I was sitting in a hotel in Vegas over the weekend scanning the in-room movie options when I noticed they were advertising discount pornography. The TV said said “Hardcore Sex at a Lower Price”. This reminded me of two things:
1. I needed to call my father
2. I miss having a local video store
Like many people I order DVDs from Netflix, but I’m not happy about it. For years I used to walk to the 20/20 Video on Beverly Blvd. until it closed at the beginning of last year. I loved that store. In fact, it kind of represented the city to me because it was my first piece of official business I had a 20/20 membership before I even had a phone number in LA.
When 20/20 closed its doors it was the second saddest video store closing I’ve ever known. Now I say second saddest because while 20/20 was a good store, it’s wasn’t the best. More on this and a slightly inappropriate pic after the jump.
Continue reading The Best Deal in Porno History
Over at Losanjealous, Ryan informs us that there are still tickets available for the Hall and Oates shows at The Troubadour on the 22nd and 23rd of this month. You’re probably saying to yourself: “The most popular pop rock duo of all time is playing the Troubadour for the first time in 35 years and tickets are still available? Has the world gone mad?”
Fear not, the world is no crazier than it was before you read that last paragraph, in fact the world may be saner than you think and the availability of Hall and Oates tickets may be proof that we haven’t all gone mad. You see, the reason the show hasn’t sold out has everything to do with common sense: A tickets will cost you $200! You read that correctly… two hundred American dollars. That’s a lot of dollars for a band whose last number one hit was in 1984 (that hit was, appropriately enough, Out of Touch).
We should all feel very proud of this show of fiscal common sense.
*Please feel free to use the comments to suggest the appropriate Hall and Oates lyric to use as the title of this post. The best suggestion will win the prize of my respect and admiration. Also, this post should not be taken as a knock on Hall and Oates, who I like a lot and believe deserve a better critical reputation than they have. I just think that $200 bucks is way too much to see them at The Troubadour; obviously most people agree.
I made my first trip of the season to Dodger Stadium last night and I can’t believe I waited more than a month to get there. I’ve been to many ballparks and Dodger Stadium is my favorite place to see a game. Of course it’s not the first place I saw a big league game, that distinction belongs to Shea Stadium. Those of you who have never had the displeasure of a game at Shea are better off not knowing what you’re missing. But if you must know what Shea is like, imagine a rats nest inside of landfill of burning tires and surrounded by junkyards. Because I didn’t know any better, I loved that dump.
I attended my first game at Shea in 1984, not with my dad but with the patrons of a local bar who had managed to commandeer 30 tickets and a school bus. When the school bus full of grown men pulled up to our house my mom had no problems telling me to get on board. That night there was no score-keeping, no home runs and no catching foul balls. There was lots of drinking, fighting, and one instance of a school bus getting pulled over. At some point that night the Mets played the Expos too; since this was the brief period when Pete Rose was an Expo I got to yell “Pete Rose sucks” repeatedly. My first game and I jeered the guy with more hits than anyone in history. To be fair, I told every Montreal player to fuck off at some point that night as well as many of the Mets, but you have to understand that at ten years old, I had a problem holding my liquor.
More baseball and bad behavior after the jump.
Continue reading Feels Like The First Time
There’s nothing I hate more than a napkin that makes me feel stupid. As luck would have it I’m a little smarter than your average napkin so this rarely an issue. However, the napkins at Don Antonio’s on Pico are not your average napkins, just take a look:
I found that napkin to be full of difficult questions and I’m something of a savant for trivia (I knew 3 of the 7 questions shown). The other side of the napkin was a little easier thanks to the Bullwinkle question but the remaining napkins on the table were even harder. I enjoyed the carnitas but the next time I go to Don Antonio’s I’m asking them to hold the know it all napkins.
Answers to the questions on the smarty pants napkin after the jump, I hope you do better than I did; no cheating.
Continue reading ICME: Know It All Napkins At Local Eatery
Local bloggers and mobile dining connoisseurs Tomas and Christine check in from Taco Truck Night and wonder why we can’t all just get along when it comes to food on wheels. Check it out here.
More on Taco Truck Night here.
Photo by MakeSeeEatDo
As part of the ongoing effort to find the very worst of our fair city, today we examine two more elements of Los Angeles, gang violence and the lack of respect for local history, to determine which is worse. At first glance this one might seem like a slam dunk for gang violence, at least that is what I thought when I decided to post this but the more I thought it over the less it seemed like a sure thing.
On one hand we have gang violence: According to LAPD figures, during the last five years, there were over 23,000 verified violent gang crimes in the City of Los Angeles. But wait, there’s more; that number includes over 750 homicides and 12,000 felony assaults. That’s a lot of violent crime and violent crime is never a good thing.
On the other hand there is the lack of respect for local history: Many people in Los Angeles don’t know local history and this is in large part due to the huge numbers of transplants here in LA. If you don’t have roots in a city it takes some work to learn what existed before you arrived. Over time I’ve gained a good sense of local history but often times when I bring local history up in conversation it turns into a discussion about what eatery used to be where and how all the good video stores are gone. When many of us talk about local history we often talk about places that personally mean something to us, these are interesting facts but ultimately this history is just trivia.
One of the problem with regards to history is that citizens, politicians and policy makers often don’t respect or don’t pay attention to the real history of the city including the multitudes of real estate deals and developments that built up certain parts of the city and left others to languish. Many also don’t know about the history of official and unofficial segregation of housing in our city or the questionable, borderline criminal policies when it came to policing lower income areas*. The historically unaddressed divide between the haves and the have-nots leads to disenfranchisement, resentment and anger towards the prevailing social and economic power in the city. Now I can’t speak for you but if you told me that the city I lived in would ignore a history that left me feeling alienated, I’d look for a way to build a community that could exert some authority and protect me in a way that the city had historically been unable to do; one way to do this is by joining or forming a gang.
So what’s worse, gang violence or the lack of respect for history which has indirectly led to gang violence? It’s your call, please vote below.
Which is worse:
Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
…poll closes Thursday evening…
*To be fair steps have been taken in recent years to improve these but the negative effects of past policies remain.
One weekend a year, Los Angeles loses a big piece one of its most valuable resources: our precious indie kids. For the past nine years, Los Angeles’ thriving belt buckle and brunch economy is abandoned for a few days while everyone heads out to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
It’s up to those left behind to keep the city from collapsing.
I am one of those who stayed behind to keep the city running because the idea of a three-day outdoor music fest long ago changed from an awesome idea to proof that Sartre was right when he said hell is other people. This is not a knock on anyone who does attend the festival, I envy your fortitude and willingness to brave the heat and crowds in order to see live music. I am just old, bitter, and my feet hurt.
Today, in order to keep the local economy from collapsing, my wife and I decided to do something we rarely do. We had brunch. Wait, let me rephrase that, we went OUT for brunch; we actually have brunch at home all of the time because we know how to sleep late, how to cook and how to keep a plenty of champagne on hand. What you call brunch, we call Saturday and Sunday morning. The difference is we don’t have to wear pants.
More on brunch after the jump….
Continue reading Hello, I Must Be Brunching
If you are going to the Washington Mutual branch on LaBrea and Rosewood (just south of Melrose) and you’re bringing a pet, the pet will probably have to wait outside.
Exceptions to this rule include:
- Guide Dogs and Helper Monkeys
- Animals who, when asked to wait outside, politely but firmly tell you that they’d prefer to come in.
Whatever you do, make sure it’s not this.
When I have a really lousy day there are usually two paths I can take to make things better: baseball or tacos. Today was a bad day. From the moment I woke up this morning I wanted to crawl back into bed and everything that happened reinforced that feeling. From the mirror getting knocked off of my car by a driver who couldn’t gauge the width of his own car, to traffic, and then the work day; it was all just lousy.
Now I don’t have a lot of bad days but if they happen I always hope it’s in the spring or summer because baseball or tacos becomes baseball AND tacos. Today, the baseball part was easy. I left work and the Dodgers were already on radio: step one accomplished. Now to convince my wife to forgo her plans to make a healthy dinner and instead indulge in the wonder that is Los Tacos on Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood. This would take a Little Jedi Mind Trickery on my part.
“Baby you’ve had a tough day. Don’t cook, I’ll go get us some delicious tacos instead.”
Of course she’s too smart for me, because she replies:
“My day was fine. YOU just want tacos.”
“So you don’t want any?”
“I didn’t say that!”
Sure, the Dodgers lost and we stuffed ourselves until we had to make a pact that Los Tacos would be a once-a-month treat (I think I can talk her down to every two weeks). But in the time it took for the Dodgers to give up a few runs and pick up dinner, everything in the world was made right again.
This city has taught me many things, including how to love dogs. Many years ago, when I was a kid in a faraway place, dogs just snarled and barked at me from behind fences and I was terrified of them. Since I was just a kid I didn’t understand that this said less about the nature of dogs than it said about the people I lived around.
My first apartment in LA came with a free dog, a pit bull mix who had been rescued by a former tenant and then taken in by the girls I was living with. I couldn’t have asked for a better dog to help me get over my fear and together we walked, we ran and we played with other dogs until I was a dog person. When one of the girls moved and took the dog with her I was heartbroken.
A few years later I got married and in the deal I got a dog; another pit bull, rescued and adopted by my wife after it had been dumped, while very pregnant, on the streets of Riverside.
Needless to say I’m a big believer in animal rescue today I went down to The Bill Foundation Dog Adoption Fair; my wife has been helping them find homes for dogs so I wanted to help out too.
More on dogs and the Bill Foundation after the jump including wiener dog puppies.
Continue reading Get Along Little Doggies
Following the previous post about an A bomb explosion it only seems appropriate to talk about my favorite landmark in the city. It’s not the Hollywood sign, it’s not Charlie Tuna’s* star on the Walk of Fame
(yeah a fake fish has a star a reader has pointed out the star is for the radio legend of the same name, not the cartoon spokesfish) and it’s not even the place where I met my wife for the first time. Those are all great places but they aren’t my favorite place.
You can find out what it is after the jump but here’s a hint…it involves a space robot.
Continue reading I Assure You, Such Power Exists
Imagine that you had just over $3000 and you absolutely had to spend it in one night. You could do one of the following:
- Order 950 chili cheese dogs from Pinks Hot Dogs
- Play over 6100 games of Guns and Roses pinball at Shatto Lanes
- Rent a luxury suite at the Hotel Bel Air and have money left over for hot dogs and pinball
I don’t know about you but I haven’t got that kind of cash and if I did I don’t think I could in good conscience spend it on a night’s worth of chili dogs, pinball or luxury accommodations. So you can imagine my surprise when I opened my mail to find out that I had spent that kind of money and I did it for five nights in a row…at Cedars Sinai hospital.
Also, that price is just for the room; there’s a lot more, but the other costs don’t bother me as much as the room. I realize that surgery and drugs aren’t cheap and the cost beats dying but the room rate seems a little steep doesn’t it? For $3000 dollars a night I feel like I should get a little more than a semi private room with a single bed and a gown that doesn’t cover enough.
Yesterday I realized that my driver license is about to expire so I headed over to the DMV website to renew online and I found the instructions amusing, in a very bureaucratic way.
That’s right kids, on the DMV website it says that in order to renew your driver license on the Internet you’ll need to have access to the Internet.
I’m not sure if I should be laughing at the silliness of this or be saddened by the fact that the DMV felt this information was necessary.
Nine years ago, I came to Los Angeles with a copy of Raymond Chandler’s “The Big Sleep” and a bottle of Canadian Club whiskey. I wasn’t here for fame and fortune; I was here for a girl. She picked me up at the airport in her ‘68 VW and first thing we did was drive to the ocean while I shook off my jet lag.
Early in “The Big Sleep,” a chauffeur named Owen Taylor is found dead in his car. This is not considered extraordinary; the role of a driver in a mystery novel is a dangerous fictional occupation. What is exceptional is that the car is found beneath twelve feet of water. Witnesses claim to have seen Taylor drive off of the pier, but he was dead long before his Packard sunk into the Pacific. Poor Owen deserved better, as he was a good man whose only mistake was dreaming too big about the wrong girl.
Chandler neglected to solve the mystery of Taylor’s death. Even William Faulkner (who co-wrote the screen adaptation of “The Big Sleep”) once tried to unravel the mystery and failed.
Standing on the pier overlooking the ocean, I moved past Owen Taylor to the greater mystery of what I was doing here. People come to Los Angeles every day to chase their dreams but I arrived in Los Angeles dreamless and defeated. I was in LA because she was here and because we had known each other too long for me to say goodbye to her. I was here because I was dreaming for something that was hopeless. If I didn’t find something to hold on to it would only be a matter of time before I ended up like Owen Taylor, twelve feet beneath the Pacific Ocean.
We headed home and I took a good look at LA for the first time. Years of being told that Los Angeles was a cultural wasteland had conditioned me to expect the worst, but I found everything I saw to be absolutely perfect. By the time we turned onto the street I was going to live on, I decided that this was where I wanted to stay. For Los Angeles and I, it was love at first sight.
My relationship with the girl who took me to the ocean didn’t last but my love affair with LA is nine years strong. Despite spending two-thirds of my life elsewhere, this is the place that feels most like home. I can’t say exactly why, it just is. I’d have an easier time explaining who killed Owen Taylor in “The Big Sleep”.