Monday, June 21, 2010

No esta aqui

The other day I was seeing exactly what channels I'm able to receive on our main television using an amplified antenna. One thing I noticed is that the old television in the bedroom gets more digital stations using its ancient rabbit ears than the amplified hi-tech one does.

The amplified antenna does get PBS, though - channel 28.1. The program at the time was featuring clips of old-time Los Angeles and I heard the unmistakable voice of Ralph Story, so I stopped my channel scan to watch for a while. It turned out to be a program called Things That Aren't Here Anymore, which was exactly as the title said - things in Los Angeles that are no longer around. Like Marineland (I bet most of you remember that), Corriganville (I bet most you don't remember that) and other places. Mr. Story also did a sequel, called More Things That Aren't Here Anymore, and after he passed away a more recent third chapter in the series was released.

I really enjoy looking at clips and images of the way things used to be - I guess I'm a nostalgia fan. It got me thinking about places from the 'hood that I grew up with that are no longer there.

Before those places, I wanted to mention one of the no longer there places in the program was the Pan Pacific Auditorium. Remember that? That's where I first saw the Chosen Few. Remember them? At the time I didn't know it was then, since I was in junior high, but I always remembered the band because they were so much better than all the other bands that played that day (I think there was a car show).

Now, the Chosen Few is among the things that aren't here anymore. Some places I thought of, just to bring up the past, were:

Holiday Bowl (that's what everyone always brings up);
Rudy's Restaurant;
Walt's Cafe;
Mago's (not quite in the area but a place we used to go all the time);
Bruno's restaurant (same thing - not quite in the area);
Paul's Kitchen;
Hall's Bookstore;
Donna Michelle's Boutique;
Singer Sewing Machines with its 59 cent 45's;
Hodoh's bbq;
Mr. Angelo's restaurant;
White Front;
Al's Arco Station;
Grace Pastries;
Gilbert's Meat Market;
Santa Barbara Savings and Loan;
Karl's Toys and Hobbies;
Kokusai Theater.

I'm sure there are plenty others but those are just some that came to mind, that I thought I'd list just for the sake of listing them and perhaps jogging your memory if you happened to grow up in the same area.

If you share a love of nostalgia and grew up in the Los Angeles area, I'd recommend checking out the trilogy I mentioned above - more information can be found on the KCET web site. Having grown up watching Ralph Story's Los Angeles, it was good to see him again, too!


donna said...

Wow, you have a great memory. I will have to think of others. I drove down Crenshaw a couple of weeks ago and didn't recognize most of it!
Stevie's on the Strip, Rexall, Dr. Koyama's office, The Boys Market, Pioneer Chicken and do you remember the Fotomat?
I watched Ralph Story too! I turned around when I heard his voice. Bill was watching it and I had to sit and watch. Great show.

Anonymous said...

I may have put a comment on your blog about my discovery that Mago's closed. We have a house west of Mago's and I drove there one Saturday afternoon in search of either a B combination or a charshui avocado burrito. I stood in front absolutely gobsmacked. Was Al's Arco on the corner of Jeff and Crenshaw? Next to Grease Pastries? Google Street view shows the Arco still going. It was a schetchy place even back in the day. It was the place that I had to unholster to prevent a carjacking 30 years ago. You never forget your first. Paul's is now Tim's and I would still not go there. There's a Paul's Kitchen on Alameda that has not been remodeled if you are interested. The Bank of Tokyo was the first place I ever came across a totally naked black man. He was taking a walk on a sunny day.

Rickie Miyake said...

Al's Arco was indeed at the southeast corner of Crenshaw and Jefferson. My good buddy Rob Karatsu used to work there. As for Paul's Kitchen on Alameda - we took out some food from there a little over a year ago (is it on Alameda or San Pedro?) and it was HORRIBLE. That was some of the worst Chinese food I've ever eaten! I kept wondering if that was the stuff I used to like and my tastes changed, or if it was just plain bad (probably both).