Up in the manicured hills of Los Feliz, a neighborhood that boasts at least three famous murder houses, the one with the weirdest history may be the Perelson house... where, deep in the night of December 6, 1959, a husband and father of three lost his fragile grip and went terribly, shockingly crazy. But the story only starts there.
Why did Harold Perelson snap? What does it mean when, without warning, the safety of a family home is shattered from within? And how do you explain what's happened to the house since?
This week on HOME: Stories From L.A., a mystery that's endured for almost 60 years, and the crime that set it in motion.
[I'm a huge fan of Bill Barol's podcast, HOME: Stories From L.A. It's the first podcast Bill has produced, and he knocked it right out of the park. HOME is one of the best narrative podcasts I've ever listened to. If you haven't listened to the six episodes from the first season yet, you are in for a treat. I'm very excited that for its second season, HOME has found a home in the Boing Boing podcast network. Thanks for sharing your work with Boing Boing's audience, Bill! – Mark]
HOME: Stories From L.A. asks the questions: What do we mean when we talk about home? And what does it mean to be at home on the edge of the American continent? In Season 1 we looked at the midcentury house on a hill where a forgotten genius from Hollywood's Golden Age lived out his last years; the empty spot on a Hawthorne street where Brian Wilson first dreamed of the harmonies that would make The Beach Boys great; the chicken magnate who's trying to keep a desert town on the old Route 66 from vanishing; the wandering that led an ex-Buddhist monk to the tech sector of Venice Beach; what it means, and what it meant, to grow up in the San Fernando Valley; and the fight to keep a venerable old Hollywood apartment building weird.
This week, to kick off Season 2:
When an elderly parent dies after a long life of lovingly acquiring things, she leaves behind more than memories for her kids. Read the rest
I finished listening to all six episodes from the first season of the new podcast, Home: Stories From L.A. It's reported, produced, hosted, and edited by Bill Barol, who has never done a podcast before, which is surprising because Home is so excellent. In the first six episodes, Bill told the stories about:
Herman Stein, who composed the music for more than 200 films, including lots of 1950s monster movies: Creature From The Black Lagoon, This Island Earth, It Came From Outer Space, The Mole People, Tarantula and The Incredible Shrinking Man. He also wrote the theme music for Lost In Space.
The creator of the Beach Boys memorial, built on the site of the Wilson family's demolished home in Hawthorne, California.
Amboy, CA, a ghost town 30 miles from anywhere on the old Route 66, and the chicken magnate who’s spent a fortune trying to keep it from collapsing into the desert sand.
The winding road that led an ex-monk from Bristol to Venice Beach. pGrowing up in the San Fernando Valley in the 1960s, a place that managed to be both the iconic American suburb and an industrial powerhouse that cranked out everything from beer to cars, and moon rockets to The Brady Bunch.
The sad fate of the Villa Carlotta, home to show business A-listers in the Golden Age, and later to a generation of young actors, writers and musicians — [which now] sits, a hollowed-out shell, on Hollywood’s Franklin Avenue.
If you live in Los Angeles, or just love Los Angeles, I highly recommend subscribing to it. Read the rest
Is Los Angeles prepared for the El Niño storms we're getting? An #ElPolloLoco in Lincoln Heights wasn't. Jacqueline Garcia shot this video of the roof about to collapse from the rain at about 1pm today, LA time.
“They evacuated people but when rain stopped they reopened,” she says.
UPDATE, 1034am PT: NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton says NYC got the same threats as LAUSD did, and determined it to be a hoax. Bratton says LA authorities are massively overreacting. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck disagrees.
Wouldn't be a Tuesday in America without an incident of mass violence or a threat of one.
“Officials closed all Los Angeles Unified School District campuses Tuesday morning after receiving a 'credible threat' of violence involving backpacks and packages left at campuses,” the Los Angeles Times was among the first to report today. LAUSD is America's second-largest school district, with more than 700,000 students.
L.A.’s infamous Chateau Marmont was the brainchild of famed attorney Fred Horowitz, who built it after returning from a vacation in Europe, where he’d been photographing the gothic castles and chateaus along the Loire Valley River in France. In 1929, The Chateau Marmont opened its doors to the Hollywood elite, billed as “Los Angeles’s newest, finest and most exclusive apartment house superbly situated…” (Google the rest.)
The Chateau was never meant to become a playground for the modern day self-proclaimed Hollywood Antidisestablishmentarianist, otherwise known as Beverly Hills kids with Los Feliz attitudes (which is irony in itself, as Los Feliz has now become the city of lost feelings where the average go to be uniquely average). If I hear one more malnourished, vapid ‘It girl’ say, “Oh my God let’s go to the Chateau! Their Bolognese is like sooooooo good!”, I’m going to poke my fucking eyeballs out with the pointless pen they have tucked behind their ear in hopes that it will provoke someone into asking them if they are a writer. So let me break this down for you.
First of all, the Bolognese is shit. Mediocre at best.
Second, judging form the slender physiques of their patrons, frequent trips to the bathroom, white creamy shit in the corner of their mouths, and their inability to shut the fuck up…NO ONE IS GOING THERE TO EAT!
Third, and finally, the Chateau Marmont is where douchebags go when they need to fill their social inadequacies.
As I write this I am actually at the Chateau wondering, “Am I an L.A. Read the rest
Jim Turner, Mark Fite, Dave "Gruber" Allen and Craig Anton put up the most fun show I have seen in years! Individually they are brilliant, accomplished actors, as a team 2 Headed Dog is an unstoppable absurdist force.
I understand that Jim Turner's Choam Underhill will be making an appearance. I'm certain to attend, as I lack enlightenment. Read the rest
We're launching the new paperback edition of "Information Doesn't Want to Be Free, my book of practical advice and theory for artists trying to make sense of the net (it features intros by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer, too!) at Santa Monica's Diesel Books. Read the rest
I'm not as much of an ukulele fanatic as I once was, but when my daughter and I were in Little Tokyo on Saturday and came across U-Space, a store that sells ukuleles and espresso, I had to check it out.
The store has a large wall of ukuleles in all the sizes, from the itty bitty sopranos all the way up to the baritones (which are typically tuned like the four high strings on a guitar). U-Space has tables and comfy couches for drinking coffee and listening to ukulele music. There's also a counter with a couple of inexpensive ukes and instructions with simple chords so that everyone who comes in can have fun playing.
The proprietor, Jason Arimoto, is a very friendly guy. We had a nice chat and I asked him if I could take his photo. He was happy to oblige. He was holding a newly-released clear plastic ukulele, which cost $50 and sounds great. The non-clear plastic ukes sell for $40. These plastic models would make excellent starter ukes. Jason said they are modeled after the plastic ukulele that Arthur Godfrey pitched on TV in the 1950s, selling millions and millions of them. I was very tempted to buy the clear one, but I have enough ukuleles at home that don't get played as it is. Instead, I ordered an espresso, and Jason pulled a perfect double shot for me.
Police were called to a gated property in the exclusive Los Angeles community of Beverly Glen today “after a caretaker at the home reported a disturbance.” A man identified as 28-year-old prince Majed Abdulaziz Al-Saud was arrested on suspicion of forced oral copulation of an adult.
An LAPD spokesperson said that a diplomatic liason desk determined that Al-Saud does not have immunity in this case. He is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 19.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Neighbor Tennyson Collins said a resident reported seeing a bleeding woman scream for help as she tried to scale the property’s 8-foot-high wall Wednesday afternoon.
When Collins drove home from work after 1:30 p.m., police followed his car through the gates and onto the property, which he described as a compound. The website Zillow valued the 22,000-square-foot property at $37 million.
"Saudi prince arrested at L.A. compound for alleged sex crime" [LA Times/Joe Serna]
Read the rest
An animated interview with Rashida Jones in which she discusses the "perfect, idyllic, hippie-meets-suburban vibe" of her Los Angeles childhood, including the time her father, legendary music producer Quincy Jones, broke her Grease record over his knee, visits from Michael Jackson and his snake, and her 7th grade devotion to the Church Lady. Read the rest
Los Angeles police are searching for the identity of this burglar, who accidentally shot and published a selfie with his victim's iPhone. Read the rest