Monday, October 30, 2006

Econo Lodge Inn and Suites Sunset

7370 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Here is a shot of a cool motel on Sunset. Actually, the sign is what attracted me to the place. The stars, shape and ball on top all add to the optimistic and happy theme of the sign. It draws the motorist to the motel.

A close up shows a little more detail, and hey, high speed internet, score!


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Cabazon Dinosaurs- Part One

As seen in the movies Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, and The Wizard, the Cabazon Dinosaurs are the ultimate in Roadside Attractions. Though the dinosaurs haven't changed much since each was built, the immediate surroundings have undergone landscaping changes, as well as the encroachment of fast food restaurants. A gift shop museum sits inside "Dinny" the largest dinosaur, which I suppose is a Brontosaurus. My photos, shot in 2002, were taken during a critical time in the site's history. The land was up for sale, and many were unsure if the dinos were going to survive. Now, the dinosaurs are part of a new museum which highlights the debate between evolution and intelligent design.

Visit the Cabazon dinosaur official website here.


Friday, October 20, 2006

Gardena Central Garage

If you remember my previous post about the old Gardena Valley News building, then you may remember this building. The Central Garage became the Gardena Valley News headquarters in 1951, and as this picture shows, it was quite different back then. Once located at 16417 Western Ave, the building is now completely gone and just a vacant lot remains. It actually is now part of the Faith Center Church's playground/parking lot.

This picture shows the added second story. However, the original feel of the building remained until they tore it down. Gardena does not seem to care about their historic buildings. More and more of them seem to be demolished every year, and they don't have very many to begin with.
(Archive photo courtesy of Ben Taniguchi)

View Demolition photos of the Gardena Valley News building here.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tall Tale Coasters- Babe the Blue Ox

The last piece in the set of tall tale coasters is "Babe" the blue ox. I wonder how many of these coasters were sold, or if they were made for some kind of promotion. Was there a Paul Bunyan one? This picture doesn't show how large Babe is supposed to be, and I wish Paul was in it too. According to the legend, Paul and Babe created many of the "natural" wonders of the United States. Their footprints created the numerous lakes of Minnesota, and Paul's Axe dug the Grand Canyon. These tall tales are a kind of American mythology.

View more information on tall tales here.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Tall Tale Coasters- Johnny Inkslinger

The third Tall Tale Coaster is of Johnny Inkslinger. The little description on the bottom of the coaster says it all. In the Paul Bunyan legend, Johnny was the bookkeeper of the camp and invented a type of fountain pen that was attached to a hose coming from a barrel. The colors on the coaster are a little messed up, but Johnny is still visible. Leave it to a bookkeeper find unique ways to save money.

View information on Paul Bunyan and tale tales here.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Tall Tale Coasters- 7th Son of a Souix

The next Tall Tale coaster is called 7th Son of a Souix. I tried looking for information about this unusual character but I was unable to find any. Perhaps he is part of the Paul Bunyan legend, and perhaps not. The artwork is pretty neat and stylized. It reminds me of the Cleveland Indians mascot. I am not sure if this would constitute a stereotyped depiction. I have seen plenty of white characters drawn as goofy caricatures, and all of the coasters in the set are pretty silly looking. So I don't see any reason not to include this guy in a post.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Tall Tale Coasters- Sport The Reversible Dog

A while back I came across a set of four Tall Tale coasters at a rummage sale. Each coaster has an illustration and the name of the character. Today's focus is on Sport, the reversible dog. Part of the Paul Bunyan legend, the poor little guy was cut in half by a logger then sewn up incorrectly. From then on, sport was the reversible dog who used his disability as an advantage. He would run on his front legs, then after he became tired switch to his hind legs. I don't have a date on the coasters, but they are probably pretty old based on the artwork and one coaster's depiction of an Indian that might not go over so well today.

View information on Paul Bunyan and Tale Tales here.


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Movieland- Animal Crackers

A classic comedy team, the Marx Brothers, is immortalized in the Movieland Wax Museum. Groucho, Chico, and Harpo represent the 1930 movie Animal Crackers, and they seem to be enjoying themselves. This small set is just packed with life. Although it is unusual that Chico would be directly in the front of the set and not Groucho or Harpo, it works.

A typical clapboard and wax facts sign.

Some sets had these extra signs. With a team as popular and influential as the Marx Brothers, a simple "Wax Facts" sign is not enough. The set sold at auction for $300. The figures were not auctioned off so they most likely ended up at the World Wax Museum in Korea (unconfirmed).

View the Filmographies for Groucho, Chico, and Harpo.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Gardena Valley News

The Gardena Valley News is a small newspaper in the city of Gardena. For over fifty years the paper was headquartered at 16417 Western Ave, but moved recently to a new location at 15005 S Vermont Ave. The sad part of the story is that the historic building, nearly 100 years old, was demolished in August 2006. These photographs were taken during the demolition.

This view shows the actual demolition going on. It was so sad to see this building go. My first job was as a paperboy delivering the Gardena Valley News. I would pick up the papers for delivery from this very building. Here is more information on the building courtesy of Ben Taniguchi of Galvin Preservation, "The building was more than likely constructed in 1910s and opened as an auto repair garage known as the “Central Garage.” At some point, either prior to or after GVN purchased the building, a second story was added. GVN moved from their office, which was located at 1113 W Gardena Blvd, to the Western Ave location in 1951. It is likely that the building was still an auto garage prior to GVN moving in."

View more Demolition photos of the Gardena Valley News building here.