Downtown Santa Ana and the Howe-Waffle House

I'm researching a longer post (or maybe an article -- we'll see where it goes), so I hope you don't mind another photo tour of Santa Ana's historic architecture in the meantime.
I took today's photos last Tuesday, on a tour of Downtown for the benefit of J. Eric Lynxwiler. Eric (seen above at the Santora Building) is a graphic designer, a neon sign expert, and a knower-of-all-things Wilshire Blvd. He's involved with the Los Angeles Conservancy, the Museum of Neon Art and the historic photo collection at the L.A. Public Library. He was also co-author with Chris Merritt of the excellent recent book, Knott's Preserved.
I enjoy taking people on architecture tours because I get to see things through a new set of eyes. I've walked past this storefront in the Santora Building (1929) at least a few hundred times, but this time Eric made me stop and really appreciate details I'd missed before. Go see it yoursef at 207 N. Broadway, and be sure to check out the second floor interiors too. Amazing building. The fact that they're tearing the "Fiesta Marketplace" apart right now offered several opportunities to get clear shots of buildings that are usually obscured by signs, kiosks, lightposts, etc. This view of the Yost Theatre (1912), for instance, wouldn't have been possible a month ago. This theater, located at 305-307 Spurgeon St., began with live theater and vaudeville and later switched over to movies. These days, it seems to waver between being a Spanish-language movie theater or a church.
The photo above shows the Semi-Tropic Hotel (1888) at 312-316 W. 4th St. Note the amazing multi-layered "ghost signs" on the side of the building. The interior rooms upstairs have been turned into offices, but the lobby has been restored to reflect its roots as a hotel. An interior view is shown below. (Note the hotel clerk's window.) As Phil Chinn pointed out to me, "walking up those stairs is like walking back into the 1800s."
For what is essentially a fairly simple brick box, the Pacific Building (1925) at 225-227 N. Broadway, is somehow one of my favorite Santa Ana buildings. For some reason I never tried venturing inside until last week. There, we found that some of the original features (see photo below) -- like doors and parts of the staircase -- are still entact. Very nice.
The stretch of North Broadway between 10th and 17th has more cool little apartment buildings than any stretch of road has a right to have. This next photo is a peek over the gate into the central courtyard of El Patio Real Apartments at 1228 N. Broadway.
Having trotted a few folks around on these haphazard "lunchtime tours," I'm now curious to see how organized, official tour guides handle it. I'm hoping to join one of the Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society's scheduled Downtown Historical Architecture Walking Tours. I'll stay in the back of the group and try to absorb as much information as I can. Unfortunately, I can't make it to the next one, but maybe you can...

Their next scheduled tour will begin in the formal parlor of the Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House & Medical Museum (1889), at 120 Civic Center Dr., on Saturday, Feb. 5, just before 2:30 pm. Tours are $8 per person.
This event will be held in conjunction with a special Valentine's Day celebration at the Howe-Waffle House, from noon to 4pm. The event will include a tour of this wonderful Victorian house, tea, and a "selection of delicious chocolates." There will also be displays of early valentine cards, and exhibits on the history of Valentine's Day. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and members, and $3 for K-12 students -- all of which helps support the house and the Preservation Society.

Choose your Valentine day gift

Choose the perfect Valentine's gift for your sweetheart.and please take comments whats your favorite gift for your lover

Valentine nail art

So I guess this is what happens when you are done with winter! We are moving on to bright fun colors and even some Valentine's nails. Woo hoo! I am just too excited to do Valentine's nails art. I couldn't help myself. This is pink acrylic in "barbie". The little red hearts I embedded into the acrylic and I painted on the red and white stripes.

 These nail art are especially for 2011 nail art

Graffiti Art

Graffiti (singular: graffito; the plural is used as a mass noun) is the name for images or lettering scratched, scrawled, painted or marked in any manner on property. Graffiti is any type of public markings that may appear in the forms of simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Graffiti has existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire
In modern times, paint, particularly spray paint, and marker pens have become the most commonly used graffiti materials. In most countries, marking or painting property without the property owner's consent is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime. Sometimes graffiti expresses social and political messages and a whole genre of artistic expression is based upon spray paint graffiti styles. To some, it is an art form worthy of display in galleries and exhibitions; to others it is merely vandalism. Graffiti has evolved into a pop culture existence often related to underground hip hop music, b-boying, and a lifestyle that remains hidden from the general public.Graffiti 2011 can be used as a gang signal to mark territory or to serve as an indicator or "tag" for gang-related activity.
Controversies that surround graffiti continue to create disagreement amongst city officials/law enforcement and graffitists who wish to display and appreciate work in public locations. There are many different types and styles of graffiti and it is a rapidly developing artform whose value is highly contested, reviled by many authorities while also subject to protection, sometimes within the same jurisdiction.
This hub will show you where and how to find raw graffiti pictures


   Stefani Gabriella Germanotta (later known as Lady Gaga) was born in March 1986, in New York, New York, to an Italian family. She attended Convent of the Sacred Heart school and, as a little girl, she remembers singing into a plastic tape recorder to the likes of Cyndi Lauper and Michael Jackson. By age 4, Lady Gaga had taught herself to play the piano, and when she was a teenager, she penned her first song. When she was just 14, she was playing open mike nights at New York’s Bitter End, and by the age of 17, she had been accepted into the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.

Lady Gaga started working the local Lower East Side club scene, performing then-hits like "Beautiful Dirty Rich" while donning her unique stage outfits. When she was 20, she started working for Interscope Records and was busy writing songs for other musical groups, such as The Pussycat Dolls.

In August 2007, Lady Gaga performed at Lollapalooza.

 Lady Gaga 2011 is an up-and-coming singer with the smash hit singles "Just Dance" and "Poker Face" off of her debut album The Fame
Lady Gaga is known for her unique style, which makes us like her for standing out in a sea of Tinseltown blonde bombshells. Her individual flare, paired with her killer vocals, makes for quite the pretty package. She's often photographed wearing eccentrically revealing clothing, and has been known to forgo pants altogether


Vida Guerra Born in Havana, Cuba, on March 19, 1974, Vida Guerra moved with her family to New Jersey when she was 6 years old. Outgoing, even at that young age, Vida Guerra quickly adapted to the new country and culture. She developed into a bright, beautiful young woman and began getting involved in dance and some modeling, strutting around in a G-string when she was 18 for a fashion show in her hometown of Perth Amboy.

After posing for FHM, Vida Guerra danced in the video for P. Diddy et al's "Shake Ya Tailfeather," and made headlines after she was seen with loudmouth New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey. Vida Guerra also appeared in Comedy Central'sChappelle's Show, ESPN2's Cold Pizza and the short film Writer's Block.