Posts Tagged ‘Preservation’

BIG SIGH – Saving Clifton’s. And L.A.

cliftons2It feels like so many great things in Los Angeles are being killed by the economy. Paddle boats and lotus plants, film screenings, 80% of our parks, and now it looks like there’s a hint of trouble for historic, campground ambiance-filled purveyor of ambrosia salad for nearly 70 years, Clifton’s Cafeteria. Mind you, I still haven’t finished mourning Kelbo’s Coco Bowl… I just don’t think I can take much more.

This is such a scary time… in case you haven’t noticed, many wonderful things that surround us are being taken away like grains of sand – one by one – most never to return. Something needs to change about this trend, for anyone who actually believes closing parks and landmarks is for the good of a community isn’t thinking very hard about the reality. Many of the things that are disappearing have foundations that took multiple lifetimes to build… these things are our traditions and speaking for myself, the heart of our heritage. Without them, we become less. We lose identity… one grain of sand at a time.

By the time this run of closures is finished, there won’t be much to go outside for. Do we really want our children to never experience parks or art programs or a cafeteria filled with movie set decor modeled after the Santa Cruz Mountains circa 1935? Do we really want to be people who do nothing besides stare at iphones all day?

Not six months ago, The L.A. Times called Clifton’s “The place where L.A. finds itself.” If and when the kitschy goodness of Clifton’s disappears from our tangible landscape, we’re going to be even more lost than we are now. Moral of the story:  take notice of the things around you Los Angeles. Appreciate them NOW. Don’t take them for granted, they’re too important. And while it’s still there, please go check out Clifton’s if you haven’t… or even if you have. The food may not be on anyone’s diet, but that’s part of the charm. And before you leave Clifton’s, take a minute to go up to Clifton’s diorama chapel (created for owner Clifford Clifton by artist Einar Petersen) and say a little prayer for its future. Actually, throw another one in for ours while you’re at it.

©USC Digital Archive


L.A. Is A Nicer Place Than You Think – #1

OUR GORGEOUS VINTAGE TRAIN STATION STILL EXISTS. WHERE’S YOURS?

All it takes is a quick look around to see how many other vintage train stations across the nation have been taken down by the wrecking ball and replaced with boxy concrete structures or freeway ramps and yet our vintage train station remains beautiful, in daily use by citizens and historically intact for the most part. Union Station opened in May 1939, and is known as the “Last of the Great American Railway Stations.” Even if you’ve never been inside, you’ve still seen the beauty of it many times. So let’s just have a little cheer for the fact that we still *have* Union Station.

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