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Entries in history (17)

Friday
Jul092010

our neighborhoods: weho

Before CB2, the previous tenant of 8000 w. Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood was a popular Virgin Megastore—but its most famous was the legendary Schwab’s Pharmacy a few doors down at 8024.

photo courtesy of the_toe_stubberIn the movie “Sunset Boulevard”, William Holden’s character refers to Schwab’s as “headquarters—a combination office, coffee klatch, and waiting room” for Hollywood. 

For over fifty years, from 1932 until 1983, Hollywood’s most famous stopped by once or twice, during low and high times: Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Shelley Winters, Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan, Sylvester Stallone, Goldie Hawn, Al Pacino, Diane Keaton…

Schwab’s was the hangout for anyone in the business. Legends—and rumors about them—got started here. Lana Turner was discovered at the counter. F. Scott Fitzgerald had a heart attack buying a pack of cigarettes. Songwriter Harold Arlin wrote “Over the Rainbow” by the light of the neon sign. Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd played pinball in the back room.

photo courtesy of onefish2Farther west on the boulevard, at the southwest corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights, was the The Garden of Allah.

In 1928, silent screen star Alla Nazimova developed the land surrounding her mansion into the legendary private bungalows.

Silver screen stars who visited regularly included Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, W.C. Fields, Humphrey Bogart, F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Marx Brothers, and Orson Welles.

It’s rumored that Tallulah Bankhead swam naked in the swimming pool and Marilyn Monroe was discovered sipping a Coke beside the same pool. Alas, as Joni Mitchell sang, they “paved paradise, put up a parking lot” when it was demolished in 1959 and replaced with a strip mall.

Who knows, maybe someday you’ll hear someone say they saw _____ at Crunch Gym, Trader Joe’s or CB2!

Thanks to todd, store designer west hollywood, for this contribution—and for the concept of the series.

Wednesday
Mar032010

destination: new orleans, la

What better place to be than a city that’s been celebrating Mardi Gras—and their amazing Super Bowl win—for the past few weeks? The spirit here in New Orleans is incredible—there’s an electricity in the air!

Thirsty? First stop is the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone. Immortalized in the writings of Ernest Hemingway, the revolving Carousel Bar is a part of New Orleans history. It has a wild circus motif and is often filled with colorful local characters telling their stories.

Hungry? The raw bar at John Besh’s brasserie Luke in the central business district is the best in the city. The casual dining room and delicious flavors of fresh local fish and meats will definitely require a return trip.

Nightcap? No trip to New Orleans would be proper without a Sazerac cocktail. I tested many of these around the city and these two serve the best versions.

Named after what many consider to be the world’s first mixed drink, The Sazerac Bar carries with it as much history and lore as its potable namesake. Just gazing at the famous Paul Ninas murals that flank the long African walnut bar takes you back to the grandeur of old New Orleans. A time when Huey P. Long might stroll in, order a Ramos Gin Fizz, and spend the next few hours talking to his constituents.

The Hermes Bar at Antoine’s also has a wonderful history. Since 1840, world-renowned Antoine’s Restaurant has set the standard that made New Orleans one of the greatest dining centers of the world. Can you believe that this place has been in the same family for three generations and that they were only closed for four months after Hurricane Katrina?

Sleepy? I want to stay up all night so I don’t miss a thing—and this is definitely the place to do it. But too much of a good thing is not so good.

I check in to the Loft 523 hotel, which is only two blocks from the French Quarter (and much quieter). The rooms would make a perfect location for CB2 catalog photoshoots…minimal, warm, and inviting.

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