Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – My Saturday Drive/Food Fest With Charles Phoenix – Torrance and Inglewood, CA.

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As we are oft to do, Charles Phoenix and I took another one of our kitsch spins around LA and environs this past weekend. We were dressed smartly for the occassion, at least from the ankles down:

Our first stop was at Johnnies Pastrami on Sepulveda Blvd. in Culver City:

Johnnies hasn’t changed a lick since it was built in 1952. Counter, stools, booths, jukebox, etc. are all original.

This was confirmed by the man himself, Bob Bass, who built and still owns Johnnies, and who has eaten lunch at his regular table every day since.

I’ve always loved restaurants that park a loaded pickle bowl before you as soon as you sit down.

Charles and I pondered the menu.

But I always go for the same thing, the 1950′s-grilled-to-soda-shop-perfection cheeseburger:

The french fries snap when you sink your choppers into them.

The cole slaw, eternally shredded a tad long, drips with creamy sweetness.

Charles and I were perfectly positioned behind the pie rack.

And although we stared at the bulging slices throughout the meal…

…we had to save room as we always make a donut shop stop on our driving trips.

Circus donuts are good…

…but I much prefer Spudnuts. Which makes sense as judging from the drink station, I think lottery tickets may be bigger business for Circus than donuts.

Next we went deeper into Torrance and hit King’s Hawaiian Bakery on Sepulveda. King’s is not only spectacular for the entrance to the dining room…

… but because of what we go there to buy.

Here I am experiencing a moment of panic upon seeing empty shelves.

You would be too if you knew this was what was inside of the packages we were looking for.

Thankfully, we got the last six loafs of the Rainbow Butter Bread.

All day long we passed beautiful architecture:

I wish all Baskin Robbins still looked like this one on Crenshaw Blvd.:

Nothing great architecturally about this IHOP but it’s spectacular that a horse is used to sell pancakes.

Though I guess it makes as much sense as a bear selling wheel alignments:

There was much beautiful signage along the way.

Although not as dramatic as the previous photos, I always enjoy a sign that employs peculiar use of quote marks:

If “On The” are the two most important words you can spotlight about your burgers, I’m sticking to Johnnie’s. Also featuring two words is the name of this Thai joint:

What a great day! Dinner, thankfully, wasn’t until 10:30 pm.

 

Photo credits: Denny McLain and me.

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Categories: Architecture, Clothes, Food, Hats, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, Sculpture, Sign, Transportation, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – USA! Patriotic Kitsch

Rarely do I celebrate someone getting their head blow on off but the jubilant mood around the world heralding the demise of the long skinny one with the poisonous manners is begging to be celebrated with the best patriotic crafts that kitsch has to offer. Here’s a small sampling of what’s available for sale as we speak on places like Ebay and Etsy. In most cases I’ve used the exact names the artists have given their work.

The Liberty Bell:

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Categories: Animals, Art, Crafts, Fashion, Hats, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Political, Toy

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Happy Passover! Hebrew Smurf Tile

I never really got into The Smurfs. That shade of blue was definitely not my favorite color and I didn’t have the patience to learn the Smurf language. I also didn’t have the patience to study Hebrew for the couple of years I attended Hebrew school at Beth Aaron, right across the street from Mumford High in Detroit, so have no idea what this Smurf is saying.

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Categories: Brands, Comic book, Forgot to Categorize, Furniture and Housewares, Hats, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Junk Food Supreme At A Kitsch Lover’s Party

Anyone reading my blog long enough knows I’m an unabashed lover of junk food. My conscience has upped through the years but in a perfect world I would sustain myself on the Cheetos end of the scale. I learned how to make a Cherpumple and oftentimes take trips in search of the best food junk has to offer. Last weekend I took a trip up to Alameda, CA in search of real junk, both food and artifacts, when two of the most dedicated members of The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch at AWMOK.com were filmed for a segment of The Style Network’s Clean House.

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Categories: Food, Hats, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Party, People

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Detroit Zoo Hat and My Homegirl, Lily Tomlin

When I grew up in Detroit I went to the zoo on 10 Mile and Woodward at least a couple times a year. Although I got this particular chapeau on Ebay, I’m certain I had one exactly like it as I never went there without something separating me from the sun. I was quite fond of theme hats as a kid.

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Categories: Animals, Celebrity, Detroit, Drink, Food, Hats, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Music, Musical Instruments, Place, Songwriting, Street, Travel, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – The Grinch Who Made This Christmas Tree Hat

I always hated these theme hats but ever since I’ve had my Kitsch O’ The Day blog I’ve found one that’s dumber than the next and that seems to serve the cause of Kitsch well. In the case of this particular Christmas tree chapeau, I hope that most people who don it bought it for themselves as opposed to getting it from under the real tree as it lives up to excessively few of its claims.  For example, the label definitely leads one to believe that the star on top lights up and stands erect as any good tree topper should:

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Categories: Consumer Alert!, Hats, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – What The Kitschiest House In LA Looks Like At Christmas

Anyone who’s ever driven past Norwood Young’s house in LA knows that it’s a prime candidate for a Kitschmas smorgasbord unlike all others. Depending on who you talk to, known affectionately or despicably as the House of Davids, it has enough wrought iron to circle the White House, all of which protects the 21 statues of David that line the driveway upon which usually sits Norwood’s jewel encrusted Rolls Royce. Here’s what Youngwood Court, as it’s officially known, looks like all year except December:

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Categories: Afro, Architecture, Art, bad art, Creativity, empowerment, Hats, Holidays, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, People, Place, Sculpture, Self expression

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Happy Hanukah Menorah Hat


I used to hate these theme hats as they always look so dorky. But now that I have a blog and a museum that spotlight kitsch this sort of haberdashery seems to fit right in, especially when it’s on my head. And especially when it’s this awkward menorah hat on this first day of Hanukah. The candles don’t stand up straight and nine candles is kind of too wide for a hat anyway.


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Categories: Hats, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Medical, Memorabilia, Religion, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Fashionable Turkey Hat

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! May you have much turkey, tofurkey or whatever else you choose to stuff yourself with today!

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Categories: Fashion, Food, Forgot to Categorize, Hats, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – In My Easter Bonnet

easter-bonnet-sidetiff

Once again I don the Easter bonnet I made to go to my friend April Winchell’s mother’s house Easter, 1998 where she had a smorgasbord of international foods, the unrecognizable contents of which were festooned with name tags stuck into the dishes on popsicle sticks, an excellent sign if one likes a side of Kitsch with their holidays.

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Categories: Animals, Art, Crafts, Detroit, Fashion, Hats, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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