Friday, December 13, 2013

Johnie's Coffee Shop and Dream of Simultaneous Connection

Two items today;

First, Johnie's Coffee Shop on Wilshire has been declared a historic-cultural landmark.

I have two standout memories of Johnie's. The first was in the mid 1970, when I had an hour to kill between job interview downtown. I was lost--the building on Wilshire are nothing if not intimidating to someone who's never worked there. Johnie's was the friendliest looking place around. Big blue and white roof (I didn't know Googie from Gaga back then), totally unsophisticated and unlike all those skyscrapers with their tinted glass windows. I sat at the counter and drank coffee.

The second memory is of the movie Miracle Mile, which I loved. In that film the early morning crowd--really early, like 3 AM --doesn't believe a guy who comes in, all shaken up, saying he just heard that nuclear warheads are heading toward Los Angeles. Until Tasha Yar (well, the actress Denise Crosby who will always be Tasha Yar to me) uses a gigantic cell phone to call her friends in DC, only to hear that they're all getting out of town. And things go downhill from there.

Johnie's has been closed since 2000, but gets leased out for films. I'm told bits of The Big Lebowski and Resevoir Dogs were filmed there as well as several music videos. (Lebowski also filmed at Dinah's in Culver City).

It opened as Romeo's in 1956, but its location was under consideration as a Purple Line Metro Construction staging area, according to the LA TImes. Now, they're talking about it reopening when the Metro Station is up and running.

The second item is a throwback to the previous post about a mosaic sculpture along Ocean Blvd. in Long Beach--the previous post, just last Monday.

Timing is everything, and my timing was off. I drove by the art today and this is what I saw.

Since there was some scaffolding in place on the upper floors of the building as well, I'm assuming the artwork is being protected against stray spritzes from either a texture or paint coat.

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