My Cruise Down Whittier Boulevard

Whittier Boulevard in Los Angeles is a street with deep rooted history. In a way it has become the pinnacle of East Los Angeles. Even though I did not grow up in the area, I always heard of Whittier Boulevard. It has often known as the hub for Mexican-Americans on the Eastside. Old Chicano films and music often brought this to light.  You can  still take a drive down Whittier today and feel some of the history seeping from the buildings. I wish I could have seen it during its prime time. However, I can only imagine and listen to stories of the past.

Fellow blogger Al Desmadre is a great Eastside source when it comes to forgotten history of Whittier Boulevard he has written excellent  posts reliving the era.

What caught my curiosity of this street? Well I had been driving down it almost every Sunday meeting friends near Montebello. On the way back instead of taking the freeway I went down Whittier Boulevard. Since the street is pretty popular I never thought about blogging about it before, but hey everybody has their own perspective on a place. I decided to do a short but sweet photo session on the beauty I see on Whittier Boulevard.

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A Sad Farewell, Requiem for a Palace, The Golden Gate Theater

This is the grand Golden Gate Theater of yesteryear. But grandeur fades. Icons wither, some more gracefully than others. The Golden Gate Theater in East Los Angeles, movie palace of my youth and once proud cornerstone of Whittier Blvd. Eastside culture, does not deserve to be remembered in this recently discovered undignified and disgusting state… Continue reading

Nominated: Worst Water Feature in LA County

It’s hard to get a good picture from a moving vehicle and this is the best I could do. What you kinda see in that picture above is a ridiculous aesthetic touch for that new mall in Monterey Park on Atlantic by the 10, better known as the newest location of Happy Family Vegetarian Restaurant, after being forced to relocate from this very spot to allow for the development of this very mall! Wherever they go they still make great food. Too bad the new place is a drab and lifeless stucco enclosure, no doubt some vision of the future of yet another lousy developer.

Which brings us back to that aesthetic touch, a water feature in the underground parking lot, which you only notice on the way out. There is something dehumanizing about this fountain. A miserable attempt at having you leave the miserable development in a better mood because you saw some water floating by. It ends up only highlighting the lifelessness of the whole structure, reminding you of how unnatural this all is, a fucking mini-river on your way out of an ugly underground parking structure. Lipstick on a corpse.

If you plan to visit this waterwork, take the exit to Hellman which is where you will find this refreshing addition to our social car lives. Don’t you dare park to get a closer view, the river of cars need to keep flowing!

Yes, I hereby nominate this as the Worst Water Feature in LA County. There just can’t be anything else as absurd, can there?

Self Help Graphics & Art is Moving!

Photo courtesy of Rosanna Ahrens

Today, Evonne Gallardo, Executive Director and the Board of Directors of Self Help Graphics & Art announced that the 40 year old institution of culture and art in East Los Angeles is moving to a new home.

Relocation from the icon building decorated in tile by artist Eduardo Oropeza, has been a buzz on the eastside for a while now—but negotiations as to where to move and being forward-facing, have been long, arduous and thorough.
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Sidewalk Stamps

A collection of sidewalk stamps I’ve photographed on pedestrian dérives around Lincoln Heights, Highland Park and Downtown L.A. Exact locations have been forgotten.

For more on sidewalk history, see this previous post.

A Business Sense Walking Tour

If it’s one thing about tours, it’s that you always learn something new about something old. For example, I took a tour of Union Station last year and I found out that there’s asbestos in the curtains and that if some bird or terrorist agitated them, well needless to say it would be problematic for everyone. So, imagine what you’ll learn on this tour. Lead by Adrian Rivas of Gallery 727, walking around the men’s fashion district and neighboring areas in Downtown L.A. that go unnoticed to most of us, but a treasure cove for others.

A Business Sense Walking Tour

Tour Starts at g727 (gallery 727)
11 am – 1pm

727 South Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014
213 627 9563

Tour led by: Adrian Rivas co-founder of g727 and downtown merchant

Please join g727 for a special tour of local merchants from downtown’s historic Fashion District presented in conjunction with the gallery’s current exhibitions Carmen Argote: Household Mutations and Santiago Borja: Fort Da/Sampler each of which incorporate questions of materials and site.
Examined in relationship to the five senses, the featured businesses represent our physical responses to the urban environment.

A round table discussion and refreshments will follow at G727

Participating businesses:

GLOBAL LINEN / sense of touch
MARCEL’S TIES / kinesthetic sense
NEW WAREHOUSE / sense of time
MIKE’S TAILOR SHOP / sense of sound
THE STORE / sense of balance and direction
UNIVERSAL PERFUMES / sense of smell

Big Brown Sign

Hardly iconic

Lincoln Heights is proud home to a new youth center creatively placed in an inspired adaptive re-use of an historic church. I have yet to go inside but I hear it’s on the smallish side. No matter, the neighborhood needs more places where consumer consumption is not involved and youth are allowed.

I have one small bone to pick though, and I will digress a moment to let you know I have at times, been labeled an “aesthetic tyrant” for my critical proclamations of design, but what’s up City of Los Angeles with these tired old park signs? They might’ve looked good in the 80s or 70s or whenever they were first put together but nowadays they look just plain fuddy-duddy. The outdated thick italic font, the faux wood with pale mustard trim, it’s so…uninviting. It’s time for a make-over. I know, I know, the city is in one of the worst financial crisis in it’s history but still, graphic designers can’t be that expensive. I know a few that need work…

Renovations at the Benjamin Franklin Library

A while back I mentioned that the Benjamin Franklin Library was getting a make over. I can’t remember which blog post it was, sorry. The project to tear down the prison like gates surrounding the library and making it friendlier to the public cost a couple hundred thousand dollars. Again, details escape me at the moment, but I’m sure I mentioned them somewhere. Well, while the renovations aren’t complete, most of the work is done and I’d figure I’d post some pics up.

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