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Calfornia Fool's Gold -- Exploring Canterbury Knolls

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 1, 2009 06:13pm | Post a Comment

Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of Canterbury Knolls



Canterbury Knolls
is a South LA neighborhood bordered by Manchester Square, Morningside Circle and Vermont Knolls to the south, Hyde Park to the west, Chesterfield Square to the north, Vermont Square to the northeast, and Vermont-Slauson to the east.



Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of South Los Angeles

For the estimated two dozen or so semi-regular readers of this blog, the way this works is clear. People vote for a Los Angeles neighborhoodor an LA County community (vote here). To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.

Then I go there -- often with my trusty sidekick, Shimbles. Then I attempt to explore the connections the area has to movies and music to keep it Amoeblog-relevant. And so, faced with more than two votes for Canterbury Knolls, Shimbles and I set out at the crack of noon to see what we could see in the fabled neighborhood. Preliminary internet research had proved mostly fruitless. Aside from a flame war between some internet gangstas on a 50 Cent message board and some girl’s Livejournal, I could find few firsthand acknowledgements of the neighborhood.

Artistic Welding, one of several iron works in the neighborhood

The way neighborhood names work in LA is this: the more ghetto the neighborhood, the more quaintly English sounding its name. Therefore, I had some notion of what to expect of Canterbury Knolls. Not surprisingly, when we arrived, there were neither knolls nor Kentish people to be seen. (The name "Canterbury" is derived from the Olde Englishe Cantwareburh, meaning "Kent people's stronghold.") In fact, when the Eighth District Empowerment Congress officially nicknamed every neighborhood in the area in 2002, no one in Canterbury Knolls seemed to get the news… or be consulted for the Naming Neighborhoods Project. Further research yielded two claims that the area is more commonly referred to simply as “da hood.” The LA Times even wrote an article, "Asphalt Jungle or Green Meadows?," which addresses the incongruity of the South LA's new neighborhood names and people's ignorance of Canterbury Knolls specifically.

 
Amazing art on a van belonging to Eric's Blog fan, Jesus Cruz!

I couldn’t find any musicians associated with the neighborhood, nor any actors. Although the neighborhood shares initials with Citizen Kane, the only film I could find that was shot in the neighborhood the brutal, senseless beating of Reginald Denny at the hands of Damian Williams, Henry Watson, Antoine Miller, Gary Williams, Anthony Brown and Lance Parker during the LA Riots of ’92, filmed at the intersection of Florence and Normandie. There’s not much along that patch of Florence aside from Gabe Motors, which was packed with restored and waiting-to-be-restored vochos. I’m sure that there are aspiring and possibly practicing musicians, actors or filmmakers in the neighborhood, so if you live in Canterbury Knolls and have a connection to the entertainment business, make yourself heard.


The decidedly deco Green Dog & Cat Hospital, built in 1934

As I mentioned earlier, there are no Kentish people in CK. In fact, nearly everyone we encountered  was black, Latino or Korean. Shimbles and I were the only "people-not-of-color" (to employ the politically correct Anglo-exclusion). Perhaps this is why a kindly old woman asked me if we were brothers as she bade me “good afternoon” and handed me a copy of Watchtower. In fact, Shimbles and I were continually greeted with almost pleasant but almost wearying regularity, making Canterbury Knolls the friendliest neighborhood blogging experience I’ve had to date (in stark contrast to the scowling yoga-pants-horde we encountered in Laurel Canyon the day before).


The gargantuan Slauson Super Mall

Physically, most of Canterbury Knolls is -- like most of South LA -- comprised of small, single story homes, box apartments and tiny stores arranged in grids. There are many churches, auto shops, small markets, discount stores, party suppliers, laundromats and carpet houses. There's a conspicuous absence of chains, for the most part, but they do have an Autozone and a 76. There are few restaurants, just a sprinkling of Burger, Chinese, Mexican and Salvadoran joints.

The northern portion of the neighborhood, along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad, is much more industrialized and mostly comprised of large, aging warehouses. Many of the businesses around Slauson, which forms the northern edge of the neighborhood, are furniture manufacturers. In fact, it was either in or near Canterbury Knolls that I procured one of my couches.

The largest of the warehouses is the awesome, sprawling Slauson Super Mall – an enormous, 177,129 square foot swap meet where one can get their nails done, get one’s shine on, buy rainbow-colored everything, eat pupusas and Icees, and pick up a memorial tee of a recently passed black celebrity. Last time I came here I saw one for 60 Minutes' Ed Bradley. Not surprisingly, Michael Jackson is the favored subject for airbrush artists of the moment. It was shown in the video for Tupac's "To Live and Die in LA."

Inside the Super Mall -- my photography doesn't begin to reflect the scope of this place




Well, that's about all I could figure out about Canterbury Knolls. If you have any corrections or additions, by all means let me know. Thanks.



*****


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Little Boy vs. Man on Stilts

Posted by Smiles Davis, December 1, 2009 02:04am | Post a Comment
This video really made my night, so much so that I felt inclined to blog about it. At first, the sense of fear creeps in as a man on the stilts approaches a tiny tot on the Santa Monica Pier. All worry is laid to rest the moment the kid starts to boogie. Haven't seen anyone move like this since the king of pop himself. This kid's got mad moves!

UKRAINIAN SAND ANIMATOR'S ART MOVES PEOPLE TO TEARS

Posted by Billyjam, October 5, 2009 04:04am | Post a Comment

Ukrainian sand animation artist Ksenya Simonova, who came to fame in her country via an American Idol styled TV show, has been taking her country by storm -- even moving people to tears -- with her unique handmade sand art, which she creates live as a kind of requiem to those who died during the Great Patriotic War. As in the video clip above, her real time public performances of sand animation are typically made up of Simonova swiftly hand crafting various war images, quickly morphing from one tragic image to the next, all to the accompaniment of a somber soundtrack of classical & traditional music plus soundbites of wartime news footage.

Working with a mixture of regular sea sand and volcanic sand, all spread out on a glass pane as canvas, Simonova uses her hands to craft her engaging moving stories. At the end of each dramatic live art performance consisting of tales of death and destruction she blows out a votive candle. Usually at this point audience members are seen tearing up. Surprisingly, Simonova, who is also a part time model, only took up the unusual art form (she is only one of a handful of such artists -- the others are from an older generation) just one year ago after becoming a victim of the credit crunch. Reportedly her next project will be a Michael Jackson themed live art installation piece.

Amoebapalooza Hollywood 2009!

Posted by Amoebite, September 15, 2009 07:39pm | Post a Comment
Every year the staff of Amoeba Music in Hollywood get together for a no-holds-barred musical cage match called Amoebapalooza...20 Amoeba bands get as crazy as possible onstage for 10 minutes each!

Ho
Brently Heilbronw crazy IS possible?

Very crazy was the answer this year...and/or very glamorous, creepy, rockin', shockin', wild, wonderful, and dancetastic! One of the most wonderful and insane Amoebapalooza lineups of all time took the stage at the King King on Sunday night and showed how it was done. Surely any unsuspecting patrons to walk in from Hollywood Boulevard must have thought they had stumbled onto the set of some kind of psychedelic rock opera written by Andrew Lloyd Webber's brain-damaged evil twin, and hopefully they stuck around to enjoy it with the rest of us.

As our lovable and pants-wettingly funny host Brently Heilbron put it, it's the last Amoebapalooza of the decade...soon we won't have the Oughts to kick around anymore, and it'll be the Teens! Taking this temporal warning to heart, the musical freBen Ricciaks of Amoeba made sure they sent the Oughts out with a kaboom. Have a drink with me and let the show begin...

The lights went down on the red velvet curtain, and the festivities began with a Jaco-Pastorious-on-PCP solo bass guitar odyssey from gangly wunderkind Ben Ricci, bravely kicking off this night of strangeitude. Is the bass meant to make sounds like that? Dunno. Ben's bass wizardry was closely followed by the hard-charging sounds of Thin Lizzy tribute band Emerald, with one Sam Rodriguez channeling the spirit of the late great Phil Lynott. Sorry if I'm leaving anything out...the next thing I remember was the always mind-blowing cabaret fantasia of Cream Puff, the one-man show of antique futurist foppington Joey Jenkins. There really is nothing like Mr. Joey JenkinsJenkins...jigging, chanting and prophesizing from the stage, in his knickers and mountaineering headgear, he makes you feel like you've wandered into one of David Lynch's weirder dreams. He ended by collapsing in a grand death scene, instantly growing a marvellous flower from his heart. Showbiz!

Continue reading...

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 09/18/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, September 14, 2009 02:11pm | Post a Comment


New Electro/Techno 12"s Coming This Weekend:
dustin zahn stranger to stability rek'd
Dustin Zahn
STRANGER-LEN FAKI REMIX 12"
REKD001

Crazy demand for LEN FAKI's PODIUM remix led to this pressing. HUGE summer techno tune that CARL COX dropped at Space and that wrecked the dance floor. The build ups and drops are INSANE! Also includes the original version and a "X BREAK" mix from FAKI as well. Do not sleep on this!
    


Raza
DETROIT, WORK IT OUT 12"
DP02

Cult like techno imprint invites a former WARP artist to let the music talk under the alias RAZA. State of the art modern techno, sounding as if it was forged in Detroit and finished in Berlin. Three beautiful tracks, fans of ECHOCHORD, STYRAX. Audiophile mastering, vinyl only!
    

Michael Jackson vs Drastics MJAROCKER LP MJAROCKER

Count & Sinden MEGA 12" RUG317T 

Dizzee Rascal HOLIDAY 12" 12STANK006

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