Brewery Art Walk - 17 APR 2010

It was a day of Art and Iconic Eateries. Todd, Rich, Rob and I started with breakfast at Philippe's. If you have never been to Philippe's, you've never experienced Los Angeles. "Philippe The Original" is located downtown a block from Olvera Street, LA's oldest street, and three blocks from Union Station. Established in 1908, it's owner created the French dip sandwich. You can check out the history on their website: http://www.philippes.com/
With sawdust on the floors, you stand in one of several lines to order from a uniformed woman behind what looks like an old fashion meat counter. You eat at long wooden school cafeteria table, surrounded by strangers that feel like family. This was the first time for breakfast for everyone except me and we learned that if you are standing in line when they yell, "Last call for Breakfast!" you need to ask for a ticket in order to be allowed to actually order breakfast when you finally get to the front of the line. Although breakfast is only served from 6:00-10:30 AM, you can order a sandwich and their fantastic coleslaw, anytime. They also have some great home made pies and the best cup of coffee that only cost 10 cents. After eating, we headed over to The Brewery Art Colony to attend its' twice annual open house/studio weekend. The first loft we entered had nearly every surface covered in metal or faux metal (painted masonite)...I love what he did with the water cooler.
Located on the site of the former Eastside and Pabst Blue Ribbon Breweries, it has 22 buildings on 23 acres and houses 300-studio complexes which according to their website "consists of 500 or so resident or day use artists in every field of creation and production." http://labrewery.com/brewery/  Outside I found this Don Quixote of the Containers: And a Car Shark: This is the view from the top of one of the brewery buildings:
I also liked the view in the opposite direction:
One artist did some creepy things with dolls, I'm sure some parents were disturbed by a doll with a scissor in its' mouth or a noose around its' neck but I got a good laugh out of doll parts being used as planters...an old cloth body with succulents growing where head, hands and feet would have been or plants growing out of the top of a doll head. He also had a full size cross handing from the ceiling with a skeleton attached...that also gave me a chuckle.
I found the buildings artistic:
One of my favorite artist is Bruce Gray, I particularly like his found objects sculptures. His YouTube film about his work, gives you a feel for walking into an artists loft: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xn9ennZWxtg
Several artists had cats or dogs; in a place like this, cats are a necessity, as I'm sure they keep the rodents in check.
And then I found my kind of art:
Their next art walk will be in the fall, check this website for updates: http://breweryartwalk.com/
After about five hours, we were exhausted and decided to head over to the Original Tommy's for dinner.
On the way we got side-tracked and stopped for the best bagels in Los Angeles, Brooklyn Bagel Bakery, making real New York style bagels since 1953. When I was in college they were open 24 hours so anytime you had a craving for a really good bagel it only required a drive downtown. But, now they're only open 6AM-6PM, so I have to stop whenever I'm driving by during business hours. Check them out some time, they are located at 2217 West Beverly Blvd: http://www.brooklynbagella.com/
Finally we landed at our fourth LA icon: the original ramshackle little stand on the corner of Beverly and Rampart. Serving the sloppiest chili-cheese burgers since 1946, there are no chairs or napkins but luckily plenty of paper towels and a stand-up counter for eating. Good food, cheap: http://www.originaltommys.com/
This day was a record even for me...four historic Los Angeles locations in one day...Life is Good!