los angeles: je t’aime

Shorpy Historical Photo Archive :: Hollywood Hills: 1960

Shorpy Historical Photo Archive :: Hollywood Hills: 1960


I get these random bugs, itches—or what some of you may consider is urges–to leave the routine and mundane for a different scenery. I’m looking to book my annual trip to New York City next month, but I suddenly have the urge to visit California again. It hit after my third viewing of Not Fade Away (in tribute after James Gandolfini’s death).

The last time the dry heat of the west coast hit my skin was ten years ago. Hearing the pilot announce the arrival as the plane descended into LAX was a lifelong moment I waited to hear. The lights, in their high-beam glory were shining at the plane landed just around 11PM (2AM EST, but my excitement had me beyond wired).

Aside from celebrities, expensive real estate and natives who shudder at temperatures below 70 degrees, Los Angeles still tugs at my heartstrings for the history. Vintage signs, diners, beautiful pastels and retro graphic design are part of a city that grabs me hard. Mid-century houses are my eye candy, and late 1950’s early 1960’s large glass paneled houses overlooking beaches are just so damn gorgeous.

Of course in my odd, twisted mind of being a writer, I get revved up over the popular culture, the music, landmarks and even tragedies of yesteryear’s Los Angeles. Tragic actresses, dirty Hollywood, Jan and Dean, the Beach Boys, Carol Doda’s topless dancing at the Whisky A Go-Go…I love it all, baby.

I tried to hit it all in Los Angeles. I strolled the pier in Santa Monica, rode along the sloping streets and hit the beach in Venice. Saw where Mike Love and the Wilson boys surfed at Manhattan Beach. I tried to fit my hands into Marilyn’s at Graumann’s while weaving in and out of the wackadoos that crawl along Hollywood Boulevard in the evening. I asked a lovely drunk man at an East LA gas station how to get back to west LA, ventured through Beverly Hills and felt like I was at home on Sunset. Finding an In-N-Out location to eat at least one meal there each day.

There are still nooks and crannies I have yet to explore the next time I visit. I feel I have only scratched the surface, just like New York City. Every time I visit New York, I cover ground in different areas.

To further fuel my current joie de vivre that fuels my inner happiness for future adventures, I’ve come across Jennifer Brandt Taylor’s Vintage LA: Eats, Boutiques, Decor, Landmarks, Markets & More. Between the sneak peeks and reviews from other bloggers, it is my must-grab and my to-do list for the next jaunt out west.

Also, have you seen Vintage Los Angeles? Alison Martino has a wonderful project going on where imagery is curated and archived boasting great photographs from Los Angeles’ past.


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