Remember Mexico City in the 1940s? Here's another good one.
Via LAObserved, this is an L.A. Public Library photograph showing the intersection of 1st Street and Broadway in downtown L.A., with a view of the corner where the gloomy Times Mirror corporate building now stands.
That's on the block that is sometimes gallantly known as Times Mirror Square, the headquarters of the once-storied L.A. Times company, where I went to work between 2002 and 2006 (and work now again, from farther away). In 1954, it looked like this. Look closely. There's a sign for a "Mexico City Cafe" in the mid-right, near the woman's head.
Come again? A place called Mexico City Cafe in downtown Los Angeles in the 1950s? Boggles the mind. A quick search turned up zero, and I'm left wondering and imagining ... Who founded it? How long was it there? What did this place look like inside? What was on the menu?
How did regular downtown Angelenos in the period respond to and interact with this cipher from its future "sister city"? Did LAT staffers or City Hall workers take lunch there? Did they like it? And, what are the cafe's ghosts?
This calls for a Serious Investigation. Mike Davis?
** EXTRA: Zocalo Public Square, another of my writing homes, asked this week, "What Movie (Besides Chinatown) Best Captures L.A.?" I thought of this one.