Thursday, March 02, 2006

Blooms Are Everywhere

A few months ago, my brother Ken Bloom was visiting from Pilot Mountain, North Carolina. Ken and his wife, Ginny (both L.A. natives) have lived away from Los Angeles for over 30 years. Ken's a musician, instrument builder and genuinely likeable guy. While Ken was here, he wanted to re-visit some of his favorite L.A. places frequented during our formative years. We visited Marina del Rey (where we learned to sail as kids), McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica (where Ken taught and performed) and historic Olvera Street in Downtown L.A. Our folks are both L.A. natives, and they instilled their love of Los Angeles in us....especially my dad, George, was fond of taking us on field trips in L.A. when we were children.
So, after a yummy lunch at the Rodeo Mexican Grill on Olympic Blvd., just west of Figueroa on a rainy Saturday in January, Larry and I decided to take Ken to two historic "Bloom" places in Los Angeles that he'd had never seen. We visited Bloom Street near Union Station, downtown. My grandfather, Lawrence A. Bloom was an attorney here in L.A. from the 1920's thru the 1960's. During the early years of L.A.'s becoming a burgeoning metropolis, L.A. Bloom represented a number of builders, politicos and the like. After reading about L.A.'s history a bit, I surmised that if you had cash, you could get a lot accomplished within the L.A. City government during those early years. My grandfather told us the story about a certain builder who was trying to get the City to pass particular ordinances in the downtown area so he could build apartment houses. My grandfather helped the builder with the legal ins-and-outs of this quest, so the man named a street after my grandfather! Hence, Bloom Street. If you go to this area, you'll notice that many of the streets have names like Leroy, Ann, Elmyra, probably named after someone else's relatives.
Second stop on our "Bloom" excursion was Bloom's General Store at 716 Traction Avenue in the Downtown Arts District. Amid the murals and neon of Downtown's artsy loft district, Bloom's General Store sells cigars, candy, newspapers, magazines, snack food and videos, and is also connected to a soul-food restaurant and art gallery. The couches in the rear make this a community hangout-type place. Owner, Joel Bloom (no relation), moved into the Downtown Arts District over 20 years ago and saw the need for this type of business. Joel is a thespian and an alum of Chicago's Second City and quite an interesting character. I met him at an art exhibit downtown during the holiday season. Joel and I determined that we're probably not related, but who knows? Anyway, Kenny and I both had our photos taken near Bloom's General Store marquee and cigar store Indian. This might make an excellent cover photo for my brother's next CD.
Last year I received an e-mail from Daniel Halevi Bloom asking me to update his website, Blooms in the News. Daniel is a journalist living in China. He's written a few children's books about Jewish life. He seems like a nice guy. I haven't heard from him lately. I think he wants all of us Blooms to be related or at least know all about each other. Looks like the website hasn't been updated since last year, but I didn't realize there were sooo many Blooms in the world. Just like Elvis, Jesus and Coca Cola, Blooms are Everywhere!
ADDENDUM - March 10, 2006
Just heard from Danny Bloom of Blooms in the News. Here's an article by Anthony Paul Bloom:

Calling all Blooms! Calling all Blooms!"
"Blooms in the News" website lists, well, Blooms in the news ("and it doesn't have to be major news either, it can be just a Bloom with his or her own website surfing the Internet for the fun of it, or a street called Bloom Street, or anything," says site creator Dan Bloom)
by Anthony Paul Bloom, staff writer, Global Webposting Inc.
New York -- What do Ellen Bloom, Paul Bloom, Richard Bloom, Amy Bloom and Claire Bloom all have in common? They're all Blooms, for one thing, and they're all included in a unique website called "Blooms in the News"edited by, you guessed it, a chap named Danny, er, Bloom.
Bloom, who started the website two years ago just for the fun of it,said he always enjoyed hearing about other people surnamed Bloom around the world, and he took his hobby one step further by putting it on the Web. And as a result of the site being up and running on the Internet, Bloom says he now regularly hears from other Blooms around the world (but mostly in North America) who ask to be included on the website. "Anyone named Bloom gets a mention on the site," Bloom says, adding that the website is completely non-commerical and just a part-time hobby for days when he has a few moments to spare from his daily routine in Taiwan, where the Massachusetts native now lives."It's fun hearing from other Blooms, and sharing family stories and Bloom news," says Bloom. "Why did I start the website? God only knows. I just had some time on my hands one day, and before I knew, I had created the website without even really thinking about what I was doing, I just had a hunch it would be fun. And it has been fun! "If you and someone you know is named Bloom, you are more than welcome to add your name and website to the growing list of Blooms worldwide, Bloom says, and even if you are not a Bloom, you are more than welcome to browse the site and see what some of these Blooms have been up to.



At 12:48 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Bloom's General Store!...I've had some fine meals at the Soul Folks.

How cool to be a part of LA history. I love the name, L.A. Bloom.

At 12:50 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS: I see you are wearing my favorite scarf. The cute Sally Melville with the crochet edging...n'est pas?

Remind me, what yarn did you use?

At 2:43 PM PST, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Hi Christine!
Yeah...that was my grandfather's name...L.A. Bloom. Everyone called him L.A.

My Sally Melville scarf in the photo with my brother is made from Red Heart Acrylic Super Save. I think the color is something like "Falling Leaves" or "Autumn." I've seen it recently at Michael's.

At 2:57 PM PST, Blogger DarcyArtsy said...

I love all the history this city has and how cool to be connected to it. You and Mr. Larry have a happy Anniversary and enjoy dinner tonight!

At 12:23 AM PST, Blogger DANIELBLOOM said...

Hello Ellen,
Loved this post, will link it to the website. Pics are great!

and L.A. Bloom, yes, lovely name.


From the Bloomosphere,

Danny Bloom

At 1:22 AM PST, Blogger DANIELBLOOM said...

Does anyone there have the email address for BLoom's Gen Store or owner Joel Bloom? send to me if avail. thanks. danny

danbloom (at)




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