See You Wednesday Night At The Bar

bronsonbarThis Wednesday, January 6, Fred Sablan (Goon Moon) and Jeordie White (Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle, Goon Moon, Marilyn Manson) are DJing at the Bronson Bar from 10:00pm – 2:00am with cheap drink specials until 11:00pm.

Wednesdays are always a great night at the Bronson Bar if you like rock music (“only good stuff,” as Fred always says), no cover charge and people you actually want to hang out with. Pleasantly unusual for a bar in Hollywood, I say.

The Bronson Bar is not actually the name of the bar as far as I know. I think it’s just called The Bar, but people refer to it as the Bronson Bar, obviously because it’s located on Sunset at Bronson. The neon sign on the outside just says “cocktails” or “bar” or something like that. Anyway, don’t expect to see a sign that says, “Bronson Bar” out front, you got it? Now go rock out.

The Bar
5851 Sunset Blvd (at Bronson)
Los Angeles, CA 90028

It Caught My Eye: “Embracing The Brilliance”

Since discovering this beautiful and inspiring mural while biking home to Silver Lake from Westchester via Jefferson Boulevard for the first time back in late 2007, I’ve only been able to admire it at an angle through the bars of a sturdy and tall locked fence that fronts a vacant lot located about five blocks or so east of Crenshaw Boulevard.

Pedaling home from work December 31, I decided my last bike ride of the year would come this way through Jefferson Park, and as luck would have it for whatever reason the gate was unlocked and open as I approached the lot. Of course I didn’t hesitate to trespass onto it in order to get the three straight-on frames that make up this pano below of the pristine 2004 mural titled “Embracing The Brilliance,” and I’m thrilled to be able to share this unsung work with you (click for maxiumum biggification and readable credits at left):

jpmural

Classic Eats #8 Old School New Year: Let’s Vote!

classiceats

Happy New Year!  Classic Eats is back and it’s time to vote! You have already marked your calendar for Saturday January 23rd and here are the choices:

1) Hollywood Resolution Buster: Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles & Boardner’s
2) Downtown Deli Smack Down: Langer’s & Cole’s (2.0)
3) Westside Alka-Seltzer Fest: Tito’s Tacos & Johnnie’s Pastrami.

Click here to vote!

As you may recall, the start times will be determined by the locations chosen. We usually start around 5pm to A) beat the crowds and B) give you time to head out to other Saturday night activities afterward. If Langer’s V. Cole’s wins, we will start even earlier because Langer’s closes at 4pm.

Click past the jump to read all about our candidates, then vote! Can’t wait to see you all there, wherever “there” is!

Continue reading Classic Eats #8 Old School New Year: Let’s Vote!

Dear LAPD ASSPUP Division: I Can Haz 1 Of These 4Evs On Mye Streezle?

Dear Los Angeles Police Department, Antiterrorist Stationary Street Patrol Unit Placement (ASSPUP) Division:

lapdSince December 28, I’ve been biking morning and evening by this empty patrol unit (pictured at right), parked in the red in front of the palatial residence of some unknown country’s diplomats on the northwest corner of 4th Street and Hudson in Hancock Park. When I saw it still there in the same place on the second day I first thought maybe the officers had gotten lost. On the third day I considered calling 911 in case you guys might be short one car and were wondering where it went.

But then on the fourth day it finally dawned on me that you sharp crime-stopping cookies knew about this all along, and I’ve really got to hand it to whoever the forward thinkers are that came up with this wholly effective and unique decoy. Some might say it’s bullshit, but I say in the wake of the failed underpants bomber Christmas Day, such desperate measures call for desperate countermeasures to protect our foreign officials. And the fact is: it’s an unqualified success. So far, this empty unattended and entirely useless black-and-white has been 100% effective in keeping any criminal shit whatsover from happening around it (not counting famed musician neighbor Beck dumping his Christmas tree in front of his nearby house December 29).

With the vehicle still there this morning in the exact same place you left it last year and finding everything else along that cozy and affluent intersection calm and quiet and not blown up or overrun by jihadists (even Beck’s tree was gone!), I realized the time was ripe to broaden this pilot program and expand it away from foreign dignitaries, and instead into other less-wealthy communities like mine, for example, full of actual citizens like me, for example, whose taxes pay for your protection and service. So in the hopes you’re looking to grow this program into the city-wide success I know it can be, allow me to formally volunteer use of the space directly in front of my house. Hell, if it’ll help, I’ll even paint the curb red to add that much-needed sense of we-can-park-where-we-want-to urgency that won’t get old even after a week. Or a decade.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Love,
Will

L.A. Traffic on Christmas as an economic indicator

Traffic
So, one of the things I love about living in L.A., about having some of my family here in L.A., about spending the Holidays in L.A., is the Soothing Peace of there being an almost complete lack of Traffic over the Christmas Holiday.

Now that the Holidays are behind us, I thought it might be a good time to reflect upon how that was completely fucked up this year and totally not the case. Thanks 2009, there’s another thing you couldn’t get right.

And in keeping with the spirit of the times, in a effort to flow with the popular zeitgeist, much as many of our politicians and mainstream news figures and media outlets do, I fully intend to blame something that pisses me off on the economy.

However, unlike most talking heads and pundits, I not only know that I have no real idea what I’m talking about, but I’m fully copping to it. Right here in front of folks.

I have no formal training in economics. The closest I’ve come to a college education is having driven through Westwood. Most of what I know about String Theory comes from reading XKCD, but I intend to share my theory that Christmas Traffic in L.A. is an indicator of the general economic state of our fine city, as much or more than sales receipts on Black Friday.

If that sounds like fun to you, if that’s your kind of Train Wreck, follow me over the Jump: Continue reading L.A. Traffic on Christmas as an economic indicator

LA’s Fashion District – a survival guide for the uninitiated

Shiny Fabrics courtesy of John_X
Shiny Fabrics courtesy of John_X

So, I’m planning to trek downtown to the Fashion District tomorrow.  I like to think of myself as pretty handy with a sewing machine, but not handy enough that I feel like dropping a lot of cash on fancy fabric would be a good idea.  (My number of sewing successes are outnumbered by my sewing failures by about ten to one, but my dreams of being a fashion icon will never die!)  The Fashion District is my most favorite place to go for fabric and sewing supplies on the cheap, plus it’s also a really vibrant, fun part of town.  But the rows and rows of fabric stores selling polyester at 1.99 a yard can be kind of overwhelming if you’ve never been before, so here’s my survival guide for making it out of the Fashion District in one piece.

Wear comfy shoes. You’ll probably end up doing lots of walking.  Also, parking in the Fashion District is (predictably) not good, so I’d suggest taking Metro – I usually take the Red Line to Pershing Square and then walk over, which isn’t too bad of a stroll.  While the district is pretty big, most of the textile merchants are in and around Maple Street, between 8th and Olympic.

Continue reading LA’s Fashion District – a survival guide for the uninitiated

Post Rose Parade Showcase of Floats

The 2010 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade is already history, but you still have a chance to see the gorgeous floats up close in person. Whether you are into parades or not, seeing these mobile works of art is worth it. The entire surface of each float must be covered in natural materials only. Flowers, seeds, bark, leaves, and husks are among the many materials used in some astoundingly creative ways. Faboomama gave us a peek at the many, many hours of volunteer labor that go in to making each one.

calpolybuzzcut
An adorable monkey giving a big snake a buzz cut on Cal Poly's "Jungle Cuts"

The theme of this year’s parade was “A Cut Above The Rest.” The talented students from Cal Poly put a humorous spin on it with their concept “Jungle Cuts,” which had monkeys styling the “hair” of various animals. It was perhaps the largest crowd pleaser and it took some maneuvering to get close and take photos. I guess the float builders knew how popular their float would be and set up a merchandise booth next to it where they sold posters and t-shirts of their design of their scene of newly coiffed beasts.

You have until 5pm today (ticket sales end at 3pm) and from 9am to 5pm tomorrow to check out the floats. Click here for comprehensive information on where, when, how much, dos and don’t, directions, transportation options, etc. You can even download a free podcast which serves as an audio tour.

My personal recommendations are to take advantage of one of the many shuttle options, wear comfortable walking shoes, allow yourself at least two hours, and bring some water as it’s pricey on-site. Also, make sure you take a look at Burbank’s award winning entry. It’s mighty impressive.

Babycakes Vegan Bakery Opens Tomorrow!

Babycakes NYC™ : Vegan BakeryIt’s been over 2 years since I first heard that legendary NYC vegan bakery Babycakeswas opening up shop in LA. While the exact location and opening dates have changed a lot over that time it looks like VC-Day (vegan cupcake day) is finally here. Or it will be tomorrow anyway.

Starting tomorrow morning at 10am, doors will open on the LA bakery. Located at 130 East 6th Street (just east of Main Street) this new downtown addition could make a trip there worth it all by itself. I’ve written about Babycakes plenty of times, 100% vegan yet most customers would never know it. Cupcakes, cookies, and a whole world of deliciousness. So awesome it’s finally here!

Favorite Finds of 2009

Compiling a Year-End list at the Top-End of a new year is surprisingly liberating: the last year’s over, so you don’t feel like you owe it anything.  As I pointed out a few days ago, there were some things in 2009 that I could have done without.  But, in the dawn of 2010, I’d like to go back and consider some of the moments that were tops last year, and are waiting to be topped this year.  My Favorite Finds of 2009:
CIMG3666

The interior of Starbuck’s Viper (above). There are props (i.e., Luke Skywalker’s light saber) and then there are props (i.e., the Millenium Falcon).  The series finale of Battlestar Galactica notwithstanding (do we really need another lesson about both imperialism and the dangers of technology?) (the answer is: no, no we don’t), the sci-fi opera ended in May, concluding the run of one of the best television shows of the decade, if not straight up ever.  If you haven’t started, move this one up to the top of your new year’s resolution and Netflix queue.  After the series aired its final episode, the show had its last frakkin’ auction in Pasadena, during which everything from crew badges to Six’s deadly sexy red dress was auctioned off.  During a preview of the auction items, I found myself inside Starbuck’s Viper (above).  It was like I snuck off into my crush’s room to smell her clothes.  Scary, but satisfying.

Continue reading Favorite Finds of 2009

Hello New Year, Goodbye Blue Moon

Having spent the vast majority of my nine lives bridging December 31 and January 1 with far too much alcohol-fueled revelries, I’m now settled in as one of them New Year’s Eve stickinthemudgeons — a quiet cat who doesn’t see much use in greeting the first day of the new year hungover to all hell. Thus, I was up at an otherwise indecent hour this morning to greet the new year and say farewell to the blue moon that graced our skies from the end of 2009 to the beginning of 2010.

Though some rogue cloud cover and an approaching dawn threatened to come between us, finally at 6:13 a.m. the veils parted:

bluemoon

Happy New Year, everyone.

How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love… Sitting Outside In Pasadena All Night

The annual Tournament of Roses Parade is easily one of my favorite Southern California holiday traditions. This year I got the opportunity to experience it in a totally new way – actually watching the parade.

These lumps of blankets are actually people (mostly) sleeping at 5:30 this morning
These lumps of blanket are actually people (mostly) sleeping at 5:30 this morning

As I write this, I am camped out on Colorado Blvd. (in front of the Apple Store for easy WiFi, natch), having braved the chilly night with a friend with whom I’ve marched in five Rose Parades. It wasn’t enough to just watch on TV or pay for a seat for our first time on the sidelines; we decided to go all-out and spend the night on the streets of Pasadena, finally experiencing this ridiculous tradition we’ve so far only known by the aftermath seen in the morning. I thought by now I’d be an expert in all things Rose Parade, but as a n00b, it turns out I had a lot to learn about this “spectator” thing.

Lesson #1: Getting a good spot is much less stressful than you think it will be.

The City of Pasadena says you can start staking out your spot at Noon on the 31st. You don’t need to be there that early. I got here at 9:00 PM, which was good for people-watching while Old Town was still full of restaurant- and bar-goers. Even at my pretty prime location near the beginning of the parade, There was still space for a few people to set up camp. Lots of people had set out dozens of folding chairs, though, which still have yet to be filled (turns out nobody really enforces this supposed “no seat-saving” rule). Lots of parade viewers start to arrive after 3:00 AM, after they’ve celebrated the New Year elsewhere, and after many of the parking structures open for parade parking only. And though I thoroughly enjoyed the company of the fellow Apple nerd and his Chihuahua sitting next to us, I felt kinda bad that he had been sitting there a whole 10 hours more than us to get pretty much the same view.

Continue reading How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love… Sitting Outside In Pasadena All Night