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64 Worst’s Sweet 16: People Who Don’t Pick Up Their Dog’s Poop vs. Hipsters

April 21, 2008 in 64 Worst

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Before we begin voting on which of the 16 worst things about L.A. will make it the quarterfinals, let’s take a peek at some of what has been eliminated from being the very worst thing about Los Angeles: the paparazzi, the cost of rent, the L.A. Times, our lack of an NFL team, the LAPD, neighborhood film shoots, Britney and Paris, Mayor V, illegal immigration, the homeless, segregation, the 405 Freeway, and transplants.

To see a complete list of what’s made it so far, check out our 64 Worst archives, or download this handy .pdf of our brackets thus far.

Now, onto the matchups – we’ll have two per day through Thursday.

Which is Worse About Los Angeles:

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…poll closes Wednesday night… for a recap of what the hate is all about, check out the original entry on hipsters here, or the one about people not picking up their dog’s poop here

64 Worst: Lightning Round, Day 4 of 4

April 17, 2008 in 64 Worst

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Final day of Round 2! Click the banner above for additional polls, as if the following four won’t quench your appetite… you now need to be registered and logged in to vote (or so I’m told by the polling commission), but rest assured your votes will help settle the age old debate of what actual is the very worst of L.A.

Which is worse about Los Angeles:

  • LA Times or the LAUSD?
  • No Metro Service to Dodger Stadium or Dr. Phil?
  • People Who Don’t Pick Up Their Dog’s Poop or Asshole Bus Drivers?
  • Uptalkers or Hipsters?

Vote in each of the four polls after the jump…

64 Worst: Lightning Round, Day 3 of 4

April 16, 2008 in 64 Worst

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Day 3 of Round 2… click the banner above for additional polls, as if the following four won’t quench your appetite…
IMPORTANT: You now need to be registered and logged in to vote on Metblog polls!

Which is worse about Los Angeles:

  • Tagging or the Lack of Left Turn Signals?
  • Use of The Word “Illegal” or Slow 911 Response Time?
  • Self Important Jackholes or Cellphone Yappers?
  • Smog or the 405 Freeway?

Vote in each of the four polls after the jump…

64 Worst: Lightning Round, Day 2 of 4

April 15, 2008 in 64 Worst

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Day 2 of Round 2… click the banner above for additional polls, as if the following four won’t quench your appetite…

Which is worse about Los Angeles:

  • People Who Can’t Drive In the Rain or People Who Talk On Their Cell Phones While Driving?
  • Gang Violence or Segregation?
  • No Respect for Local History or Urban Sprawl?
  • Curb Sneakers or Transplants?

Vote in each of the four polls after the jump…

64 Worst: Lightning Round, Day 1 of 4

April 14, 2008 in 64 Worst

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Yes, the series that never ends is now onto round 2. This week we’ll unleash four polls per day, slashing our list again in half, this time from 32 items to 16.

Which is worse about Los Angeles:

  • Scientology or the Paparazzi?
  • Cost of buying a home or the Cost of rent?
  • Gas powered leaf blowers or Parking Tards?
  • Nowhere good to eat after 10pm or the Starbuckification of LA?

Vote in each of the four polls after the jump…

64 Worst: Morning radio hosts vs. No respect or sense of local history

April 10, 2008 in 64 Worst

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You’ll be disappointed to learn that this poll concludes round one of the 64 Worst Things In Los Angeles. On Monday we’ll begin the second leg with a series of “speed rounds” to narrow the list down from 32 to 16 of the worst things about Los Angeles. Until then, a few polls remain open – teacup dogs vs. hipsters, the 405 vs. the LA River, neighborhood film shoots vs. gang violence, drivers who block intersections vs. gang violence, and Kobe vs. Dr. Phil. And now, here are items #63 and #64:

Morning radio hosts. Kevin & Bean. Joe Escalante. Valentine. Steve Harvey. Ryan Seacrest. Mark & Brian. Rick Dees. Big Boy. Take your pick, or leave a comment adding to the list.

Between McMansionization, urban density, eminent domain, and redevelopment, landmark properties are frequently torn down or key aspects renovated beyond recognition while investors await a hefty return, never once concerned about the cultural impact. L.A.’s rich history is rarely respected, and largely unknown. For example, most Angelenos, especially those pesky transplants, unaware that until 1847 L.A. was part of Mexico. (a big exception goes out to the L.A. blogging community, which ise full of writers and readers with an appreciation and curiosity of the city’s history… nerds!)

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Poll closes Sunday afternoon.

64 Worst: Kobe Bryant vs. Dr. Phil

April 10, 2008 in 64 Worst

What makes living in L.A. more unbearable, Kobe Bryant or Dr. Phil?

After winning in 1988, it took 12 years to build another Lakers line-up capable of winning the championship. After some hits (acquiring free agent Shaq and acquiring young Kobe from the Hornets) and misses (Dennis Rodman?!), Jerry Buss hired Phil Jackson as head coach. It was during this 1999-2000 season that the Lakers fought their way to the first of their legendary Threepeat Championships.

Meanwhile, Kobe and Shaq are bickering and Phil publishes a book wherein he describes his young phenom as “uncoachable.” In ’03, Jerry West brings in Karl Malone, but Kobe acts like a diva. The team falls apart: the Lakers lose the championship, Shaq, Phil and West leave, and Malone retires with an injury (having never won a ring). Oh, but we keep Kobe.

Does Kobe deliver? No. Since this time, the Lakers have not won a championship, and Kobe has never won the MVP.* Kobe wanted to be the star player who carried the team on his shoulders. Kobe never accepts responsibility for destroying a capable team in 2003. Instead he complains publicly that he is surrounded by sub-par players and that this is the real reason the Lakers don’t seed higher than they do.** He has asked to be traded, and frankly I think we should let him go already.

Kobe Bryant killed the Lakers.

On the other hand, we have Dr. Phil. Let’s start by telling you that Dr. Phil is not licensed by the state of California (or anywhere!) to practice psychology. I don’t think I need to go into detail about the whole Britney Spears hospital visit. Worth noting is the Dr. Phil Crack House, which was effectively shut down by neighbors last year.

Dr. Phil is a loudmouth psuedo-shrink peddling quick fixes and diet scams to the gullible and stupid. A pox on our fair town, he managed to look worse than Britney Spears during her lowest point—not an easy task.

Kobe does have his fans and is a talented ball player. Dr. Phil, however, has no redeeming qualities whatsoever, and I know of no one who can say they “like” his “show.”

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Poll closes Sunday at noon

* Kobe has won the MVP for the all-star game twice, but did not win the MVP for the championship. That title went to Shaq each time.

** Thank goodness he gets along with Pau. And even though they are seeded third, with 14 technical fouls Kobe could jeopardize their standing if he gets suspended.

64 Worst: Drivers who block intersections vs. Gang violence

April 9, 2008 in 64 Worst

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Drivers often pay no attention to crosswalks or carelessly enter crowded intersections. It really shouldn’t come as a shock that, in a city reputed to lack walkers, cars frequently come to a complete stop over marked crossings at intersections, leaving pedestrians to walk around said car and into traffic. This same kind of driver is also known for impatiently entering busy intersections just as the light turns red and getting stuck, thus becoming a roadblock to traffic in either direction.

Gang violence, unfortunately, needs few words to justify its inclusion among the worst things about Los Angeles. But here’s some figures anyway:

Conservative analysts estimate that as many as 40,000 people belong to the 700 or so gangs in the city of L.A. Countywide, there may be as many as 1,200 gangs with 80,000 members. The material cost of their criminality may be as much as $2 billion a year; the human toll in lives lost or deformed defies calculation. [Tim Rutten, Feb. 27, 2008, LA Times]

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Poll closes Saturday afternoon.

64 Worst: Neighborhood Film Shoots vs. Asshole Bus Drivers

April 9, 2008 in 64 Worst

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Los Angeles is the film capital. We’re proud of that. For many of us, its why we’re here. So, how is it that some lame producers and production managers can make us disdain the film industry by disregarding common courtesy towards residents in neighborhoods their shoots impact? Closing off streets with little or no notice, restricting street parking and offering residents no alternatives, setting up or shooting before and/or after the permitted periods, often keeping neighbors from being able to sleep? And when is the LAPD or Film LA ever going to enforce permits with more than a nasty phone call?

Pulling blindly into traffic, blowing past waiting passengers, and blocking intersections are but a few of the behaviors of asshole bus drivers. Let’s face it – anyone willing to take a job maneuvering an oversized vehicle throughout this city’s streets all day long must be a little nuts, but a not so rare breed are menaces to society, also known for cutting off bicyclists and tailgating passenger vehicles. Ralph Kramden would be ashamed.

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Poll closes Friday at noon.

64 Worst: The 405 Freeway vs. The L.A. River

April 8, 2008 in 64 Worst

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Which is Worse: The 405 Freeway or the L.A. River?
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The 405 and the L.A. River are both Los Angeles landmarks for all the wrong reasons. They are both made of concrete. They are both hostile and uninviting. They both crawl at the speed of nothing. One, we keep trying to widen. The other, we pretend isn’t there. The 405 is always full. The L.A. River, usually empty. They are the neighbor’s twins that act nothing alike, yet, you hate them both. And they aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon.

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Photo of the L.A. River from mike_1630’s photostream

64 Worst: Teacup Dogs vs. Hipsters

April 8, 2008 in 64 Worst

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Delicate, prone to nervous aggression, burdened with a Napoleon complex, possessed of a picky diet, requiring ugly sweaters and long periods of expensive grooming, and wont to anxiety and petty, public spats in large, crowded places…wait, are we talking about hipsters? Or teacup dogs?

dogforweb.JPG so cool

If I have to walk into one more rock show/bike shop/vegetarian restaurant/art gallery/bowling alley in LA to be confronted by the ubiquitous tableaux of tiny knots of twentysomethings with their artist-designed tees, lumberjack shirts, hi-tops and profusion of facial hair, or that “I just got hit in the face with a brick” pouty-lipped, runny-mascara underslept ingenue look, continuing to chat over their Colt 45 while sliding one sidelong glance at you, over their drink, I will whip my rabid teacup Chihuahua out of my Prada purse and fling it into the crowd, shrieking and spraying spittle, like a lit firecracker.

Both the hipster look and the teacup dog are an attempt at saying, “I live a life of such leisure that I can afford to wake up hungover at 4pm to find my hair artfully tousled/I can carry this helpless creature around with me at all times, to all places, because I don’t have to actually work or do anything.” The hipster look and the lilliputian dog are fashion statements: whether you’re sporting a mini puggle or a stylish bouffant of ennui, either way, it says something about you. It probably says “trust fund.” And whether you’re a 19-year-old gamine huddled smoking irritably outside a club, or a toy Pinscher the size of your master’s nonfat half-caff latte…you are BOTH shivering in that ironic chartreuse sweater.

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Poll closes Friday at noon.

64 Worst: People Who Can’t Drive in the Rain vs. Pink’s Hot Dogs

April 7, 2008 in 64 Worst

What makes living in L.A. more unbearable, People Who Can’t Drive in the Rain or Pink’s Hot Dogs?

I understand that roads become slick when water comes down from the sky. I understand that hydroplaning is dangerous. But let’s be real, People Who Can’t Drive in the Rain: LA hardly experiences monsoon rains and hurricane winds.

The genus People Who Can’t Drive in the Rain has two species: The Slowpoke and the Speed Racer. The Slowpoke will decelerate to 15 mph, even in the carpool or #1 lane. The speed racer, in a desire to fill the velocity vacuum left by the first species, will accelerate to 90 mph.

When these species literally collide on the freeway, traffic is backed up more than usual and normal drivers like you and me would be better off canceling appointments and staying home. Fuck you very much, People Who Can’t Drive in the Rain.

On the other hand, we have Pink’s Hot Dogs. Admittedly, Pink’s is a legendary icon in this fair town, naming their signature dogs after films and celebrities (Hell, even Golden Californian Huell Howser has a hot dog. But a Rosie O’Donnell dog? You gotta be kidding me). However, Pink’s is more of a sacred cow, dodging any criticisms by hiding behind an autographed head shot. Think: are the hot dogs really that good? What about the hour-long lines? Are the tourists, Melrose hipsters, and Food Channel quasi-foodies who can’t properly place an order really tolerable? As long as you’re breaking your diet, you might as well go across town and visit Tommy’s.

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Poll closes Thursday at 3pm.

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by tammara

64 Worst: 911 Response Time vs. Time It Takes To Get Ticketed or Towed

April 7, 2008 in 64 Worst

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A couple of months ago, I saw a really horrific hit and run traffic accident. I immediately called 911 on my cell and got a busy signal. I redialed and I swear, I was put on hold for 10 very long minutes. Then, it took almost 45 minutes before an officer showed up. Stories abound about how long it takes when you call to report a crime going down. Although, I do have to say, when I myself was hit by a car and the guy left the scene, both the ambulance and the police were there in less than 10 minutes. That was in West Hollywood and I was impressed. I know the city is understaffed when it comes to police officers…. but certainly not with parking control officers.

One of my pet peeves with living in Los Angeles is how ridiculously fast you can get a parking ticket. I sometimes think there is a parking violations officer for every street in the Hollywood. They remind me of vultures, waiting for the red flag to pop up so they can swoop in and slap that ticket down. And forget about a grace period. They have no mercy. I know it all boils down to money. The more tickets they write, the more cashola the city rakes in. But jeez, where’s the balance?

So which irritates you more?

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64 Worst: The Ubiquitous Flip-Flop vs. Starbuckification

April 6, 2008 in 64 Worst

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LA astonishes me in the ways that it is at once one of the most diverse and amazingly varied cities on the planet, and at the same time it’s a total conformity factory. The two biggest one-size-fits-all offenders in my book: flip-flops and chain stores.

I should begin by outing myself: I am a native Washingtonian, as in the District of Columbia, as in the most sartorially uptight city in the nation. I grew up in a city where flip-flops were reserved for beach wear, dorm showers, and tourists. In DC all women dress like flight attendants and there’s something vaguely obscene about open-toed shoes–toe cleavage and all that. Now, of course, I live in LA where open-toed shoes are a necessity because otherwise how could you show off the miniature last supper that was just painted on your thumb toe. I know I’m stodgy. I get that there’s still a fashion fascist inside me left from my youth. But people, people, flip flops are not work wear or gallery opening attire, or heaven forbid, first date footgear. And you unpedicured men with your gnarly, gross toes–buy some lace-ups!!! Spare us the sight of your chewed up, calloused feet and talon toe nails. If you must, for some unfathomable reason flip-flop your way through the day, please pay a nice pedicurist so that we can all catch a break.

And then there’s the Starbuckification of the landscape. While I can’t bring myself to actively boycott any of the monster chains except Walmart, I do refuse to call a “small” coffee “tall.” I just won’t do it. You have to draw the line somewhere. Why do we want the same shops and restaurants in Crenshaw and Van Nuys and Westwood? Don’t get me wrong, I eat the occasional Baja Fresh burrito and I’ve been known to have a Jamba Juice on a hot day, but  it’s not like these culinary delights are so outstanding that they should pervade every cranny of LA. Yes, Target has great deals on ginormous packages of microwave popcorn and their panties are super cheap, but do we need one on every corner? I live eleven miles from work and I pass three Targets on the way home. Really we could live anywhere if that’s where we’re going to drop our cash. It could be Oklahoma. Or Kansas. Or Detroit. What makes LA great is not Restoration Hardware and IHop. Maybe that’s what makes Dubuque great, but I think we can do better. So what do you think…

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64 Worst: Onramp Traffic Meters vs. Segregation

April 5, 2008 in 64 Worst

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Today’s poll are two of the most popular suggestions in my original call

Its a disappointing admission that a city as diverse as Los Angeles is also plagued with segregation. But while the idea of seperate black, Latino, and Asian communities is well accepted, what may be surprising, albeit obvious, is that its white communities that are the most overwhelmingly segregated of all.

African Americans, according to 2000 census data, make up only 1.93 percent of the population of Bel Air; 1.77 percent of Beverly Hills; 2.48 percent of Brentwood; 3.09 percent of West Hollywood; 1 percent of the Pacific Palisades; and do not even register a hundredth of a percent in Westwood. [New America Media]

Fortunately, onramp traffic meters don’t pay attention to skin color, just that L.A. drivers recognize when their lights are red or green. Designed to help keep cars from piling onto freeways, the traffic meters are usually inconvenience drivers with a short wait before the light goes green and they can proceed to merge with bumper to bumper traffic. All too often, however, being stopped midway through an onramp, requires vehicles to gun their engines to get up to speed with traffic. Worse, the metered lights can result in a backup that stretches down into surface streets, even when freeway traffic is non-existent. Unfortunately, this may be required based on the sad fact that, unlike other part of the country, Angelenos simply don’t simply use courtesy allowing cars to merge, and keep the far right lane open except for exiting and entering.

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Poll closes April 9th.