Hullo, I’m Eric Brightwell and my interests include adventure, art, botany, cooking, dance, dandyism, film, guerrilla gardening, the great outdoors, leisure, music, mycology, news, politics, travel, and ultraviolence.

I’m affiliated with Los Angeles Guerrilla Gardening and the Silver Lake Time Bank and am the organizing force behind Silver Lake Croquet League, Movie Nights at Pendersleigh, SoCal Explorers, and SoCal Train Nerd.

My series of neighborhood explorations are published as California Fool’s Gold. I paint maps as Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography. From 2011-2013 I operated Los Angles’s only gentlemen’s shop, Brightwell, but discovered that being in a shop all the time is not conducive to exploration.

I’m always looking for more writing gigs, provided they don’t have anything to do with the hijinks of television personalities or sports figures. Also, I work for money — not exposure or hugs or coffee (or peanuts). On the other hand, I’m more willing to volunteer my time to charities and non-profits. Contact me with offers at ecbrightwell@gmail.com

25 thoughts on “About

  1. Hey Eric. LOVE the Atwater Village post! Just cross-posted to the Nextdoor Atwater Village site. Thanks!


  2. Eric, You took a picture that was posted on KCET.org of the Puente Largo Railway bridge in Azusa. I have been trying to find the actual bridge and how to get to it. Can you enlighten me? I’ve left my email address. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Eric, I’ve run across your blog (which I’ve greatly enjoyed), in every search that I’ve had. I’ve been looking for the 18-year veteran police office in HB that was arrested in 1980. Well, not for him, but information about the whole case. Do you have any other details? It’s partly curiosity and mostly just interest about what happened around me when I was a kid. If you have any information, I’d love it! Thanks so much for all the interesting stories.


    1. Hello. I can’t remember anything about that case now. I’m almost certain that I found it when Google had a Google Timeline function, which allowed one to browse news by year. They’ve since retired that. I think that I probably didn’t mention the offender by name because I don’t like to make my explorations too much about horrible people — but at the same time I don’t want to present an overly rosy picture of reality.


      1. Eric,
        How can I email to you ? Re: “No Enclave” – I went to Nigeria in 1974 to visit my father. He was there on Sabbatical for 2 years, I visited for 3 Months. During that time I purchase a set of Abuja Pottery – dishes, pots, etc. I am desperately trying to find a Nigerian Group / Community that would be interested in buying them. They are very dear to me and I want a good home. I searched to find a Nigerian Museum with no luck. Thank You – Silvija


  4. As I commented under your Mongolian in Los Angeles post, I’ve been bowled over by the “No Enclave” series. I’ll be going back to these posts – and I very much hope that you produce more.


  5. Eric Brightwell — I’d like to use your Dog Town map for an essay on the Portola-Crespi Monument on Broadway. The monument is on the wrong side of the river. The Portola expedition of 1769 camped on the east side possibly at the Downey Recreation site, around there. This was the first land expedition. On August 3, 1769, Portola crossed the river. This was most likely an ancient native route from the San Gabriel Valley to Yang-Na, and most likely the street now named North Broadway and the fording place most likely where the Broadway Bridge is. Significant because Governor Phelipe de Neve eight years later traveled from Loreto to Monterey and determined the site of Los Angeles. From maps I have — actually copies, inasmuch as the originals were destroyed in the 1906 earthquake — Neve chose the same route as Portola had followed and crossed at the same place, and the original plaza and the original solares were about where the Metrolink buildings are. The Olvera Street plaza wasn’t built until between 1825 and 1830, and there were by that time about 700 people in Los Angeles, many living along the edges of the Cornfield, which was the location of the first (1781) agricultural plots.
    OK To use your map?


    1. Thanks. That would be fine, just please give me credit as Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography|Eric Brightwell. And please let me know when you’re finished so that I can check it out!


    1. Thank you so much. I can’t believe that that was eight years ago! I don’t make it over to the Westside that often, but I’ll do a follow-up, perhaps, when it’s been ten.


  6. Thank you for your posts and the time and energy that go into being so thorough. Much appreciated! You rock! Would love to learn more about OC, the Beach Cities (Redondo, Hermosa, etc), and maybe one about long lost and still standing amusement parks and sports stadiums in the area. I lived near Main/Washington near LA Trade Tech and was amazed to see illustrations of a enormous park that was near Grand/Washington.


    1. Thank you! I plan on writing more about Orange County. Newport Beach, Brea, La Habra, Balboa Island, Sunset Beach, and Buena Park are all in the works. It’s mainly down to the fact that I don’t own a car so not only does getting to Orange County take a bit of time but exploring the communities — which tend to be spread out and car-oriented — takes a while too.

      As for the Beach Cities — all are currently tied for 20th place in the poll. However, Torrance is tied for first with Whittier so expect a bit of South Bay exploration soon!

      I’ll keep in mind the amusement parks and sports idea — I was thinking about a pre-Walt Disney tourist attractions post, already, actually. Thanks again!


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