Buzzfeed’s shotgun method of cute animals, half-baked nostalgia, and bizarrely specific checklists has managed to post something of serious interest to readers of my two Candlemark & Gleam titles, Mr Blank and City of Devils. Specifically, it’s a series of then and now pictures of Silver Lake, a bohemian neighborhood close to the center of the city that is home to Mina Duplessis, plus-sized model and zaftig agent for feminist ur-conspiracy VENUS. Though City of Devils takes place in the mid-1950s, the Night War has made the city essentially suspend development for eight or so years, making Los Angeles look more like it would in the late 1940s. With the addition of, like, all the monsters.
And, because this wouldn’t be complete without some native notes, here goes.
Picture #4 of the Glendale/Fletcher intersection shows the sign of a diner. That’s the Astro Family Diner, which is a decent breakfast spot, as long as you’re really hungry. And when I say hungry, I mean you just got back in town after floating, lost, on a raft for 3 weeks. In the back corner of the parking lot, there’s a tiny house. I visited it once during an open house but had to leave when I spontaneously developed claustrophobia.
The old part of Picture #6 was not taken on Sunet. It was taken on the ridge alongside it.
Lucas Kiddieland now has a home in the universe of City of Devils. I’ve been teasing clowns for long enough, right?
Picture #9 mentions that Tom’s closed down. Two points: 1) I was also surprised when I saw this just the other day. 2) This is not Tommy’s, the famous LA burger-chain where they put chili on everything. EVERYTHING. (The original is on Rampart, just down the block from the abandoned police station. No, seriously.) Tom’s was mainly distinct because they served RC cola instead of Coke.
Picture #10 shows the reservoir, which makes a cameo appearance in Mr Blank as the location in the beginning where the mysterious chest from the Brotherhood of Sisterhood gets stashed.
There you have it! Los Angeles in the days of Mr Blank and City of Devils. Pretty cool, right?