Angelenos

RIP – Jaime Escalante

©LA Times/UCLA LibraryUPDATE: Jaime Escalante passed away from cancer on March 30, 2010.
This article is a repost from July 2009.

HiddenLA’s HOT Angeleno of the Day: JAIME ESCALANTE!!!

Our HOT Angeleno feature was created to prove a point and counter the perception that we’re all shallow dimwits here. Knowing this, normally this is about the time I’d make silly jokes about whether or not the accomplished person being profiled has rock-hard abs – just to be a smart ass. Today I’ll refrain from the silliness out of respect for the subject, though. Jaime Escalante was born in Chochabamba, Bolivia, where he began teaching physics and mathematics. In 1964 he decided to find a new life for himself in America, although he spoke no english and had no valid American teaching credentials. He began to go to night school at Pasadena City and CSULA, and in 1974 was hired to teach basic math at Garfield High in East LA. His students were disrespectful, unprepared and uninterested. He considered giving up teaching, but over time his incredible educational and motivational skills as a teacher ended up turning around a low-priority public high school as he single-handedly built a calculus program rivaled by only a few well-funded private academies. His teaching style and students’ accomplishments were the focus of the 1988 movie Stand And Deliver.

So THAT’S why he’s our Hot Angeleno today. But unfortunately, the story of Jaime Escalante didn’t play out as happily as the movie, which is why I won’t joke about his abs. It just doesn’t feel respectful, and he deserves to be honored. Bureaucracy and office politics aside, for our own sakes we need to embrace our passionate and caring educators and leaders instead of underpay them, knock them down and drive them away.

*To see a great video of Jaime discussing his love for teaching, scroll down after the jump.* (more…)


IMAGERY – Passover Seder, March 1928

Photo of a Seder service at the Hebrew Sheltering
Home for the Aged
in Los Angeles, ca.1928

“Jewry to celebrate festival! — A typical Seder service at the Hebrew Sheltering Home for the Aged in this city. This Jewish festival will be held at the home next Thursday night, with many prominent Hebrew residents of the city in attendance. This symbolic dinner is one of the features of the Passover holiday” — Examiner clipping attached to verso, dated, “Mar 31, 1928” Image ©USC Digital Archive

CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW ©USC Digital Archive
According to an April 2003 LA Times article:

“Today, as Jews prepare to observe Passover… Southern California has the nation’s second-largest Jewish population (currently over 650,000). By contrast, the overwhelmingly Catholic pueblo of Los Angeles of 1854 had fewer than 200 Jewish residents and no kosher bakery or butcher shop. A lay rabbi slaughtered animals, carefully observing rabbinic laws, so that Jews might have kosher meat. The aroma of matzo — unleavened bread — wafted from a bakery owned and run by a Catholic. In the hinterlands — the Gold Country of Northern California or the outlying reaches of Southern California — men were often the ones who prepared the Passover seder because there were no women around.

“Despite such accommodations to necessity, historians say a common thread of faith and tradition is woven through the fabric of Jewish history in the West.”


NICE PEOPLE RULE! And so does a good fish taco.

I’m someone who firmly believes that kind behavior should be rewarded and mean people should be kicked to the curb. There’s a misconception about Los Angeles that people here are all self-absorbed jerks who are only out to get each other… and while there were times in my life where I bought that script, I’ve learned over the decades that I was wrong. There are bad people everywhere in the world, and when all is said and done I’ve found the majority of Angelenos to be solid, hard-working, good people who are often far warmer to strangers than you’ll find in many other cities large and small.
I’ve explained many times that the “hidden” in HiddenLA isn’t about being elitist, but rather it’s referring to the heart of this place that many people are oblivious to. In my mind, the good people of Los Angeles are a very large part of that heart.

besttacoSooo, let me tell you a little story. Tonight I was driving through Los Feliz and realized my blood sugar was a little low and I needed something quick. I passed Best Fish Taco in Ensenada, thinking to myself that I’d seen it mentioned many times on HiddenLA’s Foodie page on Facebook. Thanks to too much quality time in San Diego I’m a Baja Mexican food snob, but I decided to put my fish taco elitism aside and give it a try because you guys have yet to steer me wrong. I may have a Team Rubio’s t-shirt in a drawer somewhere, but I wanted to finally taste for myself if these tacos lived up to the hype.

I parked across the street and walked inside. It wasn’t until the customer in front of me stepped away from paying that I noticed the sign saying “CASH ONLY” and realized I had none, just my well-worn check card. I apologized and began to walk away, but then I heard a voice say, “Hey!” a few times. I turned around and the man behind the register motioned me forward. He was owner Joseph Cordova.

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QUIZ – What Lies Beneath #3

Okay, time’s up. The answer is after the jump!!!

******************
It’s that time of the week again! :)

Just to refresh your memory, here’s how this little game goes… first we’ll show you a spot on a google map (see below). We’re thinking of a notable location that’s within walking distance of that exact point, less than a block or two away. Within 24 hours we’ll give you the full details… but as before, we’re going to give you a little time to guess what we’re referring to first. We encourage you not to cheat by googling the address (but we know how impatient some of you are). If you know the answer right away please try not to announce it too quickly and ruin the game for the people who don’t.
And no hints this time! BWAHHAHAHAHAAAHHHH!!! < ---(That's our evil laugh.)

Ready? GO!


View Larger Map (more…)


HOT ANGELENO – Guy Orlando Rose

5 O Clock, 1910Never heard of Guy Orlando Rose? Well, if you had been born 100 years ago you would’ve been in the minority. Not only does the town of Rosemead bear his family name, but Mr. Rose (1867-1925), a California impressionist painter born in San Gabriel, is said to have been the very first native Southern Californian to receive international fame. His incredible artistic vision and skill even earned him high standing as a protégé and friend of Monet. No kidding! Click on the thumbnails throughout this post to see larger views of some of his incredibly beautiful paintings of Southern California in the early 20th Century.

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IMAGERY – Olvera Street Market Salesman, 1938

CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW ©USC Digital Archive

































“In the midst of the Great Depression of the 1930s, Paseo de Los Angeles – later referred to as Olvera Street – was created through the efforts of Christine Sterling and the City Boosters in the oldest section of the city. Olvera Street was an imagined Mexican Landscape not unlike the renowned tourist districts of Mexican border cities (Arreola and Curtis 1993). The theme was “Old Mexico,” pitting a timeless, romantic, homogenous Spanish-Mexican culture against industrialization, immigration, urban decay and modernity itself. The street featured rows of curio shops, house museums, and Mexican eateries staffed by costumed Mexican merchants. As a constructed place, Olvera Street was the product of a social and economic agenda established by civic elites to transform downtown Los Angeles through the removal of undesirable residents. The opening of Olvera Street and the preservation of the old Plaza also popularized an emerging creation mythology for Anglo Los Angeles stemming from the defeat of Mexican forces in 1847, a heroic birth legend in which Sterling emerged as a symbolic mother figure and guardian of the city’s birthplace.”

Excerpted from Los Angeles’ Old Plaza and Olvera Street: Imagined and Contested Space, by William D. Estrada © 1999


IMAGERY – Poor Mrs. Pauline Paulson

CLICK ON IMAGES TO SEE LARGER VIEWS OF POOR MRS. PAULSON’S SUFFERING ©USC Digital Archive

On the glorious evening of March 10th, 1952, after watching her beloved film favorites depart the Hollywood Pantages Theater (where the 1952 Oscar ceremonies were held), 80-year-old grandmother Pauline Paulsen fell in between the rows of bleachers and was rushed to Hollywood Receiving Hospital. Ouch!!! Sure looks like Pauline is the star of the show in this shot! (more…)


SERIES – Dr. George Shows Us The Newsroom, 1990

dr+george Curious to see what some of our long-standing local news anchors were really like twenty years ago? Well, here ya go. Looks like Dallas Raines was only *half* as orange!

I have to say in all seriousness that I miss Dr. George, though…

This is Part 1 of a 5 part Mini-Doc series done by Dr. George Fischbeck, entitled “How We Do The News”. It shows all the behind-the-scenes work it takes to put a newscast on the air. The year was 1990, and you can see all the archaic equipment we all had to work with — which was “Top of the line” for that day. Enjoy the telecast from Eyewitness News on KABC Channel 7 here in Los Angeles.”

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfN7-NpSwAU[/youtube]


FLASHBACK – The Chicano Moratorium of 1970

chicanoOn August 29, 1970, the Chicano Moratorium against the war in Vietnam was held in East L.A.

Loyola-Marymount film student Tom Myrdahl shot this documentary, capturing the events that unfolded as law enforcement and protesters clashed in and around Laguna Park. This film has not been seen in nearly 40 years. Tom, who is still a working cameraman in Los Angeles, is putting this historic film on the web as a tribute to the brave citizens of East L.A. who came together 40 years ago to voice their dissent against the Vietnam War.

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=famNeiosTVk[/youtube]


RIP – Bill Binder, Philippe’s Patriarch

philippes

William “Bill” Binder (seen above left, with sons Richard and John circa 1982), who for years ran Philippe’s, the Los Angeles eating institution famous for its sawdust-covered floors and trademark French dip sandwiches, has died. He was 94.

Binder, who retired in 1985, died Jan. 28 of natural causes at a care facility in Pasadena, said his son John, who runs Philippe’s with his brother, Richard.

“He had a real mild temperament; he always tried to treat everybody with respect,” John Binder said. “He had a very, very deep religious belief. He felt we were just so blessed to have the business.” (more…)


HISTORY – Sister Aimee & Her Castle

angelusAs some of you may know, as a teenager during the early 20th century my grandmother preached in tent revivals alongside (and also babysat for) local evangelist Sister Aimee Semple McPherson, who was once – without question – the most powerful, influential, and controversial woman in all of America. Founder of the Foursquare Church, Sister Aimee opened her Angelus Temple on New Year’s Day in 1923… a giant round building facing Echo Park which no doubt many of you pass daily without thinking twice about. The building’s cost was an unheard-of 1.2 million dollars at the time (paid for through average donations of TWO CENTS!!)… leading one critic to declare that Aimee “put the cost in Pentecost.”

At the very bottom of this post is a rare video tour of Aimee’s castle home in Lake Elsinore. Directly below are a few short samples of the show-womanship of Sister Aimee in all of her sin-battling glory… so REPENT, SINNERS!
[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftqumRF9Sh4[/youtube] (more…)


SERIES – Knott’s: From Boysenberries to Ride Warriors

I’m really enjoying exploring things for more than one post. So today we’re going to head a bit South to introduce yet another series. This time we’ll be exploring a local landmark that *even your kids* are very familiar with (but probably don’t know the history of)… the former fruit stand of Walter Knott.

Basically, we’ll learn more about how this…

Image via image-archeology.com

Turned into this… (more…)


RIP – Mama of Babe & Ricky’s

mama Somehow I missed the sad news that on October 3rd we lost beloved Laura Mae Gross, matriarch of Liemert Park’s iconic blues bar Babe & Ricky’s and one of the few participants left from Central Los Angeles’ swinging days of hot jazz.

Before South Central became famous for violence, its main thoroughfare was known worldwide for glamorous packed nightclubs and swinging ballrooms. As late Saxophonist Art Pepper described the scene:

“It was a beautiful time. It was a festive time. The women dressed up in frills and feathers and long earrings and hats with things hanging off them, fancy dresses with slits in the skirts, and they wore black silk stockings that were rolled and wedgie shoes. Most of the men wore big, wide-brimmed hats and zoot suits with wide collars, small cuffs, and large knees, and their coats were real long with padded shoulders. They wore flashy ties with diamond stickpins; they wore lots of jewelry; and you could smell powder and perfume everywhere. And as you walked down the street you heard music coming out of everyplace. And everybody was happy….

T]here were all kinds of places to go, and if you walked in with a horn everyone would shout, “Yeah! Great! Get it out of the case and blow some!” They didn’t care if you played better than somebody else. Nobody was trying to cut anybody or take their job, so we’d get together and blow.” (SOURCE)

Open for 45 years, Babe’s and Ricky’s moved from Central Avenue to Leimert Park in 1997 after financial difficulties, but the club’s heart and soul always stayed the same. While she never made much money, Mama nurtured (and fed) generations of Angelenos and provided a safe haven for jazz and blues lovers to network with link minded musicians. Babe & Ricky’s remains open without Mama and still hosts their famous Monday night jam session complete with their traditional $10 soul food dinner. (more…)


IMAGERY – LA’s Whistling Birds of the 1920s

Prior to television, people found such fascinating ways to entertain themselves. I have never even *heard* of a Bird Whistling Chorus before, but I imagine it probably sounded something like like this. I so wish I could’ve watched these women perform… although probably not for more than ten minutes or so. (More photos after the jump. Click for larger views.)

bird whistling 1923Apparently someone didn’t get the telegram about wearing all white…

1923 – Photographic group portrait of America’s Bird Whistling Chorus in Los Angeles. Four rows of women in light-colored dresses sit facing the camera, with one woman in a dark-colored dress to the right of center. A woman in the front row holds a conductor’s baton. The group is posed in front of an indistinguishable background, possibly a stage. (more…)


WEB – Angelyne 101, via Metafilter

angelyneThe first time you have a flesh and blood Angelyne sighting in the real world, it’s hard not to freeze and feel like you’re getting a glimpse of Bigfoot. Wow. She exists. And wow. She’s aging just like the rest of the world. And yet… inevitably she’s still standing near a pink Corvette. She’s still wearing tight pink clothing and heels. She may be the age of your grandmother, but she still has pink eyeshadow and big hair and seems to wear her sunglasses day and night. Say what you want about Angelyne, she’s one of the most consistent things in the entire landscape of Los Angeles and God bless her for that. Creepy though she may be to look at up close.

Don’t know who I’m talking about? Well, there was a huge post about her on Metafilter yesterday so check it out, it’ll tell you more than you ever needed to know. And if you think you *do* know who I’m talking about then take Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!‘s “How Well Do You Know Angelyne?” quiz and see how you do.


ODDITY – The Late, Great, Tower of Pallets Monument

Even the National Enquirer was taken aback after the city of Los Angeles designated Daniel Van Meter’s Tower of Wooden Pallets a historical landmark. A photo spread of the Sherman Oaks structure was accompanied by a headline that said, “No kidding! This pile of junk is a historic monument!”

Robert Winter, a former member of the Cultural Heritage Commission, joked later that the 1978 vote might have been influenced by fumes emanating from the pallets, which were discards from a brewery.

“Maybe we were drunk,” said Winter, a prominent architectural historian. (SOURCE)

Photo Credit: BigOrangeLandmarks.comDaniel Van Meter began construction of the 22-foot-tall structure in 1951 using 2,000 wooden pallets tossed out by a local brewery. The slatted wood was stacked like bricks and placed in a circle with a radius of about 22 feet wide. According to Van Meter, the tower, his own personal sanctuary, was built around the grave of a child buried in 1869.

“I have a place where it is quiet, despite the apartments, the noise of the boulevard and the hum and screeches of the rat race on the freeway 200 feet away,” he said.

At night, Van Meter said, he climbs to the top of the tower and looks at the moon and the stars. “To me, this is a spiritual place.” (SOURCE)

The tower was bulldozed in 2006 and in January 2009 the 2.5 acre property was sold by Dan’s heirs for $4.5 million. Construction began almost immediately on a new apartment building in its place, just as Van Meter predicted almost forty years ago while lobbying for his tower’s landmark status:

“… in a few years this piece of the good earth may be covered by apartments for the storing of surplus people. In the meantime, pray, let this strange structure be, let it continue to be a haven of rest for an individual – that endangered species – who once knew how sweet was our Valley.” (SOURCE)


COMING SOON: CRAZY GIDEON CONDOS!!!!!!

MOVE INTO ONE OR YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH YOUR HEAD!!!! 
[vimeo width=”590″ height=”420″]http://vimeo.com/6617001[/vimeo]

 

PREVIOUSLY:  RIP Crazy Gideon’s – Gideon is Retiring after 35+ years


FOCUS – Galco’s Soda Pop Stop

**SUPPORT SMALL, LOCAL BUSINESSES!!!** 

WHAT: Galco’s Old World Grocery 
WHERE: 5702 York Blvd, Highland Park (323) 255-7115 
DETAILS: Galco’s purveyance of vintage sodas and candies is clearly a labor of love for owner John Nese. He took over the business from his father, who originally ran the Highland Park market as a grocery store. With 174 rave reviews on Yelp, John’s enthusiasm is definitely contagious… so go there and drink up the fun! Literally.  :)
[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPbh6Ru7VVM[/youtube]


VIDEO – Golden Eras of L.A.

This video explores the “epicenter of kitsch” is hosted by Charles Phoenix, Billy Shire and architectural historian John English.


HAPPY 86th BIRTHDAY Stan Chambers

[youtube width=”590″ height=”410″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoI7dHA9c3I[/youtube]


VIDEO – A Little Face Time with Marty & Elayne

There are few things we can truly count on in life,
but we can always count on Marty & Elayne to be… 

Marty & Elayne.

‘Cuz they’ve got us… under their dermis.

[youtube width=”590″ height=”425″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nrzOHH8tOo[/youtube]
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HLA HOT ANGELENO – Ted Maiman

TedMaimanMEET MR. THEODORE HAROLD
“TED” MAIMAN

(July 11, 1927 – May 5, 2007)

Our HOT ANGELENO OF THE DAY found his true calling by first taking inspiration from his electrical engineer father. Young Ted Maiman repaired and refurbished household appliances in order to save up enough money to put himself through college. COOL, DUDE! Oh, but that’s not the part that leaves us weak in the knees… our love was sealed when a mere five years after earning his doctorate at Stanford, while working as a Junior Engineer at Hughes in Malibu, Teddy created the first machine that would actively amplify light waves of atoms that had been stimulated to radiate, and then shoot them out as narrow, intense beams of light! WOO HOO! In other words… Ted won a world-wide race of scientific engineering by CONSTRUCTING THE WORLD’S FIRST WORKING LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) DESPITE LACK OF SUPPORT AND A LAUGHABLE $50,000 BUDGET.

HUBBA HUBBA!!! Is it laser hot in here or is it just Ted!??? Yep, I’m thinkin’ it’s Ted!
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3 FAVES – Beth Lapides

THE UNKNOWN ANGELENO column features three local tips and/or insights from random nice folks we meet during our daily travels. But today we don’t need no stinkin’ anonymity! Stand up and be proud, Los Angeles!

Name: Beth Lapides
Where we first met her: When she was hosting Uncabaret at the old Luna Park a million years ago. Ahhh, good times. (Although my eyeballs are still burning from some of those vintage Andy Dick appearances.) More currently, she’ll be performing her show 100% Happy 88% of the Time show at Writers Boot Camp on July 19.
Occupation:Author, yogi, teacher, and alternative comedy guru”
Why we chose her: She admits she has a big mouth, and we have that in common. So we like that! Okay, now let’s see what she has to say… (after the jump)

Beth Lapides (more…)


FOCUS – The People of Silver Lake

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPiuwgCDQek&feature=PlayList&p=1CD11BBE54DDF535&index=0&playnext=1[/youtube] I hate to break so many fantasies… but quite a few Americans who’ve never stepped within the city limits of Los Angeles have an awfully tough time believing that the typical “LA person” isn’t a shallow, illiterate, wanna-be fame whore who flashes their crotch at strangers and opens fire on other cars in traffic whenever possible. Admittedly, perhaps it seems less fun to acknowledge that the vast majority of our neighbors are actually just average, decent, hard working folks who are more focused on feeding their families than world fame, who regularly wear underwear and who don’t take sawed-off shotguns along to commute the 101. (Well, unless we’re having a really bad day.)

Sometimes the reality is interesting too, though. The People of Silver Lake is a sweet little documentary made by the Silver Lake History Collective in an effort to document and explore the human mixing pot of their neighborhood. The film is divided into four YouTube parts and follows five long-time locals as they tell their stories, exposing the diversity of personalities and cultures that make up a Los Angeles neighborhood. Note: No crotch flashing or violence shown. (Sorry!) Storytellers include: artist Alberto Hernandez, resturauteur Larry Nicola, Marion Spencer, Don Jarvis, and Dr. Sekaye Shigekawa (who tells of her stay in a Japanese internment camp at Santa Anita during WW2).

In case it doesn’t autoplay the clips in order, here is the full playlist for all four parts. Also, a map of Silver Lake is after the jump for those who don’t know the area.

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