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LA vlogger Austin Null is a Agent for the Fiesta Movement

8:30 am in Blogging (in) LA, Driving, Entertainment, LA bloggers, Transportation, Twitter by frazgo

It bears repeating, you meet the coolest people blogging.  This time around it was LA vlogger Austin Null an Agent with the Fiesta Movement.  The Fiesta Movement is a social media program with Ford that gives folks who blog and vlog 2014 Ford Fiestas to take on missions, adventures if you will, and do posts about the cars they are given. It involves monthly missions from when they get the car in April until the program ends in December or January of next year.

I met up with Austin recently here in Culver City at Fullscreen where he is a “Social Engagement Strategist”.  He also blogs and vlogs with his own YouTube channel.  Austin is a recent transplant to the Los Angeles area living in the West LA area.  The Fiesta Movement has given him missions that have allowed him to explore more of L.A and sunny SoCal. Read the rest of this entry →

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What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

9:30 am in Events, Food & Drink, Twitter by Chris Corning

On a whim last Saturday I responded to a tweet from @Koreatown about a burger-eating challenge, not exactly expecting that I had a real shot at getting into the contest. Many of my friends have remarked about my voracious appetite in the past, having punished myself through such gastronomical exploits as eating 24 pancakes at IHOP, 7.5 Dodger Dogs at a ballgame, and twice completing the Fatburger “Triple King Challenge” in under ten minutes.

Well, the folks at Koreatown got back to me, and they let me know I stood a good chance of competing in the challenge. The concern at that point in time was the lack of female participants. If I could wear a wig, they suggested, I might even stand a better chance. I started to get a little hope that I might be able to back out of this with my pride intact.

Read the rest of this entry →

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Got Fed!

8:25 pm in Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, LA, Twitter by Chris Corning

JavaJunkee and a Grill Em All Weedeater

JavaJunkee and a GrillemAll Weedeater

Hey everybody – I’m a newbie blogger here at blogging.la, so I wanted to get things started on the right foot by letting you know two things: 1. I love to eat. 2. Nevermind, I guess I already covered that in point 1.

But seriously, I’ve been a longtime reader of blogging.la and have always appreciated what the fine authors here have offered in terms of both individual character and LA culture. I’ve tagged along to various events such as the Blog-around-the-clock marathon at Canter’s and the Donut Summit in Griffith Park. (I missed the Hot Dog Death March and have yet to attend an installment of Classic Eats, but it’s going to happen!) Now that blogging.la has given me an opportunity to contribute to what they’ve got going here, I’m certainly hoping that my offerings will be half as valuable to other readers as I’ve found blogging.la to be for me over these past (almost) five years I’ve had the privilege of calling myself an Angeleno.

Anyway, I wanted to take the opportunity in this post to let folks know about a semi-regular event that seems to be gaining steam over in my neck of the woods, North Hollywood. Last Saturday I ventured out with fellow blogging.la author Travis Koplow and a couple other friends to a lot behind The Federal Bar where ten food trucks had gathered for a third installment of “Get FED!” The truck lineup appears to vary from month to month, and the purpose of the event seems to be at least a little bit focused on trying to promote The Federal Bar. The first time through, back in mid-January, Frysmith tried to dissuade one of my companions from swapping out sweet po’ fries for the regulars on whatever special she happened to order, and then tweeted an apology after the fact. This time around, me and my companions tried out one of the Grill Em All Truck‘s specials, the “weedeater,” and left feeling quite satisfied. Probably the highlight of the event, though, was the two homeless men, or homeless-looking men – completely independent of one another – getting down to the music provided by live DJs. I haven’t seen anything that says with certainty that this will be a monthly event; the first took place on the 15th of January, the second on the 12th of March, and the third on the 9th of April. If you’re looking for a chance to catch multiple food trucks in a single location in the east Valley, I’d say keep your eyes peeled around the first or second Saturday of May for your next chance to catch this one.

While it’s definitely nice to have an event like this just down the street on occasion, I do have to temper my excitement with the sense of disappointment I experience when something really cool – like the food truck phenomenon in LA – reaches that point at which it starts to feel like it’s being exploited as another great marketing gimmick. I’m still not sure, though, which is more distasteful to me: businesses shamelessly trying to tap into the zeitgeist to make a quick dollar (which Get FED! may or may not be, but bank billboards definitely are when they say things like “we have ATMs all over for when you happen to cross paths with that gourmet food truck” – no I don’t have a pic for this but I swear I’ve seen it), or the fact that something cool and obscure about the city becomes ubiquitous and pedestrian. Is that hipster-ish of me to say? Oops.

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Zappa plays Zappa Friday; One Pair of Tickets to Give Away!

11:45 am in Contests, Entertainment, Music, Twitter by RobNoxious

One Pair, you and a friend, if you’re the lucky winner, will get to see Dweezil play the classic album APOSTROPHE (‘) in it’s “unmitigated entirety.”

Zappa Plays Zappa
The Music Box
Hollywood, CA
Fri, Dec 3, 2010
6:30 PM

Early Show!

Post below, winner will be random-ish.

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Summer Fund Drive At KCRW Needs Volunteers

4:53 pm in Entertainment, Radio, Twitter, West Side by Julia Frey

KCRW logoKCRW is having their summer pledge drive from August 9 through August 17 and they need volunteers. They specifically need to fill the following days/shifts:

Monday, August 9 from 2:30pm – 5:40pm
Monday, August 16 from 5:50am – 8:10am AND 7:45am – 9:20am

They could also use a few more people on:

Thursday, August 12 from 2pm – 3:30pm
Monday, August 16 2:30pm – 5:40pm

If you have the time, I really hope you’ll sign up as it is such a fun way to volunteer and support a terrific radio station. The station is at Santa Monica college and there is free parking, lots of delicious snacks and drinks and a lot of fun people to work with, all while helping the station meet its financial goals. I’m again practicing what I preach and have signed up for four shifts. I’m a morning person so I’ll be answering phone from 6:00 am to 8:00 am, 8/9, 8/11, 8/13 and 8/17. Join me!

Go to KCRW’s Drive Volunteer page and read more, then sign up.

If you can’t volunteer this time, consider becoming a member (if you aren’t already) or make sure to renew your membership. There are always amazing give-aways and special deals for your donation.

Thank you!

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Paddle Tennis Anyone?

9:00 am in Sports, Twitter by Julia Frey

(If you already know and love Paddle Tennis, bear with me for a moment.)

It’s not Ping-Pong. It’s not Platform Tennis. It’s not Paddleball or Beach Paddle or even something called Padel. Paddle Tennis is its own game and has been around since 1898, invented in Michigan by a man named Frank Peer Beal. (Read a full history here.)

Paddle Tennis is a blast and in these hot sunny summer days, if you love tennis, you might find yourself stymied by full courts and long wait times to play. However, if you shift your game a tiny bit, you can find wide open (and best of all: FREE) Paddle Tennis courts all over LA. And all those half dead tennis balls you have lying around? They are required for Paddle Tennis. Look at you — recycling while you play. (Your dogs may be upset while they wait for their shot at the deflated balls, however.)

If you are already playing tennis at public courts, you may have seen the smaller Paddle Tennis courts alongside the regular courts. If not, here is a map for just some of the public courts available. The map does not include my current favorite court in Culver City: Culver West Park, just south of Washington on Wade or Moore streets. (The park itself is a little gem with a big jungle gym for the kids, a huge lawn (used to be a baseball diamond) a dog walk track, 1 tennis court, 2 paddle tennis courts, and 2 handball courts, plus restrooms and an indoor community room.)

Venice is a hot spot for Paddle Tennis and the home of Power Paddle, the last all wood paddles on the market (seen above). Brian Lee is the owner of the company and former five time paddle tennis champion, taking over from his father who started making the paddles to improve his own game. (Full disclosure, my husband I use Power Paddles, though I didn’t realize they were locally made by Mr. Lee when I started writing this article!)

Paddle Tennis is great sports for kids to learn with the smaller courts and paddles. And since you only need a paddle, a few balls and a willing partner, it doesn’t have to be expensive to start. Give it a try! If you need a partner, I’m an amateur, but I can give good rally.

For full rules, info and player rankings, visit the US Paddle Tennis Association.

(Oh and if you think the smaller court and deflated balls make this some kind of rinky-dink retired granny sport, watch this video.)

Go out and play!

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LA’s Nickel Diner On TV Tonight!

12:12 pm in Downtown, Food & Drink, Television, Twitter by Julia Frey

Maple Bacon YUM

For you lovers of the famous Maple Bacon Donut at the Nickel Diner in downtown LA (and by “lovers” I mean “fanatics”) you can see your love on television tonight. The Cooking Channel (not to be confused with The Food Network, though they are sister networks) will air a show called “Unique Eats” tonight at 7:30 pst/10:30 est featuring the amazing pastries and desserts made every day by hand at The Nickel.

If you’ve not yet had the pleasure of eating at the Nickel Diner, you are missing out. Pulitzer Prize winning food writer Jonathan Gold said: “The Nickel… is a new kind of downtown diner, a Ships for a generation for whom full-sleeve tattoos are the new black, and it’s about time.” All of their food is delicious and extremely well priced. The owners (full disclosure, I’m friends with them) work hard to make you, the guest, feel welcome and safe on a block that might not seem so welcoming at first glance. The place is always jumping, the crowd always varies and the food never disappoints. Just make sure you ask if they have any maple bacon donuts left right when you sit down, just in case.

If you still aren’t sure, tune in tonight to see what all the good words are about!

The Nickel Diner
524 S. Main Street, Downtown
213 623-8301

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Ride, Said The Mayor

4:31 pm in Biking in LA, Politics, Twitter by Will Campbell

Earlier today Mayor Villaraigosa(‘s aide) tweeted about how much he enjoyed last night’s Summer Night Lights event at the Jim Gilliam Recreation Center in Baldwin Hills. In the tweet the mayor(‘s aide) wrote about eating, doing arts and crafts and bicycling with the community.

Wait a minute: bicycling? It took all of his first term and a year into his second before I heard him even utter the word “bicycle,” and it was in the sentence “What the hell is a bicycle?” Now he’s claiming to actually have rode around on one?

Cynicaliciously skeptified, of course I was all set to tweet back the proverbial “Pix or it didn’t the hell happen,” but instead I clicked on the link in the tweet that took me to his Flickr photoset of him doing various picture-perfect things. Just when I thought there was no visual proof of him actually riding, behold — and on the brand and make of bike I ride. It’s like we’re related all of a sudden.

Photo opp or not (borrowed fixie or not), I am seriously in shock and awe. I honestly never ever ever thought I’d see such a sight.

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Vietnam Evening At Traveler’s Bookcase On Wednesday 7/14

10:00 am in Books, Entertainment, Food & Drink, Twitter by Julia Frey

Always wanted to travel to Vietnam but your budget doesn’t quite allow it right now? Here’s an event to fulfill your appetite, at least for a night.

Traveler’s Bookcase is having an evening dedicated to Vietnamese food and travel this Wednesday evening, July 14. The event surrounds the recently published book by Kim Fay and Julie Fay Ashborn called “Communion: A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam.” Following the reading and book signing, there will be a reception with wine, soft drinks and tasty treats prepared from the book. As a bonus, the vegan friendly Mandoline Grill Vietnamese Food Truck will be parked nearby with inexpensive, delicious Vietnamese classics.

Traveler’s Bookcase
8375 West Third Street
323-655-0575

Read more about the book at Kim Fay’s Website.

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Big Diaper Donation To Women’s Shelter At The LA Mission

5:30 pm in Downtown, Social issues, Twitter by Julia Frey

Tina (LA Mission), Kim (HAMO), Bridget (Chaplain, LA Mission)

Last Thursday morning the Anne Douglas Center for Women at the Los Angeles Mission received a donation of 40,000 diapers from Huggies through their new program called Every Little Bottom. Huggies is working with Help A Mother Out (HAMO) and other diaper donation resources to distribute up to 2.5 million diapers around the US and Canada right now. Later in the year, they will donate an additional 20 million diapers. 20 million!

Every day between 15 and 30 moms and dads come to the Anne Douglas Center in downtown LA to receive free diapers for their kids. Diapers and wipes are not covered under Food Stamps and WIC programs, leaving poor families in often horrible positions about whether to spend money on food or rent or diapers. 1 in 3 moms (and dads) struggle to provide diapers for their kids. Diapers can be so scarce that a parent will wash out a disposable diaper and use it again.

I was honored to help distribute diapers on Thursday at the Douglas Center with the HAMO representative in Los Angeles, Kim Tracy Prince. Other LA bloggers, Sarah (Mar Vista Mom),  Catalina (Catalina in LA) and Tania (Pure Natural Diva) were there as well to help spread the word about the need for diapers in LA.  We got to meet and speak to some of the moms who came in. Kenya arrived first with her two very sweet and sleepy kids, Jeremiah and Ja’niyha.

Kenya and her kids with Kim Tracy Prince

A short time later another mom came in. She needed a larger size for her daughter and we only had four diapers in that size (more are coming next week). We apologized profusely for only having four and she said, “That’s four that I didn’t have.”

The Anne Douglas Center will take your diaper donations any time. Just drive to the loading dock at rear of the Mission and they will receive what you have and give you a “gift in kind” receipt. They could really use larger sized diapers — size 4 and 5. Wipes are also very important, if you can add them to a donation. If you can’t make it down to the Los Angeles Mission to donate, you can visit the HAMO website to find various ways to donate online.

The Anne Douglas Center for Women is an amazing place, helping women in need in many ways.  I will tell you about that in another post. For now, if you can, please Help A Mother Out! Every Little Bottom needs diapering.

If you have the very common question of “what about cloth diapers?” please read this excellent article about cloth and disposable diapers for people in need right here.

Los Angeles Mission
303 East Fifth Street
Downtown Los Angeles

Anne Douglas Center for Women

If you want to read the diaper needs study that Huggies conducted, you can read that whole document here.

Thanks to the LA Bloggers for spreading the word! (Sorry Tania, I missed you somehow!)

Kim, Catalina and Sarah

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Theme Building At LAX To Reopen July 10

10:00 am in FEATURED, History, LA, Twitter, West Side by Julia Frey

After three years of refurbishment, the Theme Building at LAX will officially reopen this Saturday July 10. The most exciting part? The Observation Deck, closed to the public since 9/11 will also be open. If you are an airplane nut like me, this is COOL!

Three years ago a large chunk of the stucco fell from one of the arches onto the roof of the building and inspections revealed a few problems. The building was closed, scaffolding erected and fixes were made. Encounter Restaurant was closed for a about eight months while construction continued. Now the building is scaffold free and all gussied up for the reopening.

The Theme Building opened in 1961 and was designed by three different firms: Pereira & Luckman and Associates, Welton Becket and Associates, and Paul R. Williams. (Paul Williams also designed one of my other favorite buildings:  La Concha Motel in Las Vegas. I stayed there not long before it was moved to it’s final resting place.)

The observation deck will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 8-5. It is free to go up, though you must pay for parking and there are security checks. I personally look forward to being there in the not too distant future.

(Photo by x-ray delta one used under CC license.)

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Fireworks For The Fourth

9:25 am in Entertainment, Holidays, Twitter by Julia Frey

You like fireworks? We got fireworks!

Los Angeles, you may have noticed, is a large place, so there are many spots to see fireworks this weekend. Click here for a full list of viewing places, times and prices (if applicable). And the fireworks are not only on the 4th. If you need to get your pyrotechnic needs filled early, here are some of the spots you can see fireworks tonight, July 3:

Catalina Island at Isthmus Cove 9:00 PM

Home Depot Center (Carson) during the Chivas USA vs. Philadelphia Union match (Game at 7:30, fireworks following the match)

Norwalk has 2 spots, both at 9:00 PM:
Cerritos College (11110 E. Alondra Blvd.)
North City Library – Parking Lot (12350 Imperial Highway)

Long Beach
The Queen Mary is having a weekend full of food, music and activities for an admission price. Each evening ends with fireworks at 9:00 PM.

Lawndale
Luezinger High School, Field (41118 W. Rosecrans Ave.) 9:00 PM

To help you remember what all the fuss is about, why not read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (including the Bill of Rights) again?

Tomorrow, the 4th of July, there are larger events (that include fireworks) happening all over town: LA Coliseum, San Fernando Recreation Park, Pomona Fairplex, Hollywood Bowl, The Rose Bowl. Again, click here for details on each of these big events and a full list of fireworks shows throughout the weekend.

Here are a few highlights for neighborhood shows.

Artesia
Artesia Community Park
12000 block of South Street / Elaine
Admission is free
9:00 p.m.

Carson
Home Depot Center
LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders Soccer Match (LANDON DONOVAN ALERT!)
Game at 7:30, Post game fireworks

Cerritos
Cerritos High School
12500 E. 183rd Street
9:00 p.m.

Downey
Downey High School
10410 Brookshire (Brookshire and Firestone)
5:00 – 8:30 p.m. Food and Family Fun
9:00 p.m. 25-minute Fireworks Show

Huntington Beach
City Beach (between Main and Beach Blvd.)
$10 tickets on pier seating (hb4thofjuly.org for tickets)
Free on beach

La Habra
La Habra High School (Baseball Field)
801 Highlander
9:00 p.m.

Walnut
Walnut High School
South end of Baseball Field
21207 La Puente Road
9:00 p.m.

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Donut Summit: Postmortem With Pictures

9:47 am in Events, Food & Drink, Twitter by Julia Frey

It all started so nice and tidy: lovely pink pastry boxes lined up, neatly labeled, evenly spaced.

And then the Donut-teers descended like locusts and peace was forever destroyed by the sound of dozens of mouths chewing chewing chewing, moans of pleasure echoing across the park, up to Griffith Observatory where tourists stood, confused by the unearthly sounds of fried, frittered and glazed pleasure.

Come with me past the jump to see the full frontal donut porn.

Read the rest of this entry →

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ICME: And You Thought Scientology Was Odd

9:42 am in ICME, Twitter by Julia Frey

This church is on Pico Blvd and really caught my eye.

Can’t quite figure out if the translators mistook “essence” for “aroma” or ???

What is your guess?

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Win Tickets To See Denis Leary on June 10

11:15 am in Announcements, Comedy, Downtown, Entertainment, Events, Television, Twitter by Julia Frey

There are four pairs of tickets in my hot little hand to give away for the Rescue Me Comedy Tour 2 on Thursday, June 10 at Club Nokia.

Denis Leary, along with musical guests The Enablers (featuring the Rehab Horns) will be on stage with some special guests that night, and only that night.

How do you get your hands on these tickets? Tell us in the comments what your favorite Denis Leary song, tv show or movie is and why. My favorite Denis Leary song is “I’m An Asshole.” I love that guy.

Be sure to leave your email address (it won’t be published) so we can contact you with ticket info.

Contest closes Wednesday at Noon!

More info: Rescue Me Comedy Tour

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