Tag Archives: downtown la

Rickey the Pirate T-Shirt Fiasco – A Piltdownlad Excert


RIP Rickey “the Pirate” Taylor

I’ve always been grateful that I made amends with Rickey. Sometime after the events detailed below, I left LA for a few months and gave Rickey the final t-shirt, the one we’d been holding onto for ourselves. They were cool shirts after all. Rickey was ecstatic. Not just to have a shirt to sell, but I think he was also grateful to break the detente that had existed between us for months. Who knows. It was hard to tell with Rickey. When I returned, he ran down the street to greet me warmly, remembering I’d been away and noticing I’d lost weight on my journey. From then on, our encounters were short, but warm and friendly. I never gave him any money. Maybe he asked if we wanted to buy something a few times. He wasn’t pushy. He often tried to hug us or help with bags… the same old Rickey from before all this nasty t-shirt business. And then we moved to Oakland. During our last visit downtown in May, we saw Rickey. It was a pleasant reunion right there on the corner of Sixth and Spring. He tried to sell us a video camera. We kept it brief. Like always. Rest in Peace, Rickey. I’ve had a lot of beefs with people over the years, but none ended with truly letting bygones be bygones. You were a class act. There will only be one Downtown Pirate.


An excerpt from Piltdownlad #5.

Rickey illustration by Nick Knudson.

Downtown illustrations by Irina Dessaint.

Read more »

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Downtown Dive: The Leonide Hotel – A “Nice Place”

The side of the old Leonide Hotel on Main Street.
“100 rooms – private baths – nice place.”

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Downtown Dive: The Craby Joe’s Neon Sign

The old Craby Joe’s neon sign, now on the wall of the Raw Materials art store on Main. Some more photos of the original location of the Craby Joe’s sign, right after it was removed.

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Downtown Public Art: “Ulysses” sculpture in Bunker Hill

by Alexander Lieberman
Painted steel
Located 400 South Hope Street, at the top of Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles.

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Downtown LA Public Art: Fort Moore Pioneer Monument

By Henry Kreis and Albert Stewart. 1957. A terra-cotta bas-relief mural located on Hill Street just north of the 101 freeway.

The text reads: “On this site stood Fort Moore. Built by the Mormon battalion during the War with Mexico. The flag of the United States was raised here on July 4th, 1847, by Unites States troops at the first independence day celebration in Los Angeles. This memorial honors the troops who helped win the Southwest: The United States 1st Dragoons who fought at San Pasqual. The New York Volunteers who came by sea. The Mormon Battalion who made on the longest and most arduous infantry marches in history.”

The side panel:

Side panel details:

“On ranchos where herds of cattle ranged pioneers built homes and planted vineyards and orange groves.”

“The prairie schooner stage and iron horse brought many settlers who made Los Angeles a city.”

“Water and Power have made our arid land flourish. May we keep faith with the pioneers who brought us these gifts.”

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Downtown LA Mural: “El Nuevo Fuego”

242 South Broadway, Downtown LA.
On north side of the building.
Mural by East Los Streetscapers.
Completed in 1985.

Commissioned for the 1984 Olympics in LA, but not completed until after the games were over. Click here for background information on this mural.

Some of the athletes depicted include track-star Valerie Brisco-Hooks, Mexico’s championship walker Ernesto Canto, gymnast Koji Gushican, and diver Greg Luganis.

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Downtown LA Architecture: Hall of Justice

The Hall of Justice was the centerpiece of the LA County justice system. Opened in 1926, the hall’s 14 floors have over the years housed the county courtrooms, the 520 double cells of the county jail, offices for the LA district attorney, the public defender, sheriff’s office and the coroner.

The facade is Italian Renaissance in white granite.

Notable prisoners at the jail included Sirhan Sirhan, Charles Manson, who called the accommodations “Stone Age,” mobster “Bugsy” Siegel, Evel Knievel and Robert Mitchum on marijuana charges. Autopsies performed in the coroner’s office include those of Marilyn Monroe and Robert Kennedy.

The Hall of Justice was built on the former grounds where LA residents did their lynching. Currently boarded up after Northridge, there are restoration plans to again make it the Sheriff’s Headquarters.
Read more about the fascinating and sordid history of the Hall of Justice at <a href=”http://articles.latimes.com/2002/may/26/local/me-then26″>LA Times</a>.

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Downtown LA Public Art: “Uptown Rocker”

“Uptown Rocker”
By Lloyd Hamrol.
Completed in 1986. Hamrol described the work as a “tribute to the car culture. It is meant as a parody of the omnipresence of cars and our addiction to their necessity. The piece captures a moment in a bumper to bumper procession of car symbols as they cycle on the loop of an endless highway…”

Six identically shaped 7′ high x 18′ long silhouettes of cars atop a curved, concrete rocker painted freeway color. The cars are painted red, green, black, gray, yellow and blue. Located on 4th Street between Hope and lower Grand, these shots were taken from the upper Grand overpass.

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