Thursday, September 22, 2016

iT'S STreeTarT THurSDay iN eaST HoLLyWooD! Autumnal Equinox, Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Happy Fall to you all!

I was heading down Western Avenue one day recently and happened upon this new image:

Artist @Ginoflo, Inner Beauty, Outer Manifestation of Love, paint on wall facing gas station.

The great sage "They" tells us that what really counts is what's on the inside. I think this sentiment is captured quite succinctly in this image, don't you?

Big leg close up

Like underground comic artist Robert Crumb, I like big legs on females. I'm pretty sure the main figure here is female ... but if not, who cares? And it's great thing she has big legs. The bigger the limb, the more imagery!

I mention Robert Crumb because this piece reminds me very much of the underground comics I discovered as a wee lad in the 1970s. They were all black and white and sometimes there were just pen-and-ink pages that were simply a wandering landscape of weird images all linked together.

Image result for zap comics
I remember my first discovery of underground comics. I used to go to Bennett's Book Store on Hollywood Blvd. and pick up the latest copies of Warren Publications Creepy, Eerie,or Vampirella, or other smaller format comics like Marvel and DC. As I walked down the boulevard I noticed a small store on which part of the signage said "Underground Comics."

I had NO idea what an underground comic was. I was probably 12 or 13. I believe it was called the "The Bald Eagle." I knew nothing of the other kinds of stuff they had there. I smelled of incense and was quite dark. I would later learn that such a place was called a head shop. I saw the familiar structure of the revolving comic book rack and headed straight for it and started looking. Zap #0 was the first one I picked up. And I had never seen such a thing. This was nothing like Superman, Action, Archie, House of Secrets, etc.

The guy behind the counter had no problem selling it to me, bless his heart. This was my introduction to non-linear storytelling (oh, and there was sex and drugs to learn about too...). Hollywood Boulevard was a very different kind of place back then too. Right on the same block I'd pick up the bus going east toward home.

I stood right in front of the Gold Cup Cafe, which had become a hangout for gay men. So there was much spirited greeting between guys who knew each other as they came in and out. I remember calling my Dad once to come pick me up because it was going to rain and he told me not to stand in front of that place. I guess he knew it's rep as indicated in this Jackson Browne song:

"Down at the golden cup
They set the young ones up
Under the neon light
Selling day for night"
[Jackson Browne, Boulevard, 1980]

Image result for pickwick books hollywoodImage result for pickwick books hollywoodAnother go-to spot on the boulevard was Phil Harris Records where I would go and find whatever I could on sale to augment my record collection of classical music--my tastes at the time ran to the 19th-century romantics because I was a trumpet player and loved to hear brass sections.

Image result for pickwick books hollywoodWhen me and my brothers were small, my Mom would take us to Pickwick Books which was also in the same vicinity. She was always buying romance and historical fiction. The place had three stories. I believe the nonfiction books were on the 2nd floor. The 3rd (it was probably just a loft) floor was my favorite though. Mom would frequently tell me I could spend X number dollars and they had all the bargain remainders up there going for mere cents.

Alright, that's enough of that. Time to pay the rent kids.


Oh, and here's the whole wall:

LOTS of love to you all!

Found the artists on Instagram: Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger...

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