Skullphone sighting in Philly last week, I went east for a family get-together, and spent a couple of days in Philadelphia in the process. Friday after a visit to the Liberty Bell and Constitution Hall, my boyfriend and I were walking off the obligatory (and dee-licious) cheesesteak by browsing antiques we could not afford, and we ran across this fine piece of street art. What does that have to do with LA? Well, those of you who make it a habit to hang out on may remember Lucinda Michele’s post last month that featured the same image painted on the side of an abandoned gas station at Eads and Riverside.
Interestingly enough, shortly after that post, my bf was asking about the skullphone images around town (because I am so brain-dead I didn’t put two and two together but he tracked down Spazmat aka Skullphone and ended up buying a print. Then a few days later we find ourselves in Philly and there he is again. It just made me happy, that’s all. I like the guy.

Pix courtesy of Ken Justice. Click to embiggen ’em.

Attack Of The Tow Trucks: Fall 2007

little-tikes-tough-tikes-tow-truck.jpg A couple years ago, Koga posted about about bad tow truck drivers in the L.A. area. He also followed up with an update on the article, which included great tips for fighting a corrupt tow truck.

However, two years later, the madness hasn’t ended. The Consumerist posted today about a tow truck investigation that KNBC conducted in Southern California. This time, it’s about tow truck drivers that have “spotters” watching lots with towing policies. These goons wait for you to leave the lot, and then they call the trucks. Then the tow truck company demands a cash ransom. Only with the receipt from the store in the lot, could you possibly hope to get your car back without extortion.

The expose also says that the tow trucks can show up in as little as 15 mins. I’m going to be way more careful about leaving my car in the Ralph’s lot at 3rd & LaBrea when I go to Trader Joe’s across the street.

Over the line!


One of my favorite flickr folks, Waltarrrrr has been documenting the Gold Line crossing at Mission Blvd. in South Pasadena where cars regularly drive past the STOP HERE right up into the KEEP CLEAR section, often to the point where the trains can’t even pass until the car moves. Check out this photoset and marvel at the complete stupidity of these folks behind the wheel.

LA’s Better Half: Tanya Petrovna of Native Foods Los Angeles gets a lot of grief for being home to an inordinate number of celebretards, pseudo-celebretards, star fuckers, and vain VIPs. Although the city is thusly stereotyped, it’s also home to a thriving population of unique and noteworthy people whose pursuits add diversity and depth to a seemingly shallow pool. LA’s Better Half profiles distinctive Angelenos doing something remarkable and original. This week: Tanya Petrovna, chef and founder of the always packed and ever-expanding Native Foods.

Tanya opened her first Native Foods restaurant in Palm Springs over ten years ago, followed by a second in Palm Desert in 1996. The third shop, her Los Angeles Proper location, opened in Westwood in 2000. Now the diminutive space on Gayley–always packed with dedicated customers–is expanding, and so is the business as a whole. I recently caught up with Tanya to talk about her childhood memories of Los Angeles, her path to and passion for gourmet veganism, and the very promising future of Native Foods.
Continue reading LA’s Better Half: Tanya Petrovna of Native Foods

Hankering for pumpkin guts

Can anyone tell me where I can find a pumpkin patch that is already open? I know Trader Joes, Ralphs, and other grocery stores are selling gourds, but I’m looking for a mom and pop patch, preferably in the Hollywood area.

If you can steer me in the right direction, I’ll save some pumpkin seeds for you.

Two Wheels Good, via Orange 20

Orange 20I’ve been riding the same bike for the last 8 years, and bought it as a replacement to the one I had for another 5 before that when it was stolen. It’s a great bike but the more I rode it around the streets of Los Angeles I realized it was really designed and better suited for the kind of off road mountain biking I used to do much more of some 13 years ago. Once I realized this there was no going back and I started looking at getting something a little more city street friendly. Buying a bike was something I wanted to make sure I did right, I didn’t want to spend a chunk of cash on something only to find it’s not the right thing for me.

After checking out a few shops around town I decided that Orange 20 Bikes would be where I bought it because it’s a small shop with strong connections to the LA biking culture, and more importantly the guys there were extremely helpful when I went in with questions. Their hours are a bit sporadic which makes getting in there to talk to someone the hardest part but once I did TJ (and later Jim) were more helpful than I could have hoped. I bought a complete bike but swapped out a few parts (here’s the final results) to make it more “mine” as well as to upgrade a few of the key components to something a little more street worthy. Though all of this the guys there offered helpful, frank advice (such as pointing out that X brnad was more expense than Y brand and the only difference in quality was the color of paint, or that a specific piece on the stock bike was known to fail pretty quickly and they could replace it right away with a much higher quality piece for about $4). I never once felt like I was being upsold or that I was being pushed towards something I didn’t want. It was an awesome experience and I can’t recommend them enough. (not to mention that they are conveniently located on Heliotrope at Melrose, right across from The Bicycle Kitchen and Scoops, and directly next door to Pure Luck!)

When did “sportsmanship” leave sports?

Answer me this LA sports fans. When did “Sportsmanship” leave the vocabulary and standards for playing or watching a sport? When did it become OK to be outright hostile, threatening and at times violent? What sort of lessons are being taught our kids?

I found this video while reviewing my local blogs. I had heard about the fight, actually near riot during a game with the Duarte and Gladstone (Covina). I found the information in the Crime Scene blog, details HERE and topically related HERE.

(a bit more after the jump?)
Continue reading When did “sportsmanship” leave sports?

The Place Where you Live

So, I’ve been in my new digs for two weeks now, and the inevitable comparisons between my old neighborhood, right smack dab in the middle of Hollywood, and my new “Beverly Hills Adjacent” abode have started.

To narrow it a bit, I’ve gone from block east of Hollywood High (Sunset and Highland) to over by Sweetzer and Beverly. Ten minutes of surfing and I’ve finally figured out that I’m technically in the “Fairfax District.”

There’s your first comparison: try telling most people you live in the Fairfax District when they ask where you live. You’ll either get a blank look, or they think you sleep at Canters. Say, “Beverly Hills Adjacent,” (and who can say that with a straight face?) and you get, “What does that mean?” And, indeed, what the hell? Saying, “Over by Beverly Center,” works or throwing out the cross streets, but then you get, “Isn’t that West Hollywood?” No, no it’s not. Apparently the Real Estate geniuses call it “Beverly Grove,” but I don’t want to confuse things further. My one friend says I live on the Westside now, and though he’s only wrong by four or five blocks, I still deny it. He just moved to Los Feliz. I’m jealous, frankly.

When you say, “I live in Hollywood,” most people just say, “Oh.”

See, they know where that is.

More Halloween Decorations


Since frazgo mentioned it, I figured I’d put up these pics of some lawn decorations spotted yesterday in Huntington Park. That’s Park not Beach, which is really a major difference, but I prefer the park. Above you’ll see some monsters, vampires, and a well dressed tiger having a sumptuous drink made of 2 parts blood, 1 part wine. There’s a spit bucket on the table for the serious blood taster but this bunch seems to want to get their ghoulish buzz on, so it’s yet to be broken in. Good choice.

Two more pics after the jump.
Continue reading More Halloween Decorations

Mark of the Arby’s is the Arby’s on Sunset Blvd. and Tamarind in Hollywood. I ride past it almost every day going to and coming home from work.

Every time I go by, I can’t help but wonder WTF is that weird triangle symbol on the front of the building? It seems vaguely (though improbably) occult in nature. Could it be the Scientologists? MindHead?

Holy crap, maybe it’s Skynet.

I’ve gone as far as asking the manager there, and even he doesn’t know. It seems that the true identity of whoever it is that’s doing their creepy symbolizing on my local roast-beefery is a mystery, and it runs deep.

If anyone out there can shed some light on the matter, I’d much appreciate it. The first person to come forward with the answer I’ll treat to a delicious Arby’s sandwich.* If no one knows the real answer I’ll accept made-up ones, too.

*Curly fries for our vegetarian friends!

Trash can Magritte never mind seeing these guys leave their trash cans out long after trash day.

No idea who the artist is, nor the subject, nor even why he’s dreaming of donkey. Just a little grin to be enjoyed, a little makeshift street art that sort of puts the lie to the whole if- it’s- not- permitted- it’s- vandalism thrash.

Spotted in Silver Lake.

ICME – where is frazgo?

10%201%2007004.jpg I spotted this nifty little mosaic behind ropes presumably to prevent it from being worn down more than it has been so far. It’s in the foyer at MHS. This sort of mosaic work was common in the 1930’s and many have disappeared as they wore down rather than being preserved. God is in the details, keeping them looking nice is someone elses devil. Where is your favorite mosaic?

Sweatin’ Bullets: Oink Archer paid a visit to the LA County Fair from some fried foods and pig races.

After debating whether or not to move to Iowa, Mayor Sam writes “LA quite frankly sucks”… and so he’s staying. That’s so L.A.

After criticizing MoveOn for their Petraeus/Betray Us blunder and efforts to squealch free speech on CafePress, one time MoveOn supporter Ed Padgett gets a kudo by neo-con blogger Michelle Malkin.

LA Times’ USC blogger Adam Rose discovers that on campus parking meters cost 700% more than off campus, city meters 100 yards away.

Antonio Banderas wants you to – how do you say? – Go Metro, to the Latino International Film Festival. Experience LA has the video.

Shane Nickerson bought an XBox 360, drove home, and left it in his backseat for a few hours. Guess what happened next?

The Militant Angeleno admits he’s a crack addict, and may have broken some mother’s back to feed the dragon.

Happy October 1, 31 more til Halloween!

halloweenpt1.jpg It’s time to drag out the spooky stuff and get ready for the big day at the end of the month. Yup, trick or treat time. It’s just about my most favorite holiday around. It was fun as a kid, awesome in college (my alma mater was the state party school so we did it right). My first Halloween here was a let down until my co-workers convinced me to do Weho with them. OMG…another story though.

What’s your neighborhood like in terms of decorating? SoSDoD or is there someone who really goes over the top? Where’s your favorite place to see Halloween decorations?

Better, where is your favorite place for trick or treating? Favorite method? First round of trick or treating here is for the elementary school kids who visit all the shops on Myrtle Avenue in Old Town Monrovia. In my ‘hood the Dad’s take the kidlets about with their goodie ‘punkin, us in costume with a shot glass. (Did I tell you I live on a fun street?).

My neighbor Shane has to start early (like yesterday afternoon) to get all his stuff up in time for the judging in the city run contest. Shane will keep adding bits and buying more to make sure he’s the best. Every year it is a bit more grandios. I can’t wait to see what this year holds in store. I’ll update you on his progress as the month goes by. It could take another 2 weeks before he is done, I’ll show some restraint with the updates. (pic by me, get’s bigger if you rub it with your mouse a bit and toss in a magic spell for good measure).
A bit more after the jump.
Continue reading Happy October 1, 31 more til Halloween!