I’m not crazy. There really was a Carpeteria Man atop the Carpeteria showroom on the east side of Vine Street, just north of Santa Monica Boulevard. He was a genie who wore billowy trousers and a red vest over his shirtless manly chest and watched over his carpet collection with a sword. Actually, he may have had his arms crossed over his chest. But it was a big chest nonetheless.
Ed Magana, WOW post supervisor and fellow native Angeleno, remembers him. Sometimes, if I feel lost in Los Angeles because all of my favorite landmarks are gone, I just go to Ed and he remembers them with me. Or for me. And we have a memento moment. The Luau on Rodeo Drive, Ah Fongs on Beverly Drive. The Fish Shanty on San Vincente. And of course Beverly Park, or “Kiddie Park,” which graced the land that now boasts the Beverly Center. I remember the day they put up the CLOSED sign. The pony rides across the way were forsaken for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and parking lot.
There is much of Los Angeles besides the Brown Derby that has gone missing. Where have all the Carpeteria Men gone? The trains going down Santa Monica Boulevard. Angels Flight, both the funicular railroad and the restaurant. Jack LaLanne’s European Health Spa on Wilshire. C.C. Brown’s ice cream shop right here on Hollywood Boulevard. I saw films at the Pacific Theatre and Porky’s when it played at the old Egyptian on Good Friday. My mother dropped us off. We were simple Los Angeles kids back then. We had places to go and people to see, like the Bell Lady who can be seen in a Death Wish DVD. Our characters are disappearing. Who do you remember? Think of them today as you read this. Please help save your local character. Thank you.
(Looking for your local character? Try here.)