Thursday, September 30, 2010

Haute Couture

It's finally happened. Granny Squares are once again fashionable! My good friend (granny square enthusiast), Mary Jo sent me this link today.
The granny square is back in a big way. Granted the granny hexagons in these lovely scarves are made from fine merino wool. The amount of labor put into these scarves (changing colors and weaving in all those ends), actually makes $88 sound like a reasonable price. Look for lots of crochet work in fall fashion collections this year.
Check your sock yarn stash to create one of these beautiful scarves!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rodeo Grill

I know I've mentioned this restaurant previously. It's one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles. We first visited the Rodeo Mexican Grill in Echo Park. It's a small place, but with excellent food. A few years later, the RMG expanded and built a much larger and more refined restaurant just west of downtown Los Angeles. It's on Olympic Boulevard and there's a nice big, FREE parking lot with easy access. In Los Angeles it's all about the parking for me. If I absolutely HAVE to, then I'll valet park, but I'd really rather park my own car.I could go on forever about parking in Los Angeles, but let's get back to the Rodeo Mexican Grill, 1721 W. Olympic Blvd., LA. It's not fancy. You order your meal from the counter and have to pick it up when your number is called. The portions are large. They have alcohol. I usually order the shrimps sauteed in garlic sauce.
Shrimp Dinner @ Rodeo Mexican Grill
This meal comes with rice, beans and a little salad. I have ordered the pork chops and the roast chicken before...also the mojara frita (fried whole tilapia). Everything is great!The interior at RMG is decidedly western-caballero style. The focus on carved details is admirable. If you go during lunch or early dinner, you're bound to see lots of families with rambunctious kids. Dinner, later in the evening is preferable. This is a perfect place to stop if you're on your way downtown for an event!

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

THE topic of conversation!

Tallulah Bankhead, 1932
Modern Mechanix Blog

Yes, it's the heat in Los Angeles. Yesterday, it was 113 degrees F. in downtown L.A. A record high temperature. Everyone's talking about it. Our summer was very mild, even cold. We had sunny days, but lower than usual temps. NOW, the Sun Devil is exacting his revenge.
We do have air-conditioning in our house, but really only run it when we have a houseful of people. Generally, if we open windows and operate strategically placed electric fans, then our house remains comfortable. Not recently though. We had to run the a/c last night for a few hours to cool down the place. Ugh! I do like warm weather, but not THIS warm.
Is this weather making you cranky?

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Beverly Grove

"Beverly Grove" Potholder

I like to name my gift potholders for the name of the street where the giftees live. So far, I've crocheted Perlita, Courtney, Bel Aire and many swap potholders.
I recently gifted my friend, Beth with two potholders. One is kinda' plain and just called "Blue and Yellow Potholder," the other is a bit more fancy and required a fancy name. Well, Beth lives on a number street. I can't just call a potholder "4th" or "5th" or "22nd." So, I looked to the "Mapping L.A." section of the L.A. Times website for clarification. Awhile back, the Times gave different neighborhoods identifying names. Of course, many within certain neighborhoods complained about the names and the boundaries of the 'hoods, including me, but at least the Times tried.

Left - "Beverly Grove"; Right - Plain Potholder

So, I determined that Beth lives in the Beverly Grove section of Los Angeles, hence the name "Beverly Grove Potholder."

Happy belated Birthday, Beth!

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Vintage Photo Friday

Mrs. Shirley Padilla, 32, sits on the floor of her living room with her toe stuck in her bowling ball, Oxnard, California, Herald-Examiner Collection, 1966

I came across this photo on the Los Angeles Library website. Why in the world would this woman have her toe stuck in a bowling ball? Was she trying to bowl with her feet while walking on her hands? GOOFY!

I kept looking for bowling photos, as this is an excellent sport for fall and winter in Los Angeles. I found these vintage shots of outdoor bowling in Hollywood in 1929!!

Rooftop Bowling, Hollywood, 1929. L.A. Public Library Photo Collection
Now, that's a great idea!! We have decent weather most of the time here in Los Angeles. Think of all the rooftops we could utilize as bowling alleys! Imagine the noise for the occupants just below the roof! See the sign in the center photo that says Muller Bros.? I did an online search and found this reference in the Hollywood Heritage site:

The Muller Family Foundation recently gave a significant contribution toward renovations at Wattles Mansion. This generous donation will make several projects possible this fall and winter.

The Muller family is one of Hollywood’s pioneers. Jacob Muller came to Hollywood in 1893, establishing the first meat market in Hollywood, across from the present Cinerama Dome on Sunset Boulevard. He sold the market in 1907 and established the first ice company in Hollywood, selling that business in 1913. The family’s original house was built Sunset Boulevard at Ivar. This site later became the location of the RCA Building, built by the Muller Family in 1963. (currently the Los Angeles Film School Building).

Across Sunset Boulevard on 4 acres, where the Cinerama Dome Theater and a new retail center is under construction, was Muller Brothers Service Station. Opened in 1920 by Jacob’s sons, Walter and Frank, this became the largest service station in the world (including a large automobile supply center), employing 120 people by 1937. Celebrities, from Rudolph Valentino to Clark Gable, came by regularly to get gas or just work on their cars. In 1963 the site was sold for the Cinerama Dome Theater, and, at that time, an eventual hotel.

In E.O. Palmer’s History of Hollywood, he writes of the Muller Family in 1937; “Both Walter and Frank have been very civic-minded citizens of Hollywood and have always been ready to give of their time and means to every worthy cause for the upbuilding of the community.” It is exciting for Hollywood Heritage to be receiving that same support from their, equally civic-minded descendent, Sheila Muller, 64 years later.

Interesting! Soooooo, I'm guessing that this rooftop in Hollywood is somewhere near Hollywood and Vine Street.
I just love Los Angeles, Hollywood and it's history! Have a great weekend. Go bowling!

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mr. Cecil's

Awhile back, we dined at Mr. Cecil's California Ribs on Pico Blvd. in West L.A. I just LOVE Mr. Cecil's St. Louis ribs. They are perfectly cooked and require little or no sauce. Yum. This branch of Mr. Cecil's (there are branches in Sherman Oaks and Manhattan Beach), resides in a former Chile Bowl restaurant....a very historic building. This type of architecture is called "programmatic" architecture...the restaurant looks like a chili bowl!!
Here's writer, Steve Harvey's history of the Chili Bowl Restaurants from an article in the L.A. Times,

The Chili's Gone But the Restaurant-Size Bowls Remain

In 1931 Art Whizin opened a restaurant shaped like a chili bowl, and 22 others followed. The popular dish is long gone, but a few of the circular buildings are now serving up something different.

The way Art Whizin told the story, he was sitting at the counter of a downtown burger joint called Ptomaine Tommy's, trying to visualize the restaurant he wanted to build. Then a truck-driver friend next to him slid over a chili bowl and said, "Here, Whizin, do something with this."

And that's how Whizin, the one-time amateur boxer, decided in 1931 to construct an eatery in the shape of a chili bowl. Why not? Merchants were putting up businesses that resembled ice cream cones, tamales, coffee kettles and sundry other objects -- all trying to catch the eye of passing motorists.

The 25-year-old entrepreneur opened his first Chili Bowl on Crenshaw Boulevard near Jefferson Boulevard after raising $1,200 by selling, among other things, his wife's wedding ring and his roadster. The couple moved into a house nearby.

"Because he sold his car, he had to have his business within walking distance," explained Jim Heimann, author of "California Crazy & Beyond," a study of offbeat roadside architecture.

Whizin told Heimann in a 1978 interview that he sketched the design of the restaurant on the corduroy pants he seemed to always be wearing. Perhaps he didn't want anyone else to get their hands on the plans.

Or perhaps "he was embellishing the story," Heimann said with a laugh. "He was an interesting character."

The Chili Bowl had no tables, just a 26-stool circular counter, and Whizin bragged that his young workers, most of them college boys, could "flip a pat of butter from the center of the counter to the edge of any of the 26 plates."

The place was an immediate success with its specialty dish called the chili size, an open-faced hamburger smothered with the homemade goodness.

The restaurant was so popular, in fact, that the owner painted a "Pat. Pending" notation on the outside, thinking his design was unique enough to be patented. Instead, he drew fan mail addressed to "Pat Pending."

Before the decade was out, Whizin had built 22 more Chili Bowls, including one on Florence Avenue in Huntington Park that, he recalled, was the only structure on the block that was undamaged by the 1933 Long Beach earthquake.

"It's because of the circular shape," he told the Times in 1985. "It gave evenly in all directions. The place was full and all 26 customers ran outside. After a couple of minutes, they peered inside the window, saw everything was OK and came back and finished their chili."

Steve Harvey, LA Times. 8-2-09

I never ate at this place when it was The Chili Bowl, however I did frequent it when it was Pancho's Mexican Restaurant, next to the old Music Machine night club in the 80's and early 90's.
Our meal at Mr. Cecil's was delicious. We split a rack of St. Louis Ribs, cole slaw and BBQ'd beans. Heaven!Mr. Cecil’s California Ribs,12244 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90064, telephone: 310.442.1550 fax: 310.442.1552

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Wanna Be Barbie!

This is getting old already! We've been planning our big High School Reunion for a whole year!! I must say, it has been fun getting together with the Reunion Committee, reliving our youth and planning for this party. But enough is enough. I am sooooo ready for this party to happen. It's at the end of October...finally!

I'm in charge of name badges. Mr. Larry scanned the pages of our senior yearbook for me and now I'm assembling the badges. If I can't find someone's picture in the senior yearbook, then I check the junior, sophomore and freshman books. Of course, the quality of the senior photos is much better, but whatever can help our feeble old eyes and minds to recognize everyone after all these years is great. When I cannot find a photo for a classmate at all, I will be substituting a photo of Barbie or Ken.

Barbie Millicent Roberts, BHHS Class of 19??

Ken Carson, BHHS Class of 19??

Photos at top: Left, Ellen's Graduation Photo, Beverly Hills High School. Right, Larry's Graduation Photo, Birmingham High School, Encino.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gifts and Swaps

"Perlita" Potholder for Claire and Tom

Once again, I am obsessed with bright colors and pretty patterns in a small format. Larry and I attended a double b-day party over the weekend for Claire and Tom. Among other gifties, I made them two potholders to match their beautiful Spanish Revival kitchen.

"Modern Vintage" and "Perlita"
Below is the last of my swap potholders for my Ravelry swap group. This lady said that her kitchen was purple, brown and cream. I tried to copy this potholder, without a pattern. It worked fine for "Perlita," but I couldn't quite get it even for the Swap Potholder. I decided to create a different backing for this one!All potholders are made with 100% mercerized cotton, crochet hook size "D."

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Small Circle of Friends

Our Baby Owl is Leaving the Nest!

Our dear Lori S. is leaving Los Angeles and moving back east. We're happy that Lori got a great job, but we're really going to miss her! Last night we had a potluck-going away dinner for Lori at our house. Everyone brought scrumptious food to share: Mary Jo brought guacamole, salsa and chips; Natalie and Joe brought beet bruschetta AND two Crack Pies; Brit brought all kinds of faboo lemonade; Darcy brought a gorgeous fresh fruit salad; Beth and Larry A. brought a yummy green salad with all kinds of goodies in it; even the guest of honor, Ms. Lori brought a brown rice and lentil casserole! I had a few more appetizers strewn around and made Shrimp Creole with rice. Everything was yummy and a wonderful send-off for our buddy, Lori.Mary Jo crocheted The Princess Frog for Lori. They attended the premiere of the movie together....a very special event!
LORI!!! You must stay in touch with us! We hope you come to visit soon. You never know who will show up on your doorstep in the City of Brotherly Love!! Be prepared!

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Yom Kippur

Portion of the Fairfax Community Mural @ Canter's Deli, West Hollywood, by Art Mortimer, 1985

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for Jews. It is our day of atonement, a time to repent for our sins of the past year. From sundown tonight until sundown Saturday, it is customary to fast and pray. The blowing of the shofar at the end of the temple service signifies the end of the fast. We break the fast on Saturday night with family and friends.
The early history of Jewish people in Los Angeles is very interesting. My own family followed the trail from East and Central Los Angeles to the Westside. A pictorial history is depicted in a wonderful mural on the side of Canter's Delicatessen, 419 No. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles. The Canter Bros. started their business in New Jersey, moved to Brooklyn Avenue in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles in 1931 and later to Fairfax Avenue in West Hollywood.If you live in Los Angeles, whether or not you are observant for this High Holy Day, take a drive by Canter's, park and really look at the mural. The highlights and history of our vibrant cultural Jewish life in Los Angeles, painted by Art Mortimer in 1985, are all there in glorious sepia and black and white for everyone to see, learn and absorb.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010


Last week, Larry and I decided to try a little Japanese restaurant on Pico Boulevard, not far from our house. Tawada is located near a stop for the new Expo Metro Line, just east of Rimpau. Once the Expo Line opens, Tawada will be packed!! This is a rather unlikely spot for a Japanese restaurant. It's surrounded by pawn shops, car repair places, chain fast-food restaurants and the Mid-Town Crossing Shopping Center.We ordered what we usually order at Japanese restaurants. These dishes are our barometers for food testing. Kind of bland and boring, but we can tell if we like a place by this combination. We shared an order of California Roll. I had Chicken Udon, Larry had the Tempura Combo Plate. Everything was delicious (but a bit mild...spices on the table), served beautifully and priced reasonably. We will definitely return to Tawada. We ate inside the spotless dining area, but I like the outdoor covered patio too. Hmmm? This might be an unexpected and excellent spot for a ladies crochet & knit luncheon!!
Tawada Sushi & Teriyaki
4601 W. Pico Blvd., LA, CA 90019
Mon-Thur 11am-8pm; Fri. 11am-9pm; Sat. noon-8pm

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Gift

Yes, I do crochet a lot of potholders. HOWEVER, I did not crochet this beauty! This potholder was crocheted by Marie of Canada, one of my potholder swap partners!I just love the vibrant colors of this potholder. It reminds me of Southern California....a place near and dear to my heart. Check out that divine daisy smack-dab in the center!! The Soap Leaves are awesome too! Thanks so much, Marie!

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Shiny, Colorful!

The L.A. County Fair is certainly a colorful place to visit.

The Vendor's Section is Always Unique!

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery