Friday, June 28, 2019

Field Trip Friday

Hollyhock House, Exterior

Friday is a good day for field trips. The Saturday and Sunday traffic hasn't begun yet and most museums and places of interest in Los Angeles are open. Almost a month ago, Mary Jo, Larry and I visited Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona. FLW also built many well-known buildings in the Los Angeles area. Mary Jo said she'd never seen Hollyhock House (1921), so we decided to visit today.
Stylized stone hollyhock flower. This was Aline Barnsdall's favorite flower

All photos of Hollyhock House are from the internet. You're not allowed to photograph inside the home. The Barnsdall Parks Association recently finished about half of the restoration of Hollyhock, so we were limited in our visit today. We could only visit the main rooms of the house, the foyer, living room, library and music room. We had views into the kitchen, dining room and a few other rooms. We could not go upstairs to see the bedrooms or walk into the courtyard. Hopefully, all restoration will be done toward the end of the summer. We were shown photos of the rooms we could not visit though.
The Living Room with reproductions of Wright's built-in furniture
The Dining Room
The Library
The hollyhock flower design is everywhere on the property. It was Aline Barnsdall's favorite flower. There are even real hollyhocks growing the garden!
You can read more about the history of this house HERE
After taking a look around the Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall, we decided to have lunch at Spitz Grill a few blocks away.

We shared an order of Doquitos, which was kind of like a Mediterranean taquito. It was thin Lavash bread, rolled with chicken, feta, onion, aioli, fried. The Doquitos were served on top of a Greek-type salad. It was a perfect lunch!
Doquitos at Spitz
It's always fun going on field trips with Mary Jo!

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Fresh Flowers

Roses and gladiolas in our side-yard

It's the small, beautiful things in life that give me joy. The June Gloom that we've been experiencing in Los Angeles is the perfect climate for certain flowers to grow in our garden. We have overcast dampness in the morning, giving way to sunnier skies in the late afternoon.  Yes, the roses are blooming in our garden!
I do love buying fresh flowers at Trader Joe's grocery store. Flowers that I buy there seem to last longer than flowers bought elsewhere. This week, the peonies are for sale! They are so luscious and beautiful. I picked up some other-worldly pink ones yesterday.
My beautiful peonies from Trader Joe's
T.Joe's is known for its orchids. They almost ALWAYS have them for sale. They also have all kinds of other fresh flowers for sale at excellent prices.
Flowers available at Trader Joe's
Once all of the flowers die, I can always resort to my supply of crocheted flowers!  Happy Summer, my friends!
Crochet Flower Collection

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Music Weekend

Deke Dickerson and the Whippersnappers

We started out last weekend with a music vibe!  Larry and I saw Deke Dickerson and the Whippersnappers at the Original Farmers Market.  I must say, the show was delightful. Deke is one of the best guitar players I've ever known. His side men were also fantastic! Most of Deke's original songs are in the Bakersfield country style, made famous by Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. This just happens to be my MOST favorite music! 
Audrey and Jeff joined us for dinner and the show. We also ran into other friends. EB's Bar at the Farmers Market has free shows scheduled all summer!
To continue the music vibe, on Saturday morning I convened with my Ukulele Workshop at Boulevard Music in Culver City. This intermediate class is led by musician, Cali Rose. We always have a great time! Added plus, this session, my besties, Natalie and Mary Jo are taking the Workshop with me!
Natalie and Mary Jo
On Sunday evening, we zoomed out to Santa Monica for a pre-show dinner at the gastro-pub, The Brixton. This is a fun spot with heart-clogging food, so you know it's delicious!

The Brixton sits right across the street from Rae's Coffee Shop, a googie-style building that could use some paint and powder. Rae's has a quirky schedule because it's often in-demand for film shoots, so if you want to eat there, call first.
Rae's Restaurant, Santa Monica
After dinner at The Brixton, we walked down the block to McCabe's Guitar Shop. We had tickets for Dave Alvin's 25th Anniversary Show of his landmark record, "The King Of California." The show was great. Dave and his producer, side-man, Greg Liesz were in fine form. I haven't seen Greg perform in ages, so it was a real treat to hear him on Sunday night. The show opened with singer/songwriter, Christy McWilson and her drummer/singer, Blackie Sleep. They were a perfect opener for Dave and Greg. Christy also joined Dave and Greg on a few numbers.
Blackie Sleep and Christy McWilson

Dave Alvin, Christy McWilson and Greg Liesz
Musically, it was a very inspiring weekend! Now it's time to practice my ukulele!

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Oooo-koo-lay-lee Summer

Oooo-koo-lay-lee. That's how the Hawaiians say "ukulele." I'm looking forward to an ooo-koo-lay-lee summer! I'm so happy to be retired and able to join the CC Strummers twice a week! This is a great group, run by my Saturday ukulele teacher, Cali Rose. On Saturdays I attend the Ongoing Ukulele Workshop at Boulevard Music. SOOO, I get to play uke with great people THREE times a week! Yes! Cali is an inspiring teacher and makes all of our classes fun. Sometimes, we don't even realize we're learning new things!
Cali Rose and the CC Strummers from last summer's Ukulele Festival in Torrance

The ukulele is fun, melodious, whimsical and it's practically impossible to play it without smiling, even if you're smiling at yourself! I played banjo and guitar in my youth and still pick them up occasionally, but I'm a die-hard ukulele player now!
See how happy I am, playing ukulele?
Summertime ukulele is always more fun than any other time of the year. People are ready to hang out in the sun, have a cocktail and sing a few songs! Won't you join me?
1964. Valley Times Collection, LAPL

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Monday, June 10, 2019

The Airport Cafe - Not THAT Airport!

The Original Joe Petrelli's Airport Cafe, 1940's

On Friday, we took Mom to dinner for her 97th birthday. Decades ago, I'd been to Joe Petrelli's Airport Cafe on Sepulveda, near the corner of Playa St. This is the current location of Sprout's Market. After reading a bit of history on the George Petrelli's Restaurant site and also the City of Culver City Historic Site, I found out that the original Joe Petrelli's Airport Cafe (1931) was across the street from the Culver City Airport. The CC Airport, originally called The Baker Airport was located between Sepulveda Boulevard and Mesmer, edged by Jefferson Boulevard, 1927. This was actually part of Los Angeles County at the time.
This is the building I remember from the mid-1970s
The Pompeian Room at Joe Petrelli's Airport Cafe

Joe Petrelli died in an automobile accident in 1958. His nephew, George had been working in the meat department at the restaurant and took over the operation. Eventually, during a big redevelopment phase in Culver City, George moved the restaurant across the street and built a very large building, including banquet rooms, 1995.
Current George Petrelli's Restaurant, built in 1995
Since we'd never been to the larger restaurant, we decided to take Mom their for her birthday dinner. The bar was hopping on a Friday night! The restaurant is very large and has many rooms. We were seated in a booth. The menu features steaks (of course), Italian food, seafood, chicken, etc. We ordered a filet and two Italian dishes. All entrees come with soup AND salad! It was a large meal that could have been split. The steak was delicious. The Italian entrees were fine, but nothing to rave about. 

Chicken Parm w/ pasta
The service was great and I would definitely come back for a burger or a steak!
Happy Birthday, Mom!

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Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Prismatic Grid Shawlette

I knit and crochet SO MANY shawls and sweaters, that after awhile, I lose track. When you post a project on Ravelry, you're supposed to name it. I just couldn't come up with a name for this granny shawl, so I asked Larry to help me. Larry was an art major.
I used a very large crochet hook, size "N." The Gina/Plymouth variegated yarn is quite thin. This makes for a very lacy square.

When I began this piece I was going to make a long scarf, two squares wide. I'd connected about 20 squares. It was at this point that I decided to make a triangle. Using this step-ladder technique of joining is not your usual triangle construction, but after I finished, I liked it! I crocheted 2 rows of single crochet in a ripple-like method, adding picots at the points.

I'm quite pleased with how this shawlette turned out! Granny squares are the building blocks to fashion!

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