This collection of news chum (perhaps the ultimate for this trip, or the penultimate) all relates to Southern California:
- Adaptive Reuse of the HeraldEx Building. Whereas other cites let decaying buildings rot, Los Angeles turns them into film sets. When the only real competition to the LA Times — the Los Angeles Herald Examiner — closed down back in 1989 (I still have copies of the last issue), the architectural gem that what the HeraldEx building in downtown (designed by Julia Morgan, the same architect behind Hearst Castle) shut down as well. It has had an active life since then as a filmset — not only serving as a newsroom, but as a prison and number other locals. The site has finally been sold by the Hearst Organization, and is slated to become a mix of creative offices and mixed use, preserving the architectural quality of the building and the ornate lobby.
- The 213 Expands. The area code 213 is just a shadows of what it once was. In the early days, it covered all of Southern California. Nowadays, it just covers the downtown core. But no more. The 323 area code is running out of numbers, and with 213 projected to be good until 2050, they are expanding 213 to be an overlay for 323 as well. Me? I’m in 818, although when I was much younger I was in 213 (but that area is now 310).
- Are They Building It With an Allen Wrench? The first Ikea in Southern California was in Burbank. We’re in there regularly; it is across the street from the Colony Theatre and their restaurant makes a great grab for dinner before the show. But that Ikea is a dead furniture store walking. Construction workers have been issued their hex nut wrenches, and America’s largest Ikea is being assembled a miles way in Burbank. The new 456,000-square-foot store will be twice as big as the original 242,000-square-foot location built in 1990 located about a mile down San Fernando Road from the new site near the 5 freeway.
- The Worm Capital of the World. When you think of Compton, what comes to mind? The recent “Out of Compton” movie? How about the worm capital of the world? Compton is home to Rainbow Mealworms, one of the largest suppliers of mealworms. Worms and crickets are being touted as “the next sustainable protein source“, although it may not be as eco friendly as is being touted. The LA Times has an article on the growing use of edible insects, and Rainbow Mealworm’s part in it.
ETA: Some sad news:
- The End of the Line. Allied Model Trains used to be a great store on the Westside, with not only trains but loads of books on train history. Around 1990, it moved to Culver City, in a building that was modeled after Union Station downtown. In 2007, the long-time owner sold the business and moved it down the street (the Union Station-model becoming a Samys Camera). Business continued to dwindle, and in July, Allied Model Trains (now owned by The Whistle Stop in Pasadena) closed its doors for good. There was going to be an auction of the remaining stock. Now that’s on hold, as a fire last night damaged the store and stock. After 69 years, there is no longer a train store on the westside.