Yes, I’m tired of the subject too, but there’s more. So much more!


When I saw this hotel . . .


. . . I was intrigued, because the sign was original. Not a reproduction to capitalize on a nostalgia vogue:



You can see the holes for the neon tubes, that’s how I believe it’s original. It’s closed. I pointed my camera through the blinds in the window, and couldn’t believe what I saw:


An intact 1930s cafe. I was agog. I was several gogs. Later that day when I looked it up on the internet I discovered that this was a perfect example of LA: the cafe was a set, built for a movie.

This intrigued me:



Because of the word MILNER. Coast to coast, eh? Well. There was a Milner in Minneapolis, many years ago.

Their website says it was the nation’s first hotel chain. An ad from an old Life mag for the chain, here. From many to four.

A ghost sign:



Let's apply some Photoshop magic:






Thirties / Forties design, stylized to the point of abstraction.


As long as I'm tossing everything out there: This couple was sitting on a card on my desk for the entire stay. I came to hate them.





I don’t know why. Possibly because it suggested that women get that GLOW OF WONDER AND ANTICIPATION when looking at online pictures of Millennium hotels. And he's a wimp who puts up with her because he's afraid he'll never do better. I don’t like Millennium Hotels, and I’ll tell you why: all the soaps smell spicy. I noticed this years ago at the Millennium in New York, and it was explained to me that the chain had a high number of Asian male patrons, and this was the scene profile they liked. On that basis alone do we form life-long judgments. That, and the fact that the paint was peeled on the bottom of the inside of the bathroom door.

But the view from the window was quintessential old LA:



As was the view down the street.



Pictures like this make you think it’s 194X again, even though it can’t possibly be. A few blocks away was Angels’ Flight, the famous little streetcar that goes up the hill. I’ve seen it in noir movies. The area looked like this:



Completely different now. In fact, it’s not the same - the railroad was dismantled when the neighborhood was leveled for redevelopment, and a vast swath of old LA was destroyed for meretricious new structures.




I did get out of downtown. Friday afternoon I went to Beverly Hills with Michael Walsh to see another friend at MGM; we ate at an Italian place where I saw J. Jonah Jameson from the Spider-Man movies. As they say: if you think it’s him, it’s probably him. Because it’s Los Angeles, and all that. Afterwards Michael drove me through the neighborhoods tourists never see, including Angelino Heights, home to the city’s largest concentration of Victorian homes. Most were well-preserved or rehabbed, although I have to admit there was something about the condition of this model and the quality of the post-rain light that gave it a fascinating cast:



And of course a hallowed old sign. There are so many. And not enough:



In the evening, the Hollywood Party. It would be speaking out of school, whatever that means, to describe the location or the guest list. The host’s TV was playing a slideshow of old black-and-white images from classic movies, and hello: there was Cesare from “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” which I watched last week. Hey, everyone, did you know that’s Major Strasser from “Casablanca”? Trust me! It is! Afterwards I went home and hit the pillow, since the next day would be allll travel. Supershuttle to the airport, sit around, flight to Denver, sit around, flight home. I went back a day early, since I’d done everything I needed to do. It was a pleasure to meet Los Angeles’ acquaintance. Loved what I saw; delighted in the exploratory walks. I don’t think I’d ever feel at home in that city if I spent the rest of my life there.

TOMORROW: back to the usual; teaching a class; some thoughts on this Blogworld thing that was the reason for the entire trip, and hence deserves a post of its own. Have a grand day!




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