Armadillo Sighting in Beverly Hills


armadilloAngelinos (and frequent visitors)…  Does this armadillo look familiar? Surprise! It’s part of a Route 66 art installation on Santa Monica Blvd. between Century City and the 405 freeway. Technically NOT Beverly Hills, but a stone’s throw away.  Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, California is Route 66. IMG_6910Here are 11 things I learned:

  1. In 2006, as part of the Santa Monica Boulevard widening, the “Charming Project” took place;
  2. Large bracelet-like “charms” were attached to the new lampposts lining the Boulevard. The project came to be known internally as “Charming.” Charm bracelets… now you see?
  3. Venice resident, Barbara McCarren was lead artist on the project;
  4. There are 16 charms, two for each state of Route 66, installed in order, East to West (IL to CA). When you travel East on Santa Monica Blvd toward the ocean, same lineup (see list at bottom of this post);
  5. There are TWO of each charm, opposite sides of the streSanta Monica Blvd charms collage 1 with captionet. When you see one, look across the street and there it is again;
  6. Cast aluminum, lightweight to swivel in the wind. Look several times and then you notice, sometimes Dorothy’s ruby slippers are the soles of the shoes, and sometimes not;
  7. Two are busts (Abraham Lincoln and Josephine Baker). For some reason, their backs tend to always be facing ME when I drive by;
  8. They are 1-ft. smaller than originally budgeted, so if you have never “seen” them, it may be because they haven’t caught your eye as originally intended by the designers;
  9. Santa Monica Blvd. charming collage 2 with captionsInstalled higher on the lampposts than planned (again, one reason you may not have noticed them); the city feared trucks would smash into them;
  10. One of the armadillos is “road kill” – it slipped down the pole and now rests on its belly – still up there, just not moving. Next time you are at Staples, he is perched on your side of the street just West up the block a bit;
  11. When you look at the “66” in the base frame of the charms, it looks backwards.  You are most likely in your car, right? They are ALL backwards to the driver; the art was created for “pedestrian appreciation.”  Who WALKS between Century City and the 405? Mostly no one, thus adding CHARM to the Charming Project, my take.

Illinois: Abraham Lincoln & Sears Tower

Missouri: Josephine Baker &“SHOW ME”

Kansas: Wheat Stalk & Ruby Slippers

Oklahoma: Arrowhead & State Flower

Texas: Armadillo & Alamo

New Mexico: “IT GROWS AS IT GOES” & Sunburst

Arizona: Saguaro Cactus & Kokopelli Native American Flute Dancer

California: “EUREKA” & Surfboard

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Judy Brown January 25, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Thanks for the info Patti – enjoyed the read.

Judy Brown, your Westwood Hills neighbor

2 Anne Spackman January 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Wish I could hop into my car this moment and go check out these charms that I have never noticed. Too bad it’s Friday afternoon when I try to stay out of the fray out there. But my curiosity is piqued and I can hardly wait to see them. Thanks for making us aware of these, Patti. If I were to add a charm, based on our Route 66 experience, it would be a wild burro.

Thanks, too, for Worth the Whisk. I am about to make your Australian Coconut Pie.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: