I had an opportunity to snap many wonderful vanity license plates!  There was even one from out of state!
I GO 90.  Smart Car on Abbott Kinney, Venice
POODL GY.  Translation:  Poodle Guy (?).  Fairfax Offramp, SM Fwy
NEUMOON.  Translation:  New Moon.  From Michigan! Canter's Deli Parking Lot
Don't Text While Driving!  Cloverfield Blvd., Santa Monica

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ramen Quest!

Ramen Quest!  This is my name for a new Food TV series wherein Larry and I try the many noodle shops around Los Angeles for the perfect bowl of ramen.  Along the way we would point out interesting sights and crazy people around the City with shopping tips.  Call me, Food TV development execs!  I'm ready for my close-up (with soft-focus lense of course).
Ever since restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold published his top ten ramen places in L.A., we've been trying to hit them all and make our own decisions about our faves.  We've been to most of the urban L.A. locations.  We haven't made it to Gardena yet.  We will though, in the near future!
On Saturday, after a tiring day of Knitting Guild meetings and L.A. Walking Tours Larry and I decided to hop over to Little Tokyo and try Men Oh Tokushima Ramen.

The restaurant is located in the Honda Plaza on 2nd Street, right across from the parking lot entrance to the Marukai Market.  Each side of the Honda Plaza is lined with a different type of Japanese restaurant.  It's a perfect destination!  There were tons of Gen X kids hanging out, smoking, drinking and flirting in the parking lot.  Quite a scene!

When we arrived at Men Oh around 7pm, it was almost empty.  By 8pm, it was very busy.  We each ordered the Tokushima Ramen.  It was delicious and very reminiscent of the Tonkatsu Ramen at Jinya (our local spot).

I would definitely return to Men Oh if we are in the area.  However, I would not make a special trip since the ramen is so similar to our local Ramen Jinya.  NOW, I want to try all the other restaurants located in the Honda Plaza!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


On Sunday afternoon we attended a birthday party at Bob Baker's Marionette Theater for an adult!  Greg Escalante, owner of Copro Art Gallery in Santa Monica threw himself a party at this landmark theater for kids of all ages.

Annie, Birthday Boy Greg and Mochi

Most of the artists associated with Copro Gallery are of the Low-Brow persuasion, otherwise known as pop-surrealism.  Well, putting a bunch of animator-type artists together with vintage marionette puppets was a match made in heaven!  Everyone was groovin' on the wild costumes, backgrounds and low-tech vibe at the theater.  The show we saw was called "Something to Crow About,"  which like all shows at the Theater, was a musical review, this one featuring barnyard animals, flowers, fruits and vegetable characters.  From Bob Baker's website:  Come join Mama and Papa Goat and 100 more of the world famous Bob Baker Marionettes for a musical “Day on the Farm” you will never forget. Everything from dancing scarecrows to tap dancing bullfrogs warbling “Shine On Harvest Moon”, “Something To Crow About” is guaranteed to put a smile on children of all ages!

Some of the music harkened back to the 1930's!  I recognized a Betty Boop song!  Wow!  The kids that were in the audience were enthralled.  It doesn't take high-tech electronics and special effects to amuse people.  A simple song and dance with great costumes and minimal lighting was enough to make this an enjoyable and adorable show!

After the show the audience shuffled into the party room for a BBQ lunch, ice cream and birthday cake.  It was rather refreshing to go to a vintage, kid-like party for a change.  Why don't we all book our birthday parties at Bob Baker's Marionette Theater?  So much fun!
More photos here.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, April 22, 2013

LAC Venice Eclectic Tour

Former Eames Office - Continuum

On Saturday afternoon I met Larry in Venice for L.A. Conservancy's "Venice Eclectic, Modern Architecture from the '70s and '80s" tour.  It was a beautiful day, sunny and breezy, perfect for a walking tour.  Larry took most of the photos for the brochure.  Take a look, here
After a quick lunch at Local 1205, Larry took off to take photos of the various docents and I toured the former offices of legendary designers, Charles and Ray Eames.  This building was built around 1912 as a warehouse.  Many companies have occupied this space, including today's Continuum.  The architect, Frank Israel was hired in 1990 to modify the space to include conference rooms and offices.  This was one of my favorite spaces of the day, showing adaptive reuse quite effectively.
Interior, Continuum

I walked around the corner to Indiana Avenue to see the the Triplex, 3 studios developed by artists Laddie Dill and Chuck Arnoldi with architect Frank Gehry.  Rough hewn plywood and easy-to-obtain elements like corrugated steel and shingle roofing material were used in these buildings.  Interesting, but I couldn't live there.
Interior, Indiana Avenue Houses/Arnoldi Triplex

Next door to the Triplex is the former home of Dennis Hopper, designed by architect Brian A. Murphy in 1989.  I've driven by Hopper's house in the past.  It's like a corrugated steel bunker with a white picket fence.  Inside, there's LOTS of wall space for Hopper's extensive art collection.  Like the Triplex next door, this is also a crazy floor plan with lots of stairs, bridges, skylights, glass floors/ceilings, etc.  Hopper bought the lot next door to his to expand his outdoor living area.  He kept the two little 1910 bungalows on the property as guest houses and added a lap pool.
Dennis Hopper's Home
Dennis Hopper's lap pool and side yard

Down the block, on Hampton  Drive is the original Tasty Spuds potato processing plant, probably built around 1959.  Artist Chuck Arnoldi transformed the building into his studio space in 1984.  I do like how Arnoldi re-configured a huge space into different areas for painting, print-making, display and offices. 
Chuck Arnoldi's Studio Space
Arnoldi Studios
After walking around the Abbot-Kinney area for a bit, I hopped in my car and drove north-east to Ed Moses' home and studio on Palms Blvd. near Penmar Ave.  This compound of buildings has a very rustic, woodsy feel to it, designed by architect Steve Ehrlich in 1987.  
Ed Moses' Bungalow
This space is very tropical in feel with many plants surrounding each building.  The inside gallery and work spaces are simple and clean with lots of light.
Ed Moses' Outdoor Studio
Ed Moses' Gallery Space
I urge you to join the L.A. Conservancy and take advantage of their many programs and tours throughout the year!  You can view more of my Venice Eclectic Tour photos here.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, April 19, 2013

Vintage Photo Friday

Herald-Examiner, 1951
"Beautiful Mary Lou Miner suns herself atop a new West L.A. bomb shelter"

I've posted these photos previously on "L.A. Is My Beat."  I hate to think that we may have to be this careful again in America, but recent events are indicating this sort of behavior.  Sigh.

November, 1961. Defense Coordinator, Clifford R. Standing
shows preparedness necessities to Mrs. Harris and Mrs. Millard
in the San Fernando Valley

Have a safe weekend!
photos from LA Public Library archives

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Yarn Crawl 2013

Amy, Nancy, Yuki, Barbara, Vickie and Suzette
 WeHo SnB Non-Yarn Crawlers!
Nancy, Yuki, Ellen and Barbara
I did not really participate in the 2013 Yarn Crawl.  I have sooooo much yarn at home that my house could have been one of the stops on the Crawl!  The 2nd Annual Yarn Crawl - L.A. County started on Thursday with at least 32 stores participating...stretching from "From Santa Monica to Santa Clarita, from Claremont to Long Beach and every square mile in between!"  The idea was to visit as many shops as possible and have your "passport" stamped by each shop.  At the end of the Crawl, you turn in your passport.  There are prizes for the most stores visited by one person, in addition to raffles and prizes at each individual store.  
I participated for one day last year and had a wonderful time visiting shops and having lunch with my WeHo Peeps. It's a great long weekend, communing with your yarny friends.  it just happened to be one of the busiest weekends for me this year.
Barbara at the YarnOver Truck

I only managed to make two stops, in-between SnB's on Saturday.   Saturday WeHo SnB was attended by seven non-crawling ladies!  I met up with Barbara at both places!  The Yarnover Truck was parked at Douglas Park in Santa Monica.  There was a line to get into "Little Debbie."  Only 5 customers at a time are permitted inside the truck.  Yes, it's a tight fit, but the owners have managed to pack a variety of yarn into this rollin' yarn shop.  Great idea!
Waiting in Line for the YarnOver Truck

My second stop was at Compatto Yarn Salon, just down the block on Wilshire Blvd.  There were book signings, fastest knitting contests, yarn tastings and tons of other activities going on in this cute shop.  I purchased my souvenir yarn of the Crawl...one skein of Noro Taiyo Sock Yarn.  Victory!

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

License to Snap

My friends are now supplying me with their own vanity license plate snaps from all over the City of Los Angeles and beyond!  Thank you!

From Brenda C.  Yes, this Honda Element is one big shlepping machine!
From Gary & Thea R.  Not sure what this guy is saying about his pickup!  That's photographer, Gary in the reflection.
From ME.  The Vodka Snob was driving safely on the SM Fwy!

If you see any great vanity license plates and can easily take a photo without getting into an auto accident, do so and send it to me:  ellblo@aol.com.  Thanks!

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


In light of yesterday's tragedy in Boston, I chose not to post to my blog.  A day of memory, tribute and silence was in order.

I felt the humanity and kindness of friends and strangers on Sunday, reaching out to our pal, John "Juke" Logan and his fight against esophageal cancer.  Many of us gathered at the Club Fais Do Do in Los Angeles to raise money for cancer research and to cheer on Juke in his battle against this evil disease.  Juke could not attend the concert, but he watched it via live-feed on UStream TV.  You can watch the concert too, from start to finish for a donation of $10.  

Oh My!  The Blues elite of Los Angeles, San Diego, Joshua Tree, Texas and beyond were in the house!  The line-up included: Bill LynchShawn Mafia & The 10 Cent Thrills, Buddy Zapata's Junkshop Republic, The Delgado Brothers, Gary Allegretto Band, Joey Harris of the Beat Farmers with Mojo Nixon, Mike Eldred Trio, The Paladins, Rick Holmstrom Band with Junior Watson, Bill Stuve and James Harman, Dave Alvin, King Cotton and the Bonedaddys with James Intveld and Jimmie Wood sitting in.  There must have been at least 60 musicians in the house! 
Photo Cut-Out of Juke Logan and Bass Man, Greg Boaz

My past life flashed before me during the afternoon.  Thanks to everyone who helped put this event together.  It was truly heart-warming to see so many people come out on a gloomy Sunday afternoon in support of Juke and cancer research!
Shirley, Billy, King and James
Photo by Larry Armstrong
Dave Alvin
MC, Ellen B.  Photo by Maggie Lynch
More photos here.


Labels: , , , ,

Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery