Saturday, April 28, 2018

Package Express

Ancestral end table
I'd come to California in June of 2015 with two pieces of soft luggage and a carry-on. I'd stayed in sublets initially, trying out different parts of town, eventually landing in a vintage 1920s Hollywood studio and then moving into a Burbank 1980s-"vintage" condo a year-and-a-half later.

I'd been living as minimally as humanly possible in Hollywood. Well, that might be an exaggeration. I had both an IKEA dining/project table AND a desk, so that's exorbitant, right?

I bought the condo a year ago, moved in my pine slat platform bed frame and IKEA memory foam, my table, my desk, and I'd bought the previous owners chest of drawers and media console/TV off her. I hadn't mastered the art of TV watching yet, but now that I had purchased a custom sofa, I decided to make an effort at living like a normal person.

I brought some Egyptian tentmakers bazaar pillow covers back from my storage unit in Jersey City, but how was I going to get my grandparents end table from Jersey City to Burbank?

Rented hand truck
I puzzled over this for a while until a friend mentioned shipping by Amtrak. I dug into that, went down various rabbit holes, and ended up at Greyhound Package Express.

Nex trip home, I had a rental car I'd picked up at Newark Airport, and I drove straight from my flight arrival to Home Depot to buy some boxes and packing materials. I stopped at my storage unit and got the table, but ran into a problem in my tiny apartment in my house.

Because the entrance to my apartment is under my house's stoop, I had limited space to get the box out the door. And the rental car was a sedan--the box wouldn't fit.

The partially assembled box, packing materials, and table went with me to Staples for some packaging peanuts, and then we all drove to Newark Penn Station for the Greyhound. Because only a complete fool would drive to Port Authority with this setup.

Even Newark isn't ideal. There's no parking lot, so you end up hoping for the best. Hoping didn't really work out for me, so I parked in a pay lot nearby, walked to the Greyhound counter in Penn Station, sussed out the specifics of how this worked, then walked back to the car. I used a packing knife and tape to assemble the box and pack the table, then used a hand truck I'd rented from the 440 Home Depot to pull my box to the counter.

This all happened so fast, I forgot to take a photo of my box before it was
behind the counter at Greyhound Penn Station.
The attendant processed me without even a sideways glance. This all made total sense to him.

"Which station do you want to send this to?"

"North Hollywood, please."

"It'll be there in 3-4 business days and cost you $67."


My rented hand truck and I walked back to my rental car in the pay lot, drove back to 440 to drop off the hand truck, and went home to Lafayette. It was that easy.

And a week later, on a Saturday morning in Burbank, I grabbed the Zipcar over behind the Von's and headed to Magnolia Ave. I parked the Honda Fit next to the North Hollywood Greyhound station, borrowed their hand truck, and pulled my box out to the car.

This was all shockingly simple.

So simple, I think I'll bring out my childhood coffee table next time.

Fit into the Fit.
Now I have this stuff to get rid of.

Did it survive the trip?

Sunday, April 22, 2018

HBD to Me

What the hell? How did this happen?

Ugh. Jesus. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Echo Park Sunset

There's a yard in Echo Park where a man named Randy has decked out his yard in glass and colored water.

I had a rental car as part of a project I was involved in where I'd have to head to San Diego later in the week, so I took advantage of the pleasant Sunday evening to head to Echo Park. The easy way, via a car instead of a bus to a train to a bus or whatever.

The yard is fabulous and fun, the kind of yard that makes you want art in your own yard, if only it were not a balcony with homeowner's association rules about not hanging thing from it.

Here are more photos from my excursion.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

No Chocolate in the Chocolate Shop

I'd heard whispers about the mysterious Chocolate Shop in DTLA, seen posts by people who had glimpsed it from Sixth Street, but I'd never quite figured out exactly where it was or how to get into it. I'd see mentions of tours by museum tour groups, architectural hobbyists, but I didn't see a way in.

But I'm a member of some LA conservation groups, and so I kept my eyes open.

When the email came in from the bus tour group I'd heard about, I jumped on it.

And so on April 15, 2018, I took the bus to the metro to the bus all the way to the far side of DTLA, by the Greyhound station, and took a tour bus back to Grand Central Market, to the Bradbury building, to Angels Flight, to a few downtown buildings, to Pershing Square. I'd been through all this before, lived a few blocks away when I'd first moved to LA (this time), so I patiently went along with the tour until we got to the Chocolate Shop, the reason I'd joined this group.

We entered next door via a Sixth Street storefront under construction. The man who hosted us had gone into the Chocolate Shop as a kid, to play video games in the sheet-rocked shopping arcade that had blocked off the Batchelder tiles below.

Here are the photos I took of the Chocolate Shop.

We spent a half-hour or so studying the tiles, then headed out. As the tour moved on, I cut out. "We're right by the Red Line," I explained. I didn't want to go all the way back to the Greyhound station just to turn around and come back.

"You take public transit?" The tour host asked with surprise. "Bless you."

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Hey Kids, Comics!

Upon hearing there’s an upcoming reprint of a rare series I worked on in 1993-4, my first reaction was to write the editor and ask if 25 years is too long to wait to ask for corrections.

Even funnier, the team was happy to do them.

We like to get things right.

Castellated Brick from 1895

My house guest starred on Instagram!

I'm not sure what "hard to miss" means. That's either good or bad...but I like to think my house is just plain awesome.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

A Fried Ravioli Afternoon Tragedy

Sometimes I see terrible things by the food trucks at work.