Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Daily Breeze

A little newspaper called the Daily Breeze keeps popping up on my radar. It is a member of a large consortium called the MediaNews Group and serves the communities of the South Bay area in Greater Los Angeles, including Torrance where its office is located. Its circulation is small - only 70,000. But earlier this week, it pulled off a coup when it won the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting for a series on school district corruption.

Slate and other media outlets quickly picked up on the irony that one of the two beat reporters on that series, Rob Kuznia, had already left newspaper journalism for public relations because he wasn't make enough money for a basic lifestyle ("he said it was too difficult to make ends meet at the newspaper while renting in the LA area").

So, if there are any solvent metro newspapers around looking for a very capable reporter, it looks like there's a stray Pulitzer winner sitting around. Just saying.

One of Monday’s Pulitzer Prize Winners Left Journalism Because It Couldn’t Pay His Rent. Now He’s in PR.

But what does that have to do with the lovely classic postcard atop this post? (Click on it, it looks great in large scale.) Well, I was already aware of the Daily Breeze because I subscribe to its superb blog South Bay History, curated by Sam Gnerre. This is unquestionably one of the best local history blogs I have encountered anywhere.

A post just went up on the establishment pictured in the postcard, a combo drive-in restaurant and motel called Patmar's that existed from 1939 to 1960:

Patmar’s drive-in was a primo hangout spot in El Segundo

Love the architecture! It can't quite be considered Googie because it is a little early - but a precursor, maybe? When the complex was closed down in 1960, a local liked the restaurant building enough to buy it and move it to the El Segundo Golf Course, where it served as the pro shop for about 30 years. It was finally torn down in 1993 - with regrets, but the deterioration of the structure's innards had progressed beyond the point of economically viable repair.

So overall, keep up the good work, Daily Breeze!

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