Archive for July, 2008

What’s Shakin’ in LA?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

So I’m in Washington DC this week for work, thinking that all’s quiet back in the ‘Bu, when I find out southern Cal had another earthquake. This one measured a 5.4 on the Richter scale, which is strong enough to rattle things off your table and fray your nerves. I wasn’t able to call home for 30 minutes or so until the lines quieted down. Man, can I pick a time to be away from the family or what?

So So Cal

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

This morning I was standing in line behind a lady at the Starbucks on the corner of Trancas and PCH. The barista was a pert teenager with enough facial piercings to qualify as a human tackle box. She asked the lady her name.

Lady: “Sue”

Barista: “Is that S-I-O-U-X?”

Lady: “No. It’s just Sue.”

The Pink Lady of Malibu – 42 Years On

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Back in 1966, a giant, naked pink lady suddenly appeared in Malibu Canyon. (Now do I have your attention?) Yes, it’s a bit of local folklore but I go for that sort of thing. She was painted by one Lynne Seemayer, a 31-year old local artist (and evidently quite a daredevil). The Pink Lady, as she seems to be commonly known, existed for only five days before she was painted over by Los Angeles County maintenance workers.

Here’s what the Pink Lady looked like in her fleeting glory:

As a lad of a mere eight summers, I never got the chance to see her “in the flesh” but over the years I’ve met many Malibu locals who were around at the time. Each recalls her in the same wistful reverie, like she’d cast a spell or something.

These days I drive Malibu Canyon a couple times a week, and I always look up at the tunnel entrance where the Pink Lady frolicked ever so briefly.  I got so into the whole mystique of the Pink Lady that I started snapping pictures of her old “canvas” and spent a long time trying to trace her outline, which becomes clearer the more you study it. Here’s a picture I took in June of this year. The Lady stood above and to the left of the light pole in the center of the image:

Pink Lady Site Now

If you look closely, you can still make out her head and torso, her arms sweeping down at an angle, and even a sharp diagonal stripe that was the clutch of flowers in her right hand. (If you right-click the image and choose “Save File”, you can view it full-size on your computer. The blog format squashes the image considerably.)

Here’s a closeup taken with more direct sunlight (I told you I was obsessed, right?).

I wonder if she could be restored by removing her “government issued” shroud of paint? It would be great to see Ms. Seemayer’s work of art return to the light of day. Imagine the guts it took to do this! And alone, at night to boot! People were just cooler, smarter and braver back then, I guess. Well, most of them were: No one seems to recall the names of the county officials who decided the Lady’s fate, but I for one hope they got hounded out of office and out of our state, the fascists!

There’s a lot of information on the web about the Pink Lady, even a nice link on Google Maps — check it all out, And if you happen to be driving up Malibu Canyon Road from PCH, give her a wave. She’s still up there, smiling down on us.