You are browsing the archive for People.

Avatar of frazgo

by frazgo

Snapcious DTLA iPhone Safari was a ton of fun

September 29, 2013 in Events, LA bloggers, News, People, Photography, Social issues

iphone safari photo set

I was a fun day and the time there was over before I knew it. Posts a plenty will come from the event. We started at the Grand Central Market and worked our way down Broadway with a jog through the fashion district and back to where we started. The Safari was led by Mack Reed and Yael Swerdlow two journalists with a passion for their game, Snapcious and for the city. Read the rest of this entry →

Avatar of frazgo

by frazgo

Today is Thank an Officer Day

September 21, 2013 in Holidays, Law, Law Enforcement, People

Thank a cop day

Who knew they had a special day too…well it is today.  Be nice and thank one, anyone you see.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing a lot of good cops over the years, too many to enumerate, certainly more good than weiners.  I hate to admit it, but with most of the tickets I got I deserved, certainly the 2 I didn’t deserve I fought and won.

Hat tip to my friend Tom Le Veque a sergeant at Arcadia PD for sharing the info on the day.  Truthfully he exemplifies what a good cop is and what they do for the community.  Tom aside from all his other duties runs APD’s social media, twitter, facebook and nixle that engages and informs the community on what is going on in the community.

Other good cops I’ve known over the years include Michael Solarez whom I knew through his work with MPD.  Pasadena PD’s Christopher Kirby is another. LAPD’s Ed Brentlinger from the North Hollywood division from when I was in Valley Village is another great one I had the pleasure of knowing and working with. All these men were known by the community they served and enjoyed what they did.

So…don’t screw up today, instead hand out a starbucks card to  your local officer on the beat to thank them for their largely thankless job.

Avatar of frazgo

by frazgo

First ever Snapcious iPhone safari in DTLA 9/28/2013

September 18, 2013 in Downtown, Entertainment, LA, News, People, Photography, Shopping, Technology

I wrote about Snapcious when it launched earlier this year.  Its a fun game you play on your cell phone taking pictures then posting it to Snapcious for the other players to rate and comment on.  Snapcious even lets you cross post to FB, twitter, flickr, pinterest and a host of other social media.  You can download the app here for your iphone.   Enough of the nuts and bolts…the meet up details.

Snapcious is hosting a meet up Saturday 9/28/2013.  Any Snapcious player is welcome to attend.  It will be fun to meet with other like minded folks and geek out with the app documenting downtown L.A.  After the event is over a bunch of us will likely end up lunching somewhere in the area.  To attend the event you just need to sign up for it at  Meetup.  Wear your comfy shoes.

NOTE we are meeting at the Hill Street entrance to the Grand Central Market.

DEETS:Saturday, September 28, 2013 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM Grand Central Market, 317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA  MAP HERE

for the press release you need to make the jump. Read the rest of this entry →

Avatar of frazgo

by frazgo

Found on Road Alive: Blue Meanie

September 13, 2013 in Books, Driving, LA bloggers, People

blue meanie

Let me be up front, I see this car often as it belongs to a friend and fellow photographer, author and general bon vivant, Steve McCarthy.

The car is a 1960 Triumph named the Blue Meaniel.  Its a driver, more specifically a Road Trippin‘ car that he goes on excursions with and jots every twist in turn for his blog and in books.  Blue Meanie made it to Seattle and back last year, this last month it made it to Yellowstone and back.

I love living in the land that rust forgot, you see great little sports cars like this still in use and well loved.

Avatar of frazgo

by frazgo

Paint Nite at Monrovia’s Paint n Play Saturday 8/31

August 27, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, Food & Drink, Music, People, San Gabriel Valley

This promises to be a really fun event.  Its being taught by one of my favorite artists/sculptors Rick Kess. I love his work and this class he will teach you the basics of composition and painting while you enjoy complimentary refreshments and live music.  Should be a ton of fun.

Its not free, the cost s $45 and includes the materials and lesson.  Rick will make the class fun and educational at the same time.  The proceeds from this event sponsored by the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts will go to fund their numerous projects that bring art to the community.

Arrive early and you can also take in all the great art presented by local artists at the last Summer Art Walk that will take place on Myrtle Avenue that night.

Deets: Saturday 8/31 7:30PM.  Paint N Play Art Studio, 418 S Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia CA 91016 MAP HERE  626-256-4848 for Reservations.

Rest In Peace, Mr. Cataldis

June 27, 2013 in Obituaries, People

You don’t know him, but please indulge me in a few moments of reflection here for my neighbor, Mr. Cataldis, and allow me a circle of love drawn for and around his wife, children, family, and friends.

Home is so often little more than temporary here in transient Los Angeles, where the earth and its people move with such ceaseless regularity. In such a region of motion and shallow roots, home is more conceptual than concrete. And that’s what makes his story so unique in this city.

Mr. Cataldis was raised in a lovely 104-year-old craftsman bungalow down the block from me (pictured), then owned by his father — perhaps he was even born there. Drawn back to his childhood home as an adult, he purchased it, raised his children in it, and lived in it his entire life, which came to an end yesterday.

For the fixture he was, it’ll be sad when I pass by now and don’t see him sitting comfortable and proud out there on the porch with his wife. But as a native angeleno who’s had no less than 16 addresses in my far shorter existence, I’ll remember him as someone who proved that one can plant deep roots in these shifting soils and have them hold strong.

Rest in peace, Mr. Cataldis.

Avatar of frazgo

by frazgo

RIP Jonathan Winters thanks for all the laughs

April 12, 2013 in News, Obituaries, People

Jonathan Winters passed away in quietly in his Encino *home overnight.  He was one of my favorite comedians.  He excelled at improv, but he also was a scene stealer on TV and movies.  His Web Site HERE, Wiki and IMBD.  That should give you plenty to read, laugh and enjoy.  A few more vids after the jump. Read the rest of this entry →

Avatar of frazgo

by frazgo

Coachella is here…but so is the COAPOCALYPSE

April 8, 2013 in Entertainment, LA bloggers, People, Which Side?

From the ladies  that brought us “shit girls say in L.A.” now comes a quick riff on Coachella which most of the music lovers in L.A. will be heading out to the desert for shortly.  If you have the time to check out their entire channel on youtube do check out the Trashy Girls.

Avatar of frazgo

by frazgo

RIP Annette Funicello you were my favorite Mouseketeer

April 8, 2013 in News, Obituaries, People

Its been widely reported that Annette Funicello, one of the original Mouseketeers passed away today.  Her TV programs and movies about growing up in the ’50s and ’60s helped make the beach party a part of L.A. and American culture.  Never mind all the folks she enticed to make it behind the Orange Curtain for a trip to Disneyland.  Complete WIKI on her HERE.

Avatar of frazgo

by frazgo

Snapcious, the game all the cool kids are playing with their phones

March 31, 2013 in Contests, Entertainment, LA bloggers, News, People, Photography

We all run around with our phones snapping pics and sharing the world as we see it.  Until now you either tossed onto social media like twitter or photo sharing sites like flickr and shared it with a few friends and that was it.  West Hollywood based F.8. Interactive just changed what you do with your pics via Snapcious.

Snapcious takes your image sharing to the next degree. It gives you missions to fulfill with your trusty phone cam and post onto the game.  From there other Snapcious review and rate your pics and the winners in many categories are announced each day. Each time you post a pic you get points.  You also collect points for suggesting missions, rating images and making comments on what you see.

The game is the brainchild of long time blogging.la contributor Mack Reed and a few others at F.8 Interactive.  Since its launch on iTunes a few weeks back it has picked up followers across the globe.  You can download it from iTunes HERE and join the fun.   Complete guide on points and how to play HERE.  Best of all…its a FREE app.

Unlike some of the other social media pic sharing places like, um say Instagram, you own the pics forever and don’t sign away any rights in the TOS.  Thats a biggy for me as you never know which images I will wind up using for sale that I want to keep control of.

There is a short video after the jump that explains the game and how to play as well.  Read the rest of this entry →

‘Paperman’ Producer Kicked Out of Oscars for Throwing Paper Airplanes

February 26, 2013 in Entertainment, Hollywood, LA, Movies, People

Congratulations go out to Kristina Reed, also known as wife of long-time blogging.LA’s Mack Reed not (just) for producing the Academy Award-winning Animated Short Paperman, but for getting kicked out of (and getting let back into) the 2013 Oscars.

According to The Hollywood Reporter:

After Disney’s Paperman won the Academy Award for best animated short Sunday, producer Kristina Reed began throwing paper airplanes, about three or four — with kisses on them, like the ones seen in the film — from her seat in the mezzanine.

The paper planes were nowhere near the stage, instead shooting straight down from the balcony. It went largely unnoticed by the crowd, but security didn’t think the act was very sweet, kicking her out of the Dolby Theatre auditorium.

It would turn out to be temporary. After a short protest, security brought her back to her seat about five to 10 minutes later.

The story has been picked up by Gawker, HuffPo, ABC, MSN, and more.

(Photo lifted from Mack’s Facebook feed… thanks, Mack!)

Elisa Lam: Body of Missing Canadian Tourist Discovered in Downtown Hotel Water Tank

February 21, 2013 in Downtown, LA, News, Obituaries, People


The body of missing Canadian tourist, Elisa Lam of Vancouver, British Columbia, was found in the water tank of the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Lam had traveled to California by herself on January 27, en route to Santa Cruz, and was last seen by workers at the hotel on January 31.

Although Lam was scheduled to check out of the hotel on February 1, she had disappeared, despite being in daily contact with her family up until this point. By February 6, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) had released details about the suspicious disappearance of Lam and on February 7, a press conference was held about the case.

A week later, on February 14, the LAPD released a disturbing surveillance video of the 21 year old University of British Columbia (UBC) student darting in and out of the hotel’s elevators.

Earlier this week, on February 19, guests at the Cecil Hotel complain about low water pressure and a worker checks the hotel’s water tanks and discovers Lam’s body. Guests staying at the hotel had likely been bathing, brushing their teeth and drinking water from a tank in which Lam’s body had been likely decomposing for more than two weeks.

Photo courtesy: LAPD

George Tetsuo Aratani, Nisei Entrepreneur and Philanthropist, Passes Away at Age 95

February 20, 2013 in Downtown, LA, Obituaries, People

George Aratani, a survivor of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and later successful businessman and philanthropist who founded Mikasa and Kenwood, passed away Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at the age of 95.

His legacy in philanthropy through The Aratani Foundation has supported many Japanese American organizations, but especially in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. One literally cannot walk a block in Little Tokyo without passing by a space endowed by George and Sakaye Aratani: Japanese American Cultural and Community Center’s Aratani Japan America Theatre; the Japanese American National Museum’s George and Sakaye Central Hall; and the Union Center for the Arts’s Aratani Courtyard.

From The Nisei Week Foundation Facebook page:

The Nisei Week Foundation mourns the passing of George Aratani who passed away peacefully today [Tuesday, February 19, 2013].

Aratani successfully launched post-World War II international trade enterprises. His first was Mikasa, a tableware company which was doing $400 million in annual sales when it was sold in 2000.

Influenced by his late father and motivated by the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, Aratani and his wife Sakaye have donated a sizable amount of their wealth to Japanese American organizations and causes.

For More Information:
Hirahara, Naomi. An American Son: The Story of George Aratani, Founder of Mikasa and Kenwood. Los Angeles, CA: Japanese American National Museum, 2001.

Photo credit: CalPoly Pomona, The George and Sakaye Aratani Japanese Garden

This Is The Hollenbeck Burrito

February 14, 2013 in East Side, Food & Drink, LA, News, People

The quarter seen next to the plate is for scale. The Hollenbeck Burrito is the creation of a singular master by the name of Manuel Rojas who owned the famed Manuel’s Original El Tepeyac Cafe in Boyle Heights. But the Hollenbeck is hardly the largest burrito he makes — or I should say made, since sad news came yesterday that Señor Rojas has died at the age of 79 after a half-century of  serving them up.

That distinction belongs to any variety of Manuel’s Special burritos, each of which roughly calculates out to being about 250 cubic inches of gut-busting deliciousness (here’s an example with the unknown patron exhibiting the appropriate level of shock and awe). Simply laying my eyes on such massiveness the one and only time I ordered a Manuel’s Special was almost enough to stave off my worst hunger pangs. Since then, it’s been Hollenbecks for me and they’re pleeeeeenty! But if the previously mentioned dimensional quantification is hard to wrap your head around, try this alternative: it weighs in at five pounds.

I’m having trouble wrapping my head around Rojas no longer overseeing the construction of his classics, but I take solace that they live on, and I will most certainly be paying a visit in the near future to honor him by digging into one — and taking the inevitable leftovers home.

Kylan Arianna Wenzel Is First Transgender Woman Allowed To Compete In Miss California Pageant

January 12, 2013 in People

Regardless of the outcome of the 2013 Miss California USA pageant, when Kylan Arianna Wenzel takes the stage at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium representing Century City, she will make history as the first transgender woman to compete in the U.S. pageant since a rule change in 2012 allowed transgender competitors. In order to compete in this year’s pageant, Kylan moved up her gender reassignment surgery my six months, quit her job, and has been preparing for the pageant.

According to her webpage:

Kylan Arianna Wenzel was born on October 14, 1986 in Daegu, South Korea. She was born to a German-American father, and a South Korean mother. She has a twin brother, and was primarily raised by her father and step-mother.

At the age of 2, her family was stationed at Clark Air Base, on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. In June of 1991 the air force base was evacuated when the volcano, Mount Pinatubo erupted. She arrived in the United States for the very first time that summer.

Being in a military family, she moved often. She has lived in towns and cities throughout multiple states. Thatcher, Arizona is where she finished her last months of middle school before heading back to Seoul, South Korea to attend high school. Although being somewhat isolated in another country, her high school offered unique opportunities. She was able to visit surrounding countries numerous of times through school events. Upon graduating high school, she relunctantly[sic] accepted admission to the University of Washington in Seattle despite her heart being set on an education in London.

After Seattle, she moved to California to pursue a career in entertainment.

She finally had her gender reassignment surgery in August of 2013[sic]. She hopes to eventually become a TV Host/Journalist. Kylan is currently pursuing her dream in winning the Miss Universe title.

In addition to standing for equal rights– she believes that same-sex couples should have the right to marry– she is also a supporter of LiNK, which brings awareness to the Human Right Crisis in North Korea.