Archive for March, 2008

Days 31 & 32: The Valley, Downtown, Hollywood

Posted in Roadtrip on March 31, 2008 by roadsidenut

I think I set my own new personal record in the past two days, taking more than 400 photos for the website. I took Saturday night off from Flickr/the blog to visit an aunt and her husband that I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. Then, I was too wiped out from insane amounts of city driving and getting stuff up at Flickr last night to put together anything coherent here. So, well rested!, let me get this thing done while the sun is making its way up high enough to not make orange-y photos.

The dogs have been making do with abandoned lots as there haven’t been any dog parks in the heart of the city and I haven’t wanted to sacrifice valuable shooting time trekking back and forth to Laurel Canyon. As soon as we finish L.A. County (today I hope!), I promise them some good long running.

I’ve got tons of blog-worthy photos — where to begin? How about some buildings? One of the things I research and seek out on my roadtrips is storybook homes. You know, the Hansel & Gretel-y buildings with curvy roofs and details meant to make them look old. There’s a great book about them here:
http://www.amazon.com/Storybook-Style-Americas-Whimsical-Twenties/dp/0670893854/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t

and there are tons of them in L.A. that I’m not going to get to on this trip. I’m resisting starting a new section at my website. I’ve got all the topics I can handle already. So I don’t really know what will become of these photos. Here are a couple from a neat little courtyard in/near Glendale:

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Another thing I seek out to shoot are Egyptian Revival buildings. So far I’ve resisted creating a section at my website for them, too. Their photos are just sitting on my hard drive for now. Here’s an example of an apartment building in Hollywood:

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Here’s another striking building from Hollywood. I know I have a little info in my notes somewhere but don’t have the time to dig it up right now. Maybe someone else can help me identify this house while I’m off shooting:

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Here’s a beautiful old building — but what’s with the shrubs?

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And here are a couple modern buildings. Actually, I’m not sure of the age on this one. It appears to be contemporary but it could be “tarted up” midcentury:

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And this one is much more impressive in person. Yes, that’s no optical illusion — the painted sides of the buildings are really shaped that way.

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Here are a couple more flowering trees that I can’t identify:

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The flowers on this beauty have yellow centers:

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I’ve seen this in a few cities on my trip: groups of novices on Segways. I remember seeing a group of senior citizens on them in — was it Tucson? How come you never seen experienced, fast-moving people on them? Actually, I did see a police force on them — was it in San Diego?

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Gremlin finds L.A. endlessly fascinating. The rest of the gang waits for her to bark at the “important stuff” and then get up to check things out.

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A pit stop in downtown L.A. — the place was actually called Famima which I found appropriate since I was famished. I believe they are a Japanese company expanding to the U.S. (http://www.famima-usa.com/) so they have lots of interesting Japanese items. I had to sample some of the ice creams. Sorry, in my haste to photo and get back to the van before getting a ticket, the upper right item is upside down.

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The root beer was nothing special and I didn’t care too much for the eggy things. I had hoped they would have yellow yolks. But they were just vanilla ice cream in a kind of chewy coating. The other goodie was better: like vanilla ice cream in a waffle cone — only shaped differently:

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I miss seeing these newsstands in Hollywood. In NYC, we just have the little street corner kiosks. But these are much more impressive — some of the ones in downtown Hollywood are what seems like a block long. Do they exist anywhere outside of L.A.?

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This cute guy, in Glendale I think, was on the roof of an Italian restaurant:

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I wash shooting an old Mobil gas station (the super rare drum type) and the owner had a lot of these vehicles around. He serenaded me with some kind of crazy political, religious, incoherent song as I took my photos:

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I went to shoot another old gas station and a wall made of bottles (which I never did find) in/near Echo Park. There were scary, I mean SCARY, steep hills that had me peeing my pants. I’m glad Sparkle had her brakes done recently. I recommend avoiding Baxter Street at all costs. It might not look so bad in this photo (sorry about the buggy windshield) but really, it was really a white-knuckler.

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Lots of incredible painted wall murals in L.A. — here are a couple examples:

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OK, so these guys are not “high art” but I still liked them:

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Time for some signs — far from original condition:

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I’m not sure how old this cute guy in L.A. is. He’s at a comic book store:

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And lastly, this impressive sign in the making. I thought they only used vinyl computer-generated signs on big buildings like this now. But from the scaffolding and paint-by-numbers style markings on the wall, it appears they are painting the whole thing:

Day 30: The Valley

Posted in Roadtrip on March 29, 2008 by roadsidenut

I was all over the Valley today, desperately trying to finish that section out. Still a couple hours left for tomorrow though. And then finally onto the meatier parts of L.A. which will take me considerable time: Downtown & south of there, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Westchester. Then I’ll do what I can further north for a couple days. But it’s now official: no chance for northern CA and I’ll have to prioritize the stuff for the long haul home.

I took the dogs to the Laurel Canyon Dog Park today. Huge amount of space for running. Although there is no swimming, this was certainly one of the nicer & biggest parks I’ve seen. I read that there are often celebrities there with their dogs — but I didn’t notice anybody. Not that I would as I really don’t go to movies or watch dramas on TV.

I’m going to keep it short tonight as I’m really beat from staying up extra late last night catching up from my night off. I may get together with some long-lost relatives tomorrow night which might make for a Flickr & Blog-less evening.

On with the photos! This department store had some interesting Mayan and/or Aztec decorations:

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Later in the day, I encountered another interesting building with Mayan and geometric patterns:

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This amusing sign with a giant paper airplane is located near the Van Nuys Airport:

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This midcentury Wells Fargo Bank office tower is giant compared to its surrounding buildings. It’s nothing that special otherwise except that there is a huge faded mural on this one side:

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An lastly, an old school stamp shop might just be a personal turn-on. I used to make and sell rubber stamps with a girlfriend for about three years. We had a little business called Detailed Rubber Stamps and did wholesale and retail. I worked my butt off in a dark basement making the stamps in a vulcanizer and cutting/sanding the wooden mounts. Since we were into producing offbeat stuff rather than teddy bears, we barely broke even. Most stamps these days are made cheaply out of photopolymer (plastic) rather than rubber. Stores like this are definitely a vanishing breed:

Days 28 & 29: Commerce, the Beach, the Valley

Posted in Roadtrip on March 28, 2008 by roadsidenut

I had a nice visit last night with a college friend that I haven’t seen in over ten years. So now, trying to catch up, I’ve put a mess of photos over at Flickr and it’s time to double-up here. Last I posted, I had taken a tumble and luckily did not break the camera. I, on the other hand, have been hobbling around ever since.

I took the dogs to the Culver City Dog Park yesterday:
http://www.culvercitydogpark.org/main/001_home.cfm

and to the Westminster Off-Leash Dog Park today:
http://www.venicedogpark.org/

Not as much fun as the beach but they’re still geting good running in. They’ve also had non-doggie park romps as well. But I think they’re really getting the hang of this lifestyle. They have started not getting up each time I open the car door to take a picture. They’re all pretty sleep deprived at this point.

So let’s get to the pictures. Forgive me for not including cities for most of these. I do have them buried in my notes somewhere if you want to know where they are. Let’s start with some signs. Here’s a neat plastic globe:


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I assume this is the Sacramento State Capitol Building on this sign — although they are all pretty generic aren’t they? And why bring it up in Los Angeles?

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A couple Mexican sterotype signs;

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This sweet one is over the entrance to a bar called “The Joker”:

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I love this building-as-sign. Pretty nice artwork, no?

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Here’s a nice little neon detail on an otherwise now plastic sign:

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There are lots of these hamburger stands around L.A. with busy signage:

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Here are a couple mid-century details from two different buildings:

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Another mystifying shrub — this one with giant drooping trumpet flowers. Anybody know what this one is called?

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It was kind of depressing to see all the changes and new development in my beloved Santa Monica & Venice. Here’s an example of what’s happened to Zucky’s — a coffee shop that had been in Santa Monica forever. Now a bank but they incorporated the pylon sign and stonework as a tribute. It’s almost more painful to me — kind of like a taxidermied animal:

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There really is a car culture in Los Angeles. They drive FAST here. In fact, I witnessed a hit-and-run accident today on the Pacific Coast Highway. It seems 3/4 of the cars on the road were built for speed. In Calabasas, it seemed you could buy any high-priced sports car you might dream of owning. Here’s a photo from the Lamborghini lot:

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Here’s an interesting building that I went to see though it doesn’t fit within the confines of my website. The Samitaur (“Stealth”) Building is from 1993. There is another building next door (my 3rd photo here, the window shot) that is still under construction (same architect I think). Here’s some more about the Samitaur Building:
http://www.architectureweek.com/2000/1011/design_1-1.html

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Lastly for the night, here’s an eye-catching display in Venice:

Day 27: San Pedro to Commerce

Posted in Roadtrip on March 26, 2008 by roadsidenut

I got through what seemed like hundreds of stops today: Torrance, Carson, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Gardena, Hawthorne, Compton, Lynwood, South Gate… But sitting down with my calendar and the stacks of things ahead of me, it looks like Northern CA is going to get short shrift for this trip. Tomorrow should be fun and interesting for me as it will include my old stomping grounds: Venice, Santa Monica, West L.A., etc. I’m very curious to see how much it’s changed as I haven’t been back there in over ten years.

No beach for the doggies today which was disappointing for them — esp. since we kept driving by them. I’ll have to make it up to them tomorrow. They had to make do with abandoned lots — not very glamorous but wore them out enough to get through the day. I’ve never seen Fixie and Nik snoozing together — both of them are pretty uptight. But I guess this trip is breaking down some boundaries:

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I took a nasty tumble today — luckily on a nice wide median rather than while crossing a busy street! I guess I was looking at my subject matter and didn’t see the little bump in the concrete. I can usually stay upright when I stumble but this one was bad and all I could think about was don’t – break – the – camera! One of those episodes where time stands still. I went down hard on my right knee (now pretty swollen), scraped up my left palm, and tore up my right elbow. The camera was in my right hand and I watched and heard a big thunk as the UV filter lens ring hit the ground. I immediately checked to see if the camera was okay — and everything looked and functioned perfectly fine. Whew, that was a close one. I will be much more careful. The rest of the day as I would run across lanes of moving traffic (hey, I’m from New York – we don’t wait for lights!), I’d chant to myself: “pick – up – your – feet!”

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More plant identification is needed. Another lovely flowering shrub that I don’t remember seeing before:

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A very unusual-looking flowering tree:

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A nice old bank entrance in San Pedro:

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A perplexing sign in Hawthorne — I’m glad I wasn’t going that direction! I couldn’t figure out if the letters were meant to represent street names or if they were graffiti:

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I’d never seen a mid-century Swiss cheese wall before:

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A fading but flickering neon sign in San Pedro:

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A fun one from Harbor City:

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I really thought I’d bump into more old KFC buckets and Norge Balls on this trip. So far, not much luck. This one was broken but I had to stop anyway:

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And just next door was this cute oldie:

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Lastly, this odd McDonald’s sign. I’ve never seen one like this before. I was looking for a Lucky Boy Hamburger Stand and found a modern McDonald’s at the address. I snapped this photo out the window anyway (sorry about the quality). Maybe it was made in a more retro-y style to appease the folks that were grieving the loss of Lucky Boy? Or maybe McDonald’s is experimenting with some new signage?

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Tomorrow night, I’m going to take a night off for good behavior. Actually, I’m going to get together with a pal from college days and I know I won’t have an ounce of energy left for Flickr-ing or blogging. So don’t worry that I’m laying dead in a road someplace. I promise to have an extra dose of photos for you Thursday night.

Day 26: Downey to San Pedro

Posted in Roadtrip on March 25, 2008 by roadsidenut

I must’ve been through more than a dozen cities today. Bellflower, Artesia, Lakewood, Hawaiian Gardens, Paramount…are the ones that come to mind. Finally, made it to Long Beach which took about half the day. A great off-leash doggie beach in Belmont Shore was a great way to end the day for all of us. Grem disappeared down the beach for quite awhile and I was just about to panic when I saw a black dot on the horizon flying towards us. The Pacific was warm enough today for Nik to get a lot of swimming in. He’d been tortured all day by the salty smell and views of the beach. I think he’s starting to understand “later, buddy, not now”. Grippie has mastered the art of sleeping in a sitting position:

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I think these bushes might be what I’ve been smelling the past couple days. I want to say azaleas but I don’t think that’s it. They’re more like cherry trees but in bush form. Can anyone identify them?

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I saw more summer flowers today including these white roses. I understand it’s freezing back home in NYC.

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Some other “plant life” caught my eye today: palm tree-shaped cell phone towers. They sure beat the plain old white ones we have back home — but they always give me a chuckle:

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This one was more natural underneath the metal sheathing but they had to run a bunch of wires up the trunk for some reason:

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This Art Deco building must have been so serene before all the pizza shop signage. Sheesh, couldn’t they come up with something just a little more respectful? I love the way the little ballie sits on the point.

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Somehow this pharmacy sign got adapted to “P” something from the Rx. But the building is now empty so who knows what will happen to it next:

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I’d love to know the history of this Long Beach sign:

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This sign hangs above the Tidy Dog Self-Serve Dog Wash in Long Beach. I don’t know if the place used to be a laundromat or if this sign was recently installed in a humorous retro sort of way.

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Lastly, this giant baby was standing in front of the Long Beach Museum of Art. He really creeped me out. I had to Google him tonight. I’m still not clear about his significance but here are some additional photos of the “Child”:
http://www.lbma.org/child.html

Day 25: Pasadena to Downey

Posted in Roadtrip on March 24, 2008 by roadsidenut

Another wonderful and productive day. Only problem is, I had some trouble getting on-line tonight and now it’s after midnight. So let’s get right to it!

The dogs got a nice run in Pasadena this morning at the Alice Frost Kennedy Off-Leash Dog Park. It was already hot by the time we got there so I kept bringing them back to the hose & fountain to keep them wet. With the heat, I’m even more motivated to get stuff done and get to the coast. I’ve basically been working from east to west in the L.A. area. It’s hard to come up with any more reasonable way to do it as the area is really just one big sprawl. I have literally been jogging back and forth to the van now when taking photos to try to maximize the number of stops per day. With all the sitting behind the wheel, it’s probably a good idea to get a little exercise. People must think I’m either nuts or up to something.

Early in the day in Pasadena, I found a nice little old canopy gas station. I had to admire the wonderful little Mini Coopers and MGs as well. My very first car was an MG Midget and I loved that thing. When it got total-ed in an accident (hit from behind), I begged my parents for another one. Fun little cars but very expensive since they constantly need repairs and parts from England. I finally moved on to reliable and economical VW Bugs and vans.

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I’m not sure if this place in Pasadena was ever part of a chain. The building didn’t look familiar or the shapes of the sign. But it had one of those lovely cheese hole sleeves like Denny’s did:

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I’ve seen photos of this sign with the ballies all up on top. Made me sad to see it this way:

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A cute sign at Chroni’s Hot Dogs:

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A fun one from East L.A.:

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I don’t know if this was always a liquor store or if it was ever a burger joint:

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A lovely Art Deco building suffers a humiliating adaptation. Still kind of amusing though.

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I wonder why know one thought to do this before. Or maybe they have but I’ve never seen it:

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And you can never have enough arrows:

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And lastly, a variant on the “Scary Chef” statue (http://flickr.com/groups/itug/) that I haven’t seen before. And just what is he holding? Candlestick holders? Weird wine glasses?

Day 24: Pomona to Pasadena

Posted in Roadtrip on March 23, 2008 by roadsidenut

A very productive and exhausting day. Some road construction and traffic here and there but I must’ve hit well over 100 stops from my list today. Tomorrow, should be more of the same. I’m frantic to get through my L.A. area stacks so that I can get back on track for the rest of trip’s plans. I can spend about another week on this portion which just might be enough if I keep cranking at this pace.

It’s been hot — highs in the 80s — in the areas we’ve been traveling through. And it’s only March! When I see the dogs panting, I give in to the AC for awhile. I try to tough out the heat so that I can get the true experience of the place I’m in. I know this much for sure: I could never live in the desert. If I move back here, it will have to be somewhere on/near the coast.

Okay, so we have irises back home, too. But we don’t usually see them til Summer. And everywhere I’ve been for the past couple days, you can smell flowers. Cherries, jasmine, and I don’t know what else. It sure beats the smells back in NYC!

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There are a lot more old cars on the roads here. Cars I haven’t seen in 20 years or more. Sure, there are the restored classic muscle cars & such. But there are also the beaters that just keep going. I haven’t seen a cute little Datsun like this in I don’t know how long:

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Another Art Deco supermarket for you:

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And an Art Deco detail from Pasadena (the Armani Exchange store):

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I saw a LOT of mid-century chain restaurants today. Some on my list and some not. This might be one of a chain — or it might not:

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This would look like it possibly a Chip’s or a Griff’s, but the A-frame roof slopes down in back so I don’t know what it is:

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I was looking for an example of a midcentury “Taco Paco” stand in West Covina. The closest I could come to the address given (slightly off) was this place. But from the signage, it seems it’s been Manny’s since 1971. According to my notes, the Taco Paco stand was built in 1959, so this could still be it.

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Here’s half of a Color Tile sign. You don’t see many of these left. When you do, the letters are usually painted over with some clever spelling that fits the sign’s squares:

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A fun alcohol theme sign from Pomona. This must’ve had neon where the plastic parts are now:

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And, lastly, a donut sign variation. Not in the best shape with pieces missing. I don’t know if the sign was originally more donut-like or if it always had these little designs:

Day 23: Palm Springs and back

Posted in Roadtrip on March 22, 2008 by roadsidenut

Palm Springs turned out to be sort of a bust for me. Yes, I made the requisite stops at all the big name architects’ buildings — but everything seemed over-restored, mall-like, flat. In fact, the whole town seemed like one big Disney-esque production to me. Pretty little ranch houses. Over-stucco-ed midcentury hotels. No fun. No neon. No rawness. OK — maybe a few still-great things: the Caliente Tropics Resort, the Musicland Hotel, and a couple nice banks. However, I much prefer any of the scruffy little towns I visited this afternoon. Maybe not to live in but they are loaded with photo-ops, things left in their original or poorly altered states. Little mysteries and surprises every few blocks.

Once we got back from the desert in the early afternoon, I really got rolling. Or maybe it just seemed like it since the towns change names about every 10 blocks. But I did get significantly more photos than usual as well despite the time lost in the desert. Normally, I shoot about 100-150 photos per day — today was more like 200. I have nearly finished up with the right-hand-side of my L.A. map.

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It will be exciting to start working on the other side of the map. Looking less and less like I’ll get to northern CA on this trip. You might notice that the atlas in the photo above is laying across the body of my dog Fixie. She hardly cares about me using her as a table right now. The dogs are all pretty wiped at this point. Here’s a shot of the dozers in the back today (hey guys, we’re not even halfway done yet!):

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The Energizer Bunny however still finds every town and non-town fascinating:

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A couple desert shots. Just had to stop at the Shields Date Farm gift shop while in Indio. Stocked up on road sugar: Medjool dates stuffed with walnuts. I didn’t have time for the video about the private life of the dates though:

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Just west of Palm Springs there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of these wind turbine things. It is kind of amazing and surreal. Sorry about the bug-kill on the windshield:

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I passed a place on I-10 in Redlands that looked like it had a modern but boisterous mini golf — so I had to get off and turn around. Unfortunately, it (Pharoah’s Amusement Park) was closed. I did get a couple shots of stuff near the entrance anyway, including this one:

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San Bernardino had a lot to offer for me. So many little block-long buildings in the past few days with these little mini Art Deco towers. It would be fun to do a book on just little gems & beat-up gems like this:

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Another example later in the day in Pomona. Maybe this was a church? A movie theatre? A fancy store?

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A few signs for you. From San Bernardino — hard to read but it’s the Clover Club:

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The Pala Motel in Pomona:

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The Taco King in Upland:

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The Laundramatic in Ontario:

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A couple days ago I saw these great yellow carlot-style lights — about six or so in a row — but I didn’t stop and have regretted it since. Been on the lookout for them and found a couple today. Not quite as nice (not close together, not painted brightly) but the same model. Haven’t seen these outside of CA.

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This building was probably much tiki-ier at one time:

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And finally, here’s a question. What’s better (worse): a no-frills boxy new building — or a retro-fied new building like this one in Pomona?

Day 22: More Orange County & Beyond

Posted in Roadtrip on March 21, 2008 by roadsidenut

I worked my butt off today driving from point to point — but still barely made a dent in my L.A. area list. I’m going to have to get realistic in about a week and figure out what part of the trip gets the axe. Most likely it’ll be Northern & maybe some central CA since I can probably make up for some of that in the Fall. But I don’t want to skip Reno.

Riverside really got me frustrated. Horrid traffic going into that town; within that town; as well as getting out. I did get some good stuff while there but hardly worth the effort. I must’ve been stuck in the area for a good three hours. Part of it was construction, part of it was school traffic (parents picking up kids; buses with those red stop signs), and part of it unknown. Even on the highway there were TONS of cars — 3pm on a Thursday. What-ever. So it threw my schedule even more off-track.

I short-changed the dogs on exercise a bit but they didn’t mind too much. One really good run in the morning for Nik in a park with those “dogs must be on-leash signs”. I justify that since no one was there and he was under complete control (following commands from 150 feet away) it didn’t count. And after a manic 20 minute all-out exercise session, he seemed pretty quiet and happy for awhile. The other dogs got exercise from barking from inside the van: pissed that he got to be out while they didn’t.

Some Anaheim signs — all adapted and deteriorated. The Sandman sign really makes me sad.


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These old Fotomat kiosks are really a rarity now. A key shop seems like a perfect re-use:

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A crappy picture but I’ll include it anyway. Shot from a distance, through the windshield. Feeling lazy and pressed for time. I have only seen these advertising people with giant arrows since I’ve been in California. They spin these giant signs in circles and it’s very eye-catching. I really loved this guy’s contrasting boots with the Statue of Liberty costume.

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I thought this was an amusing car wash design. Most likely adapted from the mid-century fins (http://flickr.com/photos/mister_goleta/1394756962/) or something similar. But I could be wrong — maybe they were always lamps.

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Isn’t it always the way? You get yourself set up in the best spot, trying to avoid the sun, the power lines, the cars… and they you raise the camera and some idiot pulls in and parks and ruins everything. Well, I’d been meaning to photo these giant food on trucks things. So this will have to be my old school / new school comparison shot. The market letters here are all outlined in neon.

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At a mini golf in Riverside today, I had to pass through an arcade and this game caught my eye. I don’t know if the object of the game is to save or sink the Titanic. But there were all kinds of lights and I was almost tempted to play it. But I’m sure I would’ve sucked as I know nothing about how to play these things. And my lists beckoned.

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In Banning, a very sweet, well-kept courtyard motor inn with private garages:

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Also in Banning, a nicely painted tribute to Pat Siva. I can’t find anything about her at Google, other than that she is a real estate agent and the Stagecaosh Days’ parade Grand Marshall. So maybe that’s not her after all doing the bareback trick.

Day 21: Orange County

Posted in Roadtrip on March 20, 2008 by roadsidenut

I covered a lot of ground today (never enough) but took a lot of time-outs for the dogs. Huntington Beach has a mile of beach coastline just for dogs so we just had to go there:
http://www.dogbeach.org/

I normally don’t bring the camera with me into these dogs parks & beaches since I’m afraid I’ll drop it or get it slimed up with greasy dog treats. So here, at least, is a photo of a building next to the Costa Mesa Bark Park (http://www.cmbarkpark.org/) which was a lot of fun. The artwork identifies each of the local dogs by name.

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So everybody got a lot of running in. Nik went into the ocean a bit but then got frightened by some big waves (maybe 3-4 footers) and we waited for his ballie to return by itself. Grem didn’t understand tides at all and got submerged a bit. Fixie flirted and got petted with all the people that would have her. And Grip stayed close to me for tricks and handouts (gourmet-quality cheddar today that I’m a little reluctant to share).

Nik isn’t the cuddling kind but Grem always acts like he’s her boyfriend and he tolerates it. She just goes over and flops down against him like they have been lovers for years (she’s been with us three months). They do play together — but only when he wants to. Anyway, here’s a passenger seat photo of Nik & Grem after today’s big beach adventure. I guess Nik was still a bit cold from the water and was enjoying having her there.

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On with the roadside stuff!

The Alibaba Motel in Costa Mesa has a huge gold dome and neat details:

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The Yost Theatre in Santa Ana was being restored while I was there today:

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I paid a visit to the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove. It lived up to its reputation of amazing-ness:

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Vodie’s Wheel Alignment in Garden Grove had something I had never seen before: a giant pit with these lifts that you (they?) drive cars onto so they can work on them from below. Kind of like an oil change place but with more pit than ground floor. It seems a little scary to me.

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The Grove Motel in Garden Grove has a big fun sign. I love the silly little arrow at the right. But what of those white poles — what might they have supported? And who knows what the original name of this place was?

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In Stanton, the Tahiti Motel sign looks like it’s been reworked a few times. But I do like the star on top (and so does this pigeon).

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The Benkey Pool Center in Anaheim has another star/sputnik on top. I couldn’t figure out if there might have been lights in those tubes.

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Time for a little nature break. California is more beautiful than I remembered. I’m SO ready to move back here — but as long as I have that good-paying job and that cheap apartment, I guess I’ll be staying put in NYC.

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Now, these I don’t remember and I’ve seen a number of them on this trip. What the heck are they? I don’t think they’re dead — just pruned back and will regrow. But what do they look like then?

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I love this little dairy store signage:

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The Sky Palm Motel in Orange retains most of its classic look. I’m sure the signage was neon originally but at least they have retained the shapes. Much better than a box sign. The roof-as-canopy design is tremendous.

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And, lastly, I found this guy in a store window very amusing. I had never seen a mannequin with tattoos before. When I looked more closely, there was clearly a stocking-like piece that fits over the arm so it resembles a tattoo. How clever!

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