I first visited LA's famous Farmer's Market on Fairfax and 3rd Street in the mid-70's and it had already been going strong for almost 40 years at that point. It remains one of our favorite places in town and although diminished in footprint from what it once was before it was tucked into a corner of The Grove, it's still a small oasis of preservation of the past amidst the ocean of physical change and transformation that defines SoCal culture.
I found this vintage book of colorful illustrations and photos in a thrift store all the way in Woodstock, N.Y. of all places. Wonder how it got there?
According to the book, the market was the brainchild of one Roger Dahljelm back in the midst of the Great Depression, who took the notion to a friend named Fred Beck, an ad man, and Beck sold the concept to Earl Gilmore who owned a big farm including the tract of land that the current market sits on. The market will be 80 years old this summer, so I guess it was a pretty solid idea after all.
David Hollander wrote a wonderful play once called The Sun Diaries about a group of regulars, free lance script readers and analysts for the studios and independent producers, who meet at the market and kibbitz and trade horror stories about their low level wanna-be creative jobs. The conceit of the play is that, as expected and desired by the system, one reader has read and covered close to a thousand screenplays without ever recommending a single one. But to his dismay, he is reading a script that he loves, knowing that his recommendation could force his boss to actually have to read the thing, and perhaps cost him his job. It was a wonderfully droll piece of humor and so familiar and true to those of us who started in the business as readers and used the farmer's market as our office!
I have some great old color photos from the book to scan and share with you next.
The holidays were a fun escape for many reasons, but one of the pleasures of the season was the discovery of the 60's channel on the XM radio in our rental car.
At Elsa and Natalie's insistence, we stayed tuned to 60's on 6, and put the pedal to the metal cruisin' the Hudson River Valley to the sounds of famous and one-hit-wonder tunes from my childhood.
While the songs were almost all familiar, many of the names of these groups were lost to the fog of time in my memory, so it was also fun to look them up and reconnect to these lesser known performers of the era.
Check out the chart below:
The Spiral Starecase? The Blues Magoos?
Can you connect the group to the song they made famous, and name that tune?
I found this old travel brochure of a State Park near Ithaca, N.Y. at a vintage store in Woodstock.
I loved the black and white photographs of nature inside.
It reminded me of my own childhood exploration of the Starved Rock State Park on the Illinois River outside of Peru, Illinois.
Every state park seems to have places named after the Devil, and this is a picture of Lucifer Falls in Enfield.
I vaguely recall that Starved Rock had a Devil's Playground, or something like that. It always felt very Nathaniel Hawthorne to me in regards to this view of the satanic nature of the nature surrounding us (and within us)!
This is a place called The Old Mill, like the famous Disney short cartoon of the same name.
Here is a bridge over "The Narrows". Beautiful.
I hope we get to visit there one day and compare then to now. Hopefully not much has changed. In the meantime we can enjoy the place vicariously through these vernacular images.
I recently returned from Havana and a screening of "Disconnect" at the 35th Festival of Latin American Cinema.
It was a fascinating trip, as I was able to meet and talk with local and international filmmakers and producers, as well as talk to the audience after the screening.
In a country where most of the population has limited access to the internet, this cautionary tale about the effect of technology on human communication and interaction was both eye-opening and provocative, and lead to some good conversations.
I took the opportunity of a walk around old Havana to search out some old Cuban sheet music and scored when one vendor dug into his cardboard box and came out with some fragile and frayed and water-stained old paper with the lost beautiful notes of Ernesto Lecuona, Emilio Diaz, Nita Almansa and others.
For the musicians out there, and for others who just appreciate the vintage design of these rare papers, I wanted to share them with you here:
This last song was autographed by the great Cuban singer, bandleader and composer Miguelito Valdes. My wife loosely translated the inscription as "As I promised, I am sending this song and wishing you great success and much more to come. This won't be the only one!"
Natalie had quite a
day today as we maxed out on Beatlemania opportunities locally.
Starting at the Beatles US label - the old Capitol Records building in Hollywood.
Where she found Paul McCartney's star on the Walk of Fame right outside the front door (along with Ringo, John and George, but no Pete Best or Stu Sutcliffe of course)!
Feeling inspired we made a quick trip over to Abbey Road in our time machine.
And found we had time to check out the latest fashions on Carnaby Street!
Hitting the Kaiserkeller in Hamburg to check out Rory Storm and the Hurricanes and their rocking drummer RIchard Starkey, taking top spot on a double bill with some lesser known Liverpool band called The Beatles.
Rory is the genius who convinced Richard to change his name to Ringo, and Starr was kind enough to let Natalie sit in on the drums during the last set.
My daughter would have kept going until last call but her old man had to get home and hit the hay after A Day In The Life of my little Beatles Fan #1.
(Ringo and Beatle paraphenalia photos courtesy of the Ringo Peace and Love Show at the Grammy Museum!).
A bomb explodes in the Paris office of the Springer Press. The Baader-Meinhof group claim responsibility.
And the latest edition of STRANGE comics hits the newstands.
I found this vintage edition of STRANGE on my recent trip to Paris in one of those kiosks along the quay on the Seine. Somehow seeing all of my old comic book superheros speaking in French gave them a certain je ne sais quoi!
As these two pulsing figures of light say "prepare to be transmitted"!!