Largest Container Ship - 26 DEC 2015

Just before dawn this morning, the largest vessel to ever touch an American shore, coasted into the Port of Los Angeles. At first glance, from a distance, it appeared to be part of a building.
From the recommend viewing location (Japanese American Fishing Village Memorial on Terminal Island) it was at an extreme angle that dwarfed its size.
Going in for a closer look we headed over to Berth 401; from the road, the entire ship could be viewed but still from an angle that diminished the impact of its size. 
Here's a image from their website:
"The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin can carry up to 18,000 containers - including 1,500 Reefer containers. All containers placed in a line would equal the distance between Santa Monica and Santa Barbara. Its maximum load capacity represents the volume of 235 Olympic pools - meaning almost 290,000 cubic meters."
NBC coverage: KNBC: Benjamin Franklin Container Ship
ABC coverage: KABC: CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin

African American Quilters of Los Angeles - 07 NOV 2015

The 2015 show was called, "A Taste of Mardi Gras Quilt Show" and was held at the Carson Community Center.
The Jester's Mask - Veronica Jones
The AAQLA started in 1986 with a hand full of black women and an exhibition at the California Afro-American Museum located at Exposition Park.
Easy Peasy - Yvonne M. Williams
Today, their Guild boasts of a multi-ethnic membership of over 160 men and women of all ages
African Queens - Sylvia Adams
This group really knows how to put on a good show, with (not one but) two party favors when you walk in the door, live jazz music, seven categories for audience judging, quilting demonstrations, vendors, ticket drawings for gift baskets and was over-whelming!
Fleur De Lis - Gloria Sanders
The seven categories were: General
Hula Guilt 2015 - Elaine Whiting Geanakopoulos
Labyrinth Walk-A Two Block Quilt - Gloria Jones
Spring Quilt Block - Gloria Sanders
Flower Garden - Rosalee Watson 
Mardi Gras Quilts
Carnavale De Venezu Masks - Gloria Sanders
Mardi Gras Queens - Rudy Ewell
Round Robin
Round Robin-African Prints - Gwendolyn Spaulding
Wearable Art
Quilted Jacket - Vicki L. Stuckey
Art Quilts
Rain Forest Flower Garden - Estelle Hamilton
Mask Wall
and Block of the Month. Many of the quilts I found lacking in originality as they let the printed pattern in the material rule the design by just sewing around an image. But several (as I've shown in this posting) created the pattern by combining materials to create the design.

Modern Jacobean Applique "Exotica" - Gwendolyn Jones

YoYo Quilt - Gwendolyn Jones
This vendor, Kisasi Ramsess, (also an AAQLA member and exhibitor) truly paints with material.
Plus, he turns his quilts into several other medias for purchase: cards,
and coloring books.
Someone told me he started in mosaic and stain glass. His website says he is a self taught artist. I asked him if he also did all of his own sewing and he said he does. Here's a link to check out his wonderful art: Ramsess Art Online 
The AAQLA meets monthly at the Department of Water and Power in Downtown Los Angeles. There is a monthly dues and each member is expected to make a quilt during their birthday month that is then donated to a non-profit. There are several quilt circles within the organization that meet in other areas around LA. Their quilt show is a bi-annual event. Here a like to their website: AAQLA 

Art Car - 07 NOV 2015

In the parking lot of the Carson Community Center, I found this very interesting "art" car.
The owner came up while I was photographing it and gave me the rare opportunity of interviewing the creator of an oddity.
I asked, what inspired him to glue toys on his car and all he could say was it started with horses (because he used to own some) and just kept expending.
He did say his family is embarrassed to ride anywhere in his car...passing up special treats if it mean using his vehicle.
It also had logos for Dodge, Cadillac, Toyota, Nissan, Chrysler, Mercedes and Honda, along with stuffed toys inside.
 Several of the pieces move or speak. He pressed a button on the dinosaur which then roared.

San Pedro's Oldest Bar - 20 AUG 2015

Welcome to San Pedro's Oldest Historical Bar - Alhambra - Since 1936 (located at 216 W. 11th Street).

My home is less than a block from this dive bar and today I finally went inside. Every time I walk by, there is some type of loud conversation spilling out into the streets. Today was no exception.

My brother paused before entering, wanting to make sure there wasn't a fight about to break out. The noise was coming from the three women in the back. I think they only get enthusiastic drinkers in this place.

The only beer on tap is Budweiser.
The "Historical" part of this bar is the building. Built in 1905 it was San Pedro's City Hall which served as the headquarter for the fire and police departments. It was abandoned in 1909 when San Pedro was consolidated with Los Angeles and a new building was built on Beacon Street.
There are jail cells under the bar but the entrance has been cemented over.

The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles - 20 AUG 2015

20,000 square foot emporium located downtown at 5th and Spring Streets.
If you like old bookstores and funky art, this is the place to visit.
The check out counter is made of stacked books.
There are books turned into flight full art,
a mounted Wooly Mammoth head hanging on the wall,
a peek-a-boob wall of books, 
and a walk-through arched tunnel of books.
Since this building had been a bank, there are three safes, each turned into reading rooms.
Upstairs is called the Labyrinth (porthole into an alternate universe),
with several cubbyholes for more abstract art,
and the Spring Arts collective gallery and shops.
Ashley Fisher hand cuts intricate silhouettes which are mounted in antique frames.
I love the work from the Lockjaw Garage,
wonderful functional art made from recycled items.
Check out their website: The Lockjaw Garage
Through this dirty window I spotted bare breasted women on the second story of the building next door;
a detail that would be lost from the street view. All the art inspired me to make some of my own:
This photo from the Los Angeles Times shows the book store during an event:
Walking to The Last Book Store there are wonderful sights to see:
Buildings with ornate brick work,
and colorful stores.