Monday, January 30, 2017

Ice Cream Helps

While many of our friends were picketing the current presidential executive order at the Tom Bradley Terminal at the Los Angeles International Airport, Larry and I decided we should drown our sorrows and rage in ice cream. No, it's not a solution, but temporarily, it eased our pain.
However, there is still much rage going on about the Gilmore Company's decision to force out Gill's Ice Cream stand at the Original Farmers Market.  Here's the story, click on the image below to enlarge:
The Sad Story
Histotainer, Charles Phoenix called for a gathering yesterday to honor Gill's Ice Cream and their 80 years of existence at The Market. We met with many friends, old and new and enjoyed a scoop. Charles requested that attendees dress in ice-cream attire!
Brooke, Charles and Ellen
I'll miss all of the vintage signage

Chris and Charlene Nichols
BEST DRESSED: Greg Escalante and Charles Phoenix
Another ice-cream stand will be replacing Gill's. I plan on going to Bennett's, at the east end of The Market, for my ice-cream from now on.
Jody Gill, granddaughter of the original Owner
Ellen and Marilyn
Charles Phoenix, commiserating with his fans about the demise of Gill's
To view MORE PICTURES at Gill's yesterday, click HERE.

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Friday, January 27, 2017

Never Forget

January 27th is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This is a day of commemoration for the victims of the Holocaust during World War II. It commemorates the genocide that resulted in the death of approximately 6 million Jews, 2 million Romany, 250,000 mentally and physically disabled people and 9,000 homosexual men by the Nazi regime and its associates. Today, January 27th, is the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland.

I Will Never Forget

Every year at our family Passover Seder we recite these words:
Seder Ritual of Remembrance:
This is for the six million Jews who perished at the hands of the Nazis and for the heroes of the ghetto uprisings.
On this Seder night we remember with reverence the six million of our own people, and those of all nationalities and faiths, who only yesterday were mercilessly crushed by a tyrant more wicked than the Pharaoh who enslaved our fathers in Egypt.
And they slew the blameless and the pure; men, women, children and babies did they destroy absolutely in chambers of fire and in factories of death.
On this night of Passover we recall with pride the undaunted defenders of freedom in the ghettos of Europe—our brave brothers and sisters who defined the tyrant, even as did our ancestors in the days of Judah the Maccabee.
On this night we also recall and give tribute to those members of our family who have passed on. We celebrate their lives by honoring them and giving strength to their memory, despite the darkest of circumstances. We honor their courage by re-telling the Passover story, our Spring Festival of freedom and re-birth. 

Considering the political climate in the United States these days, we need to remember now, more than ever.
Click on image to read the small print!

Visit the Museum of Tolerance on Pico Boulevard at Roxbury Drive in Los Angeles to learn more about it.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

More about THAT hat

My #pussyhat is famous. I've had lots of requests for image use. If they were honorable requests and supported the cause, then I considered them. My favorite request was from Tracy in Northern California. I'm supposing she saw my hat photo right here on my blog. My co-worker, Nicole, was the model for the hat.
Nicole, model

Just a simple little iPhone photo, clean with pretty good lighting and nice knit-stitch definition, and now my hat is a star! Tracy is a whiz at PhotoShop! She has been posting her creations, using my hat, to bring awareness to the Women's March in Washington, D.C. and all over the world.

Tracy's illustrations speak for themselves!

Today's illustration is epic. If only!

Here's a direct quote from Ravelry, the yarny site that got all of the #pussyhat knitters and crocheters organized, "This weekend, millions of women and friends marched all over the world, many of them wearing “those pink hats.” The PussyHat Project was an amazing display of what can happen when knitters, crocheters and other crafters unite behind something that is important to them. The project, started by Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman, had a group on Ravelry & resulted in over 8000 projects in Ravelry under the pattern designed by Kat Coyle but many more than that since some project entries are for multiple hats and some folks used other patterns, as well)."

There will be many more opportunities to wear your #pussyhat in the coming years. It's time to knit one for yourself! Below is the easy pattern by Kat. I knit my hat in the round and shortened it. My ribbing is only 2" long and the top of the hat  4", resulting in 6" of knitting in the round. I finished off the top seam with a 3-needle bind-off. 
Kat's Pattern

Check out all of the variations of this hat HERE, 8,344 strong!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Singin' in the Rain

Flooded intersection in the V-v-v-valley!

It was POURING rain on Sunday, but I was determined to make it over the hill to attend a ukulele workshop at Susanna's house conducted by Jim and Liz Beloff.
Jim and Liz, along with others, have written TONS of ukulele song books as well as instructional books, videos and CDs. Almost every ukulele class and group that I know of in the United States uses their "Daily Ukulele" and "Daily Ukulele, Leap Year Edition" as reference in their classes. 
There were probably about 15 students in attendance. Suzanna has a nice big room toward the back of her house that's like a "sun" room. Yesterday it was the rain-view room. We played our ukes as we looked outside at the puddles forming in the backyard. It was appropriate that we were singin' in the rain in Burbank, Debbie Reynolds' home town!
Jim and Liz Beloff perform for our class
Jim brought a packet of music to give to each student. There were about 10 songs, each building on the next in terms of technique and difficulty. As we ran through the songs, Jim gave us tips and tricks for performing each song to delight an audience. I learned quite a bit! I'm almost ready to book that solo gig! (Not).

It was nice meeting some ukesters new to me and also running into a few old acquaintances. All in all, I'm glad I braved the rain storm!

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Thursday, January 19, 2017


I've always loved bright colors! Maybe that's why I usually dress in all black, so that when I add a colorful scarf, it will pop!
My favorite colorful place, The Bauer Factory Store, Atwater, CA
Colorful water goblets at The Madonna Inn gift shop
My colorful L-shaped, crocheted shawl
Colorful potholders
I've been working on a colorful, new yarny project and the combinations of these colors below absolutely DELIGHT me!
My new yarny project! 
These bright and beautiful yarns are cheering me up, considering our sad, rainy weather!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Charm is Gone

Newly designed Petersen Automotive Museum, photo from Petersen collection

On Monday, Larry and I visited the newly remodeled Petersen Automotive Museum on the Miracle Mile. The re-opening of the Museum was a year ago, so we thought we should really visit to see all of the "improvements." The Petersen organization spent over $125 million for this renovation.
Original Seibu Department Store, 1962, Welton Becket and Associates. Photo, Marvin Rand

The new exterior wraps bands of steel and mesh together in a bubble over the originally designed former department store by Welton Becket. The Becket-designed Seibu Department store (later Ohrbach's) is still there. The red bands of steel and mesh are supposed to look like the motion of fast-moving cars. OK, it's definitely eye-catching, especially when lit. While it was being constructed, we called it The Bacon Building.The combination of the flowing steel strips and red lights looked like strips of bacon to us locals.
Petersen Automotive Museum, re-design and adaptive re-use, 1994. Fins 
were added to the exterior to resemble a vintage car. Photo from

The floor plan of the museum has been opened up. Many of the display walls are gone, replaced by video displays and actual cars. The design is flowing and excellent. You are supposed to start on the third floor and work your way down. There are elevators and a circular staircase. The innovative elevators, with the up and down on the same side, are gone.
Larry with the Hollywood Movie Cars

Also gone are the Los Angeles street scenes with actual replicas of old buildings, stores and gas stations in the L.A. area. I really miss those displays on the first floor. There were very few references to how important the automobile was to the development of Los Angeles. This museum could be Anywhere, USA. 
Batman's Motorcycle with Sidecar for Robin
Cool Vintage Scooters

Vintage Hollywood movie cars and displays are on the third floor. Other modes of transportation and race cars are on the second floor. The first floor is reserved for revolving exhibitions. This month there are Bugatti cars in residence, along with some art cars painted by Keith Haring.
Buick Special, painted by artist, Keith Haring

My favorite piece in the entire Museum wasn't a car at all! It was a very long mural called "Los Angeles, The Living City," originally by Sandra Drinning, 1997, on the side of a supermarket in KoreaTown. Here's a story about the reproduction of this 16 x 94-foot mural!
The reproduction of this mural is worth the price of admission, almost.
Car Crash!

Instead of the affordable Johnny Rockets Hamburgers, there is now a pricey, but lovely Drago Restaurant on the main floor. The Petersen is definitely trying to appeal to the concours d'elegance crowd. OK, I'm done with that Museum. Sigh.

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Monday, January 16, 2017

MLK's Words in Yarn

This has become a tradition on "L.A. Is My Beat."  For the past six years I have been featuring Suzanne's MLK sweater on my blog in honor of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. I will repeat  again this year because I'm so in love with this idea and in awe of Suzanne's mad skills. 

Suzanne's Sweater, honoring the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The sweater pattern is from "Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines."  The name of this sweater is "Margaret," designed for the book by Mary Neal Meador.  The instructions state that the sweater may be embellished after knitting with chain stitched quotations of the knitter’s choice.  The sweater in the book has poetry added to the front and back. 
When I saw Suzanne's ("owlknits") sweater, I was touched by the words she chose.  This is from Suzanne's project page on Ravelry: 

I knit this sweater for a local art exhibition that was organized to honor the ideas of Martin Luther King, Jr.  I used quotes from his “I have a dream…” speech to embroider on the front and back of the sweater: Front: Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. Back: The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the day of justice emerges.

I am still blown away by Suzanne's sweater and her choice of quotations.  One day I will make such a sweater for myself.  Bravo!  Excellent work, Suzanne, honoring an eloquent man and his ideas! 

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Friday, January 13, 2017

For the Cause

Alyson, Darcy, Mary Jo, Natalie, Brit and Ellen. #pussyhat

Many of my friends are participating in the Pussy Hat Project . I thought it would be a good way to promote the Women's March on Washington, D.C., January 21, 2017, the day after the Presidential Inauguration. Kat Coyle of The Little Knittery yarn shop in Atwater Village wrote a simple pattern for the hat. The pattern has gone viral and millions of people are knitting and crocheting hats for themselves and other marchers to wear on January 21st. 
The mission of the Pussy Hat Project, as stated on their website is: To provide the people of the Women's March on Washington, D.C. a means to make a unique collective visual statement which will help activists be better heard. 

This will also provide people who cannot physically be on the National Mall a way to represent themselves and support women's rights. If over 1 million people wear a pink hat to the Women's March on Washington, the world will see that we stand together, united. By knitting a hat for a marcher, you are a powerful part of a visual statement.

There is also a march in our City of Los Angeles on January 21st. Here is their mission statement:
We stand together in solidarity for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health and our families--recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.

In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.

We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all.
WOW! Those are all powerful words. I support the marches across the country for equality. I knitted six pussy hats for my friends and for myself. I plan to wear my hat on January 21st to show my support!
There is still time to knit or crochet your own hat. Follow the directions for Kat's hat OR if you'd prefer to crochet your hat, Kim Werker has written a wonderful pattern that looks similar to the knitted hat. Kim calls it the "Show-Up Hat." Quoting Kim, "One of the simplest and most intimidating ways to stand up for what's right is to show up when it matters!"
Kim Werker's crocheted "Show-Up Hat"
The more we are seen, the more we are heard. Let’s come together to support women’s rights in a creative and impactful way.

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