Imagery

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.”


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…)


IMAGERY – Barbecuing in Montrose, Feb. 22, 1913

CLICK ON IMAGES FOR LARGER VIEWS

©USC Digital Library

Photograph(s) of an aerial view of a promotional land sale barbeque in Montrose near Glendale, February 22, 1913. A group of automobiles and horse-drawn carriages are parked at the center of a clearing, while pedestrians walk around towards the barbeque tables pictured in the left distance where a small shack can be seen to the side of a dirt road, and in the right foreground, surrounded by temporary fence. A road lined by utility poles curves behind the gathering from the left of the frame towards the mountains in the background, with an even smaller second shack stands near piles of gravel. A sign near the dirt road reads “Montrose Holmes-Walton Realtor Co.”

Images ©USC Digital Library

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FLASHBACK – Racing Thru The Clouds in Venice

©VirtualVenice.infoOnce upon a time, the first roller coaster ever built on the West Coast reached towards the Venice, California sky. The ride was called Race Thru The Clouds and when it opened on July 4, 1911, even with only half of its cars on line over 25,000 people rode it. Yes, in one day. Roller coasters soon became such a popular attraction in Venice that fourteen were built in between 1904 and 1925. In the early 1920’s, visitors to Venice had a choice of six different rides: three on the Venice Pier, one on the inland lagoon and two on the Ocean Park/Lick Piers.

Although the first coaster is long gone, you can still find evidence of Race Thru The Clouds nearby if you look… architect Steve Ehrlich themed a nearby commercial building after its curves. I think my favorite tribute is this, though: a Folsom Prison inmate named William Jennings-Bryan Burke once spent over a decade erecting a replica of the ride made entirely out of toothpicks! AWESOME! (He actually built entire carnivals from toothpicks. I’m not kidding.)

(CLICK ON THE IMAGES BELOW FOR LARGER VIEWS)©USC Digital Archive
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ESCAPE – (G)Luck for the New Year

NY_pig_hatI’m leaving Vienna early tomorrow morning to head back to Los Angeles. I had so much on my plate and so many photos to sort through I’m going to blog most of it after the fact, but that’s life. And yes… I know HiddenLA isn’t supposed to be about Europe… but it’s my blog and I’ll write about what I want to, so there! I’m ready to be back home and wander the streets of L.A. again, but it’s so incredible to experience familiar holidays through the eyes of a totally different culture. It’s something I want to share.

Case in point… New Year’s in Austria (named Silvester, after St. Sylvester) is a much different animal than we know. The New Year is all about pigs here. Yes, pigs. (more…)


IMAGERY – Memories of Diana, Pont de l’Alma, Paris

Ever since her death in the tunnel below, people have scrawled messages to Princess Diana on the Pont de l’Alma bridge.

Click to see larger image. diana


ESCAPE – Paris Christmas Market

Chocolate apples. YUM. I’d originally planned to go to the Christkindlmarkt in Vienna today, but jet lag took me over and I missed it. I’m a bit sad about that because the lights are so wonderful and the photos would’ve been amazing. Fortunately, I did walk through the Paris Christmas Market yesterday and got photos of that. It’s not quite as festive but the two markets are similar… the Vienna version just features more wood and lights. And there’s far more Jagermeister and expensive Christmas trinkets of all shapes and sizes. And *much* less foie gras. But the Paris Market is still quite festive as you’ll see in the album below.

(FYI, here in Austria, Christmas is celebrated on the eve before so I’m going to be offline for a day or so. I hope you all have a great holiday! I’ll post more soon!)

Click on the square image below to see 24 captioned pictures of what can be found at the Paris Christmas Market. To read the captions, just hover over the images. :)

Paris Christmas Market


ESCAPE – I love Paris in the winter, when it drizzles.

Running in the rain. I’m posting this a few days late due to a bad internet connection. I’m in Vienna now, but let’s just pretend I’m not…

I found myself wandering through Paris just *obsessed* with using my new camera… playing with the shutter speeds and apertures and all of the other little tricks. I can’t believe how far I walked in two days. For me, the weather was perfect… I was wearing three or four layers, but I was never uncomfortable. The sky was drizzling in a way that made all of the lights magically glow at night, but it never rained so much that I rushed indoors. There was ice on the ground, but not enough to slip on. All in all, they were perfect winter days and nights. I very literally took hundreds of photos, and I’ll spread some of the best over a couple of posts. Today I’ll post my favorite rainy night photos…

NOTE: Due to some problems with WordPress’ photo album feature, I moved these photos into a different album. Just click on the square image below to see eighteen pretty pictures.

A Rainy Night in Paris


FLASHBACK – The Sewing Nun, circa 1950

When poor little orphans were unable to pick up the dolls she made for them, Sister Josephine donned her giant habit and gallantly took to the air, flying from house to house like a true holiday superhero. Santa shmanta.
(CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW)

EXM-P-S-LOS-ANG-CIT-ORP-028

“Hopeful — Sister Josephine of the Los Angeles Orphanage sews doll clothes while Staff Sergeant Leo T. Batt asks Clara Jean, 8 (left), Johnnie, 9, Dede, 9, and Mary, 7, what they want for Christmas through Corps Reserve’s Toys For Tots campaign. Girls want dolls.”


IMAGERY – Ye Olde Beverly Hills Hotel

Click on images for larger views.

As it’s a gorgeous day outside, my friend Geraldine and I will be observing interesting people and sights during a lazy Sunday wander through the indisputably historic Beverly Hills Hotel. Hell, we’ll probably even enjoy a cocktail/nosh at the Polo Lounge and hang out until we just can’t take the color combinations of pink and green any longer. Because that’s how we roll. We’re rogues.

Anyhoooo, the image below is what Hotel California looked like in 1920. If you look, you’ll see that this view is from Will Rogers’ Park (land which singer George Michaels is now banned from stepping foot on) overlooking Sunset Boulevard.

After the jump is another little treat… something we probably won’t ever see in front of the Beverly Hills Hotel ever again. Take a look at where the streetcar is located on the left side of the landscape photo below… that’s the exact location where the next image was captured some years later.©USC Digital Archive

Photograph of an exterior view of the Beverly Hills Hotel, 1920. A lavish courtyard is pictured in the foreground, with steps leading up to its paved walkway, which is lined to either side by palm trees. Several auxiliary walkways that branch from it demarcate circular areas of grass, beyond which a streetcar is visible parked in the driveway that stands in front of the large, three-story, L-shaped hotel. Three spires extend from the roof at the crook of the “L” from which flags wave. A second, equally large building can be seen in the far distance to the right, along with mountains.

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IMAGERY – Traffic on the Cahuenga Pass, 1897

Welcome to the original 101 Freeway.

Photograph of two cyclists on the Cahuenga Pass, Los Angeles, circa 1897. The man to the right walks his bicycle on the unpaved road, looking at his companion riding to the left, on whose back is strapped a briefcase of some kind. The terrain surrounding them is comprised entirely of grassy hills. Caption on photoprint reads: “Cahuenga Pass — connecting Hollywood and San Fernando Valley — as it was in 1897.”

Click on image for larger view.
©USC Digital Archive


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…)


IMAGERY – Fishing in Azusa, October 1930

I really love these photos. Click on the images for a larger view.

Photograph of Jewell Teegardin fishing on a rock above the falls and Beatrice Williams fishing in the foreground, Rainbow Angling Club, Azusa, October 1930. Both women can be seen wearing knee-high laced-up boots, breeches, and sleeveless collared shirts. They hold fishing poles and have baskets slung over their shoulders.

azusa_fishing
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IMAGERY – Photos of the Week

The Most Awesome Treehouse Ever

I was walking back to my car after having coffee at Aroma, and suddenly looked up to find… just what the title says. The most awesome Spanky & Our Gang He Man Woman Haters Club-quality treehouse I’ve ever seen. Complete with ladders and all sortsa stuff. I’m not even a kid and I covet this treehouse.

treehouse

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IMAGERY – Adventures in Stupid Signage #2

laxbillboard
Oh my God, I had the weirdest dream last night. I was driving a taco truck through a horrible rainstorm, see? Okay, so I’m driving this truck and it’s really dirty and there are refried beans and condiments falling all over the place as I’m careening out of control through the mud when suddenly a giant-sized Gordon Ramsay comes up out of the ground, trapped up to his waist in a big ol’ sinkhole! Weird right!??? Okay, but it gets even weirder. See, Gordon is trying to wrap me up in some kind of parchment roll of pasta! Feels like he wants to smother me or something!!!! So I speed up to get away from him and just as he calls me a donkey, suddenly I swerve to avoid hitting a HUGE chocolate cupcake (with vanilla buttercream frosting, no less!) and GIANT STRAWBERRIES! I mean, they’re right there in the middle of this muddy road! And damn, that mud-covered chocolate cupcake’s like the size of a HOUSE or something!!! WTF!? Crazy, right? Man, don’t you hate dreams like that?


NATURE – The Beauty of Franklin Canyon

[vimeo width=”590″ height=”350″]http://vimeo.com/4787778[/vimeo]

*Click on the box below to launch photos from our walk around the lake*

FRANKLIN CANYON LAKE

So many people in the world believe that without ever having lived in Los Angeles they have a clear understanding of everything it is: traffic, violence, famous people, stress, opulence, plastic surgery, starlets who don’t wear underwear. But you and I both know that’s not reality. This city has a lot more to offer than most people realize… as a matter of fact, in the literal heart of Los Angeles beautiful sights exist that even L.A. residents are often oblivious to.

Franklin Canyon is 605 acres of wooded parkland located just North of Beverly Hills. It’s a great area to go for a leisurely stroll with the dog and kids, for a picnic, for a workout or a low-key nature stroll. If the area looks familiar even though you’ve never been there, there’s a very, very good reason for that. Franklin Lake, in the middle of the canyon, was originally named Myers Lake after the Production Manager on the Andy Griffith Show (Remember the opening of the show where Opie skipped rocks on a lake? Guess where that was filmed). The park also features free special events and guided walks on a regular basis and a nice 3 acre duck pond reservoir.

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IMAGERY – Lawn Bowling on a Friday Afternoon

Lawn Bowling in Santa Monica on a Friday Afternoon

To see a few more pictures, click on the image at left. If you, too, feel a hankering to do some hardcore lawn bowling, check out the Santa Monica Lawn Bowls Club. Below is a google map showing where the club hangs out in lovely Douglas Park. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen!


View Larger Map


IMAGERY – The Car Next Door

angelyne in her corvette, 1997Sometimes my little dog sits in my lap when I drive. Yeah, I know it’s not exactly an encouraged driving habit, but she knows if she stays very very still I’ll allow her to rest her face on the sill of the car window and stare at people. Lately, other drivers have started staring back at her and every once in a while I’ll hear baby talk coming from dog-loving drivers at stoplights (which of course she loves). Now I laugh and smile, but at first it felt awkward to me… as if there was some kind of social code being broken… like you aren’t *supposed* to acknowledge that you’re staring at other drivers while en route to wherever. With so much time spent in them, cars can be strangely personal, like an extension of someone’s private home.

VECTOR PORTRAITS is a collection of images by Andrew Bush, all taken between 1989 and 1997, that explore this exact unspoken code: “Andrew Bush (b. 1956) examines this tension between private and public in his remarkable series of photographs of individuals driving cars in and around Los Angeles—a city famous for its car culture. By attaching a camera to the passenger side window, Bush made these pictures while driving alongside his subjects—often traveling at 60 mph. Taking notes on the speed and direction he was going, Bush created extended captions for the images and called the series Vector Portraits.”

Besides the coffee table book, seems that some of the images may be available as prints if you like them.


ONGOING – A President Named Barry

Young Obama What: Lisa Jack Photography Exhibit: Barack Obama: The Freshman
When:
Until July 18, Tuesdays–Saturdays (10am–6pm)
Where:
M+B Gallery 612 N Almont Dr, WeHo (310) 550-0050
Price:
FREEEEE!
Details: (more…)


IMAGERY – The Pinata Delivery

Pinata delivery on Victory Boulevard in Valley Glen, Sunday afternoon. See full-sized image after the jump. (more…)


SURPRISE! – Your Local Catfish Pond

Ever dream of going straight from work to your favorite local fishing hole to unwind… your loyal dog by your side? Unfortunately, although Andy and Opie Taylor’s fishing hole is right around the corner, fishing isn’t legal there. But if you feel like dropping your hook in the water tonight you can try skipping right down La Cienega to Kenneth Hahn Park. There’s a small, fully-stocked man-made pond right there — fully planted with catfish just three weeks ago. The catch limit is five fish per person per day and leashed dogs are welcomed. Quien es mas macho than taking home some fresh dinner you caught yourself? CATFISH. YUM.

Here are some tips on how to catch them. See pretty photos of your local catfish pond after the jump!
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=854fE08Nvog[/youtube]
If you prefer natural stream fishing, there are plenty of places for that as well… they’re just a bit more of a drive.

Never been fishing before, but still dream of channeling Brad Pitt in A River Runs Through It (sans near-drowning)? Doc’s Ski Haus in Santa Monica offers up far more than snowboards, they also hold introductory classes designed for the beginner to intermediate fly fisherperson. No fly-fishing experience is necessary. The cost is $60 dollars and it includes two one-hour classes:

First class (Wednesdays 6:30pm): You’ll learn knots that will last you a lifetime and the basics on flies;
Second class (Saturdays 9am): A casting lesson at Douglas park in Santa Monica.

As a promotion, Doc’s issues a $30 dollar credit from your tuition to spend on new equipment for your fishing trips.

OTHER CURRENT FISH-STOCKED WATERS IN LOS ANGELES Trout: Bouquet Canyon Creek, Castaic Lagoon and Pyramid Lake;  Catfish: Alondra Park Lake, Belvedere Lake, Hansen Lake, Hollenbeck Lake, Lincoln Park Lake and Magic Johnson Lake. FISHING LICENSE INFO.
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IMAGERY – Adventures in Stupid Signage

SOME PEOPLE JUST *WANT* YOU TO FAIL.
“Hey there, drivers on Fairfax! I’m a fancy sign the city paid for you to see! Yooo hooo! Look up here! I wanna tell you something… look up here! Come on… look up here! NOOOO! FOCUS ON THE ROAD, YOU IDIOT!!!! What is WRONG with you!? What the Hell were you looking up here for!? What are you trying to do, kill someone!?


IMAGERY – Oil Spill Victim, 1971

“Oil spill victim Jody Harris, 19, of Van Nuys is pretty lady in distress as heavy oily substance is removed from her feet by lifeguard Jim Causey of Laguna Beach at Doheny State Beach.”

Hard breaking disaster photos are always difficult to view. Ecology aside, it’s disturbing that the original caption of this vintage image downplayed the senseless tragedy seen here by patronizingly referring to the victim as “pretty lady.” Tsk tsk. This poor girl is clearly in pain and fighting for her life… and I, for one, thank God the heroic lifeguard with the pornstar ‘stache was there to save the day and clean off her adorable little feet.

The UCLA Digital Collections portal contains tens of thousands of great images. Go check out the site and you’ll be entertained for hours.