Sunday, September 26, 2004

Of Dahlias and Pork Samwiches

I decided to spend yesterday taking my new camera on a whirlwind tour of Hollywood... specifically, I wanted to get some shots of the Black Dahlia's old hangouts, to give me some focus anyway.

I've been interested in the Black Dahlia case for years. Back on January 15, 1947, the naked body of a beautiful young women was found in a vacant lot, severed at the waist. The body was further mutilated by having her breasts cut off and her face cut on both sides of the mouth, giving her a Joker-like post mortem grin. The body was quickly identified as Elizabeth Short, a wanna be actress from Massachusetts who had earned the Black Dahlia nickname from her penchant for wearing black clothes and the name of a film released shortly before her demise, The Blue Dahlia. Short paid the bills, it is believed, as an escort. Unfortunately, she was born with in incomplete vaginal cavity, meaning that intercourse was all but impossible. Some speculate that this was part of what sent one john into a murderous rage as she turned down his advances for all out sex, and he took it personal.

One of the last homes the Black Dahlia had was at 1842 N. Cherokee, within walking distance from my apartment on El Cerrito Pl. While I've always known vaguely where it was, I never remembered the exact address when I was right around there, and knew I'd have to make a trip expressly to see the place. The pictures speak for themselves... its a shoddy, run down building. A tenant asked me why I was taking pictures, and when I told him of my interest in the Dahlia, he said that some film crews had been scouting there lately. I also asked exactly which apartment she lived in, and he pointed up, to the top floor, far left window. "Apartment 501" he said. As you can see from the close up of the main entrance, the door was ajar, so I could sneak inside. Nothing much to speak of, or pictures to show. Just crap maintainence on what could be a cool, well kept vintage building. On the bright side, I'll keep my eyes on if apartment 501 ever becomes vacant... rent can't be that much.

Halloween costume ideas on display at a strippers - er - dancers clothing shop.The rest of my trip down Hollywood Blvd. brought me to some of my usual favorite stops - the Hollywood Book and Poster Company, Panpipes (a store for witches), and Hollywood Magic. For some reason, the always cool Hollywood Toy & Costume Shop was closed this Saturday. I did my usual window shopping at all of the lingerie and "dancer" outfit shops, just to give my kinky mind some fodder. I finally settled on Huston's Pit BBQ, a shack of a restaurant, for lunch. Only $5 for an awesomely sloppy pork sandwich. Why I've never eaten here before escapes me - this place beats out Quiznos by a long shot. See photo below to settle it.
Hustons Pit BBQ, 1620 N. Cahuenga, 323-464-3972Mmmmmm... pork sandwich...

It was about then that my friend Josh Jaggers called me to catch up, and we decided to go see Shaun of the Dead that night. In short: best movie of 2004. I must be forgetting another movie, because Shaun is a horror-comedy, a zombie movie that is at once funnier than anything I've seen in a while, and the first movie I've seen in years that has made me jump. A top notch film from the writing, directing, acting, and all the etcs. The studios must be run be zombies, because this is so far only a small, major city release... when and if it opens WIDE it could, and should be, the biggest hit of the fall.

To top the day off, I discovered that my five loyal readers received a great deal of company due to Tony's linkage. Thanks, Tony. The only bad thing to happen to me all day was finding that Claire's Volvo wouldn't start... something that we're leaving to be investigated until Tuesday, when her mechanic comes back from vacation... just when we're out of toilet paper and milk. And the folks in Florida think they have it tough.

more on the Black Dahlia: The Black Dahlia Solution offers an interesting analysis of letters purportedly written by the killer... another solution is offered by the author of Black Dahlia Avenger - his own father... and the Prairie Ghosts website has a great primer on the case.