Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My Los Angeles: part two

From the Steve Martin film, L.A. Story:
"I have a favorite quote about L.A., by Shakespeare: 'This other Eden...demi-paradise... this precious stone... set in the silver sea of this earth, this ground... this Los Angeles.'"
The Los Angeles depicted in the film L.A. Story is not quite the Los Angeles of my ancestors. The McCunes (my family) came here in the 1900's. Some of them kept meticulous journals which have been published by my family. Reading these journals, it is evident why they came to Los Angeles. In many entries they remarked at how improved their health was because of the ocean air. They came here from Utah with it's beauty, yes...but harsh winters too. At first they visited the beaches here on vacations. Perhaps this is how it looked:

One journal entry from 1908 says: "While in Los Angeles we took the balloon route one day which took us to so many places of interest such as Hollywood, the Soldiers Home, Santa Monica, Moonstone Beach, Playa del Rey, Venice and Ocean Park, all very beautiful and interesting places. We spent the whole day and all for $1.00 each." Soon many of the McCunes began to make southern California their permanent homes. Some of them settled in Mar Vista, Ocean Park, Santa Monica and Hollywood. Perhaps this was how the Hollywood hills looked when they came here:
The McCunes that lived in Mar Vista owned much of the land there. They even have a street that carries their name. "McCune Ave." Here is some of my family in 2004 at a family reunion.

One of the McCunes wrote in her journal in 1921: "I take the streetcar...This is the worst place for autos in the world and so many more of them." Was this how it looked?Can you imagine what Elisabeth Claridge McCune must have seen in those days?

I suppose it really hasn't changed much. LOL! Just even more cars! Thank goodness we have traffic signals downtown now! Here is a picture I took a couple of weeks ago on my downtown Los Angeles tour with Daughter #2 and BabyBoy. This is the view from the YMCA building:

Here are McCune descendants, Daughter #2 and BabyBoy spitting from the top of the building. Silly kids! Isn't that against the law? I'll have to check with Mayor Villaraigosa!

I'm sure my McCune ancestors would have seen the Angels Flight Railway like this...(where that old building in the picture is, is now the California Plaza where Daughter #2 works.)

This is how we saw it the other day (below). Quite different, don't you think?

And here's the BabyBoy acting like he's buying a ticket. So sad. The trains aren't even there anymore. It's been closed down since 2001, when someone was killed on it.

Here is my lovely tourguide, Daughter #2, pictured below, in front of the building where she works:

Check back tomorrow for "My Los Angeles: part three"...there's so much more to share!


Staci Jayne Love said...

I love the comparisons. How cool. And I love the pick of me trying to tickle Todd.

Thimbleanna said...

Great pictures Vivian! You're so lucky that your family has those old journals -- our ancestors probably didn't think what they wrote was that interesting, but I really love reading what their lives were like.