A day in Arlington Heights

Field trip day! I got up earlier than usual in order to make it out to Arlington Heights by 8:00am to meet up with Katie Horak and Allison Lyons of Architectural Resource Group (ARG). They told me they had been starting that early because it was nice to be able to get through a bit of the day’s work before it gets too hot. It’s also really nice to be able to take pictures of buildings early in the AM, while the fog of the early-morning marine layer still keeps the light soft and even. By 10:00am, the fog had already mostly burned off, and the bright hard sunlight made the contrast between light and shade almost more than the little digital camera could handle.

Allison takes advantage of the early-morning fog to get some photos for SurveyLA

Arlington Heights is the neighborhood just north of the 10 and east of Crenshaw—see http://mappingla.com/arlington-heights. Population of the district is about 23,000 people, with a density of about 21,000 people per square mile—one of the highest densities in Los Angeles, despite the fact that almost all of the housing stock is 1 and 2-story detached single-family houses with their own yards.

BEWARE OF DOG!! Katie somehow maintains her composure in the face of this frightening beast.

Fantastic houses, although an awful lot of them have had windows replaced and other changes. Of course, I completely understand why someone living in an 80-year-old-house with poorly-insulated and hard-to-fix windows might want to replace them with something a little more modern… but looking at it purely from the viewpoint of architectural history & historical integrity, it really is nice to come upon those few older houses that still have all the original wooden window frames and even the original glass.

Replacement of the original windows is one of the most common changes seen in older houses. As I was getting a lesson on the subject from Allison & Katie, I came upon these original windows out for the trash….

...which had obviously just been removed from this house in the process of a rehabiliation/repair project.

Seeing the architecture and getting a lesson from Allison on how to identify original vs replacement windows from a distance was pretty cool, but nonetheless after a few hours the main topic of conversation switched to where we’d have lunch. Allison and Katie have been using their time in Arlington Heights well, and gave me glowing reviews of a few stand-out places they’d gone for lunch previously—a great ceviche place, a wonderful Korean BBQ joint, and the famous Papa Cristo’s in the Byzantine-Latino Quarter.

Today we decided to go to a taco place on Venice Boulevard with the excellent name of “No ‘Q’ No.” When quizzed about the name, the woman behind the counter explained it was from a Spanish phrase that translates, as far as I could tell, as a sarcastic version of “I thought it was a no!” Idiomatically, though, a better translation might be “I told you so!” or “I told you that you’d like it!” For example, as she explained to us, say you are facing a new food and you are dubious about trying it because you don’t think you’ll like it—but then you do try it and it turns out to be really, really good. Then your friend who encouraged you to try it in the first place laughs at you and says “No que no!?”

Anyway, the food was really, really good! Try it, you’ll love it too. I didn’t try the ceviche tostada special, though… I’m not so into seafood, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t like it…

The No "Q" No in Arlington Heights

Allison and Katie take a break from architectural history and settle down for lunch.

About Steve Duncan

Urban explorer, photographer, and historian.
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