5/31/16

CRUISING THE STRIP (CIRCA MID-SIXITES)




I've posted old 'driving around LA in the retro past' videos before but here are two I've never seen. Both are rides down the Sunset Strip in the mid-sixties. The first is a sideview looking at the south side of the Strip heading east. Many familiar buildings and some not so familiar--'The Plush Pup' anyone? At 1:26 we pass the old Lytton Savings Bank with the strange little circular sculpture incongruously placed in the parking lot. (I remember this from my childhood. This neighborhood was the first we lived in after arriving from New York--my parents rented a small apartment on Laurel Ave. while searching for a house to buy and we took a walk every evening past this corner). As we get to the southwest corner of Crescent Heights and Sunset we see a bombed out lot with a bus stop in front of it. The deserted buldings have been graffitied and are of Spanish design. I believe this to be the detritus of the 'Garden of Allah' bungalows, which were much mourned when they were torn down in the name of progress--the great drunk transplanted New York-Playwrites-gone-Hollywood contract-screenwriters were the principle inhabitants of this 1920s courtyard paradise and the view of the wrecked lot is quite entrancing. So, too, is the absolutely fab little chick at 1:30 who sees the camera pointing at her and seems to ask 'are you filming me?' I estimate her current age to be 67/70 and would dig to meet her.

The second video is a drive westward facing north. It's more of a front view and thus provides less detail but, because of the focus, gives perhaps a better sense of what it was really like to be zoned out, driving down the Strip, killing time on a weekend afternoon no doubt high on period weed. The air is mephitic looking and the city hasn't changed--in spite of having grown more crowded--much at all.

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