Venice Neighborhood Council Elections – April 11th

Email from the Venice Neighborhood Council:

The final list of candidates is now available – see Count them – that’s 43 candidates! More than any other Neighborhood Council in Los Angeles. Thank you Candidates!

Everyone will have an opportunity to meet the candidates at the VNC Candidate Forum on April 8th. The forum will be held in the Westminster Elementary School Auditorium, 1010 Abbot Kinney, Blvd. (parking and auditorium entrance off Westminster) starting at 6:30pm and ending around 9:30pm.

The Election will be held on Sunday, April 11th from 10:00am to 4:00pm at the Oakwood Park Rec Center at 767 California Avenue (enter from 7th). Everyone who wants to vote will have to register, so be sure to bring your ID. See BoardElections for ID requirements and a map of Venice.

Silver Lake’s Reservoir Of Black Balls Makes National Geographic

Cruising through the April issue of National Geographic, an edition with a global scope focused on the subject of water, my wife Susan and I were surprised to find the following Best Shot Ever from photograher Gerd Ludwig of a local body of water — Ivanhoe Reservoir — made somewhat ongoingly infamous by its artificial surface of some three million black plastic balls that were added back in 2007 to deflect UV rays and prevent the carcinogen bromate from forming.

Reminder! Walk This Way: Jefferson/Adams This Saturday

Sheesh, where did the time go!? This heads-up is as much for me as for anyone interested in joining me this Saturday, March 27, for my next in my semi-irregular mostly biannual series of silly walks that will be gathering at 9:30 a.m. for a 10 a.m. launch from Hoover and Jefferson Boulevard (the northeast corner; pinpoint map) and then venturing west ultimately to the top of Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook State Park before coming back east along Adams Boulevard to where we began. All in the distance is about 15 miles.

Initially scheduled to take place March 6 (here’s the original post with a few more details), the walk’s postponement was forced by thunderstorms… this despite me doing my normally effective rainraingoaway interpretive dance. But barring some ridiculous turn or meteorological events the forecast for this Saturday calls for sun and temps in the mid-70s — righteously perfect conditions to come explore our urban landscape with me. Join, won’t you?

March of the Billboard Trailers

I think it’s time we started cleaning up the place, don’t you?

I’ve noticed more and more of these billboard trailers popping up all over the Valley recently.  The one picture above is sitting near the corner of Riverside & Whitsett. With City Attorney Carmen Trutanich going after illegal billboards and supergraphics all over L.A., surely these little guys have to be next. Right?

Except that they are legal. Some city council members want to educate us on what to do. Maybe what we should do is elect someone who will get rid of this garbage.

Head to Palm Springs…the desert is blooming!

click to embiggen

According to the locals I spoke with we are about another week or so before the peak blossom for the Mojave around Palm Springs.  As it is the entire valley floor is awash in bright yellows and whites.  Under it all is this petite little wild flower (name escapes me and I can’t find the note I made on it).

The Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve is blooming right now and should be really nice as we are approaching peak bloom for up there.  More info on the Preserve HERE.

My digging around the web also yielded “Carol Leigh’s Wildflower” .  That web site has tons of info on where flowers are blooming and updated nearly daily.  In it I learned the High Desert (think Barstow/Calico) aren’t doing much yet, but Death Valley around Stovepipe Wells is blooming.  How many road trips can I squeeze into the the spring blooming is the question of the moment.

Of course there are blooms locally.  The San Gabriel River along the Lario Bike Trail was in heavy bud last week and I intend to check it out and spend some time walking in the area this week.   I may even take the Santa Fe Dam nature trail walk just to see what is different in there this week as last week it was mostly just in bud.

One thing to remember…this is snake season and wear appropriate foot wear.  Also a final reminder,  our native flowers are really tender so tread lightly and don’t disturb them.

March Madne$$

Los Angeles is broke. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if the city’s electricity, cable, and internet was shut off for failure to pay. City workers have taken pay cuts, furlough days, and had their positions eliminated altogether. It’s for the greater good, according to elected officials.

Yet, 8 of those same elected officials are refusing to take pay cuts of their own. Not even a fraction of their bloated 6-figure salaries. Reasons vary from “I already fired enough of my staff,” to “I just don’t feel like it.”

So, in honor of March Madness, which of the Elite Eight will be the last to fall? Who will hold out the longest at their own political peril? Will it be the City Attorney who is on an Illegal Billboard Crusade? Or, the City Councilman who doesn’t live in his own home because a drifter keeps sneaking in to spend the night?

Face it, your basketball bracket cannot be saved. It is time for a new game. Play along!

The History of LA Street Names Tells the History of LA

At the risk of sounding like a PSA, did you know that the streets south of Pico were named after our presidents, in order of succession?  Or that there was a mixup involved in the naming of Los Angeles Street and Main Street?   Ah, yes, well, now you do.  On this lazy Sunday afternooon (for some us, anyway), you can learn more: the Natural History Museum has a pretty nifty YouTube series on the history of Los Angeles, as told through the origins of Los Angeles street names.  I just got through the one below – it’s just a tad dry, but overall, pretty fascinating.  Streets names covered in the series include La Cienega Boulevard, Los Feliz Boulevard, Ord Street, Figueora Street, and Aliso Street.


103 Snaps Of People I Passed While Biking One Saturday Afternoon Across The Valley

A few weeks ago I posted the first in what may become an occasional series of a large group of snaps of people passed while biking, that one featuring 89 images captured along the strand between Hermosa Beach and the Ballona Creek Bridge.

Today I bring you the second such crop, this one comprised of 103 shots of people encountered on a 16-mile stretch starting at the Chandler Bikeway in Burbank, all the way to the end of the Orange Line Bikeway in Woodland Hills. These were taken two Saturdays ago while biking from Silver Lake all the way up among the rocky tops of Chatsworth and back, so that I might be a part of my grandson’s 1st birthday, and further facilitate acceptance of the actual fact that I am a grandfather.

The Flickr photoset of the above images — once again heavily fauxtoshopped to achieve a stylized semi-illustrative effect — can be viewed here.

The Los Angeles Marathon’s Big Finish

What a day for Los Angeles!  The new Los Angeles Marathon route sent runners and spectators to a number of L.A.’s most famous streets and landmarks, including Dodgers Stadium, Hollywood Blvd., Sunset Blvd., and Rodeo Drive, before one last turn from San Vicente Blvd. and a spectacular finish along Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, overlooking the Pacific.  I biked up to the finish line, watched a bunch of the estimated 25,000 runners finish, surrounded by many thousands of enthusiastic spectators, and then checked out the finish line party in the nearby Santa Monica Pier parking lot.

More pics and recap, after the jump

My Saturday in the Patty Wagon

One of the ubiquitous gourmet food trucks to hit the LA streets recently is Patty Wagon, which boasts sustainable, 100% grass fed beef hamburgers and hand cut fries made from organic potatoes. This past Saturday, I found them parked across the street from the Silver Lake Farmer’s Market and decided to check out the hype.

From across the noisy Saturday traffic on Sunset Blvd., I could hear early R&B music being piped from the truck, bands like The Ink Spots and other Decca favorites. Speaking of The Ink Spots, Tennessee Williams said that he listened to The Ink Spots’ tune, “If I Didn’t Care” over and over while he penned “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Anyway, back to the Patty Wagon. As I crossed the street, the music put me in the mood for a good old timey hamburger, the kind you imagine they served in a 1940’s, small town diner. However, Patty Wagon may have an old-fashioned look and sound, but their menu is quite modern. They don’t serve Continue reading My Saturday in the Patty Wagon

There Was A Flash-Flood Of Marathon People Through Silver Lake This Morning

Here’s what it looked like in timelapse from the roof of our house (while my wife Susan and I stood out on Sunset having a lot of fun cheering everyone on and calling participants by the names on their bibs as they passed… but that’s another video):


If the YouTube version is slow to load a slightly better-resolution of the clip’s available as a Quicktime file, here.

Zombies at the Marathon!

I have it on good word that a bunch of zombies will be making a zombie-ish cacophony at Mile 12 of the Marathon in Hollywood, on the south side of Sunset from Gardner to Sierra Bonita. Join the zombie army and show up in your own makeup as they stagger after the hapless runners, incentivizing them to run faster, ideally. From about 10:30a-2p.

Hear ye, hear ye: Announcing the Metblogs Donut Summit!

Will Randy's reign supreme? Image courtesy of ezioman on flickr.

It is no small secret that we here at Metblogs love a good donut (or doughnut, for those of you who love your silent letters). Luckily for us, we live in a city in which there is a donut shop on every street corner, in every strip mall, and in almost every single block of every neighbourhood.  Some are nondescript, others announce their presence with giant, fiberglass donut replicas perched on their roofs.  But this multitude of donut options can seem daunting.  How do you decide which donut shop to hit up?  Which donut shop can claim the title of Best Donut in Los Angeles?

Well, dear readers, luckily for you, we have figured out a way to bring all of the donuts of Los Angeles together, in one central location, where we can determine, once and for all, which donut holds the crown.  Please mark your calendars for 1pm, on Sunday, June 13th:  the date of the 2010 LA Metblogs Donut Summit!

Here’s how this will work:  We will gather at a central location, to be announced – most likely a public park with nice picnic areas, and everyone will bring a dozen donuts from a local donut shop of your choice.  To participate in the Donut Summit, you must either bring one dozen donuts, OR one of those big to-go cartons of coffee you can get at, like, Coffee Bean or wherever.  Nobody likes a freeloader, right?  And then we’ll eat donuts all afternoon!  And we’ll vote on them – by the end of the afternoon, we will have definitively decided on the city’s best donut.  Wear your elbow pads – it could get bloody.

You can expect more updates about logistics as we get closer to the date, but for now, we’ve started compiling a preliminary donut shop directory over at Metblogs HQ, and we’d love your contributions!  See the list after the jump. Continue reading Hear ye, hear ye: Announcing the Metblogs Donut Summit!