Friday, July 29, 2011

Vintage Photo Friday

Bloom Family Reunion, Summer 1993, Los Angeles

I don't really consider a photo from 1993 to be vintage, but for some people 18 years old qualifies. When I look at this picture and see how all of the kids have grown up, then I know that this is indeed a vintage photo!
This photo was taken in our backyard, in front of the stage set from the KTLA version of the "Late Mr. Pete Show." I worked at KTLA where the show was taped. When they were ready to get rid of the colorful set, we saved it from the dumpster. It provided a wonderful back-drop for many parties. This was before we filled up our backyard with studios, garages, room additions and old cars. Wait a minute..the old cars have always been there!
Five people in the photo above have left us....George, Hi, Frances, Gersh and Burt. We have many new additions to the family too. We'll be having another family reunion in a couple of weeks. I look forward to seeing most of my family there!
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Latest Projects

Coaster Party Favors

Yes, I start a lot of knit and crochet projects. I have start-itis. Eventually I finish most of them. When I receive a new yarn, I'm inspired to try it out. Also, sometimes I need quick gifties in-between projects.
Flower Coasters are the perfect little gift. I crocheted some for Carol and Thane as a hostess gift for their 4th of July party.

Carol Coasters

I also whipped up some for my Yarny Grrlz as favors at my birthday lunch. I used Reynolds Saucy Cotton, size "G" hook. After just a touch of steaming, these flower coasters are really adorable.
Last year, my good friend Beth gifted me some gorgeous Sanguine Gryphon Little Traveller yarn in the colorway "Mumbai." For an entire year I've been checking out patterns to find the perfect one for this beautiful yarn. I finally settled on the crocheted BoHo Blocks Cardigan from Interweave Crochet Magazine, Fall 2006.

BoHo Blocks Cardi by Valentina Devine

I've been wanting to crochet this sweater for a long time. Now, the yarn and the pattern have come together. I am going to see if I can make the entire sweater using Beth's yarn. If I need more squares, I'll use a complimentary yarn for the sleeves and trim. I think I may just have enough Little Traveller for the whole piece!

BoHo Block Cardi Progress

What are you knitting and/or crocheting right now? Do you have many WIPs?

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vatican Vatos?

Whoa! The Pope has his homies invading the Westside of L.A. now!
Santa Monica Fwy. Eastbound, July 2011

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Seen around the house

Quiet day here at L.A. Is My Beat. Enjoy the summer folliage!

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Final Celebration - 2011

Flan @ Frida's

Yes, my birthday usually lasts for about a week! Yesterday was the final celebration with my Yarny Grrlz. We had a divine lunch at Frida's in Beverly Hills. The restaurant is really pretty, the service is good and the food is delicious.
We each ordered drinks...super strong margaritas and sangria. See below for the array of menu items.

Click here to view these pictures larger

After lunch we zoomed over to our house for yarny pursuits. Larry was waiting with a special birthday cake. He ordered my favorite...the seasonal strawberry shortcake from Phoenix Bakery in China Town. We had tons of fun opening presents (my personal fave activity), show 'n tell of yarn, crocheting, knitting, yakking and more!

Mr. Larry, in service
Strawberry Shortcake from the Phoenix Bakery
I love my girlfriends!! Thank you all for a fantastic culmination to a wonderful birthday week!

L-R: Darcy, Carol, Lori, Julie, Ellen, Natalie, Beth, Mary Jo

Thanks to Larry, Beth and Mary Jo for the photos!

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Vintage Photo Friday

Kids in an L.A. Park, Enjoying the Slide, 1964, Herald Examiner

My fondest memories of summers in Los Angeles are of riding the bus down Wilshire Blvd. from Beverly Hills to the beach with my girlfriends. Once we reached Wilshire Blvd. in SM, we'd lope down the Santa Monica Incline to the beach. We usually walked a bit north to Tee's Hamburger Shack where all of our friends from Beverly High would hang out. The kids from University, Hamilton and Palisades High hung out near the Sorrento burger shack. Years later a developer tore down the Sorrento stand and built an apartment building called the Sorrento!
Once settled in the sand near where the cute boys were playing Frisbee, we'd slather ourselves with baby oil and then bake in the hot Santa Monica sun! No wonder I have wrinkles today! Usually, someone's Mom or Dad would pick us up and give us a lift home at the end of the day. It was a big treat to stop for ice-cream on the ride home. We'd giggle ourselves into hysterics when we'd pull up to Herbie's Hot Nuts and Ice-Cream on Pico Blvd. on the border of West L.A. and Santa Monica. Herbie's Hot Nuts!?!?!
It's the middle of summer. Go outside and enjoy it! I plan to enjoy the last few days of my summer vacation this weekend!

Volleyball, Cabrillo Beach, San Pedro, 1945, Herald Examiner
Wading in the Pool, Long Beach, 1937

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Thursday, July 21, 2011


Oy! Alka-Seltzer, take me away! My birthday was one long food-extravaganza! I was taken out to breakfast, lunch and dinner by dear friends and family!! Only one more celebration on Sunday with my Yarny Grrlz..Woo Hoo! Yes, I do like to stretch out my birthday for as long as possible!
See the slide show below for the foodie highlights! On Monday, Rhoda took me for dinner to Mezze, the new Mediterranean restaurant on La Cienega that S. Irene wrote about in the LA TImes Food section today! That Rhoda is soooo au courant! We had a dvine time eating flatbread with broccoli, feta and olives; divine chopped liver w/grapes and carmelized onions; zucchini with some sort of grain; for dessert poached pears and pistachio ice cream. Wow! Faboo!
Tuesday, I met my sweet cousin Amie for lunch at Mendocino Farms in Marina del Rey. We both had the MOST divine salads! The place is a zoo at lunchtime, but we arrived early and snagged a table.
Tuesday night, Joan and I had a late dinner at Grub in Hollywood. I do love this place. It's hidden away among the sound recording studios in Hollywood in a small converted house with a pleasant patio. We each had a cup of soup and then split a mushroom burger. Really delicious.
After a morning and early afternoon of indulgent shopping, Larry and I zoomed downtown on Wednesday (my actual b-day) to check out the Grammy Museum at the L.A. Live complex. It's a beautiful museum, very well-done and full of interesting music info, photos, videos and memorabilia. Outside the Staples Center there was a group from PETA protesting the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus set to open soon. They were chanting and waving signs about all of those sad elephants!

THEN, we drove up to Union Station and had a fantastic dinner at Traxx, inside the train station. We sat on the patio and enjoyed perfect weather along with Caesar salad, crab cakes w/remoulade sauce and Alaskan cod on a bed of quinoa w/ asparagus and baby tomatoes in some sort of yummy sauce. We saw a group of L.A. Conservancy friends inside the dining room, enjoying a post-Last Remaining Seats supper.

Click here to view these pictures larger

All in all, my birthday was really wonderful. I'm looking forward to the final celebration on Sunday with the Yarny Grrlz!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wow! Thank You!

I woke up this morning to over SIXTY (60) birthday greetings on my Facebook wall! Wow! Thanks so much to everyone for taking the time to wish me a happy b-day! I certainly do appreciate it. I do love Facebook just for the fact that people from so many different eras of my life are connected in one place. There are childhood friends, college friends, my old ISOMATA gang, friends from my radio and music booking days, yarny friends, work friends and family. I am blessed.

The many hairstyles of Ellen, through the years
Fourth B-Day Party at Roxbury Park, Beverly Hills
L to R: Cousin Janet, peeking out behind my big brother, Ken, Robbie Feldman, Me (glaring at Robbie), Marjorie Bovill, cousin Amie partially hidden behind cousin Barbara, Mark Borden, hidden behind Richie Leivenberg

Above is a picture of my fourth birthday party at Roxbury Park in Beverly Hills. Since this was before I started school, all of the other little kids are cousins or neighbors. I'm proud to say that I'm in touch with most of the people in this photo. It's nice to grow old together. AND, I still like hanging out at Roxbury Park!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Excellent Wedding

Usually, I find weddings rather boring unless they're my own. Of course, if you know the couple well and know all of their friends, then it's usually a fun party. We attended the wedding of our neighbors' daughter on Saturday. We've known the family for over 20 years and often are invited to gatherings at their home. So, we know lots of their friends and relatives. Needless to say, knowing many of the guests made it a fun party for us.

Nicola's and Gregg's wedding took place at the Smog Shoppe, formerly the La Cienega Auto Center, on La Cienega near Washington Blvd., along the newish art gallery row in Los Angeles, bordering on East Culver City. This is an indoor-outdoor venue. It's a former car repair yard on a decidedly industrial stretch of La Cienega. It was an extremely cool venue.

Nicola's Parents, Rosina and Nic, look on as the couple are betrothed

The outdoor area of the Smog Shoppe (where cars used to be parked for service) was set up for the wedding ceremony and hors d'oeuvres. The block walls surrounding the enclosure are packed with succulent plants, camouflaging the traffic noise from La Cienega Blvd. The inside area, where the hydraulic lifts for the cars used to be, was set up with tables, a dance floor, screen, etc. for the party. There were all kinds of interesting props and furniture scattered about, making for a totally unique setting. I'm sure if the weather was cold, there would have been heaters outside. It was a perfect day and evening.

Fantastic Catering by Auntie Em

Congratulations, Nicola and Gregg! May you have a long and happy life together!

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Let the Celebrations Begin!

On Sunday, Mom and Hal took us out for my pre-birthday breakfast. We went to Kate Mantilini's on Wilshire & Doheny. I do love Kate's for breakfast. They specialize in Grand Marnier French toast and thin pancakes. Breakfast was divine. I also like the architecture and ambiance of Kate's. It's got that industrial 90's look, but somehow it manages to be warm and not too hard-edge. I also like that Kate's is in my hometown and owned and operated by former schoolmates!
The originators of Mantilini's and the Hamburger Hamlet were Marilyn and Harry Lewis. The comfortable feel and delicious, simple food of my beloved childhood fave restaurant, The Hamlet, is evident at Kate Mantilini.

French Toast w/Grand Marnier flavoring

Super Thin Pancakes w/Pepper BaconBrioche French Toast

Thanks for breakfast, Folks and also thanks for the generous b-day check!!!!
Mom and Hal enjoying coffee at Kate Mantilini's

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Friday, July 15, 2011


Vintage Photo Friday
1929, groundbreaking for Sepulveda Blvd. cutting through the mountains from West L.A. to the S.F. Valley
photo from the L.A. Public Library Archives

Midnight today, the 405-San Diego Freeway will be closed from the 101 Fwy. to the 10 Fwy. This is the MOST crowded section of the 405. It will be closed until 5 a.m. Monday morning. This is BIG NEWS for Los Angeles residents. The City will come to a stand-still. Hopefully, everyone will just stay in their neighborhoods and have a quiet weekend. Most of the surface streets and alternate routes through the mountains from the San Fernando Valley to L.A.'s Westside will probably be clogged with traffic. STAY HOME please. Updated coverage here.
From the L.A. Library Photo Archives: Wearing jodhpurs, Angeline Pagones waits with her horse at the shoulder of the newly constructed Sepulveda highway. Construction equipment and material are at the side of the road and the Santa Monica mountains are a hazy backdrop. Photo caption reads: "Celebrating the completion of a modern highway over one of Los Angeles' oldest trails, Sepulveda highway will be dedicated Sunday with gay fiesta where the highway joins with Sunset Boulevard. Angeline Pagones is shown with her horse on the bridle path inspecting the new roadway. The highway follows a trail used centuries ago by the Indians on their way to the sea". Photo dated: Oct. 19, 1935.

Half of this Mulholland Bridge is coming down this weekend

Have a wonderful, quiet weekend, Los Angeles!

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Yarn! Downtown L.A.

After visiting MOCA and having lunch in Little Tokyo on Monday, we found the Mexican Thread and Yarn Company near the Garment District (425 So. Los Angeles Street, LA).
This shop is chock full of acrylic yarn, from thin embroidery thread all the way up to worsted weight. There are tons of solid colors to choose from and a few variegated choices.

They have lots of embroidery patterns and baby items marked with embroidery charts. There are also tablecloths and other home items ready to embroider. The shop carries thicker nylon cord to crochet and knit handbags too. The thing is, you have to purchase a whole bag of 12 skeins of ONE color of yarn. You cannot get a mixed bag. Soooooo, if you're going and want multiple colors, take a friend and trade skeins!
I purchased a bag of sport weight, olive green rayon yarn...12 skeins for $24. This is approximately 3,500 yards of yarn!!! Wow!

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery