Why Join a Gang When You Can Go to the Park?

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L.A. will keep its parks open until midnight if you promise not to join a gang. Summer Night Lights is a new city program that runs Wednesday through Saturday, from July 4 through Labor Day. These late hours are meant to keep kids busy with extracurricular activities like kickball so they don’t get bored and start doing bad things. They even have hip hop classes and DJ lessons! Great success!

The question has finally been answered: Kids join gangs because the parks close too early.

Photo of Glassell Park “art” from optionthis’ photostream

Bloggers Picnic with a Vengeance…recapped all over the blogsphere

bloggerpicnicpub1.jpgVengeance more describes our passion for having a blog than the picnic itself.  Kathie Reece at the Aztec went out of her way to make it a fun day for us.  She opened up the Mayan room, put out REAL Table linens then plied us with a never ending supply of margaritas!

The pic is of the bloggers who willingly wanted to be shown on the net.  That is the lovely Miss Havisham sitting on FCBlog co-owner, Centinel’s shoulder.  To the right is equally invisible owner Publius.  Invisible because no one knows who they are including those of us invited to post there know who they really are.  Continue reading Bloggers Picnic with a Vengeance…recapped all over the blogsphere

Leaving the Times, made easy

times.jpgThe L.A. Times newsroom has taken on a ship-of-the-damned air lately, my old colleagues are telling me.

With corporate vandal Sam Zell threatening to lay off even more reporters and sell Times Mirror Square in a bid to save tiny cash in all the wrong places, the smart money says to jump before you’re pushed.

Luckily, the InkStained Retch makes it all easy to say goodbye by offering the Hackinator – a handy wizard for Times employees who want to write Zell the perfect [email protected] resignation letter …

Continue reading Leaving the Times, made easy

Monday Bullets: DI-REC-TIVE

  • garbage.jpgMilitant Angeleno continues to blog in the 3rd person, as he discovers newly laid track for the Metro Expo Line. This excites MetBlogs. MetBlogs likes trains. MetBlogs wants to go choo-choo.
  • make. see. eat. do. wants SAG to strike, and strike hard. Damn the man! Today is Rex Manning Day!
  • Franklin Avenue finds an Echo Park devoid of lotus plants, which doesn’t bode well for the upcoming Lotus Festival July 11-13. Experts say that our own garbage is to blame. Where’s WALL-E when you need him?
  • UnHip LA compares our fair city to Chicago, where milkshakes are more important that toilet seat covers in public restrooms. Explosive combination.
  • And Streetsblog wonders if Metro’s rush hour ban for bikes on trains is set to become the next big transportation battleground. Eric Garcetti wants to eliminate the ban and remove some seats on trains to accommodate the growing bike movement. Garcetti for Mayor!


Photo of Echo Park, Before the Exodus, From Franklin Avenue

Win Tickets! We Are Scientists, Blood Arm, Cut Off Your Hands

we-are-scientists-2-sour-duck.jpgNo, I’m not telling you to cut off your hands at the El Rey tomorrow night. I am, however, telling you to leave a note in the comment section telling me what you would do–what magical invention you would create, or in what fascinating subject you would make a major breakthrough. If you won the Nobel Prize, what “science” would you have applied?! Do tell. Leave your email addy, so I can contact you if you win; winner gets an autographed CD & poster from We Are Scientists! The band, like, wrote on them! With their names! Possibly with KITTENS! Like in the picture!

They play with Cut Off Your Hands and the Blood Arm, both of whom are fantastic. This should be an awesome show. If you can’t get into this one (tickets are here) I also recommend Broken Ocean at the Viper Room and the Mae Shi with Die Rockers Die & Death to Anders at Spaceland.

3 Hawks stalking breakfast

3 Hawks stalking

It is their morning routine.  7:00 AM terrorize the parrots and get them out of the neighborhood and off the power pole next to my garage.  7:30AM claim the pole and wait for breakfast to appear.  Once fed they disappear for the day and all we hear is their screech and whistles as they move about.

Pic by me.  A couple more in my urban critters flickr set.

Another week, another bikes on the freeway video

This looks to be mostly on the 101 south heading towards downtown. Don’t ask me what is up with that final edit, I just found this thing myself.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgQ9HqZ49yA[/youtube]

And to preempt the comments like “OMG TEY R GOIN 2 DI LOL!” and “Dear Sirs, I do believe that my be in violation of certain applicable legal codes” here’s a little graphic whipped up by the folks at lafixed.com, I totally want a t-shirt of this:
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4.599/gal I found my comfort zone

Gas dropped two shiny copper bits at the local cheap service station.  The panic is over.  I found my comfort zone.

The 70 Buck fill two weeks ago on my wife’s car set off the panic button.  Today’s fill under 60 we know we can live with it.  We are happy.  We know we can survive without having to give up another luxury to get the basics done.  (Next in the sights was cutting out our Friday date day).

Have you found your comfort zone yet? 

El Sereno says goodbye to Antigua Cultural Coffeehouse

Okay, I admit it; I teared up. A little.

Last night was the goodbye party for Antigua Cultural Coffeehouse in El Sereno,my little local coffeeshop just a short walk away from my house. Truth be told, one of the reasons we even made an offer on this house was because of the coffeeshop. We got used to living within walking distance of a coffeeshop when we lived in Hollywood, so it made sense. But Antigua lost its lease due to what sounds like shady shenanigans by the property owner.

When we arrived around 8pm, the place was packed. Julio and his wife Cuauhtli were behind the counter serving up coffee. The until-recently-off-limits patio was open in the back where alcoholic drinks were sold. It was jarring to see the murals and signs removed, along with the counter and the bookshelves. It it hit me that I really have no place to take my kids in the morning any more. I’ll no longer will be able to hop over to Antiqua to talk politics with Cuauhtli, Yancy and some of the regulars.

Continue reading El Sereno says goodbye to Antigua Cultural Coffeehouse

Free Handyman

All American Home Center

Or, in my case, handywoman. Now that I am done with the academic school year, I am helping out my aging parents at their house. I am changing precariously placed light bulbs, moving out old furniture, and (gasp!) helping them clean out the garage.

I find myself needing tools and supplies, and I hate the big box retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot. Many neighborhoods have lost the mom and pop hardware stores; otherwise, they are not well known.

Living in Downey, however, means I can go to the All-American Home Center, which has been a local, family-owned business for nearly 50 years. Many of my friends back in high school had their first job there. Even though a Home Depot opened right next door, they’ve managed to stay competitive.

All-American Home Center

7201 East Firestone Blvd.

Downey CA 90241

(562) 927-8666

Link to Google Maps

Dodgers own Angels in Freeway Series smack down 6-0

pubdsiconicpalmstmvp.jpg Last night was one of my favorite baseball games of the season.  The Freeway Series where the Dodgers and Angels play it hard and the fans face off in the stands.  I could give you a blow by blow description of the game but why bother when the LA Times can do it better.  What mattered to me is it was a good game, final score of 6-0 made me think for a second and try to remember when I last saw the Angels get completely shut down like that.

I have a couple of more pics and observations from the stands after the jump. Continue reading Dodgers own Angels in Freeway Series smack down 6-0