Wednesday, December 10, 2008


A friend of mine sent me a link to an interesting YouTube video. It's a brief (10 minute) featurette about Tak's Coffee Shop in Crenshaw Square, a sort of successor to the defunct Holiday Bowl Coffee Shop that unfortunately became a victim of urban blight several years ago. Here's the video:

I must sheepishly admit I've never been to Tak's. It's a place I've been wanting to go but like so many other things with me, I haven't gotten around to it. Seeing the video refreshed my desire to take a trip back to the old 'hood to check it out.

You know, it wasn't the best neighborhood back in the late 60's and 70's when I lived there. But I have a lot of fond memories of those days and I wouldn't trade growing up there for anywhere else. Maybe John Denver can sing 'Thank God I'm a Country Boy' but for me it's 'Thank God I'm a Crenshaw Boy!'

I can still picture the interior of the Holiday Bowl coffee shop, of sitting at one of the tables next to the window and looking out onto the night scene flowing past on Crenshaw Boulevard. The song I associate with those times? Van Morrison's incredible Moondance. The coffee shop was almost always a late-night thing, just like the song.

They mentioned the Watts riot in the first video about Tak's. What I remember most about those days in August, 1965 was being in the car with my parents and sister, joining a long line of other cars that drove through the area after all was said and done while the National Guard directed us as though we were entering the Disneyland parking lot, and then it was off to the rides.. not quite "It's a Small World."

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