KPCC Radio interview on "Take Two with Alex Cohen"
Thank you Alex Cohen and KPCC and NPR for having me on the air with you once again speaking about Vintage Los Angeles. It was a pleasure and an honor to discuss Vintage Christmas in Los Angeles! To listen click here: Take Two with Alex Cohen
Here's some VLA pics of Christmas during the 1940s to get you in the mood....
The Legendary Past and Celluloid Future of Tower Records on the Sunset Strip
By Alison Martino
Photo: Robert Landau
It’s impossible not to think of Tower Records when referring to the Sunset Strip. It’s even more impossible to accept that the beloved store once located at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Horn Avenue is no longer in business.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers💔signing autographs at Tower Records in Los Angeles, 1976
I recently had dinner with a friend not too far from the old Tower location. As we were paying our bill, we discussed what we should do next. I joked that we should walk down to Tower Records and browse through rows and rows of LPs and cassettes, then head across the street to Tower Video to rent the latest release (most likely on VHS).
I wish it wasn’t just a fantasy. You see, Tower Records was more then just a record store, It was a musical rite of passage. It’s where kids graduated to die-hard music fans. I spent my very first allowance money on Blon…
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 …
VINTAGE LOS ANGELES: FISH SHANTY AND THE KOOKY WONDERLAND THAT WAS RESTAURANT ROW
La Cienega and Beverly Boulevard used to be a playful pocket of themed eateries, amusement parks, and nightclubs By Alison Martino
Established in 1950 by the Smith Bros., the Fish Shanty was classic West Coast kitsch. Located at the intersection of La Cienega Boulevard and Burton Way, it was known to Angelenos as "the restaurant that swallowed you whole,” and nothing thrilled me more as a child than walking through the jaws of the Shanty’s whale façade or hiding under his fin, which was made out of thousands of tiny, ocean-blue, midcentury mosaic tiles that sparkled during sundown like the crest of an effervescent wave. (It will be forever preserved on film after being used as the entrance to a British club in the 1965 black comedy, The Loved One.)
Photographs of the La Cienega Smith Bros. Fish Shanty restaurant interior. Handwritten descriptions by Birdie Smith in the Margin.