Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mid-Town Crossing

Building Site of Mid-Town Crossing, Pico, San Vicente, Rimpau, Los Angeles, 2011

The other night Larry and I were at the Tawada Grill on Pico for dinner. This is close to the intersection of Pico, San Vicente and Rimpau, home of the former Sears Roebuck store in Mid-City. This triangular site has been under construction for years. The name of this new shopping center is Mid-Town Crossing. A few chain stores have been built along the perimeter.

The center of this huge lot will become a Lowe's Home Improvement Store, along with a J.C. Penney's and a few other mid-range chains.

Sears Roebuck & Co., Pico & Rimpau, Los Angeles, 1943
L.A. Public Library Archives, courtesy of Foster & Kleiser

It will be convenient to have a Lowe's nearby. I'm just wondering how the funky stores on Pico Blvd. across from this behemoth will fare. So many of the little shops on this stretch of Pico are family-owned. Will they be able to compete with the chain stores? Will they benefit from the added traffic? Many of these buildings haven't changed since the 20's and 30's. You can still see remnants of beautiful Art Deco style architecture. Time will tell.

directly across the street from the new Mid-Town Crossing
2011 Photos by Larry Underhill

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I've Been Busy

Mosaic Ghan for Larry - Work in Progress

I've been crocheting up a storm lately! Afghans, hats, potholders and other projects have been keeping me busy. Many are projects for others with deadlines attached! All are listed in my Ravelry projects for more specific info.

Andrea modeling the Noro Newsboy
Terri, modeling "Phannie" BeretDiagonal Checks PotholderWeHo SnB Group Project
I crocheted the squares together and added the edging

Soon, I hope to return working on a few items for myself!
Thanks to workmates, Andrea and Terri for providing their cute hat heads!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ellen Street

I want to live here!

This is a street sign from Brussels, taken by "kayakpride711." Borrowed from flickr!


Monday, March 28, 2011

Birthday Breakfast

Salades de Provence, Interior

On Saturday we met up with Audrey and Jeff to celebrate a belated birthday for Audrey. We had a delightful French breakfast at Salades de Provence on La Cienega and Holloway. I do love this area of L.A., it's so rock 'n roll and holds many memories from my youth!

Jeffrey and Audrey

The breakfast menu at Salades de Provence is limited. Their lunch and dinner menus have many more choices. Everything is organic and beautifully prepared. We had breakfast crepes and good ol' eggs and bacon with fresh-squeezed orange juice. Yum!

I made another one of my grid-tastic scarves for Audrey. This one uses Koigu sock yarn, size "G" hook. I do love this pattern!

Happy B-Day again, Audrey!

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Vintage Photo Friday

New Orleans, 1920's

My grandfather (Sam Katz) had a sister, Kate. Above are Kate, her husband Ben Glazer and their children, Harry, Abe, Pearl and Meyer (not in order, pictured above). I'll need help from the New Orleans cousins to identify the children.

We have a branch of my mother's family in New Orleans, Louisiana. I've known about this branch of my grandfather's family all of my life. I've met a few of my cousins in the past, but recently, due to the wondrous internet, we've come in closer contact with this off-shoot of the family.
I remember meeting Abe Glazer and his wife, Ida in the late 1960's. They visited Los Angeles a few times and my parents visited them in New Orleans. Abe was in the clothing business and, at the time, my Dad was in the mannequin business. Abe and George used to see each other at trade shows once in awhile. I remember meeting one of Abe's and Ida's daughters, Marlene, when she visited Los Angeles with a girlfriend during the same era. I'm now in contact (thru Facebook) with Marlene's nephew, Jeffrey. One of these days, we'll all meet up, I'm sure!

Glazer Kids, New Orleans, 1920's

Above, another photo from the 1920's of the Glazer children in New Orleans. I see a sign on the building across from the park with a sign that says, Bonart. Could this be close to Sam Bonart Park in New Orleans?
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. Remember to ask the elders in your family about your long, lost relatives while you have the chance!!

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Then and Now

photo courtesy of USC Digital Archives

The Fox Stadium Theater, opened in 1931 on Pico Blvd. near Livonia St. (west of Robertson Blvd.) was the location of many summer weekdays for me. Before the theater was turned into Temple B'nai David-Judea in 1964, the Stadium Theater used to run serial movies in the summertime for kids. I remember seeing "Blondie and Dagwood", "Jungle Jim", "Rin-Tin-Tin", "Henry Aldrich", "The 3 Stooges", "Abbot and Costello" and other such movie serials. Mom would pack my brother and me a sack lunch and drop us off at the theater for the afternoon. I do remember kids throwing their sandwiches at the screen if they didn't like something. We used to run up and down the aisles screaming and yelling too. Yes, it was a fine old time at the movies!

Bnai David-Judea Synagogue today

Looking west on Pico Blvd. toward Stadium Theater, 1951

Pico Boulevard has changed a lot since I was a kid!

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Potholder Redux

Of course you know that I've finished my potholders for the 2011 Potholder Swap on Ravelry. The rules for the swap are:
Each participant is required to crochet five potholders in the same pattern. Please do vary the colors as you see fit. We don't want you bored to tears! Please be sure your hot pads and potholders measure between 6 and 8 inches across and are double thick. THEY MUST BE WITHIN THESE SIZE PARAMETERS OR THEY WILL BE RETURNED TO YOU. To Make a double thick potholder, crochet the same pattern twice, or do a fancy side and a plain side, then join at the edge. Please make your potholders at a reasonably tight gauge. We don't want burned fingers! We'll be using 100% cotton yarns exclusively. No blands, please. Send your 5 potholders with a SASE ($3.75 postage) to Hello Yarn in Massachusetts.
I've been receiving some clever comments on the Potholder Swap discussion board. Since I've photographed my little creations with statues at Antone Martin's Desert Christ Park in Yucca Valley, many of the comments have been of a biblical nature.

One of my friends said that I would burn in Hell after posting the photos. Well, Honey, I'm gonna really NEED those potholder in Hell if it's as hot as described!

Chalk-Legs, another potholder swapper, retitled my photo, "Christ the Re-Heater."

My favorite comment comes from Amy aka Lizardman on Ravelry. Amy wrote the following:

The Parable of the Potholders
In 2011 Swappers bringeth not forth ugly potholders; neither doth a loose gauge bring forth study potholders. For every crocheter is known by her potholders. For of acrylic they do not make potholders, nor of wool crochet their potholders, but of cotton. A good swapper, out of the goodness of her hook bringeth forth that which is beautiful, and she who does not follow the directions crocheteth that which will be not swapped. For of the abundance of their hearts they crocheteth five potholders and send them to Massachusetts.

Thanks to ALL who commented and my fellow-potholder swappers. I feel blessed.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tea Time

After touring the Howard Hughes Aircraft Company in Culver City in the pouring rain on Sunday, I hopped on the 405 Freeway. You know why they call it the "4-O-5" don't you? 'Cause you can only go four o' five miles an hour when you're on it! HardeeHarHar!
Well, that was definitely the case on Sunday afternoon. The rains were coming down, the rooster tails were flying off every car wheel.

Rain in the S.F. Valley

I inched my way to Valley Village to celebrate Darcy's birthday. After hydroplaning across a few intersections, I made it to Darcy's charming little abode where she had set out the most scrumptious high tea feast for all of us to enjoy!
There were homemade scones with 3 kinds of jam and clotted cream, delicious little sandwiches, cheese, fresh strawberries, Waldorf salad, cupcakes, champagne and many choices of hot tea! It was very pleasant sitting there with the KnitGrrlz, eating our dainty sammies while we watched the rain flood Darcy's little patio garden!

Mary Jo and Natalie

B-Day Girl, Darcy

Naturally, there were yarny birthday presents, cat tricks and hilarious stories enjoyed by all. Thank you, Darcy for hosting such a lovely, damp high tea!!! Happy Birthday, Doll face!

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Hughes Aircraft Tour

Bldg 15, The Cargo Building, 1943

Yesterday, in the pouring rain we toured the Hughes Aircraft Company's Culver City Campus with the L.A. Conservancy. Here's an excerpt from the tour brochure:
"The history of Hughes Aircraft Company is a complex one. Innovative and pioneering, the company went through many phases over the years as the interest and involvement of its famed founder, billionaire industrialist Howard Hughes, evolved. It was here that Howard Hughes and his team designed and built planes, helicopters, and most famously, the H-4 Hercules Flying Boat, more commonly known as the Spruce Goose. The site is now known as the Hercules Campus, and it has rarely been open to the public. During World War II, its airfield seldom even appeared on maps. While the Spruce Goose itself is now housed in Oregon, eleven of the original campus buildings remain on the now twenty-eight-acre site. An exciting $50 million historic preservation development project by The Ratkovich Company will adapt the remaining structures for creative use, including design, technology, and movie production."

Bldg. 1, Administration Building, 1950
Original Plans for Administration Building, Henry L. Gogerty, architect
Vintage Photo of Bldg. 10, Cafeteria, 1942-3, redesigned 1950

It was a gray, rainy day, filled with lots of gray buildings! We started our tour in the largest building where the Spruce Goose was built. This is a building of mammoth proportions!!! All of our L.A. Conservancy docents were extremely well-versed and gave us an excellent tour, in spite of the bad weather. This was a tour that centered on the architecture of the campus, not so much the history of aerospace. Most of the buildings were built between 1942 and 1952 in the International Style.

Bldg. 10, Cafeteria - today

L.A. Conservancy Photographer, Larry Underhill
photo courtesy of Chris Nichols

I encourage you to join the Los Angeles Conservancy to help support building preservation in Los Angeles. You can also friend LAC on Facebook to receive updates on tours, preservation issues and more!

Stuart and Amy were prepared for the rain!

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Vintage Photo Friday

It's time to help the victims of the devasting earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Please donate now.

Friends, Lincoln Park, Los Angeles, 1953
Family at Lincoln Park, Los Angeles, 1954

All photos are from the L.A. Public Library Online Photo Archives.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is not really my holiday, but the spirit has reached me. Our Mid-City L.A. neighborhood must have had a strong Irish population during the 1920's and 1930's. There are more than a few Irish establishments nearby, many of the homes are built to look like Irish and English country homes in the Storybook style and there are many Catholic and Protestant congregations in the vicinity.
I found this darling St. Paddy's Day Barbie Doll online here. She looks ready to hoist a pint at Tom Bergin's!Supposedly, EVERYONE is Irish on this day. Have a great ol' time in Irish L.A. today!

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Even though much of the world is in chaos, we can take some comfort in the beauty of our garden environment.
We've been trying to change over most of our plants to drought resistant. We have lots of succulents and grasses in the front yard. The recent rains have made everything bloom beautifully!
Bright Orange Kalanchoe
Enjoy the springtime in Southern California.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

More About the Desert

Even though we only spent a short time in the tri-city California desert towns of Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms, it was a glorious visit. The weather was perfect. I can't wait to go back.
Larry's such a sweetie. He spotted a little yarn shop, hidden in the back of a mini-mail, in Yucca Valley. Knotty Knitters is a GREAT shop!!! It is now located across the highway from it's original location.They carry every fancy yarn you can think of, including all kinds of wonderful accessories....purse handles, swifts and yarn winders, buttons, needles and hooks, books, magazines and more! Since I've been crocheting potholders lately, I picked up some nice crochet cotton. I will definitely visit Knotty Knitters again!
I'm in the 2011 Potholder Swap on Ravelry. I've finished my five potholders, but I wanted to photograph them before I sent them off. I thought that a background of desert rocks and plants would look great with the colorful potholders. Larry and I went to Antone Martin's Desert Christ Park for the photo shoot. With Larry's help, I took some wonderful photos of my colorful crochet work against the stark, white plaster of Antone Martin's biblical statues. I approached this from an artistic point of view.....some of my more religious friends think I might burn in Hell for placing potholders in the hands of the disciples!!This park needs help with restoration. If you're interested in looking into this, visit the park and check out this link.
On our way back to Los Angeles we stopped at Whitewater Rocks. We wanted to buy a little boulder for some landscaping in our front yard. Boulders in Los Angeles cost three times as much as they do in the desert! We bought a nice, little "Charlie Brown" boulder that I suppose looks like Charlie Brown's round head!

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery