My better side rides his bike to work as often as the weather will permit (which is often). It’s a ten mile ride each way, and he does it as a way to stay in shape. What I’m concerned about isn’t so much his shape, well, it is, since I don’t want him to end up flattened on the sidewalk (that would be the worst shape yet). I’ve always thought of LA as a pretty accepting and accomodating city, but now that I hear his horror stories about his daily ride I’m begging to wonder why bike riders got left out of the equation. Not that there aren’t plenty of nice places to ride a bike in LA, but as far as riding for practical purposes, it seems pretty tough. For instance, did anyone know that Los Feliz Blvd. has no ramps on its sidewalks? That’s right, no handicap access and no place for bikes to go besides in the street (unless they like jumping curbs every five seconds). For people like my hubby that is the only way to get to work, and that’s a scary thought for both of us. So, I guess my point is to ask if anyone else has the same problem, or maybe a solution? Or an idea that can be turned into a solution?…
Since December is a month filled with gift giving holidays, I thought I’d get into the spirit with a great gift suggestion, especially for the cynics in the crowd. Brian Gage, a Los Angeles based writer whose “children’s books” deal with the social and political issues of today, has just published his fifth book, Burn, Christmas, Burn! It’s a dark, hilarious look at the ugly side of Christmas: the abused, overworked and underpaid elves in Santa’s Workshop.
It’s a really hilarious, easy read, so if you’re interested, check out his website, www.briangage.com, and makes somebody’s Christmas a little more political.
After a longer than expected hiatus from my blogging duties, due to school and travel (Turkey Day), I’ve decided to come back with a top ten things I love about LA list. Feel free to add any you see fit…
1. The Weather (yeah, I heard you all complaining, but today I wore a teeshirt for the better part of the day, and if one of you can tell me where else in the continental US you can do that right now (including Northern California, where I just was… brrr!) I’ll be amazed.
2. The People. The loud, obnoxious drivers, the ridiculous hipsters, the musicians, the dorks, the hipsters in denial (myself included), and everyone else in LA. We are what makes LA so great. I love you!
3. The music scene. Where else can you see Le Tigre one night and The Blues Explosion the next? Or Dengue Fever, or Los Abandoned, or any of the many other local and underground kick ass bands we get to see here. It’s fing great!
4. The Food. I could get more specific, but there are so many great restaurants out there. Real Food Daily (thanks for the recomendation Sean and Caryn), R-23, Paru’s, even Astro Burger has it’s place among the greats.
5. Jumbo’s Clown Room. Okay, okay, I know it’s a strip club, and as a woman, usually I’m not really down with that. But on just about any given night that you walk into that place the women outnumber the men 3:1. So it’s really a fun, safe place to get crazy. And the girls will kick your ass if you don’t give up the cash, so in a way it’s woman enpowerment, right???
6. Runyon Canyon. I have three dogs and live in an apartment, so every Sunday I thank LA for the dog park at Runyon. I can walk there from my house, and by the time we get the dogs off the leash they’re already tired. If it weren’t for this park (where you can take you dogs off the leash) dog owners in LA would be much worse off.
7. The New Beverly Cinema. Bored? Broke? Six bucks (five if you’re a student) will get you two movies any night of the week. You rock, New Beverly.
8. The Egyptian Theater. I saw Udo Kier speak there. Enough said.
9. The art scene. It’s great! Thanks to art.blogging.la for letting us all know what to look for!
10. The traffic. Uh, wait, no. Nevermind.
p.s. sorry I didn’t link everything. It was just too tedious…
Did anyone listen to KPFK this morning? If so, then you may have heard Eric Garcetti on Uprising (with my favorite radio host, Sonali Kolhatkar ) talking about the new ordinance passed unanimously by the L.A. city council. This ordinance, called No Sweat, is designed to ensure decent working conditions and at least minimum wage for factory workers in Los Angeles. It is designed to work along with the Responsible Contractors Ordinance to create better, safer working environments for all people living in Los Angeles. After two long years in the making, this proposal was finally passed, making Los Angeles the first major city to pass an ordinance of this nature and will hopefully set an example for other cities in the nation (New York? Where are you?)
I love to eat out. I really, really love it. I could probably live in a bigger, nicer place in a better part of town, but instead, I eat out at least three times a week. So the other night when a group of friends and I went out to R-23, a hipster Japanese restaurant in downtown LA, I was super excited. The only thing I knew about the place was that it had cardboard chairs and was fairly pricey, but I tend to get excited about eating at Denny’s, so…
When I got there I saw it was much different than what I expected. The cardboard chairs made me think the place would ooze pretension, but that wasn’t (and isn’t) the case at all. R-23 is tucked away in a corner of a nondescript brick building and has no real sign pointing it out to the public. The inside is cozy (small), but the furniture is placed in such a way as to affect spaciousness. Modern art adorns the walls, and even the sushi plates are hung artistically behind the counter. All in all, it’s a very comfortable space, very understated, but very nice.
But on to the food! As the resident vegetarian in my group of friends, I’m used to being the bummer of the night, always having to ask for special orders and restricting any steak houses from our restaurant lineup. So when I went to R-23, I figured I would eat some edamame, down some sake, then go home for an actual dinner. After looking at the menu, though, I saw it was going to be an expensive night.
Continue reading Suchi!!!
One of the many advantages of living in LA is how close we are to Mexico. Some of you may laugh at this comment, or remember that night you got trashed in Tijuana (as I’m sure most of us have). What I’m talking about, however, are the cultural benefits, like going down to Olvera Street to check out the Day of the Dead festivities taking place this weekend. Day of the Dead is a ceremony that traditionally takes place on the November 2, although it is often celebrated for an entire week. On these days the people of Mexico bake breads and make sugar skulls to honor the dead. They also clean their loved ones graves and make altars to honor them. I went to Olvera st. last year, and it was a blast (although a very somber one). You can go check out live music and dancing, storytelling, and a candle lit procession after dark. You can even make your own sugar skulls (it’s a workshop mainly for kids, but last year I made some bitchin skulls). This celebration is going on now through Sunday and is not to be missed.
Other Day of the Dead celebrations around the city include the celebration at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. It’s tomorrow (Sat) from 4 to 11pm and will feature altars, music, dancing, vendors (a great way to get cool Christmas gifts), food, and other fun stuff. Or you could go check out the fun at Self Help Graphics and Art’s fest, which features much of the same, but focuses on Latino and Latina artists in the East LA area, and also has face painting, a total plus.
Whichever you choose, I think everyone should get a taste of these festivals. They’re fun, free, and they’ll give you your culture fix, too.
If anyone doesn’t have anything to do this Monday night, might I suggest a trip to the Silent Movie Theater? It’s a really great place to check out, and it’s the only silent movie theater left in this hemisphere. As a matter of fact, there’s only one other silent movie theater in the world, and that’s in Australia (or so says the guy from this silent movie theater). It’s a great place to take a date, although I think the seats have been there as long as the theater, so bring a pillow or your butt will be go numb. They have a band that covers 20’s songs and they play a few short Bettie Boop cartoons to get the night rolling. They even have a real live organist (although he looks like he may keel over at any minute). So go check it out if you haven’t already, and go soon, because who knows how long they’ll stay open to the public (they usually only open for special events). I think it’s $15 per person, and worth every penny. This Monday they’re showing “The Parson’s Widow”, and I have no idea what it’s about, so go check it out and let me know. Or maybe I’ll see you there…
Tonight for dinner I made Indian Food from a package. It was those weird Tasty Bite things you buy from Trader Joe’s, and after my other half and I finished eating them we realized how filthy dirty disgusting they are. Then I realized how much they cost (about $9 for three packages-just enough to feed two people). Then I thought, why the hell didn’t we just go out? Especially with all the great Indian food places around.
The best Indian food I’ve found lately has come from India Sweets and Spices, a big cafeteria-like restaurant in Los Feliz (Atwater?) on Los Feliz Blvd. Maybe you’ve heard of it? If not, I sincerely suggest going sometime, especially if you want really yummy food for dirt cheap. About five bucks gets you enough food to bust your pants with, and it’s really good. While you definitely aren’t paying for the ambiance, (unless you like the whole school cafeteria feeling), you are getting more than your money’s worth at this delicious restaurant. When you’re done you can even go next door to their food market and buy the things you just ate, and fail miserably at making them at home, like me. Very fun.
Hello fellow bloggers and blog readers… I’m the new girl sent to fulfill all your blog related needs. Not really, I’ll just be blogging here and there, hope you like it. Well, I wanted to start with a bang, maybe a rant or rave, but then I got to feeling a bit shy, so I thought I’d just give a quick hello. So here I am. I’m very excited to be a blogger, and I hope I live up to the strict standards set forth by blogging.la. So thanks again to Sean and everyone who got me in here, and I’ll be blogging like crazy before you know it.