Pete’s New “Havana Before Castro” Website and Tour Maps

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Because of the renewed interest in Cuba travel, it made sense to completely revamp my Havana Before Castro website.  It includes chapter summaries, a downloadable sample chapter, and cool Then & Now photos.   Take a look! People are using … Continue reading

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Lawry’s Legendary Chairman Dies at 92

Richard N. Frank, son of original Lawry’s owner Lawrence Frank, died on Wednesday, May 20th in Pasadena. Los Angeles Magazine editor and historian Chris Nichols wrote this obituary. I wrote an extensive illustrated blog about Lawry’s 75th anniversary that is … Continue reading

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Two Important Preservation Successes! Four Seasons and Norm’s Coffee Shop

Two major victories in two days.  New York City’s Landmarks Commission voted to deny requested alterations to the interior of the Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan.  The interior had been designated years ago, but the current owner nonetheless wanted to make changes that would have harmed its integrity and historic fabric.  The Four Seasons remains my favorite restaurant interior in the United States.

Four Seasons Grill Romm

Four Seasons Grill Room

The other big victory was in Los Angeles.  One of the best remaining examples of Googie style 1950s coffee shop architecture was declared a Los Angeles landmark! Hopefully, this will motivate the new owner to keep rather than demolish the building, which is what motivated the nomination.

Norm's La Cienega on the border of Los Angeles and West Hollywood.

Norm’s La Cienega on the border of Los Angeles and West Hollywood.

Avanti!

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Four Seasons Restaurant Interior Threatened

This is my favorite mid-century restaurant interior in America.  And it’s threatened with inappropriate alterations!

The magnificent Four Seasons Grill Room.

The magnificent Four Seasons Grill Room.

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Terrific List of 100 Classic Southern California Restaurants

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Nikki Kreuzer has done the heavy lifting in compiling this list of 100 classic Southern California restaurants with roots as early as 1905.  This is a tremendous effort and one worthy of praise.

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Most Iconic and Oldest Restaurants By State

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Thrillist put together what they consider to be the most iconic restaurant in every state and the oldest restaurant in every state.  Some of their selections are off the mark, but it’s interesting to see what they chose and why.

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Dal Rae Replaces Historic Neon for Ugly Backlit Plastic

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The recent replacement of the Dal Rae’s historic neon with backlit plastic – aside from being extremely ugly – is tragic and terribly misguided. Most likely the owners felt that it was too expensive to continue maintaining the original neon. … Continue reading

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