Jun 26, 2007

A Los Angeles Time Machine of a Blog

The proposed entrance of the Los Angeles Zoo circa 1957. Courtesy of The Daily Mirror blog

For all the beatings blogging has taken in the MSM lately, I find much more treasure than trash in my browsing-often in the least likely places.
Saturday night, while looking for information on a long-closed L.A. restaurant that my parents took us to as kids("Poor Richard's"-a sort of Pleasure Island/Farrell's/miniature Grizzly Flats-styled eatery in my memory) I came across a terrific blog I'd no idea existed:
The Daily Mirror.

Larry Harnisch scours the local paper of 50 years ago, re-reporting mostly crimes--lurid, unsolved or simply odd--that were on the front pages of the day.
Much of it makes for disturbing but fascinating reading. One or two entries are unbearably poignant. Some I find myself skipping over because they're just too disturbing for me--although they were published in what was supposedly a quieter, gentler time. Don't believe it.

In his posts Harnisch frequently goes to the scene of an event as it is today, taking a photograph and ruminating on how things used to be in 1957.
He also features some of the ads and ad art from the paper, along with articles in no way connected with crimes that are simply neat. Here's one about a proposed version of our L.A. Zoo:
A Googie Zoo for L.A.

So if you're at all interested in local history or feel like stepping back into the real-life world that inspired "L.A. Confidential", this is a must.


Gareth said...

Hey Jenny, I am loving the concept drawings for that zoo, it would have been amazing! I really like the way the trees are rendered.

I love you blog and drawings too, I have been a silent reader and admirer... until now! Keep up the good work!

J. J. Hunsecker said...

Larry Harnisch is also an expert on the Black Dahlia case. I read his blog -- http://www.lmharnisch.com/ -- about the subject obsessively this past February.

Rogelio T. said...

You'd probably also like the 1947 project blog. It's a day by day blog that focused on 1947 Los Angeles crime, life, architecture and how they all interact. They also (if possible) show you the crime scenes today.

After they finished the year the site moved here and it's currently focused on 1927.

I used to read the 1947 blog a while back. It's pretty neat because at first when you read about all the daily crime reports like this one they seem crazy but after a while you begin to see all the factors involved and they all seem to make sense.