Friday, December 12, 2014

Who Knew #14 Orange County was Once Part of Los Angeles County

Who Knew that one hundred and twenty five years ago, on Aug. 1, 1889, the southern portion of Los Angeles County broke away to become Orange County. 

A map of the old Los Angeles County

According to KCET, 
A trip to the county seat in Los Angeles required two over hot and dusty roads in the summer time -- through mud and mire in the winter time. Bridges there were none, and often during the rainy season, the rivers swollen to raging torrents cut off all communication with the metropolis for weeks at a time. A lumbering old stage coach three times a week carried the mail, and at the compensation of ten cents a mile banged and battered the unfortunate passenger onward to his destination at the reckless speed of five miles an hour.

Discussions and attempts to break away from Los Angeles County took 10 years with original proposals such that the city of Downey and Whittier would become part of  "Anaheim County". After a few battles California legislature decided to incorporate a new county. Politicians then decided to name the county, for the citrus fruit in an attempt to promote immigration by suggesting a semi-tropical paradise–a place where anything could grow.

The plaza in the City of Orange in 1889, the year Orange County split from Los Angeles County. Courtesy of the Orange Public Library.

On the day Orange County separated, there were about 15,000 residents, three incorporated cities, and no paved roads. Their growth was slow but steady, reaching only 34,000 residents  by 1910. But in the following decade,  population nearly doubled. In the roaring '20s, it doubled again, to 120,000. 

Prior to WWII, Orange County was centered on agriculture.any crops would do well and bring prosperity, taking advantage of our ideal climate and soil, until a disease would wipe them out and force them to find something new, beginning the cycle again. Along the way, Orange County residents  had enormous success with grapes, apricots, walnuts, and oranges. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Historical Landmark #14 Watts Towers

California Historical Landmark #993

Address: 1727 E. 107th Street Los Angeles, California 90002

Watts Towers transformed a poor working class neighborhood in South Los Angeles into a world-class destination for folk art. One man, Simon Rodia an Italian immigrant  built the towers by hand in the triangle-shaped yard next to his house between 1921 and 1954. For thirty-three years, he worked on these towers until he one day just left and never came back.  He fashioned scrap steel pipes and colorful broken bits and pieces of glass and pottery, bottle caps, seashells and even bowling balls into what is now known as the Watts Towers. After he left some of the .

By the time Rodia finished working on the towers, they had been discovered as Southern California’s most unusual tourist attraction. In 1959, the City of Los Angeles stated that they were unstable and unsafe and would have to be demolished. Fans from far and near protested. Tests proved their durability and miraculously, they still soar today.

Watts Towers officially became a California Historical Landmark in 1990.

Pictures from my visit on December 7, 2014

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Filming Location #2 The Fast and The Furious

Located in the vicinity of Angelino Heights are  two filming locations of the first installment of the Fast & the Furious franchise.

Dominic Torretto's House

Actual Location: 722 E. Kensington Rd. Los Angeles

The house was featured in the Fast and The Furious, and in Fast 6

Actual House

I took a picture from an angle because this is a private property. There is no garage, it seems that was added by the production company.

About a block away is Bob's Market. This market was Toretto's Market & Cafe in the film and was the first scene of the film when Brian (Paul Walker) goes in to order  a Tuna Sandwich and encounters the rest of the group.

I was able to walk in to Bob's Market and got myself a water, just to see the inside of the store. It a mom and pop shop and was just used as a backdrop. I did not ask the lady anything about the film, first because she did not look like she wanted to talk and because I figure people go in there on a regular basis to ask those questions,