Dr. Marc Abrams Memorial Walk Recap

Walking Kid
Walking Kid
Little Walking Man - Photo Courtesy of Fleur Philips

I’m still on somewhat of a high from Sunday’s Memorial Walk for Dr. Marc Abrams. Near the end of the walk, I met a reporter for BBC America who said, “I’ve been searching for a sense of community ever since I moved to L.A. and this is the first time I think I’ve found it.” To me, that summed up the entire experience perfectly.

Looking out at the crowd of people gathered to walk for a man most of them didn’t know – families with kids and dogs in tow, everyone smiling and in good spirits – it restored my outlook on our neighborhood and once again made me realize how privileged I am to live in a community where people will join together for something as simple as remembering a man who walked our neighborhood almost every day for 30 years.

I’d like to extend a special thanks to:

  • Brandon Fuller for creating the Facebook event page and silverlakewalkingman.com
  • Howie via NeighborGoods.net for letting us borrow the megaphone for the event
  • Christopher Daniels for helping with coordination, creating the flyer and for communicating with Dr. Abrams’ friends and family for us
  • Kevin West for being there, despite his grief over the loss of his friend, and for sharing the note from Dr. Abrams’ wife, Cindy
  • Nick Potter for stimulating the initial idea for the walk
  • My lovely fiance’ Harold for holding the megaphone during all of the speeches
  • L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti and Councilman Tom LaBonge for their presence and support

Below are some comments from the community that I’d like to share and also a round up of some press coverage of the walk. Continue reading “Dr. Marc Abrams Memorial Walk Recap”

Updated Route for Sunday’s Memorial Walk

(Photo courtesy of Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times / May 6, 2010)
(Photo courtesy of Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times / May 6, 2010)
(Photo courtesy of Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times / May 6, 2010)

For those of you wishing to join us this Sunday in remembrance of a local icon, below is the proposed route for Sunday’s Memorial Walk in honor of Dr. Marc Abrams, who passed away this week.

Bring water and sunscreen! We will assemble for the walk on Sunday, July 25 at noon. Meet in the grassy field next to the Silver Lake Recreation Center at 1850 W. Silver Lake Drive. Parking may be a challenge in this area, so I suggest riding a bike, walking or taking the Metro to the starting point. The # 201 bus stops at W. Silver Lake Drive and Moreno, which is walking distance to the Silver Lake Recreation Center.

Please stay on sidewalks and observe all traffic rules. No jaywalking or impeding traffic.

12:30 PM – Begin at Silver Lake Recreation Center at 1850 W. Silver Lake Drive, continue north on W. Silver Lake Drive for 1.3 miles

1:00 PM – Turn left on Rowena, continue for 0.2 miles

1:05 PM – Turn left on Hyperion, continue south towards Monon for 0.2 miles

1:10 PM – Turn left on Griffith Park Blvd, stay on Griffith Park for 1.3 miles, until it dead ends at Sunset Blvd. (in front of Mornings Nights Coffee Shop)

1:45 PM – Stop at the triangle park across from Mornings Nights Coffee Shop at 1523 Griffith Park Blvd for a break, get water, etc.

2:00 PM – Turn left on Sunset Blvd. towards downtown

2:10 PM – Stop at the mural at 2943 W. Sunset Blvd, next to Local restaurant

2:20 PM – Turn left on Silver Lake Blvd, continue for 0.8 miles

2:30 PM – Arrive back at the Silver Lake Recreation Center

Those wishing to do an extended walk at this point should continue around the Reservoir on Silver Lake Blvd for 0.8 miles, turn left on Armstrong for 0.3 miles, then left on Tesla Avenue, then left on W. Silver Lake Drive for 1 mile.

Memorial Walk to Honor Silver Lake’s Walking Man

Silver Lake's Walking Man
Silver Lake's Walking Man
Photo courtesy of Will Campbell

As many of you have heard by now, Marc Abrams (known to most as Silver Lake’s Walking Man) passed away last night. To honor the man who became such a fixture in our community, a few of us have decided to organize a memorial walk in his honor, beginning this Sunday at noon. We will meet at West Silver Lake Drive and Moreno, We will meet in the grassy field next to the Silver Lake Recreation Center, near where he began his daily walks, then follow his usual route.

In 2004, Abrams outlined his route in an interview:

“I usually loop around the lake, and then go down West Silverlake to Rowena, and then Hyperion, and then Griffith Park Blvd. down Sunset, back down Silverlake to the reservoir, and then back and loop around the lake again. So it’s about 15 miles altogether.”

All are welcome to join. Details below:

What: Memorial Walk to Honor Marc Abrams

When: Sunday, July 25 at noon

Where: LOCATION CHANGE! The response has been so overwhelming that we need to accommodate a larger number of attendees. For safety purposes, we have moved the starting location a few blocks away to the grassy field next to the Silver Lake Recreation Center, right at the edge of the Silver Lake Dog Park – a much better place to congregate as numbers arrive. The Silver Lake Recreation Center is located at 1850 W. Silver Lake Dr. 90026. CLICK HERE FOR AN OUTLINE OF THE ENTIRE ROUTE.

Pour on the sunblock, don your short shorts, bring along a folded New York Times and just walk – that’s what he would have done.

Free Dental Care Available this Summer for Kids and Teens

When I was growing up, my parents never took me to the dentist unless it was an absolute emergency, so I consider myself very fortunate to have had consistent, company-sponsored dental insurance for the past 10+ years. However, many people are without insurance and can’t afford to go to the dentist, even if it is an emergency. That is why the Hollywood / Los Feliz Kiwanis Club, the same people behind the Annual Pancake Breakfast, have partnered with Queens Care and the Hollywood YMCA to hold a free dental clinic for kids and teens throughout the summer.

The only problem: They need another 50 children (ages up to 18) to sign up before Monday, July 5 to keep the clinic open past the second week of July. That’s where you come in! Help us spread the word to families and organizations that can help. Parents will need to fill out an application (available in English or Spanish) before Monday, July 5.

For an application, please contact Robert J. Menz, President of the Hollywood / Los Feliz Kiwanis Club at [email protected] or visit hollywoodlosfelizkiwanis.org for more information.

Start Your Engines

On June 18th, start your politically incorrect internal combustion engines for the 2010  Rental Car Rally (RCR), a 36-hour competitive road trip from Los Angeles to Tombstone, AZ.

RCR is a single leg competitive road trip in which teams of costumed players compete for cash and prizes. There is no set route, but each team must hit pre-defined checkpoints, the locations of which will be revealed in the rally booklet provided at the starting line. Each team must furnish photographic evidence of each checkpoint. Teams are scored by a combination of odometer reading, team style and hijinks (details on the RCR web site).

The event is organized by Supreme Commander, the co-founder of a huge, ludicrous water gun tournament, StreetWars, which I personally participated in a few years ago, and The Pants, who throws big video game parties.

The race begins Friday, June 18 and ends Sunday, June 20. A “Basic Team Ticket” will cost you $179 and includes entrance to the rally, admission to the rally pre-party, with drink specials and a briefcase stocked with mischief-making swag (which you can use to mess with the other teams). Each ticket covers one vehicle and unlimited teammates.

To register for the race or for more information, visit the RCR web site at rentalcarrally.com.

Continue reading “Start Your Engines”

Sock Puppet Sitcom Theater Presents: Three’s Company

Grab your friends and head on down to the new Regal Beagle in Silver Lake this Friday, May 14 when Sock Puppet Sitcom Theater presents “Three’s Company.”

Sock Puppet Sitcom Theater is the brainchild of Mark Hayward (pawubu), whose unmatched master sock puppetry skills have been thrilling audiences for generations. Check out this link for a preview of what you can expect to see Friday night: www.youtube.com/user/pawubu.

The puppet show begins at 8:00 PM and will be followed by three bands, The Edges at 9:00 PM, Irradio at 10:00 PM and Ray Argyle’s “Saving Grace” EP CD release show at 11:00 PM.

Admission is $5 ($20 including open bar).

The show will be hosted at WHERE
1519 Griffith Park Blvd. (next to Mornings Nights)
Los Angeles, CA 90026
wheremmm.com

ReForm School Sidewalk Sale Tomorrow


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ReForm School in Silver Lake is having their first ever sidewalk sale this Saturday, May 8th from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Lots of stuff will be marked down with many items below wholesale prices. Mark downs include Esther Derkx, Marimekko, Roost, Ting London (pillows), Zaishu and much more.

ReForm School
3902 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029
www.reformschoolrules.com

Spotted in Silver Lake

Walking down Sunset Blvd. from Intelligentsia to Malo, I spotted this delightfully inappropriate combination. The sign belongs to an ice cream truck that has long been abandoned to rot behind a chain link fence. Oh and the truck is for sale if you’re interested.

$3 Pancake Breakfast This Weekend

(image courtesy of Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce)

The Kiwanis Club of Hollywood / Los Feliz is holding their 46th annual Kid’s Day Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser this Saturday, May 8. The Kiwanis Club of Hollywood / Los Feliz is a non-profit organization that supports a wide range of charitable needs in the community with the help of member dues, donations and annual fundraisers.  The annual Pancake Breakfast  provides up to 60 percent of their annual operating budget.  The middle and high school students that sell tickets to the event maintain 50 percent of the proceeds for their respective Builders and Key Clubs, which Kiwanis sponsors and mentors.  In addition to breakfast, there will also be a raffle, balloon animals and children’s fingerprinting.

$3 doesn’t go very far these days, so it’s great that you can get a decent breakfast while supporting your community. Stop by this Saturday and chow down for a good cause. Details below.

Who: The Kiwanis Club of Hollywood / Los Feliz, in conjunction with Hollywood and John Marshall High School Key Clubs, Virgil Middle School Builders Club and Boy Scout Troop 621

What: The 46th Annual Kid’s Day Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser

When: Saturday, May 8th from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Where: Vons Grocery Store parking lot. 4520 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (on the corner of Sunset Blvd and Virgil, next to the Children’s Hospital)

Visit www.hollywoodlosfelizkiwanis.org for more information about the organization.


L.A. Plays Itself in the Movies: Swingers (1996)

Vegas, baby. Vegas.”

The film that spawned one of the most overused Vegas quotes of our time isn’t about Las Vegas at all. Swingers is so L.A.

Location. Location. Location. For me, the thrill of watching Swingers is noticing all of the familiar locations around town. The characters in this film never stay in one spot for long, always on the move from one bar to another bar, to a Hollywood Hills party, then to a coffee shop for a late night breakfast. All in their own separate cars of course. It’s laughable, but even today I notice that most of my friends in L.A. drive separately, despite that we all live in close proximity of each other and are meeting at the same place.

When I relocated to L.A. in 2003, the very first bar a friend took me to was The Dresden Restaurant to see Marty and Elayne perform. Immortalized by the film, The Dresden remains one of my favorite lounges in L.A. Located at 1760 North Vermont Avenue in Los Feliz, The Dresden makes its appearance in the scene where Mike (Jon Continue reading “L.A. Plays Itself in the Movies: Swingers (1996)”

How to Buy Less and Share More

Need a ladder for a one-time project but don’t want to buy one? Out of town and want to borrow a bike for the weekend? Do you have a garage or attic full of stuff that you only use once a year? If so, NeighborGoods can help.

NeighborGoods is an innovative place where you can save and earn money just by sharing stuff with your friends. You can choose to share your stuff only with people you know, or you can expand your network and rent your lawnmower to a stranger, you decide. You can also post an alert to your NeighborGoods community when you need something.

If you’re still not sure exactly how it works, check out the short video below that explains how NeighborGoods can make your life a lot easier and a lot less cluttered. Oh, and you just might save the world too.

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/10659908[/vimeo]

Sign up for NeighborGoods and start sharing now! Visit neighborgoods.net for more information.

Making the Grade

Last year I was finishing another great meal at Daikokuya, one of my favorite ramen joints in Little Tokyo, when I looked up to see a bright red “C” hanging in the front window.

Gulp.

Now I am no ratings snob. I’ve eaten at roadside shacks in rural Thailand. I’ve consumed sausage from a vending machine in Sweden, and I’ve knowingly dined at plenty of “B” establishments before. However, a “C” rated restaurant in Los Angeles? Never.

As soon as I got home that night I went straight to the Google. That’s where I found something that would continue to haunt me for the next few months: A database of Los Angeles County restaurant ratings, including the reasons for each score.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has a simple web site, lapublichealth.org/rating/, which allows you to search by restaurant or facility name, or you can search all of the restaurants in any given area.

“Information is power!” I thought. Feeling smug and empowered.

Once I found the database, I compulsively searched all of the restaurants that I dine at regularly. When that failed to reveal anything horrifying enough, I searched more. All of the restaurants in my zip code. All of the restaurants in the city. Scanning scores, looking for “C” ratings or below, obsessed with knowing why. Even when I found what I was looking for, I kept searching for more. I finally reached maximum overload when I Continue reading “Making the Grade”

My Saturday in the Patty Wagon

One of the ubiquitous gourmet food trucks to hit the LA streets recently is Patty Wagon, which boasts sustainable, 100% grass fed beef hamburgers and hand cut fries made from organic potatoes. This past Saturday, I found them parked across the street from the Silver Lake Farmer’s Market and decided to check out the hype.

From across the noisy Saturday traffic on Sunset Blvd., I could hear early R&B music being piped from the truck, bands like The Ink Spots and other Decca favorites. Speaking of The Ink Spots, Tennessee Williams said that he listened to The Ink Spots’ tune, “If I Didn’t Care” over and over while he penned “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Anyway, back to the Patty Wagon. As I crossed the street, the music put me in the mood for a good old timey hamburger, the kind you imagine they served in a 1940’s, small town diner. However, Patty Wagon may have an old-fashioned look and sound, but their menu is quite modern. They don’t serve Continue reading “My Saturday in the Patty Wagon”

Calling All Warriors

At least three of my friends, possibly more now, have entered this year’s Warrior Dash and I plan to be there to cheer them on, April 11 in Lake Elsinore, CA.

About an hour’s drive from Los Angeles, the event will take place over two days, April 10 and 11. Warriors will dash, leap and climb over 12 hellish obstacles stretched out over three miles. They will jump over flames, wade through a bog, scramble under barbed wire and more.

Those who participate in the Dash will receive an official fuzzy, horned Warrior helmet, free beer and many other spoils. If you think you have what it takes to be a Warrior, there is still time to enter, just visit their web site at warriordash.com. The cost to participate is $75. After March 15 it will cost you $85, until April 5 when registration officially closes.

2010 Warrior Dash
April 10 & 11
Jungle Island Paintball Park
14881 Temescal Canyon Rd.
Lake Elsinore, CA
(951)445-0585
warriordash.com

New Hours For Silver Lake Flea Market

Formerly every Saturday at Micheltorena Elementary School, the “Silver Lake Art, Craft & Vintage” flea market will now take place the last weekend of every month, both Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm.

While I don’t know the specific reasons for the change, I have visited this flea market on several occasions and always found it lacking in vendors. The space is large enough and the vendors that are there have a decent selection, but to draw a crowd, I think they simply need more. Perhaps moving the fair from every Saturday to just one weekend a month will encourage more vendors to participate. I also think it would be more appealing if they offered a broader selection of “arts” and “crafts” vendors, as it is mostly just vintage clothing. I love shopping for vintage clothing, but if you’re going to bill something as “Art, Craft & Vintage,” you might want to strive to carry an equal selection of those things.

For more information on the fair, visit their web site at silverlakeartcraftvintage.com.

Silver Lake Art, Craft & Vintage
Admission is FREE
Last Saturday and Sunday of each month
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Micheltorena Elementary School
1511 Micheltorena St
Los Angeles, CA 90026