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Saturday, April 21, 2018

50 years ago this month.

Fifty years ago this month my mom, dad, sister and I moved from Chicago to Los Angeles. 

My dad had flew out about a week or so beforehand. Unfortunately, I don't have the exact date my mom, sister and I arrived. It was in 1968 sometime in the second half of April. So, let's just say April 25th. 

My dad was in advertising, and worked in the Prudential Building on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. He got a transfer, and started working the firms office on Wilshire Blvd in the Westwood Village neighborhood of Los Angeles. I was able to find a vintage photo of each building. Thanks, Google. 

We moved into a small rental home on Mount Holyoke Avenue in Pacific Palisades. That was back when there were starter homes available in the community for $25,000. Today those same homes goes for $1.8 million. Not really "starter homes" anymore. 

Despite the passage of time (50 years, yikes!) here's a few things I remember rolling into Los Angeles in April 1968:

Driving through the McClure Tunnel

Seeing succulents, and specifically Jade plants, for the first time. 

Palm Trees. 

My mom enrolled my sister in I at the local elementary school for the last six weeks of the year. Not ideal to jump in at the end of an academic year, but no big deal. 

Flexy Racer. As my dad showed my sister and I our neighborhood, I remember seeing some kids roll by on what looked like a sled with wheels. I'd never see this before in my life. I thought "this is California, that doesn't have snow, so this is how kids have to go sledding." Little did I know that California had plenty of snow in the local mountains.

Walking three blocks from the little house we were renting to see this view. As a 7 year old kid, I didn't realize how stellar this was. Still pretty great. 

More soon. 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Cliffside, Sunset Blvd, Pacific Palisades

One of my favorite buildings in Los Angeles is a single family residence home in Pacific Palisades, located along the coast between Santa Monica and Malibu. The entrance to the home is actually located above on a quiet residential street. 

Meanwhile, the view driving along Sunset Blvd looking up is impressive - really impressive. According the Zillow, the home was built in 1988 on an incredibly small and challening lot. 

As mentioned in previous posts, I grew up in the Palisades and remember asking a local realtor what the least expensive empty lots were in the community. He mentioned this lot, but added "it's basically unbuildable." Obviously, someone had the vision. 

Those cement pillars are simply massive, they look like they could hold up a freeway overpass. There are other hillside homes, also referred to as platform houses, around Los Angeles that, for the most part, are built on stilts. Thanks to a bit of Hollywood showmanship, one of them got pulled down in a Lethal Weapon film. 

I don't think this house is going anywhere.  

A final view. Really outstanding feat of engineering. And, no doubt, an equally impressive view. 

The best views are along Sunset Blvd between Chautauqua and Brooktree Road. 

Please exercise caution as there is no parking or stopping anywhere along this generally busy stretch of road. These photos were taken early on a Saturday morning. 

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