Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mr. Bitchin'

Last night Larry took me to a documentary at the Egyptian Theater/American Cinematheque called "Mr. Bitchin'."  Here's a brief summary from Juxtapoz Magazine:  This irreverent documentary delivers insight into multiple American counter-cultures by following the great American artist and underground legend Robert Williams. From Hot Rods to Punk and Metal, from LSD to the top of the art world, the influential paintings of Robert Williams defied categorization until they became their own art movement.

We stopped at Skooby's for a quick hot dog before the flick.  I didn't take photos, but after inspecting my hot dog bun, I deducted that it was made from 3 Parker House dinner rolls, still fused together and heated on the grill.  Brilliant!  Parker House dinner rolls are much squishier and more delicious than your standard hot dog bun.  They also have fresh and yummy lemonade at Skooby's.
 I do love visiting the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.  The Boulevard was PACKED with tourists, even on a Tuesday night!
Many of the people involved with the documentary were in the courtyard of the theater, along with the paparazzi. 
Artist, Robert Williams
Co-Director/Producer, Nancye Ferguson and Histotainer, Charles Phoenix
Artist, Gregg Gibbs and Photographer, Larry Underhill
We both thoroughly enjoyed the film.  There have been two other attempts at making a documentary about Williams and his work.  All of this footage from 20 years ago, along with more recent footage was made available to the filmmakers.  Some of the older interviews by people like bandleader, Artie Shaw and art curator, Walter Hopps were very insightful.  Both legends have passed away, so this footage was invaluable to the film.
There was a panel after the screening with Robert Williams and his wife, artist Suzanne Williams, moderated by Mat Gleason.  The producers, directors and editor of the film were also on the panel.
We parked around the corner from the Egyptian and had an opportunity to pass by the back of the Crossroads of the World Building.  Faboo neon!

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Those 60's Buildings!

Del Rey Yacht Club at night.  Architect, Maurice H. Fleishman, 1965.

I have a fondness for the buildings of the 1960's.  I grew up during the '60's.  My Dad was in the building business during those years.  As we'd drive around town, Dad would always point out certain buildings that he supplied with doors and wardrobes.  He also would drive past buildings and say the names of the architects and/or builders who were responsible for said buildings.  I find myself repeating my Dad's building info as I drive around L.A.  This information is permanently imprinted on my brain.  This reminds me of how impressionable young brains are.  As I age, I remember things from my youth much more readily than I remember what I had for dinner last night!
Del Rey Yacht Club with porte-cochère addition

We were members of the Del Rey Yacht Club.  When we joined the Club in 1964, there was no permanent clubhouse.  Club functions were held in a double-wide construction trailer in the parking lot.  By the following year, our beautiful clubhouse had been built.  The architect was one of our members, Maurice H. Fleishman.
A few years later, I was driving down Santa Monica Boulevard in my home town of Beverly Hills and noticed the newly built Beverly Hills Courthouse.  I thought it resembled the Yacht Club!  Turns out that Fleishman designed this building too! 
Beverly Hills Courthouse.  Architect, Maurice H. Fleishman, 1969.
I love it when an architect has a recognizable style!

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Saturday Strummin'

Natalie @ The Pluckin' Strummers Meet-up

I've been so busy on the weekends, that I haven't been able to attend a Pluckin' Strummers meeting in MONTHS.  I was happy to find myself free this past Saturday morning, so I zoomed up to Atwater and the Christ Church with my new ukulele!  I recently traded in my Fluke for an Ohana tenor uke with a long neck.  The tone is warm and clear.  Now, I own the uke my brother, Ken made for me...the Super Tiki Uke and this Ohana.  Happy.
My Ukulele Ladies (Brit, Mary Jo and Natalie) usually attend the Pluckin' Strummers.  Alas, Mary Jo and Brit were busy, so Natalie and I represented our group.  It was a smallish turnout this Saturday.  I'm guessing many people were on summer vacation.  
We had a lively time, playing some old tunes and then some older tunes.  My personal fave was learning the chords to the Doors' "Don't You Love Her Madly."  We rocked it!
Toward the end of the meet-up, various members performed for the group.  We have many talented members.
Solo Performance
Duet Performance

After uke group, Natalie and I met up with Brit for lunch at the Village Bakery and Cafe in Atwater.  The baked goods here are legendary.  The girls each had a BLT.  I had the Atwater Special which is grilled polenta cake topped with Parmesan, scrambled eggs, spinach, tomato, and crumbled bacon.It was totally DIVINE!
Atwater Special @ Village Bakery & Cafe
Divine Baked Goods @ Village Bakery & Cafe
It was a perfect afternoon!  Thanks, for my belated b-day lunch, Brit!

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Vintage Photo Friday

King's Tropical Inn, 1937

I remember riding past this Moorish looking building on Washington Blvd. at La Cienega Blvd. as recently as the early 1990's.  It was painted a gold color and it was an auto tire repair and replacement shop.  I always wondered why a tire place had to have such a fancy cupola on top of the building, along with other distinctive architectural elements.  I asked around back then and found out that this was once King's Tropical Inn, famous for their fried chicken dinners and cocktails!  My Mother tells me that her family ate there all the time in the 1930's.  It appears that it was a restaurant through the mid-1960's.  I must quiz Mom as to why I was never taken there as a child.  I do remember, in the late 1950's to the 1970's, there was a Norm's Restaurant just to the west of this building.

After the Northridge earthquake there was a lot of damage to this building, so it was demolished.  The current group of buildings is also a tire shop, built in a 1990's version of the Byzantine style as a sort of homage to the original King's Tropical Inn.  The building I remember as Norm's is a fitness gym.  There is a plaque dedicating this site as a historic property.
Washington Blvd. and La Cienega Blvd., 2013

I read online that the "squab" dinners were really pigeon!  Well, Kings was open during the great depression and World War 2.  Food was scarce.  In it's hey-day, King's Tropical Inn must have been a grand place to wine and dine!
This is the last day of my stay-cation.  Los Angeles is a wonderful vacation destination!  Have a great weekend.  Snap some photos of historical buildings on your weekend adventures!

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Another Museum

Larry is the Star of My Blog

As my stay-cation is coming to an end, I must say that I've fulfilled all of my museum visiting desires during the past two weeks.  Today, Larry and I visited the Hammer Museum in Westwood Village and the A. Quincy Jones architectural exhibit: "Building for Better Living.   This exhibit is chock full o' architectural drawings and plans.  Most of the buildings were built, some never realized.  The style of the renderings is modern and artful.  I could be very happy having one of these renderings, framed in my dining room!

I love looking at building plans.  My Dad was in the building business, he used to bring plans home from work.  He taught me how to read all of the little symbols.  Some of the plans in this exhibit are really works of art.  That's what was on view in this Jones exhibit, along with a few large-scale photographs of his buildings and homes and one model.  If you're a fan of mid-20th century architecture, this is a great overview of one of the best collaborative architects working in Los Angeles during that period of time.   The show runs through September.
St. Michael's & All Angels Episcopal Church, Coldwater Cyn., Studio City

The Museum gift shop and book store is always entertaining, especially the children's section!
Children's Section of the Hammer Museum Bookstore

The salesperson in the Bookstore had on his amazing sweater.  Naturally, I complimented her and asked if I could photograph the tank top.  It's the same on the front and back.  She bought it in a boutique in Brooklyn!  She told me that there was a woman at the boutique knitting furiously.  This sweater is one of her pieces.  I'll bet we could find this pattern.  Come on knit-sleuths, get your Nancy Drew on!

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Adventures Across L.A,

Today, Larry and I did a few errands in the morning and then headed over to Alvarado and 7th for lunch at Langer's Deli.  Langer's has the ultimate pastrami in Los Angeles.  They age it perfectly.  Our favorite sandwich is the #19:  Pastrami on double baked rye bread with cole-slaw, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing.  Oy!  It's the perfect combination.  
#19, Pastrami on Rye with Cole Slaw, Swiss Cheese and Russian Dressing

I've always loved the oil paintings at the back of the restaurant.  They were painted 45 years ago.  Read the story here.  

It's one of my fondest dreams to be memorialized in a painting, hanging on the wall of my favorite restaurant!  What a tribute!
After lunch we hopped on over to the Home Depot on Wilshire and Union St.  We've been looking into replacing our refrigerator.  The one we have is a hand-me-down and a bit too large for our kitchen.  This Home Depot is rarely jammed.  We saw a few fridges that we liked, but will probably purchase one at Lowe's, closer to our house.  I always like visiting this Home Depot because of the Peter Shire Post-Modern, Retro-Memphis School of Art sculptures in the parking lot.
Peter Shire sculptures at Home Depot, near DTLA

Across the street from Home Depot is the Wilshire Blvd. office of architect S. Charles Lee.  I just love the Regency styling of this building.   Lee designed numerous important buildings in L.A., especially movie theaters
S. Charles Lee Office,  1648 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.

I'd heard that the lotuses were growing again in Echo Park Lake and that the paddle boats were running for the summer.  We zoomed up Alvarado until it turned into Glendale Blvd. and parked at the Lake.  

The lotus blossoms are protected now.  They look beautiful.  People were out on the Lake enjoying the paddle boats.  It's a perfectly serene place to rest in the middle of the City.
Only a few days left to my stay-cation!!

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Jews in the L.A. Mosaic

Rhoda, at the Autry Museum
Today, Rhoda and I traveled over to Griffith Park and the Autry Museum to see their new exhibit, "Jews in the Los Angeles Mosaic."  It was quite an interesting exhibit about how Jews have become a part of Los Angeles history.  It's on view through January, 2014, so you have plenty of time to see it.

Rudolph Schindler, Architect
Max Factor, Make-Up Man for Hollywood and Inventor
Ruth Handler, Inventor of Barbie Doll and co-found of Mattel Toys
Friend and Co-Worker, Steve Sass, leading a tour of the exhibit

Rhoda had never visited this Museum before, so we wandered into the Western Heritage portion of the Museum to see the Cowboy artifacts, full of Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers memorabilia.  Rhoda pretended she was 6 and climbed up on the mechanical horse to appear in a real western "movie!"  So cute.
Rhoda, riding with her Posse through Monument Valley

After the Museum, we had lunch at the Village Bakery and Cafe in Atwater Village.  I ordered "Thanksgiving on a Bun."  It was totally yummy!  Thanks for a wonderful field trip, RhoRho!
Thanksgiving on a Bun!

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Los Balcones del Peru

Los Balcones del Peru, Hollywood

Last night the Goils took me out for dinner for my b-day.  We went to Los Balcones del Peru in Hollywood.  The food is delicious!  We started off with sangria, Ceviche Mixto and Fried Calamari Rings, along with Papas a la Huancaina which are tiny purple and gold potatoes and hard boiled egg in a cheese sauce.  Yum!

For our entrees, Mary Jo and Darcy both had the Short Ribs with pureed lima beans.  Natalie had the Bistek Patron which is grilled rib eye, beans, platanos, a fried egg and Chorrillana sauce.  I had Arroz con Mariscos which is Peruvian Paella!  Double Yum.
Short Ribs
We adjourned to Natalie's house for dessert, which was a divine flourless chocolate cake with some fancy gourmet ice-cream.  

Natalie, Mary Jo, Darcy

After a taste of the orange version of Limoncello, we were entertained by a rousing video called "Prancercize."  OMG.
Thanks, ladies for a wonderful evening!!  Missed you, Brit!
"Prancercize" - the latest fitness craze!!  NOT!

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