Hi-Fi to Become 43% Easier to Find

hifisign.gifNot only do we have our own Chamber of Commerce and fancy crosswalks, but as of August 5th the proud residents of Hi-Fi will also have our own freeway sign. If you’ve ever wondered how to find my house, the Alvarado exit off the 101 freeway will soon bear a new “Historic Filipinotown” sign and to celebrate Pilipino American Network and Advocacy is presenting an all day festival with performances and bus tour of my fancy digs. On the map, son! Pinoy pride!

Saturday, August 5, 2006
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA)
1740 W. Temple St.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

For more information, contact Ms. Cecile Ramos, President of the Interim Board of the Historic Filipinotown Neighborhood Council, at (213) 413-3323.

Griffith Observatory Opens this Fall

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Mark your calendars – the historic Griffith Observatory is due to finally re-open after a very long rennovation and expansion this fall. The Observatory, which celebrated its 71st anniversary on (the building opened May 14, 1935), has been closed to the public since early January 2002 for its reported $90 million dollar make-over. Unfortunately this closure coincided with my new arrival to Los Angeles so all I really know about the Observatory is that it’s a popular meeting point in Alias and that the Museum of Jurassic Technology has an exhibit of angry letters dated around its opening from people who believe it was blasphemous. I can’t wait to visit it for the first time this year!

From the website below (specific strategic points can be read here):

Every system and element of the Observatory is being restored to its original grandeur and improved for the current level of public use (nearly two million visitors a year), including a state-of-the-art planetarium theater.

The Observatory is also being expanded to better meet the needs of its many visitors. By excavating under a portion of the front lawn and western terrace, we are doubling the size of the Observatory without changing the classic appearance of the building. Among the additions are a new presentation theater, two large new exhibit areas, a new on-site cafe, an expanded bookstore, new elevators (to improve access to the entire building), and more restrooms. The Observatory’s exhibit program is also being restored, reconfigured, and greatly expanded.

Can’t wait? The Griffith Observatory Satellite is waiting for you during this process!

Image is from dome construction back in 1933.

MTA meets Haywood Jablowme

Last night the IAAL/MAF set out on what was to be our most ambitious evening ride to date. Will Campbell had mapped out an exciting 23 mile rought he was calling Going for the Gold due in part, or in entirety, because 9 miles of that route was planned to be aboard the MTA Gold line. This turned out to be the fatal flaw in the plan, because even though the MTA brags about welcoming bikes on their trains the routes were just too packed. Will writes about the situation:

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Then it all went dreadfully wrong. The train arrived — and on time, too — but it was only two cars in length and filled pretty much to capacity. Certainly it had room for seven more passengers, but not seven passengers with bikes.

So we opted not to board and instead waited out the 18-minute interval until the next scheduled train. But lo, what yonder doth I see, but a three-car Gold Liner coming towards us out of the darkness only a scant few minutes after the 8:34 train left the station? Alas, “Out Of Service” is emblazoned on its marquee and it screeches on by us. When the 8:54 arrives it’s the same story of two cars, these with even more people than the first. Common sense prevailed and we opted not to board and thus abandoned hope of getting to, and riding home from, Pasadena. And sure enough shortly after that train departed, another three-car “Out Of Service” train scooted by as if mocking me.

I was bummed to say the least. Then I was angry. Where’s the freakin’ logic in cramming passengers into two compartment while the empty triple trains are left to haunt the rails like ghosts of what might have been?

Bummed, and a buck twenty five poorer we finally gave up and made our way over the 110 bike route and then back to Little Tokyo bitching about the MTA the entire way. Of course we’re already planning a new route including the Red Line. We’ll see…

Rock en espanol/Latin alternative upcoming concerts

barrioeconomy.jpg The Latin Alternative Music Conference won’t be held in LA this summer, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be getting some of the best acts of the genre.

Rock en espaÔøΩol, or Latin alternative, draws lots of attention not only from the bilingual Chicanos and Latinos like myself, but also from Gueros like Nic Harcourt. Some bands and artists are homegrown in cities like LA and Austin, while others come from Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela and Colombia.

Tonight I’ll be heading out to Verano Alternativo 2006 at the Knitting Factory.
I’ve heard great things about one of the bands on the lineup, Maneja Beto (MySpace) from friends in Austin.

My dusty dancing shoes will be getting some practice soon.

Rock en EspaÔøΩol concert dates/venues coming up after the jump.
Continue reading Rock en espanol/Latin alternative upcoming concerts

Olympia! Olympia! Sergio Mendes. . .Why?

Some things just don’t age well. Unfortunately, this song by Sergio Mendes made to celebrate the Olympics in Los Angeles in ’84 is definitely one of those things.

The video features a lot of weird dancing sportsmen as well as bad haircuts, lots of spears and some ancient Greeks getting their fight on (because their women wouldn’t touch them.) My favorite part is when the little street kids jump over trash cans and then the scene cuts to a big gymnast guy as if to say “Look downtrodden gang kids! You too can wear tight pants and jump into the sky, if only you’ll try!”

Also note the giant mushroom cloud the gymnast jumps in front of just after 3:15 into the spot and seriously, since when was skipping stones an olympic sport?

If this isn’t a reason for the Olympics to come back to LA in 2016 I don’t know what is. . .we so deserve another chance at a better song.

Halfwit Jurist Given the Boot for Being a Jerk

Regardless of your stance on immigration, I think the reasonable people among us will say that the judge involved in this story sounds like a total jackass:

A judge who threatened deportation to Mexico for an illegal immigrant seeking a restraining order against her husband has been dropped from the roster of part-time judges used by the Los Angeles County Superior Court.


“I hate the immigration laws that we have, but I think the bailiff could take you to the immigration services and send you to Mexico,” the judge responded, according to a court transcript. “Is that what you guys want?”

I have a feeling that what she wanted was for her husband to stop beating her, and for our justice system to do something about it. As evidenced by the fact that she later moved into a domestic violence shelter and had her request for a restraining resubmitted and granted by a decent judge instead of an obnoxious prick pretending to be a fair jurist and making light of other people’s suffering. Fuck you Bruce Fink. I’m sure if it was some Kappa Alpha Gamma brah smacking your daughter around at a Tri Delt kegger at USC you’d suddenly feel very impassioned about the subject.

See My LA, Mr. Takei

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LA Inc. – the convention and tourism bureau – has a current LA promotional campaign called See My LA (doesn’t that sound dirty?). They truly extend beyond the LA stereotype and have celebrities quoting something about their city complete with pictures such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Eva Longoria, and even Barbie are on there. But the one I like best is George Takei – he’s so awesome and I absolutely want to see Sulu’s Los Angeles!

I Love Livin’ in the City

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Everyday on my way home from the gallery I catch the re-broadcast of Jonesy Jutebox on Indie 103.1. Usually I don’t listen unless Jones is talking as he is one interesting fella to me (must be that accent) because the hippy dippy crap he often plays doesn’t appeal to me and, I’ll admit, I do like Tom Leykis. But yesterday, yesterday was beyond awesome – the freakin’ Buzzcocks were live in the studio! I mean, on what universe can I be driving home listening to three live songs played by the Buzzcocks in-between The Damned? It’s heaven, aka Los Angeles!

It’s funny because growing up on the east coast I, and others I know, loved punk rock that came out of the west coast. After moving here some of those bands, like Bad Religion, kind of disappoint while others, like anything Mike Watt, are better than I ever imagined. Like listening to the Buzzcocks today (yes, I know they’re from England), I was similarly dumb-founded by Los Angeles when I saw Watt, Kim Gordon, and Thurston Moore at a gallery opening eariler this year or when I had members of Black Flag and Fugazi at my own gallery last year. I mean, if you would have told me that when I was fifteen I would have never believed you. And for some reason these bands, these experiences, occur often in Los Angeles. I mean, how lucky can we get?

Cool pools: Pt 2: Reconnaissance of the Renaissance

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So in my
quest to find a pool to cool off in here in the city, I checked out the rooftop pool at the Renaissance Hotel at the Hollywood & Highland center. Slipping in was a breeze, I walked through the lobby to the elevator and zipped right up. You do have to brave the parking lot and make sure you get validated from one of the vendors so you don’t spend an arm and a leg parking. The pool itself was cool and inviting, though very little shade is around if you want to chill while you’re hanging about out of the pool. They serve great lunches at the outdoor bar & cafe if you want to eat and drink while splashing around. It’s also steps away from the stairway of the upper level of the shopping center and you can pop down for a bite at one of the many restaurants if you like. Totally low key, not crowded (dead in fact) and easy to do. The cool factor is low, but it’s good for a dip if you are so inclined. I do have to warn you though that two years ago, I stayed there for a night and when my friend and I went to the pool, we were asked for room keys. It was a weekend then so security may be tighter on Saturdays and Sundays. For my first pool jump in the city, it was surprisingly easy.

MySpace Not an Entirely Unstoppable Juggernaut

I missed this news from the weekend that Santa Moica-based MySpace fell victim to the same unrelenting heatwave that’s been dropping landscapers and pool cleaners all over the Southland for the last week. For 12 hours users were served up a Flash-based Pac-Man game instead of their usual feast of self-promotional Bulletin postings and high-school-grade 20 Questions exchanges. Looks like all that News Corp green isn’t enough to buy a decent backup generator.