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Free stuff from Honda Black Friday until Christmas

November 27, 2013 in coffee, Driving, Entertainment, Food & Drink, Seasonal, Shopping

I don’t know which tagline to use for this post.  “Happy Honda Days” and “Helpful Honda Man” both apply here.  In short starting Black Friday through Christmas the Honda Dealers are sponsoring a fun promotion.  They’ll have guys in blue Honda shirts working the malls handing out free hot cocoa and coffee.  They’ll be passing out mints too to kill the coffee breath.  Drive a Honda?  Really look for their big blue Honda gas truck…they’ll fill you for free!  They did it last year and worked the city from The Valley to the South Bay…probably the same range again this year so do be on the look out.

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Press Days of the LA Auto Show

November 24, 2013 in Downtown, Driving, Entertainment, environment, Events, Fashion, Food & Drink, Media, Technology

I can’t begin to tell you the fun I have at Press Days for the L.A. Auto Show.  Yes, its a lot of work but a lot of fun is interspersed during it too.  You get to meet some really interesting people from all over the world, both media and manufacturer types.  The reveals are 20 minutes long and 5 minutes apart.  You have two choices…hustle to each or pick and chose the ones you want to stake out and really see.  I always take the latter approach and have time to photo the exhibits with minimal people in the way.

Most of the manufacturers have some sort of refreshment set up.  Audi and Porsche each set up pop-up restaurants with free wifi.  Jaguar did a nice cafe this year too.  However, hands down my favorite was the food trucks AND beer truck at the Nissan stand.  Yes.   A beer truck dispensing ice cold beer, ipa and ale from Stone Brewing.  I had a nice cold glass of Arrogant Bastard thank you very much.

There are tons of other things going on during Press Days as well.  There are receptions and happy hours.  Notable ones were for the Design LA and Aftermarket Halls at the show. There is also the opportunity to get in and drive cars, mostly green cars on the last day (Thursday).   Read the rest of this entry →

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Monrovia French Market

November 10, 2013 in Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping


This weekend was the first of what the promoters will be the first of many quarterly Monrovia French Markets.  Its held at the easy to find parking lot at St. Lukes at the corner of Foothill and California in Monrovia, pretty much equidistant between Myrtle and Mountain Avenues.

I went yesterday morning around 11AM.  The place wasn’t to packed with spectators but the vendors canopies were crammed solid with stuff.  In the spirit of a true Parisian market it was a lot of antique stuff, vintage and to its credit, little in the way of classic swap meet garbage.  More of a glorified garage sale than a true Parisian market.   I overheard a lot of vendors and they all said their big pieces and nicest pieces sold shortly after the 9AM opening so I can’t really say how good it was at opening.

Unlike a Parisian market this place didn’t have a lot of food or farmers market type merchandise and was missed. What was there was Cafe LuMar, a  local French restaurant selling stuff from a warming tray.  I would have expected at least cooked to order crepes, or am I asking too much?

Overall it wasn’t what I expected but then again I’ve done the real thing in the 15th Arrondissement a few years back so I did arrive with high expectations.  Would I give it another try next quarter?  Yes, as it holds promise and is just a short walk from my house.  When the next one is announced I’d post it here.

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A happy hour to make your wallet happy The Phoenix Bar

November 9, 2013 in Entertainment, Food & Drink, Shopping, Social issues, Which Side?

I got a follow on twitter that got my attention instead of rapid fire delete just a bit ago.  It was from The Phoenix Bar promising no bottle happy hour.  I was intrigued and after a quick visit to their web site…wow the prices and hours for this “happy hour” are down right amazing for Beverly Hills.

Three Dollar, yes $3, beer wine and cocktails.  Plus what sounds to be classic steak frites to go with it if you are so inclined.

Anyone been?  Should I nab a DD and venture into the city for a sampling or just wait until I’m in the neighborhood?

The Phoenix Bar, 14 N La Cienga, Beverly Hills 310-289-5925.  Map HERE.  Happy Hour  Daily,5pm-9pm.

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I want that shirt and our old ‘stang back too.

October 16, 2013 in Driving, Entertainment, Fashion, Food & Drink, History, Hollywood, People, Shopping, Vintage

50 Years Mustang and Fashion

Blogging leads to adventures and fun soirees. Last night I was invited to a pretty swanky affair celebrating 50 years of Mustang and Fashion. It was held at The Standard Hotel on Sunset in WeHo.  This shirt was worn by the wait staff from the hotel’s Event Department and we couldn’t get them to give one up for us.

The event is documented in my flickr set, and was actually a lot of fun. Great food, nice cocktails and cars with pretty models next to them.  The Standard itself is quite the place. I remember it as the Golden Crest Hotel, then a retirement home when I first moved here, then it was abandoned for a while.  Quite the come back as you will note from the pictures.

The show itself was a fun bit of high zoot fashion history intermingled with a particular generation of the Mustang.  The speakers were L.A.’s own Christos Garkinos an expert in all things vintage along with Ford Design Director Joel Piaskowski who talked about the cars. Read the rest of this entry →

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50th Annual Celebrate the Arts this weekend in Monrovia

October 11, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, Food & Drink, News, People, Pets, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping

Celebrate the Arts poster

This weekend, October 12 and 13,  marks the 50th Anniversary of Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (MAFA) annual show, Celebrate the Arts.  Celebrate the Arts is a fine art event that has artists representing many media, from oil/acrylics, metal sculpture to photography/digital art it s all there.  This is a juried event where you can rest assured there are no simple bead stringers, but fine artists at the top of their craft.  But, have no fear, read a bit further and you will quickly realize this is more than some stuffy museum show, as we have our eccentric and unusual coming from the community to spice things up and keep it different.

The event will be held in Library Park in the heart of historic Old Town Monrovia right on Myrtle Avenue. There is ample FREE parking, something Monrovia still believes in providing visitors, all around Library Park.  Celebrate the arts is in the Eastern portion of Library Park on Myrtle Avenue between Palm and Lime avenues.  The show will run both days from 10AM-6PM Read the rest of this entry →

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Cole’s or Philippe for your French Dip?

October 8, 2013 in Downtown, Food & Drink, History, LA, Vintage

I have to admit, I’m a fan of the French Dip and its quite the conundrum for me to chose between Cole’s and Philippe’s sandwiches. Both are very good, terrific au jus, tender meat that tastes the way it should.  They aren’t that far apart in price and neither is going to break the bank.

Atmosphere, both got a ton.  Philippe’s is more of a fast food vibe with lines and find your own table at your own risk during peak times.  Cole’s is more of a sit down dark old timey bar that has charm all onto itself starting with the tinned ceilings and going down to the antique booths.

Both claim to be the original French Dip.  Neither will relinquish the title to the other, suffice it to say I think L.A. can lay claim to the sandwich as its own and we can move on.  You won’t go wrong with either French Dip Sammy.

Philippe has the edge on convenience for me. Getting there is a quick hop on the Gold Line to Union Station and a 5 minute walk.  Cole’s is more involved and finding parking in the area can be a challenge, except for weekends.

Which is your favorite?  Why?  Sound off in the comments for kicks and giggles.

Cole’s   118 East 6th Street, Los Angeles 90014 213-622-4090 MAP HERE

Philippe  1001 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, 90012 213-628-2731  MAP HERE

 

 

 

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Peddler’s Creamery a gem in DTLA

October 7, 2013 in Downtown, Food & Drink, Shopping


This was a total stumble upon on a recent walk about in DTLA. What makes them really unique is that their ice creams are all handmade, and churned through this magical bicycle and a set of gears that run the ice cream maker.  Yes, its a human powered ice cream making operation, easier than a hand crank and way more entertaining.  Imagine the calories you burn for the half hour or so you need to churn, why you can have the extra scoop!  FYI…there is a sign up and waiting list to get your chance to peddle churn a batch.

This place is more than a Rube Goldberg gimmick, its actually good ice cream.   Peddler’s Creamery is  REALLY good ice cream and it won’t break the bank either.  At $3.50 a single scoop, $6.00 for the double, it won’t break the bank and we thought how could we go wrong.  Narrowing down the choices was difficult, but at that price we could splurge for the double scoop.

I went for the coffee and the chocolate mint cookie combo.  I wasn’t disappointed, rich cream, decadent chocolate  and mint cookies one and rich coffee in the other. My pal Ruth had the vegan options which are all organic and built around coconut cream and said they were pretty terrific too.

Peddler’s Creamery 458 S Main Street Los Angeles CA 90013 213-537-0257  MAP HERE

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23rd Annual Street Rods Forever show in Monrovia Saturday

September 12, 2013 in Driving, Entertainment, Food & Drink, News, San Gabriel Valley


This show is one of my all time favorites, not because its where I live, its because its a terrific show focused on one type of car…street rods and other customs.  Every car has a story and the owner will gladly tell you how he took it from who-knows-what-condition to the street rod or custom you see now.  Seriously, they love to talk about the trials and tribulations of getting that car to show quality or at least driveable. Read the rest of this entry →

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Grazing your way through the L.A. County Fair

September 1, 2013 in coffee, Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, LA, News, Seasonal, Shopping

official post card

Well, its that time of year again, and boy howdy did I have fun grazin’ my way through the Los Angeles County Fair the other day. It was Foodie night the other night, an invitation only event for us media and blogger types.  A great selection of vendors were open showing off their wares for our consumtion…and blogging later.

Of course for me it wasn’t all grazing, it was imbibing in some wonderful booze and wine and a detour through the Los Angeles County Model Railroads exhibit next to the food court.  The best part about the latter is that you get to go beyond the fence and get up close and personal with the trains and dioramas.  Win!  Read the rest of this entry →

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Pacific Plate Brewery : great microbrewery with a twist opens in my ‘hood

September 1, 2013 in Food & Drink, LA, San Gabriel Valley

Yup, Pacific Plate Brewery is gonna put Monrovia on the map of microbrewers.  Great beers with a twist…flavors kicked up a notch with real fruit in the case of the Mango IPA.  My favorite however was the Cardamom Ginger Saison, a wonderfully spicy beer.

Pacific Plate is an interesting brewery.  They make craft beers with a twist as you might have guessed.  They start with whole grains they mill themselves. They add flavor pairings that compliment each other to create very different beers than you typically find on the shelves of your local groc.  Each batch is brewed by the barrel, not by the bajillion barrels that gives them better control over the final product.  They even grow their own yeast to maintain the quality of their beer.  All good stuff. Read the rest of this entry →

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626 Night Market – Encore this weekend Sat/Sun 8/31 and 9/1

August 29, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

OK, its my little obsession, but its fun.  The 626 Night Market is CROWDED crazy, but fun.  Get there early while the food is still plentiful and Parking is easiest.  Prepare for crowds, but they are friendly and festive so its all good.  Prices are reasonable, not cheap but worth every penny.  Not much in the way of  ‘mericanized stuff, but thats a good thing.

Getting there is easy.  The Santa Anita is constricted due to construction for the Gold Line, I’d recommend exiting at Huntington 1 mile east and follow Huntington, a right turn heading west to Santa Anita Race Track and the 626 Night Market.

Deets Saturday 8/31, Sunday 9/1, 4PM to 1AM. 285 W. Huntington Drive,Arcadia, CA 91007 (Gates 3 or 5 off Huntington Drive; Gate 8 off Baldwin Avenue) MAP HERE. Free parking. Admission $2 4-6PM, $3 after 6PM.

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Paint Nite at Monrovia’s Paint n Play Saturday 8/31

August 27, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, Food & Drink, Music, People, San Gabriel Valley

This promises to be a really fun event.  Its being taught by one of my favorite artists/sculptors Rick Kess. I love his work and this class he will teach you the basics of composition and painting while you enjoy complimentary refreshments and live music.  Should be a ton of fun.

Its not free, the cost s $45 and includes the materials and lesson.  Rick will make the class fun and educational at the same time.  The proceeds from this event sponsored by the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts will go to fund their numerous projects that bring art to the community.

Arrive early and you can also take in all the great art presented by local artists at the last Summer Art Walk that will take place on Myrtle Avenue that night.

Deets: Saturday 8/31 7:30PM.  Paint N Play Art Studio, 418 S Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia CA 91016 MAP HERE  626-256-4848 for Reservations.

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626 Night Market vendor list for this weekend is live

August 2, 2013 in Announcements, Art, Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

I’m jazzed and excited for tomorrow night as thats the night we plan on attending the 626 Night Market. Read my other post for deets.

The vendor directory went live yesterday morning. See who will be at 626 Night Market this weekend!

▸ PRINT out the directory here: http://bit.ly/626NMAugustDirectory
▸ Or SCAN the QR code to access the map on your phone!
▸ Our friends at Splatnom have created a mobile-friendly menu! http://bit.ly/626NM-Menu

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626 Night Market Friday and Saturday August 3 and 4

July 30, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

I love this guy. “Mad Asians Everywhere”, actually its a great mix of us folks from here in the SGV. The Night Market is a ton of fun, an emersion in all things Asian, food trucks, art, junk you name it. And a ton of jovial folks. Arrive early and you save a bit on admission and get easier parking. Things get pretty insane around 8PM. Saturday is the busiest day of the 2 day event, but that isn’t saying much as the place is PACKED.  To give you an idea how big and popular this event is they have added another weekend to the mix, August 31 and Sept 1.

Sorry, there isn’t an easy way to get to the 626 Night Market by train. Yet. The Gold Line is still over a year from arriving in Arcadia and Monrovia. You have to drive it on the 210 and Exit Santa Anita. Do allow for a little extra time on Santa Anita as the roadway is a bit constricted in parts for Gold Line construction. An option to avoid that is to take the Huntington Drive exit a mile east of Santa Anita, make a right turn and then follow it until you get to Santa Anita Park.

Deets: Santa Anita Park (Front Paddock Gardens) 285 W. Huntington Drive Arcadia, CA 91007 MAP HERE

Free Parking, Admission: $2 (4-6PM); $3 (after 6PM) Free for children 12 and younger