Shared posts

24 Apr 19:35

Douche Parking Job In Eagle Rock Cannot Escape Google Earth's All-Seeing Eye

by Emma G. Gallegos

phew it wasn't me

Douche Parking Job In Eagle Rock Cannot Escape Google Earth's All-Seeing Eye Only douches park this way. [ more › ]

23 Apr 18:04



oh, don.

24 Apr 21:30

Curbed National : What's All the Fuss About Memphis Design?

by Bianca Barragan

this looks like it is one giant cat condo.

Photo via Memphis Milano

Briefly forgotten, but by no means gone, Memphis—the 1980s phenomenon that shook the design world to its foundations—is creeping back into the mainstream. At this year's Salone del Mobile, signs of its re-emergence were widespread. Original Memphis, which peaked from 1981 to 1987, illustrates the hallmarks of postmodern '80s design: strong geometric motifs, mixed materials often including laminate, clashing and saturated colors, and a repudiation of anything streamlined and tasteful—a veritable "shotgun wedding between Bauhaus and Fisher-Price."

From young designers issuing riffs on Memphis furniture to the reissued 1980s classics themselves, here's what we saw in Milan (also known as the city that gave birth to the movement).

Spot the Memphis >>

20 Apr 23:12

Water Wars: Landlords Want Some Tenants to Pay for Their Water

by Bianca Barragan

We don't have to pay for our own water so neighbors are constantly watering the sidewalk and doing other wasteful things. Our landlords are understandably pretty pissed off about it.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 6.10.59 PM.png
[Image via Cole Martin / Curbed LA flickr pool]

With the drought pushed to the forefront of everyone's mind and LA looking at mandatory cutbacks on water, landlords who pay for tenants' water are looking for a way to cut back on usage. One possibility that the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles is looking at would make certain tenants (rent-controlled ones) pay for their own water in exchange for "slightly-reduced rents," says KPCC. This was bound to happen one day. There is a catch: that tenants wouldn't be getting their own meters; they'd be paying a portion of the building's collective water bill.

Of course, they're not just going to divide up the water bill equally. Instead, the amount to be paid by each tenant would be determined by an outside party, who would come in and "determine a formula to decide how much each unit should pay - for instance, based on the size of the unit," which seems like a lot more work than just finding out how much water people are using.

Tenants rights' activists are on-board with renters taking on some of the financial burden of conservation but agree that the third-party-magic-formula method of determining how much people pay is pretty silly. "If we're going to pass on water to tenants, then it should be based on actual use of tenants and not some type of formula," says a rep for the Coalition for Economic Survival. If put into effect, the program would be something that landlords would opt into, and would only apply to new tenants, as older tenants have rental agreements that state that their water will be paid.
· Drought: LA Landlords lobby to pass on water bills to tenants. Should they? [SCPR]
· Mapping SoCal's Mandatory Water Cutbacks Big and Small [Curbed LA]

21 Apr 18:30

Happy 89th To Queen Elizabeth

by Brinke

hb, qe2

With C.O. being Northern California-based, we’re not exactly subjects of The Crown, but since Her Majesty has had more than 30 Corgis during her 63 year reign, we thought it appropriate to tip a nod of the C.O. cap her way!


Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Corgis, Flashback Tuesday, It's a British thing, stubbular
15 Apr 17:20

Yes, This Is Just What It Appears To Be

by Brinke

nailed it

h35zqoMA Pygmy Goat….standing on top of a Mini Horse…eating an apple. While a Goat watches. Note: NOT in Japan. Probably. (Imgur by way of Andrew Y.)

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: BFFs, Horses, OMG Pygmy Goatsters, The Rules of Cuteness
15 Apr 19:47

Opening Alert: Churro Borough's Genius Frozen Treats Now Serving in Los Feliz

by Keyla Vasconcellos

attn: Bill

Churro and ice cream fans rejoice! Churro Borough opens at the end of the week.

The wait is over, as Churro Borough's first brick and mortar grand opens this Friday, April 17. Creator Sylvia Yoo and her business partner/brother Paul Yoo (Mexicali Taco & Co.) first started Churro Borough as a guerrilla catering operation in the fall of 2011. Now, the original churro Ice cream sandwich has a cult following through events, festivals, and successful pop-ups with lines of hungry churro lovers.

With all small-batch ingredients, one can chomp into treats like the original churro ice cream sandwich, along with a full selection of hand-crafted ice creams and sorbets, as well as churro fries, shakes, and fresh paletas.

Churro Borough started from the streets and will continue that vibe at the storefront in Los Feliz. Talented street artist Hueman has added custom murals that couple with the simplistic and minimalist interior, which Sylvia herself designed. Store hours will be 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday as well as Sundays, plus until 11 p.m. on weekends. Churro Borough will be closed on Mondays. At the moment, soft opening hours run 6 to 10 p.m, expanding to full service after Friday.

Churro Borough
1726 N. Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA

19 Apr 00:12

Truck Plows Through Osteria Mozza's Front Door

by Matthew Kang


Dinner service will be suspended tonight. One person was injured.

A pickup truck drove right through the front door of Osteria Mozza early this afternoon, injuring one person and suspending service for the evening, reports the LA Times. One employee was injured, but apparently it was not serious, as Pizzeria Mozza tweeted that "everyone will be okay."

#LAFD #Photo re: Truck is compact pickup; Restaurant closed at time of nearby 2 vehicle crash

— LAFD Conversation (@LAFDtalk) April 18, 2015

The LA Fire Department tweeted this photo at around 1:40 p.m. this afternoon, but the collision occurred at approximately 12:45 p.m., reports the Hollywood Reporter.

Anyone with a reservation tonight can reschedule by calling the restaurant. No word on how long this would affect business. The exact cause of the crash has not been determined at this time.

15 Apr 17:00

VIDEO: Learn to Make the Ginger Rogers from Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge at Disney California Adventure Park

by Rachel Brent

I may have to try this on sunday. that is, if they even let us in the building. jerks.

Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge at Disney California Adventure park pays homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Today’s signature cocktail demonstration is named after a well-known Hollywood starlet, Ginger Rogers.

Watch as our bartender creates the Ginger Rogers cocktail from Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge below:

Create your own Ginger Rogers cocktail with these ingredients:

  • 1 Oz dry gin
  • 1 Oz dry vermouth
  • 1 Oz apricot liqueur
  • Splash of lemon juice

For reservations, visit or call 714-781-DINE.

VIDEO: Learn to Make the Ginger Rogers from Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge at Disney California Adventure Park by Rachel Brent: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

01 Apr 20:01

New Hidden Mickey Pins Coming to Disney Parks in April 2015

by Steven Miller


One of the most popular questions I’ve received since the start of this year involves the availability of new Hidden Mickey pins. These 1.25-inch pins are a fun thing to collect or trade with Disney cast members when visiting Disneyland Resort in California or Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. I’m happy to report that a new series of pins will be released at Disney Parks in April 2015.


Similar to previous collections, there will be unique pins released for trading at each Disney destination. One collection – Disney Villain neckties – will be found in both California and Florida. I was happy to see Hades, my favorite villain, made the cut.

Slide 1

For Disneyland Resort, there will be a few different collections featuring Disney characters and iconic things from Disney Parks. I’m in love with the Mickey Mouse food icons, and the Disney ducks collection is perfect (there is a Darkwing Duck pin!).

Slide 1

Guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort will find pins inspired by Disney character apples from our consumable locations like Main Street Confectionary. Other pins will resemble cast member costumes from popular Disney attractions. My favorite pins, however, are the EPCOT Center logos, which include logos for Horizons, The Living Seas, The Land, Journey Into Imagination and CommuniCore.

There are a few different ways to identify a Hidden Mickey pin. Guests can look for a small Mickey Mouse icon in the artwork. The back of the pin also contains the words “Hidden Mickey Pin” along with the number of pins in a particular collection (such as 1 of 5, etc.).

These pins are distributed at random to cast members to use for trading. As a reminder, guests may trade a maximum of two pins, per cast member, per day.

New Hidden Mickey Pins Coming to Disney Parks in April 2015 by Steven Miller: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

04 Apr 03:53

spookular:This is so satisfying.


I had to do something similar to this in typography class. These are very sped up time lapses.


This is so satisfying.

14 Apr 20:45

The Cheeseburger at Jocko's in Nipomo is a Purist's Dream Come True

by Lucas Peterson

We have been here but we didn't bother with the hamburger. We got steak and it was amazing.

The Nipomo relic, just south of San Luis Obispo, serves a burger that competes with the very best.

I won't pretend to know much about Nipomo, a small town off of the 101 Freeway, about 25 miles south of San Luis Obispo. The unincorporated area, which has a population of roughly 16,000, was originally intended to be a stop on the first regular mail route up the coast of California. There's a Chinese restaurant, a Subway, and a luffa farm, where you can check out how luffas (or loofahs) grow. Most famously, Nipomo is the setting of one of the most famous photographs of the Great Depression, Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother.

This is all germane to Nipomoans, but perhaps not enough for an outsider, your average Joe or Jane Los Angeles, to stop and take a detour on the way up to Hearst Castle or the Madonna Inn, or up to Deetjen's in Big Sur to frolic with the spirit of Henry Miller. Let this persuade you, then: you can get an outstanding cheeseburger. I don't like using superlatives like "best," especially in the hyper-competitive world of burgers where the bar for excellence is set impossibly high — but the cheeseburger at Jocko's Restaurant is truly great. And worth your time.

That said, planning ahead is necessary: when I strolled in one early evening without a reservation, the hostess seemed positively shocked. "You don't have a reservation?" she asked, looking around for someone to share her confusion with. She frowned and said, "Well then, I don't know... it'll probably be a two or three hour wait." Lesson learned. The place is extremely popular with locals (always a good sign), and tables book far in advance. That said, take-out is always possible, and it gave me ample time to poke around the restaurant.

The décor is somewhere between rec room and Elks Lodge — not particularly inspired, but homey. The large Jocko's sign on the brown and white tiled exterior says, "this is a place I can safely take my parents." The somewhat perplexing phrase "Come In An Monkey Round" beckons in large white letters from one side of the building; it's a reference to one of the original owners, Ralph "Jocko" Knotts, and the fact that the word "jocko" means monkey. The Knotts family, which still owns Jocko's, has owned some version of a restaurant or saloon in Nipomo since the late 1800s. The restaurant's current incarnation has existed since the 1950s.

Behind the main dining area, there's a small hallway that leads to the kitchen. That's where you wait for your take-out orders. I struck up conversations with waiting patrons, including an elegant older woman who said she usually calls ahead but didn't get around to it this time. She would now and then poke her head into the kitchen to talk to the cooks and ask how her (and my) order was coming along. A side door off of the hallway leads to an outdoor area with a huge wood-fired grill that cooks ribs, chicken, and the restaurant's signature Spencer steaks.

The cheeseburger ($9.25) was ready in about 15 minutes — certainly an improvement over three hours. It was, upon first impression, a portrait in perfect simplicity: 1/3 pound patty, American cheese, sesame seed bun, pickles, lettuce and thick cuts of fresh tomato and red onion. In an era of excess and one-upmanship — cramming every random, imaginable thing inside a bun and calling it a burger — this was a welcome relief.

My first thought upon biting into the burger was, "Wait. Wait. Why does this taste so good? Did someone sprinkle some magical fairy crack on this? Because this shouldn't taste as good as it does." The patty was juicy and loosely packed; the first bite sent a messy stream of clear liquid down my arm.

A dizzying combination of smoke, liquid, and fat

The burger had a salty, rich char from the grill, all nearly ensconced in the blanket of melted cheese. The beef taste was potent — a good cut of meat, like a steak. The bun, soft and yielding, was the perfect vehicle. The overall effect was a dizzying combination of smoke, liquid, and fat, all complemented by generous cuts of fresh vegetables.

Go through Nipomo and stop by Jocko's the next time you're driving up the coast. It'll be worth your while. Or take a special trip; you won't regret it. Just call ahead.

Jocko's Steak House
125 N Thompson Ave
Nipomo, CA 93444
(805) 929-3686

03 Apr 20:04

LA's Spaghetti Meatballwich Does Ramen Burgers the Italian Way

by Farley Elliott


Local sandwich shop The Carving Board has gone crazy.

For the most part, local mini-chain The Carving Board is a sensible place for a quick lunchtime sandwich. You know, turkey and avocado, a hot pot roast option. All quality, using freshly baked bread and a lot of house-roasted meats. Well, apparently someone there went and lost their mind.

That’s the only way to explain the insane new Spaghetti Meatballwich that’s currently running on their specials board. It is, in one sense, exactly what you’re thinking, but in many ways so much more. There’s spaghetti, sure, but it’s been coiled up into an incongruous disk and griddled until it holds together like a bun. Inside are housemade meatballs in a marinara sauce, with a thick slice of melted mozzarella as a finisher. Think of it as the ramen burger, Italian-style.

For the time being, the sandwich, right over the counter like it’s no big deal, at each of the Carving Board locations in Tarzana, Hollywood, and their newest outpost in West L.A. Lord help us all.

10 Apr 18:24

Shitshows: Guy Who Tanked Lehman Now Tanking a Malibu Golf Course

by Adrian Glick Kudler

only sharing because this guy looks like a super villain

[Fuld via Getty]

In 2008, Dick Fuld was responsible for the largest bankruptcy filing in American history as the long-time, last-ever CEO of Lehman Brothers. The investment bank's collapse—the result mostly of hoarding shitty securities backed by subprime mortgage loans—triggered a global recession that disfigured a lot of lives. That guy should probably never have control of anything ever again, not even a stake in a golf course. Well, Fuld is in fact a partner in the Malibu Golf Club, a non-membership course that is open to anyone willing to pay $100 a round. The golf club recently filed for its second bankruptcy and is now closed.

Fuld and his partners (various developers and venture capitalists) formed Malibu Associates in 2005, bought the 650-acre club in 2006 for $32.8 million, and then "took out millions more in loans to help with their grand plans to restore the course and add resort-style amenities," according to the LA Business Journal. They hoped to overhaul the 1976 club (which is in the unincorporated Santa Monica Mountains, not Malibu proper) into "a retreat suitable for corporate conclaves … [with] 40 bungalows, meeting facilities and a new clubhouse complete with a fitness center and restaurant."

Cal National Bank lent the group $40 million to help buy the club and fund the entitlement process for the makeover, and after Lehman collapsed in 2008, they asked Fuld to submit updated financial statements. According to a court filing by Malibu Associates, "Although these statements showed a decline in his net worth, they demonstrated that his net worth and liquidity still vastly exceeded the total amount of the indebtedness." It's mostly irrelevant to the story, but let's just pause here for a second and breathe that in.

Ok, so even though Fuld still had gajillions after tanking the global economy, Cal National got nervous, froze the credit line, and doubled the interest rate on the loan. Then they tried to foreclose on the golf club and that's when it went into its first bankruptcy, in 2009.

Meanwhile, that very same economic collapse tanked Cal National, and in 2009 regulators closed the bank and transferred its assets to US Bank. In 2011, Malibu Associates made a deal with US Bank that consolidated the loans and pushed back the due date, as long as the owners got their development approvals by October 2014. They've only just gotten the approvals, months past the deadline, and so US Bank has been trying to foreclose on its property.

Malibu Associates, though—which now owes $46.7 million—says US Bank had unrealistic expectations for them and really the bank should pay them $30 million "plus interest and attorneys' fees, for its alleged bad-faith dealings." It makes all these claims in its second bankruptcy filing, submitted last month. The club closed in November and, as of this week, is being marketed to both new investors and buyers "to pay off the debt and fund construction."

Business at the Malibu Golf Club was just fine before it closed—gross income was "at the high end of the average American course" in 2013, its last full year. Fuld and friends just took on too much debt.
· Golf Course Owners Still in Hole [LABJ]

06 Apr 16:00

Dior Cancels Its LA Cruise Show, Is Heading to the French Riviera Instead

by Natalie Alcala


Despite comparing LA to the "relaxing and calm" vibe of his hometown in Antwerp, Belgian designer Raf Simons has ditched his previously announced plans to bring Dior's Cruise show to our city. Los Angeles Times reports that although the landmark event was set for May 9th, the creative director will stage the show on May 11th—in the French Riviera. A rep explains that the sudden change of heart is due to the "unexpected availability of a high-profile location." We can't be mad at that.

Oh well, at least we had Tom Ford. Here's something to cheer us up: LAT also reveals in the piece that Burberry will be hosting a party and runway show at Griffith Observatory on April 16th, and Louis Vuitton will be staging its Cruise show in Palm Springs on May 6th! Stay tuned for more.

05 Apr 04:27

rent check: Rent a Historic Craftsman in Mt. Washington for $2,400

by Pauline O'Connor

The over-growth makes it look like grey gardens, but with (probably slightly) less cat urine.

Catching our eye on Craigslist today is a posting for a two-bedroom, one-bath apartment located inside a "historic Mt. Washington Craftsman." Per the ad, the available unit measures over 1,400 square feet and features "very spacious living and dining room areas," hardwood floors, a decorative fireplace, an on-site washer and dryer, and "lovely surrounding gardens with mature plants and trees." Monthly rent for the cat-friendly unit is $2,400.

$2400 / 2br - 1400ft2 - Mt. Washington Craftsman [Craigslist]

06 Apr 20:10

Sprinkles Gives Away Free Cupcakes on April 13 for Its 10th Birthday

by Crystal Coser


The progenitor of the cupcake phenomenon will celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Food trends come and go, but none have stuck quite like the cupcake. It has been ten years since Sprinkles helped cupcakes make a serious splash in LA and the rest of the world. 25 million(!) red velvet cupcakes later, the cupcake bakery has plans to go big on its 10th anniversary.

On Monday, April 13, Sprinkles will give out free cupcakes all day long, at all of its shops around the country. Those interested in speaking with Sprinkles founder Candace Nelson can do so at The Grove from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., but be sure to have someone waiting in line for you, as they're sure to be long.

03 Apr 15:18

Enter for a Chance to Win Pack of 16 ‘March Magic’ Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort T-shirts

by Thomas Smith

hmmm...maybe I should enter to win this.


If you’ve been following our “March Magic Challenge,” you know final four voting begins this weekend. And even if your favorite team is out of the running for the title of ultimate Disney Parks attraction, you can still show your Disney Side and enter for a chance to win a pack of 16 shirts featuring teams inspired by Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort attractions.

S‘March Magic’ Disneyland, Walt Disney World T-shirts ‘March Magic’ Disneyland, Walt Disney World T-shirts

Beginning today, April 3, 2015 through 2 p.m. on April 6, 2015, you have the opportunity to win a pack of 16 “March Magic Challenge” T-shirts. There will be two winners: One winner will receive T-shirts featuring the 16 Disneyland Resort attraction teams and the other winner will receive T-shirts featuring the 16 Walt Disney World Resort attraction teams.

‘March Magic’ Disneyland, Walt Disney World T-shirts S‘March Magic’ Disneyland, Walt Disney World T-shirts

To enter for a chance to win one pack of 16 “March Magic Challenge” T-shirts inspired by attractions at the Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort, email us a “March Magic Challenge” message of no more than 50 characters in length (which could be a simple “Hi” or “Celebrating March Magic” message) to and include your full name and mailing address in the email.

Once the potential winners are determined on April 7, 2015, we’ll send notifications via email. See the sweepstakes rules and eligibility requirements here.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open only to persons, who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry and are legal residents of, and physically located within the 50 United States and D.C. Sweepstakes starts 11:00 AM (ET) on 4/3/15 and ends 2:00 PM (ET) on 4/6/15. See Official Rules for details.

Enter for a Chance to Win Pack of 16 ‘March Magic’ Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort T-shirts by Thomas Smith: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

01 Apr 16:00

E's Graceful Time Capsule — House Tour

by Dabney Frake

17,000 sq. foot home tour on "Apartment Therapy"


Pin it button big

Name: E
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Size: 17,500 square feet
Years lived in: 20 years; owned

When E bought his home, he was looking for privacy and this 1930s house, situated on 14 acres, fit the bill. Over 20 years, it's become a safe haven where he can relax with his parents, wife, and daughter (all of whom have lived with him at some point), entertain friends, and take advantage of everything the place offers. Although E travels a lot for work, he loves coming home for the holidays, enjoying a home-cooked Southern meal, and playing poker in the dining room with buddies.


30 Mar 02:19

video interlude: Dov Charney Is Busy Plotting His Against-All-Odds Comeback

by Pauline O'Connor

Worth watching the video to see how fucking delusional this guy is.


American Apparel's ex CEO Dov Charney has kept a relatively low profile since getting the heave-ho in December 2014. But like a bad penny, the disgraced exec has once again resurfaced, speaking to ABC News's 20/20 for an episode that aired Friday evening entitled "Occupational Hazards." In the segment, Charney reveals that he spends his days plotting and scheming to retake the company he founded, a goal that seems oh, just a tad unrealistic. ("He is not allowed to be an employee, or an officer, or CEO of the company. Period. There's no option there," current AmApp CEO Paula Schneider points out.) To no one's surprise, Charney certainly doesn't do much to repair his reputation here, but it's kind of fun to watch him try.

· Dov Charney Isn't Broke or Homeless, He Has a $4-Million Mansion in Silver Lake [Curbed LA]

23 Mar 23:24

House Calls: Touring a Traveler's Two-Story Garden Apartment in Silver Lake

by Bianca Barragan

this apartment is cute but they use their washer and dryer hookup area just for the litter box rather than having a washer and dryer. Crazy!

Welcome to House Calls, a new feature in which Curbed tours the lovely, offbeat, or otherwise awesome homes of regular Angelenos. Think your space should be featured next? Drop us a line with a few photos and details about your place.
Photos by Wonho Frank Lee

Who lives here?
Jordana, 29, Lacy, 26, and Tracey.

What're the stats?
It's a two-bedroom we turned into a three bedroom, and two baths.

What's the rent?

How long have you been here?
Six years.

What's the best feature of your apartment?
The beautiful patio and balcony.

What's the worst feature?
The first come, first serve parking, which leaves most of us parking on the street.

What do you love and/or hate about the neighborhood?
I love that that I can walk to great cafes, bars, boutiques, restaurants, and markets. I hate the traffic on my street, especially during rush hour.

What's your approach to decorating?
I'm not a big shopper, but I like to buy unique things every time I travel. For example, the hand carved wooden owl in my bedroom I got from an open air market in Cuba when I went a couple years back. Lacy likes to hunt for gems at thrift stores in the Valley on the weekends.

Any crazy/interesting stories about your apartment?
Too many! When Lacy and I moved in, the patio was so disheveled and covered in dirt, we didn't even know there was concrete on the ground! We cleaned it up and Lacy built the garden from scratch. We've, um, also had the cops called on us 11 times.

How'd you end up here?
We were living in one of the smaller units in the building, and when we saw that the people who had been here for eight years were moving out, we jumped on it immediately. I also graduated art school and went to Colombia for a month all in the same week we moved in here. It was crazy!

How's your landlord?
She's a mysterious Japanese woman that we don't see much. She's sweet though—we've never had any issues.

If you could have any living situation in LA, what would it be?
I love my place. But, also can I have a Spanish Villa with a photo studio that's somehow by the beach but still on the east side?

Follow Curbed's House Calls on Pinterest.
· House Calls [Curbed LA]

25 Mar 20:00

Curbed Features: An Illustrated History of Los Angeles's Romance With Castles

by Nilina Mason-Campbell

We lived in a weird castle house in capo beach years ago.

The Chateau Marmont. All illustrations by Nilina Mason-Campbell.

Shielded behind shrubbery, the chateau stands seven stories tall underneath gray shingling. Heavy window hoods shade the windows on the uppermost floor. Above them, a pair of seamless gabled dormers pops out and an octagonal tower rises from the roof. Panels of quatrefoil bedeck the balcony railings. Lush gardens and groves of palm and Eucalyptus trees wrap around the property, shading the private cottages and bungalows below. Inside, arched doorways and windows are relics of a French style centuries old—but the building hasn't yet reached its first century of existence. Thousands of miles removed from the French Chateau d'Amboise that inspired it, this castle resides not in a land of fields and vineyards, but in one of freeways and red carpets. Hollywood's Chateau Marmont is an icon of the city, not only for the celebrities who frequent it, but also for its historic place amongst the urban castles of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles, though relatively young compared to the country's East Coast and its pilgrim-led settlements, and perhaps with less of a direct European architectural influence, is full of castles. The story of how these towers became part of the SoCal skyline isn't an entirely linear one.

The initial interest in castle-inspired structures on American soil owes a great deal to two prominent architects of the Late Victorian period. Named for England's Queen Victoria, the Late Victorian period spanned from 1850 to 1910 and introduced into American architecture several connected styles riffing on those of previous British and French eras. One was the Chateauesque style that began gaining ground in 1960, incorporating cylindrical towers capped with roofs, dormer windows, and distinctly French elements. Credit for bringing this style to the U.S. goes to architect Richard Morris Hunt, the first American to study at Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France, who upon his return designed the base of the Statue of Liberty, the facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the block-long Hostelling International building on Amsterdam Avenue in New York City, replete with dormer windows along all sides, and several long-demolished mansions for millionaires like the Vanderbilts and financier Henry G. Marquand. His contributions are concentrated on the east coast, in New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, including the Grey Towers site in Milford, PA. Constructed in a Neo-Norman style to reflect the French ancestry of the Pinchot family who commissioned it, the residence is true to form: dual circular towers frame a hipped roof with a trio of dormer windows, the building entrance has a row of seven arched doorways, and a third tower sits at another corner. While many buildings built in the Chateauesque style were mansions, a large number were municipal buildings not intended for private residence.

The Scientology castle.

English architect Norman Shaw helped popularize the Victorian style from the 1870s through the early 1900s. After he published a collection of ink sketches in his 1858 book Architectural Sketches from the Continent, the trend for Queen Anne Victorians—itself a revival of the style of architecture that existed during its namesake's reign in the early 1700s—began to take off. Local architecture historian Merry Ovnick points to the 1876 Centennial Exposition for enabling such a deeply British style to make inroads across the Atlantic: a house designed by the architect was featured as a part of the British exhibit. Suddenly they began to crop up across the U.S.. Marked by towers, an asymmetrical exterior, an irregular shape, and the use of a variety of materials, Ovnick notes that "some of these houses were made of stone, others of wood" and several exist across Los Angeles today. Though the Queen Anne trend lost its steam in the U.S. around 1910, Ovnick adds that "in the 1900s to 1920s, even many small houses had 'castle' features. In the 1930s, many apartment houses were built of wood-frame & stucco with turrets, too."

That explains many of the castle-like apartment buildings that sit on streets like Westmoreland Avenue off of Beverly Blvd or on Argyle Avenue heading toward the hills. Still, many of the most prominent castle-like buildings in Los Angeles encroach upon mansion territory, occupying full blocks and missing only the royalty. Hunt's influence never reached this far west and the buildings are too grand to be drawing upon Victorian houses for inspiration. The inspiration for these mammoth properties comes from another direction entirely: the film-making boom.

In designing sets, filmmakers needed to communicate realism and depth to viewers in as condensed a space as possible. (Film sets, as Ovnick explains, were often made in four-fifths scale or less to save space, construction costs, and the amount of time it would take actors to move through unused areas of the set.) "They did this by crowding a sufficient number of identifiers (e.g., castle motifs, tenement trappings, etc.) into the frame of the picture," Ovnick writes. "In a film set in medieval times, the castle behind the actors would offer such identifiers as a moat and a drawbridge, maybe crenellations and a turret—all packed within the frame of the picture."

Hollywood Tower

The appearance of castles on screen led to many of them being built around town off screen, on freshly purchased land lots. "Southern California architects with and without set-design experience won lucrative commissions from stars and directors for movie-set-formed notions of how a mansion ought to look," explains Ovnick.

While during the 1920s castles lined Franklin Avenue, now there are just remnants, including a very prominent chateau on the corner of Bronson Avenue, one of the city's most visible urban castles even if it's shrouded in the privacy of lofty trees. Nestled in the hipster mecca that is Franklin Village, Castle Élysée is just across the street from a host of shops, cafes, and the notorious Upright Citizens Brigade. It is kitty-corner from the upscale grocery store Gelson's Market. The castle's angular turrets, steeply hipped roof, and towering presence are of the past; the signage, advertising weekly movie nights and daily public tours, is more modern.

Chateau Beachwood

The building belongs to the Church of Scientology, which has called this chateau its home—or rather, the home of its celebrity members—since 1969. While the church transformed a former hospital into its headquarters less than two miles away on Sunset Boulevard, the church re-envisioned the castle-like former hotel as its Celebrity Centre.

Commissioned by former actress Elinor K. Ince, widow of Thomas H. Ince (known as the "Father of the Western" and creator of the Inceville Studio, after which current movie studios are modeled), Château Élysée was built in 1927 and said to be inspired by a castle in Rouen, France. Seventy-seven units strong and seven stories tall, Castle Élysée's past includes affairs, a shooting, an alleged cover-up, hush money, and William Randolph Hearst. The gossip has it that Charlie Chaplin and Marion Davies were discovered in the throes of passion on Hearst's yacht, Hearst (who was also involved with Davies) brandished a gun, and Ince intervened and was shot. While all involved denied the events, broadsheets ran with it as a front-page story. Hearst was said to have paid off the mortgage on Château Élysée in order to procure Elinor Ince's silence.

The Château Élysée was seen as a residential apartment for talent flocking to Hollywood just as movie studios were cropping up across the city during Hollywood's Golden Age. While it operated like a hotel, it attracted long-term residents such as Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Katharine Hepburn, and Cary Grant, along with a host of other actors, actresses, and composers; enough to fill the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Even today, many floors of the building are reserved as temporary dwellings for members.

While many of the area's castles draw inspiration from films and the opulent glamour and fortunes that went along with the industry, another castle, the Hollywood Tower complex, inspired Hollywood in turn. Also located on Franklin Avenue and just a stone's throw from the Church of Scientology's Celebrity Centre, the Hollywood Tower has 52 units. Like Château Élysée, its main purpose was to house those in the filmmaking industry, and it also drew its castle inspiration from the French Normandy style. 

The Castle Love

Hollywood Tower is said to have been the inspiration for Disney's Twilight Zone of Terror ride across several of the theme park's locales in California, Paris, and Tokyo. The ride itself is based on the Twilight Zone TV series, but the building clearly culls its design from Hollywood Tower, right down to its signage. While the ride's premise is heavily indebted to the Twilight Zone TV series, the ride itself went on to inspire a movie, the 1997 television movie Tower of Terror, starring Steve Guttenberg and Kirsten Dunst. Both the ride and the movie operate around the premise of a malfunctioning elevator in a replica building, but in reality, the elevator at the real-life apartment complex leads you not only to the various units, but to a penthouse terrace that offers an unobstructed view of the Hollywood sign.

"The Hollywood Tower has always been a beautiful historical building in Hollywood, but not until 2009 when new ownership saw it for what it was did the history of the building finally come alive again,"says Hollywood Tower business manager Chad Vasquez. "Tourists come by daily to look at it because of the Disney ride. Everybody who comes to tour our building asks about the relation as well."

Film stars aren't the only ones with a strong link to the urban castles of Los Angeles, but musicians, too. For a period of time beginning in 1966, Arthur Lee of the band Love called a Spanish-inspired villa on Cedarhurst Circle in Loz Feliz home along with four of the members, referring to it as "the Castle." Bands like Jefferson Airplane, the Doors and Frank Zappa—part of Love's sphere—could often be found hanging out in the residence. The home went on to serve as the basis for the song "The Castle" on the group's Da Capo album. "Much of the Arthur Lee mystique is derived from his residency in The Castle," explains John Einarson in Forever Changes: Arthur Lee and the Book of Love. "Although he and his bandmates lived in the house for less than a year, The Castle nonetheless remains crucial to the image of Love and of Arthur as a rock potentate, holding court to all who were deemed worthy of passing through its gothic entrance gate."

Wolf Castle

After Madonna first moved to LA, she took up residence at Chateau Beachwood, a grand castle located on the appropriately named Scenic Avenue where it intersects with Beachwood Canyon Drive. The front of the building features a pair of circular towers with dentils under each cone roof, chimneys that mirror each other on either side, decorative corbels under both balconies and shed dormers that protrude from the multi-plane, hip roof. Originally sub-divided into individual apartments, it was renovated into condos in 1989 after a rich history in which it played temporary home to many an actress since being established in 1937. And for the past four years Moby has called a castle on Durand Drive home, the former residence of Hollywood developer L Milton Wolf, nestled next to Lake Hollywood. He recently flipped the property for a six million dollar profit, selling it to an undisclosed buyer.

Many of the city's original castles have the fallen to time and demolition permits, such as the castles of Franklin Boulevard and a stretch of mid-Wilshire along West Adams Boulevard, all lost in the 1970s. While key to the history of the city, their demolition makes sense in light of residents' changing tasts, just as a change in taste allowed for the inaugural castle revival of the early 1900s. But just as movies and the Hollywood industry are a part of the culture and history of Los Angeles, so are the urban castles that remain, scattered across the city, standing as monuments to an era so integral to Los Angeles' emergence. While their aesthetics might not be authentic in the sense of the castles that inspired them, the history behind how they came to stand on the city's streets is.
· Curbed Features [Curbed LA]
· Castles [Curbed LA]

09 Mar 02:53

Baymax Bento

by Anna Adden

a bento for bill

Big Hero 6 was recently released on DVD.  We saw the movie when it was in the theater and now we have the DVD and get to watch the movie at our leisure.  My kids think Baymax is hilarious.  The low battery scene in the movie is their absolute favorite part.  I usually end up rewinding it three times for them.  They laugh and giggle :)

In this bento:  Baymax onigiri - molded sushi rice with nori eyes.  Baymax's belly has black beans in the middle.  Steamed broccoli, a strawberry, crinkle cut carrots, green grapes, and a black olive complete this bento.

And here is the best scene in the movie according to my children.

Items used today:
19 Mar 13:00

Pub-Sheds: The New Backyard Trend?

by Kimber Watson

uh yes please

Pin it button big

During one of the epic snowstorms this winter, I saw a bar carved into the snow by a couple of neighbors on the nightly news. It was pretty impressive and I wanted one. Now, pub-sheds seem to be making their mark in backyards around the globe. Is this the new craze for yards with enough space to accommodate them? Will this take over the man cave basement bar?


19 Mar 17:00

Eagle Rock Favorite Auntie Em's Kitchen Expands to Second Location Downtown

by Farley Elliott

My co-worker is married to this lady's ex-boyfriend who is co-owner of this place. She is allegedly a total weirdo and a swinger to boot. Just some local gossip I can pass along.

Make way for another all-day eatery.

Forget moving to the suburbs; Auntie Em’s Kitchen is heading right downtown.

The popular Eagle Rock all-day eatery is the brainchild of Terri Wahl, who swapped a life of punk rock music for one serving breakfast sandwiches and delicious desserts years ago. Over the past 13-plus years, Auntie Em’s has gained a strong local following with the Eastside crowd — enough so that there’s cash in the coffers to afford a location at Fifth and Main, in the century-old G.M. Hoff Building.

Per the LA Times, the space was as recently as January a small convenience store that already served hot foods, which means the build-out won’t take very long. "It just needs to be cutened up," Wahl tells the Times, adding that an early April debut is likely.

For the time being, baked goods will still come from the Eagle Rock location, which has settled into nicely into its menu of pastries, cakes and breads. But just about everything else will be made on site at the new Auntie Em’s Kitchen, with loose plans to maintain the same all-day hours of the Eagle Rock original.

Expect a soft-opening around the first week of April.

Auntie Em’s Kitchen Downtown
116 E. 5th Street
Los Angeles, CA

18 Mar 13:15

Here's Everything Leaving Netflix In March

by Lindsey Stanberry

noooooo not jeepers creepers 2!

It's that time of month again. You've cleared your calendar, stocked up on supplies, and put on your most comfy pair of pants. There's less than two weeks until the beginning of April, so you need to start your binge-watching now. Netflix is getting ready for its monthly purge and there are so many movies you'll want to watch before they go.

You can't miss Marilyn Monroe in the classic Gentleman Prefer Blondes. Or a before-she-was-famous Julia Roberts in the perfectly sweet Mystic Pizza. And, of course, you need to (re)watch Murder By Numbers, which might only be notable because Ryan Gosling and Sandra Bullock reportedly  got together during the filming it of it. (That's still one of the most random couples in Hollywood history.) There are also enough departing horror flicks to keep you entertained — or scared to death — for an entire weekend.

Ahead, the movies and TV shows leaving Netflix on March 30. Don't miss out on the good stuff.

28 Hotel Rooms (2012)

Also known as the movie where you can see Chris Messina’s penis, this indie gem chronicles an affair between a novelist and an accountant who meet in hotel rooms for several years.

Annie (1982)

The sun’ll come out in the original film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical.

Chalet Girl (2011)

Felicity Jones (yes, the Oscar nominee) plays a former skateboarder working as a maid in a posh ski locale who falls in love with Ed Westwick (yes, Chuck Bass).

Clue (1985)

The cult film is based on the murder-mysery classic board game.

Color Splash Collection: Collection 1

Interior designer David Bromstad transforms rooms in Miami.

Coneheads (1993)

An alien family with cone-shaped heads winds up in Paramus, NJ, in this SNL film adaptation.

Friday the 13th (1980)

Jason Voorhees may or may not be terrorizing Camp Crystal Lake.

Friday the 13th: Part 2 (1981)

Hockey masks continue to be terrifying.

Friday the 13th: Part 3 (1982)

Seriously, an entire generation of audiences probably stopped playing hockey because of Jason.

Friday the 13th: Part 4 (1984)

Netflix is really feeling the Friday the 13th saga this month.

Friday the 13th: Part 6: Jason Lives (1986)

The guy just refuses to stay dead, wtf.

Friday the 13th: Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

Now he’s coming to the big city…is no location spared from Jason’s reign of terror?

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

The Marilyn Monroe classic.

Get Shorty (1995)

A Miami loan shark goes to Hollywood to collect a debt, but gets discovered by a movie producer instead.

Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)

Robin Williams stars as an Armed Forces Radio DJ who’s sent to Vietnam.

Guess Who (2005)

Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher play a sarcastic father and his future son-in-law in this adaptation of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

Income Property Collection: Collection 1

Host Scott McGillivray helps buyers in debt find homes to transform into income-generating properties.

Inventing the Abbotts (1997)

Two brothers from the wrong side of the tracks try to romance three wealthy sisters.

Jeepers Creepers (2001)

Per IMDb, “A brother and sister driving home for spring break encounter a flesh-eating creature in the isolated countryside that is on the last day of its ritualistic eating spree.” Spring break just never lives up to your expectations, you know?

Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003)

The Creeper returns to terrorize a group of basketball players, cheerleaders, and coaches.

Les Misérables (1935)

Jean Valjean steals bread, and Javert never lets him forget it. At the end of the day, we’re all another day older.

Madeline (1989)

Madeline saves her boarding school from prospective buyers. Miss Clavel probably says “Something is not right!” You know the drill.

Miral (2010)

A Palestinian woman establishes an orphanage to help children while survived a massacre in Jerusalem in 1948.

Murder by Numbers (2002)

Sandra Bullock and Ryan Gosling star in this psychological thriller, and that’s really the only selling point we need.

Mystic PIzza (1988)

The coming-of-age classic finally comes to Netflix.

Mystic River (2003)

Three childhood friends — Sean, Dave, and Jimmy — are reunited when Jimmy’s teenage daughter dies, and they’re implicated in the murder.

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

We still have nightmares about the evil bicycle clown dream.

Philadelphia (1993)

Tom Hanks stars as an attorney who sues his law firm following his termination for being gay and HIV-positive.

Rachael Ray’s Week in a Day Collection: Collection 1

The bubbly host provides cooking lessons that yield five days’ worth of dinners.

Reindeer Games (2000)

Rudy Duncan (Ben Affleck) assumes his prison cellmate’s identity and gets involved in a casino robbery.

Selling New York Collection: Collection 1

NYC realtors do their thing.

Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Emma Thompson won an Oscar for her adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel, in which she also stars.

Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

An imagined behind-the-scenes look at the making of the 1922 silent film Nosferatu.

Taking Lives (2004)

An FBI profile helps Canadian police track down a serial killer who takes on his victims’ identities.

The Amityville Horror (1979)

The legacy of a murder that took place on the premises haunts a family when they move into their dream house.

The Cable Guy (1996)

Jim Carrey terrorizes Matthew Broderick.

The Karate Kid (1984)

Mr. Miyagi teaches a young grasshopper how to fight.

The Karate Kid Part II (1986)

Mr. Miyagi and Daniel travel to Japan.

The Karate Kid Part III (1989)

The Cobra Kai returns to do battle with Mr. Miyagi and Daniel.

The Quick and the Dead (1995)

A female gunslinger rolls into a Western town looking for revenge.

The Whole Nine Yards (2000)

Oz (Matthew Perry) tries to use the fact that his new neighbor is a mobster for his own personal gain. It doesn’t go so well.

Sleeping Beauty (2011)

A college student takes a job as a “sleeping beauty,” which is a woman who gets paid to allow strangers to fondle her in a sedated sleep.

Paranormal Activity 4: Unrated Edition (2012)

Young and psychotic Katie is back.

The Woman Who Wasn’t There (2012)

A woman who claims to have survived 9/11 is revealed to be a fraud.

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18 Mar 19:30

Zoning Out: Here Are the Anti-Mansion Rules Coming to 15 LA 'Hoods

by Bianca Barragan

I thought they had this ordinance in a neighborhood by my work but they are building a massive mcmansion on a corner off 6th street. The old house was a dumpy eye sore but the new house doesn't seem like it will be any better.

[Image via John Mozzer / Curbed LA flickr pool]

All over Los Angeles, homeowners have been rabidly fighting against "mansionization," usually in the form of older houses being sold, torn down, and replaced with big-ass monster houses that eat up most of the lot. While anti-mansionization laws were passed years ago, these homeowners have been begging the city to close loopholes and pass stricter rules against overbuilding, and meanwhile been driven to unhinged vigilantism against giant new neighbors. On Tuesday, the City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee approved temporary crackdowns in 15 neighborhoods with mansion troubles, says the LA Times.

If the full Council approves, the restrictions will go live for 45 days, but could be in effect for up to two years while the city works on updating the older anti-mansionization ordinance (considering the traction the anti-mansion crowd has, you can count on it being extended). The new regulations will affect the 38,707 single family houses contained in these 15 areas, but allow wildly different activity from 'hood to 'hood.

In South Hollywood, Larchmont Heights, and Old Granada Hills, owners will still be able to tear down that house they just bought, but the house that replaces it can only be 120 percent larger than what was there before. Over in Los Feliz's celeb-studded enclave The Oaks, the limits will affect basements, which will count toward the total residential floor area. In Bel Air, the restrictions will alter dirt hauling: new construction will only be allowed to import or export 6,000 cubic yards of soil. New houses can no longer be built bigger in exchange for building greener in Kentwood and Mar Vista/East Venice; in Beverlywood and Fairfax, floor-area bonuses for green features will be limited to 15 percent, which a city-planner-turned-anti-mansion-crusader calls "so weak it won't make any difference whatsoever." Take a look:

· L.A. neighborhoods closer to getting temporary mansionization limits [LAT]
· 14 LA 'Hoods Getting Special Anti-Mansion-Building Rules [Curbed LA]

13 Mar 22:14

Epic Ramen Yokocho Throwdown Hits Santa Anita Park on March 28

by Farley Elliott


The Ramen Yokocho festival features seven stateside competitors and four legendary Japanese shops.

Forget the heat: it’s ramen battle time. If things haven’t cooled off by the end of March, the inbound Ramen Yokocho championship festival is going to warm things up even further out in Arcadia at Santa Anita Park. Taking place over two consecutive days, March 28 and 29, the all-out championship is once again pitting U.S. ramen shops against one another, with four ringers sent straight from Japan as comparison. And the winner is determined by you.

What’s more, Alvin Cailan’s fledgeling bowl spot Ramen Champ is competing, offering to take on the competition with his less-than-traditional ramen style. Other L.A. favorites include Shin-Sen-Gumi and even Urban Ramen, purveyor of the spicy miso along Sunset Blvd. Otherwise, expect a high-end crop with the likes of Men Oh from San Francisco and Kamitoku from Hawaii.

For $8.50 per bowl (cash only, folks), the seven stateside competitors will square up alongside Japanese mainstays Shrimp Tonkotsu from Osaka, Kurume Tonkotsu from Kyushu, Miso Bai Tang from Fukushima and Kagoshima Shoyu from Kagoshima.

There are no general admission tickets for this one, so just bring cash and be prepared to get in line. However, if you do want to skip the waiting process, Express Lane passes can be had for $25.

Get prepped. Get pumped. Ramen is coming on March 28 and 29.

13 Mar 15:35

mothernaturenetwork:United States of the EnvironmentWe can’t all...


Hawaii has vog though, which is worse than smog in many ways!


United States of the Environment
We can’t all have the least pollution or the most organic farms, but each U.S. state is No. 1 in some ecological or public health ranking … and No. 50 in another.

12 Mar 22:55


by mugumogu

Bill was brushing vivien and robotron started eating the pile of fur. so stupid. she barfed shortly there after.

Fur of cats teaches me coming of spring.

Maru:[I must change my fur in a great hurry.]

Hana:[Stop playing with our fur!]