Amoeblog

Where the samba takes you out of nowhere -- Visiting Santa Catalina Island and Avalon

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 26, 2013 07:38pm | Post a Comment
Two weeks ago I made my first visit to one of California’s Channel Islands, Santa Catalina Island. For those that don’t know, Southern California is home to an archipelago of small, rugged islands off its coast. My 2012 New Year’s resolution was to visit one or more of the Channel Islands. Having failed to realize this wish by December of that year, I instead resolved to learn to tie a bow tie after being berated (jokingly, I think) for not knowing how do so despite operating a gentlemen’s shop. For the record, I accomplished this last minute resolution and wore a bow tie a few nights later New Year’s Eve that I tied all by myself. Any, since transportation via Catalina Express is free on one’s birthday, I decided to have another go at island life.

Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Santa Catalina Island
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Santa Catalina Island 

Accompanying me in her debut appearance was Una. In order to get as much out of our adventure as possible, we departed at some pre-dawn hour. After a hastily-devoured meal from McDonald's (which, though simple and clarified three times, managed nonetheless to be both screwed up and roof-of-the-mouth blisteringly hot) we raced down the docks and leapt aboard the boat with about two minutes to spare.

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The Cooper Do-nuts Uprising - LGBT Heritage Month

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 17, 2013 12:08pm | Post a Comment
Cooper Do-nuts sign
Cooper Do-nuts sign (image source: Stephen Seemayer and Pamela Wilson's film, Young Turks (1982)

May 1959: Seven years before Silver Lake's Black Cat Riot and ten before New York's Stonewall riots, a group of drag queens and hustlers clashed with LAPD officers at Cooper Do-nuts (also often referred to as Cooper's Doughnuts or Cooper's Donuts) usually considered to be the first gay uprising in modern history.




Before nearby Broadway arose as Los Angeles's premier theater district (around the 1920s), most of the nickelodeons and theaters were along Main Street -- two blocks east. In the 1930s and '40s, Downtown declined when Jews -- shunned from the downtown protestant establishment, moved their residences, businesses and investments to Hollywood, Midtown, and the Westside.

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Dragnet - The greatest police procedural and realest of the real

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 12, 2013 06:27pm | Post a Comment
DUMMM DAH-DUM DUM

Though nowadays the Dragnet franchise is best  emembered today as a TV series (or two TV series), it began existence as was most exceptional as a radio dramaDragnet starred Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday, an LAPD detective who, when the series began, lived at home with his mother and later on his own in a Silver Lake bachelor pad. It first aired on 3 June, 1949. The day was a Friday; it was warm in Los AngelesDragnet Fatima


Sriracha 101: Dispelling myths and misinformation about Sriracha

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 5, 2013 08:40pm | Post a Comment

Huy Fong sriracha (source: NPR)


As much as I try to resist the urge to be a know-it-all (and recognize the fact that I don’t, in fact, even know that much – especially about the very things most worth knowing), occasionally I have to get all Bobby Fletcher (the famous checkersmaster) and drop some science of the sort that's right under your nose. It's 2013 and everyone loves sriracha now, dear but few have their facts straight.



THE RISE IN VIETNAMESE FOOD'S PROFILE


The Hanoi Cooking Center (image source: Global Travel Mate)

In the last decade or so, masses of semi-adventurous, non-Vietnamese Angelenos discovered Vietnamese cuisine. While many non-Vietnamese Asian-Americans had long known about Vietnamese food (and the rooster sauce that is ubiquitous at Southern California Vietnamese restaurants), Vietnamese food's profile skyrocketed when they it when white folks declared it the new Thai.

We cannot walk the floor at night in peace -- a look back at Perry Boys

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 29, 2013 04:56pm | Post a Comment
Fred Perry

18 May was the 104th birthday of Fred Perry. As someone who'd generally rather poorly play any sport than watch others, no matter how good, this occasion in and of itself didn't mean much to me. Fred Perry was, I've read, a great tennis player but I reckon his name conjures up images of tennis shirts rather than tennis players. And for anyone remotely aware of youth subcultures, Fred Perry shirts have been part of many style tribes' uniforms. In fact, Fred Perry was so popular with a Mancunian tribe that arose in the late 1970s that they came to be known as "Perry Boys."


A BRIEF HISTORY OF TENNIS SHIRTS

Rene LaCoste and Fred Perry
Lacoste (left) and Perry (right) in their creations (image source: Modern Gentleman Magazine)


The tennis shirt was invented in 1929 by French tennis star Jean René Lacoste but Fred Perry introduced several innovations to the article of clothing. As with Lacoste, Fred Perry shirts only came in white when they were introduced in 1952. The now signature twin-tipping was reportedly introduced to placate the demands of West Ham United football fans. When members of the Mod subculture adopted the shirt, more colors were added to cater to their tastes. (Fred Perry also invented the modern wrist sweatband although there's no excuse for wearing those off the court). 

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