Yours truly, c., 1958, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, with my very first camera, the legendary Kodak Brownie.
Just a few blocks from Casa Avrech these colorful ceramic tiles are embedded in the sidewalk. Usually, Mexican tiles are found in the stairways and patios of Spanish style California homes. I’ve asked, but nobody seems to know their history. They are just beautiful. And I’m amazed that they have not been stolen or vandalized.
Unlike New York, Los Angeles was built to accommodate automobiles. Every business and home is zoned for a garage or parking area. I love wandering around and observing the unique and creative ways people personalize their parking spots. I dunno, call me a snob, but this physician does not send out a vibe that inspires confidence.
Factor’s Famous Deli is a well known “kosher-style” restaurant—translation: the food is not kosher, but the Jews who eat there feel, um, linguistically connected to kashrut—on Pico Blvd. This parking sign really had me puzzled. By the way, Pico Kosher Deli, just a few blocks east of Factor’s, is the best kosher deli in the known universe. Not even Nu Yoik has a kosher deli that rivals the quality or ambiance of PKD.
Cheescake parking. Totally L.A. I saw this sign and just smiled. Who can resist the dopey pun, or the great Betty Grable pose that inspired millions of American servicemen during World War II? Can you guess what store boasts this great sign?
I head over to Toys R’ Us to buy a gift for Ma’ayan Ariel. My eyes immediately fasten on this long yellow stripe—Barnett Newman would have called it a zip—in front of the store. Looking for the right angle, I finally plop down on my belly and snap away. After a moment I hear someone say: “Whatchou doin’?” I look up and there’s a young lady in a Toys R’ Us uniform. She’s an Hispanic teenager with a very worried expression on her face. “I’m taking pictures,” I reply. “You can’t do that, sir.” “Why not?” She sighs wearily: “Because sir, Toys R’ Us cannot be responsible.” “Responsible for what?” She shrugs and goes: “Wha-ever. Look, sir, my manager tol’ me to warn you, so please, like I don’ need no hassles.” I spring to my feet and tell her not to worry. I don’t want to cause her any trouble. As we head inside she says: “You a photographer?” I’m like, “I take pictures.” She goes: “I like to be a model, look soooo cool.” I tell her that she should try out for America’s Next Top Model. She’s like: “Aw, whatchou say.” She helps me find the little Dora couch I want for Ma’ayan and as I pay she asks me if I meant it about America’s Next Top Model. I assure her that I do. She smiles hugely and hands me a receipt.
Karen and I wish all our friends and relatives a restful and joyous Shabbat.