SAN FRANCISCO – Snap-E-Tom tomato cocktail was a product of the Pioneer Ortega company, and later Heublein, and today owned by Del Monte. Made with chile peppers, onions and tomatoes, it was a Bloody Mary mix that advertised itself as the Big Brother of the Bloody Mary, Bloody Thomas. Snap-EMORE HERE

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – A group in Redwood City, Calif. failed to save a landmark sign that was the marker for the headquarters of Ampex, the nation’s pioneer maker of audio and video recorders. Through the latter part of the 20th century, the word Ampex was synonymous with technology leadership andMORE HERE

MARINA DEL REY – There are thousands of family businesses in the U.S. that were once considerable enterprises, so it is refreshing to see some of them come back, even if they are but modest start-ups. To wit, Cohen & Sons Apparel. I don’t know much about the original, butMORE HERE

LOS ANGELES – One of the great modern hotels, The Century Plaza, is potentially going to be demolished. I say potentially because the owner, developer Michael Rosenfeld, is only applying for permission to tear it down for another real estate development. The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza (click on the poolMORE HERE

PALM SPRINGS – Any person who owns a silly little motel by the side of the road ought to look at Hope Springs Motel Resort in Palm Springs, California. It’s an utterly nondescript motel that has turned into a Travel & Leisure favorite. The recipe? A hip approach, minimalist designMORE HERE