Sunday, October 21, 2012

Photos From A Gorgeous Hike: The Griffith Observatory, Downtown LA and The Hollywood Sign

I went for a hike up to Mt. Hollywood today.  The cloudy skies made for some great photos.  Here's a panorama looking all the way from Glendale to the Hollywood sign.

 A Rutan Long-EZ aircraft -

Photos From Love Ride 29: Harleys Galore

The Love Ride is a massive charity motorcycle ride that originates at Harley-Davidson of Glendale and ends with a big concert and party at Castaic Lake. I walked over and checked out the scene on San Fernando Road this morning. This year, they were raising funds for the USO to support the troops. 

MC Jay Leno with assorted celebs, including car customizer George Barris, Robert Patrick, Antonio Sabato Jr, one of the guys from Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and Lorenzo Lamas.
big crowd
This Native-American themed bike was my favorite:

MC Jay Leno introduces legendary car customizer George Barris.

Updated**: *NOT* President Obama In the Skies Above Glendale

This afternoon I was at the Glendale Train Station taking some photos when I heard helicopters in the distance.  I looked up and saw two Sikorsky Sea King helicopters approaching.  As they drew closer, my jaw dropped as I could see they both bore the distinctive markings of Marine One -- the helicopter used by the President of the United States.  For security reasons, Marine One always flies with a decoy/back-up twin.  This sighting easily ranks with the Space Shuttle Endeavour and the B-2 stealth bomber as the most exciting aircraft I've spotted above Glendale.

*Update: I spoke too soon! When I originally wrote this post, I assumed that President Obama was actually in one of the helicopters, but after researching his schedule, he is at Camp David today.  From what I've gleaned so far, the helicopters are on a practice run for a future presidential visit.

*Update #2: Sunday's sighting of a pair of "Marine One" helicopters is explained: President Obama is going to be on The Tonight Show in Burbank on Wednesday 10/24; the helicopters were on a practice run.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Spectacular Photos of the Space Shuttle Endeavour Over Los Angeles (and Glendale)

These are my photos of the Space Shuttle Endeavour taking a victory lap around Los Angeles before being moved to its permanent home at the California Science Center.  My initial plan was to go to the Griffith Observatory, but I heard it was incredibly crowded so I went to Elysian Park, which turned out to be a great spot.  It was truly awe-inspiring to see the Shuttle in flight.

My vantage point in Elysian Park:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Seeley's Building Grand Opening and Artwalk Tomorrow, 09/19

Curious to see inside the restored Seeley's Building at Brand and San Fernando Road?  Come to the Grand Opening event tomorrow. From the press release:
Glendale, California, September 12, 2012 - After 6 long years and a $8,000,000 restoration/redesign, the historical Seeley's Furniture building is celebrating its heritage and evolution with the grand opening of 'Seeley Studios', a modern and urban remodel of the historical building for use as creative office and live/work space. The event will be held on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 and will feature live paintings, artist galleries, music, entertainment, a ribbon cutting ceremony and more. 
The Seeley Building was originally built in 1925 and underwent a Deco/Modern make-over in the 1940's for George Seeley and his furniture warehouse. The building sat untouched for another 65 years before it was converted to urban office space for creative tenants by Live Work Loft. The building will open publicly on Wednesday for the first time in over 18 years since Seeley's Furniture first closed its doors after 60 years in business. 
Glendale residents and business owners are welcome to the event and are encouraged to celebrate a historic part of the city being transformed into chic modern live/work and creative space. The architecture and individual spaces will be open for viewing, and many units will house premium artwork from the most creative spirits in Glendale and Los Angeles. 
Come and enjoy exhibits and installations from more than thirty prominent artists, some of whom have exhibited in LACMA and MOCA Geffen, as well as other galleries and museums worldwide.  
Historic Seeley Building Artwalk 
September 19th, 2012
Seeley Studios
1800 S. Brand Avenue
Glendale, CA 91204 
3pm- 9pm Artwalk
9pm-12pm After Party
Hosted food and drinks  
More details are available on the Facebook Page for the event:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Glendale Driving in 1914: Lions, Speeding Motorcycles and Spilt Milk

Glendale has a long history of bizarro driving stories - my personal favorite is this one from November 22nd, 1914.

GLENDALE, Nov. 21st 
The sleep of a lion was disturbed, a street was converted into a milky way, three motorcyclists were injured and four vehicles damaged here as the result of two accidents here last night. 
Irwing van Osdoll and Mason Morris, both of this city, were riding on a motorcycle, tandem fashion, last night, when they crashed into an unlighted wagon of the Barnes circus, just leaving town, on Central Avenue. 
So vociferous were the protests of the lion in the cage of the wagon on being disturbed in its slumber that its roars attracted several score of persons from the neighborhood. They found the young motorcyclists stretched out and to secure an ambulance, John Galt, janitor at the Glendale Union High School, leaped into the saddle of his motorbike and speeded to the police station.  At Central Avenue and Seventh Street he crashed into a dairy wagon.  
The motorcycle was wrecked and the wagon overturned, spilling milk in all directions.  Mr. Galt Suffered lacerations of the hands and face.

And we finally know who John Galt is!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

24 Hour Craft Coffee Comes to South Brand: C Plus

Night owls, rejoice!  C Plus 24 Hour Craft Coffee opened last week at Brand and Cypress to serve top notch coffee from roasters such as Groundwork and Handsome Roasters 24 hours a day. I stopped by tonight at 2AM to enjoy a super strong iced coffee and the cool night air while catching up on late night reading.  In addition to the excellent coffee, C Plus features free wifi, plenty of power outlets, and a well curated punk rock playlist.

True 24 hour hangout spots are rare in Glendale: off the top of my head, I can think of Conrad's, Shakers, Pho Citi, IHOP, Yoshinoya.  Are there others I'm missing?  There are a few 24 hour fast food drive-throughs, but that's about it.  South Glendale does at least have three good late night (until around 2am) taquerias: El SauzEl Tapatio and Victoria's Tacos.

C Plus (+24 Hours  +Craft Coffee)
1302 South Brand Blvd, Glendale CA 91204
(818) 396-7362

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Zeppelin Over Glendale and the Ill-Fated Slate Dirigible Company

Did you see the low-flying zeppelin cruising over Glendale yesterday at sunset?  I did and was able to grab a few photos:  

Glendale has an interesting dirigible history.  In 1925, an inventor named Thomas B. Slate started an airship company at Glendale's Grand Central Air Terminal.  His design was clad in corrugated metal and featured many -- perhaps too many -- technical innovations.

“Selecting Glendale as the site of the Slate Aircraft Company in 1925, his futuristic portrayal of an efficient and comfortable means of passenger travel between Los Angeles and New York, as well as the profit potential of the venture, convinced many prominent Glendale residents to become stockholders. Intrigued by his commitment to name the first airship built "The City of Glendale," the City Council leased a large tract of land to Slate at the new Grand Central Air Terminal.

On Dec. 19, 1929, "The City of Glendale" was wheeled out of the hangar for its maiden cross-country flight; 2,000 requests for seats on the flight had been received. Thousands of spectators crowded the airfield in anticipation. But the fates would have it otherwise.

Minutes before departure, as hydrogen gas was being pumped aboard, the pilot noticed that one of the safety valves had stuck. The airship was being over-inflated. Police ordered the crowd back as rivets popped, the hull bulged and escaping gas was heard. No one was hurt.”

Because the airship was clad in metal, it was impossible to access the damaged area economically, and the stock market crash of 1929 meant that he was unable to secure any further investment in his dream. 

Here are some photos of Slate's airship, "The City of Glendale":

The airship hangar with the L.A. River in the background.

The airship was designed so that passengers could be lowered to the ground via a gondola elevator system.  Looks like an exciting ride:

Two years after the disastrous maiden flight, the airship was destroyed and  sold for scrap.

From the News-Press:

"Slate, in the presence of newsreel cameras, climbed onto a catwalk high atop the hangar and, with tears in his eyes, dropped a 50-pound sandbag onto the hull. Rivets popped, ribs buckled and the hull of the airship crumpled to the floor. Slate's grand vision of building ever-bigger airships, capable of transporting 800 to 1,200 passengers, ended with the destruction of the "City of Glendale.""

Thomas B. Slate

For more on the Grand Central Air Terminal, read this excellent piece by Ron Dickson in Airport Journals:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Exploring the Restored Seeley's Building

Today I was able to explore the restored Seeley's Furniture building at the south end of Glendale.  After being vacant for many years, it's been converted to pleasant creative office spaces that retain much of the building's original character.  You can find more information from the developer.  Local blog The Sights The Sounds has a nice overview of the history and architectural features of the original building.  During the period in which the building was mostly vacant, it was occasionally used for filming, most prominently in the Coen Bros film "The Man Who Wasn't There."  The entire news station set in Anchorman was also built inside the Seeley's building.

Inside one of the three residential lofts.  They all have the same layout.

The three residential live/work spaces are detached from the main building.
One of the office spaces.
View from the large third floor office.
 Large third floor office.
 Large third floor office.