Lonesome No More: No Exit

After writing a post about Three Year Swim Club a few weeks ago, I was contacted by a small new-ish theater group called “Lonesome No More” and invited to come see their production of Sartre’s No Exit. As an English major who toyed with the possibility of declaring a philosophy minor as an undergrad, I was a bit embarrassed to admit that I had never read the French philosopher’s play. (I did read The Age of Reason around the time I finished my BA, so I’m not a complete slacker…)

In any event, while I was interested in seeing the Sartre play and hearing Travis Koplow‘s favorite line (“Hell is other people!”), I was also somewhat intrigued by the Lonesome No More! company. Los Angeles being a city so filled to the brim with aspiring actors and writers, I’m just so damned impressed by folks who are willing to step out and take a risk like starting a new theater company. Read more of what I learned about Lonesome No More! and my thoughts on No Exit after the break.

Continue reading Lonesome No More: No Exit

626 Night Market coming to Pasadena Saturday 4/14

It isn’t often I get jazzed about a press release’s contents but this event sounds too cool to pass up.  A tradition in some Asian countries is a night market wherein streets become giant markets for the night. That is is exactly what is happening this Saturday night in Pasadena on Oakland Avenue between Union and Colorado.  The event promises to be filled with music, food and merchandise all with an Asian flare to it.  Admission is FREE!

Parking is tough (and expensive and extensively patrolled for scofflaws) in that area.  I strongly suggest that if you are mass transit enabled do so and get yourself onto the Gold Line and take it to the Memorial Station and walk the couple of blocks it takes to get there.

Details: April 14, 2012, 5-11:30PM, Oakland Avenue, Pasadena  MAP HERE. 626 Night Market Web Site.

Full press release after the break. Continue reading 626 Night Market coming to Pasadena Saturday 4/14

A Rocky Getaway in L.A.’s Backyard

Red Rock Canyon
Tilted sandstone formation in Red Rock Canyon

Forget your troubles, come on get dizzy. That’s what I did last weekend on a hike from Topanga Canyon area through Red Rock Canyon to the top of Calabasas Peak. The hike was about 4.5 miles, pretty short as the crow flies, but there was a lot of climbing (up to 2,000+ feet) and zig-zagging, plus we took some rock scrambling side trips, so it was challenging. One highlight of the hike was the rocky terrain, consisting of numerous sandstone outcroppings. At times I thought I was in Zion National Park, not the Santa Monica Mountains just minutes from L.A. Many of these rocks are tilted at Titanic angles, and it’s mind-boggling to think that they were once under sea, and how it has taken them millions of years to get to this point. There were even seashell fossils in some of the rocks, as the picture after the jump indicates.

Continue reading A Rocky Getaway in L.A.’s Backyard

A Disservice To LA Times Readers, History

Screengrab from LA Times.com

Staffwriter Hector Becerra spends all of the front page article in today’s Los Angeles Times and plenty more after the jump building the implication that the Dodgers were the primary reason for the Chavez Ravine disgrace, including this patently disingenuous paragraph:

“But the removal of more than 1,000 mostly Mexican-American families from Chavez Ravine to make way for the stadium is a dark note in LA’s history.”

What a surprisingly reprehensible and negligent generalization that is.

I was relieved when Becerra eventually explained that the public housing debacle by the city’s leadership years before Los Angeles was even a gleam in Walter O’Malley’s eye was the true catalyst for the evictions. And he finally contradicts his previous fallacy by mentioning there were only a few families remaining — not “more than 1,000” — in 1959.

But it is shameful and irresponsible that Becerra and his editors failed to reference those previous events higher up in the article and instead of qualification opted for false simplification in the form of an inaccurate chronological order to the dreadful sequence of events that destroyed the entire community, not just the handful of brave families who fought eviction to that bitter end.

I shall read any words appearing under Becerra’s byline now with a far more skeptical eye.

Update after the jump.

Continue reading A Disservice To LA Times Readers, History

Fire in Chatsworth?

Where there's smoke...
Where there's smoke...

Spotted at 10:35 am, there’s a serious plume of black, black smoke just outside my office window near the border of Northridge/Chatsworth. There’s already a ghetto bird police helicopter overhead.

Anyone know what happened?

Update: NBC Los Angeles is on the story.

Update 2: About 20 minutes after the plume first appeared, the fire seems to have been successfully extinguished. Go LAFD!

Navitat Canopy Adventures: Zippity Doo Dah, Zippity Yay!

I’ll admit it: Even after making the 90-minute drive up to Navitat Canopy Adventures in Wrightwood, and even when I was being strapped into the 12 pounds of harness gear, and eeeeeven when I stared down the length of that first zipline while breathing air so clean it hurt my lungs, there was a part of me that was ready to wuss out.

Fact is, I am pretty much terra firma’s bitch — exxxxtra-terrestrial, so to speak, in that my life-long crush on my physical, foot-planted connection to our earth is practically boundless. Suffice it to say the ground and me, we’re close. Really close. As such it is not often but always with trepidation whenever I intentionally leave its embrace —  but certainly not to seek various thrills such as diving into the sky out of a perfectly good airplane, or bungee jumping off a perfectly good bridge. Ziplining though? Hmmmm, now that was something I didn’t immediately have so adamant an adverse reaction to and therefore might be open to consider doing. At least in theory. Some day.

Ready to roll at zipline No. 1. Did Will stay or did he go now?

Which turned out to be March 24 when, despite my doubts about turning that theory into action, I took Navitat up on its gracious invitation and went up into that wild forested yonder in the San Gabriel Mountains about 75-miles northeast of Los Angeles and about 7,000 or so feet above sea level. Upon my arrival I was warmly welcomed by Caley Bowman, Navitat’s marketing manager, and soon after signed the requisite waiver absolving her company of all responsibility should I break a nail or a neck.

Soon after, among an assembled group of five other fellow blogger invitees (Andrea, Christine, Debi, Nicole and Bob), we were all harnessed and helmeted and venturing via 4×4 van up a steep and winding and narrow old logging road to eventually stand before that first zipline, where I wasn’t surprised at all to find that earth-bound part of me still looking for the chicken exit. But did I make like a tree and leave? Did I “bough” out ungracefully? Oh hell no. Me and my inner adrenaline junkie clipped in and went up, up and away for the ziplining rides of my life.

Continue reading Navitat Canopy Adventures: Zippity Doo Dah, Zippity Yay!