Southern California - Los Angeles
Ok, all these aren't in Los Angeles, but I don't know what's its own city and what's not down there... One thing I do know is that there were so many pennies on Hollywood Boulevard, that I had to make a separate Hollywood page.
"Disney's California Adventure" Disney is the biggest producer of smashed pennies and quarters (and nickels, I guess) around these days. I'm really kind of afraid to venture into one of their parks, for fear that I'll be overwhelmed with penny smashers. This coin shows two Mickey's consulting a map of all the many penny machine locations in the park. (please notice how many folds it has...) ohyeah, no idea where I got this one.
"Bodyworks - Claifornia Science Center" This place is in Los Angeles, right next to the LA Memorial Coliseum. Brady and I went there in October 2004 with Karin, Rick, Eva and Travis to see the Body Worlds exhibition. Don't get confused about the names.
I don't know much about the "California Science Center", except that it's a great big museum with a bunch of museums around it. It's in Museum Land! Yes, I was there, but we went for the specific exhibit, didn't look at much else, and were kind of queasy when we finished. Plus I think Brady and I had to go straight to the airport afterwards.
"High Wire Bicycle - California Science Center" - It's in Los Angeles. (I think you know this by now.) They have this bicycle right in the front and you can ride it. (for a nominal fee.) It's on a wire and has balance weights, so I think it's pretty tough to fall over, in fact I think a person could make one in their backyard. ( I tried, but couldn't find an example of someone who did this, so you can be the first!)
I didn't see the space shuttle at the "California Science Center" when Brady and I went there with her mother and brother and their spouses (it was a party) in October 2004. We were looking for the penny smashers, who needs the science stuff?
This is how you have to dress when you go to the "California Science Center" in Los Angeles. I'm not knocking the lack of atmosphere... ok maybe I am.
ok, I rarely accept coins from people anymore. I just decided that I like to get them myself, but when my old pal Jennifer Edwards sent me a few ,I had to accept them because she wrote long descriptions about getting the coins. This one came from the Pez shop on the Universal City Walk in Hollywood. According to Jennifer, "You're not famous until they put your head on a pez."
Let me say this right from the start: I am NOT the "Los Angeles Dodgers #1 Fan", but I did go to a game at Dodger Stadium on September 20th, 2003. Brady and I went with Travis and Eva and watched the Giants beat the nasty Dodgers 6-0.
I remember going to a game back in 1995 that Nomo pitched against the Giants. It was his rookie season and the place just seemed to be filled with Japanese fans and press. I never really thought that he'd go back to the Dodgers. Shows what I know, he not only went back, but they made a smashed penny out of him... maybe that's why he went back...
This is the Dodgers logo, The night we went to Dodger Stadium they gave out thunderstix, inflatable noisemaker tubes about 3 feet long. Throughout the game a couple of guys in front of us (we had great seats between the screen and the Giants dugout about 10 rows back) would get up and make the dodgers logo with their two pairs of thunderstix trying to atract the tv cameras. Up until about the 6th inning, the were making the L backwards. I probably should have told them, it might've made then sit down sooner.
This is Shawn Green, rightfielder for the Dodgers. He has got to be one of the worst rightfielders in the game. I about 10 games between the Giants and Dodgers in 2003, including 2 in Dodger Stadium, and I swear Green had a misplayed ball in every game. They almost always cost the Dodgers a run, and at least once cost them the game. Hey, all that aside, he's still a great player.
So we were plannning to go to the Saturday night Giants game at Dodger Stadium for a long time, got great seats with the help of our Giants Season ticket rep, and then my friend Byron calls and asks if we want to the Sunday afternoon game too. I couldn't turn him down, but man it was hot, I was recovering from a terribly sprained ankle, and he made us walk from way out in the back in Elysian Park. And then the Giants got tarred in the game, they were ahead and then they gave up 3 consecutive homeruns in the 4th. Sheesh.
Another LA logo. There are 2 4-die penny machines at Dodger Stadium (sept 2003), one is all the way at the "Top of the Park" and the other is on the field level. They're pretty tight about access at this ball park, so if you don't have a field level ticket (which I did), I don't know how you'll be able to get to the field level machine. Oh well, good luck.
"Dodger Stadium" is a good ballpark and I generally like it except that theres not real good way to get from level to level once you're inside. From the Filed level, there an escalator to the next level, but after that you have to wait in line for a big freight elevator, that take about 10 minutes each way. I went all the way up to the top, where this penny machine was, but then had to go down the service stairs all the way rather than waiing in the huge line for the elevator.
Something I did like about that Sunday game at Dodger Stadium, other than the great time seeing Alex and Byron, were the tacos I got up on the reserved level. They were great! The place I got them was right by Aisle 19 or 21. If you go to Dodger Stadium, it's worth getting them. But take the stairs back down to to your seats, don't wait for the elevator. Fortunately (or unfortunately) my seats were in the sweltering sun right near the taco stand.
In September 2003, Brady and I went to Los Angeles to visit her brother Travis and, his soon-to-be wife, Eva. We were going to the Giants game that saturday night, but thought we'd go up the road, (they live in Venice) to the Santa Monica pier. There was some crazy event where people push parade floats off the end of the pier to the cheers of hundreds of onlookers. We got a good look at some of the floats, but couldn't see the spot where they fell into the water. There were just too many people.
While we were on the Santa Monica Pier with Travis & Eva, we decided to give the roller coaster a try. The "West Coaster" is crappy, especially when the last roller coaster you rode was the Cyclone at Coney Island. (which we did back in July 2003) If you go out to Santa Monica, you can just skip it, in fact, you can probably skip the whole Santa Monica Pier, unless of course you're looking for this penny. (it's not hard to find.)
Here's something I didn't see at the Santa Monica Pier, a carousel. Maybe it was becasue there were so many darned people there for this energy drink flying machine event thing. Don't know what I'm talking about? Neither do I, but I did find some pictures someone took of it (my camera batteries were dead of course.)
"Sunny California" - Darren Boshart sent me this penny. I don't know why. I like it though, thanks Darren.
"Jurassic Park - Universal Studios Hollywood" My friend Jonna sent me this one from her trip to, duh, Universal Studios. I went there as a kid, but I really don't know where it is. When I was there I remember the big draw being riding through the parted Red Sea and then having Jaws pop out of it. Boy, good thing ol' Moses didn't have that to contend with. Thanks a lot, Jonna!
"Venice Beach, California" Another penny that I don't know how I got, (2003 resolution - keep better track) When I was in Venice back when I was a pen salesman (that's not a typo, but it is a different story), all I did was get real drunk one night with an old friend. (that's a different story too) Anyway, there's something simple about this penny that I just kind of like.
My dear dear friend Jonna sent me this penny from Sparky's in Hollywood. She didn't tell me much about it, so I looked on the web and found of course that "Sparky" was Charles Shulz' nickname, so that explains why Charlie Brown is on this penny... it doesn't really tell me much about Sparky's though. Update! - Some helpful people wrote and told me some things about this penny!
I think "Eric H. Goodwin" was a big time "collector of Wagaman elongateds" because he had his own coin made up detailing the fact. I also think that he sold his entire collection (thousands of coins) to a guy in Anaheim. (this is just speculation.)
"Universal City Studios Inc - Frankenstein's Monster" A friend of mine and I were having an argument about what the most common connotation is for the word "Frankenstein". Do you think of the Doctor or the Monster? I got this penny at the Flea market in 2002.
"Universal Studios" That's a very nice 3D version of Jaws on the penny. Some people think that Jaws is one of the greatest movies ever made. (Can you tell that I'm struggling for something to say? Yup, I got this one at the flea market too. I think it cost me 50 cents.)
"Celebrating Walt Disney's 100th Birthday" - Woody, Nancy, and Miranda went to Disneyland in 2002. (They had to keep it a secret from Miranda or she would have not been able to sleep the night before) They got me this quarter from there, but couldn't give it to me until Miranda forgot about it. Thanks you guys!
"Long Beach CA" - Jonna sent this one to me. It's got a mermaid with a harp sitting on a big shell. I think it kind of looks like her.
"Los Angeles Zoo - Giraffe" In case you couldn't tell. Somebody gave this to me when I drove down to LA in November 2001 for a penny collector meeting. (yeah, it was crazy but I visited some others friends there too.) If you gave me this penny, tell me.
"Santa Ana Zoo - Howler Monkey - Santa Ana, CA" What is it with these zoo pennies? Where else would the Santa Ana Zoo be? I'm asking... No idea who gave this penny to me, but one thing I'm sure about is that I've never been to the Santa Ana Zoo... I'm not sure if I've been to Santa Ana or not... (ok, that's enough!)
This just in - The fabulous so-cal collector Aprille Curtis gave me this penny back in Nov 01. Thanks Aprille!
Vard sent this one in May 2001 with a note that said "I've been carrying this around since the Democratic Convention!" She and I, we're just the same I think. The "Autrey Museum of Western Heritage" is in Los Angeles across the street from the Griffith Park Zoo. more info.
"California Adventure" This one comes from the new Disney theme park built on the old Disneyland parking lot in Anaheim, Ca. I have no idea AT ALL, how I got it or the next two pennies. Somebody must have sent them to me.
"Disney's California Adventure" This one is pretty similar to the other, except Engineer Mickey is saluting his runaway train as it careens down the track to disaster. I know it must have been a collector who gave these to me, they're on uncirculated copper pennies and have been flattened to boot!
This one says "You're Pal, Mickey Mouse", with hand and footprints. I guess it's supposed to be like the Chinese theater on Hollywood Boulevard. I assume this one came from California Adventure, but I have no idea. I know it must have been a collector who gave these to me, they're on uncirculated copper pennies and have been flattened to boot!
"Mickey Mouse - Disneyland" I got this one at the Alemany Flea market near my house. I paid a buck for it. I'm not a Disney collector, frankly I'm afraid to go to any of their parks... too many smasher machines. Anyway, I looked this one up and it is indeed the rare and retired coin #DL00190. Wowie!
"Universal Studios Hollywood - Terminator 2" Vard sent this one to me. I'm going to have to create a whole Stephanie Vardavas donation tribute site. I was thinking that maybe she should just start collecting them herself until I visited her in Portland and I realized she collects enough stuff already! Thanks Vard! You are my #1 benefactor!
"Po Folks - Buena Park, CA" Aprille Curtis sent me this one. Po Folks is a restaurant down there where a Southern California group of smashed penny collectors meet from time to time. Brady and I went to a Po Folks in Ohio once and we swore we'd never go back to one. I guess I'll never go to that meeting, but if I do, I won't order the biscuits and gravy.
"Ghosts and Legends of the Queen Mary" Aprille Curtis sent me this one in February 2001. She says there's a limited exhibit that changes every year on the ship. Ghosts was this year's, is this year's.... I don't know. If I kept up with this better, I might be able to use the present tense once in a while.
"Tom's Farms - Farmers Market since 1971" Aprille Curtis sent me this one too! She says she has lots. Aprille loves to trade, so if you want one of these send her a message. Thanks Aprille!
You can't tell it from the penny, but this one came from the famous Santa Monica Pier... I think.
Details are sketchy, but as I recall this penny was the only one at the machine at the Santa Monica pier that said anything remotely unique to the location.
Oh man, I don't even know why I scanned this one, but it came from Los Angeles I know that... or maybe it was the Santa Monica pier... I'm really sorry I can't say more about it.
"Olvera Street Los Angeles" I know where this one came from! Olvera Street! The place is crowded and cramped, but worth visiting. We walked down there from the Mark Taper Forum where we had seen Jessica in her play in May 2000. (I saw Rosanna Arquette in the audience...woo!)
My brother Dennis gave me this one from the Petersen Auto Museum in Los Angeles. I've driven by the place (it's right downtown of Wilshire near the La Brea Tar Pits), but I've never been in. I guess he carried it around in his wallet for a while because of the clay dust embedded in it, he's a sculptor.
"Sebastian - Disneyland" My friend Jesse brought me back from the Happiest Place on Earth. I haven't been to Disneyland since I was a kid, now I'm a little afraid to go. They apparently have the greatest concentration of penny smashers anywhere on earth.
"Disneyland RR"This one's got your favorite mouse engineering the Disneyland Choo Choo. This one was brought back to me from "The Happiest Place on Earth" by Mark Houts, thanks Mark!
The next 4 pennies all came from the same machine at the George C. Page Museum at the LaBrea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. This one shows a mastodon (or maybe it's a mammoth, shucks I knew I waited too long to write this.)
The La Brea Tar Pits are right smack in the middle of downtown Los Angeles, I mean they're right on Wilshire Boulevard. I'd always wanted to go there and when Brady and I impulsively flew down to see the Giants play the Dodgers in Sept 98, I insisted we make a side trip.
The George C. Page Museum is right next to the tar pits, and from what I understand, he bought the tar pits and built the museum privately, which is kinda rare these days. Anyway It's great museum and worth the admission charge, so I guess it's OK that he named the place after himself.
This penny depicts the "Smilosaurus" a kind of a stylized saber-toothed cat. There's a big statue of it at the entrance to the museum.