Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – My Sunday Drive With Charles Phoenix: Cruising Van Nuys Blvd. In Search Of Beeps- Part 1

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Bright and early the Sunday before last, my #1 day-trip accompanist, Charles Phoenix, and myself tooled down Van Nuys Blvd. looking for a 1950′s diner we heard about called Beeps. For neither of us to know about a place of this nature that’s remained authentic is unheard of. In order to get to it we drove down the main drag of the Valley, Van Nuys Blvd.

No question Van Nuys is pumped full of Arbys, KFC’s and McDonald’s, but thankfully there are quite a few vintage buildings left as well as some newer cheese palaces that make our hit list. We hit the boulevard at Magnolia because there was no way I was going to miss one of my favorite rooflines in the city:

The vintage streetlights look so happy with their taller brother palms:

Tall palms accompany many of the vintage buildings on Van Nuys Blvd.

Although mostly 1960′s and later, older Deco gems pop up too…:

…as well as Deco wannabes, in this case vintage 1975:

There are many great murals along the way, like this one under an overpass,..:

…and this one on a dying building where it’s nice to see life…:

….and this one where it’s nice to get money.:

There’s also a lot of art like this lining the boulevard:

Then there’s buildings like this that are art itself:

And then there’s a type of ‘artful’ building way down at the other end of the tip, like this superstore that looms like a Mayan ruin:

Though not quite as towering as that ‘ancient’ Mayan statue. this is even more impressive to kitsch seekers such as Charles and myself:

A chicken dressed as a cowboy standing on top of a building is one thing. But a store name on top of a building that can only be seen from one side of the street and only in full from a fairly far distance doesn’t seem like the most effective signage. Especially with an ‘I’ that looks like a ‘T’ and an ‘S’ that’s hidden by a tree:

The color palette on these two buildings is pretty great:

You probably think it’s the pink building with the 70′s supergraphic relief that I like most.

But it’s the ancient Greek ruin next to it that makes my kitsch heart spin like a drunken roulette wheel:

Ancient Athens is also alive in this statuesque motel sign down the street:

This building may not have Greek columns but that fake wall is pretty classic:

I love round buildings when they come with a matching car:

That scalloped fence would make a nice companion piece to this rooftop:

Normally I would be pointing out the features on the 1950′s motel in back of me but all I can see is the crazy position my lips are in, as if someone Photoshopped them on:

Let’s pull in tight on that:

I’m assuming there are a fair share of lips in weird positions at The Godfather Gentleman’s Club too, just down the street.

And finally, there it was, Beeps, the 50′s diner neither of us knew about until hanging a left off of Van Nuys at Sherman Way and spotting this pulsating pillar of pinkness:

Double cheeseburger, fries and kitschtastic interiors coming up tomorrow. See you then!

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Categories: Architecture, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, People, Place, Transportation, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – All Aboard THE WIENERMOBILE!!! – Part 2

If you’re just jumping aboard The Wienermobile, please exit through the rear and check out Part 1 of my adventure with Susan Olsen,a.k.a. Cindy Brady, and Charles Phoenix, without which Part 2 lacks context. Wagging the tail without the (hot) dog as it were.

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch ‘O The Day – How One Year Ended and the Next Began

The entertainment portion of the holidays started out on Christmas Eve day at Michael McDonald‘s and me using my iphone for photos. This is a no-no if you’re expecting recognizable lifeforms when you flip the setting so you can see what you’re shooting. The shots come out like those portraits made out of of macaroni and rice. Not the best look for the holidays but here I am with the excessively pixelated Michael and Prudence Fenton:

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Categories: Celebrity, Film, Holidays, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Party, People, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – All Aboard THE WIENERMOBILE!!! – Part 1

I’ve only waited a lifetime for a ride in the famed Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and last Wednesday, December 14, my dream came true!! Susan Olsen, a.k.a. Cindy Brady, the youngest of the B. Bunch, Charles Phoenix, Mark Blackwell and I hopped aboard and rode the wiener to some of our favorite kitsch spots in the San Fernando Valley. When one is onboard such a vehicle, photo opps are not to be missed!

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Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Art, Brands, Celebrity, Clothes, Fashion, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, People, Place, Sculpture, Self expression, Sign, Toy, Transportation, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Being Even More Fluff – Part 1

So the Fluff gang, most of whom flew down from the Oakland/Palo Alto area, have all boarded planes and taken their Fluff-filled tummies home after an extraordinary weekend of sugar highs and flea marketing. As I said on Sunday when I documented some of the fluff-tweaked tasty treats that filled our gullets, between everyone’s cameras there are literally thousands of shots to go through. This is also a huge music deadline week for me and one during which I should be working on my live show, Allee Willis’ Soup To Nuts Party Mix, my first live performance since walking off stage in the middle of my own show in 1974. So I’m going to do this most fluffy Fluff post in pieces, one for each day it takes for my sugar levels to return to normal. So please tune in tomorrow to get the full picture of the marshmallow madness that took place at Willis Wonderland this weekend and from which I am still pulling Fluff off the walls and my clothes.

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Categories: Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Party, People, The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch at AWMOK.com

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Baking A Cherpumple With Charles Phoenix VIDEO!

This short film of my bff Charles and I baking his acclaimed Cherpumple, three pies stuffed inside of three cakes, is as much about a great friendship as it is about a brilliant and inventive edible. A frequent guest of Martha Stewart as well as a vintage slide show impresario, Charles is a kitschmeister of the highest order. We go on weekend drives a lot together, often in search of kitschifyingly wonderful foodstuffs. But recently we had an incredible kulinary adventure right here at Willis Wonderland baking the aforementioned Cherpumple.

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Categories: Art, Creative process, Food, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, People, Recipes

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Kitschtastic East LA and My Saturday Ride with Charles Phoenix

As many of you know, one of my favorite things in the world to do is to take rides with my BFF, Charles Phoenix, and go to places in and around LA that most people don’t know about unless they live in that part of the city. One of my absolute favorite things about LA is that there are so many different sections of the city. But the shame is that so few people who live here venture east of downtown. Charles and I, on the contrary, always venture east and, trust me, it never disappoints. If you’re heading south on the 101, make sure you drive farther than this building (and not just to get off to go the Music Center, Disney Hall, or MOCA).

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Categories: Architecture, Art, Clothes, Crafts, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, People, Place, Sculpture, Sign, Transportation, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Drs. Casey and Kildare Diaries + Knee Progress

I’ve laid in bed two days now nursing my just-operated-on knee back to health.  As someone who literally never sits still, I’ve been a fairly model citizen since the surgery to repair a torn meniscus on Tuesday. Portable electronics certainly help and my love of bad television has been an excellent babysitter. But, most of all, I have excellent friends who have come to visit me and partaken in some spectacular photo ops:

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Categories: Celebrity, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Medical, Memorabilia, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Crumbs O’ The Day – 3 Day Old Donut Crumbs with Allee & Charles

A couple days ago, I documented my Sunday drive with Charles Phoenix, noting that our very first stop was for an appetizer at Spudnuts, a donut establishment where the donuts are made out of potatoes. We weren’t sure how these were gonna taste but I can tell you that the big fat cakey one I had was literally one of the best I’ve ever tasted.

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Categories: Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – My Sunday Drive with Charles Phoenix

One of my favorite things to do on a Sunday is to take a drive with my fabulous friend, Charles Phoenix, who knows the kitsch heights of Los Angeles and surrounding areas unlike anyone else on the planet. As we both adore LA and equally revere its vintage past, we regularly  tool through sections of town with unbelievable architecture and restaurants still unscathed by the wrecking ball. Usually we have a set destination but this time we just decided to get in the car and let the wheels take us where they may.

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Categories: Architecture, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, Place, Transportation, Travel

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