Tuesday, May 25, 2010


There are a handful of signs sprinkled across the LA landscape that have left a sizable impact on me as a child. I was a "visual stimulant" addicted tot with my face perma-pressed to the family station wagon window. Drowning out the faint monotonic voices of NPR commentators inside the car with optical noise that dazzled and engaged me passing me from outside at an average of 30 miles per hour.

So last week, when out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a workman aggressively prying off the letters from the Continental Graphics building (est. 1931) on La Brea... I felt it my duty to pull over. I had to pay homage, as I was a native Angelena... and a lifelong Fan of this very signage... It was apparent it was all over. (RANDOM FACT: At age 9, I actually named one of the lions on the sign.... LAFCADIO...a shel silverstein reference ) Not to state the obvious but, it's tragic when a city's landscape changes and the wall paper of your history is stripped away, and replaced with tacky condo buildings blanketed in sheets of temporary supergraphics.

My instinct: to collect a piece of this history... my visual history... so that is what I set out to do. I whipped around the corner- flipped my hazards on and ditched my car. While I played in my head the conversation I was to have with the man donning the prying device and official orange jacket, ready to explain why I wanted to keep the letters from the sign..

I looked up to see 3 mustached hipsters in suspenders jumping out of their mini, ready for a full court press. *They apparently just got done with watching "9 BY DESIGN " on bravo together!

FUCK. There was no way I could come out of this situation a winner. There were three of them and their car was strategically parked in front. Though the suspenders they strapped-on were merely acting as band-aids to their petite and fragile physical frames, I was still the underdog.

They apparently saw the same "iron opportunities" being ripped from the wall as well, my brisk walk swiftly converted into a hustle as they were quickly chucking letters one by one into the trunk.

I swooped in, made no effort at small talk, and filled my arms with letters, emptying the plastic garbage bag the worker was filling and went on my merry way, not even looking back to acknowledge the 3 mustached mice.


Hmmm, So I came up with a couple options for letter placement a la BOGGLE.... Tis, Hits, Hit, This, Sit.... oh SIT , I like that.

I called my brother for design advice and told him I was thinking of putting SIT above my toilet in my bathroom... he said... if you are going there.. you might as well write the word SHIT. You have all the letters.

Needless to say, I have decided against his suggestion, I may be vulgar, but that is too blatant. I am going to put up the word THIS on my wall in the dining room. (Photos posted soon. )

All in all, I am pleased with my outcome and happy that I managed to salvage a piece of my history that I will have the pleasure of looking at for as long as I can handle reading the word THIS. Who knows I might just take my brother up on his idea if I get bored with it visually.

MY ONLY REGRET: if only I was there when they removed the lion from the building face. LAFCADIO would have perfectly fit on my dining room wall.

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