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626 Night Market this Friday and Saturday 7/18-19

July 16, 2014 in Entertainment, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

I’ve been waiting for what seems an eternity for this to get here, but the 626  Night Market at Santa Anita Park is this weekend.  Great food, great people, fun chotskies and awesome food.  Yes, I was redundant, but the food is really the star at this event.

As a local I’d suggest skipping the Baldwin exist off the 210 as its been sketchy due to Gold Line rail connstruction the last several days.  Exit Santa Anita Ave and head south, make a right at Huntingon Drive and follow it to the main entrance for Santa Anita Park.  Next year, the Gold Line will be a fait accomplait and will give you instructions on how to get there from the Arcadia Gold Line Station, until then its freeway baby.

Parking is free, Admission is $3 per person.  Such a deal.

Deets: 626 Night Market 4PM-1AM Friday July 18 and July 19.  285 W Huntington Drive, Arcadia CA91007  MAP HERE

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Summer Art Walks start this weekend in the SGV

June 27, 2014 in Art, Entertainment, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

Man, dusting off my password and sharing one of my favorite fun things to do in the summer.  Wander about Myrtle Ave in Old Town Monrovia, hit a few of the night spots and enjoy some terrific art along the way.

Yup, its time for the Annual Summer Art Walks presented by the Monrovia Assocation of Fine Arts.  Now in its 10th year its a fine example of local art produced in my little corner of L.A.

Several of the local Art Galleries will be open, there will be live music as well as the usual Old Town attractions to keep you busy and entertained. The event will be held the last 3 Saturdays of June, July and August centered in the 400 Block of South Myrtle Avenue.  It will be held from 7-10PM on each of those nights.

If you are an artist that would like to exhibit and sell your work hit me up for the details.  [email protected]

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Camelopardalid Meteor Shower to peak Friday Night

May 20, 2014 in environment, Events, News, Seasonal

Reports on this meteor shower are all over the board.  In short from what I’ve been geeking out over is that this is the first time we will be crossing this debris field from a some forgotten comet.  The potential is that it will exceed 100 meteors hour at its peak here Friday Night.  Maybe even be a full fledged meteor storm, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

Venerable JPL in Pasadena is hosting an open house of sorts Friday evening for the public to view it.  Their facebook page HERE.  They predict peak viewing for us will be  Friday 11PM to 1AM Saturday.  The meteors will appear from an area of the barely visibile Camelopardalid constellation.  Easiest way to remember is that this is between the Big Dipper and Little Dipper in the North, North Eastern sky.

Those of you sitting in traffic on points east or on your way to Las Vegas in the middle of the desert may get a great viewing as well. Since I’m in the foothills with no city lights or street lights for that matter, I’ll simply set up some lawn chairs in the front yard and hope for the best.  To add to the nerding out over this…I”ll be out there with a camera hoping to capture one or two of them zipping across the sky.  I’d much rather be out at Joshua Tree for this, but too much is going on this weekend to do that.

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Heat wave and Red Flag until 8PM Wednesday 5/14/2014

May 13, 2014 in Law, News, Seasonal, Weather

Today was hot, miserable is tomorrow when most of us inland valleys will break 100 with room to spare. Ugga.

Red Flag warning has been extended until Wednesday night at 8PM.  If you live in an area with parking restrictions on Red Flag Days…pay them heed and respond accordingly.

Pets and little ones need extra water to stay hydrated and cool in this premature blast of late summer weather.  I put a big block of ice in the dogs outdoor dish to keep it cool and palatable as well as avoid evaporating faster.  For the toddler I keep his water bottle filled with ice in it as well.

It should go without saying don’t leave your pets or children unattended in the heat, but at least one dolt will do it with a tragic ending.  It is against the law, but some folks seem to pack their brain away in the glove box.  If you see it happen, please do the following.

  1. check the door…is it unlocked and you can open the door and let cooler air in:?
  2. note make, model, color and license plate of the offending vehicle
  3. call 911 and alert them of the problem and location of the car.
  4. go into nearest store and see if the owner is there
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Red Flag through at least Thursday 8PM evening of 5/1/2014

April 30, 2014 in Fires, News, Seasonal, Weather

With this drought we did it, skipped the winter rains and last years “fire season” ran right into this one. Things aren’t pretty in the IE and at least we in the rest of the foothills have been spared so far this heat wave. As has Griffith Park and the Santa Monica Mountains so far. If you know something to the contrary post it in the comments.

Here are a few nixle alerts I’ve received during the course of the day.  First up from L.A. Sheriff:

  MOUNTAIN AREAS CLOSED: Due to the high winds and high fire danger, Chantry Flats, Bailey Canyon Park, and Mt. Wilson Trail will be closed until tomorrow morning when the areas will be re-evaluated.

Sergeant S. Morsi

Temple Sheriff’s Station

And from my local Fire Department regarding those areas closest to me geographically and to my heart:

  The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning which will remain in effect until 8 p.m. PDT, Thursday, May 1 for strong Santa Ana winds and widespread singe digit relative humidity for much of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.

Strengthening upper level winds and increasing offshore flow is bringing a burst of strong Santa Ana winds to the region today.

Currently there is a 200+ acre brush fire north of Rancho Cucamonga with mandatory evacuations.  The Monrovia Fire Department is monitoring the situation and will be conducting fire patrols in the Monrovia foothills over the course of the day.  Updates will be provided if necessary.

Canyon Park and the Hillside Wilderness Preserve will be close thru Thursday, May 1.

Damaging winds will be likely across the mountains and portions of the valleys in Los Angeles and Ventura counties with peak gusts in th 60 to 80 mph. Offshore winds are expected to diminish some late this afternoon and tonight, then reintensify on Thursday morning when gusts will generally range between 45 and 65 mph across wind-prone locations in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

Northeast winds 30 to 45 mph with gusts up to 70 mph will continue today, with isolated gusts up to 80 mph in the San Gabriel Mountains and western peaks of the Santa Monica Mountains.  Winds will diminish some late this afternoon and tonight, then reintensify on Thursday morning when gusts up to 65 mph will be likely.

If fire ignition occurs, there could be a rapid spread of wildfire that would lead to a threat of life and property.  A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are occurring with strong winds, very low relative humidity, and warm temperatures that create extreme fire behavior.

Residents living in high fire areas should log on to www.ready.gov to learn more about how to prepare and take steps in the event of a fire.

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This is what a drought looks like

March 14, 2014 in environment, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Weather

Things are pretty dire around here.  After several years of not having “normal” rainfall this year was a disaster. Last stat I heard was we only got 1/3 of “normal”.

This morning I took a drive into Azusa Canyon for a walk along the river.  Path was closed due to recent fires and mudslides so I opted to take a drive into the canyons. Gorgeous day for that.  Everything is so clean and green after the storms of 2 weeks ago.

I was really surprized by how empty the dams were.  Worst I’ve seen them in years.  You can see the normal levels way up the sides of what should be big bright full lakes.  In the case of San Gabriel Dam, from the lookout above you can actually see the bottom, and many spots its just muck filled with flotsam and jetsam.  Not pretty at all.  Doesn’t bode well for our summer water needs either.  (Yes I know we don’t get water directly from there, rather water is released to settling ponds to recharge our groundwater). Read the rest of this entry →

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What happens when you throw boiling water in the air in L.A

January 9, 2014 in Entertainment, Seasonal, West Side

Please share this with your pals back east. I’m not sure where this crazy trend of throwing boiling water in the air got started. Its actually quite silly and some 50 people working on Darwin Awards doing it have been treated at ER for it. Leave it to a dude in Venice to put an L.A. spin on it all.

I get it, its cold back east. I personally am totally digging this winter so far. Yes, we are in dire need of rain, but we still have time for a March Miracle to arrive and forgo any drought worries.

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Happy 2014

January 1, 2014 in Entertainment, Events, Seasonal

I was just too busy yesterday to get a pic of them as they flew by for a practice run, but was out at 8:02AM as they screamed over my ‘hood on their way back to Nellis AFB in Las Vegas.

I’ve been scouring YouTube for the pics of the NYE festivities in Grand Park, if you have one up, drop the link in the comment section.  What I have seen so far looks pretty awesome, though most folks wanted fireworks too.  Go figure.  I think next year I shall venture to DTLA’s Grand Park to watch this show as it looked to be that good.

Happy New Years L.A…gotta love you, can’t help myself.

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Thunderbirds plan rehearsal fly over Pasadena 8AM today

December 31, 2013 in Entertainment, Mass Transit, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Transportation

I got the notice from a variety of sources.  All legit…The Air Force Thunderbirds will do a fly over the Rose Parade Route, Colorado Blvd in Pasadena this morning at 8AM.

For any of you thinking about attending the Rose Parade tomorrow the city has a nifty rules sheet online for you to follow.

My advice is simpler. Take the Gold Line to any of the stations and hoof it to the parade route.  Traffic in and out of Pasadena for the parade is horrific at best, gridlocked for hours, the Gold Line will make your life so much easier. The last time we did the parade when the kids were little it took us 2 hours go 5 miles from our parking space to home, seriously…Gold Line it and get off on the Del Mar, Memorial Park,  Lake, Allen or Sierra Madre Villa stops .

A full copy of the Pasadena Police Nixel alert after the jump. Read the rest of this entry →

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Santa Visits my ‘hood

December 21, 2013 in Entertainment, Holidays, Seasonal, Which Side?

For as long as I can remember, MPD and MFD escort Santa in his gigantic sleigh, rolling code 3 of course, through our neighborhoods.  This is also done in El Segundo, Rancho and a few other neighborhoods around L.A.

Another wonderful tradition is neighborhoods that go all out with decorations for the holidays.  Hastings Ranch in Pasadena is my absolute favorite.  In spite of bumper to bumper traffic, its fun to wind your way up and down the streets admiring how each block has its own theme and is decorated over the top.

What’s your favorite neighborhood tradition?

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A Christmas Carol at Sierra Madre Playhouse through 12/23

December 4, 2013 in Entertainment, Events, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Theatre/Stage

Sierra Madre Playhouse has got to be one of my favorite venues for plays.  Its a small theatre with a wonderfully warm setting.  Intimate even. This trailer is just a sample of the quality of work that they do there.   They are presenting A Christmas Carol now through December 23, 2013.  The play is on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays only.

This being a small venue it is advisable you buy your tickets online in advance of the showing you would like to see.  They do sell out fast.  Ticket prices are $25/28.  Online you do have the option of picking your seats.  You may order HERE.

Deets: Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 West Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre, California 91024 (626) 355-4318 MAP HERE

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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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Free stuff from Honda Black Friday until Christmas

November 27, 2013 in coffee, Driving, Entertainment, Food & Drink, Seasonal, Shopping

I don’t know which tagline to use for this post.  “Happy Honda Days” and “Helpful Honda Man” both apply here.  In short starting Black Friday through Christmas the Honda Dealers are sponsoring a fun promotion.  They’ll have guys in blue Honda shirts working the malls handing out free hot cocoa and coffee.  They’ll be passing out mints too to kill the coffee breath.  Drive a Honda?  Really look for their big blue Honda gas truck…they’ll fill you for free!  They did it last year and worked the city from The Valley to the South Bay…probably the same range again this year so do be on the look out.

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2013 L.A. Auto Show – winners and losers

November 22, 2013 in Downtown, Driving, Entertainment, Events, History, LA, News, Seasonal, Shopping

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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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 →