SoCal Mini Trip

I got out of town for little shooting down in the L.A. area to take advantage of last week’s three-day holiday weekend.  I’ve caught up with my winter projects and have the big June trip all planned out.  It’s so great to be shooting again!  I’ve already added those photos to my website but I have some “leftover” signs for this blog post.  If you didn’t know, most of things that I post to my blog never get the prestige status of inclusion at my website.  Instead of three separate posts (usually, I do one post per day’s shooting), I’ll just give you one big whammy this time.

Let’s start with this sign in North Hollywood:




This one hangs on in L.A. although the market is gone:


This Elks Lodge sign is in Arcadia.  The text panel must be porcelain under the paint and, surely, it had neon originally:



Here’s a three-fer from L.A.  Be prepared to be chased off if you want to shoot the canopy sign (last photo):





Some nice freestanding letters in Manhattan Beach:



Also in Manhattan Beach: a super cute plastic sign detail from the “Whale of a Wash” laundromat sign:



A two-fer from Commerce:




A fun sign in South Gate — surely that atomic thingie on top must have (maybe still does?) flashed in 3-part animation:



I love the crusty rust on this one at a liquor store in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of L.A.  The neon tubing sure looks intact:



In Highland Park.  One of the best arrows ever, right?  The letters were originally neon and the “Highland Park” bit is a later add-on.  Here’s a vintage photo of when the sign was blue and much prettier:



I don’t know what this sign in San Bernardino advertised for originally.  It was painted blue for another thrift store back in 2007:



This star is installed on top of the Downtown Motel 7 sign in San Bernardino.  The rest of the sign is not worth including, believe me.



A (mostly) surviving Color Tile sign in Bellflower.  These guys are getting super rare:

Here’s an example of one that I shot in Yakima, WA in 2008.  By 2012, the business was gone and so were all of the signs:

A small shopping center sign in Azusa that pays tribute to the mountains of the Angeles National Forest in the distance:


A neglected arrow sign in Gardena installed on the roof of a tire shop:



An empty frame at a liquor store in Compton.  More than likely, each square spelled out “L-I-Q-U-O-R” with the bottom rectangle used for something else (beer? wine? biz name? hours?):



Another liquor sign — this one with quadruple stroke neon at Friendly Liquor in Gardena:


A really big, mysterious arch over this discount store in South Gate.  In 2007, it was white; then it was yellow and then white again; and red since 2019.  Note how the arch continues down to the ground on the left.



I made it out to the desert to shoot some things.  One of the places on my list was this little private collection in Joshua Tree.   The property functions as “Bungalow in the Boulders”, a bed & breakfast.  There’s also a bottle house there.  Here are some of the signs:









Two more signs for this post.  This is a new one from 2016 in downtown L.A.  The Piano Lofts building once housed the Story & Clark piano factory:

And here’s the McDonald’s sign from 1959 in Downey getting some TLC by the sign company.  This photo makes you appreciate just how big Speedee really is:


I ran out of time and sun last weekend. So, I might head down to finish up next Saturday.  I’ve also got some San Diego Area, Bay Area,  and Vegas Area trips planned.  I want to make sure that Sparkle is running as perfect as can be before the big summer trip in June.  So, lots more photos & posts soon.  In the meantime, you might enjoy my Instagram and Flickr posts.  Of course, the real deal is the website:  my life’s focus for the past 20 years.

Happy trails,

dj & the dogs

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