Wednesday, January 29, 2020

OK, Boomer Dinosaur

I've been hearing this phrase A LOT lately. So what's the matter with being a boomer? You could learn something from us, you whippersnappers! Oy! I'm starting to sound like my Father!
From Wikipedia: The phrase "OK Boomer" is a pejorative retort used to dismiss or mock perceived narrow-minded, outdated, negatively-judgemental, or condescending attitudes of older people, particularly baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964. The term has been used as a retort for perceived resistance to technological change, climate change denial, marginalization of members of minority groups or opposition to younger generations' ideals.
I like eating at classic L.A. restaurants that I've been frequenting for 50 years. #dinosaur #okboomer
So much of television and movies have recently been involved with remembering the 1960s and the 1970s. The Seventies are Fifty! There are documentaries, mockumentaries, novelizations of real events and stories set during those times in the U.S. Larry and I are addicted to television and pop culture of that era. My name is Ellen and I'm a TV-a-holic. As we watch these shows based on the 60s and 70s, we are reminded of our own high school and college years in Los Angeles. We are dinosaurs...irrelevant in today's culture. OK, Boomer!
Boomer Birthday Party, 1956, Roxbury Park, Beverly Hills
I'm not surprised any longer when I meet people that know other people I know, even when they're from different aspects of my life. I have school friends, music biz friends, yarny friends, relatives, historic preservation friends, art and painting friends, ukulele friends, etc. These groups often intersect. I guess I just have INTERESTING friends, almost all are from the Baby Boomer generation! After awhile, I just assume that all of my friends know each other and that we all have experienced the same things growing up. We are the "dinosaur" people. OK, Boomer!
Boomer Food
Everything I do and see comes back to those pivotal mid-1960s and early 1970s years. I am at the point in my life now where I often look back and don't dare look too much into the future. Everything I see reminds me of those times. It is the end of an era. We'd better write down our memories and catalog those photos or everything will be lost to later generations. OK, Boomer!
Boomer Camera
Let's hang out together, my dinosaur friends. If we do not have children to care for us during our fossil years, we must cultivate younger friends that understand our pre-historic ways and can learn about our shared memories. OK, Boomer!

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Monday, January 27, 2020

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 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland.
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. 
Visit the Museum of Tolerance on Pico Boulevard at Roxbury Drive in Los Angeles to learn more about it.
Considering the political climate in the United States these days, we need to remember now, more than ever.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Local Field Trip

L.C. Brand's Miradero Estate (1904)
Yesterday, Larry and I took a mini-field trip. We'd recently viewed PBS's "No Passport Required" with Chef Marcus Samuelsson. The first show of the new season featured the Armenian culture of Los Angeles. The show started out in East Hollywood and then traveled over the hill to Glendale, the west coast city with the largest Armenian population outside of Armenia. Needless to say, all of the places Chef Marcus visited were enticing!
OK, we couldn't justify driving to Glendale just for lunch, so we incorporated a visit to the Brand Library and Park. I've always loved the Moorish designed library, formerly L.C. Brand's mansion (Nathaniel Dryden, architect), on the grounds. I hadn't been there in years. The gallery was closed yesterday, but we hung out in the Library for a bit. The building has been lovingly restored. You can easily see that this was a home. Each room, dining, living, den, etc. has areas for reading and studying. I could live there!
Restored Reading Rooms at the Mansion/Library

After perusing the excellent art book section, Larry and I strolled the grounds of the park and wandered into The Whispering Pine Tea House and Garden. Very serene.

Whispering Pine Tea House and Garden

We'd finally worked up an appetite to seek out one of Chef Marcus's lunch suggestions. We headed over to Mini-Kabob, just off Central Avenue, south of The Glendale Galleria. Parking is scarce is this neighborhood, but we managed to find a spot about a block away.
My motto: "You Can't Eat Atmosphere," applies here. This is really a hole-in-the-wall place with 3 tiny tables inside. Patrons were kind enough to shift their seats so Larry and I could sit together. Because the tables are in such close proximity, we struck up conversations with our fellow diners and were given tips as to the best dishes to order.
Mini-Kabob, Glendale
We both ordered Lule kabobs, Larry had the beef and I ordered chicken. They came with rice, hummus, garlic sauce and fresh lavosh bread. Our meal was totally DELICIOUS!
Chicken Lule Kabob

We will return to Glendale and East Hollywood to check out Chef Marcus's other recommendations!

Labels: , , ,

Monday, January 20, 2020

Words to Live and Knit By

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

This has become a tradition on "L.A. Is My Beat."  For the past nine years I have been featuring Suzanne's MLK sweater on my blog in honor of the birthday of Dr. 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. 
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! 

Follow this graphed chart to make a different sweater honoring MLK

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Marin Luther King, Jr.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, January 17, 2020

Musical Roots

Classic MoTown
A friend recently asked me about my musical roots.
"What song is guaranteed to make you speed in your car? Dance in your seat? Sing out loud?"
I'm always looking for cool songs to play on the ukulele. Time to dig back into my archive and choose some cool sides!

I can always bop to the pop music from my youth, which is classic Mo-Town (including the 4 Tops, Marvin Gaye, Jackson 5, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Marvelettes, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Supremes, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, etc.), classic surf music (including Beach Boys, Dick Dale, The Surfaris, The Ventures, Jan and Dean, The Chantays, etc. The teen songs from the Brill Building in New York, by composers such as Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Neil Diamond, Neil Sedaka, Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, Cynthia Weil, Howard Greenfireld, Ellie Greenwich and Burt Bacharach. The groups of the British Invasion years, such as the Beatles, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones. During my later high school and early college years I was crazy for Carole King, Elton John, James Taylor, Crosby/Stills and Nash, The Flying Burrito Bros., The Byrds, The Doors.

THEN, I spent years doing the folkie, bluesgrass, blues and country thang. My older brother is a musician so I used to tag along with him to the historic folk and jazz hangouts of Los Angeles: The Ashgrove, The Troubadour, The Golden Bear, The Lighthouse, etc. I was exposed to American Roots music early on. By ROOTS, we mean the Roots of rock 'n roll. Rock comes from blues, country, rockabilly, jazz. In the late 80's and early 90's I was the board operator and engineer for Billy Vera's Rock 'n Roll Party on KCRW-FM. Billy has an impressive knowledge of American music. I learned a tremendous amount about early rock 'n roll from him. I grooved to oldies from the 50's and 60's, along with swamp rock from New Orleans.

In the late 90's and early 2000 I co-hosted a blues radio show on KPCC-FM. This was another educational opportunity for me to learn more about American music...I learned to love early black gospel music, all kinds of blues, zydeco, cajun music, norteno music, polka, etc.
Ellen on the Radio
Notice the Silver "45" insert around my neck!
Phew! So, after all that, here are the somewhat esoteric songs that get me going, put me in a good mood and make me dance:

10. "Polka Changed My Life Today" by Rotundi
9. "Zydeco Gumby Ya-Ya" by Brave Combo
8. Any song from the original movie soundtracks of "Hairspray" or "Crybaby" (John Waters' Baltimore Rock)
7. "Dragnet for Jesus" by Wynona Carr
6. "Raised by Hippies" by I See Hawks in L.A.
5. "Sam's Place" by Buck Owens
6. "Kiko and the Lavender Moon" by Los Lobos
4. "4th of July" by Dave Alvin and the Allnighters
3. "At Last" by Etta James
2. "Eat The Lunch You Brought" by Jeff Turmes
1. "It's Raining" by Irma Thomas

There you have it! I'm old, but I'm bold!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Happy Birthday Larry

Larry, 9th Grade, Sherman Oaks, CA

Today is my husband, Larry's birthday! Happy birthday Sweetie! We will celebrate ALL DAY LONG, because we can!

We've been married almost 28 years. It's getting more difficult to surprise Larry with unexpected birthday gifts. I hope I succeed. We'll see....  There will be some lounging around today, then dinner later at one of Larry's favorite Hollywood restaurants.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, January 10, 2020

Vintage Palm Springs, Our Vacation Spot

Ellen, Ken, Palm Springs, 1962
It was one of those cold, cloudy days in the winter in Palm Springs in 1962. It had been raining. We couldn't go swimming. Suddenly, the sun came out, but it still wasn't warm enough to don our bathing suits.
I remember the "car coat" I was wearing. It was red. So was the "pixie band" in my hair. My brother was reading a book. Dad snapped a photo with us squinting into the sun. 
We were staying at the Hillcrest Manor. My Dad was a contractor and had a door and wardrobe business at the time. He had supplied the remodeled Hillcrest Manor and another motel nearby, The Caribbean, with their doors and wardrobes. I guess the owner had a difficult time with payment, because in exchange, we had a weekend apartment in Palm Springs for about 3 or 4 years. We shared it with my Dad's business partner, so every other weekend we HAD to go to Palm Springs, rain or shine. This was one of those rainy weekends. 
Hillcrest Manor, Palm Springs
It wasn't easy getting to Palm Springs in those days. It took hours and hours. There weren't a lot of freeways. I vaguely remember going all the way south on La Brea Avenue until it turned into Hawthorne Blvd. I also remember stopping part-way in San Gabriel at a Mexican restaurant called El Poche Cafe for dinner. It was in an old adobe building, down the street from the San Gabriel Mission. There was a candle shop in the lobby. It must have taken about 4 hours to get to the desert.
The Hillcrest Manor was just off the main drag, Palm Canyon Drive. I remember walking to Louise's Pantry (originally Gordon's Luncheonette) and the A & W Rootbeer Stand, downtown, in the same courtyard as the Palm Springs Plaza Theater. If the weather was cold and we couldn't swim all day, we'd walk up and down Palm Canyon, looking in the shops. There were many of the same stores that we had in Los Angeles: Silverwood's, Desmond's, Robinson's, Saks 5th Avenue, Bullock's, Milton F. Kreiss Drugstore and lots of little resort-wear boutiques. 
Downtown Palm Springs
We also went on field trips near Palm Springs to the Palm Springs Aerial TramwayAgua Caliente Indian CanyonTahquitz CanyonHadley's Fruit Orchard and even all the way out to the Salton Sea. Dad liked arranging educational field trips for us. Mom liked shopping. 
I've continued taking trips out to the desert my whole life. Even though it's changed and grown, I still love it.
Have a great weekend!

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, January 06, 2020


2116 Castle Heights Avenue, Los Angeles, 1952

When I was born, we lived in a house that my Dad designed in Beverlywood, an area south of Beverly Hills, in Los Angeles. I don't remember the house because we moved to nearby Beverly Hills when I was two years old. However, the house is still there and I drive by it often. It still looks great and very much the same, except the landscaping is very lush now.
Kenny and George Bloom, playing cowboy. Beverlywood, 1952
Beverlywood is a very nice area of Los Angeles. There are schools, stores, restaurants, markets and bakeries nearby. Many of the post-WW II homes have been replaced by larger homes. The area has become quite expensive, so new residents want to maximize the capacity of their lots. I do miss the ranch-type smaller homes of my youth that made the neighborhood cohesive. I've lived my entire life on the edges of this neighborhood, so I feel very at home here. Which area of Los Angeles is "home" to you?
2116 Castle Heights Avenue today. The exterior of the house is the same, only the landscaping has grown!

Labels: , , , , ,

Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery