Devilishly Hot Halloweens in the Southland

If you are a native Angeleno, you probably associate Halloween with the Santa Ana winds—powerful, hot, dry gusts that blow trick-or-treating witches and goblins down the street, send ghost costumes madly flying, and raise the hair on your head, crackling with electricity. The air even smells ionically charged and different. While we all … Continue reading

Flights of Fancy: L.A.’s Air Travel-Inspired Roadside Novelty Buildings

It was a veritable juggernaut—the number and variety of roadside novelty (“vernacular,” “programmatic,” or “mimetic”) buildings that once dotted the urban landscape in Los Angeles.  Like the examples featured in an related earlier post, these “hey-you-can’t miss-me!” buildings were made to pull automobile drivers right off the road—to eat, shop, … Continue reading

PICTURE THIS: Remembering Burbank’s Great Pumpkin Building

Years ago I found this image in a box of old family photos. It was undated, unlabeled, and probably taken to show off my grandparent’s new car. But the star of the picture for me was the gigantic pumpkin building in the background. It was one of those roadside oddities (often … Continue reading