You Light Up My Life

Of course I’m not one to advocate slowing traffic down, but sometimes it’s necessary. I was happy to see that the dangerous pedestrian situation on Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood finally has a resolution. Santa Monica Blvd. christened a new traffic light at Bronson yesterday with Eric Garcetti at the switch.

You may remember I blogged about the death of Seily Rodriguez earlier this year, a grade school student who was killed crossing the street. The long stretch of road between Van Ness and Gower was without a light or even a crosswalk. While this was too late for Seily, a new community school is opening just a block down from this crosswalk. So, if you’re driving Santa Monica Blvd., keep your eye out for the new light and of course for those that still don’t use it. Be safe. Previous posts here, here and the initial story here.

Flickr photos here. (Special thanks to Josh Kamensky for sending me the link and following up.)

Fully Engulfed

Leaving work this afternoon I spotted this city vehicle seriously involved with flames at the southbound 5 Freeway just below the 134 Freeway. Probably already been doused and cleared but just in case you’re traveling tonight , you might want to avoid the interchange or at least check some traffic mappage. [Click image to biggify]

tagged up blimp

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Michael Doss down in The OC saw this crazy thing in the sky today:

“I’m not a big fan of blimps, so understandable I freaked out and had to take a picture when this monster flew over my house yesterday. It’s colorful, unidentified, and you can click on the pic for a larger version.”

We saw it over LA this morning as well and remarked at how it looked like a panel van that got al tagged up from parking on the wrong street or something. Anyway, there’s no branding visible from the ground so I’ve got no idea who it’s supposed to be advertising for. Anyone know anything about WTF this thing is all about?

Leave No Pet Behind…

Per KCAL 9:

Evacuees from a Southern California wildfire raging for three days have fled with dogs, cats, birds and other creatures. But many people left pets behind or didn’t have time to get them out.

Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control is the lead of three agencies sheltering pets, including 86 horses, two llamas, two alpacas, two goats, 22 dogs, six cats, two birds, one turtle and an unknown number of guinea pigs. Many of those animals have been picked up by their owners.

The city of Los Angeles and Ventura County animal control departments also sheltered animals, including 56 horses, housed at Pierce College in Woodland Hills and the Ventura County Fairgrounds. The Los Angeles County animal control spokeswoman, Kaye Michelson, says there is no charge to animal owners.

Many home owners were at work when the fire broke out Wednesday and were prevented from getting back to their homes because of evacuation orders.

Michelson says many people have been calling, asking that their homes be broken into and their animals rescued.

Wait, You’re Saying I Can Have Beer With My Free WiFi?

God bless America.

This month, San Pedro Brewing Company celebrates 6 years of providing my hometown with one of its few, truly cool hang-outs. And, for four of those years, it’s provided us with the only local microbrew – treating us to such delights as the Point Fermin Pale Ale, the Shanghai Red, and a Christmastime special that’s called Blitzen for a reason.
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Microbreweries seem to be all the rage these days – so much so that it’s easy to confuse them: the semi-clever names, the stock menu of bar food, the obligatory weekly entertainment. Well, not here. There’s nothing stock about SPBC’s menu, which is varied and always meticulously prepared to be more than your average burger-and-fries. My personal menu – enjoyed on my birthday for each of SPBC’s six year’s so far – Gaffey Fries to start (french fries smothered in cheese, bacon, chives, sour cream, and love), a BLT&A split with my best friend, and at least one – okay, at most one – San Pedro Iced Tea, which puts Long Island’s to shame and me in detox for the next day. It’s rich, but that’s why it’s a once a year menu.

Other nights, it’s hard to resist the grilled salmon sandwich or the house specialty: grilled Santa Maria Tri-Tip so good you could probably use it to convert even your staunchest vegetarian friends. Sound like average pub menu items? Maybe, but you need to taste them to believe them. No soggy buns here, my friends. BBQ Pulled-Pork that melts in your mouth. Bruschetta that makes you wonder how a tomato and some basil can get you to Nirvana. This sh*t is good, get it?

And as if the food and drink weren’t enough, now I find out that SPBC also has free WiFi – meaning there is NO reason not to make the drive to San Pedro (look! I’m blogging live – right here with my beer!.
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Add to all this the rotating exhibits of local artists and photographers, the inspired entertainment schedule – which now includes iPod Fridays because the owner decided the best way to figure out what customers wanted to hear was just to let them play it themselves – and SPBC fills a much needed void in San Pedro and the city generally: the true neighborhood spot that brings together some of the best we have to offer in food, entertainment, service, art, and community spirit.

Come – visit, eat, blog, drink, and be merry. Soon, James Brown (not that one, this one) will be your local hero too.

San Pedro Brewing Co. – 331 West 6th Street, San Pedro, CA 90731; (310) 831-5663; www.sanpedrobrewing.com; open for lunch and dinner daily, Sunday NFL Football Brunch at 10am; meals from $6-$15; full bar; Trojan fans might not want to wear USC colors.

Because Everyone Loves A Sale…

Per Franklin Avenue:

It’s going to be a busy next few weekends for CD collectors, as two of L.A.’s venerable independent record stores hold major parking lot sales.

First up: Aron’s Records (1150 N. Highland) holds its semi-annual sale this weekend: Saturday, Oct. 1 (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and Sunday, Oct. 2 (10 a.m – 6 p.m.).

Make sure to click here and print out a coupon for additional savings. Arons’ parking lot prices are decent, and you’ll occassionally find diamonds in the rough. But like any parking lot CD sale, you’ll also find a lot of crap. It’s impossible to get through all of the stacks (unless you have the time so spend all seven hours at the sale), so I’d recommend checking out the cheapest CDs first.

The following weekend (Oct. 8 and 9), Silver Lake’s Rockaway Records (2395 Glendale Blvd.) holds its “Member-only In-store Sale.”

Non-members can click here to print out a pass that will get you into the sale. Rockaway has downsized so many times, I’m not sure what to expect from their latest event. Until a year ago, the store kept its budget items in the back of the store (and before that, in its very own outlet) — but now this is the only time those CDs are available.

KCRW to Drop Day to Day

According to L.A. Observed, KCRW is going to drop NPR’s Day to Day as of October 17. Since I can’t post comments at L.A. Observed, allow me to do so here:

Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

‘Nuff said.

And now, for a totally different perspective

All this focus on the LA fires and natural disasters made me forget about the rest of the world for a minute. Luckily the Web exists and in an instant I reminded of the amazing world I cohabitate. An old friend recently returned from a vacation in Ethiopia. His descriptions of the land and people left me breathless.

  • Seeing assault rifles everywhere. They are used, too, either on animals or people. Ethiopians pay about as much attention to them as we do cell phones.
  • Observing the strength of family and community bonds. Ethiopians are to be envied unequivically for this. Such social ties are disappearing or no longer exist in America.
  • The physical sensations of the country are amazing. The roads are an unending swirl of bumps, diesel fumes, dust, bugsÖ the entire country has a unique sticky-sweet smell. Some treacly combination of sweat, vegitation, excrement, and millenia of biota all living, feasting, and dying on top of eachother.
  • Plastic bottles, pens, razor bladesÖ these are the currency of the southern tribes
  • There is so much life in Ethiopia, animal and human, and the rural lifestyle means families have lots of children. Yet their is also a high mortality rate. ëMakes one wonder if life is valued less because of this. (Or, conversely, do we Americans overrate the value of life for the exact opposite reasons?)
  • Favorite unexpected tidbit of knowledge: Ethiopians have developed a special handshake they use while eating (touch wrists instead of hands). This is because ethiopian cuisine is traditionally eaten with the right hand, but keeping your hands clean at other times is nearly impossible. You really donít want to touch someoneís hand and and then put something in your mouth!

Read more.

We Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans…

Just found out about this event tonight, which was also mentioned by Nic Harcourt on KCRW‘s Morning Becomes Eclectic:

We Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans [Topanga, CA]

An all-acoustic evening with Hani Naser & John Densmore, Donna Delory, Berry Oakley Jr., Deon Estus, Suzanne Teng & Gilbert Levy, Eric Lynn, Robin Moxey, Michael Mulder, Daniel Mackenzie, Stephanie Lallouz, Darby Warren, Jesca Hoop, Robby Genet, Kevin Casper, Rick Ellis, Tim Ogara, Brendan O’Halerin, Doug Farren, Eliza Jane, Old Bull, Robby Elfman, Burt Gleicher, John Andrew Parks, The Crawfish Wranglers and Very Special Guests.

At the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 Topanga Boulevard, Topanga, California.

Hold The Malt Vinegar

It makes the sails all soggy . . . .

Tomorrow, Oct. 1, The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium celebrates its 70th Birthday along with the Los Angeles Maritime Museum – celebrating its 25th – at an event called “Fisn’n’Ships” here in lovely – significantly cooler than wherever you are now – San Pedro:

Come celebrate CMA’s 70th and the Los Angeles Maritime Museum’s 25th Birthdays and enjoy two jewels of the sea located right in your own community treasure chest. fishnships.JPG
This FREE event will be filled with activities, games, prizes and more from 10 am – 5 pm. At 11 am join our first speaker of FCMA’s Lecture Series, CMA Director Emeritus, John Olguin, who will speak on the histories of these two great landmarks which began at the Cabrillo Beach Bathhouse. The Maritime Museum will be exhibiting special objects from their collections and will offer tours of the Angel’s Gate tugboat. . . For more celebration information call 310-548-7562. . . Shuttles will be provided to transport guests between the Museum and Aquarium. Parking is Free.