Sunday, March 30, 2008
hollywood-sunset vine tower-part 2

When we left off....I was talking about this pretty amazing, but scary looking Ad for the film "Transformers".....I know it's colorful and all that, but.....it is so distracting and fairly annoying to look out and see something like this ruining the look of the city....! I know, I know, it's a losing battle. But one day late in May----not long after I took that picture above----The Gods got very angry at this "wrap" and a Big Huge Wind came along and look what happened!!! Please click on this tripdic because you can see all this stuff flying around....I didn't take this picture either, but I am so happy I found it.....See? This building is not supposed to have any of this crap on it....I mean, that was a very clear message.
So some four months passed and still....this building is still a skeleton. In a way, more of a skeleton, as you can see below..... Again, I would look at these pictures and wonder, what in the hell was taking so long! I mean, it looks like there is almost nothing happening..... I guess something is happening because I hadn't seen all that red stuff before....I know so little about building and what goes into it, especially if a building is being converted from an Office Building to Condominiums.... Above, a month later....! It still looks pretty much the same to me....And cause I'm not sure about that, I come in closer to see if I can see anything that is different..... Well....it all looks the same to me....! So.....I take a hiatus from taking pictures of 'the building'....I got very interested in the neighbors Chickens.....remember? And some other stuff too....And then, another almost four months went by and finally, it looks a bit different! Hard to tell what the difference actually is from these pictures, but....there is no question that a lot happened during those almost four months..... And about 10 days later....... And then came the day, a few days later, that Shawn drove me around Hollywood...We were driving down Vine Street and this is what I captured through the car window looking at the side of the building that faces North..... Ahhhhh......I think it is "glass".....That is what has finally become a part of this building.....Let's see...let's get closer..... Oh yes! It is windows....lots and lots and lots of windows....! And no more advertising.....! Hooray....! I see that there is a ways to go, but this building is starting to look really pretty, to me.....After all this time...I realize, too, that they still have a very l-o-n-g way to go on the inside of this building....But, at least there is something kind of nice to look at now....! And above, one more from inside the car.....I am liking this building more and more....It is really great to see it close-up, finally...And makes a difference in the pictures I can take, too....We continue on and get onto Sunset Boulevard.....I ask Shawn to stop so I can get a good picture standing right outside the car..... Oh Yes! This building looks really great outside the car....I Love It! And I love seeing a few lovely tall Palms, too......Here below, a little closer look..... Yeah! Still really pretty....I wonder what is happening with that center section? It's not really clear to me what is actually happening there....Let's get closer...... Hmmmm. Still not really clear, is it? I guess they still have a lot to do here....I am hoping it will all be 'revealed', soon.....But I must say, I am liking this building close up....I mean from Sunset Boulevard, etc....and not from my Deck.......lol! And then, nine days later....taken from my deck...... What? What is that over on the left?? No. Please. Don't tell me..... Please. Do. Not. Tell. Me. Four days later....Oy! It is growing, like a fungus. What's that bit of blue up there? Oy. Oy. Three days later. That patch of blue is gone. What are they doing? And Why? I guess it was too good to be true, wasn't it. Greed always seems to win out in some circles.....Below, the building, three days later on March 28th,2008.Tiny increments, once again......Here is a closer look at this center white thingy, below..... I find it fascinating that you can still see through to the city behind it, in those top upper stories, plus you can also see that each one of these white pieces is a panel or section, unto itself...I don't know, maybe this isn't more advertising----well, not advertising, yet....And below, a closer look at those top floors..... So....here below, one last picture taken on Friday, the 28th.....I will be watching this building carefully, and hopefully will be able to get down on Vine Street or Sunset, once again, to get a better and closer look, as the outside progresses..... Stay Tuned........



More To Come.........






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Friday, March 28, 2008
hollywood views - part 3 - the sunset vine tower

There is a building that I have been photographing from my deck, for a very long time.....It was known as The Sunset Vine Tower when it was built in 1963, as a twenty story office building. In 2001 there was a terrible electrical fire that literally closed the building down and it has been empty ever since. In the last two years it has changed "looks" many many times.....By way of placement, the building is at the South East Corner of Sunset Blvd, and Vine Street.......And I am going to show you a series of pictures of the different incarnations of this building.....There was a rather nice restaurant on the top floor, back in the day, called Simply Blues....There you could hear pretty good music and have some fairly good food, too. I remember going there sometime in the late 60's early 70's after seeing the fabulous show "Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well" at the then Huntington Hartford Theatre, up the street on Vine...(Now called the Ricardo Montalban Theatre.....) Later, that same restaurant/bar/jazz place was known as 360, because of the fantastic views from all sides, encompassing 360 degrees. (Incidentally, this building was featured in the film "Earthquake" back in 1974....)Okay. So in 2003 the building was bought by a Real Estate Group called CIM. It took a long time for everything to go through and finally, it was announced that the building would be completely renovated and turned into Condominiums....It seemed like nothing happened for the longest time.....Then, there was another fire in the building in 2005..... I did not take this picture...I found it on line...And you can see that back in 2005 there was some advertising on the side of this building for the film, "Mr & Mrs. Smith" (the 'Brangelina' film....).But, in all honesty, I do not recall ever seeing anything on the two sides of the building visible to me...till 2006.....Maybe it was there, but not in my view.....This building seems to have a lot of bad luck connected to it....I understand that someone jumped off the building sometime before that terrible 2001 fire that closed the building.....And just an aside: It was one of the first buildings built after Los Angeles changed it's building restrictions, allowing new buildings to be taller than 14 story's. In March of 2006, I noticed the first advertising showing up in my view....! In this picture it was only on the one side, facing West..... A closer look above at that advertising panel....covering 17 or 18 floors of this building.....An eyesore? I think so. As I recall....the Ipod Ads on the side of the old Bekins Storage Building which I have posted were the first ads that I became aware of....Visual Pollution was what I called them back then, and I still call this kind of advertising that two and a half years later..... In May of 2006, I noticed this strange bizarre covering that began to go up on The Sunset Vine Tower. In researching a little about the history here, it turns out that there was asbestos in the building that needed to be removed. They were forced to put this plastic sleeve covering the entire building so that the asbestos would not escape and the surrounding neighborhoods---me included---would not be at risk. Here above is the building, completely "wrapped" and you can see that on the North side they wasted no time in selling the Ad space. This picture was taken in July of 2006. And the one below, a few days later..... Then, a few months later, the Ads were changed..... There is money to be made by the owners of this building....I read somewhere where a Rep for this Real Estate Company said, 'Oh I wouldn't have any advertising on the building if it hadn't needed to be wrapped because of the asbestos....'. Oh yeah? Well, what was that "Mr. & Mr. Smith" stuff all about then?? Okay. So this one was on here for a while....and then.... As you can see....this stuff was being torn off....I'm not sure how that was done or if there were other factors involved, but..... this was still coming off--or being removed, two months later....And as you can see, all the exterior things that had been on the building in those first three pictures, are now gone.... And this picture above was taken the same day at the brink of dusk....And the "plastic wrap" is almost all gone....it really looks a mess, doesn't it? It is now February, 2007..... And above, on March 22, 2007....a neat and clean skeleton of a building appears.....Every time I photographed this building, I wondered what the hell they were doing and why it was taking so long to do whatever it was they were doing.....? In early April of 2007, something else seemed to be happening, once again, in terms of "wrapping".... As you can see, one side---the North side had this word running down the building...'TRANSFORMERS'.....and that blue stuff facing West...well, I didn't know what it was..... The picture above was only twenty minutes later...but it looked like the wind was playing havoc with that blue 'wrap' on the lower left so you could barely see it......Some weeks past and the next time I photographed the building, this is what I saw..... This was the most complex "painting" of any of the Ads that I have seen on that building.....it actually was quite amazing in it's complexity.....I have not seen the movie "Transformers" and I would venture to say the chances of my ever seeing it are none to none.....So I am happy I got to see this very expensive advertising for it.....But, I must say there is something quite imposing and scary about this Ad......

(Part 2 of this story, next time.....)



More To Come.......




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Wednesday, March 26, 2008
hollywood roosevelt celebration

Let me digress for a minute here.....I found some more pictures from two very special happenings here at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, that I mentioned in one of my previous posts. One, was a special Birthday Dinner (my 55th Birthday, in 1986...)....I showed one picture, which was rather obscure. of a lot of people at this dinner table in the Dining Room of The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel...said Dining Room was called at that time---1986-87---'Theodore's" after Teddy Roosevelt......So, here are some more pictures of that Celebration...... The Roosevelt had just re-opened after a two year major renovation---the first of many---and it was Beautifully Restored to it's "original" splendor.....Above, that is Mark Travis over on the left with his dear wife Dianne standing next to him, then me in my fancy "Hollywood" top and my very very short hair---don't ask----, and my dear Hungarian friend Hanna.....We were standing in the Beautifully Restored Lobby, waiting for the others to arrive..... And there above is my very dear old friend Bill Wood...A Wonderful writer and musician, who I met the very first year I moved to L.A., back in 1961.....We are still friends, though he and his wife Jeannie now live on Vachon Island, (Or is it Vashon??) off of Seattle..... I want you to see a close-up of this "top" I was wearing..... Those little round things surrounding each picture are little glittery rhinestones---you cannot tell from these pictures, but it was a fun blouse with ALL the "movie stars" from a certain period represented. Perfect for a Birthday Dinner at The Hollywood Roosevelt, don't you think?And in the picture above, Mark T. and I are sitting in the lobby, having a little drink while we wait for those others yo arrive and just before going into the lovely dining room..... Above, now in the dining room, I am visiting the other end of the table---Charley Berliner at the head, with Nancy O'Connor next to him.....On the opposite side of the table is Rojica Mossler, another Hungarian friend, now gone, and Bill Wood sitting next to her..... Above, Betty G. leaning over talking to Carroll O'. and Dianne T. next to him.....You might notice that Betty's cheeks look kind of chubby...She was on Prednisone at the time for her Asthma condition....It's the only time in ALL the years I've known Betty that she was ready to eat at any time! I had always been the one saying "Oh, I'm so hungry"...Now, during this time she was saying, "I Am Ravenous!" LOL, I loved it! Above, Nancy O'Connor explaining something with gestures; the wonderful John Carter next to her---John is a brilliant Actor and Director; and Jeannie Dougherty Wood, next to John....I'm not sure who she was talking to....the waiter, perhaps.....And below, Carroll is definitely talking to the waiter..... The food was really fantastic that night....the Hotel Restaurant really put their best foot forward when they re-opened the Hotel...And this particular meal was probably the best one we all ever had there.....Unfortunately the 'quality' did not hold up as time went on.... Above is my dear friend Hanna and next to her, the most talented unique Musician/Performer/Composer, Dale Gonyea....And a sweetheart of a man, too..... I must say, I love celebrations....not just of my own Birthdays, but other people's too.....It is a lovely excuse to get together and enjoy each other's company, don't you think? After dinner, we went back to my house for dessert and coffee....It is just up the hill from The Roosevelt----literally four minutes away..... Here is Hanna, showing me the fabulous Chocolate Cake with candles, from my favorite shop, "Sweet Lady Jane"....Nancy and Carroll standing behind, and Kendall Carter sort of hidden behind there....everyone ready to sing Happy Birthday to me....And after that, I was to cut the cake.....! And it was absolutely yummy! Sweet Lady Jane never disappoints....And I'm still getting my Chocolate Birthday Cakes from SLJ, to this day....You know, 'if it ain't broke, why fix it...', right? Here we are in my kitchen.....Nancy, Charley B., and Rojica and me with an enormous piece of cake.....! This is such a sweet picture of Carroll and Nancy, out on my deck.....They were married a very long time....I first met them in 1964 and they had just adopted their dear son Hugh around that time....Carroll was a very active member of Theatre West back then---we worked together quite a bit over the years---and he remained a member-in-good-standing of Theatre West until his death..... One last picture.....Carroll, now in his shirt sleeves---it was a very very warm night-----surrounded by all of us adoring ladies....Me, Rojica, and Betty. It was certainly a great and memorable night..... Back then, the newly restored Hollywood Roosevelt had a surge of interest and then, a few years later, changed hands....the new owners re-did the Hotel, once again, and then, some years later the Hotel changed hands one more time and went through yet another major renovation.....And now, it is THE "in" place once again for young Hollywood. This Hotel----my neighborhood Hotel-----with so much Hollywood History, 'lives', once again.....









More To Come........


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