or… one more way I spent the weekend Not Working because I was compelled to go out and explore Los Angeles for the express purpose of providing quality blog content for all y’all.
No. Really. Going outside into the beautiful crisp sunshiny (but cold) day was all for you, I swear! The whole weekend was for you….. yeah okay not really. The whole weekend was kind of all about me. I confess.
But that’s okay. Because things here at the Honey & Ollie studios have been pretty busy, of late. There’s been a lot of work going on, mess being generated, and cool stuff being prepared for the shop which is, ultimately, for all y’all. But not so much this weekend… I swear, I had planned to knuckle down and do All The Things! today. But the morning dawned bright and beautiful and the ex Mr. Honey & Ollie popped by to kidnap me for a photo safari, so not many things got done.
We hopped over to Heritage Square which lies in Highland Park. We’ve been driving past this place for the last 15 years or so, and hadn’t ever checked it out. One of the things I’ve resolved to do this year is go to more of the places that always make me say, “Gosh I would really like to check that out someday.”
You know that Eddie Izzard routine, where he talks about how something is more than 50 years old so Californians smash it down and put a car park on it? That regrettable tendency is why there’s a Heritage Square. Because sometime around the 1960’s, some bright lights in the planning dept. decided to “modernize” Los Angeles. And so they ripped out great swaths of the city, entire neighborhoods and a very many grand old houses, and they put in car parks and concrete office buildings and skyscrapers.
Oh don’t even get me started. Modernization irritates the hell out of me.
Except, I do think modern fire trucks totally pwn their predecessors.
Some things are precious and deserve to be saved and when the city of Los Angeles started ripping out its own heart and history, fortunately some people realized that. They moved 8 structures, mostly mansions and homes, out to Highland Park, set ‘em next to the 110 freeway, and set up a living history type museum. It’s at the tag end of a residential street, so you get the neighbors wandering around the grounds here and there.
Some of the buildings are crumbling, so much so that you can’t go in. Most of the work is paid for by donations from visitors. Now I grew up in a tiny Northern CA town that is kind of famed for Victorian architecture, so I kind of take stuff like this for granted. Or at least I used to. After 15+ years in LA, these old houses are starting to look pretty fresh and exciting.
For ten bucks, you get to wander around and take the house tour. Not a bad price for a rich slice of Southern California history. They’ve got a ton of special events and stuff going on all the time, and you might recognize some of these buildings from the movies. Plus? The city of Highland Park is just over the 110, and Good Girl Dinette is located in Highland Park, as is the Chicken Boy statue. So you can get some good eats and see even more iconic LA history on your way home!
Oh sweet creepin zombies, kids, THIS JUST IN via Ellen Bloom, who wears the best glasses, is a prolific and inspiring granny square maker and who is probably the expert on Cool Stuff To Do In Los Angeles: “The Heritage Square Knitters SnB meets on the second Saturday of every month, 4-6pm (after the museum closes). They knit and crochet in the salon of one of the Victorian houses! Anyone can participate!”
Grab yer yarn and I’ll see you there, y’all!
Heritage Square Museum
3800 Homer Street
Los Angeles, California 90031