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Street Seen: De-Greened

November 25, 2016 in LA, Vintage

For as long as I’ve been traveling Jefferson Boulevard either by bike or car, I’ve bemoaned the bunkerfication of so many of the buildings that line it — especially those between Crenshaw and La Brea. Squat, brutal, mostly windowless boxes seemingly fortified to repel looters and rioters, there is little in the way of architectural significance or a demonstration of history, and there are little opportunities for beautification.

One of these fortresses I’ve long appreciated (going back to 2007) sits on the northeast corner of Jefferson and Victoria, one block west of Crenshaw. I’ve admired it because whoever owned it allowed it to become fully engulfed in a thriving foliage that they then kept properly manicured. In effect, making organic and giving life to what I assumed was just another soulless nondescript structure hidden beneath.

Sometime last year whatever business was operating within it vacated and For Sale signs were posted on the walls. Eventually those came down and then one day a couple months ago, I did a double-take, fully shocked when I found the massive amount of greenery had been removed down to the last leaf… as if overnight.

Much to my delight the building it had long hidden from view was not a featureless box but a beautiful relic, and in the weeks of finger-crossing that passed I was overjoyed to see a restoration at work. After it was completed I snapped this drive-by shot and went in vain searching through some of my old bike commute vids to see if I had a frame that would show it in its previous state. Nope.

Then it dawned on me to Google Streetview the location, and as such I’m at least able to illustrate to you the dramatic now and then. I hope you enjoy it (click to enlargify the images):

after before

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Los Angeles Auto Show opens Friday

November 13, 2016 in Downtown, Driving, Entertainment, Events, LA, News, Shopping, Transportation

LA Auto Show Logo

LA Auto Show Logo

Let’s Get This Show on the Road

You’ve waited long enough Los Angeles. The 2016 LA Auto Show is back this week and bigger than ever. November 18-27 at the LA Convention Center.

Whether it’s new car shopping, learning about the latest auto tech or exploring an assortment of customized rides, there is something for everyone. Early entry tickets are available each Friday, online only, for a limited time. Buy Tickets HERE.

What to expect this year? Comparison car shopping, test drives, customized rides, games for the kids and a whole lot more. Plan your day and create your own experience at the 2016 LA Auto Show.  Know before you Go!

They’ve changed up their bag policy this year, much more restrictive so be aware and plan in advance. The LA Auto Show has implemented a new bag policy for 2016. All bags, purses, backpacks, camera bags and diaper bags larger than 12” x 15” x 6” will NOT be allowed inside the show. All bags will be subject to screening/security check.  Bag Policy Info.

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Car Show this Saturday in Monrovia…and its zipcode day too

September 8, 2016 in Driving, Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, LA, Mass Transit, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping, Transportation

Its debatable which is the bigger deal in Old Town Monrovia this Saturday. The Umpteenth Annual Street Rods Forever Car Show or Zipcode Day Celebrations…a local holiday celebrating the zip code and date coinciding 9/10/16 in the 91016.  My personal favorite is the Street Rods Forever car show as, well, its all about the cars.

Street Rods Forever will occupy Myrtle Avenue from the 300 South Block down to the 800 South Block in the heart of Old Town Monrovia from 9AM-2PM.

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210 closures in Pasadena again this weekend

August 10, 2016 in Driving, LA, News, San Gabriel Valley, Transportation

map courtesy CalTrans twitter feed

map courtesy CalTrans twitter feed

We’ll call this PASAGEDDON part 3 and 4.  Short version is the 210 closures will affect those trying to sneak into town from the valley on the 118/210EB this weekend for fun in Old Town.

Beginning 7PM Saturday August 13, 2016 until 5AM August 15 the 210 East Bound will be closed at Mountain Avenue to Lake Avenue.  The 134 West transition road from the 210 East will also be closed.  The exit ramps at Mountain/Lincoln will also be closed.

These closures will be repeated again August 27 at 7PM until August 29 at 5AM.

The easiest, but likely congested work around detour will be to follow 210EB to the 2SB then transition to the 134EB and reconnect with the 210 in Pasadena.

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Arroyo Seco Freeway…L.A’s first to the ‘burbs

July 8, 2016 in Driving, History, LA, Transportation, Vintage

Hard to imagine this film is from 77 years ago…those old Kodachromes stood the test of time.  The freeway hasn’t changed much over the years, the grassy median is gone replace with concrete.  The sharp turns and those instant on and off ramps exist in many parts.  The individual lanes aren’t color coded but marked with botts dots nots, but every fun unbanked curve and straights still exists as it was when it opened.

Just Vin, Baby!

June 18, 2016 in Celebrity, History, LA, People, Radio, Sports, Television

2346672-2346671-home_vin_scullyEarlier this month, I crowed via social media about getting a pair of cheap seats to the Vin Scully Appreciation Game at Dodgers Stadium this coming September and how by not spending $1,400 for field-level butt rests I would have mooooore than enough to get me a customized Dodgers jersey honoring The Greatest Broadcaster Of Aaaaaaall Times who I unabashedly idolize and cherish!

Turns out easier said than done.

But let me back and fill for those who might be entirely and inexplicably clueless. Vincent Edward Scully, 88, has been the Los Angeles Dodgers announcer since they were the Brooklyn Dodgers back in the year Nineteen Hundred and Fifty. Last year, The Beloved Institution That He Is announced his retirement would commence at the end of this his Sixty-Seventh season behind the mic. If that two-digit number doesn’t blow you away, what’s wrong with you!? Sorry, didn’t mean to snap. What I mean is: think on that kind of longevity a little harder. What’s the longest job you’ve ever held? Me, it’s six years. Next, factor in this nebulous and dysfunctional City Of Change that we call home, and how its landmarks have been torn down and built over and torn down again and again forming sedimentary stacks of reinvention rising upon a foundation of disregard for our past. Then mix in the changes the Dodgers as an organization have been through these last 20 years alone? Lastly mix in the fact that most of us came from somewhere else and a lot of us remain unrooted to L.A. as a permanent base.

All the while, there has been Scully. Since the Dodgers moved here in 1958, there has been Scully. Every single year of my old-ass life as a native Angeleno and Dodgers fan: There. Has. Been. Scully. If his landmark status previously eluded you, maybe now you can see how people such as myself have formed such an attachment to this humble extraordinary man — who, incidentally, would be the first to dismiss such adoration. Maybe now you can see how people such as myself are among hundreds of thousands who really can’t fathom our town or its soundwaves without Scully in it. I still can’t fully wrap my head around the idea of his “It’s time for Dodger baseball!” opener at every home game not ringing out next year.

But let’s return now to my original point: the jersey!

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LA Auto Show’s AutoMobility LA Accepting Submissions For Its 2016 Top Ten Automotive Startup Competition

June 10, 2016 in Driving, LA, Mass Transit, Science, Technology, Transportation

L.A. Automobility logo

L.A. Automobility logo

Good morning all, as you are well aware Los Angeles is becoming a Tech giant in its own right and the L.A. Auto Show is looking for app developers working in the mobility field.  Any app you’ve developed that has to do with autos, mobility and transportation will be considered in this competition to be a feature at the  AutoMobilityLA , the auto industries private show  held just prior to the public L. A Auto Show.

The top 10 winners of this competition will get a few perks like inclusion i the L.A Mobility video’s, invitations to the 2 day L.A Mobility private show as well as breakfast with the movers and shakers in the auto industry.  For more information and how to enter do so click HERE.

For the press release you need to make the jump… Read the rest of this entry →

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Culver City Art Walk for artists with disabilities Sunday 6/12

June 1, 2016 in Art, Entertainment, LA, News, People, Photography, Social issues

Every so often I get a press release that interests me a lot and I start asking questions and getting more detail for a post.  In this case Nathanael Welch from the Hatchery Los Angeles reached out with info on an Art Walk featuring artists with disabilities he works with.

The Hatchery in short form is a theological school that is focused on building “common cause” community based churches.  Fair enough, but the program Nathanael is working on is special.  Its about giving artists with disabilities a way to showcase their art and share it in pop up galleries that pop up all over Los Angeles.

The event in Culver City will be the #CityWalk, where they take pictures and explore the area. Then they will have the pop-up gallery at a different location at the end of the month. They will meet downtown and then walk around the main street on June 12th. He said you can also have people contact him directly at his email address: [email protected] if you have questions.  To follow Nathanael’s events you can sign up for Email Notices.

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Anyone you know? If so call LAPD Van Nuys division

May 21, 2016 in LA, Law, Law Enforcement, The Valley

This was Published on May 20, 2016

The Los Angeles Police Department’s Van Nuys Division Burglary detectives are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a burglary suspect.

Don’t you just love all the homes equipped with cameras and NEST security, sure makes it tougher for a crook to get away with it.

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Fabulous Fords Forever set for April 17

April 5, 2016 in Driving, Entertainment, Events, History, News, Transportation

FFF2016Two Thousand plus Ford, Edsel, Mercury, Lincoln and assorted oddball European Ford products will grace the huge lot to the east of Knott’s Berry Farm Sunday April 17.  Admission is FREE!

This is probably one of my most favorite single vendor shows here in the LA Metro Area.  You’ll see everything from the earliest survivor Model T’s to the completely restored to the custom chop top low riders.  You name it you’ll see it.

Deets: 10-6, Sunday April 7, Beach and La Palma Blvd, Buena Park CA  MAP HERE.

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Where will you be in 2024?

February 26, 2016 in Entertainment, Events, LA

I’ll still be here.  Ready to celebrate the day.

This video brought to you the Bid for 2024 Olympic Committee.

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Tax seminar for Artists

January 27, 2016 in Art, Events, LA, San Gabriel Valley, Social issues

Poster for even, click to embiggen.

Poster for even, click to embiggen.

Its that time of year for me. Sorting receipts, wondering what’s deductible or not and what new tax laws affect my art generated income.  If you’re an artist looking for guidance to make sure you get all your deductions and not sure what changes this year took place that could affect you, have I got a seminar for us.

Monrovia Association of Fine Arts as the first installment of its Professional Development Series offers up for artists, members and non-members alike a seminar by Abe Carrow CPA “Tax and the Artist”.  It will be a one day seminar held Saturday February 13 from 10-noon.  The fee is $20 for members, $30 for non-members and $10 for students regardless of membership status and can be paid here.

Deets:  Tax and the Artist.  February 13, 10AM-Noon, Monrovia Community Center, 119 W Palm Ave, Monrovia 91016.

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Help the homeless in DTLA with tarps and tents

January 21, 2016 in Downtown, environment, LA, Seasonal, Social issues

Screen grab from the Crowdrise donation page.

Screen grab from the Crowdrise donation page.

Its sorta the lull between storms and the homeless are getting a bit of a break from the rain, but not the cold so much.  I got this email from former BLA’er Dave Bullock and thought I’d share it with you all here.  Its a campaign to raise funds to buy tarps and tents for the homeless on skidrow.  Help if you can.

Hello,

People are dying from exposure in Skid Row and there is something we can do about it.

My long time friend, community activist Don Garza, has been walking the streets of Skid Row before and during the rain storms and handing out tarps and tents to the homeless who don’t have adequate protection from the elements. He needs our help to buy more tarps and tents that he can hand out. Please consider donating and sharing to your friends and social network:

https://www.crowdrise.com/TentsAndTarps

Don and I really appreciate your help.

Thanks,

Dave and Don

School v. Tool Revisited

December 20, 2015 in History, LA, Law, Media, News, People, Politics

Screengrab from LATimes.comThis story in today’s Los Angeles Times (link) explores the incident from which I derived a foundation-level disdain for Donald Trump, and I, like much of 1989 Los Angeles, was only all too relieved when his proposed tower plan was killed.

It’s understandable given Trump’s recent and meteoric rise as a politician that the article’s tone is chest-thumpy about how he “got schooled,” but still it’s interesting (and disappointing) given the ultimate loss of the Ambassador Hotel. The irony, of course, is that at the time of the clash the subtext of the LAUSD’s efforts to build public opinion against the project wasn’t just how distasteful it was for Trump to erect a quarter-mile phallic monument to himself, but that the Ambassador deserved the far better fate of being preserved and repurposed as a school, rather than razed in vein for so vain an endeavor.

Here’s a surprise: Turned out school and civic officials were rather disingenuous in their commitment to preserving the historic landmark. And while one could well argue that the new school there now is better than a giant tool and how, what we’ve learned a quarter-century after Donald’s failed deal is that  the Ambassador was doomed to be collateral damage either way.

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It’s #GivingTuesday sweet charity guide to giving

December 1, 2015 in Holidays, LA, Seasonal

Even Facebook is promo-ing Giving Tuesday to its users...click to embiggen

Even Facebook is promo-ing Giving Tuesday to its users…click to embiggen

Bah humbug to Black Friday, Small Biz Saturday and Cyber Monday.  #GivingTuesday is where its at.  Its the true fulfillment of the holiday dream.  Giving back to your community and those less fortunate.  It started with a whimper last year, but this year its getting promo’d to the nth degree by the big guys like Facebook.

There are multiple ways to help the many local charities and non-profits in Los Angeles and surrounding areas.

First up…good old cash.  Cold hard cash fills their coiffers and ensures that they have operating capital to cover their overhead and fund programs.  Its usually tax deductible if they’re a 503(c) non-profit.  Also check with your employer, they often match cash contributions which is a nice way toy double down your good deed.

Volunteer “in kind” gifts.  Socks for the homeless, food for the hungry drives will take those donations.  If you buy new for the cause save your receipts as those too are tax deductible.

Donate your time to them.  EVen some employers will make a cash donation for your time donated to a qualifying non-profit.  As an example a friend at the Gas company helped out the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts at this fall’s Celebrate the Arts and ChalkFest.  The Gas company made a cash donation for the 16 hours she donated at the rate of $10/hour.

Check with your local food kitchens.  They need help putting out meals daily, not just for the holiday.  Check what they need and if your skill set fits jump in and help them prep, cook, serve or bus tables.

The point is, give back to your community and make lives a little better.  There are so many options and ways to help you can’t go wrong for trying.