Daytrip to West L.A.

Hello there my lovely blog-er-oos!  Yes, it’s been a long time.  I’ve had my nose to the grindstone — pumping photos & descriptions into the website from those 10,000 photos from last year.  I still have maybe 4,000 photos to go.  If you want to follow along with my additions & progress, there’s always the “what’s new” page:

Otherwise, eking out a living & spending a lot of time with the dogs at various beaches & grassy fields.  I should announce that I lost one of my dogs a couple months ago.  Gripper had a really bad case of anemia (IMHA) and then had a miraculous recovery.  A full month of joy for us both before she succumbed to a quick and fatal gastrointestinal episode.  I’m still a bit of a wreck from missing her.  She was one special dog and gave me more than 15 years of challenges, laughs, and companionship.

Which brings me to the reason for today’s daytrip.  An annual checkup for Sputnik with a doggie ophthalmologist in Culver City.  His one functioning eye has definitely gotten worse in the past few months.  I have to on-leash steer him to keep him from crashing into poles and even walls.  I only run him in wide open spaces, where he continues to run about 60 mph.  I strategically throw the ball which ever direction he’s heading, landing it near him so he can hear it and sniff it down.  The good news is that his crappy, cataract-ed lens is so bad now that surgery is not an option.  That saves me a few thousand bucks with the risk of blindness anyway, thank you!  Fortunately, the lens is so bad that with these new pupil-constricting drops, it may just fall down inside the eye — meaning he could see much better if it does.  Crossing fingers!  He has to go back in a month for evaluation.  Therefore, more good news, another day trip ahead in June.  More photos then…  And hopefully the weather is better then than I can get in TWO days.   (Forecast is rain for tomorrow.)  No biggie roadtrips on the horizon — but eventually I will figure out a way.

OK — on with the photos!!  Let’s start with some Culver City stuff:






On to Los Angeles — the former Kelbo’s:





From West L.A.  It was shocking and sad to see Dolores closed.  Evidently, there was a fire there in December:




For this trip, I gave a new app a try.  I won’t bore you with my old system.  But, this time, I plotted the destinations (actually enough for maybe a dozen days) on Google Maps and then used the free “My Places” app.  I’ve tried using Google Maps directly on my iPhone on a previous trip and it sucked.  But this was a pretty handy, well-functioning thing.  Tapping on the pushpins gives you the address.  And the map has that constantly updating blue dot that shows you where you are in relation to the push pins.   I still bring my printed companion list with the biz names, etc. so I know what the addresses represent.  It did help to organize the route & list once I had plugged everything in on the computer.  This is as close as I’ll come to GPS folks!!




Further diversions…  I’ve seen quite a lot of these trees and have no idea what they are.  Bizarre, drooping, trumpet-y flowers.   Can you flora experts out there give us an I.D.?




Hollyhocks, in abundance!




This one breaks my heart.  Back when I lived in Venice in the late 1970s, the Fox Venice was a happening place.  Double features, all kinds of fun art house, foreign film stuff.  With an upstairs lounge so popular that many people just paid the box office fee and never watched the movies.  The neon marquee is gone and there are crappy stores there now.  I couldn’t bring myself to peek inside.  What once was:




The Penguin Coffee Shop in Santa Monica is still sorta kinda there.  Well, a dentist office now but… be grateful, glass half full.  The penguin survives and there are still white rocks on the roof, too.  Here’s a vintage photo:





And I’m very grateful that one of my fave college-days-budget-eats places is still around.  It’s hardly changed at all.  Pancho’s Tacos on Lincoln in Santa Monica.  I got a chile relleno burrito but I don’t have a photo for you since I ate it at night.  The entire thing.  Like a ravenous pig.



OK, let’s close out with some pretty neon-night photos.  From Santa Monica:





And Venice:



Same place — animated parrot with open/shut beak:




See you all back here in June!  Happy spring to you all!


Oh, and, don’t forget, there’s more photos from today at Flickr:


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