Thursday, January 19, 2017


I've always loved bright colors! Maybe that's why I usually dress in all black, so that when I add a colorful scarf, it will pop!
My favorite colorful place, The Bauer Factory Store, Atwater, CA
Colorful water goblets at The Madonna Inn gift shop
My colorful L-shaped, crocheted shawl
Colorful potholders
I've been working on a colorful, new yarny project and the combinations of these colors below absolutely DELIGHT me!
My new yarny project! 
These bright and beautiful yarns are cheering me up, considering our sad, rainy weather!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Charm is Gone

Newly designed Petersen Automotive Museum, photo from Petersen collection

On Monday, Larry and I visited the newly remodeled Petersen Automotive Museum on the Miracle Mile. The re-opening of the Museum was a year ago, so we thought we should really visit to see all of the "improvements." The Petersen organization spent over $125 million for this renovation.
Original Seibu Department Store, 1962, Welton Becket and Associates. Photo, Marvin Rand

The new exterior wraps bands of steel and mesh together in a bubble over the originally designed former department store by Welton Becket. The Becket-designed Seibu Department store (later Ohrbach's) is still there. The red bands of steel and mesh are supposed to look like the motion of fast-moving cars. OK, it's definitely eye-catching, especially when lit. While it was being constructed, we called it The Bacon Building.The combination of the flowing steel strips and red lights looked like strips of bacon to us locals.
Petersen Automotive Museum, re-design and adaptive re-use, 1994. Fins 
were added to the exterior to resemble a vintage car. Photo from

The floor plan of the museum has been opened up. Many of the display walls are gone, replaced by video displays and actual cars. The design is flowing and excellent. You are supposed to start on the third floor and work your way down. There are elevators and a circular staircase. The innovative elevators, with the up and down on the same side, are gone.
Larry with the Hollywood Movie Cars

Also gone are the Los Angeles street scenes with actual replicas of old buildings, stores and gas stations in the L.A. area. I really miss those displays on the first floor. There were very few references to how important the automobile was to the development of Los Angeles. This museum could be Anywhere, USA. 
Batman's Motorcycle with Sidecar for Robin
Cool Vintage Scooters

Vintage Hollywood movie cars and displays are on the third floor. Other modes of transportation and race cars are on the second floor. The first floor is reserved for revolving exhibitions. This month there are Bugatti cars in residence, along with some art cars painted by Keith Haring.
Buick Special, painted by artist, Keith Haring

My favorite piece in the entire Museum wasn't a car at all! It was a very long mural called "Los Angeles, The Living City," originally by Sandra Drinning, 1997, on the side of a supermarket in KoreaTown. Here's a story about the reproduction of this 16 x 94-foot mural!
The reproduction of this mural is worth the price of admission, almost.
Car Crash!

Instead of the affordable Johnny Rockets Hamburgers, there is now a pricey, but lovely Drago Restaurant on the main floor. The Petersen is definitely trying to appeal to the concours d'elegance crowd. OK, I'm done with that Museum. Sigh.

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Monday, January 16, 2017

MLK's Words in Yarn

This has become a tradition on "L.A. Is My Beat."  For the past six years I have been featuring Suzanne's MLK sweater on my blog in honor of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. I will repeat  again this year because I'm so in love with this idea and in awe of Suzanne's mad skills. 

Suzanne's Sweater, honoring the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The sweater pattern is from "Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines."  The name of this sweater is "Margaret," designed for the book by Mary Neal Meador.  The instructions state that the sweater may be embellished after knitting with chain stitched quotations of the knitter’s choice.  The sweater in the book has poetry added to the front and back. 
When I saw Suzanne's ("owlknits") sweater, I was touched by the words she chose.  This is from Suzanne's project page on Ravelry: 

I knit this sweater for a local art exhibition that was organized to honor the ideas of Martin Luther King, Jr.  I used quotes from his “I have a dream…” speech to embroider on the front and back of the sweater: Front: Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. Back: The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the day of justice emerges.

I am still blown away by Suzanne's sweater and her choice of quotations.  One day I will make such a sweater for myself.  Bravo!  Excellent work, Suzanne, honoring an eloquent man and his ideas! 

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Friday, January 13, 2017

For the Cause

Alyson, Darcy, Mary Jo, Natalie, Brit and Ellen. #pussyhat

Many of my friends are participating in the Pussy Hat Project . I thought it would be a good way to promote the Women's March on Washington, D.C., January 21, 2017, the day after the Presidential Inauguration. Kat Coyle of The Little Knittery yarn shop in Atwater Village wrote a simple pattern for the hat. The pattern has gone viral and millions of people are knitting and crocheting hats for themselves and other marchers to wear on January 21st. 
The mission of the Pussy Hat Project, as stated on their website is: To provide the people of the Women's March on Washington, D.C. a means to make a unique collective visual statement which will help activists be better heard. 

This will also provide people who cannot physically be on the National Mall a way to represent themselves and support women's rights. If over 1 million people wear a pink hat to the Women's March on Washington, the world will see that we stand together, united. By knitting a hat for a marcher, you are a powerful part of a visual statement.

There is also a march in our City of Los Angeles on January 21st. Here is their mission statement:
We stand together in solidarity for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health and our families--recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.

In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.

We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all.
WOW! Those are all powerful words. I support the marches across the country for equality. I knitted six pussy hats for my friends and for myself. I plan to wear my hat on January 21st to show my support!
There is still time to knit or crochet your own hat. Follow the directions for Kat's hat OR if you'd prefer to crochet your hat, Kim Werker has written a wonderful pattern that looks similar to the knitted hat. Kim calls it the "Show-Up Hat." Quoting Kim, "One of the simplest and most intimidating ways to stand up for what's right is to show up when it matters!"
Kim Werker's crocheted "Show-Up Hat"
The more we are seen, the more we are heard. Let’s come together to support women’s rights in a creative and impactful way.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Happy Birthday Larry 2017

Another year 'round the sun. Happy birthday my Sweet Larry!

You constantly amaze and delight me! Let's celebrate your birthday all month long! I love you!

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Humble Dishcloth aka "Spa" Cloth

Current Spa Cloth Obsession. Diagonal Crochet Stitch, 100% cotton, Size 4.25 Hook

I have a few yarny projects in progress right now. I'm not inspired by any of them. This happens often. I'm all excited about some new yarn and start a project. Then, I come to a stand-still with the project. Maybe the yarn is not working for the pattern. Maybe the stitch pattern is monotonous. Maybe I don't have time to actually pay attention to a challenging pattern. There are many reasons to take a break. 
I pause by crocheting or knitting up a few washcloths. I've been referring to these cloths as SPA cloths. Sounds fancier. I usually pair a cloth with some fragrant soap and give it as a little gift. Really, it's all about the label accompanying the cloth:
This sounds FANCY!

I depleted my collection of spa cloths during the holiday gift-giving season. Time to replenish!
Next up, I may crochet some "heart" cloths for the upcoming Valentine's Day holiday!

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Too Much Fun!

Darcy, photobombing all of those presents!

Oh my! We did have ourselves a time this past Saturday night! It was our annual KnitGrrlz Holiday Party...a few weeks late! We've been celebrating together at least 10 years. The party has gotten progressively grander. We bring food to share, trade presents and have so many laughs! Thank you Natalie, Darcy, Mary Jo, Brit and Alyson for making our party a hit! Thanks too to our gentlemen friends, Larry and Joe. They add a bit of handsomeness and laughter to our party!
We started out with appetizers, supplied by Natalie, Darcy and Mary Jo. What a spread!

Next up, even though Chanukah was over last week, we recited the blessing over the candles.

DINNER!  We had a classic Chanukah dinner menu: Brisket, potato pancakes with applesauce and sour cream, butternut squash casserole and chopped salad.
Joe, Natalie, Brit, Larry, Darcy, Mary Jo and Alyson
Then the present swapping began!  Oy! We really went crazy with the gifts this year. There were squeals of delight and Larry took some wonderful photos!
The Chocolate Whisperer, Cossack Darcy
Brit's new Hoodie-Headrest Pillow WITH ear-bud pockets!
Brit is jealous of Alyson's pink scarf
Mary Jo models Darcy's artistic gift assemblage
I knit Pussy Hats for everyone! #pussyhatproject
We neglected to take a photo of the yummy pie that Alyson baked, because we devoured it after expending so much energy opening our gifts!  
Thank you to all of my sweet friends for contributing to our fun extravaganza!  See more photos by clicking HERE.

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Monday, January 09, 2017

Successful Preservation!

Yesterday, Larry and I cruised to Downey to join in the 10th Anniversary Restoration celebration party. Ten years ago, Johnnie's Broiler (formerly Harvey's Broiler) was being illegally demolished on a Sunday night. A concerned neighbor call the police. The word quickly went out among preservationists and the wrecking trucks were stopped just short of entirely pulverizing the place. For many years, the site of the Broiler had been a car lot, not a restaurant, but the original building remained intact. There's a news story HERE that explains the situation. 
Celebration Cake with John Eng's photo of the semi-destruction of Johnnie's Broiler. Photo by Will Hansen

Adriene Biondo with help from concerned citizens and local city officials of Downey, along with preservationists managed to stop the wrecking ball and bring in people from the Bob's Big Boy Hamburger chain to reconstruct the "Googie" style restaurant and open Bob's Big Boy Broiler.
Architect and  Historian, Alan Hess 
Author and Preservationist, Chris Nichols
Histotainer, Charles Phoenix, in the house! Photo by Andrew John Smith
Laureen, Charlene and Adriene

Many people that helped with the preservation along the way were at Bob's on Sunday. It was great seeing so many old friends! 
We invited our "cousins," Ellen and Tom Underhill to join us for the celebration. They live in Long Beach, we're in L.A., so Downey was the perfect mid-point to meet!  Always great seeing them. You can read about our history HERE
The Underhills: Tom, Ellen, Ellen and Larry. Photo by John Eng
There was a slide presentation and people talked about the history of the drive-in restaurant. It really was a happy celebration!
"Johnnie" aka "Fat Boy" was replaced by "Bob," but he's still looking good, toward the back of the property
Bob's Broiler holds car meet nights on Wednesdays. The parking lot is huge and perfect for oogling the cool vintage cars!
My "not so vintage" Atomic Gold ride in a prime parking spot
Harvey's Broiler, 1958

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