Culver City

Eric and I spent a gloriously sunny Saturday in Culver City last week. We started by meeting a friend of Eric’s for brunch, and then we met my brother, who lives close by, for leisurely lollygagging. It was exactly the kind of Saturday I’d been dreaming of after a long week’s work.

Unbeknownst to me, Culver City is Movie Town. I mean, lots of LA’s neighborhoods are Movie Town, but this one is special. Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz were filmed at the studios here, and the whole town pays historic tribute to the classic glamour of those days.

The centerpiece of the downtown area is the historic Culver Hotel. It’s gorgeous, and it’s where Dorothy Garland used to hang out after long days of filming at MGM (now Culver Studios).

I love the lights and the brick. Southern girls are always happy to see brick way out West.

Here is my hermano looking fly on the fire escape.

The city takes it Oz history seriously, and I kind of love that they have this huge lion in the central square. Very courageous-looking, no?

While it’s rich in cinematic history, Culver City is also still making it. I loved seeing all the old movie theaters, still open for business.


The city’s theater is still up and running too, with great plays in the lineup. I love the old Culver sign.

And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Sony Studios is also here, with its fancy gates, high walls, and, yes, even a water tower. My hermano, who is taking a class on California history, told me that they built these water towers because when the studios were started, there wasn’t enough fresh water being pumped into town. And we all thought it was just a Looney Tunes gag! The lot is very pristine, at least the part of it that you can see, and it is patrolled by security guards on bikes. Somehow this all just makes me think of Maybe Fünke, and that makes me laugh, so I don’t mind. This is what I could see through the fence. Spiffy. It’s all sort of slightly bizarre to me, the fact that I was standing here. I guess I do live in LA now, where studios are just part of the flora and fauna. I bet when I look back on these pictures 10 years from now, I’ll be dazzled in retrospect.

After an afternoon of walking through town and hitting up three (three!) thrift stores, we were pretty beat, and we stopped in at a Mexican restaurant for happy hour. I ordered tea, and I was so impressed by how beautiful it looked on the table. There were chips and salsa, and margaritas and quesadillas too, but I didn’t take pictures of them. Too busy eating! But this one picture is enough to remind me of how wonderful it was to have a relaxed afternoon meal and great conversation with two people I love so much. Saturday, thanks for being so good to me.

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