All posts by la_jonathan

Heater Time Already?

First let me say – thank heavens that infernal heat is gone. I mean the weather in the last month was very dumb. Too hot. OK, that said – we have gone from superhot, to superchill in the course of a few days. So much so that I am wondering if it is not too early to light the pilot on my heater.

Given the choice, I will always select to be a little too cold rather than a little too hot. I get lethargic when hot, when cold maybe a little bit uncomfortable, but I can deal with it.

In any case, this is good hiking weather.

Low Riders In Elysian Park Today

When I heard the candy painted pickup blasting oldies this morning I knew that it was going to be a lowrider day in Elysian Park. This happens every few months; lowrider clubs from all over the Southland converge in Elysian Park to show off their wares and meet with other enthusiasts.

Parked Orange Ride

Even if your car is dealer standard, you can still go. You can do like I do and walk around taking pictures of the cars and the art on said cars. Or watch ’em turning tight ones through intersections.

The cars and people are already converging there now, and most likely will remain there through mid afternoon, so maybe you have time to check out some of these art cars? To find them, just head down Stadium Way.

Some Parking Tips

No, this is not a post about not parking your SUV in a compact space, or how not to park like an idiot. I just wanted to point out this list of parking tips from LA City Nerd. Some of it is basic, others more obscure:

There is only a 5 minute grace period on street cleaning days. So, if the sign says no parking 9am to 11am Tuesdays, you actually have until 9:05am and can park at 10:55am. This may be only 5 minutes of extra parking, but something is better than nothing.

Eric Garcetti Drops Some LA Knowledge

Check out this video of City Council president Eric Garcetti speaking at Taix, giving a series of Los Angeles facts and figures. Great, great stuff folks. And funny as all hell:

Eric Garcetti (L.A. City Council President) speaks at TAIX in Echo Park on May 18 , 2006. If you missed the event, here is part of Eric talking about some facts about Los Angeles, including tidbits on the Olympics coming to town soon, the longest and shortest streets in L.A., and some other cool facts about the city he loves.

Did you know the longest street in L.A. is supulveda? How about what year prostitution was outlawed in L.A.?

He makes a great point about people in SF and NY talk so much shit about LA, but LA never really returns the favor. I was just thinking about this to other day.


The Dalmatian and the Curio Shop

About three years ago while walking along Sunset Blvd, just east of Echo Park Blvd, MAKSTER and I came upon a store labelled “Curious Shop”, with an old Mexican gentleman half asleep out front. Around him were various curios and odd items that he had collected over the years and was now selling.

BewareWhen we started looking he awoke and talked to us, telling us of his involvement in World War II and how he used to paint propaganda posters – “for the other side”, he said. I believe that he said he lived in Mexico at the time(I am still trying to figure out the Mexico/Germany connection that I have seen allusions to in various places and situations).

We chatted with him(and I really wish I could remember his name right now) for about a half an hour or so, and bought a fossil fish for ten dollars, and then bid him adieu, never to see him again.

Months later when we walked by where the shop had been, we saw only the handpainted sign of a Dalmatian with the word “Beware” underneath. That was it.

I am not sure what is there now, or who he was, but I would certainly love to know more, if any other Echo Park oldtimers might have an idea…

LA Locksmith Shacks

Add this one to the already interminable list of Los Angeles photogroups: LA Locksmith Shacks. Here you can post all of your many photos of locksmith shacks in the Los Angeles area.

Losanjealous Ryan gives more background on these shacks:

Locksmiths are required by law to operate out of craptastic shacks in the corners of parking lots unless eligible for exemption as defined by Form 33LK.

New locksmith shack building applications must include documented proof that proposed shack location falls within designated shack-zoned area as defined in Shack Bylaw #3-A4b. Refer to Supplement Form 2A.

Ketching Up With Ketchum

One thing that I definitely missed while travelling was my near daily ritual of working out at the Ketchum Downtown Los Angeles YMCA. It’s the best gym that I have ever been a member of.

If you are looking to join a gym, this would be a good one. It’s located in downtown, the facilities are modern and ample, and they have good classes(hatha yoga and muay thai for me…), as well as trainers who will help you create a fitness program that you can track online or at terminals at the gym. Also, there is parking.

I mean, I did not find out about until last year, which is too bad since I have lived in that vicinity for close to seven years.

Zagreb is the Novi LA

I have been in Zagreb, Croatia for the last few days and I have found out that in one way it is emulating LA: traffic. I was here two years ago and it was not an issue, and apparently it never really has been an issue here in the past. But now there are many cars on roads that are not designed to handle them.

And people are really into there cars and really into driving. They want to drive and will brag that they have not taken the tram in so long. The trams are awesome by the way. If we had them in LA we would all be so happy.

I will look into the cars and there will be one person in each, and like I said, they are pretty unrepentant about it. I feel like we have had this sort of traffic problem in LA for so long that we are trying to not do this kind of thing whether it is using public transit or biking, but apparently it is a new issue here so it might be some time before that view comes into vogue.

Travel Recon Through Metroblogging

Whether you are going to Bangkok, Hawaii, London, Tokyo or Azeroth this summer, you can get a good insight into your destination by checking out the corresponding Metroblogging site.

I have been picking through Metroblogging Istanbul in preparation for my trip to Turkey this summer and I feel like I get a better feel for what is going on with the locals – stuff that is hard to find in many other travel sites.

I guess I sort of look at it in the same way that if I really wanted to gain quick local knowledge of LA, then this site( would definitely do the trick.

Let Us Not Forget The Impending New Otani Beer Garden

Grilling It Up At The New OtaniOn June 12th it will be here, hailing the summer in style: the New Otani Hotel Summer BBQ and Beer Garden. Went there a number of times last summer, and I can honestly say that I love it.

I love the beer(and cold sake of course) and I love BBQing meats and vegetables at the table. I really like beef ribs, btw. The rooftop garden itself is beautiful with a small waterfall and classy landscaping. This is the thing to do after a hard day at work or home.

More Fun With Signs: Michelle’s Donuts

Michelle's Donut HouseFollowing up on the previous fantastic post about California Nigth Club, I would like to venture a sign. I am sure many of you have seen the sign for Michelle’s Donuts on Santa Monica Blvd. As you may or may not have noticed, it seems to be an appropriated Winchell’s sign, which I must say is very economical.

Perhaps Michelle’s used to actually be a Winchells, and then she got out of the game(Is this how a defunct Shakey’s franchise might become a “Shaker’s”?)….

I have never been in there personally, but according to reports the owner seems to be a nice lady named Annie.

Steven Seagal: Marked for Blues

seagal.GIFI have to admit that I find Steven Seagal fascinating. Even more so now that he has fashioned himself into a blues musician. And is now on tour. And this Wednesday he will be performing at the El Rey Theater. Mind. Blowing.

I am not sure what to make of it. One minute he is breaking the forearms of Jamaican drug lords in Marked for Death, and the next he is on stage singing the blues. Who know that he had this whole other side to him?

So that leaves us with this Wednesday, when you can go see him. Unfortunately I cannot make it as I have prior engagements, but I thought I would spread the word in case anyone out there is willing to check it out.