Canon 5D Mark 2, 24-105mm 1:4 lens. Photoshop CS5
Big Girl Wants Big Boy a drive by poem by Flyrod
It was back in the summer of fifty-nine
A shadow cast over the west coastline
A fifty foot woman from outer space
Was reeking havoc all over the place
She stepped on buses and picked up cars
The radio said she came here from Mars
What did she want, why was she here?
California people were living in fear
Over Los Angeles the woman did tower
She needed a car with plenty of power
A two-tone Fairlane in white and red
One hundred and ten the speedometer said
No problem with head-room, just keep the top down
She threw out the driver and took it uptown
A mighty tall girl with a big appetite
On Riverside Drive, oh what a sight!
All that she wanted was just up ahead
“Bob’s Big Boy Restaurant” is what the sign said
She came a long way for that special taste
She wanted it now, there was no time to waste
She tore off the roof and made the earth quake
“Give me a Big Boy with a Vanilla Milk Shake”
Bob’s Big Boy, Burbank is a magnificent example of the emerging California coffee shop style that exploded in Los Angeles in the 1950’s. Built in 1949, the structure is dramatically related to World Fair pavilions of the pre-war period by its long, low, horizontal roof line and wide canopies.
Its asymmetrical shape alternates from sharp angles at the entrance to smooth, inward curving picture windows facing the street. Certainly the building’s most striking aspect is the monumental freestanding Bob’s sign which soars vertically in contrast with the horizontal lines of the restaurant. Placed at a strategic angle, the sign, with its attractive pink and white neon lettering, is breathtakingly dramatic and visible from far down Riverside Drive. The sign itself is transitional in that it is free standing and retains elements of 1930’s streamlining. The sign is a billboard raised to an art form. At 70 feet tall, the Bob’s sign is a true landmark in the surrounding community. At night, with its dramatically lit sign and wide band of windows highlighting the diners inside, the entire restaurant was a powerful lure to the passing motorist. Abstract, amoebae-like canopies intersect the structure metamorphosing into an angular skyward slanting entrance canopy. Various textures adorn the exterior walls from mosaic tile to wooden clapboard to decorative vertical and horizontal brick veneer. Beautiful moss-green and black terrazzo walkways surround the building.