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Remembering Downtown Los Angeles 1995

[This just in: I'm told Oprah interviewed Jim Olds of GMU's Krasnow Institute on her XM satellite radio show last night, and they discussed my Outlook story on the mind. Hasn't aired yet. I didn't get mentioned specifically -- she mentioned the headline -- but still, come on, this could be my big break. This is life-changing. Oprah.]

The other day Bill Booth filed a great dispatch from L.A., where the locals have suddenly discovered that they have a downtown (subhed: City's Once-Wasteland Is Hipster Heaven). His piece brought back many happy memories of 1995, the year of a certain murder trial involving a Hall of Fame running back, when for a while downtown L.A. was the center of the media universe.

Even more than the internal drama of the trial, I remember the landscape and atmosphere of downtown Los Angeles. It still had elements of the L.A. that Raymond Chandler wrote about, including the Bradley [oops, I mean Bradbury] Building, which looks like, and often has been, a movie set; and the Grand Central Market, an arcade of food stalls, dry goods merchants and fishmongers; and the Original Pantry Cafe, where you can get a fat steak and a mountain of hash browns cheap (and where, circa 1985, my luggage and all my notes for a story disappeared from the trunk of a rental car -- an early journalist trauma I'll never forget). You could still buy a ticket for a ride on the world's shortest railway, Angels Flight [Update: I'm told this was not yet reopened in 1995, so I must have bought my ticket on a later trip. Blogger confusion. But it was O.J. on trial, right? From the Bills?]

I didn't cover the trial day in and day out, but I showed up every so often, and usually stayed at the Biltmore. It's a grand old palace with chandeliers and coffered ceilings and an exquisite lobby where the discerning patron (not me!) could have afternoon tea. I preferred the pool table in the Gallery Bar, rarely occupied. And also looking at the black-and-white photos on the walls that documented the era when the Biltmore hosted the Academy Awards.

Every morning I'd walk about five blocks to the county courthouse to get coffee at the coffee stand in the courtyard. I forget the name -- it'll come to me -- maybe -- don't hold your breath. [Wait! Peter Schafer by email reminds me that it was called Pasqua.] It was excellent coffee, and there were outdoor tables where I could read the L.A. Times and enjoy the weatherless SoCal climate. A calm moment before the storm. Civilized.

Then I'd go on to the criminal courts building, and the trial, and the legal shenanigans. At the end of the day I'd sometimes drive to Playa del Rey to hang with my brother, who always had the grill fired up and whose beachfront lifestyle seemed, after a day in court, eminently sane.

The trial brought a lot of people and attention to downtown L.A., but 5 years later, at the time of the 2000 Democratic National Convention at the Staples Center, the downtown area still showed little signs of a real estate comeback. But there was another legacy of the trial: When they built Camp O.J. across from the courthouse -- a mini-city of TV towers and platforms -- they also created what became a permanent celebrity-and-crime-obsessed cable TV infrastructure. Nancy Grace, Greta, etc.: It all came out of downtown L.A. in 1995.

I miss that coffee stand. I bet it's a Starbucks now.

[From Schafer: "They got purchased by Starbucks and their locations were converted to Starbucks back in 1998 or 1999."]

--

Politics dept.:

You've seen the polls showing Hillary not only running strong but actually having more support nationally than all the other Democrats combined. Of course we're talking national numbers, which are of debatable significance, since the candidates are not running national campaigns but rather focusing on a few small states. In Iowa, Obama is up by 4 points according to a Newsweek poll.

But frontrunners usually win these things. I read that somewhere. Wait, I got it right here:

'She's no amateur at primary politics. You sense that when she walks into a room, she already knows the name of every person there and how much money they've donated. Her gender isn't her most important attribute; it's her brains, discipline, political smarts. She'd stay on-message if a seagull landed on her head.

'Here's a secret: Front-runners usually win nominations. The media don't like to mention this annoying fact, as it cuts down on the drama.

I'n 1984, Hart "emerged" in Iowa and then won New Hampshire and then won seven out of nine primaries or caucuses on Super Tuesday, and 27 total, including Ohio and California. But he didn't get nominated. Mondale had money. Mondale had the network. Mondale had a bunch of "super delegates" already in his pocket. When Hart's campaign began to sputter, the Mondale machine chewed him to pieces. The same thing happened in 1996 when Bob Dole lost in New Hampshire to Pat Buchanan. Didn't matter. And though McCain out-retailed Bush in New Hampshire in 2000, the Bush machine shredded McCain with attack ads on radio and TV in South Carolina. McCain never recovered. '

More Hillary items here and here and here.

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 4, 2007; 10:33 AM ET
 
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Next: Rick Atkinson on WW2; Plus Two Cents On Fred Thompson

Comments

11111

Posted by: dbG | October 4, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

The advantages of being on 2 computers at once!

Love the seagull statement. I admire the focus, but wouldn't it be even better to acknowledge it in a joke?

Posted by: dbG | October 4, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I was in LA a few years back and never got closer to downtown than the freeway. We were tourists and did Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Malibu, and Venice Beach. Downtown LA just doesn't show up on my radar.

In the last Boodle, Cassandra asked for a summary of the latest Bill O'Reilly kerfuffle. He had gone with Al Sharpton to a very famous Harlem restaurant and remarked about how pleasant and civilized it was and there there was a total absence of people behaving in stereotypically hip-hop ways. He compared it favorably to a suburban 9meaning white) Italian restaurant. It came off in a rather patronizing "some of my best friends are African-American" way that he is completely tone-deaf to.

It's good to see table pounders like him and Rush get a taste of their own semi-fake umbrage pushed back at them.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 4, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I've been to Anaheim, does that count?

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 4, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Finish the analogy:

Iran Hostage Crisis:Ted Koppel:tragedy::OJ Trial:Nancy Grace:___?____

Posted by: yellojkt | October 4, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

S'nuke,
Been to Anaheim too. Definitely doesn't count.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 4, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I've read Connelly's "Angel's Flight", does that count?

The following falls into the the crazy politics department.
Ann Coulter is on a tour to publicize a new book.
Here's her take on women:
"If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president. It's kind of a pipe dream, it's a personal fantasy of mine, but I don't think it's going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women."
http://www.observer.com/2007/coulter-culture and for more non-sense
http://www.observer.com/2007/tea-miss-coulter
Feed that woman some sugar, please.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 4, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

re: the analogy, yellojkt --

hot air?

deterioration of our society?

sound and fury signifying nothing?

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 4, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

re: Coulter, shriek --

hot air?

deterioration of our society?

sound and fury signifying nothing?

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 4, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I lived in L.A. for about a year right after college. My first place was on 28th St., fraternity row for USC, at the KA house. Unbeilivable. I remember seeing second stage smog for the first time and the high rises downtown were barely shilouetted through the haze. Paul's Kitchen in Koreatown had the best food aside from the Tommy Burger and the little taco stand we frequented across the street from the Coliseum. I worked in a paper box factory on Broadway near the Coliseum and had to join the Union and lived on Flower St. for a while after moving out of the KA house. It was time well spent. I love L.A..

Posted by: jack | October 4, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

My only look at downtown LA was on the Fourth of July weekend circa 1980, via bus on the way from Santa Monica to San Marino (home of the incredible Huntington cactus garden). Denver's downtown seemed considerably bigger and better.

Other than that, it was interesting listening in on an AM radio news station from LA from home in Wyoming.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 4, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I've never gotten close to downtown LA. My most vivid memory of SoCal is standing on a hill in Laguna Beach looking down to the floors of houses that burned in a fire in the fall of 1993. As far as we could see, just the floors and the roads. All the houses were gone. Chilling.

Posted by: Slyness | October 4, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, Dave. We were in L.A. at the same time. I didn't see the fireworks, though. I was probably at the 901 club doing something nefarious.

Posted by: jack | October 4, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Dave-you and Felder Rushing are my FL garden heroes.

Kim-Bradford Pears should remain in dry climes where they don't grow to their mature height so quickly and break in the wind. Do they stink in the west? I find their spring flowering odor akin to a dead fish in a dishwasher.

I have never been to downtown LA, but I generally love downtowns whether decayed, decaying, gentrifying, or almost totally Disneyfied. National Geographic did a story on the Hampton Roads area, in the mid 80s I think, and likened downtown Newport News to the "Australian Outback." I still liked it.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 4, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Brian Williams covering the O.J. trial for NBC, Aaron Brown for ABC, Greta van Susteren for CNN (I think), who for CBS? Joel for the Washington Post. Where are they all today--just 12 years later? Anchor, journalism professor, Fox program host, ?, Washington Post national desk.

Since my cousin Bill H., now of Arizona and far more handsome than Mark Fuhrman, was formerly paired with Vannatter, as I have Boodled, I'm sure he was following the O.J. trial daily.

My maternal grandmother, Helen Louise nee Kronnick Swanson, was born at Spring and Hill, in Los Angeles in 1884, IIRC the date. Her father owned a candy store. My great-grandmother had a second child, Lillian, but died young and left the children motherless for several years until my great-grandfather remarried. My grandmother was a wunderkind on the piano, giving concerts to Los Angelinos at a tender age--an early part of the entertainment culture of the city. How's that for going back?

Posted by: Loomis | October 4, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

frosti: Seriously consider the Honda. They are the most reliable vehicles we've ever owned. Service is usually calculated to tolerances of a penny.

Posted by: jack | October 4, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Jack, I was long sort of curious as to how a big private university like USC could thrive in a state with the best public university system in the world. It seemed to me the Claremont colleges,Caltech, and an art school or two could sneak in, but a whopping big USC? A marvel.

I've gotta visit downtown LA to take in Disney Concert Hall.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 4, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Parts of Downtown LA become a Central American city on weekends. I suppose that will change as condo development continues. Downtown recently acquired a supermarket, after several decades without.

Posted by: LTL-CA | October 4, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

You know the adage, Dave: Money talks. Bullfrass walks.

Posted by: jack | October 4, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, I bet you wish you were headed back to Anaheim this weekend. The series may just end there. Josh Beckett's performance last night won him the Cy Young award, if he didn't already have it in the bag.

Joel, Oprah that is impressive!! The Big O is really hitting the Big-time. Oopps, the Big O is really Oscar Robinson. There I go again always hitting the sports page.

Back to your regular programming.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 4, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

When in downtown LA with children or those who act like children, a trip to the poorly-named La Brea Tar Pits (translation: The Tar Tar Pits) is a must.

As is some Zankou Chicken. Oh! And a Fat Burger!

Posted by: LostInThought | October 4, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

steve lopez did a great series on the skid row area of downtown los angeles a few years back.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-lopez16oct16-series-2,0,7749507.special

this is what i think of when i think of downtown because i volunteereed about three years for a homeless ministry that went to skid row

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 4, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula

Los Angeles Plaza from Fort Hill, 1875

http://www.californiahistory.net/4_IMAGES/LA_1_lrg.jpg

Posted by: Loomis | October 4, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I spent nine years in L.A. working downtown. Been through the Rodney King Riots, the '94 Northridge Quake and the OJ circus. One curious town but I had a blast. I loved downtown, a very interesting mix of urban life. Great food too. Pastrami burritos - the best!

Posted by: Aloha | October 4, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Excellent news on the big O.

Minor, niggling error: It's the Bradbury building, not the Bradley building.

And that coffee stand in the middle of the giant courtyard with the neat and only occasionaly dry fountain? It is a Starbucks now.

(Or at least was as of Spring 2006.)

I still miss L.A., though.

Posted by: Brendan Buhler | October 4, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Newsflash... a dozen or so million-dollar-plus homes in upscale La Jolla CA are being gobbled up by a sinkhole.

Mayor declares state of emergency.

Ahnold agrees, promises help.

White House also promising help.

Thank God... What would those dozen or so millionaires with home owners insurance whose houses are in jeopardy do if the government hadn't stepped in. Allstate's hands not big enough?

In other news... thousands of Katrina victims still displaced.

What a country!

Posted by: OtisTheTownDrunk | October 4, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

The Museum of Jurrasic Technology.
9341 Venice Boulevard, Culver City
http://www.mjt.org/

OK, it's not downtown; its 2/3 of the way to Venice Beach.

It's a mind trip. I take all my out of town guests there. Gary, a friend from high school, after about 30 minutes, said, 'this is some kind of joke, right?'

Think frustrated museum exhibit builder melds with mad scientist and Hollywood model builder. I think the proprietor was awarded one of those MacArthur 'Genius' grants.

More downtown, there is the Museum of Neon Art. It's too small to exhibit the neon the way it should be seen; they should team with the Peterson Automotive Museum which always has some kind of car outside hanging from the second story.

LA County Museum of Art - the building with Asian Art with glass walls designed to filter the sunlight to the same color as would a rice-paper wall.

The wonderfully kitschy center of Chinatown up on the hill behind downtown.

Union Station.

The front entrance of the LA Central Library.

And Disney Hall is a hoot.

Posted by: My Brain is in a Safe Deposit Box | October 4, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

*belated Front Page alert*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 4, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Dune_terminology

Posted by: Anonymous | October 4, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Is LA's Broadway in downtown? That's where Son of G and I spent an afternoon in July. Went to the Orpheum Theatre on Broadway, across the street from an amazing blue Art Deco building that has now been converted to condos.

(We stood outside the theatre for about an hour before being allowed in to watch the taping of the finale of ABC's The Next Best Thing)

Here they both are... http://you-are-here.com/broadway/eastern_columbia.html

We also asked a passing UPS man where to eat and he sent us to Clifton's Cafeteria. I've never been eating somewhere and had a tour group coming into the place--to tour it. The food was forgettable but the location certainly was not.

http://www.cliftonscafeteria.com/pages/brookdale_home.html

Posted by: TBG | October 4, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

TBG - Broadway is in downtown L.A. but it's not like the Broadway in New York. Most large theater productions happen up at the likes of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Broadway used to be a very happening place once upon a time but it's been a very long time since it's seen a whole lotta action. I've eaten at Cliftons, it's true the food isn't exciting but it is a very cool place.

Anybody ever been to Little Tokyo? That's where I used to work, a couple of blocks from Parker Center. We had humvees and National Guardsmen with guns sitting outside our building the day after the Rodney King riots. Truly an unforgettable experience.

Posted by: Aloha | October 4, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Hi all!

My first post in weeks, and I have nothing to add, having only gone through LA on the way to other places (Irvine, Monterey, Laguna Beach, Burbank).

Anyway, belated congrats to Yoki and Scotty. So sorry about the local tragedy, Cassandra. *sniff* I miss Error. *sniff*

Posted by: Raysmom | October 4, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

...ahh, downtown, LA... born and raised in LA, my mother would take us downtown on the Red Car, and the RTD. We'd do the Angel Flight ride, eat @ Bullocks Tea Garden or Clifton's Cafeteria. It was the best! Once I grew up, I took my own kids to those haunts. I loved downtown and still do.... Moved away from Cali seven yrs. ago, but if I go back... will definately see how the old city is doing...

Posted by: sharon | October 4, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Since 'Mudge is gallavanting off somewhere, squiring Mrs. Mudge in a dory or dinghy or something, it's left to me to play editor.

According to the NY Times, this is verbatim from a Phoenix police spokesperson:
"On Friday, Sept. 29, 2007, Ms. Gotbaum flew unescorted and alone to Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix. She was supposed to then fly to Tucson. Per the airline, Ms. Gotbaum was denied access to that flight in Terminal 4. There was a subsequent verbal altercation at the gate in Concourse B between Ms. Gotbaum and the gate attendant. Ms. Gotbaum became agitated and loud and at some point threw her hand-held PDA, just missing a citizen, which broke into pieces. Ms. Gotbaum left the gate area."

a) I wasn't aware someone could fly "escorted and alone" or "unescorted with a party of one or more people."

b) I wasn't aware throwing a hand-held PDA at a citizen would cause the citizen to break into pieces.

*SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 4, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom!!

*welome back Grover waves*

Thank you!

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 4, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Please, please, please (as James Brown would say)- the Big O is Oscar Robertson, not Robinson. How quickly they forget...

Posted by: SH | October 4, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

S'nuke,

That Gotbaum story has a lot of backstory to it. The woman was intoxicated and on her way to a rehab clinic. She died of suffocation while handcuffed and in police custody. The cops are calling the most bizarre suicide they have ever seen.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 4, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

In 1983 I got mildly tipsy on really good champagne at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Later we went to Tommy's where I had the best chili-cheeseburger ever made. The champagne helped. While in line a young boy offered to sell me a most striking diamond ring, but I declined. We listened to "The Blasters" all the way back to the campus. It was a very memorable day.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 4, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I agree the Gotbaum story is a tragedy all around, yellojkt, it's just the "spokespersoin's" atrocious use of English that got my attention.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 4, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Scotty,
Good catch. You should, like, try a stint in public affairs, or somesuch. Me, I like to keep my affars, well, more on the private side.

Cassandra,
I'm sorry for you. Be strong.

Martooni,
How's it goin'? I thought about you yesterday. I spent the whole day cleaning up and organizing my work shop. I found tools that I thought I'd lost for good. It was like Christmas!!

Posted by: Don from I-270 | October 4, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Never mind my mangling of "spokesperson," of course...

*nailing a permanent SCC placard above my cubicle*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 4, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

RD - mmm, Tommy's! Other recreational substances also make Tommy's one of the "go to" destinations in So. Cal. Not that I know anything about that...but I certainly had friends that did...
We would drive to Zuma beach from the desert for a day trip and that trip always had to end with a run through Tommy's. I was a teeny thing back in those days but I could put those chili cheeseburgers away like nobody's business.

frosti - no, there were absolutely no Bradford Pears in the desert or really many other flowering trees or shrubs to speak of, at least in my neck of the woods. That is why I love pears, azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas- I love them all! My husband just thinks that the desert upbringing led to a sad lack of judgment about which trees and shrubs are desirable and which are not desirable for our yard.

Posted by: Kim | October 4, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I just thought that the spokes-person was from Joisy.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | October 4, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Do young boys at Tommy's market diamond rings to everyone, or was I special? I like to think I was special.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 4, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

RD, I can't answer about Tommy's, but of course you're special!

Posted by: Raysmom | October 4, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"Jack, I was long sort of curious as to how a big private university like USC could thrive in a state with the best public university system in the world. It seemed to me the Claremont Colleges,Caltech, and an art school or two could sneak in, but a whopping big USC? A marvel."

The UC system has only recently added a campus to the inventory it had thirty years ago, even though the state has added 10 million to its population. People who could have gone to UCLA in 1980 cannot get in today. So, they have to borrow or open up the checkbook and go to USC.

Posted by: Annandale | October 4, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I was at Tommy's many times and no one ever tried to sell me a diamond ring, RD. I think
you must have been special!

Posted by: Kim | October 4, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Ah gosh, Raysmom. Now I have to explain why I'm blushing at work.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 4, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

RD, you've left an opening big enough to drive a battleship through. But, I won't take it. Nope. *I* have sensitivity, doncha know.

Besides, I'm off to a retirement soiree for a co-irker. Gotta save my best stuff for him. Everybody else says, "Gee, he worked here 33 years, isn't that amazing?" Ppfft, he's just a kid. Clear the decks, boys, it's time for some sea-stories.

Oh, hi, Raysmom.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | October 4, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Kim... you live in the heart of Crape Myrtle land! Those gorgeous flowering trees seem to grow wild in the Hampton Roads area.

They are so beautiful.

Posted by: TBG | October 4, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Can I say again that I love William Booth's stories? I only wish I knew him well enough to call him Bill like Joel does.

I wonder if Joel calls him that very ofTen.

:-)

Posted by: TBG | October 4, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Jack,
I do get the impression that some Californians quail at the idea of sending their kids to UC Riverside or the new UC Fresno (or whatever it's called). Not to mention places like CSU-San Francisco or, horrors, Humboldt.

TBG, in Florida, Crape Myrtles are mostly doomed to be mutilated. The same landscapers who cut all but 3 leaves off a palm will chainsaw the branches so the tree actually shrinks after it's planted. In the town of Williston, all crape myrtles are cut at 3 feet above the ground, every year. At the other extreme, Orlando's Leu Gardens almost scandalously have big untruncated crapes placed very conspicuously.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 4, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

There is wet stuff falling from the sky at irregular intervals here. Can anyone identify it for me? Mr. T says it's like the stuff that comes out of his shower but I just don't remember anything like that happening in the recent past...

Posted by: Slyness | October 4, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Don - co-irker- I love that. A certain person's image just magically appeared in front of me.

TBG - I love crape myrtles too! We have 4 wonderful Carolina Beauties in our yard. They are a never-ending source of amazement to me.

Who on earth would say of-ten?

Speaking of Weingarten-is he joking about fake foreskins? Can that really be possible?

Posted by: Kim | October 4, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I went to UC Riverside and it was wonderful. At the time there were about 3000 students (in a physical plant for 2 or 3 times that many), not counting the grad students at Citrus Experiment Station. Like a small private college.

Posted by: LTL-CA | October 4, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, glad you're back. I miss Error, too.

I've only been to Los Angles once, and a friend took me downtown. Of course, I did not go to any of the places mentioned in the kit or that some of you have talked about. I thought it was big, for lack of a better word. I did not have time to really see it and enjoy it. It was a guick tour. The people I saw just seemed to be standing around doing nothing in particular. We did stop at a restaurant that was suppose to be famous, and looked around a bit. I felt so out of place, but then I am a country person, and we were there because my mother's brother had passed away. Little Richard's brother preached the funeral. I was so happy to leave that place. The earth moves there. Not good, not good at all.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 4, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra,
It's a shame you didn't get the chance to dine at Earthquake Jake's during your visit to the City of Angels. There's a while lot of shake, rattle and roll goin' on there.

DotC: Horrors of Humboldt. *l* Well, I'll be.

Posted by: Loomis | October 4, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

There are few things more enjoyable, and I can't say exactly why, than having that early, calm cup of coffee and reading the local paper when you are out of town and preparing for a big day in the city. Especially enjoyable when this takes place at a sidewalk cafe or a nice, airy hotel lobby.

Take that, Internet.

Posted by: hoosier | October 4, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

You are so right, hoosier. Of course, my husband calls the newspaper "the paper Internet."

Posted by: TBG | October 4, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Now I'll be thinking of foreskin murkins for the next hour.

Including whether Coulter would wear one in order to pass the gender inspection in order to vote. I think she just outted herself as a man, or at least a transman.

What won't she do in order to get read?

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 4, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

And thus I garrotte the boodle.

S'nuke, your note-taking, tres amusante.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 4, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

For all you Knotts Landing fans, watch the prequel, Knotts Tumbling, to find out how everything came to be...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20071004/sc_livescience/thescienceofknotsunraveled;_ylt=AtbNdx26Je0N5fKU4RW3xMZxieAA

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 4, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I try to ignore Coulter myself, Wilbrod. One day a disgruntled fan will shoot her, and it will be good riddance. She is absolutely crazy nuts.

Posted by: Slyness | October 4, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

One wonders what Raymond Chandler would do with a character like Coulter. All the "news" (yeah, right) programs on tv enable her, hoping that her psychotic rants will get viewers, if only to buy the products so wh**ishly advertised thereon. One wonders who's the p$mp and who's the, um, you know. And they don't think we know what they're up to (shame, shame. . . .).

I used to devour Raymond Chandler books, and Dashiel Hammet, too. I'm sure some of them are still around in my heaps and heaps and heaps of books laying around.

My mother spent her very early years in LA. Her mother, her brother and her sisters are buried there. I haven't been there since the very early 70s.

Craig is holding onto his Senate seat by his fingernails. He just ain't gonna go. Vitter, on the other hand, well, he's probably invited to the favored Republican parties. Um, wonder who else is invited to those, and wonder what their stance looks like. (*laughing*)

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 4, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I sometimes pronounce the "t" in often. Depends on the words around it.


Posted by: RD Padouk | October 4, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

You mean you prolly do it more ofTen than others supposably do?

(Couldn't resist)

Posted by: TBG | October 4, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I think I know what it was, Slyness. It got all over me. I was not happy. It would have been better to stand under something. But no. So I made it home soaking wet to discover my neighbor's dog had got loose and the police shot the dog while looking for burglars. The dog ran into the woods, not found. I got back from helping look in the woods for a dead or wounded dog. The woods are big. My neighbor is not happy. Nor am I. The little dog was aggressive, yes, and loose, by accident, and attacked the officer, defending the home turf. This all stinks. My dog is fine.

Posted by: Jumper | October 4, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse

So I walk into the living room an ask my wife, "how frequently do I pronounce the "t" in often"?

I'm, like, *this* far from being banned from the internet.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 4, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Anybody mention *L.A. Story* yet?

"Sara: Roland thinks L.A. is a place for the brain-dead. He says, if you turned off the sprinklers, it would turn into a desert. But I think... I don't know, it's not what I expected. It's a place where they've taken a desert and turned it into their dreams."

I knew Steve Martin was a funny, funny, guy but the museum scene doubled that realization.

I spoke with the MotB2B and she said she was still laughing, which was good to hear.

Well, two days ago I registered with the state, and today opened a business account @ the bank. I can take credit cards now & everything! :-) The trust officer kept saying "You work here, you're not paying that fee, we're discounting those fees, forget about this one. If you decide to upgrade your account, we'll just do that without the penalty fees." Nice.

Still a little scary because there are bank charges whether or not I sell anything in a given month. Adults start their own businesses, and I'm still not sure I'm one. But it's kind of a proud day--like when you finally meet the friends/family of someone you've been dating and you become official.

Posted by: dbG | October 4, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I finally removed some holiday stuff --- yes xmas thingies -- and lo and behold, a card falleth from the tableau and ye, the card layeth encrusted with silver spangle sparkles and the card is a printeth painting by ye old Thomas KinKake. The driven snow with violet highlights and the spruces frosted generously with fluffness. And the dear butter-yellow candlelit preciousness of very window.....AKKKK.

Oh Maggie O D! I need to cleanse my palette.

But it groweth worse: I cannot tell who the card is from despite greeting me by name, and listing other specific College Familians with this closing:

"All our greatest wishes for name, and name, and name and College Barkian, too."

I have no bleeping idea who this card is from.

Tho.Mas.Kin.Kade.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 4, 2007 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, your maternal grandmother could not have been born at Spring and Hill. Spring Street is parallel to Hill St. separated by Broadway.

Posted by: Former Angeleno | October 4, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

DGB -- bricks and mortar store or web venue? Fab!!!!

Reading the Maltese Falcon might take away the Kincade crud, or perhaps a Mrs. Polifax mystery. Perhaps I shall order a Georgette Heyer book from online.....such a trifle, not a trickle of well, treacle.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 4, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

CP... growing up, my sisters and I had a contest every year for the ugliest Christmas card my parents received.

We still go through each others' cards each holiday season looking for The Winner.

Posted by: TBG | October 4, 2007 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Note to self: mail TBG that holiday card that has Santa's reindeer parked on an outhouse with the caption "I said the Schmidt house!"

Posted by: LostInThought | October 4, 2007 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, CP. Dining room table, web and shows. :-) I'm feeling a little verklempt about the whole thing, and am heading to bed.

Re: the card. Limeade sans HFCS? Lemonade where you throw lemons, sugar, ice and water into a blender and strain it out? (Always an adventure). Whatever you do, I hope it works!

Posted by: dbG | October 4, 2007 7:36 PM | Report abuse

I really enjoyed "L.A. Story." I admit I am a big Steve Martin fan. I was in High School when he hit it big, and we quoted him constantly. Not only is the guy funny, but he is very, very smart. Extremely knowledgeable about philosophy, much of which comes through in "L.A. Story."

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 4, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

RD, I thought you were younger than I, and I thought *I* was in high school when Steve Martin hit it big. I remember when I first started seeing him on the Tonight Show, when he used to come on with the rabbit ears or the arrow through his head and then just do the interview deadpan--I know it doesn't sound that funny but that's the only time in my life I ever *literally* fell off my chair laughing. I really liked David Steinberg, too, from that same era, and he's another one who is funny AND very smart. I was disappointed Steinberg didn't have a lot of success in the long run, but I'm happy to see Steve Martin hanging in there--loved him as host of the Academy Awards. L.A. Story, the two things that stuck with me were Sarah Jessica Parker as "SandeE" and the scene in the coffee shop where everybody is ordering bizarre special coffee variations. Steve Martin is to California what Garrison Keillor is to Minnesota.

Posted by: kbertocci | October 4, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Former Angelino,
You are correct. I have Googled downtown Los Angeles since reading your post. Broadway does run between Spring and Hill. One does come across myth or misinformation when working with the old family stories. This side of the family is slightly fuzzy, but I think the proximity of the streets has me in precisely the right area.

My grandmother's father was Samuel L. Kronnick, although the spelling could be Kronick. I was told that there was some spelling change (perhaps from Chronic, IIRC) when the family came across the Atlantic to America. The family story is that Samuel's mother gave each of her children a first name and a middle initial according to the alphabet--not a middle name but a middle initial. So Samuel L. was the 12th child.

I have the wedding band that Sam gave to Emma, who we think was from Sweden. The simple, plain 18k band reads Sam to Emma, Dec. 25, (18)81. So it certainly is plausible that my grandmother Helen was born in 1884.

We believe that Sam and his family were from Hamburg, Emma from Goteborg, Sweden, and they settled in Colorado for a year or two before settling in early day Los Angeles. I have an old sepia-tone photo of Sam and Emma, and the back of the photo reads A.E. Rinehart, 413 Larimer Street, Denver, Colorado. Emma has a tiny waist, a button-up dress with a very large rounded lace collar with broad ruffles at the end of the sleeve and several rows at the bottom of the dress, with her head wrapped in many small braids. A long rope necklace seems to attach to one of the buttons on her bodice. They make a handsome pair, this young couple.

The story that was passed along was that Sam and Emma met on the ship to America, but I think that isn't true, but that they met stateside, perhaps in New York City.

So, Former Angelino, you tempt me to research the early records of Los Angeles to see what I can find, to pin down the facts.

Posted by: Loomis | October 4, 2007 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Dave: It struck me that Californians quailing at the idea of sending their children to a State University cracked me up. When I was applying to college it had to be to SUNY. My parents couuldn't afford anything else and, at that time, my ability was far from scholarship eligibility. I applied to two University centers, referred to only by the city in which they were in, and was promptly turned away. It came to a decision between Buffalo State and Brockport State; these schools were (FITB) State because they took the dopes that couldn't get into Albany, New Paltz, Binghamton, Stony Brook. The private schools in NYS are in a league of their own, apart from the SUNY schools. All that I know is that I had quite a time in four years at Potsdam State, earned a degree, and even growed up some. I wouldn't have traded it for the world. CSU-SF. Hmmm...party school?

Posted by: jack | October 4, 2007 9:10 PM | Report abuse

kb-I've been meaning to pick up Steinberg's new book The Book of David. I always thought he was hilarious and a hottie. In the interviews I've seen on Canadian TV he's aged well.

Sunburned and sore from doing deep south garden battle I bid the boodle fondue.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 4, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

It cracks me up to know that Joel says ofTen - not sure why that's funny. Love Steve Martin and David Steinberg - I remember David Steinberg from the Ed Sullivan show, which confirms yet again how old I am. I think LA Story is my favorite Steve Martin movie - I haven't seen it in a long time, but most of his others are either too silly or too tame. Most comedian's books aren't that funny to me, either. My expectations are too high, maybe.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 4, 2007 9:52 PM | Report abuse

dbG, congratulations - hope the business does well.

Jumper, that's sad about your neighbor's dog. What a thing to come home to.

Weingarten mentioned Thurber's Dogs today. I'll have to see if I can find that, or something by Thurber. Wonder if Thurber would be as funny a writer if he'd also been a stand-up comic?

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 4, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Deep randomness here. The first time I drove in L.A. I picked up a red Mustang from the airport rental and drove up the freeway to Santa Barbara - 70 mph in bumper-to-bumper traffic. I loved it. We used to drive from SB periodically to visit friends etc., but never made it downtown. Cassandra, "the earth moves there. Not good, not good at all" - you are so right. I figure the whole place will fall into the sea someday soon.

RD is pretty much as old as we are, kbertocci, give or take a year, but we are fooled by his youthful innocence. Or something. [Asking your wife about a query from your imaginary friends? She's a tolerant woman, I'm sure, but really....] My dad said ofTen, but we assumed it was an affliction associated with growing up in Indiana, like not eating black-eye peas.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 4, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Or maybe it was Michael Dirda that mentioned Thurber...

Posted by: mostl | October 4, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

SCC - on my boodle name, for Pete's sake - aargh!

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 4, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Mostly, wasn't Steinberg also on the Smother's Brothers' show? I seem to remember him from there and he was very funny. I have seen him recently hosting an interview show on some cable station but I can't remember which, when or the name of the show. I am old!

dbG, congratulations on the new business, best of luck, you have guts! I'm sure you will do well. Jumper, how awful about your neighbor's dog. Some police are just too quick on the draw!

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 4, 2007 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Also, congratulations to dbG. That's a big step.

Long long day here. I sang this afternoon at the funeral of the son of a friend - a 22-year-old killed last weekend in a head-on collision. We were first on the program so I could sing while not in the grip of strong emotion (as long as I didn't look at the family) but it was a long afternoon. Made me come home & hug the Boy.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 4, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

I introduced the Boy to Thurber a couple of years ago, in cartoons and the more humorous short stories. I cannot read "Nine Needles", aloud or to myself, without breaking into uncontrollable laughter, and this appears to be true no matter how many times I've read it.

Like the tweedle beetle battles in Fox in Socks.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 4, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Alternating animal feeding with viewing the baseball playoffs. I'm growing older by the minute, as the Indians and Cubs I've rooted for all of my life have the glimmering hope of meeting in the Series. Fan rule #13: If you wach your favourite team play an important match on the telly, they are more likely to lose. This effect is enhanced as the square of the consumption of recreational chemicals. (Note: Hallucinogens don't count. In the latter scenario, you might think you're watching the game but might really be watching the Newlywed Game.) FR #14: In order to avoid the former, leave the match on the telly and busy yourself at a useless task about the house or yard, abstain from recreational chemicals and check on the progress of the match only sporadically. If your team loses, use the TV brick.

Posted by: jack | October 4, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Fact check: Angels Flight didn't re-open until 1996. The writer must have been flyin' so high on his Pasqua's caffine jag that it affected his memory -- or gave him second sight! (Also, there's no apostrophe used in "Angels Flight.") Oh, yeah almost forgot: It's the Bradbury bulding, not Bradley (perhaps most famously showcased in Blade Runner). Aside from that, everything else is accurate....except for.....

Posted by: Steve the L.A. guy | October 4, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Seven OfTen was what Seven of Nine used to be called.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 4, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

And Angel's Flight pants were worn in the same era as those who watched Steve Martin make his rise, while they were in high school.

When I was choosing between biochemistry and philosophy as a major, one of the icons invoked by the Phil-Peeps was Steve Martin, for his B.A. in philosophy. I am not sure who the poster peep for biochemistry would be other than vitamin-Cee-Eccentric Linus Pauling. Not that there is anything wrong with that....three new trees planted in the common walkway and I believe them to be Zelkova, the elm-ish option for nowadays. What needs replacing are the huge and ghostly grey beechwood trees. I would like more of them at this particular section but beech trees are hard to cultivate. These trees likely top the 160 year mark.

Beechwood is also known as the sweetheart tree since you can carve quite easily on the smooth bark. I count more than 30 remnants of affection on these three trees.

Gnite. Morning greetings to the night crew. We left some angle food cake, celebrating the Sputnik flight for you on the table. Start the coffee early for SN and Cassandra.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 4, 2007 10:40 PM | Report abuse

*Decides to duck out and let somebody else make the coffee*

Uh, I don't DO that foul broth everybody calls coffee.

I'll just tell S'nuke to stop by Dunkin Donut or Starbucks for his daily poison and get one extra for Cassandra. She's been curious about it anyway.

*Decides to replace the angel food cake with devil's food cake, just because it goes better with Starbucks*


Posted by: Wilbrod | October 4, 2007 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Not to worry, Wilbrod. I already have a pot ready in my trusty Comet aluminum drip coffee maker. I'ts strong enough to corrode the aluminum. I'll need something strong on account of the Cubs giving up a three run homer, and now a ground rule double off the top of the wall, dropping them to a 2-4 deficit in the second. Looks like a long night.

Posted by: jack | October 4, 2007 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh, mostlylurking, don't go look up the Thurber dog-stories. Pleeese don't. One of them is so very sad that to this day (I first read it when I was 7 years old, and am now nearly 50) I can be reduced to a projectile-teared, sloppy-messed, entirely-sad Yoki. It will break your heart beyond repair. NOOOOO!

Posted by: Yoki | October 4, 2007 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Bless your heart, Ivansmom. The clear lark-ness of your voice will have been a comfort to those people.

Posted by: Yoki | October 4, 2007 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Just popping in before bed, hopelessly behind backboodling, but O.J./L.A., from my distant perspective, sure did nothing to help the perception of fair justice in our legal system. And that could work a number of different ways, depending on your perspective.

It is important to be reminded that O.J. is to blame for Nancy Grace and her ilk (great word). That alone is worthy of burning at the stake.

Posted by: bill everything | October 4, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I shudder to think how you react to "A Dog's Tale" by Mark Twain. Oh, it starts out well enough. "My father was a Great Pyreenes, and my mom was a collie, so I'm a Presbyterian."

A lot of dog stories are sad, when I think of it. But the saddest one for me was one that didn't mean to be.

I could NOT finish reading Marley and Me because of the horrible way Marley was treated-- no wonder he became fear-aggressive and out of control. It is just... appalling. A puppy is not an adult dog.


Posted by: Wilbrod | October 4, 2007 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Hello, all.

Checking in from JA's hometown - Gainesville, FL - getting ready to do some racing tomorrow (I should be asleep now, I suppose).

Anyway, Raysmom, nice to see you back in the Boodle, we missed you.

LA is an interesting city, a one-game town for entertainment and celebrity the way that Washington DC is a one-game town for politics and power. Folks come from all over the country to try their hand and see if they have what it takes to Make It. Makes the people in both cities quite interesting, I think.

Anyway, Goodnight, Boodle.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 5, 2007 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Jack,
I was an Air Force brat, so didn't much understand the college-going habits of kids in the unfamiliar state where I was a legal resident. I was stupid/lucky about applying for fall admission to Penn State's main campus as a prospective science student. Even back then, getting admitted was (unknown to me) rather selective. But on the other hand, back in that bygone era, white-collar Pennsylvanians quailed at sending their kids to public colleges. So PSU was stuffed with smart kids who didn't want to work in steel mills or coal mines, at least not for life.

And of course Pennsylvania has an Indiana State University and a California State University, along with Slippery Rock. One of my professors had gone to Indiana of Pa., then got his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago.

In California, it's perfectly normal for grads of the state university system (the Cal State schools) to go on to graduate or professional degrees at the University of California campuses.

Bottom line: some much-sought-after colleges are indeed very nice, but their graduates don't necessarily have an "in" with respect to going on to grad/professional schooling.

Anyway, g'night and a good Gainesville visit to bc. The Thai place to eat seems to be Chopstix, south of campus on 13th street at Bivan's Arm. Of course UF has loads of kids as good as any at Berkeley simply because it's the "flagship" state university. I was never a UF student, but did work at state and federal wildlife labs in town for several years.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 5, 2007 2:33 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I'm sorry to hear about your friends' son, but not surprised at your grace and courage in singing.

Jumper, I've heard stories from friends about burglaries where the pets escaped the house with dire consequences. So sad.

kbert, great observation about Steve Martin and Keillor. My favorite part of the movie is where he rollerskates through the museum, topped only by the line: "I call it performance art, but my friend Ariel calls it wasting time. History will decide."

Posted by: dbG | October 5, 2007 5:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure using celebrities to tout a major is all that good an idea. Most of them are drop outs. Some rare exceptions: "Weird" Al Yankovich has a degree in architecture and Jeff Foxworthy is a fellow alumni and an electrical engineer. Fortunately for his stand-up career, he didn't make his signature joke "You may be an EE if..."

Posted by: yellojkt | October 5, 2007 5:26 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. dbG, I am so happy for you, and I really hope business is booming, and you make so much money. I think it is wonderful that you're in business. I used to have a small candy business when my children were in school. I sold to the neighborhood kids, and allowed them to have small tabs, too. It was so much fun.

bill everything, I agree with your take on Nancy Grace, and that ilk. I don't like her show. It's as if she's going to come through the television and throttled someone.

Give Ann Coulter some sugar, please. The real deal, not that imitation stuff.

Have any of you ever been on a plane with a drunk? When returning home from LA, we were on the plane with a drunk that wanted to open the door. They had to tie him down. And I can relate in every way, but please, we can't open the door. I'm not sure they didn't give him a shot of something. I mean a chemical. He was determined.

I've read Eugene Robinson's piece this morning on Bush's veto. I'll bet Republicans everywhere are grinding their teeth, and the other party is probably jumping for joy. They don't have to do anything. I wonder just who is giving the President advice now. Someone needs to check him.

Morning, Mudge, Slyness, Scotty, and all.*waving* I have the wash detail today, time to go.

The police have finally arrested someone for the murder of the pastor's son. They're still calling for witnesses.

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 5, 2007 6:05 AM | Report abuse

G'morning, Cassandra. Hey, everybody. My day started off wrong: I had to get up half an hour early to take Mr. T to work so I can go pick him up at 10 and head up the mountain. It's amazing how discombobulating a change to the morning routine is.

But I'm fine, really I am. I have my morning tea and will head out for the walk shortly.

Glad to hear that the police have made an arrest, Cassandra. What a crying shame the loss of life is. The big news here today is that a disgruntled employee who had been fired went back to a restaurant and killed two managers by shooting them in the head. So very, very wrong.

Posted by: Slyness | October 5, 2007 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom - I am glad you could do something to lessen their pain.

Cassandra - I am glad that an arrest has been made. I know this will never bring the boy back, but maybe it will keep others safe.

dbG - For some of us wasting time *is* performance art.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 5, 2007 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Morning all!

Had to hold off on the coffee this morning, as I'm getting a check-up...

I THINK I'll be able to stay awake until they finish poking me.

*something-short-of-proper Grover waves*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 5, 2007 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Good morning and new kit!

Posted by: Kim | October 5, 2007 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Hello! Good site!

Thank you!

Posted by: cash | December 4, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Hello! Good site!

Thank you!

Posted by: wholesale | December 6, 2007 3:06 AM | Report abuse

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