Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Regal Eagle Tree

For a landmark in Compton, the Eagle Tree is a tough find. Although years ago it was the only tree in a field of mustard and weeds, these days the 60-ft. tall sycamore is crammed between a couple residential buildings in need of a paint job. It's anywhere from 250 to 600 years old...who knows? One account tells of bald eagles that nested in the tree for years until some cluck shot one of them in 1870, and in the 1980s another idiot unsuccessfully tried burning the tree down.

I could see the old Native Daughters of the Golden West plaque from a distance, but I wasn't in the mood to hop the fence or challenge the dog keeping watch. Man, Compton needs to do a better job of protecting and honoring its points of interest.

Umami confessin'

Invitation only opening last night at the new Umami flagship location on Broadway. I was invited to stay on the sidewalk and walk away...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


We took our nephew whale watching on Saturday...from Dana Point in Orange County. The whale migration came early this year, so we only saw a solitary young whale straggling back. The highlight was the dolphins.

The trip reminded me of my 7th grade school field trip to Monterey, where we visited the then-new Monterey Bay Aquarium and hopped on a whale watching boat. Most of the kids turned putrid from seasickness...lucky for me, a classmate was passing out Dramamine in the morning.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Famina plans

The contractor left a set of construction plans in plain view at the Broadway Arcade Building...another Famima convenience store is on the way.

I'm a fan of their onigiri, which I usually just call "triangles." Those rice balls wrapped in seaweed were lifesavers when EzraPounded and I were working in Japan...we were only paid once a month, and our company deducted all kinds of upfront housing fees from our first month's checks. By the end of that first (second?) month, we were living off of bread from the Little Mermaid bakery and triangles from 7-Eleven.

Although I can walk a few blocks to one of the Famimas already open for business, this one will be the closest yet to home sweet home. Or as they write in Japan, home sweat home.


I have mixed feelings about this new mural on the backside of the Baltimore Hotel in the low-lows of Downtown Los livens up the building at the expense of the old painted sign advertising the hotel. No more sign. This looks like the work of JR.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kwai by night

I love prison/war camp escape movies, and the Bridge on the River Kwai is a classic. The projectionist played a reel out of order, but the mistake was all part of the charm. She stopped the film and yelled out her apologies...a classic movie classic moment.

Monday, February 20, 2012

yawning awning

Late night removal of awnings...on a avoid city inspectors because nobody bothered to get permits, or to avoid regular folks walking around?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Laemmle's Grande farewell

Laemmle's Grande 4-plex movie theater in Downtown Los Angeles has been closed a couple years...preemptively self-sacrificed in the face of the mighty Regal Cinemas at LA Live. This was a sunken theater, tucked along Figueroa Street in a part of Downtown that turns ghost after business hours.

I attended a conference last week at the Marriott Hotel sitting atop the Grande theater, so I took a look at the old box. I'm not sure why, and speaking of sunken theaters, this is where I watched Titanic in 1997. Big movie, small screen. At least it stuck around for at least another ten years to show Wandering Bitch Ass, September Issue, Bright Star, and Zombieland.



Saturday, February 18, 2012


I have no idea how you bloggers keep up. I'm such a wannabe. Last October we took a trip to Ecuador, including the Galapagos Islands...been meaning to at least post a few photos...