Fiesta of Ads

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On Sunday I went to the yearly promotional event that takes place on Broadway in Downtown, absurdly called a Fiesta, and I took a few pictures. It’s time the event changes its names to something more like Ad Fiesta, Ads on Broadway, or Crap Items You May Later Wish To Purchase Day, or it should just be canceled (preferably the latter) because there is nothing festive about this sucky, sorry excuse for an event. And it’s depressing that companies see Latinos as nothing but a marketing demographic. Although there are some stages for music, the bulk of what you are expected to do is to wait in long lines at booths to get some product samples. Let me show you! (cuidado: muchas fotos!)
Continue reading Fiesta of Ads

Frankly Franklins

OK, I knew where Franklin Heights was, and I knew where Atwater Village was because of the Bigfoot Lodge…but until reader Bobby submitted a comment about his new neighborhood sign, I had no idea there was a Franklin Village, too. But after his wife spotted the sign, Bobby got a photo, and remarked that the neighborhood was home to “local hangouts of Birds, Upright Citizen Brigade Theater, and the Scientology Celebrity Center.”

So now there’s a Franklin Heights, a Franklin Village…and I have no idea whether either of them even connect to Franklin Ave. Neither does the city. The L.A. City Nerd has actually had to start a quest to define all L.A. neighborhoods in Google maps because even Los Angeles doesn’t have a map of all these new neighborhoods. (The collection of neighborhood signs is up on the Flickr group.)

Anyone defined the boundaries of Franklin Village yet? And by the way, where’s MY SiFi sign?!?

Best places to write?

screenplaywriter.gifI had some editing to do, and trying to get it done at home with an 11-month-old who wants my attention was impossible. So today I walked to the nearest Starbucks and sat in a comfy chair with a large (I won’t say Venti, except I just did, but that was only for illustrative purposes) soy chai and a red pen and marked up that script in an hour and a half. Something I’ve been trying to get done for two months took me less than two hours. And yes, I still have to actually type up the changes, but the hard part is done.

Our budget doesn’t usually allow me to do things like that (five bucks for a cup of tea is out of the question most days), but it’s become clear to me that I must get out of here occasionally in order to accomplish anything. And I really don’t like Starbucks. Of the chains, I really only like Peets. I vastly prefer non-chain coffee shops, but the only one I’m familiar with is Stir Crazy on Melrose, and parking is unpredictable.

So I ask you: where do you go to write? If you have a favorite coffee shop, I’d love to know. (If you don’t want to share it with the world, please consider emailing me privately – annika at noirbettie dot com.) If you have another place, I’d like to know about that, too! I’m sure lots of writers don’t go to coffee shops. Actually, I was thinking of going to the library, but I wanted that tea. Maybe next time.

Oh! If you could note whether your writing spot of choice has wireless, and whether that wireless is free, I’d appreciate it. So far I haven’t needed it but I’d like to know where I can get it for future reference.

I live in Koreatown but I’d love to hear about your writing spots all over town.

Coachella 2007 Roundup

I just got back from Coachella a few hours ago. I had a great time, and got a few photos of the event. I think I’ve been to every Coachella except the first one, and for the last 3 years I have programmed a little application called the Cocachooser. Doing this programming gets me fairly unrestricted access to the event.

The last couple of years I stayed in a friend’s RV, before that I camped a few years, and before that I did the hotel thing. This year I bit the bullet and rented my own RV, which was very convenient as it allowed me to leave everything in one place and just carry with me what I would need (cameras). It also provided a place for me to drink, and the combination of whisky and the hot sun resulted in me not seeing any of the headliners. Oh well, I still had a great time.

Xeni covered Coachella in a three part series on BoingBoing and used a bunch of my photos. Don Garza thinks that the MSM are covering Coachella because of me, and I appreciate that thought, but I didn’t have anything to do with it.

LAist posted almost nothing in comparison to the onslaught of pre-Coachella posts they put up, although Tony Pierce did take the time to whine about expensive festival food, lines, and distant parking in his Coachella Breakup post... did he really sell his press tickets and then brag about it online?

Update: Oops… taking the Greyhound to, or more specifically home from, Coachella may have been a bad idea as dozens of stranded concertgoers have found out the hard way.

Update 2: Tony pierce has commented that he didn’t have press tickets, so he sold the tickets he bought, which is no big deal. Sorry for the baseless accusation, Tony.

How to survive a walk through gang territory

Writer/Art designer “East Los Angeles” at ThisIsBy.us has some tips he’s learned from having to walk around four different gang territories in his neighborhood.

Always walk with your hands out of your pockets! The last thing you want is fuckers thinking your packing heat or can of paint… Walk at a normal pace, and never say “whats up” to people you don’t know…

On avoiding being “taxed” (mugged), he says he “would usually take off any jewelery and hide it under my cap.”

He also says to watch out for cars that are driving at night without their headlights on – they could be prepping for a driveby – but while you should look for safety, don’t run.

“Running seems to send the bullets your way.”

And in the worse case scenario you do get shot, either run away really fast, “or pretend that your dead, the last thing they want is a witness.”

Los Angeles landmark no more?

rest-bevhills-photo1.jpgI’ve been hearing the awful rumors since about this time last year that Trader Vic’s was going to be bull-dozed for some new shitbox condos or hotel. Well it looks like that day has come because the legendary Hawaiian themed bar and restaurant on the corner of Santa Monica and Wilshire boulevards has stopped taking reservations and will soon be leveled. I’m pretty sure that if Frank Sinatra was still alive homeboy wouldn’t let this shit fly. Ol’ Blue Eyes would have his pistol in someone’s face right about now straightening shit out. Seeing as how that isn’t going to happen, I recommend calling and complaining about LA’s best spot for Mai Tai’s and Scorpion Bowls being shut down. Give em’ hell. Tel: 310-276-6345

KFC to start warning us about naturally occurring suspected carcinogen

Apparently we’re extremely dense and need lots of protecting here in California. At least that’s what the Attorney General seems to think which is causing KFC to start warning it’s customers that it’s food might contain a carcinogen. That would be Acrylamide, a naturally occurring substance found in cooked potatoes. Of course it’s also found in coffee, toasted cereals and breads and a whole slew of other foods. Even better is that no one else outside of California seems to care about this, so there is a ton of cash and time and effort being spent to warn us Californians about something that really doesn’t matter. From the LA Times:

“The warning, in part, says: “Cooked potatoes that have been browned, such as French fries, baked potatoes and potato chips, contain acrylamide, a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer…. It is created in fried and baked potatoes made by all restaurants, by other companies, and even when you bake or fry potatoes at home.”

When asked whether the company would add similar warnings at restaurants around the country, Preston said that he was unaware of any other states requiring health warnings for acrylamide and that it naturally occurs in a wide variety of cooked foods.”

What I want to know, is who will protect us from bread?

Children forced to march in downtown L.A.?

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/04/childmarch_indymedia-thumb.jpgCan we all agree that this past weekend was probably the busiest the city of Los Angeles has ever seen? Music fests, cowboy fests, book fests, presidential fundraisers, and more.

What you may have missed was yesterday’s “Children’s March Against Racist Deportations and Immigration Laws”. LA Indymedia has pics and extensive coverage:

Hundreds of Mexican and “Central American”-descent children marched through downtown Los Angeles Sunday afternoon to protest “racist immigration laws and racist deportations.” The children and their families marched approximately four blocks, from Olvera Street to City Hall.

The children — the vast majority who are U.S. citizens due to the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution — wore white t-shirts with the message “Legalize My Parents.”

While I empathize with the movement, I find there’s always something distasteful about using children as instruments to promote a political agenda, no matter the cause.
Continue reading Children forced to march in downtown L.A.?

Coachella Live Photo Blogging : Sunday Part 3

Willie Nelson:

Willie Nelson

Xeni has more excellent Coachella coverage over on BoingBoing, and I’m not just saying that because she used a bunch of my photos. When I shot that photo of the robot with his guts hanging out, I had a few drinks in me and asked if he was autonomous. The operators told me he was the singularity. A few minutes later I actually listened to the voice coming out, and it was a guy 10 feet away on a walkie-talkie. =]

From The Festival of Books to Little Tokyo Lofts

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(Photo of a nattily dressed FOB attendee. There were many such men. If young men my age would take a cue from these older fellas and wear some bitchen’ threads–and hats–I’d date much more often.)

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books was still crowded, depite Coachella drawing what I’m sure would be many Festival-goers to Indio–the date’n’meth capital of Southern California. Somewhat overwhelmed, I milled around my alma mater revisiting my favorite library, checking out the refurbished arts building (which looks, IMHO, like an architect’s mini model rendered life-size–it’s quite odd), and reeling around in the crowd.

From there it was the 10 East to Downtown, where the Little Tokyo Lofts seem like a hermetically-sealed biosphere amidst the grunge of Skid Row, its occupants vacuum-sealed away from the outside world. It even has an enclosed dog run, and the bridge from its parking structure, located at the third floor of the structure, makes it seem even more separate, removed. Cross the bridge…
(pictures from the FOB after the jump)
Continue reading From The Festival of Books to Little Tokyo Lofts

Some stuff I found at the 99cent store

Something fitting about these uber-crappy photos I took at the 99cent store.

First up in this brief gallery are these solid plastic, 8″ USC plates. Perfect for your frat house, or maybe even to turn into shields for your next costume as a Trojan hero.

Also included in this brief gallery:

  • Virginia Tech pacifiers.
  • Nads for Men.
  • Ham flavored food stuffs.
  • Marvel “Klik” candy.

Feel free to post a link to your own crazy finds at the 99cent store…

…more craptastic pix after the jump…
Continue reading Some stuff I found at the 99cent store

Deal of the Week – Valrhona Bars for $2

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/04/bla-valrhona-thumb.jpgThe Man and I toodled over to Surfas in Culver City yesterday in search of some spices and other goodies.

I wanted to pass along the deal that I stumbled up on there. Valrhona chocolate bars for $2 a piece. Before you go saying, chocolate bars for $2 is no deal! Let me explain that Valrhona bars go for as much as $6 each (though I think they’re far less at Trader Joe’s).

The caveat is that the bars are expired. I bought an assortment and found that they were just as tasty and fresh as others I’ve bought.

The selection was good, with 9 bars representing their Gran Cru, Single Origin and Organics lines. They had quite a few left, in addition to the displays, full cases below on the shelves. Some of the expirations were from last November, but others expire tomorrow. It’s not like they’re eggs and become toxic once past their prime, as long as bars are stored properly they’re good for 18 months.

If you have a passion for real chocolate, be sure to tell the FDA “Don’t Mess with My Chocolate“.

What You Say!!

I’ve been traveling and in Chicago for the last week or so and hence I’m missing the discussions here in LA. But you don’t have to, so here’s the posts with the most comments from the last 7 days…