Friday, February 26, 2010

Rosslyn lamp lights leave me lit right

A fakie porn shop was up one night on 5th Street for a film shoot. A pop-up porn shop, if you will. Even the Rosslyn Hotel roof sign was lit up for the occasion.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Burritus maximus

You see that impatient guy? What a loco...he couldn't stand waiting in the drive-thru line any longer and decided to roll over the sidewalk and squeeze between two parked cars.

Hate to admit it, but I do eat way too many BRC burritos at the Loco. I typically order two and smother each with pico de gallo and avocado salsa. I used to scoff at the drive-thru, but these days I like catching up on my reading while idling in the queue.

I'm sure I've lost all credibility at this point with my adventures in corporate chain fast food, but let it be known that I'm still on the hunt for an outstanding veggie burrito in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Trees may be extinct like the elephants

I only remember two homes from my childhood in San Jose...faint memories of living in the Evergreen neighborhood, and then years and years of memories in the "Ramblewood" part of town. My parents moved the family into the sparkling new Morrison Homes tract in 1975, and there they stayed until they retired several years back. (The building permit shows a $28,000 valuation, which is about $113,000 in adjusted 2010 dollars and about a quarter of today's house value...I'm sure the nearby San Jose Dump didn't inflate the price at all.)

When I was about six years old my dad came home with a couple redwood tree saplings, and he planted them in the back yard. By the time I was in high school those trees were well over 60 feet high, and I often wonder how they're doing these days.

So now I'm in Downtown Los Angeles, and in a dense, urban setting, every tree counts. I appreciate it when the City of Los Angeles plants more trees in public areas (like in the sidewalk tree well in front of the Los Angeles Theatre below), and I appreciate folks who plant trees on private property. It pains me to see mature trees cut like the tree hacked up on Monday.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Bank left

I was surprised to see carved wood and granite details today as I walked past SB Lofts. Not sure if it's only temporary, but E-ROAD, an electric bike company, is leasing the corner suite, and the room was lit up.

The SB Lofts building at 6th and Spring in Downtown Los Angeles has a long history. It was built in 1913 in the old "Wall Street of the West" area along South Spring Street, which thrived for years until the banks upped and left for sleek new highrises in the '60s and '70s.

The bank that occupied the building changed hands through the years, ending with Lloyd's Bank in the '70s. Lloyd's began moving its corporate headquarters to the General Petroleum Building at 612 S Flower (converted to the Pegasus Apartments in 2003) in 1977 and eventually was swallowed up by United California Bank (itself acquired later by Bank of the West).

Developer Barry Shy bought the property and converted it into loft apartments a few years back. While his conversion of the old Bank of America building down the road on Spring Street to SB Spring kept that bank lobby and vault intact, not much of the historic interior of his SB Lofts project survived. I really don't know how much was changed in the hands of Shy...for all I know previous owners are partly responsible for cutting it up...but I'll give my thanks for at least keeping this tiny slice (100 square feet?) of the past preserved.