Monday, November 12, 2007

Random Oddities From Around The Valley

I finally got around to uploading some photos from my camera. I completely forgot that for a while I was taking pictures of odd things I saw while driving to work (at my previous job). So, at long last, here's a few things I used to see on a near daily basis.

This is in somebody's front yard in Chatsworth (click to enlarge). I'm pretty sure it's a life-size concrete woman sitting naked in a bird bath and staring up at a large boulder suspended over her head.

This is an old air-raid siren. They are actually all over the Valley. I suspect that they don't work anymore but it's actually pretty difficult to find any information at all on these relics.

A crafty garden enthusiast transformed some ivy climbing up a telephone pole and it's anchor wire into a rather cute hound. He's maybe 12 (?) feet high and he lives at the border of Northridge.

Feel free to send your photos of Valley Oddities to the email address at the bottom of the page. Once I get a few, I'll post them.


Anonymous said...

I saw your post on LA Times. Are you just passively looking now? Your post/analysis here on your site are interesting.

Kate said...

Hello Anon:

Yes, my search has switched into "passive" gear. We're waiting for the market to stabilize a bit. I still peruse the MLS daily but I go to very few, if any, open houses these days.

Thanks for reading!

Anonymous #01 said...

The air raid sirens are just part of the WWII history of the valley. Other fun facts include:

* Birmingham High School (Van Nuys) was originally a military hospital. After the war, it was converted to a high school.
* Victory Boulevard (bordering Birmingham) was named after the "victory" achieved in WWII.
* The Los Angeles River that flowed naturally in the San Fernando Valley was paved during WWII with a center ditch and two flat surfaces for bi-directional traffic. This was in case the Japanese bombed the Valley and roads were closed, there would be military lanes available.
* The Valley was considered a target of Japanese attack due to the large military construction facilities. What we now know as Burbank airport was owned by Lockheed in 1940 and served as a testing airport for secret military aircraft.

Kate said...

Anon #01:

Thanks so much for those facts! I knew about Birmingham but not the other details.

Birmingham was one of the few schools that had a swimming pool originally because it was left over from the military hospital (and they used it for physical therapy).

ProblemWithCaring said...

I love history...

The LA River - aside from being a bizarre curiosity - has a pretty amazing history of its own. Some students in LAUSD are creating a documentary on the river and the new reclamation project.

Why reclaim it? I like its Kafka-ness.

Anonymous said...

Here is your LA/Valley air-raid siren info:

...and the granddaddy of them all, I think they had one of these behemoths downtown years ago:

- RichW Sherman Oaks

Kate said...


You Rock! Thanks for the links (although "wirechief" is a wee bit slow to load).