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Recap of this past weekends Celebrate the Arts and ChalkFest

September 29, 2015 at 11:09 am in Art, Entertainment, Events, News, People, Photography, San Gabriel Valley

This weekend was a terrifc weekend, if you forget the blazing heat and attended the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts 52nd Annual Celebrate the Arts and first ever ChalkFest.

Celebrate the Arts incorporated several first as I outlined the other day.  What makes these events fun isn’t so much the terrific art, but the ability to see artists working on their art, demonstrating their technique.  There year there were several artists doing just that.  Glass blower Joshua Smilth wowed folks with his tecnhique.  Metal sculpturist Bill Hyatt continued working on his horse head sculpture a painstaking process of welding dot by dot to build up the face and texture of the horse.

Glass artist Joshua Smith bending glass. click to embiggen

Glass artist Joshua Smith bending glass. click to embiggen

To learn more about ChalkFest and see those artists in their creative zone you need to make the jump.  Read the rest of this entry →

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Celebrate the Arts in Monrovia’s Library Park 9/26-27

September 24, 2015 at 11:55 am in Art, Books, Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, News, Photography, San Gabriel Valley

Show to embiggen.

Show poster…click to embiggen.

This is a biggy for me.  Something that I, as a board member, have been all but consumed with the last several weeks.  Celebrate the Arts is in its 52nd year and its going to have quite a few firsts on top of the already terrific fine artists populating the park with their art.

Celebrate the Arts is held in Monrovia’s Library Park from 10AM – 6PM both Saturday and Sunday this weekend.  There will be a lot of firsts at this show that we are really excited about on top of our usual host of Food Trucks, live music, extremely talented artists.  Among our firsts this event:

  • ChalkFest – a competitive street art event with Lori Escalera as our celebrity judge.
  • Children’s Chalk Experience -designed for the 12 and under set to experiment with chalk
  • Featured Artist Elizabeth Butterfield…her collage work is simply stunning
  • The first appearance by students from Mt. Sierra College (11 fine artists and 2 chalk artists)
  • The first appearance by 18 artists new to MAFA
  • Glass Blowing demonstrations
  • TIKI Bobbleheads from artist Rick Kess
  • Authors exhibition with live book signing
  • Photographer Author Stephen McCarthy will be selling his images, autographing his books including his newest “The Extra Virgin Spy Club”

To read more about this years Celebrate the Arts you need to make the jump.   Read the rest of this entry →

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10th Annual Cruz’n for Roses classic car show in So Pas Sunday 9/27

September 24, 2015 at 10:35 am in Driving, Entertainment, Events, San Gabriel Valley

1965 Thunderbird...and example of what you may find to embiggen

1965 Thunderbird…and example of what you may find there…click to embiggen

There are a few hundred classic cars expected to line South Pasadena’s historic Mission Street for their 10th Annual Cruz’n for Roses classic car show. Car owners pay a fee to enter their cars and the proceeds go towards the cities Rose Parade float.

Also for the day the South Pas Fire and Police department will be hosting an open house if you want to check out their latest gear, cars and of course fire trucks.  The open house will take place at their station located at 1422 S Mission from 10AM-3PM


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Rancho Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance 2015 the overview

September 23, 2015 at 8:35 am in Driving, Entertainment, Events, History, South Bay, Transportation

By far my most favorite auto show in the Los Angeles area has got to be the Rancho Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance.  This is a tightly curated show, few if any basic rides, it focuses on the premiere rides of days gone by.  Two categories, restored and survivors that they call “Preservation” that are all original and just detailed out to show quality.

Make the jump for a few of my favorite cars of the day. Read the rest of this entry →

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Souvenir from the ’32 Olympic games

September 21, 2015 at 10:08 am in Driving, LA, Transportation, Vintage

License plate ornament from the 1932 games, click to ebmiggen

License plate ornament from the 1932 games, click to ebmiggen

Its no secret that I love to go to car shows, doesn’t matter what kind, new, old, collectible or survivors its all good.  Of late I’ve been into capturing details, mostly pot metal nomenclature as back in the day cars were named and the script font fulfilled the imagery.  One of the other details I like is grill badges and plate ornaments.  Imagine if you will the squeel I let out when I spotted this gem on a ’32 Franklin at yesterdays Rancho Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance.

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A Walk on Water gets a gift from Dodge

September 18, 2015 at 3:00 pm in Celebrity, Education, Entertainment, Events, News, People, Social issues

Sometimes it is more than the car, its the  perfect mix of ambition and heart.

Last night started out like any other manufacturer party.  This time hosted by Dodge.  It was different as instead of rolling out a red carpet for a shiny new car, it was to give a gift to suburban Los Angeles based “A Walk on Water“. AWOW for short.

Until last night I hadn’t heard of them or their mission.  AWOW is there to support families with autistic members.  They provide the entire family, not just the person with autism, with the chance to spend a fun day together learning to surf.  They believe in the theraputic powers of the ocean and surfing as a way to bridge the communication gap and give a family with special needs a fun learning experience they can share.

Actor Danny Trejo gave a moving introduction to the group and shared how is own family is affected by autism.  Its just not the person with special needs that needs help, but the entire family that is affected and need help with coping and learning.  The board members of AWOW also shared with us their personal stories on why what they do is important to them and the families they help.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after one board member talked about how his non-verbal son spoke his first words after his first surf ride.  He’s skilled now on the board that he’s ready to be a teacher in the group.  The power in belief in abilities and that you can make always find a way to make a positive out of a challenge.

The big news dropped at the end of the presentations is that Dodge, a division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was donating $20,000 to AWOW to kick start their growth and expand beyond the Los Angeles area.  Dodge/FCA together are also pledging an additional $50 for every test drive at authorized dealerships in the coming days up to $5,000 additional for AWOW. (list of authorized dealers after the jump).  It was hinted that Danny Trejo himself will be at some of the dealerships during their day of sponsored test drives to meet and greet those helping out AWOW by taking drive in a shiny new Dodge.

To further sweeten the pot, Nacional Records, our host for the evening festivities, is going to give away 2 tickets per test drive to the October 3 Supersonico Festival at the Palladium.

For the list of  dealerships dates and times you need to make the jump. Read the rest of this entry →

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DiMora Vicci 6.2 to Highlight Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance 9/20

September 16, 2015 at 10:00 am in Driving, Events, LA, News, South Bay, Transportation

High Res photo attached. Picture credit: DiMora Motors

High Res photo attached. Picture credit: DiMora Motors

Only 25 examples of this car will be hand crafted.  Its Los Angeles showing will be at the Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance on September 20.  (Full details on the car after the jump).

The Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance is one of my most favorite shows in all of Southern California.  IT IS without a doubt the best curated show out there and you can’t go wrong with the location –

General Parking for Concours d’Elegance


  • General Parking is Free
  • Location: Promenade Shopping Center & Peninsula Center – Rolling Hills Estates
  • See map, below for parking entrances
  • Shuttle access is at the Peninsula Center parking area.

We are happy to be able to provide FREE general parking for this year’s Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance through the generosity of Promenade on the Peninsula and Peninsula Shopping Center. Constantly running buses, courtesy of L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe, will shuttle you to and from the Concours venue—about a 7 minute drive.


From either Hawthorne or Crenshaw Blvds., turn onto Indian Peak Road.

  1. Signage will direct you to parking entrances
  2. Volunteers will help guide you to a parking spot.

At Promenade on the Peninsula parking structure:

  • Please use ONLY the parking entrance next to the Norris Theater.
  • Please do not use any other parking entrance for Concours parking. These areas are reserved for shopping center patrons. Be courteous.
  • After parking, walk across the street to Peninsula Shopping Center to board the Shuttle.

Pics from last years show in my Flickr Album.  Now make the jump and read about that car!   Read the rest of this entry →

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BMW Loans i3 EV to Los Angeles Police Department for Evaluation

September 14, 2015 at 9:10 am in Crime, Driving, environment, News, People, Transportation

A detective loses his Dodge Patrol car with a hemi and cries…

Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck announce a year long test of a BMW i3 electric vehicle at a City of Los Angeles press conference in Los Angeles, Sept. 11, 2015. Photo by Danny Moloshok/Newscast

Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck announce a year long test of a BMW i3 electric vehicle at a City of Los Angeles press conference in Los Angeles, Sept. 11, 2015. Photo by Danny Moloshok/Newscast courtesy BMW PR

I could add a few more snarks, but bottom line a few electric cars in the LAPD make sense in the right applications.  No I can’t imagine them used in a high speed pursuit, but contrary to local TV that is not a constant occurrence.  There’s plenty of things they do that involves just slogging around town and idling in traffic that an electric car and its zero emissions at the tail pipe make sense.  Detectives cold calling witnesses and victims on follow up doesn’t need speed nor lights flaring.  Parking meter slugs idling around town issuing tickets is another area that kinda makes sense.

Regardless of what you think of the EV, they make sense in some applications and if we can save some gas money swapped for electrons cheaper off the grid to power these little beasts its better for the cities bottom line.

Personally, I like the BMW i3,  Drives very much like what you expect from BMW, with its aggressive regeneratvie braking systems a quick lift of the throttle feels more like downshifting a gasser than just idle coasting.  My full review from a few years ago HERE that included an interview with the BMW i project manager.

Free subscription to for the first person who captures a pic of the BMW i3 in action on the streets of L.A.

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25th Annual Monrovia Custom Car Show recap

September 13, 2015 at 10:00 am in Driving, Events, San Gabriel Valley, Transportation

custom ford coupe

Ford Custom Coupe…my personal best of show, click to embiggen

Yesterday was the 25th annual Monrovia Car Show and it wasn’t a disappointment.  No sirree.  It was side by side both sides of the street and some side streets in Old Town Monrovia jam packed with more old cars in every stage of repair and customization you could imagine.  Focused primarily on domestics, there were the few odd imports…a Pantera here, an Anglia there, an Austin Healy there…you get the idea.  A car show.

Of course there were all sorts of cars and trucks that defied description and you have to see them in person to grasp their importance.  Or silliness.  to see them you need to make the jump. Read the rest of this entry →

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25th Annual Monrovia Street Rods Forever Car Show Saturday 9/12

September 9, 2015 at 8:00 am in Driving, Entertainment, Events, San Gabriel Valley, Transportation

Show to embiggen

Show Poster…click to embiggen

The cars start lining up at 8AM and by 10AM  South Myrtle Avenue in Monrovia from Palm to Olive is a massive sea of cars.   MASSIVE.  As in hundreds of classic cars in every state of restoration, customization or just in need of some TLC and stock original.   Its limited to pre-malaise era cars so pretty much anything prior to 1980 is there.

With Myrtle Avenue blocked I’d suggest getting off at Myrtle Ave and head north from the 210.  At that point turn right at Huntington Drive and then left at Ivy and park in a free city parking lot off Ivy.  Or…turn left then right up Primrose and park in one of the free lots off that street.

Arrive early and do dress for heat. Crowds peak around the lunch hour and if its too hard to see the cars, well pop into Jakes Roadhouse or one of the many other restaurants in Old Town Monrovia, grab a bite and wait for the crowds to die down.

You don’t have to take my word for it that this is a not to be missed classic car show.  Check my flickr albums from 2013 and 2014 from the event as a good teaser and prep of what to expect.

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626 Night Market this weekend for the close of summer

September 3, 2015 at 3:16 pm in Art, Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, LA, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

For the final edition of 626 Night Market there as a few new tricks to keep it fun and fresh.  First up is Saturday Nights open Mike with the kids from ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” and then there is the dancing competiton.  Full details HERE  Even if the new stuff doesn’t entice, the old standbys…incredible food, street vendors and music should keep you entertained and satiated.

Having been a few times, its easy access just a few blocks south of the 210 in Arcadia.  You can enter from the gates on Baldwin, but traffic is bad there with the mall.  The other and better option is to exit Santa Anita, head south to Hungtington Dr and turn right (west) on to Huntington and enter in the massive gates there.

Deets Friday 9/4, Saturday 9/5 and Sunday 9/6 4PM to 1AM.  Santa Anita Park, 285 W Huntington Drive, Arcadia CA  MAP HERE

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Griffith Park…when size really matters

August 26, 2015 at 6:56 am in History, LA, News, Real Estate, Which Side?

The map to embiggen Every now and then I get stuff in my inbox thats just too cool not to share. This infographic from Sparefoot shows just how freaking BIG Griffith Park is compared to other cities of the world.  At over 4000 acres its one of the biggest city park in the world.  No one else comes close, heck its even larger than some national parks.  But I digress, when Brian Shreckengast of Sparefoot reached out and asked if I would be interested in sharing with all of you the answer was an emphatic YES!

Click to embiggen the pic to the right to get the whole effect.  Using some special mapping software Brian mapped the outlines of Griffith Park and then used that map to superimpose it over some of the worlds cities to show just how big and special Griffith Park is.  Massive is an understatement.  The full story on how they did it and larger maps can be seen on their WEB SITE.

I have always loved this park.  When I was a valley dweller, Valley Village to be precise, this was my go to place to hike, walk, or just clear my head.  I miss the road that once was open from the observatory to Travel Town as it gave excellent spots to stop and and soak in the city sights and vistas.  But thats been closed at least 20 years at this point and I doubt they’ll reopen which is sad as it makes so much of the park out of reach for a quick walk on the trails.

What’s your favorite spot in the park?

Image courtesy Brian Shreckengast of Sparefoot and used with permission.



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ICME refugee from the Mad Max set?

August 22, 2015 at 12:36 pm in Art, Driving, ICME, San Gabriel Valley

click to embiggen and not miss a detail

click to embiggen and not miss a detail

I see the most amazing stuff when I meander off the beaten path. This refugee from the Mad Max set, an art car gone mad if you will, was spotted in an alley just off Myrtle/Lime in Old Town Monrovia. Too bizarre for words.

Pic by me with my phone.  Click to embiggen.

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2 years in the making – hyperlapse of Los Angeles

August 21, 2015 at 7:49 am in Filmmaking/Filmmakers, Media, People, Which Side?

Tip of the hat to my friend Darlene Powells over at KCBS for finding and sharing this video from artist Vadim Tereshchenko.  It took over 2 years of a few frames at a time to produce the final product.  What a truly beautiful city we are.

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wow…drone’s view and tour of Los Angeles

August 15, 2015 at 3:28 pm in Entertainment, Media, Science, Which Side?

Hat tip to my facebookie friend Will Campbell for this righteous find.  Los Angeles, the good the bad the ugly and the truly magnificent in a drone’s eye view.  How cool is this.  And if you have ample bandwidth you can watch without buffering full screen.