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We walked up to the market today and it was actually still light, so I took the camera. Most of Ocean Park along here is apartments, but there are a couple blocks where the market is that have little shops. Most of the shops are new (often trendy little shops that come and go very quickly), as it's hard to stay in business, but there are a few things that have been there since I was little or longer.

One of those is Evett's Models. I don't know how they stay in business, but aparently they do. The last time we walked by, I mentioned to Bruce that it was one of the shops I remember from when I was a kid, and then today when we walked by, there was a banner saying they're celebrating sixty years there (or "60" years, as the banner says; maybe it's realy 59? XD).

Right in front of the shop, or perhaps down a little bit, I can't remember, were the words "Batman forever" carved in the cement.

We tried to take some pictures of the market itself, but the sun was right behind it, so that was no good. Maybe another time. Instead, here's the Kultura bookshop across the street (and right next to it is the little boutique with the Ayu mural; you can see some of the flowers from the mural). We were excited when we first saw a used bookshop was going in there, but it turns out to be some sort of trendy yuppie place. Bah. Everything's overpriced, and I'm not even sure they actually sell fiction.

When I was little, that corner was Miller's Pharmacy. It was kind of shabby when I was little, and only got worse over the years. They finally went out of business about fifteen years ago when a Rite-Aid opened a few blocks away. Since then it's been several things, including a trendy clothing shop and a place that sold second-hand baby clothes/furniture/toys/etc.

Most of the walk to the market, either way you go, is along one of the two junior highs in Santa Monica, which has been under construction this summer (and apparently still is, though I think school must have started already). The trees planted along the way have these neat pinecone type things (technical term) growing on them. The trees are pretty common all over this area, and I used to like to kick or step on the pinecones while walking to school. I'm not sure I've ever actually seen flowers on them, but apparently they do have them. We peeked inside one and saw the pinecone thing forms the middle of the flower. Neat!

This is a tree actually on the school grounds (the others were on the parkway). Not sure what kind it is, but it had some interesting berry type things. There was also this bush, which had some pretty flowers. We saw the same type of bush in someone's yard a few blocks further on.

Then there was this tree, which is notable more for its fence than anything. Tree growing where you want to put a fence? No problem! Just build the fence around it! Quite a clever solution, actually.

And finally, on the music building, we saw this. It looks like it's been there a while, but neither Bruce nor I have ever noticed it before. The placard in the corner says it's part of America the Beautiful.
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This evening we walked up to the store and I took the camera with us hoping to get a few shots. Unfortunately it was overcast and starting to get dark, so nothing came out except for one. But that's the main thing I wanted to take a picture of anyway, so the rest can be another day. :)

This is a mural right across the street from the market. I can't remember how long it's been there, maybe five years? I think it goes to the little boutique next door, but I'm not sure. Maybe it's just a random mural. Every time I see it (which is a lot), I want to take a picture, but I usually don't have my camera with me.

I wanted to photograph it for two reasons. One, it's a neat mural, and two (and this is the main reason), it really, really looks like Hamasaki Ayumi. I don't know if it's a coincidence, or if the person who painted it had her as a reference or what, but we call it the Ayu mural, or just Ayu.
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Yesterday when I was at the post office, I saw the old NuWilshire Theater and remembered I wanted to take pictures of it, so that was our first destination. The walk was a bit too long for Bruce (he's in worse shape than me, alas). Google says it was 1.3 miles each way, but at least it's mostly flat.

About one block from our house is the Woodlawn Cemetary. It's smallish and pretty old, so it's mostly filled up, and there's lots of neat graves to look at. The first one I took a picture of says Machado, and I wonder if it's these Machados, who were early settlers in the area. You can see several Japanese graves behind it. There are lots of Japanese names in the cemetary, which is not surprising considering a lot of the area used to be Japanese farmland before the war. Not that far from the Machado gravestone was this one with a statue of Mary or a saint or someone. I really love the lichen on it and took a second closeup shot as well. I also took pictures of a couple other gravestones, including one that had got crushed by lawnmowers and a sandstone one that has completely worn away over the years.

The next interesting thing we saw along the way was on a footpath leading up to an apartment building. There was a round metal thing set into the ground that said "Medallion Home: Live Better Electrically".

A block or so later we came upon a really neat tree. Someone had made a face on it. Around the other side of the tree was this cute carved frog holding a lamp. The yard this tree was in front of had turtles in it! At first we thought they were lawn ornaments (you can see a fake turtle there as well), but they were eating the veggies on the lawn. I've never seen turtles that big outside of a zoo. The biggest was over a foot long. (There was also a cute little dog, but the photo came out blurry.)

Then we got up to Wilshire and stopped in Rite Aid to buy something to drink before photographing the theatre. This amusing graffiti was on the wall of the Vons supermarket next door. Here's the theater looking straight on and here's one down the block a bit when we were waiting to cross the street. I also took a closeup from the side. Isn't it a neat building? Apparently it's been there for over seventy years.

I found someone else with a bunch of pictures from just before the theatre closed last year (including many inside shots and also some old photos from when it was first built). I'm sad to see it closed, but according to this person, since it has landmark status, they have to at least keep the facade, even though they're making it into retail instead of a theatre.

I saw quite a few movies here as a kid, when it was still called the Fox Theater (I don't remember when it was renamed the NuWilshire, maybe when I was in college?). By the time I was going there it had already been remodelled to have two screens instead of just the one it had started with, and that was before all these huge multiplexes were around, so it just showed ordinary movies. Later (probably when it was renamed), they started showing indie films and stuff, because otherwise a little place like that can't really compete with a multiplex (and I guess even then they couldn't). The only film I ever saw there as an adult was Young Adam a few years ago. Most of the other people in the theatre were old people from all the retirement homes in the neighborhood.

Next to the theatre is a small animal hospital with cute cartoon animals painted on the windows, including this one of a dog and a cat driving an ambulance. The reason I took a picture, though, was the note below it stating they don't actually do ambulance pickups. XD

We walked back the way we came, so there wasn't really anything exciting to photograph. We did pass a very large spider, but none of the pictures came out. (Much to the relief of arachnophobes on my flist, I'm sure.) But when we got back home, I took a picture of the Palm Motel, which has been an "interesting" fixture of the neighborhood all my life. When I was little it was much more rundown, and there were always prostitutes and cops out in front (even up until a few years ago). It seems to be slightly more respectable now, and it certainly looks better from the outside. They gave it this soccer-themed paintjob a few years ago for World Cup and left it that way. Here's another shot of it from the front.

So that was our walk. It took about an hour and a half total and Bruce can barely move now, but it was fun. :D


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