Tuesday, September 02, 2008

(09.02.08) Recommends:

Scenes From a Long Weekend.

With the holiday on Monday, we had a chance to get out and do some exploring.

Traffic. Downtown.

Market. Echo Park.

Utility box. Echo Park.

Paint store. Echo Park.

The following picture nicely captures two truths about Los Angeles. One, LA has a reputation that its citizens are health- and image-obsessed. Whether there is truth in the sterotype, the fact is, there must be more donut stores in LA, by any measure you wish to use, than any place in the US. Probably you can't go more than 100 yards without seeing a donut store. Two, LA does have a staggering amount of diversity; it's really a wonderful thing. Off the top of our heads, we can think of Thai Town, Korea Town, Little Armenia, Historic Philipinotown, Little Tokyo, Chinatown. And those are just the ethnically named neighborhoods. But that doesn't mean the city is always harmonious and coming from Kansas, there's a kind of cognitive disonance when you witness racism here. In LA, which is less than 50% white, discreet ethnic groups throw blame at other discreet ethnic groups. There seems to be tension between Korean people and Black people, for instance. Other groups seem to have a problem with the increased influence of the Hispanic population. Etc, etc. On the other hand, racism in Kansas is more likely to manifest itself in some kind of abstract form: the place is 90% white, so somebody might carry around a notion about "colored people" or "immigrants" in general destroying the country, but in this world view Koreans, Blacks, and Hispanics are all the same and they're all the enemy. I guess it just proves a universal rule: with enough time on their hands, humans have the capacity to complain about anything and lay blame on anybody.

Cafe Was -- still can't figure out if the sign is clever or cheesy. Hollywood.

Qat, it's a Scrabble word you really need to know. Hollywood.

Stormwater ordianance sign. Hollywood.

Of course you would expect palm trees to line the boulavards in a neighborhood that calls itself Country Club Park.

Ice Fade is a pretty awesome name for a barber shop. Slauson Ave.

City bench.

Stencils. Hollywood.

There's something about the way "human" appears on this sign that mezmerizes us. Washington Blvd.

Utility pole art. Hollywood.

The Los Angeles City Council recently enacted a one year moratorium on opening fast food restaurants in South Los Angeles. The story got national coverage, including this NY Times piece in which Jonathan Gold notes that South Los Angeles is the home to the best barbeque in the city and wonders how the ban will effect on that culinary tradition. We thought of the article as we waited nearly 90 minutes for our order from Phillips on Crenshaw Blvd.

Doorway entrance art. Hollywood.

We should just mention now: we ate lots of barbque over the weekend.

You can't make it down Melrose without being inundated by MBW artwork. Some of it we like, some of it we think is overload. We like this one.

Car wash. Inglewood.

MBW stencil. Hollywood.

We love this sign/advertisement/artwork. Not sure if it should be interpreted to mean that the car lot caters to a religious clientelle, or the car lot is suggesting that you'll need to rely on some kind of religious miracle in order to prevent your purchase from being a lemon.

Building. Hollywood.

No, seriously: holidays are made for eating.

Less talk, more rock. LaBrea Ave.

It turns out that it's not just neighborhoods called Country Club Park that are lined with Palm trees. Miraculously, almost every major street has them. Mid City.

The truth about Hollywood (we report, you decide).

Evidence #1:

The original street artist?

Industrial building. Compton Ave.

School days. Slauson Ave.

Motel. LaBrea and Slauson.

Valentine to Los Angeles.

When in Rome.

Old economy.

Fruit cart. Echo Park.

Market. Beverly Blvd.

Political pundits keep saying that Labor Day is when the electorate begins paying attention to the general election season in earnest. If elections were won on window signs, this thing would be a blow out.

Water. Wilton Pl.

Palm trees, blue skies, donuts. We came. We saw. We conquered. Los Feliz.

The clouds rolled in as the hills ate the sun, and as quickly as it came, the long weekend faded away.

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