Amoeblog

Marking the end of an Eight Year Venture, or, My Final Post

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 2, 2015 08:39am | Post a Comment
This is my last dispatch for the Amoeblog.

Eric Brightwell

I started blogging for Amoeblog on 26 July 2007. In that time I created a few series for the Amoeblog: One Album Wonders (profiles of bands which only released one album), Brightwell's Top 10 (my favorite tracks from the dawn of the record industry to the present), and Introduction to Subcultural Anthropology, to name a few. I may or may not continue those over at my personal website, so stay tuned and let me know if you're interested.


In the last eight years I've written extensively about holidays, all-female bands, Asian-American Cinemamusic history, interplanetary objects, New Orleans hip-hop, Vietnamese New Wave, visual arts, unrecognized nations, old time radio, film festivals, and many other topics... such as creamsicles

At my own website I have several other columns which have less to do with music or film than those which I created for the Amoeblog. But because this is the Amoeblog, I'll include a few relevant songs. Those columns are:


Huell Howser had California's Gold, in which he explored the non-"Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" side of California. In homage I named my explorations California Fool's Gold... not "California's Fool's Gold" because that's too possessive. My focus, too, is more on neighborhoods and communities and less on plastic food or dog's eating avocados. 



Tom Waits's "In the Neighborhood"

*****

FASTFOOD 
UNDEAD


Discussions of adaptive reuse tend to focus on office buildings converted into residences... but what about fast food franchises converted into actual restaurants? 


Denim's "Brumburger"

*****


The streets are one of our greatest public assets. I walk them, I read them, I rep them. 

 

B.G. - "Where You Been?" 

*****


Los Angeles and the Southland is like a sea of suburbs punctuated by pockets of skyscrapers -- oh yeah, and mountains. I love a good skyscraper... and a bad one.


Suede's "High Rising"

*****


According to the 2010 Census, the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim urban area is the most densely populated in the US. That's largely on account of the regions housing projects, bungalow courts, garden apartments, luxury highrises, and other multi-family residences. 




DJ Jubilee's "20 Years in the Jets"

*****

Malls and strip malls are overabundant and unromanticized -- except by the developers who give them lofty, pretentious names.. In Los Angeles they were once the fabled haunts of Valley Girls. Nowadays they're where one finds the best restaurants and markets. 



Supermarket's "Supermarket"

*****


When people talk about vertical cities they usually point to ones with the most skyscrapers. How 19th century of them. Meanwhile, Los Angeles has -- thanks to its hills and mountains -- the most varied elevation of any city on earth. Take that Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro, and Tehran!



Some dwarves singing "The Misty Mountains Cold"

*****


Los Angeles is, by several measures, the most diverse city on Earth. That diversity is reflected in the presence of Cambodia Town, Chinatown, Filipinotown, Koreatown, Little Arabia, Little Armenia, Little Bangladesh, Little Brazil, Little Central America, Little Ethiopia, Little India, Little Russia, Little Saigon, Little Seoul, Little Osaka, Tehrangeles, and Thai Town. It's also home to the largest population of Burmese, Guatemalans, Mexicans, Salvadorans, Samoans, and Taiwanese outside their home countries, in addition to many other ethnicities not represented with an enclave. 




Some people in an advertisement singing "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)"

*****

Nobody drives in LA, there's too much traffic. Why would anyone when there are buses, commuter trains, ferries, light rail, bicycle lanes, kayaks, subways, trails, and about 284 days of sun? Cars are for country folk!



Kraftwerk's "Trans Europe Express"

*****




Perhaps it's only because I've never worked in one but I find those shiny, generic, suburban cubicle farms sat on vast, sparingly designed landscapes to be deeply mysterious and absolutely fascinating for reasons which are hard to articulate.


 

Bill Lumbergh montage from Office Space

*****
Los Angeles is the world’s great Pan-Asian Metropolis. In Los Angeles, Asians and Pacific Islanders comprise more than 15% of population and are the most numerous racial minority and the fastest growing. Recognized Asian ethnic enclaves include Cambodia Town, Chinatown, Filipinotown, Koreatown, Little Bangladesh, Little India, Little Osaka, Little Saigon, Little Seoul, Little Tokyo, and Thai Town. The Los Angeles urban area home to the largest population of Cambodians, Filipinos, Koreans, Taiwanese, Thai, and Vietnamese outside of their respective home countries. There are large populations Bangla, Chinese, Indians, Japanese, Pakistanis, and Samoans; and substantial but diffuse populations of Afghanis, Bhutanese, Burmese, Hawaiians, Hmong, Indonesians, Laotians, Malaysians, Mongolians, Nepalis, Singaporeans, Sri Lankans, Tibetans, Tongans, Uyghurs, and Uzbeks.

*****


Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography

In the course of my explorations, I draw and paint maps. You can purchase prints of them from 1650 Gallery (or originals from me). 




Los Angeles has been home to a number of industries. Most of those industries have left and we're left with a lot of industrial ruins and refineries. Although they have wrought a lot of environmental devastation, they're often quite beautiful. 



The trailer for Il Deserto Rosso

*****


Los Angeles is home to the largest park located partially within an American city (Topanga State Park), the nation's largest municipal park (Griffith Park) and a whole lot of other parks, recreation areas, wilderness areas, parklets, and pocket parks.



The Small Faces' "Itchycoo Park"

*****

SWINGING DOORS



In which I explore drinking holes of all kinds, whether alehouses
biker bars
bikini bars, bodegas, booking clubs, breweries, cantinas, cider housescocktail lounges, coffee bars, dives, fern barsgasthauses, gay bars, gin mills, hostess bars, honky-tonks, izakaya, juiceries, lingerie cafesnightclubs, pi-jiu wu, piano bars, pubs, rathskellers, roadhouses, saloons, singles barsspeakeasies, taprooms, taverns, tea houses, tiki bars, wineries, and maybe even sports bars.





California's most recognized icon might be San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. However, the Los Angeles area is home to hundreds of equally interesting bridges which span valleys, roads, creeks, rivers, train tracks, and troubled waters.



James Brown's "Sex Machine"

Los Angeles is often wrongly characterized as a desert. That mischaracterization downplays the importance of wetlands, rivers, oceans, and other bodies of water that are so important to the Chaparral metropolis. 


There are quite a few famous trees in California, including the tallest, the largest, the oldest, and the most photographed. In Los Angeles there are some famous ones too. Come to think of it, People or Us Weekly should do an issue on "celeb trees."




Pulp - "The Trees"

The best sorts of walks are undertaken without much research or agenda. I notice an interesting area and then I let my nose, eyes, and ears lead my feet.



Alan Partridge's Country Ramble

*****

Sometimes I found myself traveling outside of Southern California. When I do it's never long enough to get a really deep sense of a place so I like to treat my reflections on these places as snapshots.
 


Glenn Miller And His Orchestra
featuring Ray Eberle ‎– "Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread)"


*****
Alan the Dingus
Also, my Siberian cat, Alan, has a Tumblr, titled What a Dingus!


*****

So as a final note I'd like to say thanks for reading, commenting, the free tickets, and the email, and please continue to keep in touch at my website, ericbrightwell.com. Sgt. Brightwellicus signing off!

California Fool's Gold Guide to Ice Skating in Los Angeles

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 29, 2014 11:32pm | Post a Comment
Outside of the high mountains and high desert, we don't typically get a lot of ice and snow in the Chaparral-dominated landscape of Southern California. For some this is all the necessary proof that there are no seasons in California -- and most certainly no winter.


In reality, all climates have their own sorts of seasons and the short days and long nights should be a dead giveaway that it's no longer summer, even if you don't have frostbite. Additionally, the heavy rain and blooming buckwheat, California pipelines, manzanitas, snowberries, and Toyon should clue in the reasonably sensitive (or those cursed with allergies) that both change and pollen are in the air. Unless you subsist on a diet of junk food you should also hopefully notice the proliferation of blood oranges, cardoons, kumquats, leeks, mushrooms, pomelosradicchiorutabaga, satsumas, and sweet potatoes, which are hopefully making their way from gardens, orchards, and markets to your dining room table. If you've looked up anytime in the past few weeks, you've surely noticed the millions of geese, mallards, pintails, teals, and wigeons flying overhead on their way to wintering grounds in the Central Valley. Out in the ocean, you might notice gray whales arriving off the coast.


Thin Ice (1937) movie poster

If none of that is enough to get you into the winter spirit perhaps some ice skating will help remind you of those winters from your youth in the Middle West or Northeast which you consider to be the only true form of winter. Since 1997, winter in Los Angeles has included outdoor pop-up ice skating rinks, both made with real ice and the ersatz kind. In recent years they've been the subject of many an interchangeable listicle but none seem to acknowledge our handful of indoor skating rinks, which have been around at least since 1939. 
Here's my list to all ice skating opportunities in Los Angeles County, so go get your skate on now and throughout the year!


*****



CHILL - The Queen Mary
(Queensway Bay, Long Beach)


From 9 December until 4 January (and again from 8-11 January) Long Beach's RMS Queen Mary, a retired ocean liner (now a glamorous nautical hotel) hosts CHILL (all caps... although apparently not an acronym of anything), an annual event featuring ice sculptures, ice slides, ice tubing, and other ice-centric amusement including a 600 square meter skating rink.

CHILL - The Queen Mary is served by Long Beach Transit's free Passport line.



Holiday Ice Rink -- Pershing Square
(Bunker Hill, Los Angeles)


Image credit: Miss Traffic

When it began operation in 1997, the 400 square meter pop-up ice rink in Pershing Square was known as Downtown on Ice. Now that the City Department of Recreation and Parks and has handed over operations to a private operator, Willy Bietak, it's been renamed Holiday Ice Rink -- Pershing Square: A Willy Bietak Production (which I guess is slightly better than "The Ice at DTLA" or something like that). The rink, located in front of Schultze and Weaver's beautiful Beaux Art Biltmore Hotel, is in operation from 13 November - 19 January and there are special events including DJ Spotlight Nights, Wicked Wednesdays, and Polar Bear Skate, in which skaters are asked to don their gay apparel (i.e. swimsuits).

Holiday Ice Rink - Pershing Square: A Willy Bietak Production is served by LADOT's DASH Downtown B and Commuter Express lines; Metro's 2, 4, 10/48, 14/37, 16/316, 18, 28, 53, 55/202/355, 62, 70, 71, 76, 78/79/378, 81, 83, 90/91, 94, 96, 442, 460, 487/489, 707, Rapid 728, Rapid 794, Purple, Red, and Silver lines; Foothill Transit's 770 line; OCTA's 701 and 721 lines; and Torrance Transit's 4 line.



ICE at Santa Monica
(Downtown, Santa Monica)


Image credit: Downtown Santa Monica
The 750 square meter ICE at Santa Monica rink first opened in 2006. It operates from 1 November until 19 January. There's a concession stand on site and an enclosed rink for the under six set called "Tot Spot." 

ICE at Santa Monica is served by Big Blue Bus's 2, 3, 3M, R3, and 4 lines.



Iceland Ice Skating Center
(Van Nuys, Los Angeles)


Image credit: Christine D.

Iceland Ice Skating Center operates year round but shortly before Christmas they do present an Iceland Holiday Show. I'm not sure what year it entered operations as a skating rink but the building was constructed in 1950 and from the sound of the reviews, it looks it.

Iceland Ice Skating Center is served by LADOT's DASH Van Nuys/Studio City line, and Metro's 154, 156/656, 233, 236/237, Rapid 740, Orange, and Valley-Westside Express lines.



LA Kings Holiday Ice at Nokia Plaza LA Live
(New South Park, Los Angeles)


Image credit: Time Out

LA Kings Holiday Ice at Nokia Plaza LA Live (can't they stick one more "LA" in the name?) operates in an outdoor mall dubiously promoted as "the most entertaining place on the planet." Having been there two or three times and having never seen more than remotely entertaining (including first part of Peter Jackson's Hobbit fan fiction trilogy) I can imagine that the dull assortment of standard mall shops are LA enlivened by the addition of a skating rink. The 500 square meter LA Kings Holiday Ice at Nokia Plaza LA Live rink is open from 29 November until 31 December.

LA Kings Holiday Ice at Nokia Plaza LA Live is served by LA DOT's Commuter Express and DASH Downtown F lines; Metro's 81, 442, 460, and Blue, Expo, and Silver lines; OCTA's 701 and 721 lines; and Torrance Transit's 4 line.



LA Kings Valley Ice Center
(Panorama City, Los Angeles)


Image credit: Come On Feel the Nuys

The Los Angeles Kings Valley Ice Center makes the more modest claim of being "a place for friends and family." Not only are its two rinks places for ice skating but (as is the case with most rinks) hockey, and more unexpectedly, curling. 

LA Kings Valley Ice Center is served by LADOT's DASH Panorama City/Van Nuys line and Metro's 156/656 and 233 lines.



Paramount Iceland
(
Downtown, Paramount)


Image credit: Difabu

Frank, Lawrence, and Pete Zamboni opened Iceland all the way back in 1939, right next door to their Zamboni Bros ice plant. In 1949, the Frank J. Zamboni & Company introduced their now-famous ice resurfacing machine, just one year after the communities of Hynes and Clearwater were joined together as Paramount. Paramount Iceland also boasts the presence of a mighty Wurlitzer organ, installed in 1941.

Paramount Iceland is served by Metro's 258 line.



Pasadena Ice Skating Center
(Civic Center, Pasadena)



Image credit: Stevens

The Pasadena Ice Skating Center is located in the Pasadena Convention Center, where it opened in 2010 after having operated nearby in a former ballroom since the 1970s. In addition to public skating the center also hosts the annual Pasadena Open Figure Skating Competition.

Pasadena Ice Skating Center is served by Foothill Transit's 187 line; LADOT's Commuter Express 549 line; Metro's 177, 180/181, 256, 267/264, 687/686, and Gold lines; and Pasadena ARTS's 10, 20cc, 20cw, 40, 51, and 52 lines.



Pickwick Ice
(Rancho Equestrian District, Burbank)


Image credit: Pickwick Gardens


Pickwick Ice is the skating rink at Burbank's Pickwick Gardens, which also includes a banquet hall, a bowling alley, and gardens.

Pickwick Ice is served by the Los Angeles River Bike Path and Burbank Bus's Metrolink to Media District line.



The Rink in Downtown Burbank 
(Downtown, Burbank)


Image credit: Ice-America

Burbank's seasonal outdoor skating rink (stylized as "THE RINK IN DTN BUR") is located in front of Burbank's city hall from 28 November until 19 January. The rink's events lean heavily on irony and include special nights like Ugly Sweater Mondays, '80s Night Wednesdays, and Thursday Night Fever.

The Rink in Downtown Burbank is served by Burbank Bus's Empire to Downtown line, Metro's 92, 94, 96, 155, 183, 292, and Rapid 794 lines; and Metrolink's Antelope Valley and Ventura lines.



The Rinks - Lakewood ICE
(Lakewood Mutuals, Lakewood)

Image credit: The Lakewood Scoop

Founded in 1996 as Glacial Gardens Skating Arena, the venue was renamed THE RINKS - Lakewood ICE in 2013 after it was added to The Anaheim Ducks' The Rinks Presented By Honda network of skating venues which also includes THE RINKS - Westminster ICE, THE RINKS - Yorba Linda ICE, THE RINKS - Huntington Beach Inline, THE RINKS - Irvine Inline, and THE RINKS - Corona Inline -- all in Orange County.

The Rinks - Lakewood ICE is served by Long Beach Transit's 21, 22, 101, and 103 lines.



The Skating Edge Ice Arena
(Harbor City, Los Angeles)


Image credit: Jean Y.

The Skating Edge Ice Arena opened as Olympic Ice Arena in 1962 and operates year round. The facilities include a rink, a concession stand, and Vic's Pro Shop. Even if you're unwilling or unable to travel to the Harbor District, the arena's dazzlingly Angelfire/Geocities website is worth a visit.

The Skating Edge Ice Arena is served by Torrance Transit's 7 and 9 lines.



Woodland Hills Ice
(Warner Center, Los Angeles)


Image Credit: Any Tots

Woodland Hills Ice first launched its pop-up 650 square meter rink in 2008 at the Westfield Topanga, an otherwise unmemorable mall which is not located in the community of Topanga but in Warner Center -- a '70s futurist, walkable, mass-transit oriented planned community developed with sleek Late Modern office towers and a bit like the Valley's miniature version of Century City. Woodland Hills Ice operates from 14 November until 19 January.

Woodland Hills Ice is served by Metro's 150/240, 161, 164, 165, 169, 245/244, Rapid 750, and Orange lines.

Wintertime (1943)


*****
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California Fool's Gold's Guide to Los Angeles's Revival Cinemas

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 22, 2014 10:34am | Post a Comment
 

Hollywood Cinerama, Los Angeles, 2003 (image credit: Hiroshi Sugimoto)

No city on Earth is more closely associated with motion pictures than Los Angeles. 10% of all movie theaters in the entire country are located in California and Los Angeles County is home to over 100 of them. Although most of Los Angeles's theaters, like those throughout the country, showcase only the latest Hollywood product, there are also specialty theaters which show art films, adult films, classic films, experimental films, foreign films, independent films, revival films, &c. I've previously written about Southern California's drive-in theaters (For Ozoners Only) and overlooked commercial foreign language cinemas (Los Angeles's Secret, Foreign Language Movie Theater Scene). This is my guide to the repertory cinemas or revival houses. 

Continue reading...

California Fool's Gold Episode Guide

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 23, 2014 08:33pm | Post a Comment

I thought that it might be useful to publish an "episode guide" of my California Fool's Gold pieces here on the Amoeblog. I've also been invited to speak about them for a class on diversity in Los Angeles at Emerson College so this goes out to the students in Professor Oliver's class. 



Sonic Youth - "Eric's Trip" (off Daydream Nation)


If you're a fan of this sort of thing (or you're just temporarily mesmerized by the computer screen in front of you) you might also enjoy my column over at KCET called Block By Block in which I explore our vast Southland without the use of a car whether by foot, bike, bus, train, subway, ferry or otherwise. As with Eric's Blog, Block By Block also often feature my maps which I create as Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography


Wire - "Map Ref. 41°N 93°W" (off 154)
 
When I explore a new community, I usually rely upon the vox populi which is why anyone may vote for what communities they'd like to become the subject of future articles by clicking here for Los Angeles neighborhoodshere for Los Angeles County communities, and here for Orange County communities. Check back occasionally for new episodes -- next up, if all goes according to plan, is Westlake

 
Billy J. Kramer with the DakotasTrains And Boats And Planes (off Trains And Boats And Planes)
If the reader wishes, they may also read brief introductions to all of the communities in the poll which are organized by regional primers corresponding to the 22 Kingdoms of the Southland:

Angeles ForestThe Antelope ValleyThe Channel IslandsDowntown Los AngelesThe EastsideThe HarborHollywoodThe Mideast SideMidtownNorth Orange County, Northeast Los AngelesNorthwest CountyThe Pomona ValleyThe San Fernando ValleyThe San Gabriel ValleyThe Santa Monica MountainsThe South Bay 
South Los Angeles's EastsideSouth Los Angeles's WestsideSouth Orange CountySoutheast Los Angeles CountyThe Verdugos
, and The Westside 





 
R.E.M. - "Maps & Legends" (off Fables of the Reconstruction
 
Season 1 (2007)

Granada Hills
Montebello
Alhambra




Season 2 (2008)

Rosemead
San Marino
Edendale
Morningside Circle




Season 3 (2009)

Elysian Valley
Yucca Corridor
Cypress Park
Wilshire Park
The Arts District
Walnut
Canterbury Knolls
Little Osaka
Laurel Canyon




Season 4 (2010)

Longwood Highlands
Industry
Boyle Heights
Echo Park
Chinatown
Thai Town
Eagle Rock
Glendale
Claremont
Little Bangladesh
Koreatown
Rowland Heights
Silver Lake
Sherman Oaks
Burbank
Little Ethiopia
Santa Ana
East Los Angeles
Monterey Park
Highland Park
Fullerton
Skid Row
Costa Mesa
Los Feliz
Garden Grove
Mar Vista
Orange
Angeleno Heights




Season 5 (2011)

Arcadia
South Pasadena
Venice
Long Beach
Compton
Tustin
Fairfax
Historic Filipinotown
Huntington Beach
San Gabriel




Season 6 (2012)

Pasadena
Lincoln Heights
Mount Washington
Altadena




Season 7 (2013)

El Monte
Santa Catalina Island
Laguna Beach
East Pasadena
Culver City
San Clemente
Chesterfield Square
Happy Valley
Monterey Hills
City Terrace
Hillside Vilage




Season 8 (2014)

Hermon
University Hills
Garvanza
Rose Hill
North Hollywood
South Central
Watts
Little Seoul
Glassell Park 
Westlake
Atwater Village
Terminal Island
Little Italy (San Diego)




Season 9 (2015)

Franklin Hills
Anaheim
Victor Heights



 


 
 
Tom Waits - "In the Neighborhood" (off Swordfishtrombones)

*****


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Taste of the Mideast Side -- at the Los Angeles County Store

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 8, 2014 04:00pm | Post a Comment





If there are regular readers of my column here on the Amoeblog, they've probably seen some of the hand-drawn and hand-painted maps which I include in my series of Southland explorations I call California Fool's Gold. Right now a series of new maps are on display at the Los Angeles County Store in East Hollywood. None, except the Los Feliz map, have been the subject of Eric's Blog entries yet. 

Eric Brightwell Cartography Art Show Los Angeles County Store

The Los Angeles County Store is a great retail shop which features only goods designed and manufactured in Los Angeles County. The opening has already passed but the maps can still be seen in person if you head over there soon -- the show ends on 21 September


Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's Map of the Mideast Side (3rd Edition)

I refer to the set of paintings as Taste of the Mideast Side -- a reference to Taste of the Eastside, a four-year-old food event which despite its name never features restaurants from the Eastside unless you clarify that you're talking about the Eastside of Central Los Angeles (aka the original Westside). By the way, there is an older pre-existing event called The Taste of East L.A. which as its name correctly suggests, features restaurants from East Los Angeles -- a neighborhood actually located in the Eastside
Anyway, here are the maps included in the show (which you can vote for me to write about here). 

Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Edendale

Edendale was subdivided around 1903. It was the original home of Los Angeles's film studios, before Hollywood. The first studio, Selig Polyscope Company, was demolished and the arrival of the 2 Freeway made the neighborhood decidedly less edenic. The old Mack Sennett Keystone Studio still stands behind a Jack in the Box -- utilized for public storage. Although the name has faded from most memories (a post office branch still bears it) there have been efforts to play up associations with it as with the Edendale restaurant and bar (in the Ivanhoe tract of Silver Lake) and the Mabel Normand Stage in Hollywood, which was recently renamed Mack Sennett Studios).


Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Elysian Heights 

Elysian Heights was subdivided around 1890. The northern corner was home to the Semi Tropic Spiritualists, a 19th Century group whose beliefs mixed the progressive and supernatural. The neighborhood later became known colloquially as "Red Hill" for the many anarcho-communists who made it home. Perhaps the most famous resident of Elysian Heights was a gray tabby named Room 8, who reportedly visited Elysian Heights Elementary every school day for many years and became a national celebrity.


Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Franklin Hills

Franklin Hills seceded from Los Feliz around 1988. Its most iconic figure is the Shakespeare Bridge, the original which was built in 1926 (although it was rebuilt in 1998 after the Northridge earthquake). Beneath the bridge is the John Lautner-designed Midtown School. It was home to two twin homes owned by Roy and Walt Disney in the 1920s.  To read more about it, click here.


Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of the Ivanhoe tract

The Ivanhoe tract was subdivided in 1877, when it was located just north of Los Angeles (the border of which then corresponded to Fountain Avenue). It was developed by Hugo Reid, a Mexican-American born in who claimed that it reminded him of Scotland, where he was born. The Ivanhoe name (a reference to Glaswegian author Sir Walter Scott's 18th Century novel, Ivanhoe) lives on in Ivanhoe Elementary, the Ivanhoe Reservoir, and the Ivanhoe and Scottish related street names like Kenilworth, Locksley, Rowena, Waverly, and others. 


Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Pico-Union

Pico-Union began as Pico Heights, which was subdivided in 1887 in what was then Southwest Los Angeles. It was originally an exclusive, white, Protestant neighborhood an was annexed by Los Angeles in 1896. In the 1910s a number of Japanese-Americans moved in and white flight began. Mexicans and Greeks followed and there are still vestiges of the latter population such as the Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox CathedralPapa Cristo's, and the Los Angeles Greek Fest. The neighborhood was renamed Pico-Union in 1970 by the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), who wished to remove any negative associations that Pico Heights was perceived to have acquired. Today it's mostly home to Central Americans, especially Salvadorans


Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Solano Canyon

Solano Canyon was -- along with Bishop, La Loma, and Palo Verde -- one of the Mexican colonias of Chavez Ravine. The latter three were demolished and the displaced residents were promised public housing in the planned Elysian Park Heights which was to have been designed by great Modernist architects Richard Neutra and Robert Alexander. Unfortunately for the residents, Elysian Park Heights and all public housing came to a halt when a concerted Right Wing effort tarred such efforts to house the poor and returning war veterans as Communistic. The land was instead given to the Brooklyn Dodgers, who covered it with a massive parking lot and a tiny baseball stadium. 



Pendersleigh & Cartography's map of Victor Heights


Victor Heights has named after water baron Victor Beaudry, who subdivided the neighborhood around 1886. It is home to the Eastside Market Italian Deli, one of the few remnants of Little Italy (and which is named after the Eastside because it began in Lincoln Heights), wandering peafowl, the Teardrop Locos gang, the art deco Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center, Los Angeles Building, and the former headquarters of the Metropolitan Water District, designed by William Pereira. Because of its proximity to Chinatown and large Chinese-American population, many of the street signs are written in English and Chinese. To read more about it, click here.



Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Westlake

Westlake Park was originally the old Westside's counterpart to the Eastside's Eastlake Park. Eastlake was located in what was then called East Los Angeles but was re-named Lincoln Heights in 1917. Westlake Park was renamed MacArthur Park and although many will argue that the Westlake and MacArthur Park neighborhoods are one-in-the-same although in my experience, the name MacArthur Park is primarily applied to the immediate surroundings whereas, depending on whether or not one lives east or west of Alvarado, they're almost more likely to claim Downtown or Koreatown, respectively. It's the second most densely-populated neighborhood in Los Angeles (after Koreatown) and despite it's declined fashionability, there are many attractions to be experienced (some marked in red on my map).



The Artist and critic Alan "The Dingus" Gudguy having his paw treated like a stress ball


*****

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