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by frazgo

Honk for Steve

10:02 am in LA, Politics, Social issues by frazgo

The Video is pretty self explanatory.  Los Feliz resident “Steve” is in it to bring the message of peace.  First time I saw him, I wasn’t too sure what to make of it.  Interesting way to bring out your message and promote peace.

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by frazgo

Things only Angelenos will understand

11:51 am in Blogging (in) LA, Fictional LA, LA, Which Side? by frazgo

The palm tree...iconic L.A., click to embiggen

OK…I’m at a bit of of loss on this one. This link was sent to me by a PR firm for a realty company in the Bay Area, a part of the state that for reasons I’ve never understood, hold us with great disdain.  The LIST isn’t entirely accurate and certainly missed out on a few biggies about us that are more truthful and enlightening on our own idiosyncrasies.  Race you to the 405?

What’s missing from their list?  What needs to be added?  Deleted?

Pic by me taken with the trusty old che-ez snap, a .2 megapixel toy camera.  Arty ain’t it?

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by frazgo

Menu Mining: Sage Organic Vegan Bistro

10:22 am in Food & Drink, LA, Which Side? by frazgo


This isn’t my first time to Sage, I must admit I do enjoy it. Great food keeps me coming back. And I do feel compelled to remind you I’m an omnivore that just enjoys great food prepared well, not a vegan with an attitude. (I really could give 2 squirts if its vegan or organic). Those rumblings aside, on to the food.

Sage Organic Vegan is a Bistro in Echo Park on Sunset at Logan. There is ample parking on pay lots off Logan and a short walk to the restaurant.

The ambiance is trendy bistro in a rehabbed 1920′s store front. Ample windows so its bright and cheery inspite of its mostly black and white and shades of gray interior. The staff is what makes this place, greeted warmly when you arrive and the service is attentive and wonderful the whole time. Read the rest of this entry →

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Planned Closure: Northbound I-405 in West L.A. Nights of April 7, 9

12:00 pm in Driving, LA, Transportation, West Side by Blogging.LAnews

Northbound I-405 Closure in West L.A. Between National Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard Planned Nights of April 7, 9

The I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project contractor is planning to close the northbound I-405 in West Los Angeles from National Boulevard to Santa Monica Boulevard to facilitate formal walk-throughs of the roadway project area in preparation for upcoming lane re-striping activities on Monday and Wednesday night, April 7 and 9. Closure information is as follows:

  • The night of Monday, April 7: midnight to 5 a.m. on Tuesday, April 8
  • The night of Wednesday, April 9: midnight to 5 a.m. on Thursday, April 10

Ramps will be closed as early as 7 p.m., and lanes will begin to close at 10 p.m.

Ramp Closures:
-Westbound I-10 to Northbound I-405 connector
-Eastbound I-10 to Northbound I-405 connector
-Olympic Boulevard/Pico Boulevard Northbound I-405 on-ramp (on Cotner Avenue)

Detours:
-From Westbound I-10: Exit Bundy North, turn right to Northbound Bundy Drive, turn right on Eastbound Santa Monica Boulevard, and turn left to enter the Northbound I-405 at the Santa Monica Boulevard on-ramp.
-From Eastbound I-10: Exit at Overland Avenue off-ramp, turn right to Northbound Overland, turn left to Westbound Pico Boulevard, turn right to Northbound Sepulveda Boulevard, turn right to Eastbound Wilshire Boulevard, and turn right to enter the Northbound I-405 at the Eastbound Wilshire Boulevard on-ramp.

What to expect:
-Work is dependent on favorable weather conditions.
-Emergency access will be maintained at all times.

For a listing of daily closures and latest updates visit our website at www.metro.net/405 or follow us on twitter: www.twitter.com/I_405 and Facebook at www.facebook.com/405project.

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by frazgo

Menu Mining : best damn Almond Croissant in DTLA

11:30 am in Downtown, Food & Drink, History, LA, Shopping by frazgo

Almond Croissant at Les Noces du Figaro

This past weekend I had reason to stop in at Les Noces de Figaro in DTLA. The place is a wonderfully restored bit of Los Angeles history. In its first life it served as a cafeteria, the marble and terrazo floors have been restored with care. Its really quite the sight to behold, the current iteration is a very nice 1930′s style French Bistro.

We were actually going in for a meeting up on the mezzanine level meeting and I wanted a little something to tide me over.  On the recommendation of @Ruth666, former blogger here I grabbed the Almond Croissant.  IT was terrific.  The usual butter layers of paper thin melt in your mouth bread with a big honkin’ wad of marizpan in the middle.  As if that weren’t enough, to drive home the point this was all about the nut…it was encrusted in slivered almonds.  Washed it all down with a cup of “Americano”. My gawd was that good.

Based on that one simple perfectly executed croissant I’ll be back to try a dinner there sometime soon.

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by frazgo

The Kept Girl and other bits of Los Angeles

8:42 am in Books, Entertainment, Fictional LA, History, LA, Maps, People, Vintage, Which Side? by frazgo

Kim Cooper, author of The Kept Girl, click to embiggen

If you know me, by now you know  I’m a total fan of Raymond Chandler. Angeleno and author Kim Cooper has a wonderful book that stars him and and is set in 1929 Los Angeles. Its told in the tone of his books which makes it a very easy and entertaining read.  Its centered around the Great Eleven cult that was active in Los Angeles that year.  Its been historically researched and based on several characters that may or may not have met in real life.  For the sake of this piece of fiction they all crossed paths and their tale unfolds in “The Kept Girl“.

Kim Cooper and Richard Schave also run the Esotouric Tours.  These social historians research a topic or person then put together lively bus tours on that theme around historic Los Angeles.

This past Sunday was the monthly Sunday Salon presented by the Los Angeles Visionaries Association.  Kim Cooper was there to talk about her book.  Also present was the graphic illustrator Paul Rogers who did the cover art for The Kept Girl. Read the rest of this entry →

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by frazgo

In and around L.A and sunny SoCal how we’ve changed the last 50 years

4:05 pm in Entertainment, Filmmaking/Filmmakers, History, LA, Movies by frazgo

The filmIt’s A Mad, Mad, Mad World was probably the last big budget screwball comedy featuring the best of the best comedians from the era.   Flash forward 50 years later and some things have changed, others haven’t but George Ann Muller and Peter Scarbo hunted down the locations and reshot them today for scene by scene comparisons.  Its not all L.A but it sure is a lot of SoCal much of which we call our playground now.

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by frazgo

A drive through Bunker Hill in the 1940′s

11:54 am in Downtown, Filmmaking/Filmmakers, History, Vintage by frazgo

There is no sound so don’t fret.  Just enjoy the scenery.  Los Angeles in the 1940′s in and around Bunker Hill.

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As Easy As 2, 1, 3…

10:32 am in East Side, History, LA, Maps, News, Rants, West Side by Will Campbell

I’ve mulled over the news from earlier this week of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council declaring the community it serves as NOT a part of The Eastside.

I’d've thought I’d be all HELLYEAH! right outta the gate, given my past protestations (that’ve mellowed somewhat in my old age) against those over-insulated 135,938 natives and the 1.6-million transplants who live in the Westside and drink deeply of the koolaid that leaves them to believe with varying degrees of commitment that their vastly superior end of the city begins and ends on the ocean-side of…uh, you name it: Speedway Alley, Lincoln, Bundy, the 405, La Cienega, or La Brea, making the other end THEIR eastside for the simple reason that all that riff raff resides east of them. How proprietary.

But instead I surprised myself at being sort of meh at the strictly symbolic and mostly meaningless action. There certainly was a part of me that was satisfied and tried to rah rah at the decision — especially when I read subsequent news stories that took the idiotic angle that Silver Lake had voted to “secede.” As if it had gone all South Carolina on some sort of Greater Eastside union. How con-veeeeeen-ient!

But ultimately it was just a big shoulder shrug. Because I’ve figured out that it’s a waste of time. We live in a city that has built itself by marginalizing its past, so how can I expect so many of its citizens not do the same? In a city that itself has a history of discarding its history as it sprawled so ever nebulously outward from its core, convincing those residents adamantly ignorant of our city’s socio-geographic foundations to look at a different perspective is about as easy as convincing those entitled aggressive motorists they don’t have a right to run me and my bike off the road.

Ultimately what’s important to me now is not changing anyone’s mind but knowing what I know and respecting what so many others couldn’t care less about: that I reside (somewhere in that orange dot I added to that pictured map fragment above) on the land that ultimately became known as Silver Lake which stands in the northWEST corner of the boundaries of the original 16 Spanish Leagues centered upon the plaza where in 1781 — when the main thing going on in the Westside was waves crashing — was established El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula and incorporated as the City of Los Angeles in 1850.

To me, that’s as easy as 2, 1, 3.

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by frazgo

Happy Anniversary Northridge…did we learn anything?

8:02 am in Earthquakes, History, LA, Which Side? by frazgo

20 years ago my young family and I were in Valley Village some 6 or 7 miles from the epicenter of the Northridge Quake.  It was probably the most frigthening moment of my life, far worse than any tornado we rode out as a kid back in the midwest. When the ground stopped shaking, there wasn’t a piece of anything we owned in its original place, complete and total mess with tons of breakage. My building had a lot of damage, others on my street literally collapsed.  I vowed that morning to be better prepared for the next one.

Now I have ample food and water in EQ kits in the house and garage. We have EQ kits in all the cars.  I know its redundant, but if one falls down there a chance we can still get to the other.  I learned the hard way in NR to have cash on hand as the debit and credit card machines are down for days. Big things are quake strapped, little things that we want to keep are down with quake hold.  I also keep a flashlight in every room with redundant  battery supplies.  My cars rarely go below half a tank, as well gas stations are out of order for days as well. I participate in the annual Shake Out preparedness drill.  When the next big one strikes I’ll probably be as scared as I was in NR, but I will be prepared better for the aftermath. Read the rest of this entry →

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by frazgo

Los Angeles as one of 6 host cities for 2015 Mustang Reveal

3:23 pm in Driving, Entertainment, LA, News, Transportation, West Side by frazgo

Los Angeles is an important market for the Mustang, one of its biggest.  We were one of 6 host cities in the world to host a 2015 Mustang reveal.  Yes, world as the next generation Mustang will be a globlal car.  The other cities were Shanghai, Sydney, Barcelona, New York and Dearborn that held a reveal on December 5th.  The car is really nice looking, still every bit a Mustang with loads of design cues from the past layered onto a very modern body that holds many similarities with the newest Fords.

The Mustang Reveal in Los Angeles was a big deal.  It started with a big morning reveal then the car was shuffled off to the Hollywood Walk of Fame for its tire prints to be immortalized there.  I missed those two events because I simply have too much going on.  What I did make was the Venice Beach reveal and that was a lot more intimate and spectactular. Read the rest of this entry →

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by frazgo

2013 L.A. Auto Show – winners and losers

3:50 pm in Downtown, Driving, Entertainment, Events, History, LA, News, Seasonal, Shopping by frazgo

Entire Honda Accord Line named “Green Car of the Year”

The rain may have slowed down the award show start yesterday, but the end result was a lot of folks at Honda’s Torrance headquarters must have been elated.  Celebratory even.  In a crowded field of worthy competitors Honda’s Accord line, not just a single model, but the entire line of 4cyl, V6, hybrid and plug-in hybrid Accords with their “Earth Dreams” technology won Green Car of the Year. Quite an accomplishment and hats off to the folks in the South Bay for bringing the award home.

The 2013 LA Auto Show is without a doubt the best I’ve seen since I started covering it in 2007 for blogging.la  There were some 50 World Premiere’s at this years show of some really stunning cars.  BMW chose us as the auto show to introduce us to their new “i” program, that will in time be as recognized and as important as the “M” series is to them.  For a pic of my winners and losers for this years show you need to make the jump. Read the rest of this entry →

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Daytripping: Southwest Museum & Debs Park

10:36 am in Art, Entertainment, Events, LA by Will Campbell

With the relatively unheralded news last month that the Autry National Center of the American West was opening up the Southwest Museum to the public for the first time in years to showcase an exhibition of Native American pottery, it was only a matter of time before my wife Susan and I paid a long-overdue inaugural visit to the treasure that is the oldest established museum in all of Los Angeles.

Inside the museum’s Sprague Auditorium was an incredible collection of clay vessels, some dating back more than 400 years — trouble was that was pretty much it. Beyond access to the down-on-its-roots garden, and a small display situated basically beneath the main staircase, our visit to the landmark establishment was way too brief because there was nothing else to see. Still, I’m glad we made the trip for the same reason you should: to show the folks at the Autry that the Southwest Museum and its unparalleled collection of Native American artifacts should be made more accessible, not less.

With time on our hands and some calories to burn in preparation for a visit to Oinkster in Eagle Rock, Susan and I ventured across the Arroyo Seco to the nearby Audubon Center in Ernest Debs Park — another first time visit. From there we ventured up trails to the serene and scenic pond atop the park, where even with Saturday’s unsettled weather conditions limiting the clarity we marveled at the extraordinary views afforded us of downtown and beyond.

If you’re like me and have never been to either place, both make for a great Saturday daytrip (Oinkster optional though also highly recommended). Pics from ours are viewable here on Flickr, and information about the exhibit is below:

Exhibit: Four Centuries of Pueblo Pottery
Where: Southwest Museum of the American Indian, 234 Museum Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90065
When: Saturdays only, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Admission: Free

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Sixty-Five More Los Angeles Placenames In Search Of Their Origins

2:31 pm in East Side, History, Hollywood, LA, Long Beach, San Gabriel Valley, SoCal, South Bay, The Valley, West Side by Will Campbell

Inspired by Militant Angeleno’s awesome “88 Suburbs In Search Of Their Names” post from last week and equipped with the indispensable “1500 California Place Names” by William Bright, I decided to crack the latter open and see if I couldn’t add to the former’s impressive list of suburbs ‘n stuff. Turns out I could. Some are almost too obvious or well known to mention (Century City? Duh) and some are about as obscure as it gets (Lamanda Park?), but I mention them anyway — and there are a few that are pretty cool (check out the the 220-year-old typo that is Point Dume and the darkness that lurks behind the meaning of “Verdugo”).

So without further to-do, here’s my 65 supplemental places (64 in Los Angeles County and a 471-year-old one just up PCH in Ventura County). Enjoy!

Angeles National Forest: So named in 1908 because the larger part of the forest is within Los Angeles County.

Antelope Valley: Named not for a true antelope, but for the pronghorn (pictured) — the fastest land mammal in the Western Hemisphere — which was once abundant in the state.

Ballona Creek: From the Ballona land grant of 1839; probably a misspelling of Bayona, the name of a town in Spain.

Bel-Air: Named for its developer, Alphonso Bell, in 1923, on the model of French bel air, meaning “fresh air.”

Bouquet Canyon: A misinterpretation of Spanish El Buque, “the ship,” the nickname of a French sailor who settled there.

Brentwood: Named after Brentwood in Essex, England, the ancestral home landowner John Marsh.

Cahuenga Pass: From the Gabrielino village name kawé’nga, probably meaning “at the mountain.”

Canoga Park: Named in the 1890s after Canoga, New York, which was originally a Cayuga (Iroquoian) village.

Castaic: From Ventureño Chumas kashtiq, “the eye, the face”.

Centinela Creek: From the Spanish word for “sentry, sentinel.”

Century City: Named for 20th Century Fox film studios, on the site of which it was built, starting in 1961.

Chatsworth: Named in 1887 after the estate of the Duke of Devonshire in England.

Chilao: Formerly Chileo or Chilleo, a nickname of the herder Jose Gonzales, famous for killing a grizzly bear near here with only a hunting knife. Chil- what? Yeah, me too. It’s primarily a campground area waaay up in the Angeles National Forest.
Read the rest of this entry →

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by frazgo

American Sabor: Latin flavor in American Music and an LA focus

9:15 am in Art, East Side, Education, Entertainment, History, LA, Movies, Music, People, Social issues, Which Side? by frazgo

American Sabor opens on Saturday Nov 16th at Cal State  University LA with a huge open house.  Its an exhibit on loan to CSULA until February 6 2014.  The Exhibit is here are part of a grant from Ford Motor Company.  The exhibit left me speechless.  Yes, I knew some of the famous names, but I never knew until touring this exhibit the depth that Latin Music, its flavor or sabor has influenced all of American Music.

More importantly this exhibit has a  portion dedicated solely to the contributions of Angelenos, specifically East LA in the 1990s.  That will be part of the permanent collection at CSULA when the Smithsonian moves on loan to its next city.  Famous Angelenos starting with Desi Arnaz and flash forward to  Black Eyed Peas I was amazed, outright blown away with the influence Latin music has had on pop music, hip hop, jazz and other genres.  Other artists of note that are showcased in the exhibit are Alice Bag, Los Lobos, Los Illegals, and Quetzal. Read the rest of this entry →

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