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.
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The side of the old Leonide Hotel on Main Street.
“100 rooms – private baths – nice place.”
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.
by Alexander Lieberman
Located 400 South Hope Street, at the top of Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles.
“Corporate Head” sculpture by Terry Allen (c. 1991)
Located at 725 S. Figueroa in downtown
Plaque on ground behind sculpture reads: “They said I had a head for business. They said to get ahead I had to lose my head. They said be concrete and I became concrete. They said, go, my son, multiply, divide, conquer. I did my best.”
Is there a better place to get a key made downtown than at Roy Hopp, where you have to wander through the basement of the Heron Building until you get to a door that looks like this? I don’t think so.
Street Art on Alameda Ave between 2nd and 3rd Streets in the Arts District.
During ArtWalk last year, we stopped at the Nickel for burgers and sat next to Crimebo the Clown:
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.”