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September 22, 2022

A Dream Encounter With the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile (Or, the Day We Had Hot Dogs For Breakfast)

The first time I ever got to see the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile up close, it was in Palm Springs in April 2021. (I might've seen one in the wild on the freeway or from a distance before that, but I can't quite remember.)
 
circa 2021

September 17, 2022

Photo Essay: St. Vincent Court, The Historic Los Angeles Alley Where Coffee and Kebabs Converge

Between the St. Vincent Jewelry Center on the corner of 7th and Hill and the Burlington (Coat Factory) department store at 7th and Broadway, there's a breezeway that leads to an alley, traversed by two multistory air bridges.

 Photo: Google Streetview circa February 2022 

This is St. Vincent Court. 
 
 

September 14, 2022

Taking My Punishment

Image by Edward Lich from Pixabay 

As a child who was wrongfully accused and convicted of a number of household crimes—from scratching my mother's wooden rocking chair and new bathroom wallpaper to pitting the cover of a borrowed paperback book on the kitchen counter—I learned early on how to shut up and take my punishments.

September 13, 2022

Photo Essay: Inside the Apple Takeover of the Tower Theatre on Broadway in DTLA

Back in 2012, I had what I thought at the time was a "last chance" to get inside the Tower Theatre on Broadway in Downtown LA before it got renovated for some other purpose.

circa 2018

September 09, 2022

From Country to Rock and Glam: The Sunset Strip's First High-Rise Hotel (With the Tallest Rooftop Pool In All of L.A.)

When I would have to visit Los Angeles for my work in the music industry back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it had become passé to stay at the Hyatt House, a.k.a. the Riot House—where bands like Led Zeppelin had famously partied in the 1970s.

But the Sunset Strip was still cool back then, even 20 years ago. We just stayed across the street at hotels like The Standard Hollywood (now closed), the Mondrian, or The Grafton on Sunset (now Hotel Ziggy)—and we felt the Riot House's presence, looming over Sunset Boulevard.

circa 2020

September 07, 2022

Photo Essay: Where L.A. Traded a Racetrack For Rose Bushes (And Almost Dug Them Up For Stadium Parking 60 Years Later)

Despite all the tragedy and inconvenience of it, the pandemic gave me the chance to refocus my efforts on exploring places I'd been putting off for far too long. And one of those was the Exposition Park Rose Garden. 

 

September 05, 2022

Photo Essay: The American Military Museum's Island of Tanks and Stockpile of Surplus Military Supplies

Not far from the former LA-14 Nike Missile Site (L) in South El Monte, just outside the boundaries of Whittier Narrows Recreation Area, there's a 7-acre parcel filled with antique military equipment. 

It's the American Military Museum, fondly nicknamed "Tankland."

Craig Michelson is its current curator (and collector), but it was his father—a former officer in WWII—who founded it six decades ago.



August 31, 2022

A World Without Olivia Newton-John

Pan-Pacific Auditorium, seen in Xanadu (Marvin Rand, Historic American Buildings Survey, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)
 
I don't remember a time when Olivia Newton-John hasn't been a part of my life.

August 28, 2022

Photo Essay: The Automobiliana and Petroliana of the Segerstrom Shelby Event Center and Museum

I usually don't give up a chance to visit a car museum—whether I'm in Nashville, Tennessee or Las Vegas, Nevada. But sometimes it might take me a little while to get there. 


The Segerstrom Shelby Event Center and Museum opened in October 2021...

August 27, 2022

Virginia & Truckee Railroad Once Again Rolls Out of Virginia City, Thanks to Rebuilt Tracks and Tunnels

My first trip to Virginia City, Nevada coincided with the 150th anniversary celebration of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad, a.k.a. "Queen of the Short Lines"—so while I was in the area, I wanted to make sure I could experience as much of the V&T as possible. 

After having ridden a railbike from Carson City towards Virginia City (where a train also runs, though its schedule didn't mesh with mine), I headed to Virginia City to ride a special train towards Carson City to experience the rail from the other end. 

But I had some time to kill before my train departure, so I started snooping around town.