Only in LA: Feel the wrath

gas-sign-harvey.jpgA billboard on the premises of a Mobil station in West L.A. says: "FEEL THE WRATH." Motorists filling up for $60 or $70 likely don't need any reminding. The ad is for a fantasy action movie, "Wrath of the Titans," which is not about the oil companies but about some previous villains. But let's not get carried away. Things could be worse for 21st century drivers. So far, I've found only one place---a 76 station, naturally--- that charges more than 450 bucks per gallon (of course, you have to buy a car wash to get such a low price).

But you'll never get my commuter mug!

arm-and-leg-harvey.jpgI'm surprised I haven't heard of anyone reprising a gas station sign that appeared out in the Valley several years ago.

Car culture note #78,152

no-walk-harvey.jpgThe city of Norwalk has evidently opened a public square that is off-limits to pedestrians.

Don't pick the weeds

islands-la-harvey.jpgSorry to report that a national park has been shut down on the Westside. At least, I assume the concrete traffic island has been decertified inasmuch as its very official-looking sign has been removed from the corner of National Boulevard and Military Avenue. Too bad. What I always liked about this park on our family vacations there was that there was no admission.

Cutbacks (cont.)

Further research indicates that the sign at the hunk of pavement was of the guerrilla variety, posted by members of, which celebrates the existence of public spaces.

A landmark survives, though...

piece-o-pizza-harvey.jpgThat's the Piece O' Pizza on Venice Boulevard in West L.A., the only remaining stand of a popular chain of the 1950s, '60s and '70s. It was back in the era when the term "pizza pie" was still used. What made Piece O' Pizza well known was not its pizza but its saucy motto, "Had a piece lately?" In 1973, the company ran an explanatory newspaper ad titled, "The meaning of 'Had a piece lately'?" The chain explained with a straight face that it was simply asking customers if they had tried Piece O' Pizza's new Naples-style crust. To quote the name of another pizzeria, Mama Mia!

Speaking of cheesy

chee-zee-harvey.jpgOr, excuse me, Chee Zee. Such is the name of an apartment building on Woodbine Avenue in Palms, which obviously caters to daring tenants.

Extending the joke...

chee-zee-kraft.jpgAn orange-and-white sign lists the name of Chee Zee's management company. Hmm. That name, that design---they seem familiar....

Oh, yeah, now I remember


Meanwhile, in the mid-town area

On St. Andrews Place, you can find some true Swiss-style architecture.


The un-Dodgers...

quakes-foul-ball-harvey.jpgIf you're tired of the $15 parking in Chavez Ravine, there's always Rancho Cucamonga's minor league team. Its name is the Quakes, its home park is the Epicenter and one shopping area is Aftershock Alley. How much more L.A. can you get? Plus parking is $4. Just watch out for flying baseballs.

The definition of an Angeleno?

When Saba Hamedy began college at Boston University she mentioned to a couple of fellow students from the East that she was from Southern California. One of them remarked, "I bet you have a complicated Starbucks order."

OK, time to knock off for this week.


I'll stop-pa right here.

Steve Harvey contributes to LA Observed. He can be reached via email at

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