Ξ June 30th, 2008 | → Comments Off | ∇ 90041, Highland Park, The Arts |

All day A/C, a busy community pool, and the annual disappearance of those Lakers car pennants (at least until the next time the bandwagon starts filling up) all point towards summer kicking into full gear.  One of June’s highlights for me is the annual Highland Park Auto Show.  Just in case I might have forgotten it was Sunday, the roar of engines and squealing of car alarms woke me up early.  Since my dog is getting a little fat, I decided to take her out for a walk and enjoy the sights on Fig between Avenues 51 & 57.  Scalp tattoos, custom paint jobs that might be illegal in Utah, and vendors lined the street while hip-hop and Banda music mixed into a culturally appropriate milieu.  Note: You may want to avoid looking at the second to last picture at work.

Enjoy the photos:


“Elbows up side to side”







What a color!


The rug really ties the car together…




‘Scarface’ Trim


Second best paint job of the day


El numero uno



Not an import in sight


Monte Vista Fire

Ξ June 30th, 2008 | → 1 Comments | ∇ 90042, Highland Park |

Thanks to a tip from a helpful poster who accused us of becoming irrelevant (I was flattered to find out we ever had relevance), I found a local news clip of the fire that gutted the top floor of 5233 Monte Vista St.  Fortunately, no lives were lost in the fire.  I’ve attached exterior photos I took yesterday.

5233 Monte Vista


5233 Monte Vista


Clairville Plumbing – A Rare Gem

Ξ June 27th, 2008 | → 1 Comments | ∇ Highland Park |

Finding a good plumber/electrician/damn-near-anything in LA can be a real challenge.  If you happen to find a Yellow Pages that fits your area code (I have 818 and 626, no 323), you might be able to flip through the hundreds listed and get lucky with one.  If you try to Google “Highland Park Plumber” you get 200,000 results, the first of which are in Highland Park, IL.  Of course, you can use online Yellow Pages or Google Local, but it’s all still a crapshoot.

So I did it the old fashioned way.

Several months ago when I was buying my first Highland Park house (I rented before that), I needed a plumber to checkout a house that I was only thinking of buying.  There was a leak up front, and I needed some hard numbers to negotiate in the sale of the house.  Instead of Google or the phonebook, I called the numbers on the sides of buildings that I drive by everyday in our neighborhood.  First I tried Connor’s Plumbing on Eagle Rock Blvd.  Mr. Connor himself (I forget the first name) picked up the phone and was pretty abrupt.  Not rude, but not real helpful.  He wasn’t about to take a look at a house that I didn’t own, at least not for $50-100 bucks up front. 

“Maybe I’d do it for free,” he said, “if there was a 90% chance I’d get the job to fix it.”

“Hmmm, I thought, well now you have a zero percent chance of getting the job…”

Next I tried Clairville Plumbing on Colorado.

Mike Clairville was the exact opposite of abrupt.  In fact I learned early on to plan a good 10-20 minutes for a phone call with Mike.  Full of information (which may or may not be entirely useful), Mike has a lot to say about plumbing.  Eventually he told me, time permitting, he was more than happy to swing by and checkout the house, even though I wasn’t going to be there, or despite not owning it.  A few phone calls and a couple days later, Mike had a full, line item quote ready for me.

Fast-forward a few months and I’ve bought the house and the leak is, of course, still a problem, and even a new one had sprung up.  Without hesitation I called Clairville back.  The next day I had a plumber at my door, ready to take a look.  He fixed the new leak no problem and then took a look at the old.  As predicted before, the water main for the house was leaking and needed to be replaced.  This was going to require trenching, cutting across the cement driveway, and lots and lots of copper piping.

“It’s not worth it to have me do this,” the plumber told me.  Estimating around $5000, it made no sense to pay the labor for him or his company to do it.  Instead, he took the time to explain everything that needed doing, how I could do a lot of the non-plumbing related stuff myself, then even gave me a few ideas to try to fix the leak myself without having to replace the whole main.

So here was this plumber, talking to a guy who knows next to nothing about it, looking at a huge pay-day, and instead he takes the time to explain how I can do it cheaper and easier.  Awesome.  Thank you Clairville.


 Clairville Plumbing

1655 Colorado Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90041

(323) 256-5556



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