By the end of the 17th Century, high heels were considered women’s shoes. Indeed, so strong was the connection between shoes and gender that a man wearing high heels could be arrested in New York under a law that forbade people from congregating in public while “disguised by unusual or unnatural attire.” First passed in 1845 to suppress masked political protests, this law was later used to justify the arrest of cross-dressing performers and bar patrons. Many similar laws persisted until the late twentieth century, when changing fashions and cultural norms rendered them unenforceable
Now that the snow and frigid cold are kicking off the New Year here in Manhattan, I am looking back fondly at my recent week long holiday trip to Southern California, where I enjoyed clear blue skies, bright sun and warm temperatures each and every day! California!
On the Sunday before Christmas, my BFF Sue (Pictured above) and I went on an adventure to Griffith Park in Los Angeles, where we rode the vintage Merry Go Round with extreme glee!
Located in Park Center between the Los Angeles Zoo and the Los Feliz park entrance, the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round was built in 1926 by the Spillman Engineering Company and brought to Griffith Park in 1937. It features 68 horses, each of which moves (in other words, it’s “a jumper”). Each horse is finely carved with jewel-encrusted bridles, detailed draped blankets and decorated with sunflowers and lion’s heads.
A Stinson 165 Military Band Organ, reputed to be the largest band organ accompanying a carousel on the West Coast, plays over 1500 selections of marches and waltz music. It is pretty cool and reminded me of Disneyland for some reason.
This is my horse, which I named Lightning Bug. The Merry Go Round goes remarkably fast and will actually make your hair blow back with the wind it kicks up, so I am guessing that if you are just a little bit stoned or drunk it is much more fun to ride than if you are sober. Fortunately, seat belt-type things are provided, so you can secure yourself onto your trusty steed!
It costs just $2.00 (what a bargain!) to ride the Merry Go Round for what is probably just a few minutes but feels like a good amount of time. Wee!
They sell these pinwheels there as well.
Here is another photo of the Organ, which I believe may have been fancied up for the Christmas Season.
Here is some additional Christmas Fanciness! I believe in this display, animals in hats are meant to be selling shoes, or perhaps specifically; horse shoes.
As is the case with anything these days, there are a few rules that should be followed. At any rate, I recommend you visit the Merry Go Round if you happen to be in the area, and have yourself some fun!
The Merry Go Round at Griffith Park is Open Weekends throughout the Year and Weekdays during the Summer, and over Christmas and Easter vacations, from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
“In September 2006, I spent 10 days shooting the interior of legendary NYC rock club CBGB. Six weeks later the club closed its doors forever, and the fabled walls and stage were dismantled. A year after that, as former owner Hilly Kristal succumbed to cancer, a high-end clothing store negotiated to take over the space.
The club had been a favorite venue for countless rock and punk acts, but for those few days my experience of the club was the exact opposite of most people’s. I came to look forward to my visits as a time of peaceful solitude. I arrived each morning at 11:00 with my tripod and camera, greeted Hilly at his desk, and then passed into a silent and empty club. During the following three to five hours of shooting, I rarely saw another human. The club was so dark, even during the day, that I had to carry a flashlight. After framing each shot, I took five to seven bracketed exposures, with each exposure lasting as long as 30 seconds, and I ended up with more than 1800 individual frames.
And that’s how I came to spend hour after hour sitting stock still in CBGB, alone in the dark among the empty beer bottles and broken guitar strings and abandoned drum sticks, waiting in the silence for the shutter to close.”
Limited edition prints of the CBGB Stage (Above, click This Link) and the venue’s Cash Register (Below click This Link) are available while supplies last via Jen Bekman’s 20X200. All prints are available framed or unframed, Artist-signed + numbered with a certificate of authenticity included. These prints are very reasonably priced and will sell out fast, so get them while you can!