Then & Now: in L.A. getting rid of streetcars easier than getting rid of billboards

008 - Old - LATL 5 Line Car 1423 Northbound At Prw. & Crenshaw Bl. 19550507 (2)

Looking west from Crenshaw Boulevard, just south of 67th Street. Photo by Alan Weeks, via the Metro Transportation and Library’s Flickr stream. Click above to visit.

008 - New - Metro ROW now

Photo by Metro.

005 - Old - LATL 5 Line Car 1402 Southbound On Crenshaw Bl. At 60th St. 19541215 (2)

Looking north at Crenshaw Boulevard from 60th Street. Photo by Alan Weeks, via the Metro Transportation Library & Archive’s Flickr stream. Click above to visit.

Photo by Metro.

Photo by Metro.

Two observations from this set of past and present photos along Crenshaw Boulevard:

1. It’s a shame that there are so few food outlets remaining that serve both donuts and chili dogs.

2. Those set of three ugly nearly street level billboards in the bottom set of photos: They were there when Alan Weeks took captured his image on Dec. 15, 1954, and they were there last year when Metro staff took the bottom photo. Billboards in L.A.: once there, always there, eh?

Many thanks to Alan Weeks for capturing the two images from the 1950s and Metro’s Crenshaw/LAX Line construction staff for taking the modern photos.

About Alan: He worked for many years as a transit scheduler first with the RTD and later the MTA, now known as Metro. He is retired and very proud of his many years of public service — as he should be. Many of his photos of L.A.’s transit scene can seen on the Metro Transportation Library & Archive’s Flickr page, which as of this morning had 8,915 images and is still growing.

If you’ve enjoyed our Then & Now posts, then you are morally obligated to check out the Metro Library’s Historypin page, a sophistacted mapping tool that allows you to overlay historic photos with current street views. It is, trust me, epically cool. Here’s a Source post from last week explaining Historypin; check out the photo from Crenshaw and 60th on Historypin. Very cool.

Go Metro to the 5th annual Taste of East LA


The 5th annual Taste of East L.A. will be serving up tasty eats on Saturday, September 7. The event starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 8 p.m. and cost for the event is $20 for 20 Taste Coupons.

Located at East L.A. Civic Center Station off of the Metro Gold Line, this community event transforms the area into a lively street festival complete with local entertainment and celebrities, children’s activities and vendors.

Food lovers will be able to satisfy their taste buds by sampling food and beverages from an assortment of over 20 restaurants. Whether it be a poblano mole from Moles La Tia, rotisserie chicken from Juan’s Chicken or Que Delicious’ fruit smoothie, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

The Taste showcases the many great restaurants that make East LA a truly desirable destination for a wonderful dining experience.

To plan the route that’s best for you, use the Metro Trip Planner.

Where there is life …

Two kinds of breakfast burritos and sprouted hummus.

Two kinds of breakfast burritos and sprouted hummus.

Raw food alert! Even if you’re eating for flavor rather than for health, LifeFood Organic restaurant in Hollywood is certainly worth a stop. It’s vegan in a good way — the way those of us who don’t think we could ever give up fish and cheese — find inspiring. And the raw tortilla wraps are delicious. Even if burgers are your best friend, you will find the food refreshing, if not fascinating.

At first glance it may seem a little on the pricey side ($12 for a breakfast burrito) but consider that everything is made by hand, from scratch and from fresh ingredients. Would you make a tortilla by hand from apples, coconut, zucchini and nuts for that price?

LifeFood Organic is at 507 Cahuenga Blvd. — it’s a short and healthy walk from the Hollywood/Vine Red Line Station.

Go Metro Weekends, August 23 – 25

Levitt Pavilion Pasadena. Photo: Peter Zuehlke

Levitt Pavilion Pasadena. Photo: Peter Zuehlke

Friday night, join the Music Center for Dance Downtown. All are welcome to learn traditional Japanese festival dances. The free lesson takes place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Metro Red/Purple Line to Civic Center Station, Metro Bus 10 to Temple/Grand)

Saturday is your last chance to enjoy the free Summer Music Festival concerts at Levitt Pavilion in Pasadena. Quetzal takes the stage at Levitt Pasadena at 8 p.m. (Metro Gold Line to Memorial Park Station, Metro Bus 267/264 to Walnut/Raymond)

On Sunday, head to Levitt MacArthur Park for José -Luis Orozco and Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon performed by Omega String Quartet and Julie Christensen. Orozco is a children’s author, songwriter and performer, and he takes the stage at 4 p.m. Omega String Quartet and Julie Christensen begin playing at 7 p.m. Both concerts are free. (Metro Red/Purple Line to Westlake/MacArthur Park Station, Metro Rapid 720 to Alvarado/Wilshire)

Don’t forget, if you’re going to FYF Fest this weekend, go Metro! Metro Rail will run extra service on Sunday night so concertgoers can get home safely, and if you go Metro you’ll get a free water and souvenir. (Metro Gold Line to Chinatown Station)

Destination Discount: save $3 on any item over $5 at Amoeba Music Store

Photo: _______

Amoeba Music Hollywood is located on 6400 W. Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles. Photo: Amoeba Records

In a time where old record stores are prehistoric to an avid music fan, Amoeba Music Store stands out as a ruby in the rough. Amoeba is a one-of-a-kind shopping experience in the heart of downtown Hollywood and has become a destination for music fans around the world to dig through crates of the most diverse collection of music and movies ever seen under one roof.

Go Metro and receive a discount of $3 on any item over $5 when you show a valid TAP card.* The exclusive discount is part of Metro’s Destination Discounts program. Go Metro to participating locations and events and you’ll save on admission, get discounts on meals, and receive free gifts.

Spend your money on music instead of gas by taking the Metro Red Line to Hollywood/Vine Station and walk two blocks south down Ivar Avenue towards Sunset Boulevard. To plan the route that’s best for you, use the Trip Planner.

Amoeba also has a first-class performance space that hosts weekly free all-ages concerts and events. Upcoming shows include Charles Bradley and Outerdrive.

For more information and a schedule of performances, visit

*This offer cannot be used with any other discount or sale offer. One item per discount, per person. One discount redemption per day, per customer.

The Day Pass Diary: Riding the Metro Orange Line

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When people in LA County hear “bus rapid transit,” the first thought is the Metro Orange Line. What’s bus rapid transit? In the words of LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, “It is like a rail line on rubber tires.” The Orange Line has made great strides since its opening in 2005 by improving mobility through the San Fernando Valley, bringing faster travel times, and a chance to discover the rich history and beautiful scenery of the valley. With the help of Metro, you can experience BRT all day for only $5 with a $5 Day Pass.

Here are some historic stops along the Orange Line:

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Destination Discount: free Grand Park sunglasses with Metro


Summer is almost over, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to be. Plenty of activities are still taking place at Grand Park, which also means plenty of chances to get a free pair of sunglasses.

Head to any of the upcoming free events at Grand Park and present your TAP card at the info booth to receive a free pair of stylish shades. The exclusive offer is part of Metro’s Destination Discounts program. Go Metro to participating locations and events and you’ll save on admission, get discounts on meals, and receive free gifts.

Thursday: Chill after work at Grand Park’s Out of Office concert; bring a picnic dinner, join a lawn game or just sit and relax. This week features the Colburn Summer Concert Band. The event takes place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday morning: Cool off at the splash pad and join in on a special fun activity! This week’s surprise activity features the Mobile Mural Lab, which will be in town from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Saturday evening: Enjoy a movie at the park with food trucks and live performances. This week’s flick is Sleepless in Seattle. Door open at 5:30 p.m. and the movie starts around 8:30 p.m.

Sunday: Don’t miss the last Sunday Session of the summer, bringing the best in electronic music performance. This week features The Leverage Agency Showcase with Acid Pauli and many others. The all day events starts at 2 p.m. and continues until 10 p.m.

Grand Park is served by the Red/Purple Line Civic Center Station and by Bus 10 and 81 to Hill/Temple. For more routes and connections, use Trip Planner.