Friday Photo: Hotel Knickerbocker

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Once one of Hollywood’s legendary hangouts, The Knickerbocker still stands even though its days as a hotel and bar have ended. I think of this place whenever I watch the Coen Brothers’ excellent (albeit slightly surreal) Barton Fink.

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The Murphy Auto Museum

Murphy Car Museum-16
Murphy Auto Museum (Photo credit: IvyMike)

Nowhere in the world in the automobile more an integral part of a place’s culture and lifestyle than in California. Even as we find ourselves facing a world where the supply of unleaded is becoming ever more dear, Californians are leading the effort to make car culture more sustainable, guilt-free, and politically correct. Yet the car remains a celebrated icon of the California lifestyle, so, unsurprisingly, the Golden State is blessed with a number of automotive collections, two of them in Ventura County. Of those two, the arguable leader is the Murphy Auto Museum.

The Murphy is a labor of love of a handful of local car enthusiasts who tired of hiding their lovingly restored classics in garages and only wheeling them out for weekend events. The result is a gift for anyone with even the least appreciation for the automobile as historical artifact and art form.

The docents are knowledgeable and helpful, but are happy to simply let you wander the museum and appreciate the cars. The restorations have been loving and the attention to detail ensures that what you see are not “hot rods,” but vehicles that look like they are almost fresh off of the production line. Little surprise that Hollywood often comes into the museum looking for cars to use in period movies.

The museum is strictly a weekend affair, open Saturdays and Sundays only, so make it a part of a weekend itinerary when you are in the area.

MURPHY CLASSIC CAR FOUNDATION
2230 Statham Blvd.
Oxnard, California 93033

Open Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Malibu’s First Surf Punks

 

English: Paradise cove pier in Malibu, CA Espa...
English: Paradise cove pier in Malibu, CA EspaƱol: Playa en Malibu, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Malibu’s Lost Boys | Hollywood | Vanity Fair.

Sheila Weller takes us back to the 1960s, where a tiny cult of personality born in the early days of California’s surfing craze became a plunge into dysfunction and criminality.

Juicy reading, regardless of whether you grew up in that era, especially if you knew or were a part of the surf culture yourself growing up (as were many of us who went to high school within an hour’s drive of a SoCal beach.)

The Sountrack of Civil Unrest

The Sound of the L.A. Riots – Los Angeles magazine

Garth Trinidad, a DJ at Santa Monica public radio station KCRW, has put together a playlist in remembrance of the 1992 riots. It’s a fascinating list, but the funny thing is that I remember playing none of these during those days.

I’m thinking about putting together my own April 1992 playlist. Let me know if you have one to share.

The Fuhrer’s Los Angeles Bunker

Hitler’s Los Angeles bunker from which he planned to run Nazi empire after the war | Mail Online.

If the history of California proves anything, there is nothing with greater potential to amaze and titillate than a fringe group with a lump of cash and a real estate broker.

A group of Silvershirts, aided by a German agent and with the complicity of mining heiress Jessie Murphy, purchased a 55-acre ranch in the Santa Monica mountains and proceeded to invest today’s equivalent of US$66 million fitting it out as Kehlsteinhaus West.

The ruin is about to be put to the bulldozer to make the area a park, but I hope they at least put a plaque in place, if nothing else to serve as a marker for the high-water point in Nazi ambition.