Get your grub on at the L.A. County Fair

Chicken Charlies employee
Shrimp served up in a pineapple...how bad can that be for you?

Where to start…maybe the fact that this year Chicken Charlie out did himself, twice? First is a wonderfully spiced shrimp served up with pineapple and rice in a hollowed out pineapple. The second drop dead delicious treat isn’t as healthy as the first. ITS FRIED COOKIE DOUGH. The latter my kids absolutely went nuts over.  The first option, known as Pineapple Express, will only be available at the Chicken Charlie’s outlet at the far west end of Broadway in the park.

I got to go to the Fair’s food preview night the other day, to see all what else I sampled, including BOOZE options you need to make the jump. Continue reading Get your grub on at the L.A. County Fair

In case you missed it, the Culver City “Grass Station” art installation!

It happened at night when no one was looking.  A gas station was turned into a “grass station”, an urban oasis of sorts.  It was part of CODA Automotive’s campaign to bring about awareness of their all electric car that is on sale now.  So far CODA has set up an “Experience Center” in the Century City Mall, as well as an indy dealer, Martin Coda of Los Angeles on West Olympic in L.A.  I have to give these guys credit for bringing something fun to a L.A. neighborhood and getting me to notice.

Urban Exploration: Inside The 7th Street Bridge

One of the oldest spans across the Los Angeles River, the 7th Street Bridge dates back to 1910 when the at-grade version included two-sets of trolley tracks. It quickly became one of the most congested ways across the river and by the late 1920s it was decided that rather than demolish the entire structure, a second level would be built on top giving it a double-decker appearance and allowing traffic to move freely without being impeded by any freight trains traveling  through.

Ever since I first noticed that open but inaccessible lower level of the 7th Street Bridge about eight years ago, I’ve wondered what it’s like inside, and my curiosity only increased a couple years ago when LA River advocate Joe Linton found a way in and wrote about it on his blog LA Creek Freak. It again was piqued a few months ago when the news hit that there are plans in the very early stages to convert the space to an open-air market.

During a visit paid to the bridge last summer while on one of my riverbed rides, I couldn’t figure out how Linton got up there, and I had pretty much reconciled that the space was to remain off limits to me — until a couple weeks ago, when an acquaintance of Linton’s contacted me out of the blue and said she knew how he got in and would I be game to try. Of course I would, I said.

Continue reading Urban Exploration: Inside The 7th Street Bridge

It Caught My Eye: Under The Bridge

Certainly not THAT bridge. Nowhere near the one Anthony Keidis sings of drawing blood and giving his life away. But a bridge’s under nonetheless — in this case the one that carries Sunset Boulevard over Silver Lake Boulevard — that the majority of passers-through traverse safely installed within the confines of vehicles. Perhaps there’s a scant percentage of those commuters who know that it was designed by none other than Los Angeles bridge-building master (and unsung LA hero) Merrill Butler, constructed in 1932 and was declared Historic-Cultural Monument No. 236 in 1981.

Since it’s in my neighborhood, I travel beneath it on foot or by bike pretty regularly. It’s often more foreboding than friendly, but that’s precisely why I venture through… to keep a claim on it. That, and it’s got some nice Romanesque architectural details (groined vault arches, FTW) that go otherwise unnoticed.

Another thing that would otherwise go unseen is a recent addition from Caché (pronounced cat-chay), my favorite muralist, famed around these here parts of LA’s Upside for his prolific chickens. This one, painted simply on the inside of the column in the deepest darkest part of the bridge (shown at right, too dark to capture in the above panorama) is nothing less than a pleasant surprise, a bit of whimsy in a serious place, a ray of light in the shadows. A hidden caché, if you will.

Food and Wine names In-n-Out as one of the best Burgers in the country.

So some 18 million of us in the greater L.A. area can’t be wrong about the famed In-n-Out burger.  Food and Wine just named it one of the best burgers in the country. The only “chain” to make the list.

For my daughter and Son-in-law no trip “home” is complete without a trip to In-n-Out. There is much discussion on which version we prefer, I’m a purest and go for the regular cheese burger as does my daughter, the SIL likes it animal style. What’s your preference?

L.A. Center for Digital Art presents Electron Salon

Electron Salon Postcard
Electron Salon Postcard

One of my most favorite art gallery’s in L.A. has got to be the L.A. Center for Digital Art.  Maybe because I drift into that realm with my own art often, but the images shown there  are technically at the top of that genre and media.

The current show that will run this month is the Electron Salon bringing in art from 24 different artists.  Its opening reception will take place in conjunction with Thursdays Art Walk at L.A.C.D.A from 7-9PM.

If you are planning on attending this weeks Art Walk and the Artists Reception at L.A.C.D.A take a train to Pershing Square and walk the 3 blocks or so to Gallery Row. It beats the hassle of traffic and trying to find parking in the area of this well attended event.

As a sidebar the folks at Occupy LA have apologized for what happened at last months Art Walk.  This was reported HERE in blogdowntown.  (If you don’t follow blogdowntown add it to your reading list as it is a great hyper-local source of info on DTLA). Another Occupy L.A. event likely won’t happen again at this month’s art walk.

Details: Electron Salon, L.A.Center for Digital Art, 102 W 5th Street, Los Angeles CA 90013. August 9, 2012.  7-9PM  Map HERE 

Sigh…parking tards never quit

parking tard
Parking Tard in a Red Zone.

My phone sorta rang off the hook on this one.  I’m a neighborhood watch captain and everyone was in a tizzy over this one. Why?  Well my little neighborhood has ample street parking yet this tard opted to park in the red zone…for hours.

Will drivers ever learn to obey the parking zones or is it simply an issue of they are more important than the law?

Once Upon a Time in the West at Aero This Saturday

Don’t even argue with me: Sergio Leone‘s Once Upon a Time in the West is the best film ever made. Leone got together with fellow Italian filmmakers Bernardo Bertolucci and Dario Argento, studied some of the greatest Westerns (High Noon, The Searchers, etc.), including their locations and iconic shots, and came up with a film that is simultaneously a parody of and loving homage to the Western genre. You’ll see things that are subconsciously familiar, like dusters and Monument Valley, and things that are deliciously unfamiliar, like Henry Fonda as one of the meanest villains ever to grace the screen.

And hopefully you’ll see it all this Saturday, August 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica, as part of the American Cinematheque film series. Of course, that part about Once Upon a Time being the greatest film ever made is subjective, but don’t seriously call yourself a movie lover or film buff until you’ve seen this classic.

Can I call bullshit here? Chick-fil-a wants some love after encouraging hate.

chick-fil-a notice
Chick-fil-a notice floating on FB this morning.

I’m a first amendment kind of guy, but I’m smart enough to know that what you say (or do) has consequences and you need to live with them.  As a refresher Chick-fil-a has donated some $1M towards anti-LGBT causes and publicly has acknowledged doing so and said it saw nothing wrong with supporting those causes they believed in.  Now they are all butt hurt that people who disagree with them aren’t letting them open new businesses and promoting boycotts of them.

With a few very highly publicized refusals to allow them open new restaurants because of their political stance and voice the folks at “The Liberty and Freedom Foundation” are trying to rally people to attend the restaurants in protest. At least according to this face book meme (pic attached) there is an effort to get them some love.  Maybe its time again for folks to consider exercising their free speech and gather in a picket in front of Chick-fil-a’s restaurants to educate folks on the hate this place supports?  I for one have boycotted the place since learning of their politics and encourage others I know to do the same. Often.