Driving in LA, streets become movies framed by your windshield.


Ending up baked and brown is enough to make any clucker religious.


These three chicks are painted on the wall below the four Eggs of Life. Is that a tear cascading down the rooster’s beak cheek? I don’t want to die! A giant rooster graces the roof of this polleria, a proud cock to advertise the breasts and thighs available here.

Jollibee relies on models instead of murals:
As does the “LA Style” hair salon:

Back to the murals:


muralladyclose2.jpg muralman2.jpg
“For Pet” belongs to “Pets Life” which is one of many multi-tasking shops in the hood…



There are signs that don’t feel any incongruity with their partners:


Signs that are obscured…


And everywhere, water for sale.


There are places that aren’t afraid to be #2 (though I could find no evidence of #1).

This sign looks like crime scene tape to me:

Streets are characters in this hood: Beverly and Virgil. Let Beverly take you west a few more blocks and you find yourself in Hancock Park. Pollo is poulet and the lawns are large, green and flat. The movie is less interesting mostly because there’s less evidence of a human hand in the signs and storefronts. Murals are few and far between and mostly painted over. Poster children and men and women are thin, polished and perfect-teethed, smiling and happy to be in two-dimension outside of salons, ayurvetic and Aveda alike.

I like to roll my windows down and listen to Beverly and Virgil as I watch their movie unspool in front of me. Hay helado! Helado aqui! People are on the streets in this part of town. Men carrying large balloons tethered to an eight-foot pole and shaved ice and frozen fruit is for sale on the corner from a large rolling cart. But mostly it’s the signs I hear calling to me, loudly, as they shout over one another. The even stare of a red-lipped woman frescoed into the front of a building cuts through the noise as she fixes me with her crossed-eyes, welcoming me at all times of the day and night and daring me to call this place home.


9 responses to “Drive-bys”

  1. Lane says:

    More posts like this!

    I love pictures of California. The mad jumble of cartoon characters and cultures and crap.

    And all so perfectly preserved, that weather looks so nice.

  2. Tim Wager says:


    A wonderful post! And curses! I’ve been planning a post just like this for a while. I love taking pictures of hand-painted murals all over LA. You even included one of my favorites here – “For Pet.” That Debbie’s Party/Haircut sign is about 2 blocks from our place; I see it almost every day and I’m still fascinated. Perhaps I’ll do the post all the same, knowing that at least Lane will appreciate it.

  3. Marleyfan says:

    You really “spealize” in Juicylicious!

  4. Dave says:

    It’s great to see all these energetic vernacular signs, in a time when sometimes it seems like every corner coffee shop has some special logo and color scheme done by a 20-something design-school grad.

  5. Dave says:

    Also, the guy in the “Top Model Haircuts” photo is not exactly a good advertisement for beauty services.

  6. LP says:

    Wow, this kind of makes me want to live in LA.


  7. LT says:

    I know of a great Westside apartment, LP.

  8. Stephanie Wells says:

    Long Beach has a nice array of nail murals. Not murals made of nails, but paintings of women with long red acrylic nails that you too could procure if you just pulled over and went in. The hair, usually outlined in wavy white, is always as big as the nails are long. I could never top these illustrations of yours though. The sad leprechaun clown at Debbie’s Party!

    LP: I hear Melrose and Sweetzer is bangin’.

  9. W2 says:

    Woo woo! All LP, all the time. I was in a bar last night that had a “Parrish” room. Fo’ reals. Maybe you’re already here for good. And Lane, the perfect weather perfectly preserves us all. Hard to believe I’ve been in this town for (gasp) going on thirteen years. Doesn’t seem a day over twelve.