Friday, August 30, 2013

Vintage Photo Friday - The Beach

This is officially the last weekend of summer.  Here in California we're very lucky to have our summers last well into late October, sometimes even later!  Time to get out to the beach!!
A distant cousin recently contacted me through my blog.  He's related to me through my Grandma, Ethel Pellicoff Bloom.  It's complicated, but my Great-Grandmother, Dora Karlowsky Pellicoff was the sister to Kevin's Great-Great Grandfather, Zachary Karlowsky.  When Kevin searched the name, Pellicoff online, he found this post of mine.  He recognized the names in pencil on the back of my Grandmother's graduation photo as cousins of his!  We'll definitely have to straighten out the family tree to comprehend it all.   The internet is a wonderful thing.  Kevin lives in Philadelphia, where my Father and Uncle were born.  
Every summer Grandma Ethel would travel by train with her sons, from Los Angeles through Chicago to stay with our Bloom relatives and then on to Atlantic City for the summer.  My Dad spoke fondly of his summers at his family's Kosher Hotel in Atlantic City.  Here are a few beach photos from that time.
1924, Atlantic City with Cousin Herbie, Baby Hi, Mort and George (holding a kitten in his shirt)!
1920, Atlantic City. Cousin Herbie and Mort
1920, Atlantic City.  My Grandparents, Ethel & Lawrence with Mort and George.
1920, Atlantic City.  Ethel & Lawrence Bloom, Dora & Bernard Pellicoff with George and Mort.

Take some beach photos this weekend and post them!  I'll try to do the same.  Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

License to Snap

I'm always searching for great vanity license plates while on the road!
I've posted this plate previously.  I follow this guy to work almost everyday.  I'm still wondering what BANG means.  Does he want to shoot us?  Will there be a loud BANG if I bash into his fiberglass bumper?  One day, I'll roll down my window and ask him!  **SEE BELOW
Another crash related plate?  Or, should I follow this driver to the party?
Saw this lady on the SM Fwy today.  She was the worst lane-changer I've ever seen!  Dave, get your Mum a chauffeur!
The famous Rhonda Voo's car!

** The mystery is solved!  One of my friends who works in an advertising agency in my complex told me, "Bang works as an art director.  His first name is Bang....not sure if this is a nickname, but that is how he is listed in our company directory."  Thanks, Judy for solving this puzzle!

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Summer Lunch

Co-Workers, Benjamin, Wallie and Mike

Today I had lunch with my department co-workers.  We are lucky to have a few pleasant places within walking distance of our office complex.  Today we walked across the street to Tiato Cafe.  Tiato has a huge patio and a varied menu.  It is a bit muggy today (even in Santa Monica), but dining outdoors was delightful.
We ordered various salads and sandwiches, along with iced tea and lemonade.  We rarely have lunch together, just because we work in the same department and see each other all day long.  It is nice to get together outside of the office so we can dish!
Turkey Burger on Ciabatta Roll w/Sweet Potato Fries
Spinach Salad w/Shrimp

Mostly, we discussed our upcoming holiday weekend and what's in store for all of us.  I did feel like the ol' lady Mom around these kids.  Oh well....everyone says being around young people keeps you youthful!  Thanks, Boys for the fun lunch!
Tiato Garden
Cafe Tiato
2700 Colorado Ave. #190, Santa Monica, CA 90404

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Good Fortune

Really?  Where am I going and who's paying for it?  I can be packed and ready to go in 20 minutes!
Pei Wei Asian Diner, Culver City

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Ice Cream & Champagne

Following the Ice Cream Truck to Rhonda's and Eric's Home

Saturday, Larry and I were invited to  Rhonda Voo's Ice Cream & Champagne birthday party.  We'd recently met Rhonda and her husband, Eric at Brooke's and Deyo's wedding.  Rhonda and I hit it off immediately at Brooke's bridal shower.  We found out that we had many interests and friends in common.  On Saturday we discovered that Larry and Rhonda graduated the same year from Art Center College of Design!  Yes, it's a small world.
Rhonda and Eric recently remodeled their home in Mar Vista with the help of architect, Neil Denari.  We'd seen photos of the home and it was even featured on an episode of "Four Houses" on TLC.  We were both looking forward to seeing their home in person.
As we were traveling west on National Boulevard, we saw this old-fashioned ice-cream panel truck get off the freeway from Carmela Ice Cream in Pasadena.  I'd just heard about this ice cream from Ms. Natalie.  She took an ice cream crankin' class from them that very morning!  We followed the truck to the party.  Perfect timing!

The front view of Rhonda's and Eric's home is very nice and simple.  It looks like a remodeled 40's home, typical of the houses in this area.  Everything changes when you walk through the front door.  WOW!  They've turned the original living room into a dining room and enlarged the kitchen so that it is virtually one gigantic room with huge windows that look out to the backyard and the trees.  Next to the kitchen area are a couple of bedrooms and a bath.  The extension of the home includes a new master bedroom suite.  
View of front door from the grand kitchen

There is a dramatic staircase at the end of the kitchen going downstairs to the great room and back yard.  This space is huge, modern and beautiful.  You would never know from the front of the home that this modern, space-age design exists in the back!  It's awe-inspiring.
Downstairs great room and yard

When you're standing in the yard, looking up toward the back of the house, you feel like you're in another world.

Mr. Larry in the backyard.  View of Great Room and Master Bedroom, upstairs

An abbreviated version of our friends' band, The Martini Kings were performing in the patio, making for a very classy party!
Martini Kingdom

We proceeded to drink champagne, eat divine ice cream and mingle with the crowd.  Lots of interesting conversation and laughs.  Surprisingly, one of my classmates from high school is also friends with Rhonda!  Sheesh!  The world just keeps getting smaller and smaller!
BHHS Grads, Ellen and Myron
Newlyweds, Brooke and Deyo
Brooke, B-Day Girl Rhonda and Ellen

Birthday cake was the next order of business.  Three cakes spelling out "VOO" were displayed enticingly in the kitchen.  It really was a grand celebration!
Thanks to Rhonda and Eric for including us in the celebration and inviting us to their spectacular home!

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Touring L.A. - Vintage Photo Friday

We're closing in on the end of official summer vacation time.  You don't have to drive or fly far away to experience fun in the summertime.  Los Angeles is the perfect vacation destination, especially for locals!
We're lucky to live in a town that has so many entertainment and recreation opportunities.  Stay close to home and visit some of Los Angeles' grand places!  You might see us.  I love to sight-see in my home town!
We live just a few blocks from the L.A. County Museum of Art (LACMA).  There are always Friday night jazz concerts in the patio and a range of movies to see.  Most of the exhibits are worth visiting again too.
Original LACMA Buildings, Wilshire Boulevard

The Hollywood Heritage Museum near the Hollywood Bowl is a fun place to visit.  The Musuem is housed in the original Lasky-DeMille Barn (1895), where the movies began in Hollywood!  This Museum is kind of off the radar, chock full of interesting artifacts  and has easy parking!  
If you want to take a tour of some beautiful mid-20th century modern architecture, hop in the car and cruise up to Trousdale Estates in Beverly Hills.  Another smaller area, across town, to see some wonderful modern homes is the Gregory Ain Tract in Mar Vista.  One more cluster of modern homes is in Ladera Heights.  An added plus, Ladera Heights in the home of Pann's Coffee Shop, an award-winning restaurant in the Googie-style of architecture, built in 1958.  The food is terrific!
Want to spend the last days of summer near the beach?  Head over to the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica.  This was the former site of actress, Marion Davies' mansion, built by her paramour, William Randolph Hearst.  The architect for Davies' beach house and guest house was Julia Morgan, who also designed Hearst's Castle at San Simeon.  The original Davies guest house is still standing.  The beach house has been replaced by a beautiful collection of buildings, open to the public.  The original swimming pool is available for use, along with lovely patios overlooking the sand and ocean.
Marion Davies' Original Beach House
Annenberg Beach House and Grounds today

The Santa Monica Pier is close-by, but the Pier is usually too crowded for me.  If I really want to get up-close and personal with the ocean, I drive south to Playa del Rey
Playa del Rey, 1920. Herald Examiner Photo Collection

Playa del Rey is still a relatively sleepy beach town without too much development.  Park at the end of Culver Boulevard and just walk around the little town, sit on the beach and enjoy the view!
There are many other sites to see and places to visit in and around Los Angeles. I haven't even started listing the wonderful places near downtown L.A., Little Tokyo, Chinatown, the Historic Core and more!  If you visit someplace unique, let me know!  Have a great summer weekend!

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Seen in L.A.

"No Legs" Karate Mannequin,  WLA
Cell Palm
L.A. Graffiti, photo by Mr. Larry

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Recent Faves

Since my knitting seminar last weekend with Sally Melville, I've been obsessed with yarny pursuits.  More so than usual, if that's possible.  I own four of Sally's books and have been perusing her patterns.  I've been scouring the Patterns Section on Ravelry, taking in new designs.  Whether or not I'll actually knit and/or crochet everything I place in my Favorites List doesn't matter.  I just have to tag EVERYTHING I see!  I'm not only a yarn-a-holic, I'm a pattern-a-holic too!
Here are a few of my latest faves:

Sally Melville's "Step Dance Shawl" in Liberty self-striping yarn
Sally's "Step Dance" in variegated yarn
Lion Brand's "Mitered Shawl" in "Amazing" yarn

Red Heart's "Shore Thing" scarf

The "Shore Thing" scarf is a Crochet-a-Long project for our El Segundo Guild this fall.  I like it.  I might make it wider in a solid color....more like a shawl.  It's just a basic crochet ripple pattern, alternating solid and lacy rows.
"Winter Turban"

The "Renewed Dickey"

For the present, I've been revisiting my WIP'd sweaters that have been languishing in tote bags around the house.  After learning a few tips and tricks from Sally's classes, I'm inspired to finish everything before starting one of these new projects! 

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

License to Snap

Ooooo....I've spotted some great vanity license plates over the past few days!
My personal favorite!  Seen at South Fairfax where it crosses La Cienega, Mid-City L.A.
For my generation, this is Beatle Fest, as in the band Seen on Pico Blvd., Mid-City
Hot Canyon?  OK.  Santa Monica Freeway
My in-the-field photographer, Mr. Larry spotted this one at an estate sale in Pacific Palisades.  Klezmer definition here, just in case.
Exploring in the Ford Explorer!  Parking Lot, Beverly Hills adjacent.
Not a license plate, but an added letter to the Honda Odyssey!!!  Santa Monica Freeway
Didn't catch the license plate on this cool wagon and surf board, but had to snap it!  Seen in Monrovia, CA, pretty far from the surf!

Have you spotted any good vanity plates lately?

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Knit Workshops

I attended weekend knit workshops on Saturday and Sunday with the El Segundo Knitters Guild.  Our teacher was Sally Melville.  Sally is a world-renowned knitter, speaker and educator.  I'd taken a few workshops from her in years past at Stitches West in Santa Clara, so I was definitely looking forward to this weekend's classes.
I attended three different workshops:  Knit to Flatter and Fit; Essential Skills for the Self-Taught Knitter and Emergency Measures / Fixing Knit Mistakes.  All were excellent.  There was lots of hands-on knit practice and yarny discussions.  The workshops were well attended.

Sally brought many samples of her beautifully designed sweaters with her.  We were able to see the sweaters up-close so we could ask about her techniques.  Many of the sweaters were from this book that I own, "Styles" published in 1998.  Some of these pieces are almost 20 years old and look as sharp and beautiful as when they were new!
Guild President, Peggy Baxter with Instructor and Designer, Sally Melville
Many of us were particularly enchanted with Sally's unique button bands and cuff edges.  She has devised a trim where you knit the edge in reverse stockinette stitch so that it curves in and looks almost like i-cord, but it's less bulky and you don't have to "apply " it.  After a few rows of reverse stockinette, there is a 2x2 rib then another few rows of the reverse stockinette (see above button band).  Below are some close-up shots of cuffs with this unique edging.  Brilliant!
2 x 2 rib with 2 colors!
Click to embiggen and read

Sunday's workshops were well-attended too, but a bit more laid back than Saturday.  We all had an energizing time.  My head is spinning with Sally Ideas!
Sunday's Knitters

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery