“Fresh and Easy” starting soft openings in LA Metro

logofe.gif Soft openings have started in the LA Metro area. Soft as in no publicity, no ribbon cutting, just opening the doors and see what happens before the official announced start. From there things can be fine tuned before they start amping up production. Do recall that the Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Markets are all about fresh ready to heat ‘n eat meals so this is more than just tossing up the packaged goods.

My mole with in Fresh and Easy has been working incredibly long hours. He said Hemet opened up almost 2 weeks ago and without any publicity the sales have exceeded expectations. He said that they were told of 5 more soft openings in the next few days. At least one for certain LA proper, one each in Arizona and Nevada. He did opine that the way things have been amped up it could be 10 stores getting soft openings in the next few days. It’s really top secret on what stores are getting the soft opening and he doesn’t even know for certain specific locations. He’s working on it for me right now.

A bit more after the jump.
Continue reading “Fresh and Easy” starting soft openings in LA Metro

Red Flag parkers must choose: Whine or Burn

According to the L.A. Times, not everyone in the Hollywood Hills was aware of the red flag warnings last week as wildfires decimated the Southland. LA parking enforcement officers wrote 400 citations for red flag parking violations, and impounded 100 vehicles.

Residents have little excuse – you can sign up for text alerts, email alerts, or receive an automated phone call by registering at the LAFD’s Red Flag information site. (or simply reading blogging.la periodically – Ruth666 is on top of these announcements like Antonio is on Mirthala). And if this isn’t enough, per the Times, “Electronic signs in some canyon areas are also being considered as a way to announce red flag conditions.”

One resident had a half decent argument: “What if I go away for a weekend and it’s suddenly a red flag day on Saturday? . . . Who’s going to move my car?”

But even that would really mean little if your car impeded emergency vehicles, and lost precious time moving your vehicle instead of saving a house from burning, or worse, killing other residents.

Unfortunately, part of the price you pay moving into the Hollywood Hills, or in other neighborhoods with red flag parking restrictions, is that maybe you don’t leave your car unattended for days at a time without a “sitter.”

On the bright side, the Times reports that since the Griffith Park fire earlier this year, more people have been “following the rules and keeping informed about red flag warnings since then.”

“For every laugh, there should be a tear.” – Walt Disney


As a child, my parents would get my brother and I season pases to Disneyland for Christmas. As we got older, my parents used season passes as an incentive: get good grades, behave yourself, or you don’t get one. As we moved into our late teens, Disneyland passes lost their appeal, and when college came, I left the state for four years. For well over ten years, I didn’t have a pass.

All that changed during the summer, when my boy and I, in a fit of childhood nostalgia, got ourselves a pair. Since then, we go all the time. We finally ate at Blue Bayou, the restaurant inside the Pirates ride. However, there were still two things that needed doing: we still needed to experience the Nemo Submarine ride and we wanted to see the Halloween changes.

I didn’t want to risk taxing your Disney-tolerance threshold; I felt it would be best to make one Super Post of Awesome once my itinerary was complete.

Details (and mountains of pics) after the jump!
Continue reading “For every laugh, there should be a tear.” – Walt Disney

Free Tacos Tomorrow!


That’s right America (or specifically Los Angeles), I guess some sports dude stole a touchdown or something in World Series or Super Bowl or whatever the hell people keep filling up my twitter feed talking about and because of that Taco Bell has decided to give the whole country free tacos. And by whole country I mean whoever has the time to wait in what will certainly be a stupidly long line at every Taco Bell tomorrow between the hours of 2pm and 5pm. Crunchy beef tacos only so if you want something else you are totally screwed and have to fork out the $0.59 they usually cost. If you aren’t so strapped that you can afford your own $0.59 taco and just want to make a run for the border I suggest not going tomorrow between 2pm and 5pm because I’m guessing the rocket scientists who came up with this plan didn’t account for you and there won’t be a “gimmie the free stuff” line and a “I have a few quarters that I found in the parking lot on the way in and want pay for my food” line but rather just the one with everyone jammed in. More info on this Baseball website. Thanks Michael Jordan or Pelé or which ever famous over paid sports dude that hooked this shit up for everyone. Go team!

more ugly pumpkins, too short for candles

10%2029%2007005.jpg Found these ugly beauties at Pavilions this afternoon. Similar to the ugly pumpkins of last week, this time they were a very glorious deep rusty orange. Smelled good too. Problem is that like the last batch they are too short to put a candle in them. I’m a purist, has to be tall enough for a candle. None of that battery operated bulbs for me.

I may get one of these uglies just to cook down for soup and see what happens. The jack’s have a short life as when the treaters leave, they are roasted off and canned the next day for breads, soups, and a few pies during the next few months.

Pic by me with the trusty che-ez. Click it to make it bigger in all its imperfect glory.

Say It’s So, Joe

Attention fat lady: The 2007 Major League Baseball season is over.

The Red Sox are champions. The Rockies are respected. The Giants and Yankees are hated more than ever.

What now?

Should we talk about the improvements to Dodger Stadium? The possibility of next year’s game at the Coliseum? The celebration of the team’s 50 years in Los Angeles? The dream of a Dodger subway line?

Maybe we should be talking about Joe Torre, the new manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He isn’t, yet. But, he should be. The ball is in McCourt’s court. If he wants to start winning, that is.

The Places You Find Yourself

Halloween is always interesting. You start out somewhere, with some people, drinking something. Maybe you’re wearing a costume. Maybe you just think you are. It’s where the night takes you that makes it worthwhile.

This past Saturday night, I found myself in a car with 4 women heading to a party in North Hollywood. Someone said we were going to The Compound. Sure, whatever.

What I found when I got there was my old fraternity house. Or what smelled like it. Faucets that did not work, An attic room above a hallway. A tree house. A half-pipe. A school bus where some dude and his aquarium live.
Continue reading The Places You Find Yourself

Win Tickets to Battles at the Fonda Tomorrow!

>>>EDIT: Sorry kids, the tix all went within five minutes. You can stop e-mailing now.
battles.jpgI’m freshly off the plane from Seattle, still reeking of ozone-rich air and pine trees and rain, but I have to remember to tell you guys–HEY! OMG! We has ticketz! To Battles! At the Fonda! Tomorrow night! And like anarchic icing on the cake of Rock, they play with locals No Age, worth seeing all by themselves and whose DIY art-attack approach to….well, everything (not just music) is really inspiring.

Battles are one of the most refreshing things to happen to rock music since Trail of Dead’s “Source Tags & Codes.” If you haven’t heard them yet, go here and do so. Immediately.

The first three people to email me get a pair of tickets. No quiz this time, my brain’s too refreshed from the Seattle air to manage snark. PLEASE DON’T EMAIL IF YOU CAN’T ACTUALLY GO TO THE SHOW: 10/30 BATTLES with No Age @ the Fonda.

Everything goes better with pear gelato: night trip to Piccomolo

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/10/piccomolo-thumb.JPGLast night while strolling Westwood, I ran across this gelato joint. I am always up for a gelato and especially one that fills you with a feeling of superiority as you stroll in and get to leisurely choose among a bajillion flavors of home-made sorbet and gelato when right across the street too many Uggs-clad UCLA-ites are waiting in a snakey line for their Pinkberry fix.

(Gelato porn courtesy of Ken Justice after the jump. Click ’em to make ’em even bigger. Mmmm….big gelato…)
Continue reading Everything goes better with pear gelato: night trip to Piccomolo

Getting Into The Spirit: Tales From The Crypt

Yesterday was Hollywood Forever’s 8th annual Dia De Los Muertos celebration, an event my wife have been making ourselves up like calaveras and visiting the past several years. This was our first time getting there before nightfall, and while it was a little odd to be seen in broad daylight made-up like the dead, the increased illumination certainly enabled us to better experience some of the awesome altars exhibited.

Flickr photoset here.

As a last stop, we walked through the cemetery’s Cathedral Mausoleum, where in the main hall we enjoyed the juxtaposition of the dour statues of the apostles against the eclectic and vibrant “Noche De Catrinas” on exhibit between them. On our way through I stopped at the entrance to one of the darkened corridors near where officially unsolved murder victim William Desmond Taylor is interred. Practically devoid of light you can see in my first shot below — a 10-second exposure taken from the right side of the entry — it was also empty of living souls.


But my second shot (after the jump), taken just a few seconds later at the left side when a rush of cold air first swirled outward past me then reversed course and came back into the corridor sent chills racing down my spine, made me gasp when instead of the empty corridor the image on my camera’s display showed me something else entirely.
Continue reading Getting Into The Spirit: Tales From The Crypt


[click to supersize]

So last night was the big super snazzy Members Only opening party for the © MURAKAMI Show at MOCA.

The show is amazing, and I was blown away by both the giant sculptural installations and also the total environments created in the rooms that received the wallpaper treatments.

I’m no art critic but this is one not to be missed.

On the downside, the museum staff were the most aggressive and unpleasant bunch I have ever encountered, all but ruining the experience for me.

They followed us around like vultures, reminding everyone that photography was forbidden (except if you had a media pass, which pretty much everyone but me must have had because there were a zillion cameras), and just bullying us in general. This was an invitation-only closed event, and I wasn’t thrilled to be getting the treatment normally reserved for common thugs, particularly when it was being doled out by surly, underage, ignorant, minimum-wage dullards in filthy, worn out polo shirts.

Oh and the line to get into the Louis Vuitton shop never moved the whole time we were there and was out the door by the time we left – you could end up spending the whole night just waiting to shop!

More forbidden photos after the jump – and in my Flickr set.


STU was kind enough to offer to share his photos too. Thanks, STU!
Continue reading © MURAKAMI @ MOCA

Sunday: Race for the Rescues

[like your heart, the pic can get a little bigger]

Tomorrow (Sunday) is the Race for the Rescues – a charity event to benefit local homeless animals.

Race For The Rescues is A 5K Run/Walk (dogs welcome!) or Kids 1 Mile Race to benefit:

A Dog’s Life Rescue, Animal Alliance, Best Friends Animal Society, Four Legged Friends Foundation, Kitten Rescue, The Lange Foundation, Molly’s Mutts & Meows & The Rescue Train.

Sunday, October 28th.
Area H immediately south of the Rose Bowl In Pasadena.
Registration opens at 830am and the Run/Walk starts at 10am

Run, Walk, Donate or Adopt to help!

This year it’s particularly important since fires have forced so many more animals into shelters.

This year’s event is tomorrow, and wouldn’t it be swell if you showed up?

And please click here if you can’t come but want to donate (every little bit helps).
Continue reading Sunday: Race for the Rescues