Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Preserve Wilshire Vista

1249 So. Stanley Ave. Photo from Protect Wilshire Vista Website

Uh oh. It's happening in our sweet little neighborhood.  Mansionization! 

Wilshire Vista is located between San Vicente and Pico Boulevards, Fairfax Avenue and Hauser Boulevard, Mid-City L.A. It's a charming neighborhood with homes that were built between 1925 and 1930. There are a few mid-20th-century modern homes sprinkled around too. These "newer" homes, however, are the same scale as those built in the 1920's. They're different, but not out of place.  There are many styles of homes in Wilshire Vista: Spanish Revival, English Tudor Revival, Storybook, Mediterranean, Streamline Moderne and Art Deco. We have large lots, clean streets and a friendly neighborhood association. Recently, our property values have gone up because we're so close to the Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Hollywood.  It's a straight shot east on Olympic Boulevard for a quick trip downtown. We're also not far from the Metro Expo Line

The "Adobe" House. MLS Photo


Just up the block from our little Spanish Revival cottage, we noticed a home for sale. This is an unusual looking home, kind of a Spanish Adobe style with multiple levels, exterior patios, large side-yards and a nice front lawn. I've always admired it. The interior had some nice, vintage features, even though the floor-plan was a bit cut-up. There was also this little look-out, pop-up room upstairs with a roof patio. Very unique.

Interesting Fireplace. MLS Photo

Painted Beamed Ceiling in Living Room. MLS Photo

Multiple Patios. MLS Photo

Built-Ins in the Dining Room. MLS Photo

The home sold for just under $1 million. The buyer was a developer. A green fence went up around the house. Within the next few days, the house was demolished. This developer built a modern home just south-east of our neighborhood. I'm not adverse to this style. I rather like this new iteration of modernism. The main thing that bothers me is that this home is rather over-built for the neighborhood. There is no space on either side of the home, it is built to the legal lot-lines. Instead of a driveway to the garage in the back, a garage was placed in the front of the house on the first level...no side-yard. Visually, it is over-bearing in regard to the rest of the neighborhood.
Demolition in Progress. Photo from Protect Wilshire Vista Website

Demolished Home. Photo by Larry Underhill

We've had re-models and new homes built in our neighborhood in the past few years, but the owners have been sensitive to the look and proportion of these homes. Most have had a similar footprint to the ones they replaced.
A preservation group has been organized called Protect Wilshire Vista that has an informative website about this matter. There is an anti-mansionization petition to submit, if you want to join in.

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Monday, July 06, 2015

Fireworks in the San Fernando Valley


We were invited to a lovely party hosted by our dear friends, Maggie and Bill to celebrate the 4th of July. They have a home on a promontory, south of Ventura Blvd., just west of Cahuenga, overlooking Studio City. We could see the fireworks at Universal Studios, CBS-Radford Studio Center and at the numerous parks and homes across the Valley. The night sky was sparkling with fireworks. You'd think they were legal in Los Angeles! It really felt like the "rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air!"

We arrived in the late afternoon.  Kids were swimming, friends were barbecuing. It was fun seeing old friends and making new ones. 
Claire and Tom

Ellen and Lenise
Everyone brought a dish to share for dinner. Amazingly, there were no duplicates!



One of the highlights of the afternoon was seeing the neighborhood deer just below the yard, having their dinner at dusk. Maggie and Bill cleared the hill beneath their house and brought in hay for the deer. It's very cool to see these wild creatures just above busy Ventura Boulevard.
Neighborhood Deer

Thanks again, Maggie and Bill for including us in your 4th of July celebration!
Maggie and Bill

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Friday, July 03, 2015

Lazy Weekend


Today is a holiday from work for us. We're just sitting around the house, relaxing. 
All of us are just sitting around

Later tonight we're going to meet up with my Cousin Craig and his wife Linda for dinner.
Craig and Linda

Tomorrow we'll be spending the 4th of July with our long-time buddies, Maggie and Bill.  
Maggie and Bill

I like weekends like this!  Happy Independence Day, my friends.

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Thursday, July 02, 2015

Throw Back Thursday #tbt

L.A. Herald Examiner Photo Archives. 1951

In preparation for our 2015 Independence Day, we look to the past.

The photo above appeared in the Los Angeles Herald Examiner on July 4, 1951 and again on April 22, 1952.  

The caption for 1951 reads: "Children plug their ears in anticipation of an air raid siren going off.  Ooooo! is the way the Hubik children -- Julius, 6; Suerita, 10 and Margie, 7 -- voiced their reaction today to the wailing of Los Angeles' air raid sirens and ringing of church bells at noon as glorious Fourth of July was celebrated in observance of the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  The blast also served as a country-wide test for the air raid sirens."

The photo caption for April 22, 1952 reads: "Braced for warning of biggest A-bomb test in the desert.  Young and old alike in Los Angeles are poised for 'It could happen here day' as the historic A-bomb nears target; sirens will sound 10 minutes before drop."

So, how are you preparing for your Independence Day celebration?

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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Hidden in Plain Site - Palms, CA

Crapi Apartments, Overland Avenue, Palms

While driving down Overland Avenue in Palms, WLA, you might spy a certain mid-20th century apartment building and do a double-take. The Crapi Apartments name is a play on the word "Capri" Apartments.  So many "dingbat" style buildings of this era have tropical and whimsical names. 
Chee-Zee Apartments, Woodbine Ave., Palms


Around the corner from the Crapi Apartments are the Chee-Zee Apartments!  Both of these buildings are the subtle joke of the owner of NPA, National Promotions and Advertising. NPA specializes in outdoor advertising and have a sign-filled facility, just down the block. We've been lucky to attend a couple of parties at NPA. 
NPA Offices, Overland Ave., Palms. Photo from NPA Website

Vintage Neon inside NPA

The outside of the NPA is an ordinary looking warehouse space with a Greyhound bus in front. This is how you enter the building, through the bus!  Naturally, the bus driver is a greyhound dog.

This guy drives the NPA Bus!

I also noticed that NPA now sports a giant hot dog on the roof.  At one time, this plaster dog graced the top of a hot dog stand on the corner of Hollywood and Western, in East Hollywood.  Later, a Thai restaurant took over the stand but left the dog on top, until NPA rescued it.
Hot Dog @NPA Headquarters. Photo from NPA Website
Former location of hot dog, Hollywood and Western, East Hollywood

The reason we were in this special part of Palms was for an ice-cream stop at Scoops, after a particularly spicy dinner. Scoops specializes in crazy, delicious flavors for their ice cream and sorbets.

Unassuming Palms can be quite interesting and tasty.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Estate Sale Finds

Beverly Hills Women's Club

Larry and I visited two estate sales this weekend. Neither of us NEEDS anything! In the past, going to these sales was a great way to bolster our household collections. Now, we're trying to organize and divest ourselves of many items. Larry still collects records and the occasional light fixture or tool. I like to look at the purses, scarves and costume jewelry. I longingly look at dishes, serving utensils, kitchen items and such, but rarely buy them. Eventually, when we have our giant garage sale we should make a fortune with all the stuff we've accumulated over the years!
These days, I like to browse the sales, see the houses and take photos of items I would have bought.
Serving Items for Sale at BH Women's Club

First sale, Beverly Hills Women's Club on Saturday. My childhood friend, Diana is a member. I'd never been to this beautiful old clubhouse (built in 1925), so I wanted to take a look. There was an array of lovely serving dishes, silver, china and household decorative items for sale. It was an enticing display, but I really do not entertain using my own china and silver anymore. 


I didn't purchase anything except for a sweet faux tortoise shell flower pin.  It was great seeing the clubhouse and touring the grounds.  I'm glad that the sale was going well. The proceeds will benefit upkeep of the building. 
Faux Tortoise Shell Flower Pin

On Sunday, we stopped at a tiny home in Beverly Glen Canyon. Apparently, this was a vacation home for a woman who resided in Seattle.The house was packed with books and knick-knacks. There was lots of attractive hand-thrown pottery from the 1970's. 

Home in Beverly Glen Canyon

Vintage Gold-Veined Mirrors!

I browsed through the books and found two that were interesting to me. Peg Bracken's "The I Hate To Cook Cookbook" (1960) has always been a favorite. I have the paperback version. I remember seeing Peg on TV talk shows in the 1960s and '70s. She had this monotone, nasal voice and was highly entertaining. This is a first edition with charming illustrations by the very famous Hilary Knight!  HBO recently broadcast a documentary on the life and art of Hilary Knight.


The illustrations by Hilary Knight may look familiar. He illustrated all of the "Eloise" books


The next little cookbook I found was "Cyrano de Casserole: A Nosegay of Casserole Recipes" (1955) by Ruth Chier Rosen. I'd never seen this book. I do love the play on words in the title! It's a very small, spiral bound book with fascinating sections: Entertaining Casseroles, Old World Casseroles and more. 


For $4, I had a great time and came away with some treasures!

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Put a Fork in it...Done!


I finished my "RozGhan" over the weekend.  This will not be given to my Mom until the holidays, but I wanted to use up some of the blue and green yarn in my stash NOW!

Thank you, Mr. Larry, Afghan Display Model

The pattern I used for each square is called "Willow."  I love this square pattern.  It's fun to do, not repetitive, holds my interest, but is not difficult. I also love crocheting solid color squares. They are fast and require weaving in only two ends...the beginning of the motif and at the end. 

The "Willow" Square

I did crochet a multi-color square for the bottom corner. This pattern looks like a sunburst to me, so I used sun colors for the "signature" square. For this reason, the afghan reminds me of a decorative quilt pattern.

Sunburst with a Chocolate Box Edge

I wanted a simple border, so after I finished the 6-row by 8-row group of squares, I crocheted one row of single crochet around the whole piece. THEN, I crocheted a 3-row Chocolate Box granny pattern around the entire afghan. I think this simple border is quite effective. 

All specs for this afghan are found on my Ravelry page.

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