Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bombing of Harry Raymond

Clifford visits Harry Raymond after the bombing.
Photo: UCLA Special Collections
Private investigator Harry Raymond knew he was being watched.

By January of 1938, Los Angeles Police Capt. Earle Kynette and Lt. Roy Allen were spending more time at a small house in Raymond's Boyle Heights neighborhood. In September, Kynette rented a spy house down an alley across from 955 Orne St. A wiretap connected to telephone lines to monitor the investigator's conversations.

Raymond, a former chief of the San Diego and Venice police departments, had become a target of the LAPD's Metropolitan Special Investigation Unit (known as the "spy squad"). Raymond was the prime witness in a fraud trial stemming from Mayor Frank Shaw's 1933 election campaign. Raymond had uncovered evidence linking Shaw's administration to gambling and prostitution rings while working for Ralph Gray. His client was a campaign worker who was owed $2,900.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Clifton's Brookdale Reborn

Clifton's Brookdale's new owner took the first step toward restoring the cafeteria to its 1940s heyday, when he peeled off the aluminum-grill facade at 648 S. Broadway St. in early February.

Historic facade unveiled Feb. 9.
Photo: Paul Clinton
Nightclub owner and filmmaker Andrew Meieran, who acquired the cafeteria in 2010, plans to reopen Clifton's Brookdale, retaining the decor that made it famous. He plans to bring back menu items that diners remember fondly, including maceroni and cheese, beef stroganoff, and fresh strawberry pie.

On Feb. 9, the cafeteria's late-1930s facade revealed lodge-like windows that allow streams of natural light into a dining room that's reminescent of a big redwood forest. The theme has captivated and beguiled diners and Los Angeles visitors through the decades.