Silver Lake Meadow is Open, momentarily poop free

Meadow panorama

As Will mentioned this weekend the meadow on the north eastern side of the Silver Lake Reservoir was finally opened to the public. Threats of it’s opening have been floating around for years, so when I confirmed this was legit I scooped up the family and ran over to check it out. The meadow itself is pretty fantastic actually. It’s a wide open and the grass is thick and lush – fun to roll around in and stuff.

For the moment anyway – while there are signs posted at every entrance stating that no dogs are allowed at any point (and the actual dag park is just a few steps away on the southern tip of the reservoir) people are either not noticing them or just outright ignoring them. We were there for about half hour, maybe 45 minutes and during that time there was an endless stream of people and their dogs walking through the meadow. Actually, just a few walking through – most of them were running around in the grass and pooping and peeing and generally dogging the place up. I give it a week or two until all the grass is dead and there are poop lamdmines every 5 feet.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Oven Fixin’s: Not So Simple

How easy is it to get your oven (or any appliance) fixed these days for a reasonable price?
Yeah: Difficult.

Or should I say, how easy is it to get a simple estimate over the phone before so you can assess how much cash you’ll need?

Almost impossible.

Unless you know about Antique Stove Heaven.

The fun and games started when my oven died. I did a search for LA Oven Repair. I called at least 6 repair places: AAA Appliance Repair, West Coast Chief Repair, AAA Service Repair, Ameripro… the list goes on.

Every single one refused to give me an estimate before coming out. Even a broad, ‘I promise I won’t hold you to it estimate’ was met with a horrified, “absolutely unheard of! No one in Los Angeles will do that!”

Seems talking money is a big no-no when you want to get something fixed these days. Ameripro even hung up on me! I guess I was asking too many questions. When I called back immediately, the same guy who hung up on me affected a ridiculous fake British accent (this really happened) and then put me on hold for 8 minutes til I gave up!!!!

Mind you, I was very cordial and said I just wanted a super general idea of the price for the specific problem. Every single place I called, except Antique Stove Heaven, refused to quote prices over the phone, would not give hourly rates, wouldn’t give the price of the part (I knew what I needed…and had actually looked up the part price online just for info, and was willing to pay retail). The standard answer is, “We charge a flat rate, say a minimum of $165, but could be up to $500 but we can’t give an estimate til we see problem.” Even though I knew what the fix was.

They offer to come and check out the issue for $25-45 which is credited to the repair should you hire them, but you can’t figure out the approximate cost before they come out.

Is it only me, or does this seem crazy? Clearly it works for the repair company but not for the consumer. Once they are there, you are pretty much locked in.
Then I remembered that years ago, I needed a repair on my old O’Keefe and Merritt stove (a dream stove if there ever was one) and Antique Stove Heaven fixed it fantastically! They are a local company, family owned and have restored old stoves for the past 30 years. My current stove was an entirely different animal, newer, but still… broken.
So I called expecting the standard, “we don’t quote prices over the phone” routine. And voila! Completely different experience. Not only did Antique Stove Heaven quote me the exact price it would cost to fix it, but they came right out and got it up and running immediately!
Yay!!!! for a business in LA who will actually give you a straight answer and do what they advertise. And a big relief to have an idea of what something will cost before you dive in!

One Reason Why I’d Be Overthrown If I Ruled The Dodgers But I’d Do It Anyway

Because I’d’ve forfeited yesterday’s and every damn game going forward until the apprehension of the suspects wanted in the post opening-game beating that put a Santa Cruz paramedic and father of two into the hospital in critical condition. Plus I’d put up $100,000 in team money as a reward for their arrest and conviction.

But nothing so extreme and outrageous and defiantly zero tolerance occurred to the the Dodgers who instead give us a front office spokesperson who gives us this: “It is extremely unfortunate that this incident took place on what was otherwise a great day at Dodger Stadium for tens of thousands of fans.”


Sure, I understand the show must go on and the  game must be played. But I also understand that doctors are trying to decide whether or not to remove a part of the victim’s brain.

From the Daily News:

Bryan Stow, 41, is in a medically-induced coma today with brain injuries delivered by two Dodgers fans. Stow, wearing San Francisco Giants apparel, was jumped, knocked to the ground and repeatedly kicked in the head after Thursday night’s game, his relatives said.

According to police the attackers are 18-25 years old, were wearing Dodgers attire and had shaved heads and thin mustaches. One had a small goatee, and the other had numerous tattoos on his neck, said Detective Percy Morris at a news conference Friday. A female reportedly drove the getaway car the suspects got into after the assault.

Police urge anyone with information on the attack to call police at the Northeast Station at 213/485-2563.

J Bennett Fitts’ abandoned pool photos

Photographer J Bennett Fitts has a pretty fantastic series of images called “No Lifeguard On Duty” depicting abandoned pools around the country, many of which are in SoCal (above is from the Inland Empire). I find these image both haunting and captivating – forgotten dreams in many ways. Especially since so many of these appear to be at closed hotels, you can imagine families going on vacation and being excited to stay at a hotel with a pool – and what’s become of those now. I love these.

Big Brother Season 13 Casting Tomorrow!

Big Brother is one of those guilty pleasures I still admit to watching. I know it’s rotting my brain from the inside out but screw it, life is short. So if you’re a narcissistic loony who likes to be on camera 24/7 you should head down to Spot 5750 tomorrow from 1pm to 4 pm and try your luck at the open auditions. You can download the online application before you head down. Good luck!

Watch a Movie Tonight, LA

Seriously, if you don’t have plans tonight already, this is an epic evening for LA, cinematically speaking. One of the best things about our city is that you can pretty much catch anything on the big screen, and today is testimony to that. 

First, it’s the kick off night for the Egyptian’s 13th annual Noir City festival. As in the past, most of the stuff in the series isn’t available on DVD. There are 13 double features running tonight through 20 April. Tonight’s double bill, new prints of High Wall and Strangers in the Night, focuses on WWII vets who return home to a world plenty sinister and dangerous in its own right. It’s a lot easier to figure out who the enemy is when he’s wearing a scary uniform, you know?  Continue reading Watch a Movie Tonight, LA

This Is Not An April Fools Post: The Silver Lake Meadow Really Is Opening Saturday

(click it to enlargify)

I stood as near to the edge of the Silver Lake Reservoir as I was allowed and snapped the above panorama on April 21, 2007, the day the long-locked open space was opened to the public for the first time in decades and hundreds gathered on the green expanse to hear the nimbys rail and the politicians regale about the would-be park planned.

Roughly three weeks shy of four years later (and much to my disbelief), the Silver Lake Meadow is scheduled to “soft open”  tomorrow, according to The Eastsider LA and Curbed LA.


LA Crime Stoppers

Since moving back to LA a month I’ve been trying to find cool local resources I didn’t know about and this is definitely one of them.

The purpose of Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers is to prevent and reduce crime, by forming a partnership among the community, law enforcement and the media to offer anonymity and cash rewards to anyone providing information leading to an arrest, thereby making the community a safer place for all who live or work in the region.

It’s a pretty cool approach to tipping off the Po-Po. You can either call or send in a web tip and they give you a code to use to keep the communication open but without giving your details so you can remain anonymous. If you’re tipping on a crime that has a reward attached you can make up to a cool $1k. So if you’re an armchair detective you can finally monetize all those hours of Murder, She Wrote re-runs you’ve been watching. Check them out.

Queen Tryouts for the 34th Doo Dah Parade Sat 4/2.

Queen Skittles queen of the 32nd Doo Dah Parade.

Love a parade but have a nice wide irreverent streak?  Wanna be queen of the Doo Dah Parade (or a dude and make it a Dood Dah Queen again) then you need to head on over to the Pasadena American Legion hall on Saturday.  This is an incredibly fun evening of music and silliness as they go about the serious business of picking out the new Queen for the 34th Doo Dah Parade which will take place 4/30 (more on that to come).  Entry Form and more info can be found on the Doo Dah Web.  They even have a nifty Facebook invite.

Deets.  Admission $5. American Legion Bar 179 North Vinedo St Pasadena, CA   Saturday April 2, 2PM doors open with music and stuff.  4PM Queen hopefuls check in.  5PM the Queen Try outs begin. MAP HERE

Image is courtesy of Julie Klima, aka Queen Skittles and used with her permission.  More of her work can be seen at her Web Site.


On Broadway

If you were a member of the Los Angeles Conservancy like me, you’d already be squaring away seats to screenings of the classic motion pictures to be shown at some of Broadway’s most historic movie palaces during the upcoming 25th-Annual Last Remaining Seats film series between May 25 – June 29. But if you’re not, you’ll just have to sit tight until they become available to the public on April 13.

Here’s hoping there are some tickets left over for you then, because the classics lined up by the conservancy this year is nothing short of gotta-go: Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” (May 25) and Harold Lloyd’s “Safety Last” (June 29) at the Orpheum Theater, “The Music Man” (June 1) and “King Kong” (June 15) at the Los Angeles Theater, “Captain Blood”  (June 8) and “Zoot Suit” (June 22) at the Million Dollar Theater, and “Sunset Boulevard” (June 29) at the Palace Theater.

Why the very idea of seeing some of these masterpieces on the big screens of such sacred houses of movie worship has my inner movie buff shouting OMG!

Advance tickets are $16 each and available now to conservancy members, and $20 each for the general public (beginning April 13). Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door for $20 each on the night of the event starting at 7 p.m.

Get more info here.