18 April 2010
My Little Town
This week's Take This Tune is all about hometowns. I was born in Paradise. If you click on the picture above, it will take you to the "Golden Dreams" book in the Kevin Starr series about California from its earliest Spanish years to the disaster level problems facing it now. Golden Dreams, An Age of Abundance covers the years 1950 - 1963 which for me would be second grade to the the birth of my first child. In my lifetime Los Angeles has gone from 1.5 million people to 3.7 million people.
Even worse the state has gone from 12 million to 38 million. Since I can't turn back time, I can at least show you pictures of what "My Little Town" looked like when I was little.
Hillstreet Theater. Inside it was one of the great movie palaces despite its rather utilitarian outside. You had to drive quite a distance on city streets to get downtown until the late .50s because the Pasadena and Harbor Freeways didn't open until 1940 and 1948 and there was still farmland between the outer and inner suburbs. If you would like to recreate one of those drives, you can courtesy of Curating The City link for Wilshire Boulevard.
Olivera Street - Part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, Olivera Street was originally known as Wine Street. It may be a tourist trap but if you have never been to LA, it is a must see part of both the city's history and the amazing culture.
The Farmers Market is a magic place. If someone says, "Meet me at 3rd and Fairfax" - Go. They are probably a native inviting you for an adventure to one of the must-see tourist attractions in Southern California.
You knew I had to give you a beach. It was a one mile bike ride from my house (several houses actually because I moved all over the beach cities of Redondo, Manhattan, Hermosa and Santa Monica) ... can you say every weekend unless I was at Disneyland? Speaking of which ...
Technically not part of LA since it is in Anaheim in Orange County, but it was built by a movie man so Angelenos consider it theirs. The first day was a madhouse as the crowds overwhelmed the lines. I got there the first month when I was 11 and they still had "E Ticket Rides". The favorite period was as a young teen when you could pick up Navy and Army boys at Merry Go Round rock on Tom Sawyer Island and my famous date with a tree ... talk about a more innocent age.