Thursday, April 28, 2011

Expo Line Signage Blues?

It may or may not be obvious that The Militant has an obsession with signage, but he was quite excited this past week upon doing his Militant Surveying missions that the under-construction Metro Expo Line has recently been sporting its 12-foot tall station pylon signs at several of its stops.

In addition to running test trains on the tracks, the installation of signage is one tell-tale sign that construction is nearing its end and the open-open-opening of the new 8.5 light rail line is imminent.

However, The Militant noticed something peculiar.

You see, nearly all Metro Rail stations sport these signs, comprised of a rectangular aluminum tower with the (M) logo and a colored wedge bearing the station name, with the color representing the rail line. Of course, this is not an exact science, as all of the (M) Purple Line stations still bear a red wedge, and transfer stations like Union Station and 7th Street/Metro Center lack them altogether (it seems that Metro doesn't know how to fit more than one color on the wedge for some reason...).

But even more peculiar is the wedge color of the new supposedly "Expo" Line: They're blue.

Now The Militant doesn't have a problem with the color blue, lifelong Dodger fan he is, you can see from the picture above, they're the exact same shade of blue as the existing station signage as the (M) Blue Line (Okay they might look slightly different in the photos since they were taken at different times of the day, but trust The Militant on this one).

Now we all know that "Expo" has nothing to do with color (unless you're referring to these things), but many iterations of Expo Line imagery have used the color teal or aqua. The official website of the line even sports this color in some of the graphics.

But this shade of blue is clearly not teal/aqua. There is no green mixed in. The Expo Line photo on the left shows the station pylon (plastic wrap still intact, gotta love it) for the Crenshaw station. The Blue Line photo on the right shows the Compton station pylon. They look like the same line, riiiiight?

Of course, the new line will share some trackage and two stations with the Blue Line.

So perhaps, there really is no Expo Line. This is a Blue Line extension. It certainly was one when it was originally planned in the early 1990s:
(Click to see sharper-resolution version of this image)
This image, scanned from the October, 1992 Final Environmental Impact Report of the "Exposition Park Branch Line Rail Transit Corridor Route," depicted a 1.8-mile branch of the (M) Blue Line that veered off Washington and Flower, and headed south on Flower and west on Exposition until Vermont Avenue.

There were stations planned at 23rd Street, Jefferson Blvd and Vermont Avenue, with an optional station by the USC campus. Because of the 110 freeway offramp and possible interference by the Los Angeles Marathon route that used to go through the area, an underground section was planned between the Jefferson and USC stations. Sound familiar?

That line was originally planned to open in 1996, with an extension into the Westside a possibility that would require further study blahblahblah.

Eventually, as you know, that became the line that is being finished today, which may or may not open this November.

So there you go, friends. The Expo Line. Except, there really is no "Expo Line." It's really an extension of The Blue Line. The signs tell all.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Militant, For One, Welcomes Our New MLB Overlords

On Wednesday afternoon, the Los Angeles sports world was rocked by a virtual earthquake when Major League Baseball commish Bud Selig finally grew half of a walk and announced that the MLB be bum rushin' the Dodger organization after he had had enough of team despot Frank McCourt's recent scheme to borrow $30 million from Fox to supposedly pay off the team payroll (riiiight...). The Commish will henceforth appoint a trustee to run the day-to-day operations of the club.

Where were you when you heard the news?

The Militant was conducting some Militant research at an unspecified location in Downtown Los Angeles when an Operative mentioned the news in a text message. A loud, "WUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT?!?!" was uttered by The Militant, startling those in the room. A quick check of Twitter confirmed the report. Like whoah. WHOAH.

Although the players claim "What happens in the front office, stays in the front office" and give political responses saying they are unfazed by the organization's soap opera/Greek tragedy, some eight hours after the news broke, the following things happened:

- Andre Ethier extended his consecutive hitting streak to 17 games.
- Ethier hit his 100th career home run.
- Ethier went a triple shy of Hitting For the Cycle.
- Juan Uribe also hit 3 for 4.
- Starter Jon Garland, like out of nowhere, discovered this thing called "a splitter."
- Garland pitched a complete game.
- The Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 6-1. Happy Birthday Don Mattingly.

But before we dance for joy and sing, "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead," the Moammar Gadhafi of professional sports remains defiant. But on top of all this, the Internal Revenue Service is also launching their investigation of Frank and his babymama Jamie over $145 taken from the team and unpaid taxes (Whoever thought we'd see the day when we laud Bud Selig and the I.R.S. as heroes?)

Like McCourt's Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak, defiance is but a futile reaction. It's now a matter of "When," rather than "If" they'll finally get to Deport McCourt.

As to who would be Selig's appointed trustee, the Militant wouldn't be surprised if the following names pop up: MLB Executive VP of Baseball Operations Joe Torre, Angeleno and former MLB commish Peter Ueberroth (who, like, ran the most successful Olympic games in history right here in 1984, baby) or former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley, who not only volunteered to run the team in the interim in the event of a sale, but is probably interested in doing some Lenten penance after handing the keys over to an unspecified Australian-owned broadcast television network back in '97.

In the meantime, time will tell whether attendance will recover from sub-30k levels and fans will return to The Ravine (there's still that whole issue of Police at The Stadium, and The Militant ain't talking about no concert in 2007...). But if you do go to the half-off throwback midday game today, please start a "BUD SE-LIG!" stadium chant for The Militant, will ya?

Yes, these are still uncertain times; The Dodger fan blood bleeds an unusual shade of blue these days. But fear not, The Militant sees better days ahead. Simply heed the enthusiastic miming of our 8th inning lip-sync star Jameson Moss: Don't Stop Believin'.

Write or Photoshop your captions to this lively exchange between
The Despot and The Commish:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy B-Day, George Takei - Actor, Activist, (Almost) City Councilman

Today is the 74th birthday of native Angeleno Geroge Takei, who is many things - actor, writer, Asian American and LGBT community activist and pop culture icon. But did you know he was almost elected to the Los Angeles City Council?

It goes like this - in 1973, after The Great Tom Bradley made history being elected as Los Angeles' first Mayor of African American descent in the May 29 General Municipal Election, he had to resign his incumbent seat as 10th District City Councilman, which he held since 1963.

With the seat vacant, a Special Election took place on September 18 of that year, which attracted around a dozen candidates for the seat. Being a Special Election filing a vacant seat, there was to be no run-off; the top vote-getter wins the office.

Takei ran for the Mid-City area council seat under the ballot description, "Television Moderator" - he was the co-host of Expression East/West, a local public affairs show that aired on KNBC at the time.

City legislative deputy David Cunningham won the election with 8,062 votes and served the seat until 1987, when he was succeeded by Nate Holden. The runner-up? Geroge Takei, with 6,387 votes - losing by a tally of only 1,675.

Had Takei been elected, he would have been the City's first Asian American on the Council, which was eventually achieved by Michael Woo, elected to the 13th District in 1985 (Takei would not have been the first openly-gay City Councilman (assuming he would have come out back then), as Joel Wachs preceded him in 1971). But he would have certainly become the first celebrity to serve in Los Angeles City office - not an unusual thing even back then, considering who was sitting in the Governor's office at the time.

Takei did have some experience in public policy; Mayor Bradley appointed him to the Board of Directors of the Southern California Rapid Transit District (the predecessor agency to today's Metro), where he served for 11 years. While filming Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1978, he was called off the set to cast a tie-breaking vote for the RTD to create what we know now as the Metro Rail system. He was also credited with helping to create an arts program for Metro Rail, which is why nearly every Metro station is decorated with public art pieces.

Who knows what things would have been like had he been City Councilman? Mayor Sulu? Only a visit to a parallel universe through a multidimensional wormhole could tell.

George Takei campaign poster image from

Friday, April 15, 2011

Winner Of The Militant's Epic Militant CicLAvia Tour Announced!

This past Sunday's CicLAvia was so epic, the Militant was too blown away to blog for the past few days! He is sure that all 200,000+ of you who partook in such epic awesomeness had a great time, and that you're all geared up for the next one (just less than three months away)!

As you may or may not know, The Militant put on a little contest last Saturday to the first person who could take a picture of themselves with all 27 of the stops on The Militant's Epic Militant CicLAvia Tour! And The Militant is proud to announce that we have a winner!

Militant Congratulations to Steve Devol of North Hollywood for winning The Militant's Epic Militant CicLAvia Contest! He was able to take a pic of himself (well, okay, his bike-gloved thumb) at all 27 sites, and posted the photos on his Flickr site! He also has a sweet photoset of general CicLAvia pics taken Sunday that can be seen here! The Militant was impressed by his militant dedication and attention to detail, and he even commented to The Militant, "You love L.A. as much as I do, it seems." Wordup, Steve! It means a lot to The Militant to hear from Angelenos like you!! There needs to be more of you out there (to balance out those whiny self-centered transplants)!

Steve wins a Militant Prize Package consisting of the following:

1) An official CicLAvia poster!

2) A mint-condition, unopened Dodgers bobblehead of...uh now-former Dodgers pitcher Brad Penny (Hey, he was an All-Star, aite?)!

3) A Metro TAP card - that you can fill yourself at your nearby North Hollywood (M) station!

4) Your very own official Militant Angeleno camo bandana!

All prizes have a combined cash value of $25! That's a quarter of a $100!

Anyways, congrats again Steve and thanks to all who entered The Militant's Epic Militant CicLAvia Contest! Look forward to more of these! Staaaaay Militant!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Militant's Epic Militant CicLAvia Contest!

Sounds like The Militant's Epic Militant CicLAvia Tour post on Thuesday got a lot of interest from all y'all. Well, as you head out on the route Sunday, the Militant has a little contest for all y'all!

The first person to take a picture of themselves at all 27 of The Militant's Epic Militant CicLAvia Tour sites will win a prize!

Like The Militant Angeleno himself, the prize is a mystery! But he promises it will be real cool!

Here's how it goes:

1. Get out on the CicLAvia route on Sunday!

2. Take a pic of yourself at each of the 27 sites, with the location clearly showing in the photo. You can take a self-portrait or have someone else take your pic, doesn't matter. Your chosen mode of transportation through the CicLAvia route also does not matter.

3. Pics must be *submitted* in order, but entries taken in reverse order (#27 descending to #1) will be accepted, if you choose to take the tour starting from the East Hollywood end. You do not have to take the pictures in order (or reverse order) but it'll be easier, of course!

4. Upload the pics to your favorite free image hosting site (Flickr, Photobucket, etc), just as long as the album is publicly-viewable. Facebook Photo albums will be accepted. If you have your own web host, and put them all in one page, that will be accepted too. All albums, pages, etc. must be accessible with a single web link!

5. Email the link to your photos, with your full name, city and CicLAvia route mode of travel (bike, skateboard, foot, rollerblade, pogo stick, etc) in the email body, to: - Entries will be accepted STARTING 4:00 p.m. on Sunday (The Militant wants to give everyone a fair chance to enjoy CicLAvia, no need to rush home right away just to do your photo uploads).

6. Entries with less than 27 pictures, or photos that do not clearly identify the site (If you're standing in front of just a wall and say it's the Ukrainian Culture Center...sorry, won't fly), or a broken link, will be disqualified!

7. Be creative if you want! You're Angelenos after all! Even if you don't win, The Militant may or may not include the more amusing shots in an upcoming blog post!

8. Stay Militant and have fun at CicLAvia!

Best of luck, Angelenos!

Original Militant's Epic Militant CicLAvia Tour post is here.

Download the printable Militant's Epic Militant CicLAvia Tour guide PDF here.

What Comes Around, Goes Around

Fifty years ago today, in the wee early morning, a pair of interurban streetcars departed from the Pacific Electric terminal on Main Street, headed out through the wooden rail viaduct, and then down the quadruple-track right-of-way towards Long Beach, where, less than an hour later, it entered history as the last run of the Red Cars in Southern California.

For years, many an Angeleno claimed to be riding "on the very last Red Car" into history. That may or may not be so, but they did take the time to pay their last respects to a 60-year-old institution in the region.

Flash-forward just about half a century to the day later:
Metro Rail LRV #231 sits on the Expo Line tracks after a day of testing -- the first test run under its own power.

If it were not for the return of rail transit some 21 years ago, April 9, 1961 might remain an absolutely dark day in Los Angeles history, but now it's just a trivial footnote - not the end, but merely the beginning of a 29-year hiatus.

Sure, the Pacific Electric, at 1,150 miles (and larger than the 842-mile NYC subway -- tell a New Yorker that fact and they will start convulsing) was the charming ancestor that Metro Rail will always pale in comparison to, but any planned modernization to it would have been prohibitively expensive anyway. History is cyclical - The Militant's youth took place in an era where rail transit in Los Angeles was either a distant memory or silly pipedream - a reality where some people would have gladly exchanged their "what ifs" and "too bad we don't haves" for today's worries about cost overruns and why the turnstiles don't yet work.

It's a well-known fact that The Militant loves him some history. But he's far more excited about the future. Look back, only to see how far we've gone.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Militant's Epic Militant CicLAvia Tour!

As you may or may not know, CicLAvia is returning to Los Angeles streets this Sunday, April 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Y'all gonna be there, right?

The last time around, The Militant biked the entire 7.3 mile route in a state of ultimate euphoria, experiencing an awesomeness never felt before. This time, The Militant admits, that while it will still be incredibly awesome to enjoy seven miles of Los Angeles streets without cars for five hours, the novelty would have worn off just a little.

But The Militant knows how to keep it fresh! This time around, you're gonna see the CicLAvia route like you've never seen it before! Several days ago, he read this Huffington Post entry on "10 Historic Buildings" along the route. But he was a little disappointed to see history end at the Park Plaza Hotel. Is that how far history goes? C'mon now! So he made his own list - nearly 3 times larger!

The Militant has compiled a list of historic, significant, interesting and little-known spots along (or not very far from) the route, designed to increase your militant knowledge of Los Angeles! Just follow this guide (The Militant recommends you print it out) and you'll be on your way! By late Sunday afternoon, most of you would appreciate this City much more than you already do now!

So let's go, yo!

View The Militant Angeleno's CicLAvia Tour! in a larger map

Note: Though The Militant likes to view the route from west to east for some reason, he has listed these sites from East to West, as some of the sites are related and make a little more sense when going that direction.

1. Hollenbeck Park1892
4th and St. Louis streets, Boyle Heights

John Edward Hollenbeck was a rich dude in the late 19th century who founded the First National Bank of Los Angeles (more on this later) and purchased parcels of land in Downtown, the San Gabriel Valley and the Eastside, where he made his home. Hollenbeck was also credited with the creation of what is now called Exposition Park. His sister married his friend, James George Bell, who founded...Yep, you guessed it! After Hollenbeck's death in 1885, his widow, Elizabeth, donated a 21-acre parcel of land, which was essentially their front yard, to the City. One of the Los Angeles’ oldest parks, it was established in 1892 and continues to function today.

2. Hollenbeck Palms (Site of the Hollenbeck Residence)
573 S. Boyle Ave, Boyle Heights

Take a quick detour from the CicLAvia route on 4th street and head down Boyle Ave a block and a half south.
On the site of this retirement facility, which directly dates back to the Hollenbecks' involvement, John and Elizabeth Hollenbeck made their home. The original Hollenbeck residence had a room built for the care of John's elderly father. After John's death, Elizabeth donated land she owned across the street (since visually separated from Boyle Ave in the 1950s due to construction of the 5 Freeway) for Hollenbeck Park and, in another act of philanthropy, created the Hollenbeck Home for The Aged on her property in 1896, offering free board and care for the residents for the rest of their lives. After Elizabeth's death in 1918, the Hollenbeck Trust operated the elderly home (modernized in 1985), and continue to run it today.

3. Metro Division 20 subway car yard1992
320 S. Santa Fe Ave (visible from the 4th Street Viaduct), Arts District

Take a break from riding/walking/skateboarding/pogo-sticking/etc. and take a glance off the north side of the bridge from the west bank of the River. This facility is where the 104 Italian-built subway cars of the Metro Red and Purple line cars are stored, repaired, serviced and cleaned. This was also the temporary storage and repair site of the Angels Flight railway cars after the fateful 2001 accident. The Militant actually visited this facility back in May 1992.

4. Site of Quaker Dairy, Original Little Tokyo Restaurant
304 E. 1st St., Little Tokyo
On the southeast corner of 1st and San Pedro streets once stood the Quaker Dairy, a restaurant started on this site in 1890 by Sanshichi Akita, an immigrant from Japan. Though preceded five years earlier by another restaurant on First St (location unknown), this is the oldest traceable location of a Little Tokyo business. By the end of the 19th century, there were over 16 Japanese-owned restaurants in this stretch of 1st Street, creating what we know as Little Tokyo.

5. Los Angeles Sister Cities Monument
Circa late 1980s
1st and Main streets, Downtown

On the northeast corner of 1st and Main streets stands a pole bearing signs (in the "Blue Blade" style, no less) for every one of Los Angeles' 25 Sister Cities, each pointing towards their location. The signs range from Lusaka, Zambia (the farthest sister city, 10,017 miles) to Vancouver, Canada (the nearest, 1,081 miles) and everywhere in between. Nagoya, Japan is Los Angeles' oldest sister city (1959); Yerevan, Armenia is the newest (2007). Los Angeles, an Olympic host city (1932, 1984) also has that in common with sister cities Athens (1896, 2004), Berlin (1936), Mexico City (1968) and Vancouver (2010). Okay, the Militant is just filling up this paragraph with mindless trivia.

6. New Los Angeles City "Chevy Logo" Street Signs
Various locations along 1st Street, Downtown

Speaking of Blue Blades, and since you're on 1st Street, don't forget to see Los Angeles' new street signs! Featuring a reflective background and typeface, the City Seal and shaped like the Chevrolet logo, these were the subject of The Militant's now-legendary recent post on Los Angeles street signs. Now you can see them for yourself!

7. Los Angeles Police Administration Building
100 W. 1st St.

Having opened less than two years ago, there's nothing really historic about this building, but do stop and take a picture of City Hall's reflection from the facade's glass panel. It's like, the thing to do.
8. Old State Office Building Foundation
1931 (Demolished 1971)
1st and Spring streets, Downtown
Ever wonder about that park-like area across the street from City Hall, and why there appears to be a foundation but no building? It was once the site of the State Office Building (pictured left, looking north on Spring), which was built in 1931. Forty years later, the 6.4 Sylmar Earthquake rendered it unsafe, and it was demolished. The land was once an openly-accessible parkspace; the Militant remembers going to a demonstration there as a child (Oh this Militant stuff sure started early...)

9. Site of the Wilcox Building, First National Bank
2nd and Spring streets, Downtown

Remember Mr. Hollenbeck? He be makin' serious bank! Oh wait, he literally did. As was mentioned, he founded a bank called the First National Bank of Los Angeles, which made its original home here on the southeast corner of 2nd and Spring in what once stood the Wilcox Building. Check this out: First National Bank merged with the Farmers and Merchants Bank to become the Security-First National Bank, which became Security Pacific National Bank (1967), and was eventually purchased by Bank of America in the 199os.

10. Site of Hollenbeck Hotel
2nd and Spring streets, Downtown

Man, this Hollenbeck dude got around! We're not quite through with him yet. Directly across Spring Street from the bank (on what is now a parking lot) stood the Hollenbeck Hotel, a pretty swanky, bougie inn back in the day. He owned not just the hotel, the entire block the hotel stood on (He sooo money!). As more hotels were being built in Downtown, this one eventually lost ground to its competitors and was demolished in 1933.

11. Site of Original Ralphs Supermarket
6th and Spring streets, Downtown

Before the Hotel Hayward building was built in 1805, George A. Ralphs (see, that's why there's no apostrophe) and his brother Walter B. started the Ralphs Bros. Grocers on the southwest corner of 6th and Spring. Their company still continues to this day, and in 2007, the company that started in DTLA returned to the area after some 50 years.

12. St. Vincent Court
St. Vincent Ct and 7th Street, Downtown

You'd hardly knew it was there, but this alley nestled between Broadway and Hill (blink and you'll miss it!), with its decorative brick pavement and European decor, seemingly belongs to another world. Originally the site of a Catholic college that was the predecessor of today's Loyola Marymount University, today it's a unique food court featuring Armenian and Middle Eastern eateries. The Militant calls it, "Littler Armenia." Check out this Militant Angeleno post on St. Vincent Court from 2008 for more info!

13. Wilshire Grand Hotel
7th and Figueroa streets, Downtown

What we see today as the Wilshire Grand Hotel is the latest in a long lineage of hotels that operated from that building. Originally built as the Los Angeles Statler Hotel (one of a dozen nationwide in that chain) in 1952, it became the Statler Hilton, then the Los Angeles Hilton, then the Omni Los Angeles Hotel, and finally the Wilshire Grand. Take a good look at this hotel, though - the hotel's owner, Korean Air Lines, plans to demolish it and put up a big-ass hotel with crazy-ass LED advertisements on the building in the next few years.

14. City View Lofts/Young's Market Company Building
1610 w. 7th St., Pico-Union

Ever wondered what's the deal with this 4-story Italian Renaissance-style building? It was built in 1924 as a liquor warehouse and original headquarters for Young's Market Company, which still operates today as the largest liquor distributor in the West. This building features actual marble columns and a decorative frieze made of terra cotta. The company, in the roaring, pre-depression 1920s, just felt like it. The building was looted and burned in the 1992 Riots and was rehabbed in 1997 to become the City View lofts. The building is in the National Register of Historic Places.

15. Gen. Douglas MacArthur Monument
Southeast corner of MacArthur Park, Westlake

It's sort of strange how a monument to the park's namesake seems almost invisible (Gen John Pershing, MacArthur's WWI counterpart, could totally identify). In fact, most people don't know it's even there, but on the southeast short of the lake is a dormant memorial fountain featuring a statue of the WWII general overlooking a model of the Pacific theatre (no, not that one) where he led allied forces to eventual victory. It was designed and built in 1955 by Roger Noble Burnham, who previously sculpted the Tommy Trojan statue on the USC campus and taught at the Otis Art School, formerly located nearby.

16. Gen. Harrison Gray Otis Statue
Northeast corner of Wilshire and Park View, Westlake

Gen. Otis is perhaps the most visible statue at the park, which predates MacArthur's WWII service. This general served in the Spanish-American and Philippine-American wars, and also fought as a Union soldier in the Civil War. But in Los Angeles, he is most known for being the founder, owner and publisher of the Los Angeles Times.

So why is he here? His Wilshire Blvd mansion, called The Bivouac, was located across the street, was later donated to Los Angeles County and became the original campus of Otis Art Institute. It's thought that his statue is pointing to the site of the Elks Lodge, but he's probably just pointing to his old house.

17. Nob Hill Towers/Old Nob Hill
c. Early 1900s
Ocean View Ave. and Carondelet St., Westlake

18. Can You Really See The Ocean?
Present Day
Ocean View Ave. and Park View St., Westlake

Allow yourself to veer off the CicLAvia route for a bit - From 6th St, head north on Coronado St for a few yards and make a right on Ocean View Ave to view a couple places covered in the Militant's January 2011 blog post on ritzy old Westlake.

On Ocean View and Carondelet, you'll find the Nob Hill Towers, the last vestige of what used to be known as Los Angeles' "Nob Hill." Bike up another block to Park View St, and if the sky is clear, look to the south and see if you can see the sea. On a clear day, you can see Catalina Island, for sure. If all else fails, you can still see the park, lol.

19. Formerly-Proposed Site of the Music Center
1950 (never built)
6th and Hoover streets, Westlake

Believe it or not, in 1950 there was a plan afloat to build a music and fine arts performance facility in Los Angeles...but not in Downtown. This proposal, complete with a concert hall, a theater, a man-made lake and several levels of underground car parking, was to have it located along 6th Street between Hoover Street and Lafayette Park Place. Sounds like a certain county supervisor at the time might have lived in the neighborhood. The Militant is soooo glad this didn't materialize. Some things were just never meant to be.

20. Occidental Parkway
c. 1920s
Occidental Blvd between Hoover and Beverly, Westlake

Also covered in the Militant's post on old Westlake is Occidental Parkway, which is actually part of the City's park system. The palm-lined street with a median will take you northward to Beverly Blvd (If you're down for an Original Tommy's burger, head east on Beverly for a few blocks).

21. Visible Yellow Car Trolley Tracks (6th Street)
c. 1910s
6th Street and Commonwealth Ave
Look carefully through the paving in the middle of the street (west side of the intersection); you might just see a pair of 3 1/2-foot wide trolley tracks, once used by the 3 Line of the Los Angeles Railway's Yellow Cars. This line ran from east of Downtown to Larchmont Village and was abandoned in the late 1940s.

22. Location of Sacatela Creek
4th Street between Vermont Ave and Shatto Pl, Koreatown

Sacatela Creek was a natural stream that ran from the Franklin Hills south to what is now Koreatown. The Militant wrote all about it back in April 2008 and it's one of his greatest posts ever. When you ride along 4th Street near Shatto Recreation Center, you are crossing what was once Sacatela Creek (which is actually buried in a drain pipe under the street).

23. Korean Philadelphia Presbyterian Church/Sinai Temple
407 S. New Hampshire Ave, Koreatown

You've probably heard of people converting from Judaism to Christianity, but did you know buildings can, too? This building right at the route's turn at 4th and New Hampshire was established in 1924 by the Sinai Temple Conservative Jewish Congregation, which moved from here in 1960 to its current synagogue on Wilshire Blvd and Beverly Glen in Westwood. Look closely and you'll still see the Jewish imagery in the church's facade.

24. Little Bangladesh
3rd Street between New Hampshire and Alexandria, Little Bangladesh

Check it out, you're now in Los Angeles' newest designated community!
25. Godzilla Monument at Frank Del Olmo Elementary School
100 N. New Hampshire Ave, Koreatown

Wait, what? Godzilla monument? At the front entrance of the school (named after the late Los Angeles Times columnist and editor), there's a plaque memorializing the location as the former site of Visual Drama studios, where in the mid-1950s the Japanese Gojira films were adapted for American audiences using Raymond Burr and other American actors. The result was 1956's Godzilla, King of the Monsters! The plaque credits this site as the birthplace of the American Godzilla films and pop culture phenomena.

26. Visible Yellow Car Trolley Tracks (Heliotrope Drive)
c. 1915
Heliotrope Drive and Rosewood Avenue, Ambassador Hill
The Los Angeles Railway Yellow Car trolleys used to run through here; one line, called the H line, actually ran through Heliotrope Drive where the CicLAvia route runs. Today there is a community garden,which stands on what used to be the trolley's private right-of-way. Look at the ground towards the entrance to the garden - you can still see remnants of partially-buried tracks! The Militant wrote about this site in a September, 2007 post. The H line continued to Downtown Los Angeles and ended at 63rd and Wall streets in South Los Angeles. The H line was abandoned on August 3. 1947.

27. Ukrainian Culture Center/Jensen's Melrose Theatre
4315 Melrose Ave, East Hollywood
The Ukrainian Culture Center of Los Angeles opened in 1961 to serve what was then a strong ethnic enclave - a Ukrainian church stands just four blocks east. Today it is a popular venue for quinceaƱeras. The Grammy-winning indie rock band Arcade Fire played a "secret" show here in February 2011, prior to picking up their award.
This building was built in 1924 as "Jensen's Melrose Theatre" (one of a series of entertainment centers built by the Jensen brothers, whom also built one on Sunset Blvd in Echo Park), built for what was then an upper-class neighborhood located next to what was then UCLA (University of California, Southern Extension, now the Los Angeles City College campus). It was one of the last silent movie theatres built in the country, and operated until 1959. Take a look at the top of the facade -- the original name of the building is etched in concrete!

Oh, maaan! That was one long-ass post! Guess it made up for the lack of MA blog posts in 2010...anyways, enjoy CicLAvia on Sunday, and refer to this post as a guide!

To download and print a copy of this tour guide to take with you on your ride on Sunday, please click here! (Go to File -> Print (PDF) in the Google Docs window)