Tag Archives: los angeles

Out & About—The new United States Federal Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles

Out & About The World

This morning I went out with the Pacific Photographic Society on a 3-hour walking tour of downtown Los Angeles.

I was quite surprised at how crowded it was on a Sunday morning and how few homeless people there were, and how many theaters are on Broadway.

I always thought all the theaters were in Hollywood.

Following are two pictures of the United States Federal Courthouse in Los Angeles, looking unlike any courthouse I’ve ever seen.

Los Angeles Federal Courthouse

Los Angeles Federal Courthouse

Construction on the courthouse began in August 2013 and was completed in 2016. The architect was Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, one of the world’s largest architectural firms. With 633,000 square feet of office space on ten floors, it houses 24 courtrooms.

It is a green building with a Energy Use Intensity (EUI) of just 31, four points below its design requirement of 35, and 54% below the national benchmark for similar buildings nationwide.

Read more about this interesting building at The Journal of the American Institute of Architects.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Advertisements

Book Review—Deadly Times

Book Review

My wise old grandmother always told me that “those who don’t study history are bound to repeat it.” She also told me that “history is written by the victors.”

I have always loved history, so much so that as late as a graduating senior in high school I thought I wanted to be a history teacher. Then, after doing research and discovering that (1) teachers in Texas didn’t make enough money to get me out of the poor household that I was in, and (2) if I wanted to make enough money and be a history teacher, I probably would have to go to college and get a bachelor, master, and doctorate degree.

Eight.

More.

Years.

Of.

School.

Nope.

It wasn’t until the last decade or so that I came to agree firmly with what my wise old grandmother said as I watched the Texas State Board of Education remove any mention in their textbooks of history events like the KKK and Jim Crow laws. According to the social studies textbook, “United States Goverment,” Brown v. Board of Education only happened because sometimes “the buildings, buses, and teachers for the all-black schools were lower in quality.”

Deadly TimesWhen I was at the public library a few weeks ago, there on the New Books display was one titled “Deadly Times—The 1910 Bombing of the Los Angeles Times and America’s Forgotten Decade of Terror” by Lee Irwin.

Since I live just 100 miles south of Los Angeles, the title intrigued me. With 55+ years of history reading and research under my pillow, I had never heard of this bombing, and certainly not “America’s Forgotten Decade of Terror.” Nothing about it in my Texas high school and college history books….

After reading the dust jacket, I checked out the book.

Between 1907 and 1911, there were more than 200 bombings carried out in the United States, East Coast, West Coast, and everywhere in between. It was the longest period of sustained terrorism in the nation’s history. The bombings were carried out by Union men against non-Union companies.

Although labor unions can be traced back to 1349 in England with the Ordinance of Labourers, the first effective nationwide labor organization in the United States was the Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor, founded in December 1869. The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions began in 1881 and eventually morphed into the American Federation of Labor.

When reading Deadly Times, it is important to know—the book does not tell you directly—that Democrats in 1910 were pro-big business and against the working man. Republicans were mostly pro-working man, pro-union, anti-big business, anti-rich. Exactly the opposite of what the two parties stand for in today’s United States. In 1910, many newspapers actually WERE foes of the working class. Perhaps this is the time that the current U.S. President wants to take America back to.

Los Angeles Times building after being destroyed by a bomb in 1910In 1910, the Los Angeles Times was an open shop business, and the owner, General Harrison Gray Otis (1837-1917) was so anti-union that he proposed making unions, strikes, and picketing illegal in San Francisco (a pro-union city, and the largest city in California at the time) and Los Angeles. General Gray’s proposal ultimately made the Los Angeles Times building a prime target, and early in the morning of October 1, 1910, a bomb exploded and killed 21 people (some accounts say 20; some accounts say that the number is not known because of the carnage the bombs created).

Lee Irwin’s research creates a fascinating story of the bombing, the search to identify and catch the bombers, a nation polarized by labor issues and the bombings, and the trials that ensued. The search for the bombers was conducted by William J. Burns (1861-1932), known as “America’s Sherlock Holmes,” and his William J. Burns International Detective Agency, acquired in August 2000 by Securitas AB of Sweden.

In April 1911, Burns, along with Los Angeles and Chicago police, arrested brothers John J. McNamara (1876-1941) and James B. McNamara (1882-1941). Clarence Darrow (1857-1938), eventually to become famous for defending John T. Scopes (1900-1970) in 1925 in the “Scopes Monkey Trial,” was hired by the labor unions to defend the McNamara brothers.

Before the case could go to trial, a plea bargain was reached in which both brothers would plead guilty. John, admitted to placing the bomb at the Los Angeles Times building, would serve life in prison. J.B. would serve 10 years albeit for a different bombing; the judge would modify the plea bargain so that J.B. would serve 15 years in prison. Interestingly, the plea bargain was first mentioned at the home of E.W. Scripps, a name well known here San Diego County where we have the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Scripps Health, Scripps Research, Scripps Ranch housing subdivision, and more.

The Los Angeles Times trial ruined Clarence Darrow who himself was indicted and tried, twice, for attempting to bribe jurors. His first trial, a state trial where Darrow was defended by Earl Rogers, (1869-1922) ended in acquittal. The second trial, a federal trial, resulted in a hung jury. A plea bargain, in which Darrow agreed to leave California and never come back, was reached in order to avoid a third trial.

Darrow left public life for many years, returning in 1924 to defend Nathan Leopold Jr. (1904-1971) and Richard Loeb (1905-1936), teenage sons of two wealthy Chicago families, accused of kidnapping and killing 14-year-old Bobby Franks for the thrill of it (resulting in the term “thrill kill”). A year later was the Scopes Monkey Trial.

I have always been fascinated by people killing people, under the guise of religion, social progress, thrill, or whatever, and this book certainly brought to my attention lots of events where people killed people that I had not been aware of. I now have several other books, autobiographies and biographies, on my reading list.

Considering where the current U.S. President and his ilk are taking the nation, I would not be surprised if the common laborer ultimately rises up, perhaps again resorting to death and destruction….

More interesting facts I learned from “Deadly Times” and subsequent research:

  1. Ossian Sweet (1895-1960) trial. In September 1925, a white mob in Detroit tried to drive a black family out of the home they had purchased in a white neighborhood. During the melee, a white man was killed. The eleven black men in the house all were arrested and charged with murder. Darrow’s closing argument to the all-white jury:
    “I insist that there is nothing but prejudice in this case; that if it was reversed and eleven white men had shot and killed a black man while protecting their home and their lives against a mob of blacks, nobody would have dreamed of having them indicted. They would have been given medals instead….”
    The first trial of all 11 defendants was a mistrial.
    The second trial involved Henry Sweet, Ossian’s brother, who had admitted firing the shot. Henry was found not guilty on grounds of self-defense. All charges were dropped against the other ten.
    Darrow’s closing statement, lasting over seven hours, is considered a landmark in Civil Rights history and is included in the book, “Speeches that Changed the World.”
  2. The book, Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age, by Kevin Boyle, a professor of history at Ohio State University, is about the Sweet trials. It became a bestseller, won the National Book Award for non-fiction, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. It also is on my reading list now.
  3. The judge overseeing the Sweet Trials was a young Frank Murphy (1890-1949) who would go on to serve as the last Governor General of the Phillippine Islands, Mayor of Detroit, Governor of Michigan, and as an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court. The court building in Detroit is the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice.
  4. The television show “Perry Mason” is based on the life of Earl Rogers (1869-1922).
  5. Los Angeles Times bombing memorial in Hollywood Forever CemeteryThere is a memorial in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery honoring 20 people killed in the Los Angeles Times bombing. General Otis also is interred at the Cemetery. It has 20 names on it, not 21.
  6. The labor movement in Los Angeles crashed after the guilty pleas of the McNamara brothers, languishing until the 1950s.
  7. Samuel GompersThe head of the American Federal of Labor at the time, Samuel Gompers, who approved tens of thousands of dollars of Union money to defend the McNamara brothers, was honored by the United States Post Office on a 3¢ postage stamp issued on January 27, 1950.
  8. The kidnapping and murder of Bobby Franks was the basis for Patrick Hamilton’s 1929 play “Rope” as well as Alfred Hitchcock“s 1948 movie of the same name. Other film, theatre, and fiction works based on Bobby Franks include Meyer Levin’s 1956 novel Compulsion and the 1959 film adaptation; Nothing but the Night by James Yaffe; Little Brother Fate by Mary-Carter Roberts; Never the Sinner, a 1988 play by John Logan, which included an explicit portrayal of Leopold and Loeb’s gay relationship; Native Son by Richard Wright; Swoon, a 1992 film by Tom Kalin; Funny Games, a 1997 Austrian film by Michael Haneke, and its 2008 remake; R.S.V.P., a 2002 black comedy film; Murder by Numbers by Barbet Schroeder; and Stephen Dolginoff’s 2005 Off Broadway musical (muscial? really?) Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story.
  9. Leopold’s autobiography, Life Plus 99 Years, published in 1958, is on my reading list now.
  10. In 1959, Leopold sued to block production of the film version of Compulsion on the grounds that Levin’s book invaded his privacy, profited from his life story, and defamed him. Eventually the Illinois Supreme Court ruled against him, stating that Leopold, as the confessed perpetrator of the “crime of the century,” could not reasonably demonstrate that any book had injured his reputation.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Underground in Hollywood, California

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Hollywood, CaliforniaI love visiting historic places, and Hollywood certainly ranks up there with its history, especially music, movies, and television. That made Hollywood a definite stop when Jim and I went traveling on National Train Day (May 11).

We probably would have seen more of Hollywood if we weren’t admiring the many Los Angeles Metro subway stations. Following are some pictures of subway stations on the Red Line from Union Station to the Highland/Hollywood Station (North Highland Avenue at Hollywood Boulevard) in Hollywood.

Of course, “subway” does not mean a place to eat. It means going underground.

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Underground was unique. Metro Rail serves an average of 363,000 people on a weekday, yet everywhere I looked it was clean, shiny, and beautiful.

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I looked around for people cleaning, shining things, sweeping, picking up trash….

No one.

Maybe Los Angelenos are naturally clean people?

Maybe they simply like living, working, and riding in a clean environment?

Or……………………………..

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

You can’t do anything within the subway environment without risking a $250 fine.

No entry without valid fare….

No littering….

No eating or drinking….

No smoking….

No spitting or chewing gum….

No skateboarding or scooters….

No loud or rowdy activity….

No rollerblading….

No playing of sound equipment.

I can see mommy and her little child:

Child: “Mommy, I want some chewing gum.”

Mommy: “No!”

Child: “Mommy, can I turn my iPod on?”

Mommy: “No!”

Child: “Mommy, can I have my sandwich?”

Mommy: “No!”

Child: “Mommy, can I have a Coke?”

Mommy: “No!”

Child: “Mommy, can we go home?”

Mommy: “YES!”

Hmmmm. I think I’m understanding why I didn’t see any children on the subway. I think the youngest people I saw were college students on their way to classes. Interesting.

Murals were everywhere:

Los Angeles Metro subway station mural

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Anyone know what this doohickey is?Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

How about these doohickeys,
which were all over the walls and ceilings at one station?Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If the rest of the Los Angeles Metro Rail routes — Blue, Purple, Green, Gold, and Expo lines — are anything like the Red Line, I look forward to exploring Los Angeles by rail in the next few years. No reason to stay away simply because of the traffic and lack of parking.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Station in Los Angeles

Leave the parking to them!

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Not that it would ever happen to me, but if you live in San Diego and get bored after a few years, we’re fortunate to have Los Angeles just ninety miles up the road. Put San Diego, Los Angeles, and Palm Springs together — all within 100 miles of each other — and you couldn’t possibly be bored in Southern California!

I didn’t have a great appreciation for Los Angeles until recently, mainly because if I’m driving, I want to be driving! Not stuck on a freeway doing 10 mph, something that’s quite common on freeways like Interstate 5 and U.S. Highway 101 going through the heart of Los Angeles. Both freeways need a serious case of widening or, as San Antonio did, building an upper deck.

Last month, though, on National Train Day (May 11), I took Amtrak to Los Angeles and then hopped on the Los Angeles Metro subway to go over to Hollywood. Until then I had not realized that Los Angeles, in 1994, had started building a subway system. And it’s a nice one! In some future posts, I’ll show you just how nice. I might go to Los Angeles more often now that I know I can use the Metro to go to 90% of the places in Los Angeles that interest me.

My first stop on National Train Day was, of course, the historic Union Station:

Los Angeles Union Station

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Station in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Station in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Los Angeles Union Station

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Station opened on May 3, 1939, to serve passenger trains from Union Pacific Railroad; Southern Pacific Railroad; and Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad; and commuter trains of the Pacific Electric Railway and Los Angeles Railway. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, it currently serves 60,000 passengers a day.

Union Station in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Station in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Station in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Station in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Along with passenger trains from Amtrak and Metrolink, Union Station has a separate platform for the Los Angeles Metro subway, and another area for buses, taxis, and bicyclists.

A day pass on the Metro is only $5. That allows you to ride Metro trains all day long, get on and off as you like, and really have some fun. I can highly recommend it as a way to get around the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Sightseeing is so much more fun when you don’t have to try to find a parking place!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Baby Canada Geese at the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia, California

They’re everywhere! They’re everywhere!

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

As much as I love going to the San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, and SeaWorld, there’s still nothing like seeing wildlife in the wild. Except I’m pretty sure that I would not want to see a mountain lion mommy and her little one while I was out hiking by myself. Nonetheless……….

I remember when I stumbled upon my first Canada Goose here in San Diego in 1996. I thought the poor thing had a serious deficiency in its map-reading skills (GPS wasn’t on the scene yet). Thirteen years later and I know that the Canada Goose is resident in all the lower 48 States as well as Canada.

In the 38 years I lived in Texas, I never saw a Canada Goose in the wild, yet the whole state is covered with “I live here in the Winter” blue in my National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America. San Diego is covered in the same winter blue, but I can tell you that there are many Canada Geese that live here year round, such as the two in the following flash video. They have been here for several years, rain or shine, hot or cold, winter or summer:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I suspect the same is true up in the Los Angeles area. It definitely is not winter in L.A. yet when I was at the Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia a few days ago for my 19th anniversary, the only bird more prevalent than the peacock was the Canada Goose.

Canada Geese at the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Baby Canada Geese at the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Canada Geese at the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Following are three flash videos of the Canada Geese at the L.A. Arboretum, including two little babies with mommy and daddy.

Remember that birds don’t have nationalities, so the plural of Canada Goose is Canada Geese, not Canadian Geese.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Los Angeles Metro's Del Mar Station in Pasadena

Just passing through

Railroads & Trains logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When Jim and I travel, we usually try to visit aquariums, zoos, gardens, and university campuses. I also try to sneak in a visit to a place having something to do with trains.

When we went to Los Angeles this past Sunday for our 19th anniversary, our main destiny was the Los Angeles Arboretum & Botanical Garden. Afterwards, we went in search of Pasadena City Hall (the second most beautiful City Hall I’ve ever seen, behind San Francisco), the Rose Bowl, and the old Santa Fe Depot in Pasadena. We found City Hall and the Rose Bowl, but, sadly, never found the old Santa Fe Depot.

According to one site that I found after getting home, the Santa Fe Depot was absorbed into the new station and was “rehabilitated to the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.” Ha! Anything but! See for yourself at Pasadena Views.

Jim and I walked around for about 30 minutes looking for the station, or its remnants, or maybe an address where it had been moved. While we never found it, I did get a couple of good flash videos of the Metro trains. The second one is my favorite.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m Zoey the Cool Cat,
and I approve this post.Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Los Angeles Arboretum — Gone to the birds

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When Jim went to bed Saturday night (he goes to bed much earlier than me), he told me we were going to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena for our 19th anniversary.

When Jim got up Sunday morning (he gets up much later than me), he told me we were going to the Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia (next to Pasadena) for our 19th anniversary.

I guess he had a dream…………..

The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden (herafter, LACA) comprises 127 acres whereas our San Diego Botanic Garden is 37 acres. Of course, we have the San Diego Zoo, also an internationally recognized Botanic Garden, at 100 acres, so there…………..

LACA had a huge Australia garden, probably covering half of the arboretum. That’s about 60 acres. Much of our Southern California climate is very similar to Australia, and Australian native vegetation does exceedingly well here. Walk through Balboa Park here, though, at 1,200 acres, and you’ll see everything in LACA’s Australia garden.

One thing that LACA had that San Diego Botanic Garden does not have is birds. Particularly Peafowl and Canada Geese. More than you can shake a stick at, and if you were to shake a stick at them, some might take the stick out of your hands!

I think if I were around Peafowl  (remember that male Peafowl are Peacocks and female Peafowl are Peahens) more often, they could easily become my favorite bird. They are so much fun to watch.

Following are 15 pictures and 5 flash videos of the Peafowl at LACA. Be sure to watch the last video if you don’t do anything else here today; he’s a little tease! The 15 pictures are of 15 different birds.

Lastly, I would like to dedicate this post to my blogging friend Julie, her husband Anthony, and their son Ming (jmgoyder) in Australia. They are the only ones I know who might have more Peafowl than the Los Angeles County Arboretum.

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peahen at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peahen at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peahen at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Baby Peafowl at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock (male Peafowl) walking the grounds

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Mom and baby Peafowl

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock jumping from tree to fence

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peahen giving herself a dirt bath

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock showing off

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m Zoey the Cool Cat,
and I approve this post.Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos