Home » We’re In A Part Of Los Angeles I Never Knew Existed, Somehow: Cold Start

We’re In A Part Of Los Angeles I Never Knew Existed, Somehow: Cold Start

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I lived in Los Angeles for nearly 20 years, so when I come back for things like the LA Auto Show, it’s like going back to an old home. And while I was here, I explored the city a lot in my old silly cars, so I think I generally know the place? And LA is full of places, sections of town like the Toy District or Little Tokyo (and the Westside counterpart, Sawtelle Japantown), Koreatown, Chinatown, Skid Row, the Orthodox Jewish areas around Fairfax and the other around Pico, the Arts District, and, of course, the Byzantine-Latino Quarter. This time I find myself in a district I’ve never heard of, and it’s weirding me out a little bit.

It’s the New Orleans Corridor? The hell is that? How had I never heard of this? It’s like discovering there’s a Little Lansing in LA or a Luxemborgtown, but bigger. But, I soon found out why I had no idea this existed – it’s only just started to exist. It was established this past summer, just before Juneteenth.

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Ohhhh, okay, now that makes more sense!

The corridor runs from the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church to Harold & Belle’s Creole Restaurant, and we’re right near the restaurant end of the corridor on Jefferson Blvd, which – if you’ll forgive my sacrilegiousness – I’m very happy about. Besides, Matt and I had hurricanes and oysters there last night, and that was great.

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Less great is the fact that the Air BnB we’re staying in here only has enough rooms for five, and there’s six of us, so Matt and I are sharing a room with bunk beds and I’m on top. Bunk beds, especially the top, had an appeal when I was a kid, but as a half-century-plus old man who enjoys a few rich, powerful nighttime micturating events, it’s a colossal pain.

The whole thing sways and shakes like a dinghy as I descend the cold metal ladder to go void my bladder, loudly, and then you have to climb back up instead of just flopping into a bed. What am I, a prisoner? Is this summer camp? That cheapskate David, sleeping lavishly in his ground-floor bed in town, oooh, I’m so cheesed over at him!

Oh, right, cars. I can’t do a Cold Start with zero car stuff! So, here, to fit the theme, it looks like the closest thing New Orleans had to carmaking was a Ford factory in a suburb known as Arabi. It was built in 1923 as an assembly plant for Model Ts, then re-tooled in 1928 for Model A production, continuing until the Great Depression, which, sources say, wasn’t so great, really.

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(National Park Service photo; Photograph by Rick Fifield, courtesy of Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office)

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I’ve been trying to find a picture of these, but no luck so far. Were these like disc-shaped platforms above the assembly line with a big round urinal? Were they enclosed? I’m really curious. Putting urinators above the line just seems like a way to get people to pee on each other, for any number of reasons.

I feel like I’ve discussed urinating more in this Cold Start than I usually do. Maybe I need to climb down again to pee.

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Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
6 months ago

The whole thing sways and shakes like a dinghy as I descend the cold metal ladder to go void my bladder, loudly, and then you have to climb back up instead of just flopping into a bed”

Well just as long as there’s enough toilet paper and you don’t sleep in the nude, you’ll be fiiiine…

Scott
Scott
6 months ago

I’ve never seen one nor did I google, but from the description, I imagine the circular trough urinals look like a Bundt cake pan, but inverted. Drain(s) in the bottom of the trough, and hopefully some plumbing or a column or something in the middle, so guys don’t have to stare in each others’ eyes as they empty their bladders.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
6 months ago
Reply to  Scott

I just want to know if the urinal cake looks like a bundt cake, too. Just bring it all full circle.

The48thRonin
The48thRonin
6 months ago
Reply to  Scott

I actually did get the dubious opportunity to see one of these, and it’s basically as described except there is usually a post in the center that holds a valve so you can flush it.

DriveSheSaid
DriveSheSaid
6 months ago

There is a place in New Orleans Corridor
They call the Autopian
And it’s been the visit of many fine young men
and boy, it sounds like fun

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
6 months ago

You didn’t pack the car-pee-emergency tube thing you reviewed a while back?

Inthemikelane
Inthemikelane
6 months ago

Harold & Belle’s Creole Restaurant sounds like my kind of place. It’s been hard to impossible finding decent creole/cajun cooking on the CA central coast. Visit LA a time or two a year, so will check it out.

What I really miss from the gulf coast region is soft shelled crab, broiled or fried, and some top notch red beans and rice on a Monday.

Oldhusky
Oldhusky
6 months ago

When i read “Byzantine-Latino Quarter” i assumed that this neighborhood was some sort of old labyrinthine warren of crooked roads and walkways, but then i noticed that byzantine was capitalized, and now i’m wondering if the neighborhood isn’t called this because its residents are largely made up of Latinos and Byzantians.

MAX FRESH OFF
MAX FRESH OFF
6 months ago
Reply to  Oldhusky

I thought I was the only one to think that ever time I see that sign!

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
6 months ago

Funny New Orleans or Cajun is the only genre I have in food except Chinese, everything else is booze or country specific butcajun great food.

Harmanx
Harmanx
6 months ago

Maybe the circular urinals were inverted, where the pee-ers faced away from each other from inside the circle.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
6 months ago
Reply to  Harmanx

I worked at a place with a circular communal sink could have been a trough for pee.

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
6 months ago
Reply to  Harmanx

I’ve encountered these before. It’s like peeing into a fountain, except instead of water shooting out the center column is flows down the side and across the circular pan (usually some version of concrete) to flush it. I think there might have beed a circular bar at the floor you stepped on to flush.

Last edited 6 months ago by Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
6 months ago

Ah, I found a photo: https://imgur.com/EAxZaPz

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
6 months ago

A further looser car connection is slightly Southeast of there. Plomb Tools, later Proto had a factory of Santa Fe Boulevard in Vernon for decades. I collect Plomb after finding some cheap at garage sales.

MAX FRESH OFF
MAX FRESH OFF
6 months ago
Reply to  Slow Joe Crow

I have had a 1960’s vintage Proto keychain screwdriver on my keyring for decades and I have used it more than any other tool I own. The old pre-1948 ones marked Plomb sell for $$$ on eBay.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
6 months ago
Reply to  MAX FRESH OFF

I paid $1 for a Plomb tappet wrench marked “War Finish” at an estate sale ????. I have another tappet wrench from 1935 and a flare nut wrench plus an early Proto wrench as a coda.

Jason Roth
Jason Roth
6 months ago

An Albert Kahn factory! Awesome. My local Aldi, just ~3 blocks away, is in an Art Deco Chrysler showroom of his.

There’s also an old Model T factory, 5 stories tall, about 6 blocks farther down the road, but I checked and it’s not a Kahn.

OverlandingSprinter
OverlandingSprinter
6 months ago

Micturate: Damn, once again Torch gives me an eye-watering urge to run to the dictionary.

Chartreuse Bison
Chartreuse Bison
6 months ago

Torch can track his page clicks by looking at the google trends for words like that when he posts the article

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
6 months ago

Little known fact: Torch coined “gigacasting” in reference to his unusual peeing habits. Musk then appropriated without credit in a vendetta against Jason’s critical articles about self-driving cars.

LTDScott
LTDScott
6 months ago

You just described why I will never own a rooftop tent. Camping always means throwing back a few beers around the campfire and the thought of having to climb down a ladder to wizz at night is not appealing.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
6 months ago
Reply to  LTDScott

Pee bottles are a thing. So is pissing into a funnel connected to a tube to the ground. Or depending on which way the wind is blowing piss right out the tent flap.

LTDScott
LTDScott
6 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Wives are also a thing.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
6 months ago
Reply to  LTDScott

Aren’t they smart enough to stay home?

LTDScott
LTDScott
6 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

No, mine enjoys camping as much as I do!

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
6 months ago
Reply to  LTDScott

Good. Then she can enjoy peeing off the car roof as much as you do.

Its those simple pleasures that make a marriage work.

Salaryman
Salaryman
6 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

My requirement for a good campsite is one that I can take a piss from and not get arrested.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
6 months ago

I’m picturing a circular walkway surrounding a wading pool full of pee, which, come to think of it, describes most of the wading pools I’ve ever seen.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
6 months ago

Right out of college, I had a job at a large manufacturing plant.

I entered the bathroom closest to my workspace, and was confronted by the following: normal stalls along the left side wall, normal urinals along half the wall to the right, and the other half of the right wall having sinks.

However, in the middle of the room was a large, circular stainless steel… thing of indeterminate purpose. It looked like a very industrial fountain. My first thought was it was some kind of group urinal, but there was no way I was going to try a circular firing squad situation. Thankfully, I didn’t, because another guy stepped up to it, put his foot on the ring at the base, and washed his hands in the spray that came from the fountain-like center piece.

A couple months later, though, a new hire DID use it as a urinal, so I felt somewhat vindicated…

Flyingstitch
Flyingstitch
6 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

The men’s rooms on the ferries between Cape May, NJ and Lewes, DE, are interesting. You enter a short passageway and then the room opens to the left. Precisely at that corner, with no privacy barrier, is a urinal, which I have never seen in use.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
6 months ago
Reply to  Flyingstitch

The urinal of last resort. When you REALLY gotta go and all the other urinals are occupado.

Flyingtoothpick71
Flyingtoothpick71
6 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

you’ve brought back memories of my elementary school that had one of those, I’m sure it was used as a urinal more than a few times.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
6 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

I saw a video where a drunk British guy washed his hands and face in a urinal using a cake as soap.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
6 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

oh my gosh no no no no no NO

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
6 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Yeah we had that shit in schools as well. Always some dumb new kid would wizz in the sink thing though.

Larry B
Larry B
6 months ago

With apologies to Paul Robeson –

Ol’ man bladder
That ol’ man bladder
He just keeps flowing
Keeps on flowing along

A. Barth
A. Barth
6 months ago

Two words, my friend: inflatable mattress. I picked up one several years ago that has a built-in electric air pump and will inflate (and deflate) quickly. It has a sort of cloth top so it doesn’t squeak and you don’t slide off, and it’s quite comfortable.

assembly plant for Model Ts, then re-tooled in 1928 for Model A production

Thus establishing Los Angeles’ reputation as a T & A factory.

Last edited 6 months ago by A. Barth
10001010
10001010
6 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Same, I got one of those double thick air mattresses and it’s actually quite comfortable for whenever I have to visit someone with insufficient bedding.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
6 months ago
Reply to  10001010

Yeah, and there’s also the ones that turn into a couch (I have one and it’s just 2 regular ones and part of 1 of them flips up)

Geoff Buchholz
Geoff Buchholz
6 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Dr. Barth is, as usual, correct. The self-inflating airbed is a lifesaver (not literally, according to the tag on the thing).

Turbeaux
Turbeaux
6 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Buchholz

That tag also says not to use it in a pool. You can’t believe everything you read on warning labels.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
6 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Thus establishing Los Angeles’ reputation as a T & A factory.

Goshdarnit, take your dang smiley-face-click.

A. Barth
A. Barth
6 months ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

Danke! 🙂

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