Google Maps Adds Labels

Google Map

I’m walking out the door so I’m just going to snip this whole thing from blogdowntown since Eric is totally on top of it:

“I noticed this morning that Google Maps recently started identifying landmarks, including a good number of buildings Downtown. If you take a look at this map you’ll see labels for the Biltmore, MOCA, Macy’s Plaza, and more. This change couples nicely with their recent addition of arrows indicating flow on one-way streets.

On the downside, the labels are a bit out of date. The most glaring example is the current listing of Caltrans as being located in their old building, currently being prepped for demolition.”

LA Times Runs Though Provoking Piece on Freeway Shootings

I know that a lot of blogs in LA spend serious time bashing the LA Times for one reason or another but this piece, “Freeway Shootings Share Similar Traits but Seem to Be Unrelated” is a real stand out gem. Seriously, listen to the information they are hemorrhaging with this article:

“Some of them are gang-related, some of them are road rage and some of them we will never know the motive until we catch the suspect,” said CHP Assistant Chief Art Acevedo.

Did you get that? So, the shootings are either gang-related or not, either road rage related or not, or maybe other stuff that they don’t know anything about.


But don’t think I’m trying to skew this by pulling one quote out of context, here’s a few more quotes are are really filler because they don’t say a thing about anything:

“We’re still working on it, but I have not had many leads on it at this point,” said Riverside Police Det. Ron Sanfilippo…

Tustin police detectives also said they have few leads. “We’ve got a whole lot of nothing going on in all of them,” said Sgt. Mark Hein.

Thanks so much for the awesome reporting, that’s some KCAL quality insight right there.

Euologies for Los Angeles Playwriting

I was out of town for the weekend, so excuse me for being a few days late to this story. The new artistic director of the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum is Michael Ritchie. And he’s cleaned house. No more development of new works for the sake of development. Things have to be in development with a place on the new season.

While from a business point of view this makes sense, why invent a bunch of stuff you’re never going to bring to market? But then again, they’re a not-for-profit and it’s in the interest of arts as a whole to provide these resources even if they never make it to the mainstage. There are plenty of plays that were developed in these programs that went on to be produced at regional theatres and off-off Broadway.

The LA Times not only covered this story but gave five playwrights the opportunity to give their voice to this development. Lisa Loomer, Jon Robin Baitz, Alice Tuan, Anna Deveare Smith and John Belluso. None of them seem to think it’s a good move but perhaps are holding out hope that some new sort of develoment model will be designed that will aid writers even more.

Combine this with the loss of ASK’s direct development programs a few years back and Los Angeles is looking like a less hospitable place for new works than ever. Of course this just brings to mind all the wonderful 99-seat waiver houses that do it, not because of the business model or the obligation, but for the love of it.

So, Los Angeles theatre afficianados where do you go to see the best original work? Who is making great new theatre?

Stay Away From Starbucks Today

There’s been plenty of reason presented here to stay the hell away from Starbucks but la.foodblogging has a much more convincing reason, for today at least – the place is going to be packed! Turns out they are giving away some kind of free ice cream to anyone who comes in their stores today which translates into crowds of freeloaders. What a fun time! But wait, it gets worse. You might not be getting that free cone you’ve grown accustom to, losanjealous has the, um, scoop:

starbuxStarbucks will be dishing out free ice cream Wednesday. Their promo photo makes it look like you’re going to get seven heaping scoops in a giant bowl, but the fine print says you get 4 oz. or less.

While you’re waiting in line be sure to convince yourself that you actually do like the taste of Starbucks coffee and that you haven’t succumbed to pressure from brand bullies.”

Look, skip Starbucks and swing by Silver Lake Coffee Co for some Banana Espresso Smooties – it will be a much more delicious experience. I promise.

Why Install A Muffler At all?

This morning, I pulled into the parking structure at work, and a white sports car pulled in behind me. I didn’t even have to see the car in the rearview mirror to know that it was there though, as the noise coming out of its muffler was unbelieveably loud. So loud that car alarms were going off as it passed by them!

On the bright side, I suppose that I should be happy that there weren’t whistle tips installed. “Whoo whoo!”

Best of Trader Joe’s

When I first moved to LA, I stumbled across a Trader Joeís one day when I was giving a party. Someone told me they had cheap, but good wine. Iíll never forget how thrilled I was to be able to buy not only decent wine, but also really cool eatsÖthat seemed homemade. Try their killer olive paste in a jar, or their frozen mini-crab cakes when you want to get a party started fast. Yum!
Started in 1958 as a convenience store chain called ìPronto Marketsî, the owner, and yes, his name is Joe, decided on an image makeover in 1967. He devoted his entire stock to culinary, hard to find specialty items and also worked to find healthy food at the lowest prices possible. To create an image and lend a fun feel to the place, he adopted a nautical theme for the stores by insisting that everyone wear Hawaiian shirts. It worked, because no matter where I go into a Trader Joeís, the people who work there seem to be having a good time. Here at we all have our secret favís and decided to share them with you. Mine run the gamut from the ice cream sandwich soy ëcuitesí, which are a full dollar less than at Whole Foods, to their organic Caesar salad dressing which is perfect for just about everything you dip into it. I also love the fact that they try hard to stock organic everything (chicken, strawberries, soy milk) at reasonable prices. Hereís some tips from the gang:
Continue reading Best of Trader Joe’s

Hollywood Traffic

Yikes! What is going on in Hollywood today? The traffic is jammed on every street imaginable….every usual shortcut, Selma, Franklin, Fountain is packed. I know there is some opening on Hollywood Blvd at the Chinese Mann theater tonight, but this is CRAZY! It just took me 45 minutes at 1 PM to traverse from La Brea to the top of Vine!!! Is something happeing I don’t know about?

Appeals Court: Angels Can Keep Being Really, Really Lame

The 4th District Court has ruled that the Orange Angels of Disneyheim can keep living under an assumed name for the time being. The trial for the City of Anaheim’s lawsuit will be in November, which will be when the point is decided for reals.

The team, previously known as the Anaheim Angels, said the new name would attract more fans, advertisers and broadcast contracts by emphasizing its connection to Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest media market.

As I previously wrote, I still think if the Angels really wanted to cash in on someone else’s celebrity they should go with Orange County Choppers, which jumped the shark ages ago (think AOL commercials) and could probably use the help.

Now, I can already hear Angels fans crowing about the recent sweep of the Dodgers during interleague play. To them, I would point out two things. First, Angel manager Mike Scioscia said after the games, “Even though we swept the Dodgers, any of these games could have gone the other way.” Considering the Angels were basically playing an AAA squad doesn’t say much for you. And second, the Dodgers will eventually improve. The name “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim” — never.

People sure do love the Drama

I’m a nerd. I know this. I say dumb things and make my self laugh about them all the time. When my dogs take a crap in their litterbox (yes, my dogs crap in a litterbox) I’ve been known on occasion to say “AH! There’s a shitsnake in the litterbox!!” It makes Caryn smile which is enough of a reason for me to say it again some other time.

Some people might know Mark Hunter. You might know him as the cobrasnake. He takes photos and puts them online at the polaroid scene You can see where this is heading I hope. I’ve known Mark for a few years now and the other day I was looking at his site and made the joke. A few minutes later was online. I made a post about it on my own blog and kind assumed that was that. I figured Mark would see it and laugh, and maybe the 4 other people who read my site might do the same.

Boy was I wrong.

Yesterday LA Voice asked if I was ” trending towards potty humor, ad hominem attacks, lurid site criticism or self-sabotaging smear campaigns” and today says they are glad I “found someone else to dump on.” Wow, people sure do love the drama don’t they?

Sorry to disappoint – it’s just a joke.

Ha. Ha. Ha. Mystery Photo Contest – Vol. 2, No. 3

First things first. This week’s edition of the Mystery Photo Contest is sans the cool prize of the tickets to Video Games Live. I know… that sucks. But the show at the Hollywood Bowl is July 6 and I was only allocated a couple pair, the remaining two of which I gave away last week. So now we’re out of the digital gamer realm and back to calling all to eyedee an actual real world snapshot of something around town taken by yours very truly.

Clue: I’m bound to have my hackles raised hearing “how stupid easy” this shot’s subject is to pinpoint, so I’m not giving up anything about it other than to say my wife and I found it on a Sunday morning four-mile walk with the dog around Silver Lake. Click the image for a larger version.

tinytush.jpgRules: Post a comment correctly identifying what’s pictured and where it’s at and you’ll be entered into the pool from which one winner will be randomly chosen and announced Friday July 1 or whenever this contest scrolls off the bottom of the page ó whichever comes first. Don’t have a clue where it is? Poaching from other entrants is encouraged. Hey, I’m after quantity not quality. Word is my glorious leader Sean “Shut Up I’m Working On It” Bonner is trying to get a prize more worthy everybody’s esteemed participation, but that could take years so in the meantime, the winner will receive a collector’s edition Tush sticker printed with real ink and made with real adhesive. In the event of no one getting it right, the creator of the most entertaining guess will be hailed victorious at the discretion of yours very truly.

Goodbye, folks!

Tomorrow we are heading for Vancouver. (And hopefully our baggage will end up in Canada, too.)

We had a great time here and I really enjoyed blogging for! Thank you for supporting our tour.
Best wishes and auf wiedersehen!

PS: Visited Caltech today. Took a picture of a geeky antidogism sticker on one of the material science lab doors.