Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Not So Secret

Our neighborhood oil well, 5733 W. Pico Blvd., between Genesee and Spaulding Avenues
The not so secret oil well right near our house is called the Packard Drill Site. This fake, windowless office building was built around the well in 1968. I don't remember, but I'm guessing the well has been there for a very long time and they finally decided to cover it in 1968 so that it would blend in better with the neighborhood. 
Photo by Scott Tansey, taken from the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. Click on pick to make larger. You can see the Packard Drill Site, center left

I do remember when I moved to the area in 1992, that there were display windows showing what was going on inside the building. You could walk through the front doors and view the actual pumps. There is no roof on this fake office building, so it was always light inside. In front was a beautifully tended front lawn. There was a trumpet player who used to sit on the lawn and practice at odd times of the day and night!
About 10 years ago, we noticed homeless people setting up their tents on the lawn. Soon after that, the lawn area was fenced off and access to the building and exhibits was closed.
Packard Drill Site, 5733 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, Wilshire Vista Neighborhood

The group of oil wells is part of the Beverly Hills Oil Field which encompasses a few more sites, west of our Packard Drill site. The "building" is sound-proofed and the thick walls prevent the noxious oily smells from escaping into the neighborhood. Sometimes, during the summer, when our windows are open, we can vaguely hear the pump late at night. It's not ocean waves, but it can lull us to sleep!
Click on photo to see larger. Wells encompassing the Beverly Hills Oil Field. The well at Beverly Hills High School was recently closed

Read about more hidden oil wells nearby!

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Friday, August 17, 2018

A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow....in Sherman Oaks

A former Sports Authority store houses this collection

One of my favorite songs to come out of the Disney machine in the 1960s was The Sherman Brothers', "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow." You can listen to Walt and the Shermans sing the song HERE
Tomorrowland was always my favorite!
Here's me and my brother, Ken on the Autopia in 1956, soon after it opened!

We viewed tomorrow and yesterday the other evening at a former Sports Authority big box store in Sherman Oaks. Collector, Richard Kraft is selling off some of his Disneyland collection. There is lots of ephemera (maps, menus, drawings, posters), signage, portions of rides, dolls, models and other props. It's a massive collection and it's open for the public to view before the auction is held. You can view the "That's From Disneyland!" collection until August 24th in Sherman Oaks. See more info here on hours and days. 
I did manage to take a few snaps between oogling all of the goodies:
Model of Disneyland
One of the MANY maps of Disneyland available
Larry and the big, neon "D" from the Disneyland Hotel
Those Indian Canoes were huge!
Here I am in one of those canoes in 1970 with my high school class mates. I'm the one with the orange dot on my head, getting splashed with water!

"Mary Poppins" flower vase

Of course, it was most exciting to see all of the tikis from The Enchanted Tiki Room! There was even a model of the Jungle Boat ride.
Enchanted Tiki Room Goodies
Jungle Boat Model
ear-worm!

There were many photo opportunities set up, but I had to be corny and have our picture taken in the People Mover. I wouldn't mind having this in my backyard! It would make a delightful "cocktails for two" enclosure!


It really is a fun exhibit and an amazing collection! We walked through a couple of times. There is a little gift shop too. 
When we walked to the parking lot, I noticed this very Disney-like Bavarian/Victorian building right across the street. It's called the Pondella Building (1978, Thomas Knot, architect). Most of Kraft's collection would look perfect inside this building!
The Pondella Building, Sherman Oaks
If you have a chance to stop by in the next two weeks, do it! This is a fun exhibit! Who knows? Maybe you'll even be inspired to bid on some of the items!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

#grannysquareday2018

Today is Annual Granny Square Day. Check Instagram for the hashtag #grannysquareday2018 to see the virtual granny square blanket!
The Virtual Granny Square Blanket

Some people do not know how to read instructions! They are ruining the virtual blanket! I read the instructions and complied. I'm all about right versus wrong. The instructions for Granny Square Day 2018 say: "Post a cropped photo of a SINGLE granny square (a 4-round granny square looks the best) to #grannysquareday2018 on August 15.  You can make more than one post but only feature a SINGLE square in each post. NO works in progress shots or pictures of blankets, please. You don't have to be the maker of the square...take a close-up photo of your grandmother's crochet! If you cannot crochet, go ahead and take a close-up of a knitted square."
The instructions seem quite clear to me, so how come people are posting photos like these?


Come on, folks! Get with the program! Talk a photo of a single square, not a diagonal project shot! 
These are the squares that I posted today. Clockwise: Willow Square; Malibu Tile Square; Classic Blue & White Granny Square; Circle in a Square

People from all over the world are posting squares. One square is more beautiful than the next! Granny squares are not only for blankets. I've said it before and I'll say it again, "Granny Squares are the Building Blocks to Fashion."  Just check this link for verification!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Superior Standard

Lobby, The Standard Hotel, DTLA

On Sunday afternoon we drove downtown to see the Sparrow Mart exhibit. It's on the second level of the Standard Hotel. There has been tons of publicity about this fab exhibit of a convenience store where every single item is made from felt by artist, Lucy Sparrow! Maybe too much publicity, because there was a line around the block to get in! 
Felted grocery products by artist, Lucy Sparrow

It was super hot on Sunday. We weren't about to wait in the boiling sun, so instead we stepped into my favorite sunny hotel restaurant in Los Angeles, The 24/7 Restaurant. It's always open and always bright yellow. The sun shines in this spot even during a rainstorm! 
The 24/7 Restaurant at The Standard Hotel
We'd had a late breakfast, so all we really wanted was something cool to drink. The ginger lemonade is excellent! Dig that cool 70's yellow bar!!
Ginger Lemonade

The menus have photos of different YOUNG celebrities on the back

Even the textured wallpaper in this restaurant is perfect. Really, I could live in this room!
Textured Vinyl Wallpaper
While we were enjoying our lemonades and people-watching, this young woman sat down at the lemon yellow bar in her tight, lemon yellow sun dress! If only she was drinking a Lemontini cocktail!
Lemon Lady at the Lemon Bar, 24/7 Restaurant
I do love this building. Originally, it was home to the Superior Oil Company. It is built in the corporate moderne architectural style, 1955, Claud Beelman, architect. In 2002 the interior of the  building was completely rehabbed into The Standard Hotel by the Konig Eizenberg Architectural Firm.  
The Standard Hotel, photo courtesy of  Architectural Resources Group
I really want to make plans to re-visit The Standard for an evening with drinks in the rooftop bar and then dinner at 24/7.


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Thursday, August 09, 2018

Charming Saturday Afternoon

After Ukulele Workshop in Culver City on Saturday I'd made plans to meet Suzette for lunch. We keep missing each other at our Saturday West Hollywood Stitch 'n Bitch! Suze was nice to drive to Culver City to meet me. We had lunch at the ever-so-charming Jackson Market.  I found this little spot years ago, but haven't been back in ages. 
Jackson Market is in the middle of a residential neighborhood, south of Culver Boulevard. It has been a market since this area was developed in the 1920s. They carry the essentials like milk, butter, cereal, etc. Their biggest business, however seems to be their lunch counter. Jackson's offers sandwiches, wraps, salads, soup and more. The portions are large and our lunch was delicious. I had a chicken salad sandwich and Suzette had a tuna salad wrap.
There's this check-list menu that you place on the lunch counter once you've figured it out. After you receive your sandwich, you can pick up a drink or chips on a nearby aisle. Then check-out. There are patio tables in front of the market and also in the backyard. 
After walking down this walkway, along the side of the building, there are an array of tables, couches and seating areas awaiting. The patio is larger than I remembered. We found a table near the side of the yard and had a yummy lunch!
Walkway to Back Patio at Jackson Market

Suzette and Teensy Frida at Jackson Market

Suzette and I follow each other on Facebook and Instagram, so she was well aware of my recent Frida Kahlo-themed birthday gifts. Suzette is an expert at knitting teensy, tiny figures from the MochiMochiLand patterns. Using the MochiMochi pattern as a basis, Suzette designed the cutest little Frida doll I have ever seen! This little wonder could also double as a finger puppet when I premiere my new play, "Frida, My Life With Monkeys." 
Suzette's Knitted "Frida Kahlo" Doll
Thank you, Suzy-ette!

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Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Hangin' at The Bean

Almost every  Saturday from 3-5 pm, you'll find me with the Ocean Park Fiber Artists at The Coffee Bean in Santa Monica. This particular Coffee Bean is rather large. It's part of the Santa Monica Business Park, formerly Douglas Aircraft, on Ocean Park Boulevard.
This group is an off-shoot of our old Fairview Library Knitters. A few years ago, the Fairview Branch of the Santa Monica Library closed for remodeling. They have a Community Room where we used to knit twice a month. When they re-opened, a new policy was instituted when they started to charge for use of the Community Room. At that time we decided to meet at The Coffee Bean, down the block. It is nice to have coffee, tea and snacks available for our meet-ups. Our group is on the small side. Usually, we have 6-8 people attending. Sometimes, the group may swell to 12. Now, we meet every single Saturday.
I like this group. It's nice to have a continuity of meeting weekly. Every age is represented by the Ocean Park Fiber Artists. Every level of knitting and/or crochet expertise is evident too. I always learn something from my Saturday group!
I photographed everyone's projects this week. 
Jill is making a "Swancho" in this fab intarsia pattern. LOVE those colors!
I caught a snap of Jill's Watermelon shawlette, sitting on the table
Marge is knitting a celadon green soft and fluffy scarf
Barbara S. is working on a Tunisian Crochet top. Dig her wild navy blue, sparkly nail polish!
Lisa just started a cotton market bag
Lee is knitting this cabled, cotton slip-over
Barbara F. is crocheting baby blanket
Sherry is knitting a shrug with this gorgeous nubby yarn
I'm working on a plain, navy blue slip-over. The pattern is MIRA

We have lots of talented people at this weekly Sit 'n Knit. Won't you join us? 

Ocean Park Fiber Artists
The Coffee Bean, 3150 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica
3-5 pm, every Saturday


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