Another blackeye for the LAPD?

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2006/07/pershingtapedoff-thumb.jpgSince May 1st, Blogdowtown’s Eric Richardson has been trying to solve the mystery as to why most of Pershing Square has been closed off to the public. In spite of dilligent investigation, he continued to get the run around. (image is of the park’s cordoned off areas)

If you ask Parks & Rec they’ll tell you LAPD put the tape up to combat drug dealing. If you talk to LAPD they’ll tell you that the park asked them to put the tape up. (from Blogdowntown’s “Pershing Square Tape Watch”)

Today, LA Downtown News Online finally brings an answer:

Officials from the Los Angeles Police Department and a private security firm hired by the city said the closure was part of an effort to keep crime out of Pershing Square.

“The reason why we closed it was in response to people’s complaints about crime in the area,” Central Division Police Capt. Andy Smith said. The goal, he added, was to discourage criminals and drug addicts from using the park so that once the tape came off, the area would be cleaner and safer. (full article)

Creative actions to curb crime should be applauded and encouraged. However, it appears that for nearly three months the LAPD deliberately and repeatedly misinformed the public in this effort. Without a doubt, this creates mistrust of our law enforcement and public officials, all in the name of “good intentions”.
Continue reading Another blackeye for the LAPD?

Mar Vista Farmer’s Market

MVFMpostersm.gifWhen I first came to L.A., I moved to a house in Mar Vista. I liked it there, because it was a quiet postwar neighborhood that still seemed to have that 1950s-era optimism. There were no freeways slicing it up, there was no real crime to speak of, and being in that kind of neighborhood made it easier for me to transition into L.A. when I came down from my equally quiet middle-class corner of Vancouver. (That would be Kitsilano, for those of you out there who know Vancouver – the Santa Monica of that city.)

I still have a soft spot in my heart for Mar Vista, which is only a couple miles from where I live now, in Venice. And that’s why I’m so delighted that they will be getting their own Sunday farmer’s market. I used to either bike to the Santa Monica market, or drive up to the West L.A. one on Sundays, and visit the library while I was there. Now, I usually just fight the crowds in Santa Monica. It will be nice to have another market in the area, especially one less crazy than Santa Monica gets on Sundays.

The market will be on Grandview, a block south of Venice Blvd., Sundays from 9am to 1pm. More reasons on why you should go behind the cut.
Continue reading Mar Vista Farmer’s Market

No Tater for YOU!

Straight from the eBay’s mouth:

Item number: 320012718435
Title: WIN A DATE WITH TOMMY TATER WILSON OF FAST INC FAME

Unfortunately, eBay removed this auction-style listing because it’s against the law, eBay policy, or both. All bids or offers on this listing have been canceled. We advise you to not purchase this item.

CRAP! It’s all over!

Now I want to know how Kathy Griffin auctioned a weekend with her — ?

Southwest’s ABCs are easy as 1 2 3

southwest.jpgMy favorite website, Consumerist.com, offers a great suggestion on how to get an upgraded boarding pass for Southwest Airlines that involves little to zero knowledge of Photoshop:

1) View your boarding pass in Firefox.

2) Click “File” then “Save Page As”. Choose the “Save as Type” as Web Page, Complete.

3) Save the graphic at right (this image linked at Consumerist.com).

4) Open the saved page with any HTML editor. Change the boardingB.gif or boardingC.gif to your saved file.

5) Print out your modified boarding pass and bring it to the airport.

Unsure what Homeland Security makes of this traveler’s tip.

(full article here… picture from sfPhotocraft via Flickr)

Lana Kim (Pet Photographer) on Apartment Therapy

On Apartment Therapy’s Los Angeles section, Gregory interviews Los Angeles-based pet-photographer (as well as one of the kindest people I know) Lana Kim. This girl is seriously talented and I’m not just saying that because my dog Lebowski has been her subject and his pic is featured in her interview (he’s the cutie in the middle).

For many of us, animals are not just “pets”, but beloved family members whom we treat just like fellow humans companions (sometimes better). We play together, eat together, takes naps together, and grow old together. Visit most any proud pet owner’s home and it’s very likely they’ve got an assortment of personal photos of their pet pal prominently displayed throughout their home. Our pets say as much about us and our lifestyle as our homes themselves.

Continue reading the interview here.

Ain’t no Mystery about this date

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[yes, it’s an actual photo]

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[unfortunately, so’s this]

Ladies, if you’re single and ready to mingle, might I recommend you check out this fine eBay auction?

Yessirree, this is a serious auction for a date with one of LA’s most eligible bachelors, Tommy “Tater” Wilson, made ultra-famous by his death-defying feats on behalf of the Fast Ashleys for their MTV extravaganza.

The winning bidder will go on a romantic evening of food, good conversation and possibly the LA gun club.

The auction describes Tater as “A hopeless romantic all wrapped up like a big teddy bear,” and certainly that he is.
Continue reading Ain’t no Mystery about this date

Tuesday is the 23rd Annual “America’s Night Out Against Crime'”

The nationwide event is being held here in Los Angeles on Tuesday, August 1st, from 6pm to 9pm… leading me to believe this should actually be called the “National Evening Out” (doesn’t night officially begin after 9pm?). The LAPD Blog provides the details:

Traditionally, “lights on” and front porch vigils have been ways to participate in the annual event, however, activities have expanded to include block parties, cookouts, parades, police station open houses, festivals, neighborhood walks, safety fairs, contests, rallies and meetings.

The LAPD also provides a .pdf with dozens of events citywide.
Continue reading Tuesday is the 23rd Annual “America’s Night Out Against Crime’”

Los Angeles is America’s Birdiest County

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Los Angeles is now officially for the birds…

Earlier in July LA a new honor was bestowed unto the city as it was named “America’s Birdiest County.” Now, I am all too aware that Los Angeles is full of birds – I have a few who chirp outside my window at all hours of the night making me wish that I’d just order the Bird B Gone and be done with it. However, I accept that living in LA means taking the nature with the city and, in reality, it’s what I love most about living here.

The San Diego Audobon Society created this event for the title of “America’s Birdiest County” three years ago. The purpose is simple – cities/counties compete for this title with dozens “birders” scouting their city during a 72 hour period for various bird species. This past April 28-30, birders in Los Angeles located a whopping 265 bird species – and we beat San Diego only by four species! Natural History Museum Ornithology Collections Manager Kimball L. Garrett says that although they do not carry the pretense of valuable science these birding excercies do however “…underscore the tremendous biological diversity in the Los Angeles region.”

Results are as follows:

County Categories (with number of species identified):
Coastal County: Los Angeles, CA 265
Coastal Gulf County: Nueces County, TX 255
Coastal Atlantic County: Richmond County, NY 160
Inland County: Kern County, CA 247
Inland County, Central Flyway: Bexar County, TX 205
Inland County, Atlantic Flyway: (all Eastern entries were coastal)

Image is of Costa’s Hummingbird which was one of the species counted in LA County.

Update: see Eecue’s post on blogging.la about the birds from last week!

Housing Market Crashing?

When Caryn and I moved to LA 5 years ago we almost bought a house. A 3 BR hillside place in Mt Washington for $350K. We decided against it at the last moment and thought it would be best to get a feel for the city first then buy something. We try not to talk about that decision. Ever. For obvious reasons. The last few years we’ve seen the houses in our Silver Lake neighborhood go from $500K to $750K to $1.3M. We’d see houses go up for sale, and within days the signs would be gone and people would be moving in. Last week we were driving around and noticed that not only were the signs not disappearing as fast, but there were tons more of them. Houses aren’t selling as quick, and there are more of them to choose from. AOLer Jason Calacanis is seeing the same thing:

“Two years ago when I started looking it was the buyers were in a panic. You were told to make an offer within a day of seeing a house, and to send a letter to the owner about how privileged you would be if they would sell you their home. Of course you should offer 10% more than the asking price–you don’t want to be rude!

When we looked last week three of the eight houses were “flips” by real estate brokers. That is, houses they bought, remodeled and were no reselling. Those three “flips” were on the market for 30-120 days and had all been recently reduced 10-15% from their original asking price. Within 10 minutes of walking in each of the brokers said they had room to work, and that they could make changes to the home (i.e. we could put a room here or a pool–whatever you want).

The most telling part for me was that the brokers themselves are looking to get out. They want out so bad that they are willing to reduce the price by 10-15% not once, but twice, over ~60 days.”

Could prices be headed back in a reasonable direction? That sure would be nice for those of us still writing monthly rent checks.

2007 L.A. Marathon Course Drastically Altered

The L.A. Marathon’s website is down as I type this, but I just received an email from Devine Sports (owners of the L.A. Marathon; their website is also down) stating that the course has undergone a drastic alteration for the 2007 marathon scheduled for March 4:

“Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today unveiled the first point-to-point course in L.A Marathon history and its new start line at Universal Studios Hollywood.”

There’s nothing that I can find announcing the new route on the city’s website and I’m not sure what the hell a point-to-point course is or why it was decided to change it so monumentally, but I’ll withhold any preliminary umbrage until I can get more information.

UPDATE (1:33 p.m.): The various sites are back up. Here’s the press release from Devine Sports. And here’s the PDF that maps out the new course (thanks, huphtur!).

UPDATE (3:19 p.m.): My worries about the marathon’s bike tour look to be realized. The media contact reports that while not finalized it is expected that the bike tour will “start and finish near the marathon start line” meaning that cyclists will be dealing with finishing their ride via that wonderful climb up and over Cahuenga Pass. What a great way to warm up for those of us planning to do the bike event and the marathon (and by “great” I mean “suckass” and by “warm up” I mean “burn out”).

From abLA :: América Tropical to be Restored

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What a busy year it’s been for public art in Los Angeles! Well today there is good news…

Tomorrow morning Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa and Councilmember Jos√© Huizar along with the Getty’s Deborah Marrow, Timothy Whalen, and Joan Weinstein will publicly announce a multi-million dollar public-private partnership to finalize conservation efforts to 1932 mural Am√©rica Tropical by David Alfaro Siqueiros…continue reading

OMG Iced Venti Shortage!

starbucks.jpgIt’s offical – All Starbucks in the city are completely out of Iced Venti cups. The translation for normal people is the large size of the clear cups they put cold drinks in. The coffee maker person who I talked to this morning said the situation was critical and they don’t know when they will be receiving replacements. If you try ordering a large iced drink they will default you to the medium size if you aren’t careful. The trick around this is you have to specifically request the large size of the paper cups which they will do, but only if you ask for it. I was firmly warned this morning that “cold drinks cause the paper cups to fall apart very quickly.” I’m not sure why cold liquid is more destructive to their cups than hot liquid but there you have it. If you need a large iced coffee beverage from Starfucks in the next few days this is info you are going to want to have on hand.

The Scoop on Where to Go When Arclight’s Website Doesn’t Work

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I love the Arclight (oh boy do I ever) but their website, not so much. It’s been discussed here on blogging.la that their site has some unnecessary difficulties more than should be allowed. Last night went online to see what time Scoop was playing today and though most stuff was working, the performance times were not. When I clicked onto the Scoop page it gave me this: Performance Data Currently Unavailable for Selected Date. This of course means no buying tickets in advance online but, though I love Woody Allen, I seriously doubt it’s going to be sold out.

Anyway, the moral of this story – when your first and most obvious try doesn’t work, try again. That’s how I got the “scoop” and found Los Angeles Movie Times dot com (you won’t begrudge my pun will you?). It’s part of Mr. Movie Times and a bit generic but, hey, at least now I know what time Scoop is playing. And for the record that’s: 1:05, 3:15, 5:35, 8:15, 10:25

Why I’m Not A Pet Detective

So my most recent involvement in coming to the aid of animals has turned out way much better than my previous attempt, but today’s doggie drama only shos me I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me if I ever hope to make detective.

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2006/07/dog1-thumb.jpgIt all started out while walking my own magnificent mutt Shadow this morning on Bellevue along our regular long loop through lower Silver Lake and passing by a house whose deck had not previously hosted any animals but was now featuring a smallish and yappy white terrier-mix type dawg that I couldn’t get too good a look at. A bit further down at the corner of Silver Lake Boulevard and Bellevue I saw the lightpost flyer (at right) one of many blanketing the neighborhood. Stitching two and two together however tenuously I dialed up the number and told the woman that answered that it was a sketchy lead at best but perhaps it might maybe might be her lost dog that I just glancingly saw. She was grateful for the info however flimsy and after giving her directions to come check it out for herself I wished her luck and Shadow and I continued onward.

Fast forward and we’re up on Sunset Boulevard near the 99-cents store and low-and-behold there’s a posting (after the jump) for a found dog that’s smallish, whitish, terrier-ish. Too good to be true-ish?
Continue reading Why I’m Not A Pet Detective