|I've always been a fan of Advertising. I love vintage commercials, old ads in old issues of LIFE magazine, and any kind of cool packaging. I guess it comes with being a member of the Television Generation. And ever since I first stumbled on the GHOST ADS page of the LILEKS.COM website, I've become addicted to these stubborn bits of obsolete advertising that I will give the slightly more generic name of GHOST SIGNS. Mr. Lilek does a great job documenting the cities of Stillwater, Minneapolis, Alexandria, Fargo and New York. Here are some photos from Los Angeles. These photos are my findings on my first day of hunting: February 12, 2004.
I used to live in the Los Angeles neighborhood known as Los Feliz. Basically it's North of Hollywood Blvd, West of Downtown LA, South of Griffith Park and East of "Hollywood". So this is where I started my search for old signs that are just hanging around. This was the first sign of the day, and the only one I had seen before. This is The Hollymont, so named because it's kinda in "Hollywood" (not really an actual city, more a state of mind) and is on Vermont Ave. The building has been restored, but thankfully they have not painted over this original sign. Dig the red "Furnished" in the middle of the sign.
THE ELEANOR APARTMENTS
Just across the street from The Hollymont stands The Eleanor. This sign came with a bonus. To the left of the window is an ad for Kessler's Blended Whiskey!
THE BOTTLE CAP
So, I'm walking West on Sunset, looking every which way for any bit of paint that doesn't look modern. Over the roof of an apartment building, I found this bottle cap. I ran across the street, down a flight of stairs and down an alley, where I found the bottle that belonged to the cap:
A MASSIVE BOTTLE OF BROMO SELTZER! Holy crap! What a cool find on my first day of hunting!
THE BEDPAN FOUNTAIN
Here's a diversion...continuing West on Sunset, I discovered this fountain made of bedpans...yes, bedpans. Investigating, I found this sign epoxyed to the top of the fountain:
Honor or Gag...hellifiknow...
THE AVA MAE APARTMENTS
Walking North on Hillhurst, this managed to catch my eye through the chain link fence.
THE SUN IN THE PARKING LOT
Now we are in the part of town known as North Hollywood, which is not part of "Hollywood", but a part of the San Fernando Valley, which is part of Los Angeles...got that? Most of buildings in North Hollywood have been painted over real good, but they haven't got around to painting the ground yet, for example this parking lot for a rehearsal studio. Wouldn't you like a sunburst pattern in YOUR parking lot?
Apparantly, this parking lot was once a store called Sporty Knit!
THE TREASURE TROVE
God, I wish I knew what they sold.
So ends my first day of searching for Ghost Signs. My next stop will be Downtown. Check back later!