Taschen Sale This Weekend

grooverama's Taschen photo used through Creative Commons

I had the paradigmatic blogger moral struggle about this post: do I do my duty as a Metblogger and let you all know about the Taschen sale or do I keep mum and save all the best buys for myself? In the end, my love for you, my fellow Angelenos, won out. I am letting the cat out of the bargain bag.

This weekend there is a giant sale (50-75% off) on display copies and slightly banged up books at all Taschen stores. Taschen, for those of you who are unfamiliar, publishes lovely, delicious books that are almost as much fun to hold in your hands as they are to read. Recent publications include books on David LaChapelle, big butts, Burton Holmes’ turn of the century travel photos, and Philippe Starck. I have no idea what in particular will be on sale, but it’s hard to go wrong in a Taschen store. Details after the jump.

Continue reading “Taschen Sale This Weekend”

Donut Summit: Announcing the Donut King!

We came, we saw, we donutted. And it was awesome. A huge thank you, from me and from all of us here at Metblogs, to everyone, who came out to the Donut Summit today! We had an fifty entries – so basically, a heck of a lot of donuts – and a great crowd, and a beautiful afternoon! I’m sure you’re all dying to know the voting results, and who reigns supreme as DONUT KING (!!!) but first, there are a few people who need lots of thanking:

To our readers, old and new, for coming out and supporting us!

To all of the writers here at Metblogs who helped out in all kinds of ways but most especially the following people:

Kevin Ott, for writing a hilarious voting guide (which I’m going to ask him to post here for everyone to read), for helping scout locations, and for hanging out with me in Griffith Park for three hours this morning so that nobody would steal our picnic tables;

Our intrepid captain Lucinda, for her publicity know-how, her event-running smarts, her megaphone, her fantastic donut hats, for making last-minute trips to Smart and Final, and for thinking this event was a good idea in the first place;

Julia Frey, our coffee maven;

Queequeg, who drove all the way to Glendora to make sure that we would have those fresh strawberry Donut Man donuts;

The minds who came up with the idea of the Donut Summit – ,as I recall, it was hatched over pastrami sandwiches during the Classic Eats visit to Langer’s – I was there, Julia was there, Robnoxious was there, I think maybe Will Campbell was there, and I don’t remember who else – and I think it was Robnoxious who first suggested we bring all of LA’s donuts to one central location.  And thus the Donut Summit was born!

I also want to thank some of my non-Metblogger friends who drove me around to get Donut Summit supplies, and stayed up late with me spraypainting silver and gold donut medals. And special thanks to my friend Nikki who put her stage managerial skills to work and ran Donut Registration for us today.   I’m sure I’ve forgotten other people who deserve a huge thank you, but please know that we appreciate all your help and support!

I was so excited at the number of donut shops represented today – we had very little overlap, and later this week I’ll post a full list of the donut shops who were represented. I want to give a nod to what I thought were some of the highlights of the competition: DK’s Donuts, from Santa Monica absolutely floored me with their blueberry apple fritters (I think they were robbed of the Best Fritter title!) and fresh whipped cream donuts; Babycakes’ vegan donuts were delicious and light and tasty; and Frygirl’s homemade mini donuts were totally to die for (and she does catering!) and I will admit to personally saving all of the leftover Frygirl donuts for myself.

And now, after the jump, the results!

Continue reading “Donut Summit: Announcing the Donut King!”

Stuff to do in the SGV this weekend

Just in case the usual stroll through the various “Old Towns” in the SGV isn’t enough here are a few extras tossed in to serve as some diversions for the weekend.   Be prepared for the heat as temps should skirt 100 in the Valley’s this weekend.

  • All Weekend…top on my list is the Relay for Life events in Monrovia’s Library park.  (Attached flyer does get bigger with a click for the full sized schedule).  321 S Myrtle Ave, Monrovia CA 91016
  • All weekend Huntington Library “Corpse Flower” aka Amorphophallus Titanium in all its odiferous glory will be in bloom.  Star News Story HERE.
  • Saturday 6/5  Wild Rose Elementary First Annual Car Show and Fund Raiser.  Awards include Student and Teachers favorites…I just may clean up my old Buick and attend rather than do chores around the house. 10AM – 2PM 232 Jasmine Avenue, Monrovia CA 91016
  • Saturday 6/5 9:30-10AM Metro Gold Line Fillmore station’s remodel in Pasadena is officially dedicated.  Meet some smarmy politicians and listen to the grandstanding for the coming elections.  Snark aside…its quite a nice redo to the station and part of the ever expanding transit rail system Metro is working on.
  • Sunday, June 6 1-5:30PM. Health screenings, tips on healthy living and free CPR training will be offered at a health fair in Pasadena.  The free event at Victory Park, 2575 Paloma St., from 1 to 5:30 p.m. is sponsored by Code 3 Life Support Education and Pasadena City Councilman Steve Haderlein, who represents District 4.

Two Weeks In June: Your Group Stage World Cup Soccer Schedule In All Its Chalky Analog Goodness

This past Memorial Day morning I did my annual bike ride across town to Los Angeles National Cemetery, followed by a visit to LACMA (admission of which was free thanks to Target, who apparently foots the bill at the museum when holidays fall on Mondays — make a note of that). After checking out some of the art there the next destination was The Village Idiot, my next-door neighbor Dean Malouf’s restaurant on Melrose where we found excellent food and drink and this huge and awesome chalk-filled masterpiece detailing all the Group Stage matches in South Africa that will be broadcast* there between June 11 – 25  (pictured at right; click to ginormify), which Dean told me took about four hours to complete.

While I’m not much of a soccer fan, chances are good that I’ll wake up my inner hooligan by rolling over to a couple of these 7 a.m. weekday matches, probably South Africa v. Mexico, Spain v. Switzerland, and USA v. Algeria.

* While originally they were considering being open for the 4:30 a.m. matches, common sense prevailed and they’ve decided such sleep deprivation was just crazy.

Win Tickets To See Denis Leary on June 10

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

It Caught My Eye: Support Your Local Korean War Memorialist

Biking back from a trip to the dentist this morning, I did a double take passing the usually nondescript orange cinderblock wall of the auto repair shop on the south side of Melrose about a half-block west of Wilton Place. In front of it was a colorfully decorated extensive panel of photographs having to do with the Korean War. Here, see for yourself (click to majestify):

So of course, I stopped to check it out and met the proud and jovial gentleman in the picture who is the exhibit’s curator, Andrew Lo. Lo, 81, told me he mounted the display in remembrance of the upcoming 60th anniversary of the Korean War, which began June 25, 1950. Lo, who is a Korean/English language instructor for the L.A. Unified School District served as a lieutenant in the South Korean Army during what’s long been colloquially referred to as the “forgotten war.”

It’s not forgotten to Lo, and so that others may learn about it, he spent more than two years acquiring the amazing collection of historic images, and they’ll be on display there for the next two weeks between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

The Return Of The Dan Band. Win Free Tix!

On Friday, May 21, The Dan Band returns to Club Nokia. With thanks to our friends at Goldenvoice, LA MetBlogs has your tickets. Read on…

In early April we sent some MetBlogs readers to see The Dan Band. Here is what a couple of them had to say:

This band is best when encountered as a surprise. Obviously, going to see them live, the primary novelty of the band is no longer a surprise, but, fortunately for me, there were still plenty of hilarious surprises in the live setlist.” ~Riki Ataki

We had such a good time! Dan caught a woman texting during the show and took away her phone to send rude replies.” ~FlowerOfHighRank

I’ve got several pairs of tickets for next Friday’s show, so to win, leave a comment below telling me why you need to see The Dan Band live. Winners to be notified by email, so make sure I’ve got your correct address. Don’t want to take a chance? You can buy tickets here. A word of advice: guard your cell phones; Dan can be filthy when texting your friends.

Charles Phoenix & The Third Dimension

I can’t tell you how excited I am that SoCal author and Kodachrome enthusiast  Charles Phoenix is presenting a vintage 3-D slide show this weekend and next! While well known for his kitschy retro Kodachrome slide shows, this foray into the third dimension is taking things to a whole new level.

This is a unique opportunity to see 3-D images like you may have never seen them before, along with commentary from one of L.A.’s most entertaining local treasures. The photographic journey will travel as far back as the Victorian era, a time when viewing 3-D photos on cards through a stereoscope was a popular form of entertainment, to the 1940s and 50s, when View-Master disks were introduced as an alternative to the scenic postcard. This is going to be an extravaganza not to be missed!

Charles Phoenix will be presenting his first ever retro 3-D slide show tomorrow, Sunday, May 9th and on Sunday, May 16th at 3pm at the Downtown Independent, which is located at 251 S. Main St., L.A. 90012.

You can click here to purchase tickets.

LAPD Gun Buyback Program This Saturday

This Saturday, May 8, is the 2nd annual city-wide gun buyback program.

Go to one of the five drop off locations with any type of weapon you want to get rid of and you may receive up to $100 in gift cards for hand guns and up to $200 for assault weapons (as specified in the State of California). You can choose a Ralph’s gift card or a pre-paid Visa card.

It’s all anonymous and there will be no questions asked.

Last year the LAPD collected over 1700 firearms, including a grenade launcher. (Seriously!) Read the full press release from the Mayor’s Office here.

The five buyback locations are open from 10am to 3pm:

EAST LOS ANGELES – Hollenbeck Area
Legacy LA
1350 N. San Pablo Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Park & Ride Parking Lot
1300 West Pacific Coast Highway
Wilmington, CA 90744

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
7900 South Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90047

WEST LOS ANGELES – Hollywood Area
Farm Fresh Ranch Grocery Store
5520 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA  90028

VALLEY – Mission Area
Facey Medical Center Parking Lot
11165 Sepulveda Boulevard
Mission Hills, CA 91345

Win Tix (and more) for David Mamet!

Left: David Mamet, right: Ricky Jay

Next Thursday, May 13, David Mamet will be appearing at Largo at the Coronet in Los Angeles. He will be reading from and signing his new book, Theatre, and chatting with magician/actor Ricky Jay. This will be Mamet’s only appearance of this kind in the U.S., and MetBlogs has your tickets. Read on to find out how to get them.

David Mamet is a brilliant author / playwright / screenwriter / director. While I enjoy Mamet’s books, my favorite works are his movies. A Mamet script is like a symphony of dialogue, with himself as conductor. I’ve heard that when Mamet rehearses scenes he uses a metronome to make certain that the actors get exactly the right cadence with the words; that the phrases overlap in perfect harmony.

Click past the jump to collect your tickets to see David Mamet at Largo… Continue reading “Win Tix (and more) for David Mamet!”

47 days until the Donut Summit!

We are less than two months out from the Donut Summit, and, oh boy, are we getting excited. Or at least I am getting excited because, well, DONUTS! If you haven’t already marked your calendars in indelible ink, the Donut Summit is scheduled to take place Sunday, June 13th at 1pm. The festivities will take place in Griffith Park, at the picnic area near the Vermont entrance. (We will have a big, donutty sign, so we’ll be easy to find!)

If you’ve forgotten (and how could you forget?) admission to the Donut Summit is one dozen donuts from your favorite local donut joint, to add to the donut pool, so that we can share them and try donuts from all across this fair land. And because nothing is fun unless it’s a contest, we’ll vote on LA’s best donut. Stay tuned for an updated list of LA area donut shops that you can choose from later this week!

Meanwhile: the Donut Summit is on twitter, bringing you all manner of donut news (and documenting my donut cravings) at twitter.com/donutsummit.

And I want to give a huge thank you to Noah Caldwell, who put together our awesome Donut Summit logo! Nothing makes me happier than the idea of a giant donut rising like the sun over the Pacific.

New Twist On Classic Dish

After a long soft open, presumably to iron out any kinks, Mac & Cheeza is finally having their Grand Opening tonight at 5:30pm. Get downtown and get your mac on!

For the last couple of months owners Larkin Mackey (of the eponymous Larkin’s in Eagle Rock) & Joshua McBride have been getting great pre-opening press for their newest venture, Mac & Cheeza. I was drawn in, and twice made special trips downtown for the creamy cheesy goodness. I was not disappointed. With news of the Grand Opening comes regular hours, and I can now go back for more anytime I like.

The concept is simple: first, choose your size (Baby Mac all the way up to Mac Daddy.) Next, do you want regular or rice noodles? Penultimately, regular or house-made soy cheese? Now it gets complicated; now you complement your base with a choice of veggies, meats and toppers. How will you ever choose? It’s like Pinkberry for mac & cheese. This is a problem for me, because I want them all!

As if this weren’t enough, there are also homemade desserts straight from Larkin’s mom’s kitchen. Have the banana pudding; it’s fantastic. On top of it all, Larkin and his crew are always friendly, helpful, and all-around good guys.

If for some reason you can’t make the Grand Opening today, check them out soon. Mac & Cheeza is located at 223 W. 8th Street (near 8th & Broadway.) They’re open Sunday-Thursday 11am-11pm and Friday-Saturday 11am-2am.

LA Plays Itself In The Movies: A New Metblog Series

You know LA plays a role when you see the Bonaventure...

Starting on Monday (April 5) your LA Metblog authors are starting a new series of posts called: LA Plays Itself In The Movies. (Similar to our series last year called Songs About Los Angeles.) We’ll write about favorite movies in which LA is not just a backdrop or a random location or even doubling for somewhere else, but in which the city plays a role. These are movies that could not have been made anywhere else other than our awesome city.

As with last year’s song series, this is not a “Best Of” or “Top 25” list, it is more fun and personal to each author. The series will last about three weeks and we encourage you to tell us about your favorite movie in which LA is a star!

(The photo is my own.)

Click past the jump to see the full list of posts in this series.

Continue reading “LA Plays Itself In The Movies: A New Metblog Series”

Turner Classic Movies Film Festival Comes to Los Angeles April 22-25

2001: A Space Odyssey. Image courtesy TCM

Turner Classic Movies is holding its first Classic Film Festival in Los Angeles from April 22-25. The recently published lineup of classic films is astonishing, including Casablanca, The Good, the Band and the Ugly, Some Like it Hot, The Producers, Sunset Blvd., 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Stunt Man, and more.  Also on the bill are panel discussions, receptions, and an introduction to North By Northwest by two of its stars, Eva Marie Saint and Martin Landau.  Participating theaters include Grauman’s Chinese Theater, The Egyptian, and others.

Unfortunately, the admission price to the Festival may be prohibitive to many.  Passes covering four days of screenings and events currently run $ 499 or $ 599.  According to the Festival’s website, individual tickets are also available, although seating preference will be given to pass holders.  TCM informs me that individual tickets are in the $20 to $30 range, with 50 percent discounts for those with a valid student i.d.

Perhaps next year, TCM will sell cheaper (e.g., one-day) passes.  Meanwhile cable and satellite tv subscribers can play along on the home version: according to its schedule, TCM airs many of the films from the Festival on its cable channel, where the price of admission is your monthly bill.

Run Out of Things to Protest?

Satan in a Tuxedo used through Creative Commons License

Karl Rove will be appearing at the Thousand Oaks Borders Monday at noon to sign his memoir.

Rove, perhaps most recognizable for his recent role as Deputy Chief of Staff to George W. Bush, also counts among his accomplishments campaigning for George Sr.; being instrumental in the successful campaigns of John Ashcroft, Phil Gramm, and several other men of equal moral fiber; working for FOX News; and consulting for Phillip Morris. In short, were Satan running for public office, there’s a good chance Karl would be handing out press kits or designing tee-shirts

Rove’s book, Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight, was released this month by Simon and Schuster’s imprint Threshold Editions, publisher of other insightful political titles like Obama Zombies and Have You Seen My Country Lately. (Mary Matalin is the Chief Editor.) Feh.