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Lawndale Message Board Advertises Points South

Visitor Jeff Bliss noticed to his surprise that Lawndale’s new message board on the San Diego Freeway is devoted entirely to an ad for ... “The O.C.” TV series.

Sure, part of the show is shot in L.A. County but not in Lawndale, as far as I’m aware. Couldn’t the city find something to say about itself?

Something must have happened there since the historic day the city ripped out the artificial turf along its Hawthorne Boulevard median to quell jokes about Lawndale being renamed Astrodale.

From the O.C. to the Valley: “I did a double take when I saw this ad for JetBlue in the Park Street ‘T’ station here in Boston,” wrote Sarah Meadow (see photo).

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“As a native Angeleno, I get defensive about the Valley Girl stereotype. So, I wondered if this sign was some kind of commentary on the frequent use of ‘like’ in Valley-speak’s birthplace.”

Meadow added: “Boston has its share of Valley Girls -- they just drop their Rs. “

Unreal estate: Housing is at more of a premium than ever in Southern California, as you can see from the hot rental that Norm Sklarewitz found on Burton Way (see photo).

Want further evidence? Well, did you hear the one about the restroom rental?

Or the family in the post office box (see accompanying)?

A different take on L.A.: In the Michael Dibdin mystery “And Then You Die,” Italian detective Aurelio Zen, who’s never been out of his country, is flying to L.A. on a criminal case.

As we look in on Zen, he’s reading about the City of Angels in an airline magazine: “Apparently it had originally been settled by the Spanish, who named it El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles. There was a translation in Italian, ‘The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels,’ and photographs of an old stone monastery gleaming white in the sunlight.

“Maybe Los Angeles wouldn’t be so bad after all, he thought. It sounded like a pleasant, old-fashioned sort of place, and at least the people would all be Catholics.”

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OK, his powers of deduction aren’t perfect.

miscelLAny: A former San Diego resident was quoted here about how drivers there are in much more of a hurry than those in Seattle.

Which prompted Gretchen Baligad to write: “Hawaiians are even more sedate. In the freeways on Oahu, there is an actual ‘minimum’ speed limit posted (40 mph).”

I could imagine a 40-mph speed limit sign in L.A. -- in a parking lot.

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Steve Harvey can be reached at (800)LATimes, Ext. 77083, by fax at (213)237-4712, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A. 90012, and by e-mail at steve.harvey@latimes.com.


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