Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Watts Towers | Location: LA

We often remember a location for an unfortunate event; a natural disaster, a terrorist attack, and in this case, a riot. The Watts Riots broke out in August of 1965 after an African American man was arrested for drunk driving and a fight broke out. The city responded in outrage which lead to six days of violence and looting. The result was 34 deaths, over a thousand injured, and over $40 million dollars in property damage. The riots were the result of a corrupt and racist police department.

Anyway, today I want to share with you another reason that Watts should be on the map. While many people at least know of the Watts Towers, I have found most Los Angelenos have never paid a visit. Several weeks ago when my Dad was in town, and my brother was in South Bay with us, Sye suggested we swing by Watts Towers as he had never been. I had never heard of them before, and Dad has only seen them from the train, so we were both totally game.

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Some may tell you that Watts is a dangerous neighborhood, but it didn’t seen any more dangerous than the rest of LA to me. We passed by a barber shop, a mechanic, a few houses, and then just off the highway there was a park and the infamous Watts Towers. Our visit took place on a Sunday, but I have a feeling it’s relatively easy to find parking any day of the week, which is a great change of pace from most LA attractions. We grabbed a spot on the street just a few feet away, and set off to explore.

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The park itself houses a tiny arena, a playground, basketball hoops, plenty of grass, and a public bathroom. Additionally, there is an art gallery/community center, and an outdoor garden area with a pond that is home to a few turtles!

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The towers themselves are fenced off, but there are guided tours offered every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We opted not to take the tour as we were there before they started, but after seeing the outside, I would say it’s well worth the $7.00 so that you can enter into the enclosed area. I especially wish we had so I could have offered you more pictures. The cost to enter also helps to maintain the structure and their arts center.

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The Towers themselves are the creation of Simon Rodia, an Italian immigrant. After purchasing the property in 1921, Rodia spent over 30 years completing the Towers. The Towers themselves are made of reinforced concrete and are decorated using found objects such as tile, glass, shell, and ceramic. At one point the structures were thought to be a danger, so the city did an endurance test. They were unable to topple or even shift the Towers, and the test concluded when the crane experienced mechanical failure. Their beauty and strength have given Watts Towers an infamous place in both art history, and the history of the community.

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Watts Towers is a California Historical Landmark, and on the National Register of Historic Places. I hope that if you are an LA local or visiting LA, you’ll consider a trip to Watts Towers, I promise this unique piece of art is worth every minute.

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Seeking A New Normal

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Whoa, what. How has it been almost 3 weeks since my last post?! Also, am I going to say that every time I have an unexpected gap in my posts? Probably. Look, I moved 1800 miles to one of the largest cities in the US. It’s a lot to handle. And I’m going to milk that as an excuse for as long as possible.

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What’s happened in August? Well, like I mentioned in my last post, I got an apartment. I moved in, along with my suitcases and my mattress. Then, I got another job. Omg, what? Yeah so that whole woodworking amazing dream job thing was a little too good to be true. Turns out if you want to live somewhere that costs money, you have to make money. I was just a little too.. anxiety ridden.. to not have a salaried job. So, I took a salaried job. It’s at an amazing advertising agency that is likely going to be a perfect fit for me, but clearly I better not speak too soon.

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My AMAZING, like two heaven sent angels, parents came to LA! In tow, all my shit. Literally all of it, INCLUDING my cats! We moved everything in, and my Mom and I unpacked and decorated my room/apartment all last week. My Mom did so much while I was at work. I mean, when I become a Mom it is going to be SO MUCH WORK filling her shoes because she is the absolute best. I can’t tell you how good it was to see them after a very long 3 months. That might make me sound like a baby, but I really like my parents and clearly they’re pretty freakin’ cool. My Dad is here for an extra week, so this weekend I will be hanging out with him. He’s been staying up in Silver Lake which is why I haven’t seen him during the week like I could with my Mom.

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This past weekend myself, my parents, and my half (but I feel like we can stop saying that now) brother, Sye, went for a little exploratory journey around South Bay. I wanted to show my parents my favorite light house, Pointe Vincent. On a bathroom break Sye discovered they have a museum! This was like the best news ever to me, all thanks to a whiz. The museum was surprisingly good for going so easily unnoticed. So good I might have to do an entire post on Pointe Vincent.

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We then aimlessly made our way to San Pedro. We discovered this really cool pagoda with a massive bell, which turns out to be one of the largest bells in the world. The beautiful display was given to the US from South Korea in 1976. In celebration of the bicentennial, the bell serves as a sign of friendship and trust between the two nations. Have you ever seen a massive bell? Well, I can tell you the number one thing you think is, I really want to ring this bell. We didn’t, but the bell is rung five times a year, and one time is August 15. Yep, the day before yesterday. We missed it by ONE DAY! But I am so planning to go the next time it’s rung.

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Other than that, I haven’t had time to do anything else to tell you about. But now that life is starting to settle down a bit, be a little more normal, I SWEAR I will be here and entertaining and informational. If there is anything in particular you’d like me to write about or a place you want me to go see, please let me know in the comments below, or shoot me an email at sweethannahpea@gmail.com

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A Little Good Luck

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What a whirlwind these last two weeks have been. It started last Thursday when.. I GOT A JOB! Yippee! It’s basically my dream job. How the hell that happened, I have no idea. Well, Oprah would say it was opportunity meeting preparation, also known as luck. This past Monday I started as the social media/pr/office/store front manager at Von Lintel, a furniture design company. Yes, I am responsible for all of those things. Which is exactly what I wanted! I will also get the opportunity to actually do some building, which is super cool because I’d love to make furniture design and wood working a more regular hobby. The picture above is from inside the store front.

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On Saturday, Jesse and I hiked around the Angeles National Forest. We spent what felt like just a few minutes in the car to get there. Absolutely one of the best parts about living in LA is how quickly you can go from city to nature. It was practically perfect weather, and we even saw a deer.. which park ranger Jesse then informed me meant there was likely a mountain lion near by. We never saw one, and I can’t say I was too disappointed by that.

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I’ve also been spending a bunch of time with my brother. On Wednesday we biked around downtown. I recently discovered this amazing Polish street art duo called Etam Cru, and when I found out they had piece up in LA I had to see it. This one is called Mr. Rooster, and I think I’m in love. You can see more of their work here.

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With Monday came more good news, which is almost official. Normally, I don’t like to share good news until it is official but.. I HAVE A PLACE TO LIVE! I know, right. How is this all happening so quickly and so perfectly?! Andrew text me that his and Jesse’s neighbors were moving out, making their three bedroom available. He asked if I would want to move in with the two of them. I can bring the cats, I have my own bathroom, and I have a walk in closet. HELLO BEST DEAL EVER. I can’t wait to live with two awesome guys and get back into a normal schedule that involves my own bed and cooking regular meals.

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Geronimo Balloons |Location: LA

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Welcome to the first installation of whatever I’m calling this series..I’m thinking Location: LA. Naming things is not my strong suit. There are obviously a million cool things to do and see in LA, maybe even more than a million. While Griffith Park, Venice Beach, and the LAMAC are all amazing (although I don’t actually know as I’ve only been to one of the three), I want to share things that you might not see unless you know where to look. My hope is this will be a sort of alternative tour guide to LA, a glimpse at some of the coolest and best kept secrets LA has to offer.

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First up is Geronimo Balloons. Located in Echo Park, this is the studio of artist and balloon expert Jihan Zencirli. While I attempted to contact Zencirli, I didn’t receive a response back, so you will have to accepted my paraphrased information from her website. She began creating party decor sometime around 2011. After much praise, she started her own company, Geronimo Balloons. Her creations of ballooons, tassels, party hats, confetti and more have been recognized world wide, and people have totally copied her work a bunch of times.. I mean, who wouldn’t at least try?

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I have followed Geronimo Balloons on Instagram for quite sometime, and since then have seen that they occasionally balloon bomb there studio or various other places in LA. I couldn’t wait to see on these amazing installations for myself. So, to my delight, just a few days after my arrival in LA, the Geronimo studio was covered in balloons! I made a plan to go visit the following day.

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From my current residence in Silver Lake, I took off down Sunset, then took a left on Echo Park Boulevard until I saw the balloons! After a little longer walk than I expected, I found the studio in the 1900 block. The sight was so beautiful and I couldn’t help but smile the whole time. I wish my pictures could do it justice (would have been easier if there were no cars!). Follow Geronimo Balloons on Instagram to find out when you should pop by the studio to see Zencirli’s balloon-iful work!

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