Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Favorite Colors

At least once a year, many of the streets of my home town turn a brilliant purple as the Jacaranda Trees blossom!  The flowers are so thick that they can fall and cover the street, and still leave enough for the trees to look purple!  Could it be that my favorite colors since childhood have been purple and green because of these trees? 

Monday, May 30, 2011


On Memorial Day today I thought it would be appropriate to look for relics of wartime in Eagle Rock. There is not much, other than memorial plaques,  but we do have a few of the old Air Raid Sirens still standing. A few months ago I posted about one of the other more visible Sirens on Colorado Blvd.  The one above is much harder to find, located on a small residential street in the heart of Eagle Rock.  Here are my childhood memories as well as some history:
On the last Friday of every month at 10:00am I would hear the familiar wail of the Air Raid Sirens.  Throughout my childhood these 2 minute tests were so regular that when they ended in 1985 I almost missed them!  
The Air Raid Sirens started going up just weeks after Pearl Harbor, and eventually about 225 were installed.  About 150 still remain,  silent and rusting.  There are actually people who search these things out,  and one person has put together a thorough website. They are not pretty,  but they are a reminder of a part of our history, and I think it is important that at least some of them remain a part of our landscape.  

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Great Old Ladies

This is one of the unique, and in my opinion,  perfect homes of Eagle Rock.  I lived across the street from it for many years,  and I got to know the house as well as the great old lady who owned it. Both are one of a kind, and filled with interesting details! 

Saturday, May 28, 2011


A beautiful clear day in Eagle Rock! As I was exploring the area around Hill Drive I found the side wall of this lovely old home completely covered with vines.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Farmers Market Friday 5

Another for the "You Never Know What You'll Find" file! I have no idea what these things are,  but I like the colors!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Signs of Eagle Rock - 3

This shoe repair shop used to be located in an older building which was torn down to make way for a modern strip mall. The architecture is nothing special,  but at least they kept the old neon!

If you like old signs as much as I do, check out my new Facebook Page: 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Residents are required to clear their lots,  but I guess CalTrans can just let them grow!  The weeds under the 2 Freeway on the west border of Eagle Rock look sort of fluffy,  but I wouldn't want to take a nap in them!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Not Your "Corner" Bank!

One of Eagle Rock's stranger buildings, the circular Universal Bank on Colorado.  Personally I don't think of it as fine architecture,  but it does add to the eclectic flavor of Eagle Rock!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Familiar Spire?

The top of this church tower has always looked familiar to me,  then I realized,  it is remarkably similar to the mooring mast of the Empire State Building! Do you suppose the designer of this Eagle Rock church was in-"spired" by that famous building? 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mystery House

I've always been fascinated by this house,  perched all alone on the top of a little hill.  I know nothing about it,  who lives there,  or what the history is.  It looks like it could be on a tropical island somewhere, but it is right here in the middle of Eagle Rock,  overlooking my old Elementary School!  

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Let's Go Surfin' Now...

It looks like a beautiful weekend in Southern California! Time to throw the surf board on the Woodie and head for the waves!  OK, I may be a Native Southern Californian,  but I have to admit I've never surfed! This old british import does look good with those surfboards on top!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Farmers Market Friday 4

Not only is the food at the Farmers Market fresh from the grower,  I frequently see things I can't find at my grocery store, look at the variety of potatoes! Every time I go I see something new!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Abatement Time!

It is the time of year when empty lots need to be cleared of weeds for the coming warm months. The hills of Eagle Rock, while beautiful and green in the Spring,  can be dangerous once the grasses die out in the Summer heat.  I remember many grass fires as a kid,  so these weed abatement programs are really necessary. This teal green plant caught my eye, it probably was hidden by weeds a few weeks ago!  Another reason to cut the grasses back,  who knows what you will find!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Taking Shelter

Another drizzly day today in Eagle Rock! While they don't really protect you from the rain, the street trees of La Roda, between Colorado Boulevard and Hill Drive do create a nice canopy!    

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Gray Day

Today the clouds rolled in giving us a brief shower in the morning,  but then just a heavy cloud layer for the rest of the day.  Every so often there is a break in the clouds,  just enough for the sun to shine through and warm things up a bit.  This is the bench at the top of OXY Hill,  one of my favorite places,  and a great place to sit and enjoy the panoramic cloud show!  

Monday, May 16, 2011

1st Stage

The first stage I remember performing on was the old Auditorium at Eagle Rock Elementary School.  I played the cello in the school orchestra,  and also worked back stage for some little shows. I recently went back to the Auditorium to take pictures. This is a grill on the outside, above the entrance.  The Auditorium looks almost exactly the same,  but as expected,  a lot smaller!  I am so glad I had those experiences and that today's little kids can still go up on this little stage and put on a show!  

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Wild Blooms

I just visited one of my childhood friends at his new home in Eagle Rock.  The last time I visited they were in the middle of major renovation and things were pretty torn up.  This week when I pulled up in front of their home I almost didn't recognize it! The entire front yard was full of wild flowers! It is absolutely beautiful! 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hill Drive Palms

One of the most beautiful streets in Eagle Rock is Hill Drive, and one of the things making Hill Drive and some of the streets between Colorado and Hill special are the palm trees.  I grew up believeing that most of the palm trees planted along streets around Los Angeles were done as part of a beautification program for the 1932 Olympics,  but I have never seen proof of this.  Whoever planted them, they are iconic symbols of Los Angeles and I'm glad Eagle Rock has it's share!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Farmers Market Friday 3

One of the other fun things about the Eagle Rock Farmers Market, live music! 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Occidental College

OXY is a very important part of our community and my family's life.  My parents met here and my brother, father, and grandfather were students here.  As I was growing up I considered the campus my "front yard",  I played all over it,  exploring every corner,  playing hide and seek in the carob bushes, making piles of the Jacaranda flowers, swimming in the pool, etc.  
The lovely campus has been used in movies and TV for decades, and in future posts I will include some of the rare and interesting appearances OXY has made on the "silver screen"!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

First Balcony

This was the second house my father built,  but the first one I actually remember living in.  One of the drawbacks of hillside living was that we didn't have a huge back yard,  so my dad put mesh on this balcony and I got to play outside, hundreds of feet above the Eagle Rock valley floor!   

Now that's a playroom with a view!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Skylights at Glen-Rock

Car Wash architecture is not normally known for it's beauty,  but you might still find it of you look closely!  As I was waiting at Glen-Rock Carwash for my car to go through I looked up and saw these skylights above a planter. Purple and green,  my favorite colors!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Signs of Eagle Rock - 2

Eagle Rock has lots of little motels but I am repeatedly drawn to the Islander,  not for it's comfy beds or amenities,  in fact, I have never gone inside. I just like it's original architecture and neon signs! Yes, it could use some TLC, I just hope that if anyone takes it on as a project that they retain the Streamline design and funky character!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Steps of my Childhood

On Mother's Day today I think it is fitting to revisit these concrete steps that are so familiar to me and my brother and sister.  
In 1960 My mother Sally was one of 3 people who founded the Occidental College Summer Drama Festival.  Every summer until we were adults, my whole family would be part of this amazing community theater,  producing between 4-6 plays ranging from the classics of Shakespeare and Shaw to American Musicals. The first few years were produced on the steps in front of Thorne Hall,  then the Festival moved to the Remsen Bird Hillside Theater, a concrete reproduction of the classic greek amphitheater.  
For as far back as I can remember, my summers were spent running up and down these stairs, hiding back stage or playing in the costume and property rooms.  Many warm summer nights I would fall asleep on these steps,  listening to rehearsals of Gilbert and Sullivan and feeling the warmth of the summer sun still radiate from the concrete.  As we grew older my siblings and I started to work back stage and appear onstage in small roles.  We all took what we learned at Summer Theater and found satisfying careers in theater and filmmaking for many years!  
Thanks to my mom for such a unique and wonderful childhood! 

Saturday, May 7, 2011


These trees over Escarpa Drive near OXY remind me a bit of cumulus clouds.  The skies today are pretty gray, but Eagle Rock is full of color!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Farmers Market Friday 2

There is nothing like the smell of strawberries in the air!  Look at the SIZE of these things!  The Eagle Rock Farmers Market is on Fridays starting at 5:00 pm,  at the corner of Caspar and Merton.  

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo!!

Where better to celebrate than Ernies! This old menu has been posted on the wall of the current restaurant for years, but how many have looked at it closely?  I love the artwork, and you can see the old address and phone number.  And a Complete Mexican Dinner for $1.60?? OK, some things have changed a bit,  but the food is still some of the best of Eagle Rock!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Say Ahhhh!

This building is where I used to go to see the dentist.  I always thought this entrance looked like a face!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Another trip to Tritch Hardware, this time for pipes of all shapes and sizes! As a kid I would sit down in the back aisle where the plastic fittings were and see how many I could put on my arms. Later I would make my own robot costumes out of the fittings from Tritch! See, it's a Halloween store too!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Beautiful Car Wash?

I bet there are not many car washes that can say they've won awards for best landscaping, but this one has! Not only is the facility surrounded by lovely rose gardens, mature trees, manicured lawns and picnic areas,  but they also did a great job washing my filthy car!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May (Theme) Day

This was a good challenge! I had hoped to find a unique mailbox,  like the ones my dad had built for his Eagle Rock houses, but the unique boxes didn't make very good pictures.  Then,  as I was about to give up, I found this traditional box on this bright curved picket fence, with matching roses!  Happy May Day! 

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