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Signseeing

Signseeing

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Some people like to take pictures of horses and mountain ranges, and some people like to take pictures of flowers, children, and other natural wonders. I like to take pictures of stores, signs, restaurants, shopping outlets. Sue me.
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Let them have their lofty aesthetic pursuits, I say! Me? I am in love with consumerism: the charms, the pitfalls, the trickery! How lucky it is that I live in Los Angeles.
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I was driving through LA the other day and decided to take some pictures of stores and restaurants in the 3rd Street/Melrose/Farmer’s Market area. There is something about this area of LA that is appealing to me, even though it is always hot, trafficky, and filled with industry people and superfluous ‘tude. The artifice of Hollywood bleeds into everything in this area of town–probably due to the proximity of major studios and the CBS lot.
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Here, you don’t just have stores, you have stores that, as Mr. Right-Click put it, “need a haircut.”
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Here you have stores that don’t just go out of business. They go out of business by recalling late sixties Charlton Heston movies.
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These are not just stores. They are cultural outlets that demand that you do something. Yes! Do something CRAZY!
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Yes, I feel I should do something CRAZY. Like. . . buy clothing on Melrose! But wait, they are closed. And I see they have retained the copyright on crazy, so I guess I’m SOL.
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These are not just stores. They are stores that make moral pronouncements.
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Are they speaking of what they sell? To whom they sell? Are you calling me a tart?
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These are not just stores with signs. These are stores with Signs Formerly Known As Signs.
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What do you sell here? Orange paisley? There is a market for that? I mean, it seems highly specialized, but I guess we are above Wilshire.
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Wait, what’s with the tart thing again?
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Oh, I get it. The sign is supposed to look like a tart. Like a tart you would eat. OK.
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Wait, who is that, is she the tart?

. . . but, as they say, is it ART? Discuss.

Comments (7)

  1. Aug 25, 2008

    The photos are fantastic. I however, LOATHE that little section of LA. Maybe it’s because everytime I’m there it’s for business of some sort and I just want everyone to get the hell out of my way (and honestly, to get over themselves), but I can’t really appreciate the area too much.

    But the building that needs a haircut–that one gets me every time. Only in LA.

  2. Aug 25, 2008

    Oh my gosh, that “hairy” building almost made me gag! It’s like something King Kong’s cat would cough up! Bleh!

  3. Aug 25, 2008

    Hmmm, the orange paisley looks like vintage wallpaper to me. Most of the stores I like are further east on Melrose, you know, Retail Slut and Chick-A-Boom. And “Angl.” I never understood if that meant “angel” or “angle,” but at least it’s more interesting than Nordstrom.

  4. Aug 25, 2008

    The hairy one? Makes me want to sneeze. Also, it makes me want to fly to LA with a set of sheers. Promise me that if I give into the urge you know someone who will bail me out….but this really needs to happen, like right now. And I am okay with being the agent of change in that neighborhood.

  5. Aug 25, 2008

    Hah! I can’t decide how I feel about that building. On the one hand, it totally captures your attention, so from a marketing standpoint, it’s got to get props for that. And the twigs/vines/whateverthehelltheyare look kind of cool.

    But, then I start thinking about what is growing underneath there and I start to shudder.

    Mixed bag.

  6. Tisha
    Aug 26, 2008

    That building just looks like it wants to be set on fire. It’s begging for it. ‘-)

    Just the outside, mind you. I’m not even curious about what’s inside.

  7. Aug 26, 2008

    Max Azria.

    And, possibly, some rats.

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