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Jacy Young

  • News
    The Cocoanut Grove, a supper club where the rich and famous dined and danced, opened 3 months after the Ambassador Hotel, in April 1921. It was designed in Moorish style. The palm trees that decorated the room were rumored to have come from the Rudolph Valentino film, The Sheik and they had stuffed monkeys hanging from them. The ceiling was painted midnight blue and sparkling stars were strewn across its firmament....
  • News
    As late as 2005, the Ambassador sat on twenty-four acres of land on Wilshire Boulevard in Koreatown. It was set far back from the street and had the haunted look of old castles. It drew the eye as only someplace ruined, someplace steeped in history can. Blinded, it was worn with crumbling at the edges, bound by a perimeter of chain link fences. It was a fabulous ghost and it could have been a...
  • News
    In Los Angeles, we knock things down. We build them the way we like them. We believe in creating a world the way we think it should be. It's this ethic that has destroyed some of our more famous landmarks, Pickfair was dismantled by Pia Zadora, the original Brown Derby may, at the time of this writing, be a dry cleaner. In a place where people come to reinvent themselves no one has much...
  • News
    Photo by erinpk, via Flickr. Hollyhock House is a wonder wrought by Frank Lloyd Wright for our fair city. Though old Frank was a dick in person, he was unquestionably one of the more prominent architects of the twentieth century. Usually associated with his midwestern "Prairie Houses" (very influential in the arts and crafts movement, they were extended, low buildings with sloping roofs and deep terraces and overhangs. These, incidentally, were also an early...
  • News
    Pickfair in its glory days. As any fan of LAistory knows, Los Angeles is a city of vanished places. We tear free of the past, and generally, whatever comes next, is not as fabulous or interesting as what was there before. The same holds true for the property called Pickfair. Superstars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks purchased the property at 1143 Summit Drive, in the San Ysidro Canyon in 1919. It was fifteen acres...
  • Food
    Stay classy! Saturday was a spectacular day, full of sun and wind, and for the lucky among us, it was also full of grilled cheese sandwiches. Los Angeles State National Park is practically in the shadow of downtown. Parts of it was still green, though few people in the ever growing line to get in probably didn’t much notice. This was the First Seventh Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational (yes, you read that right.) Started...
  • News
    from City of Culver City's website After Fatty Arbuckle's career was deep-sixed by one of the biggest scandals of its day, he tried his hands at a few things, not the least of which was Fatty Arbuckle's Plantation Cafe. Built at 11700 Washington Boulevard in Culver City, across the street from the site of Arbuckle's elementary school. Lavishly decorated by the head of the MGM art department, the cafe opened in 1928 with star...
  • News
    Tail O' The Pup in better days, from their website. We in Los Angeles like our big food. Big, architectural, junk food that is. Perhaps the king of big food is the Tail 'o the Pup, a hot dog stand designed in the shape of a hot dog in a bun. Already moved once from its original location where the Beverly Center now stands, the Tail O'the Pup was declared by the City of...
  • News
    Unfortunately, you were born too late. You missed the alligator farm. At the turn of the century, the Lincoln Heights neighborhood popular as a weekend get away for Angelenos. In 1907, Francis Earnest and his partner, Joe "Alligator" Campbell opened an alligator farm (It was right next door to their ostrich farm. I'm not kidding.) With 2000 alligators and a smattering of turtles, iguanas and snakes, the farm offered such attractions as watching the...
  • News
    William Desmond Taylor William Desmond Taylor lived the kind of life that would be tough to live today, in our era of numbers and cards and facial recognition software. In the end, he paid a steep price for that life and so did Hollywood. Maybe he even lived many lives. He was an antiques dealer, panned for gold, he spent time in either the British or Canadian armies during World War I. He was...

Stories by Jacy Young

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