Living Across the Street From Edward G. Robinson

I recently found the above vintage Polaroid photo when my mom was packing up our old house. That’s Edward G. Robinson standing in his driveway, directly across the street from where we lived on Rexford Drive in Beverly Hills. My mother snapped this from my upstairs bedroom window shortly after I was born, and it’s the only photo that we have of him. We used to see Mr. Robinson walking his seven dogs with his wife, Jane, while smoking that signature cigar of his. His house was on two lots, and was built by architect Samuel Marx, who had very recently completed his own masterpiece in 1939, The May Co Department Store at Fairfax and Wilshire Blvd. Robinson’s home was a picturesque Tudor style, which the actor contemplated selling in order to build a new home that would better accommodate his growing art collection. In fact, Edward had such an extensive art collection that he commissioned Samuel Marx to build a separate art gallery on the property. It was designed specifically to show off…

Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills

I couldn't think of a better place to set me loose! 
Graystone Manor is a hidden gem tucked away above Sunset Blvd in Beverly Hills. The mansion, built in 1927 is only open during special programs such as Music in the Mansion and Friends of Greystone events, although the outside grounds are open daily for visitors to enjoy! 

Greystone Mansion, and the surrounding grounds with which it shares its magnificent beauty, are rich in California history. Edward Laurence Doheny, who bought the land in the 1910s, was born in 1856 in the small Midwestern town of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. In 1892, Doheny and his friend Charles A. Canfield, were the first to strike oil in Los Angeles. They later discovered large oil deposits in Mexico which, combined with their Los Angeles holdings, made them the largest producers of oil in the world at that time. Edward Doheny and his wife Carrie Louella Wilkins had two children. Their first, a daughter Eileen, passed away when she was just seven years old. On No…

Edelweiss Chocolates

I just adore the window display atEdelweiss Chocolatesin Beverly Hills - especially around the holidays. This charming little chocolate factory has been in business in the same location since 1942. Those are the original Art Deco glass blocks on both sides making it one one of the very last vintage store facades left in the neighborhood - and one of the oldest confectionaries in America that still process its chocolates by hand. Frank Sinatra's favorite were the Maple Creams and Lauren Bacall and Katherine Hepburn's were the Chocolate Turtles (also a favorite of my father's). Many think this is where that famous Lucy episode was filmed, but it WAS where Lucy got the idea for the episode since she used to enter through the back door. In 1996, agent Marty Ingles purchased the entire store for wife, actress Shirley Jones. She sold it in 2004 to current owner, Madlin Zahir. If you get there early enough she might give you a tour. In fact once of my earliest 'Vintage LA'…

Loves Wood Pit Barbecue

When you're at LOVE'S, the whole world is delicious...

How I miss "Love's Wood Pit Barbecue". Back in the 1970s and 1980s, these recognizable retro structures were all over Southern California. They always seemed to be conveniently located and had pretty decent ribs for a chain. I have vivid memories of dipping that delicious bread in the BBQ sauce, (with the little seeds) with a side of their famous baked beans that tasted like candy. Mustn't forget the bowls of water and lemon to clean your hands and face afterward. I felt so 'adult' getting Shirley Temples and walking through the the bar area to the ladies room. Their Heart's Delight sandwich and hot fudge sundaes also stick out in my mind. You wonder how a place that good and that successful could go out of business, but sadly they no longer exist. 
'Love's" starting closing in the late 1980s. There were some changes of ownerships and lawsuits over the years that took it's toll …

The Cock n' Bull on Sunset Strip

The Cock n' Bull in 1974. The CR prefix stood for CRestview.

This beloved "Vintage Los Angeles" tavern located at Sunset and Doheny was not only popular with the neighborhood locals, but also with 'Old Hollywood' entertainers like John Barrymore, Bette Davis, Orson Welles, John Carradine, Sal Mineo, Peter O'Toole, Jack Webb (who had his own table and lived across the street from Sierra Towers) and Richard Burton who actually changed tables every time he changed wives. It was home base for Oliver Reed, who would salute the Queen of England after a few. Anyone that didn't salute, he'd holler, "GET OUT!"  Dean Martin used to go there quite often (since his own restaurant was within walking distance) and around Christmas time he would write the entire staff each a check for $200.00, from the busboys on up! In Shelly Winter's autobiography she mentions going to the Cock n' Bull the day Germany fell and Hitler was dead. Previously, she had …