I suppose this is a good place to start.

I know it’s iconic and this was well worth a visit, there’s a pleasant short walk around a park and pathway near enough this sign. I’ve always thought they should perhaps do something about the kerning on this piece, typographers will know what I’m on about. I’ve had a lot of fun wandering around the bits of LA near to where we are staying but , like most things here, this required a car journey.

I’ve taken lots of sign pics and will be featuring them on them next few posts. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed finding them. It helps of course, that we’ve had almost unbroken sunshine, a lot of the pictures were taken on Christmas Day when it was unusually quiet, but it’s back to its bustling self again.

If you can’t draw him, hide him.

This sign of the Beatles, or perhaps better described as a mural, shows how best to deal with a face that you can’t draw too well. Everyone knows what the Beatles look like so it’s tough when you can’t get a likeness, but here where the artist can’t seem to fix it, it’s been fixed by hiding him! George is not rendered too well here either but Ringo and John are doing ok. Paul’s in hiding , perhaps just as well.

I feel for the person who did this piece, I find it tough to draw any sort of likeness. I might manage Ringo and John at a push, but the other two would defeat me too.

Office sign in red and blue.

It seems to me that much of LA is a cacophony. In regard to streets they are full of businesses in some areas, and here you’ll find signs all over the place, all competing for the passing trade. Footfall is not really the term here, perhaps carfall should be the word.

This building made a refreshing change from the norm with just the one word on it and that was not adding much to the selling message. It was like a deep breath in a long sentence.

At the football match, a peak of cacophony, every second of the time inside the stadium was filled with something to stimulate, they even set off fireworks when the home team scored. See more about that here Football is football and soccer is our football.

The cars rule here but the system is built for it. I’ve rarely been stationary when in a car, slow but moving at times but not that ‘stuck in a car park’ feeling I’ve experienced in the UK at times. There’s time for this to change before we return but so far so good.


This is from my recent trip to Los Angeles,
I miss that blue sky which seems to be a permanent fixture there.

Nice one Evan

I used to know someone who called anything painted on a wall a ‘Muriel’ , so am not sure if this is a one of them or a sign, but whatever it is I like it a lot and the grey car fits in well. Thanks to whoever parked it there. I’m not usually a fan of wall graffiti but there are exceptions and this is one. As usual with these things in L A it is helped by that incessant sunny weather and vivid blue skies, this one taken on Christmas Day.

The artist is Evan Mendel and I hope he was suitably well rewarded for his efforts. You can find him here

Evan Mendel

Christmas Eve in California

A time for snow deep on the ground and the crisp crunch of ice and snow underfoot, wrapped up warm against the chill and the easterly gales. Looking forward to hot drinks and a drop of brandy to ward off the chill in front of a blazing log fire.

Well there are logs, but the rest is Hollywood fiction. This was taken this morning in Griffith Park, Los Angeles.

Wishing all those who bother to pop in here a very Merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year.

Nutty weather

So here we are and as per l’ve packed wooly socks and jummies for the Christmas festivities. It’s in the low seventies and the only thing being tested is the deoderant. The plan for me this time is to take loads of pictures of what I think are a great feature of LA life and that is the billboards or signs.

They will take just about any available space to put up a massive sign, for almost anything, thinking nothing of erecting a load of scaffolding atop an apartment block to add to the advertising free for all. In addition to the signs I’ll be writing here and there with obsevations about how they deal with Christmas here. Mince pies are thin on the ground for a start. The concept is foreign to them, whereas in the UK its gone bananas with mince pieces available from early September and by Christmas stacked to the ceilings in supermarkets.

As well as Christmas I’ll  pop in some stuff about various art galleries and what we see. having been to two already I can tell you its a visual treat.

With this is a photo of a US telegraph pole, well why not?

If you do ever come here don’t miss this.

The Getty is on a hill overlooking LA. It’s worth a visit just for that but add in some stunning architecture and some equally stunning art and you have the makings of a great day out.

It’s free to go in, you just pay for the parking. There are loads of amenities as well as loads of sculpture and art to suit all tastes. I have a liking for the impressionists and works from the 1800s.

I was never a big fan of David’s work but this simple portrait is a stunner and comes with the added bonus of being of the daughter of one of the French revolutionaries, so has a bit of a story. David’s usual work is somewhat monumental, but this simple personal piece has a unique power for me.

I hope you like it as much as I do. I’ll post some more on the next blog.

Incidentally they also have the enlightened view that it is ok to take photos of the paintings as long as you don’t use flash. So no smuggling occurred here.

The Road to La La Land.

So here we are own a plan on our way to la la land and the delights of airline food beckon.

There’s a choice between sausage and mash, chicken curry and a pasta.In the event there’s no chicken curry left, but the helpful flight attendant suggests that we she might have a premium dish ( exclusive to those who sit in rows of two not three as we are in economy ) might be available.

The online ordering system seems to have broken so what we ordered was not.

Giddy with excitement I plumped for the tortellini premium. I was offered a sausage and mash in addition, but declined out of a desire not to look like I inhabited pig class as a matter of course.

Giddiness soon wore off as the tort was not what it ought. Edible, but not premium. There lived a very small slab of green stuff underneath the alleged tort. It tasted of green stuff.

En route to LA this is a trip when last time I managed to cook up a headache of monster proportions. We are travelling virgin again, not a phrase that I like to use really, making it sound like we’ve never done this before.

I’m better prepared this time with an iPad so I can vent like this right now. I am armed with a stock of worthy podcasts to while away the hours, plus a book I’ve not read before: The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell . Recommended holiday reading for the Christmas season.I was brought up around the Wigan area, so thought it would bring back those happy memories of mines and desperate poverty, not my own, but as told and recorded by George. I have memories myself as a small boy hearing the clogs of the miners on their way to work in the very early morning outside the house where we lived. Now there are no mines at all. That might not be a bad thing, but what replaced it is not that edifying, large fulfilment warehouses. At least they are clean.

I’m a quarter way through the small book and it brings to mind the subject of class. We are in economy, others are in premium where they get premium tortellini and more legroom, a privileged few are in first class, which may well be called “ultra high class gold star premium with early boarding”.They pay thousands to be a short walk away from us back here who know our place. Yes, that’s thousands! I had the opportunity to ‘upgrade’ just last night when I checked us in and the upgrade was £3600.00 each!,

Each!

If you spent 50 quid a week on food you’d have change at the end of the year.

That’s just the upgrade too.

I hope they get real coffee up there as the stuff we get in economy is grim indeed.

Perhaps they get better film choices and better sound systems, the one in economy is barely audible and the choice of films hardly seems to matter if you can’t hear it.

It might seem from this that I’m not enjoying myself. I’ll get back to you on that.

So back to class, and Orwell.

I wonder what he’d have made of the present. He describes slums and poverty and the smell of poverty. In Heathrow one is obliged to walk the tunnel of perfume after entering the terminal. I suppose it’s a good idea for them to try and sell this stuff when you are to be sitting for 10 plus hours and looking like a badly wrapped Christmas parcel when you arrive, you will at least smell good, or the perfume will disguise that odour of airline food and the clothes you’ve just slept in. A habit that the poor of Orwell’s day had no choice in.

I thought that when I went to school that by this time some 50 plus years later we would have a much more equal society. Poverty these days is seen as a household without flat screen tv. Orwell’s subjects were almost starving, yet today we have food banks to help our poor and celebrity chefs telling schools how to feed the children properly. We have obesity, eating disorders and fast food as well as high end food at a price that makes the mouth dry and the eyes water.

So, here we are in La La Land this time for Christmas , looking forward to spending time with family there and looking at how the Americans do this sort of thing.

We land in a few hours so it’s downhill all the way from here.


I wrote the above on the plane a few days ago, since then I came across this in a shop in LA and thought about Orwell’s subjects. A bottle of vinegar that would keep them in fish and chips for a couple of years.