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Ho-leeee crap. Hello, Los Angeles, my love.

October 13, 2014 in Art, Blogging (in) LA, Fires, History, LA, LA bloggers, Metroblogging Network, People, The Valley, Vintage

Who’s got two thumbs (and her index fingers, with which she primarily types, like a spazzy T-Rex on a typewriter) and is back in LA?!

This girl.

Along these rhapsodic, elegiac and thrilled welcome-home lines I’m walking, here’s some songs to make you love your city again. Fall outta love? Don’t do what I do and leave.  Or do…it might be what you need to appreciate it.
Rilo Kiley, Let Me Back In: link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXZR0rwhXvs

“From the Eastern seaboard, the landlocked Midwest
The Keys, the Alps, the Black Hills and Budapest
With my heart in a sling, tail between my legs a-swinging
I’m sorry for leaving

But when the palm trees bow their heads
No matter how wrong I’ve been
L.A., you always let me back in

And you can bury me when my body breaks
In the earth that created me, in the Golden State
By my mama and her brother and their mama too…”

And then there’s this one, by the Delta Spirit, for the folks I left behind in the South.     ;)

I mean, this sorta already happened, and that fellow is now happily married, so….everybody come on out! Apparently I’m a great vector for changing your life.    :P

(Yes, this post is enormously personal. Kevin Roderick may have a field day with this one. Or he may not, which will make me feel like a loser. Whateves.)

“I want you to move to California for yourself,
I want you to find whatever your heart needs,
I want you to move to California for yourself, but not for me.

I want you to go out there and find somebody else,
I want him to treat you like I know he should,
I want you to find somebody new for yourself, if not for me.

all of the feelings that I know you never felt,
and all of the simple words you never said,
I want you to keep them like a secret to yourself, they’re not for me.

I want you to wander silent past my outstretched arms,
I want you to hide yourself from all I see,
and though my heart will fight until its dying breath, you’re not for me.”

 

Also…I love the video for this one.

So, yeah. I’m back. We did hot dogs, we did donuts. What do you think should be next?

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4000 Miles premiere at Sierra Madre Playhouse was simply amazing

September 27, 2014 in Entertainment, Events, News, People, San Gabriel Valley, Theatre/Stage

Leo and Vera meet for the first time...

Last night was the opening of 4000 Miles a pulitzer nominated play at the Sierra Madre Playhouse.  The play was so well executed and performed you didn’t neet an intermission.  It ran a full Hour and Forty Five, but the time flew thanks the the simply amazing performances of Mimi Cozen as the grandmother Vera and Christian Prentice as the grandson Leo.

I’ll try not to give too much of the story line away or drop a spoiler.  This is a drama with a lot of comedy included.  Leo is a young man on a literal and metaphoric journey.  Leo left Seattle on a bicycle with a friend who died tragically in an accident along the way.  Leo arrived at his Grandmothers flat in New York at 3AM. The grandmother wasn’t expecting him and the first tiff started.  During the course of this play Leo makes a new and stronger relationship with Vera.  She wisely guides him through his problems and difficulties.  Eventually they face a common sadness and he completes his bond with his grandmother.

Of course the supporting characters deserve mention here too.  Bec, Leo’s girlfriend played by Alexandra Wright does a wonderful job of shedding light into Leo’s problems as well as allows us to learn more of Vera as she attempts to help her see her love for Leo and save that relationship.  Bec in a way winds up being the hero that gives Leo the final push he needs to mend fences and move forward. Read the rest of this entry →

Watch This: I Live In The L.A. River

August 19, 2014 in environment, LA, People

One woman has spent the past 15 years living at the bottom of the L.A. river, this is her story. From the team at BuzzFeedYellow.

Related resources:
Lamp offers mental health care and other services to homeless people.
http://m.lampcommunity.org/give.php

Friends of the Los Angeles River is a non-profit set up to restore the natural habitats of the river.
http://folar.org/

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Amy Alkon’s new book signing Tuesday June 3

May 24, 2014 in Books, Entertainment, Food & Drink, News, People, Shopping, Social issues, West Side

Los Angeles book launch party/reading! Amy Alkon’s “Good Manners For Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck”.  Tuesday, June 3, 6:30p-8pm at Diesel Books at the Brentwood Country Mart (address/map below).  Wine and snacks will be served.

This book has already gathered more than a few good reviews.  250 Words.com called it a must read for this summer.

And Wharton School’s Adam Grant called the book “outstanding work” and wrote this:

This book is a gem, hysterically funny and grounded in science. Amy Alkon explains why so many people are rude and how it’s possible to be courteous, even if you’re foul-mouthed and clueless about etiquette. If anything will convince my wife that my manners are better than she thought, this is it.
~Adam Grant, Wharton professor and bestselling author of Give and Take

Amy Alkon aka The Advice Goddess is syndicated columnist in about 100 newspapers.  She is also all over the web at blogging daily: http://advicegoddess.com.  She also has a weekly radio show: http://blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon (Nerd your way to a better life! with the best brains in science) 7-8pm Pacific Time, or available at the link and on iTunes or Stitcher
If you can’t make the reception but really want the book NOW, you can get it on Amazon HERE.

Details. Diesel Books, Brentwood Country Mart, 225 26th Street, Suite #33, Santa Monica CA 90402 (310) 576-9960  MAP HERE

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Paint n Play 2 Art Studio and Gallery robbed and ransacked

May 13, 2014 in Art, Law, Law Enforcement, News, People, San Gabriel Valley

Monday night, early Tuesday morning my friend Lisa Barrios business, Paint n Play 2 Art Studio and Gallery located at 418 S Myrtle Ave in Monrovia was burglarized and ransacked. I’ll be helping with the inventory of stolen art work, but our best guess tonight is easily 10K in art alone was stolen from the upstairs gallery.

Shortly after midnight the neighboring business caught this persons image trying to open their door at the rear courtyard. He stopped long enough for his picture to be taken, then went one door south to the Paint n Play 2 Art Studio and Gallery. From there, someone, presumbably this person of interest, broke open the rear door and entered Paint n Play. About 15 minutes later a figure is seen on the Myrtle Avenue side of the business loading stuff into a shiny dark sedan possibly a Honda or Toyota. Read the rest of this entry →

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Act up? No ACT-SO

April 28, 2014 in Art, People, Photography, San Gabriel Valley

ACT-SO?  Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics.  Its a program within the NAACP where young people are mentored by pro’s in a field to help them grow and develop their talents.  Its about grooming the next generation to go forth and do great things.

Saturday was fun, different for me. It all started 10 days ago when Lois Gaston of the Pasadena chapter of the NAACP contacted Lisa Barrios, the Vice President of the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (MAFA) for help in locating photographers to judge a  coming competition.  Lisa referred her to me and before you know it I had rounded up other photographers to help me with the judging.

In  short order I had the needed photographers in line to do the judging.  First up was Enilde “Ginger” Van Hook, a fine art photographer from Otis College of Arts and Design graduate as well as teacher.  Next up was Joseph R Davis artist, digital artist and photographer.  Rounding out the judges was yours truly. Read the rest of this entry →

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So Cal News Photographers Fine Art show Saturday

April 18, 2014 in Art, People, Photography, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping

A rather large group of Los Angeles news photographers and a few hand picked others will be showing their fine art photographs of Southern California at a reception they will host Saturday 4/19 starting at 7PM.   There will be light refreshments and wine served at the reception.

Among the photographers there will be Stephen Coleman, a KABC 7 cameraman who has been documenting Los Angeles for years and has many drop dead gorgeous images.

Deets: Paint n Play Art Studio and Gallery, 418 S Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia CA 91016 626-258-4848  MAP HERE

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The Kept Girl and other bits of Los Angeles

April 2, 2014 in Books, Entertainment, Fictional LA, History, LA, Maps, People, Vintage, Which Side?

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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Protest over L.A. Ban on feeding the homeless set for 12/14

December 6, 2013 in Law, People, Politics, Social issues

Hat tip to Ed Padgett long time friend of blogging.la for this bit of news.  I can’t help but wonder if Scrooge taken over the hearts and minds of L.A. city council?  Recently the issued a ban on feeding the homeless. Yes, charities, people with big hearts and do-gooders in general will be banned from feeding the homeless even though their acts cost the city nothing.  A protest is planned at 4PM on 12/14 at the Intersections of

If we still gave a “Scrooge of the Year” award.

In related news, the courts aren’t taking to highly on the ban in living cars that the city put in place to placat those who complained it was more than a minor irritation in Venice.

Just a little idea.  One that maybe L.A City Council can wrap its warped little head around. Homelessness and the hungry aren’t going away soon. Rather than limit  or prohibit the charities and the like from helping the homeless and hungry they work with them to find a solution. Maybe centralized into the warming shelters in place and it wouldn’t cost us if they do the work.

A big lump of coal to each of them for hitting those in need below the belt this time of year.

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Small Business Saturday get out an meet some folks

November 30, 2013 in Art, Books, Entertainment, Events, People, Photography, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

Authors and Artists, I have them both for you here in the SGV.

First up is a person I feel tickled to know, actor, writer, blogger and photographer Petrea Burchard.  She released her novel, Camelot & Vine this spring.  She’ll be at two, count ‘em two book signings today.  Petrea will be at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena from 11AM-1PM today.  Then she will move to Websters Fine Stationers in Altadena around 2PM for a few hours.

After that I think you would enjoy Old Town Monrovia, especially the area in front of Paint n Play 2 Art Studio and Gallery.  Several artists will be there from 6PM-10PM for an evening art walk.  Among the artists there will be author and photographer Steve McCarthy.  Steve has written a few books that he will have there and sign for you.  First is “Road Trippin'” and the other is his first novel, “Old Farts Spy Club”.

I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping your shopping dollars in the hands of the small businesses in the community.  These small businesses keep their money in the community and help keep us strong and vibrant.  Whether it be my little corner of L.A or yours we all benefit from getting to know them, shop with them and make them strong as they give so much back to our communities.

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

November 14, 2013 in Art, East Side, Education, Entertainment, History, LA, Movies, Music, People, Social issues, Which Side?

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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West Covina’s Rotary Field of Valor makes it to Bing’s home page

November 11, 2013 in Entertainment, People, Photography, San Gabriel Valley

I got the tip off it would happen last week that Bing would feature the West Covina’s Rotary Field of Valor on their home page today. Its the work of photographer Bobby L Brett and its really a nice collection of images celebrating Veterans Day.  Even nicer that something and someone local got the front page of a search engine site.

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Militant Angeleno explains how the ‘burbs got their names

November 8, 2013 in Blogging (in) LA, LA bloggers, People, Which Side?

I believe it was Raymond Chandler who described Los Angeles as “40 suburbs in search of a city” back in the 40’s.  He was wrong there were 88 in Los Angeles County alone and Militant Angeleno took the  time to catalog them and explain how they got their names.  His post “88 suburbs in search of their names” went live today.  Its an easy read that is both informative and entertaining.

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Open Studio tour in Inglewood 11/9-10

November 2, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, Holidays, People, Seasonal, Shopping


Its that time of year again. Get your art on in Inglewood with their open studio tour.  More than 50 artists will be showing their work at 8 locations within the city of Inglewood.  Of course my absolute must stop destination is for the art of Luke VanHook (painting) and Ginger VanHook (photography, and author).  They are stop #4 on the tour…just to make sure you don’t miss them.

All the details you could want can be found on their website HERE.  To make it even easier there is a FREE SHUTTLE times to the various studios courtesy the city of Inglewood.   Next week will be hopping in Inglewood, join the fun and be prepared for visual over stimulation!

The full press release after the jump Read the rest of this entry →

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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 →