Travelling North on Route 99 in Sun Valley, my husband and I discovered the Pink Motel (9457 San Fernando Road) - used in filming "the OC," "the House of Sand and Fog" and "the Whole Nine Yards." (I only found that info out later through Google.) Oh, and a commenter named Kenny told me the motel was also used in this Maverick's video for "Here Comes My Baby."
When we got out to take photos, I felt like I was far, far away. The air felt still. People slowly milled about the motel grounds looking worn and beaten in their leathery skin. My husband walked over to speak to a man about a red 1960s Dodge for sale, so I wandered around taking photos and wondered about the people I saw. What brought them here? What's gone on in their lives?
A weathered man with his hands in the pockets of his greasy blue overalls, smiled a gapped-toothed smile at me, and said something in a garbled voice I didn't understand. He stared at a patch of green in the middle of the Pink Motel's parking lot. After a few "huhs?" I realized he said, "Um watchin' a rabbit." I smiled at him and thought, hmmm...right, remembering the movie "Harvey."
Then my husband called me over to check out the motel's coffee shop next door. We pressed our faces to the window. "Oh man, it's like a time capsule!" I said. The interior seems to be authentic. There were a few tears in some of the booth's upholstery, old cigarette machines, and slighty dingy lamps. It looked as though they closed shop around 1955 and just never cleared the place out. But, apparently, though it's no longer serving food, it's now used for filming.
We walked around the back of the coffee shop and discovered a large lot behind a fence with palm trees, dirt, dried grass and a huge pool, now covered in graffiti. I imagine that back in the middle of the last century the Pink Motel was a nice little place to visit.
Before walking back to our car, I smiled again at my gap-toothed friend of questionable sanity. He smiled back, his eyes cracked at the corners, and then he went back to staring at the same patch of grass near the bird of paradise plants. Poor man, I thought. And then I saw the little black rabbit. He nodded at me, "See!"
After realizing the man was just friendly and not insane, I blurted "I like this place" to my husband.
"Yeah, well, I wouldn't wanna know what it's like at night," he said.
We continued on down San Fernando Valley road, curved into Burbank and then into Glendale. We stopped at Pecos Bill's BBQ (1551 Victory Bl.) for some sloppy, smoky-sweet and meaty shredded bbq beef sandwiches. I'd often driven passed the little shack, which taunted me with its fragrant smoke, but hadn't yet eaten there. Opened since 1946, by the current owner's grandpa, you'd think I would've stopped sooner. But I'm glad we did today. The tasty food, friendly service and small town atmosphere capped off our historic Valley tour nicely.
Satisfied, we hopped back into our car and headed toward Magnolia and stopped for camera batteries at the Handy market in Burbank. There, folks were lined up in the parking lot for more barbecue. I think I spied some huge turkey legs under clouds of smoke. We got our batteries, took some photos and headed west down Magnolia toward home.