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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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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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Taste of Haiti fund raiser to rebuild schools

May 20, 2014 in Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, Music, Shopping, Social issues

Nearly 4 years ago the island country of Haiti was devastated with an earthquake. International aid helped, but they have a long way towards rebuilding. Their education system took a huge hit and is in need of contnued help.  Taste of Haiti comes to Los Angeles as a fund raiser to continue rebuilding their schools and stuff.

Taste of Haiti is a celebration of all things Haitian and will take place on a rooftop in DTLA on Wilshire.  Food, Dance, and Music to celebrate their culture and share with those of us who can help with the cause.  High light of the event is food by Chef Jacques Laventure.

This isn’t free, tickets range in price from $20 to $100 with perks commensurate with your tax deductible donation.  Ticket purchase and more about the L.A. Event here.  More on the total Taste of Haiti Here.

Details: May 28, 2014 7:30PM, 3100 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles 90005

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Ecoboost Tour…take on the competition in head to head driving

May 10, 2014 in Driving, Entertainment, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping, Transportation

I have to hand it to Ford.  It takes real chutzpah to invite people in to drive their cars and compare against the segment leaders.  They are doing just that today at Santa Anita Race Park in Arcadia here in the heart of the 626 with the Ecoboost Tour.  Everyone is invited to attend.  Its really a lot of fun.

I attended yesterday on a VIP Press Pass.  That ecoboost technology is pretty amazing stuff, twin turbos allowing a V6 to replace a V8, 4′s to replace V6 and even a 3cylinder to replace a 4.  All without giving up the performance you want while seeing gains in mileage of 10-20% over the larger engines. Read the rest of this entry →

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Pasadena PizzaRev opens to a packed house

May 2, 2014 in Entertainment, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping

I popped in for lunch today with the lovely Mrs, and imagine my surprise to find a line some 35 deep and growing at noon. Turns out this Pizza Rev is in the ideal spot for a lunch crowd. Surrounded by shopping malls and offices in its East Pasadena location.

I absolutely love the pies from Pizza Rev.  You can build your own custom or chose one of their specials or recipe-down-pat varieties.  I can’t help but get creative and my pie was a custom, baked to order and really tasty.  The combos are pretty endless.  The addition of gluten free for those of you who watch that is a nice option.  Ditto the inclusion of vegetarian options.  Menu here.  Regardless of how you build it, you get a super thin crispy crust Roman style pizza in minutes.

As I posted the other day yesterday was their grand opening with proceeds going to benefit the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA.  I talked with Dave Olson, the general manager for Pizza Rev Pasadena, and he said the turn out was unbelievable.  Easily ONE THOUSAND folks crossed their threshold for a made to order pizza yesterday.  He said they were beyond pleased with the response from the community.  Today wasn’t much different, big crowds and pretty much standing room only inside by noon. Read the rest of this entry →

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PizzaRev comes to Pasadena with a fundraiser 5/1/2014

April 30, 2014 in Contests, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping

I like the local start ups that become a “chain” and PizzaRev is one of those. Even better, I love local businesses that support the community when they open up in town.  I wrote about them a while back and am totally jazzed they are coming to my corner of L.A. But whats not to love, thin crispy crust Roman style pie custom built to order.

Pasadena is getting their own with the grand opening is set for Thursday May 1st..  And its a twist with this opening…all of the proceeds from pizza sales will go to benefit the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA.  And even better…its a pay-what-you-want for your pie so if you really feel generous about supporting the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA you can pay more than the $8 suggested donation.  They open at 11AM and will remain open until 11PM.

To further celebrate their opening in Pasadena, they are giving away 5 winners “Free Pizza for a Year”.  Contest HERE.

Continuing the party into the weekend Sunday May 5 from 5-10PM is “Social Media Fan Appreciation Night”.  Show on your phone, or a print out you “liked” or “followed” them on facebook, twitter or instagram and you get a free pizza.  Yes…free.

Deets: PizzaRev, 3455 Foothill Blvd (At Halstead) Pasadena CA  MAP HERE.

 

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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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Menu Mining : best damn Almond Croissant in DTLA

April 4, 2014 in Downtown, Food & Drink, History, LA, Shopping

This past weekend I had reason to stop in at Les Noces de Figaro in DTLA. The place is a wonderfully restored bit of Los Angeles history. In its first life it served as a cafeteria, the marble and terrazo floors have been restored with care. Its really quite the sight to behold, the current iteration is a very nice 1930′s style French Bistro.

We were actually going in for a meeting up on the mezzanine level meeting and I wanted a little something to tide me over.  On the recommendation of @Ruth666, former blogger here I grabbed the Almond Croissant.  IT was terrific.  The usual butter layers of paper thin melt in your mouth bread with a big honkin’ wad of marizpan in the middle.  As if that weren’t enough, to drive home the point this was all about the nut…it was encrusted in slivered almonds.  Washed it all down with a cup of “Americano”. My gawd was that good.

Based on that one simple perfectly executed croissant I’ll be back to try a dinner there sometime soon.

Read the rest of this entry →

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Cheeseburger Week in Pasadena starts today

January 12, 2014 in Classic Eats, Entertainment, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping

I have no reason to doubt the veracity of the claim the CHEESEburger was invented in Pasadena.  Several reputable media sources have documented it taking place at the Rite Spot in 1924 by Chef Lionel Sternberger.  To celebrate the entire week, starting today 1/12/ through1/17/2014 is dedicated to the cheeseburger with Pasadena declaring it “Cheeseburger Week”.

Its such a big deal in Pasadena that not only did they declare it a special honorary week, but some 18 restaurants including my fave in Old Town Pasadena, Slaters 50/50 are celebrating the week with all sorts of specials.

Cheeseburger Week has a website and facebook page. Read the rest of this entry →

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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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Free diesel at Cloverfield and the 10???

November 13, 2013 in Driving, Shopping, West Side

audi clean diesel

Hat tip to my friend @Ruth666 who spotted this around 8AM today. I have no details other than its Audi plugging its clean diesels (which they really are) and may or may not be giving free diesel today.

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Monrovia French Market

November 10, 2013 in Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping


This weekend was the first of what the promoters will be the first of many quarterly Monrovia French Markets.  Its held at the easy to find parking lot at St. Lukes at the corner of Foothill and California in Monrovia, pretty much equidistant between Myrtle and Mountain Avenues.

I went yesterday morning around 11AM.  The place wasn’t to packed with spectators but the vendors canopies were crammed solid with stuff.  In the spirit of a true Parisian market it was a lot of antique stuff, vintage and to its credit, little in the way of classic swap meet garbage.  More of a glorified garage sale than a true Parisian market.   I overheard a lot of vendors and they all said their big pieces and nicest pieces sold shortly after the 9AM opening so I can’t really say how good it was at opening.

Unlike a Parisian market this place didn’t have a lot of food or farmers market type merchandise and was missed. What was there was Cafe LuMar, a  local French restaurant selling stuff from a warming tray.  I would have expected at least cooked to order crepes, or am I asking too much?

Overall it wasn’t what I expected but then again I’ve done the real thing in the 15th Arrondissement a few years back so I did arrive with high expectations.  Would I give it another try next quarter?  Yes, as it holds promise and is just a short walk from my house.  When the next one is announced I’d post it here.