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Last summer’s blockbuster “Carmageddon“ was such a smash hit, we’re bringing you the sequel. That’s right, fasten your seat belts for the ride of your lives. On June 22, “Carmageddon II: The Rampocalypse“ comes to a 405 near you. In a world where L.A. area road construction causes widespread panic, “Carmageddon II” will blow your doors off!
We’ll destroy and then rebuild all the Wilshire Blvd. ramps connecting to the 405! We’ll take a year to do it! We’ll have Ramp Jam 2012, and it’s all in 3-D!
Get your tickets now!
One of my pleasures of living in the relatively dry SoCal climate is our thriving classic car culture. Part of that culture will be on display this Saturday, as downtown Culver City hosts its “Crusing Back to the 50s“ car show right out on Culver and Washington Blvds. from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. I was there four years ago, and it was loads of fun.
In addition to a selection of over 400 classic cars, expect to see some of the world’s most famous tv show custom cars and their creator, George Barris (Batmobile, Munster Koach, etc.). There will be food, music, and car-related merchandise on hand as well. Oh, and did I mention that admission to the show is free?
Way back near the end of the aughts — July of 2009 to be more exact — is when my disenchantment with Metro’s TAP cards began, producing two posts, linked below should you be interested in what a pain in the ass it was:
- And Now A Tutorial On How To “Hack” Yourself To A Metro TAP Card Without Really Trying (Or Ending Up Getting One)
- In Which The TAP Card Saga I Previously Ranted About Comes To A Successful (If Ultimately Doomed) Conclusion
The card’s usage on various bus and rail lines in the interim since had been entirely without incident, until yesterday when I biked downtown to 7th Street to take my first trip on the shiny new Expo Line. The thrill at riding fresh rails into the westside was somewhat buzzkilled when I went to purchase my one-way ticket with my TAP card only to have the machine tell me that it had “expired,” and suggesting I visit a Metro customer service center for assistance.
Though I’m predisposed to some pretty elaborate grousing displays, I kept my outward petulance to a minimum and instead fished out the $1.50 needed for the fare. With ticket in hand I boarded the appropriate train, deciding that I’d bike back up to the Metro customer office on the corner of La Brea and Wilshire to have a representative answer me as to why the fuck does a damn TAP card still loaded with about $13 of my own money expire?
Short answer: So Metro can rip off TAP card-holding riders every three years.
Longer answer after the jump. Oh yeah: and it turns out the card hadn’t expired yet.
I’ve lived in the Hollywood Hills for a while now. Used to be that navigating around the hills was a breeze, slow and easy, like a drive on a country road. Seriously, it was cool.
Not anymore. It’s turned into a crazy, frenetic, traffic-filled, tourist-stopping-in-the-middle-of-the-road-to-take-pictures mess.
In Beachwood Canyon especially. On the overlook up on Mulholland between the obnoxious tour buses, rental cars and hordes of people taking pictures, you take your life in your hands going around the bend. Forget parking laws, people stop suddenly in the street and jump out of their cars blocking traffic, which is a nightmare anyway on the narrow twists and turns. If you ask them kindly to move their car (it is, after all, stopped on a highway on a curve and a true scary traffic hazard) you usually get the finger and some shouting!
Relief may be in sight though.
After many meetings with Councilman Tom LaBonge, and assorted other corporate entities, Google has agreed not to include directions to the area for Hollywood sign seekers anymore. More importantly, most of the major GPS makers (Garmin most specifically) have agreed not to put it in the GPS units that go into rental cars out of LAX and Burbank airport.
It will be interesting to see in this age of people not looking on maps if this helps.
Now, if we could just find a way to eliminate the tour buses. Which are illegal and not supposed to drive (weight limits) on these streets!
Hello traffic control: Want to write some easy tickets? Just hang up there on any sunny day and wait! Tour bus after illegal tour bus will be stop as will lots of illegally parked cars!
I’m not always successful, but whenever I’m biking around Los Angeles, I try to return a way different from whatever way I came and/or devote a little bit of my rides to exploring someplace new and/or at least revisiting an area I hadn’t been through in a while. Such was the case yesterday coming back to Silver Lake from a trip out to SPCALA headquarters near the Jefferson Park community that I ventured up through the Pico-Union area from Hoover, and made two discoveries.
The first is the hole-in-the-wall bakery pictured at right, seen just as I crossed Washington Boulevard. Looking up I spied that yellow banner hanging outside a Panaderia for the Bicycle Bread Company (BBC). While it’s true I hadn’t been on Union in about six months, unless this place opened during that time than I was guilty of never seeing it before. Because if I had seen it I most certainly would’ve stopped and bought something, given much I like bikes. And bread.
Sure enough: guilty. According the the BBC website it’s been in business since 2009. Also according to the website they’re hours in that space are limited to 5-8pm on Thursdays, but I apparently got both lucky and over-charged in that the place was open and I was able to come away with a one-pound round loaf of BBC’s cinnamon raisin whole grain sold by the panaderia owner for $5 (apparently there’s a hidden 25% commission surcharge above the $4 per-loaf price listed on the BBC website). Thankfully that extra dollar dinged didn’t detract from the absolute homemade milled-on-site scrumptiousness of the bread.
A little bit more about the BBC as well as a great mural found up the street, plus a bonus Victorian that surprised me after the jump.
Sunday I ventured out to the Fabulous Fords Forever car show. Among the cars there was this recently wrecked Mustang in a “cast” for anyone to sign. First time I’ve ever seen that at a car show or on the streets. Pretty clever. Hope it gets it fixed soon without much hassle. Click to embiggen the image.
You’d think I live in Pasadena given how often I post about the place, I don’t, but they always have something of interest going on. This Saturday its the 10th Annual Pasadena Earth and Arts Festival to be held in and around the Armory Center for the Arts across from Memorial Park. Here’s the run down of things that will be at this FREE festival:
- huge eco-market place with exhibitors private and public helping you to live green
- The Green Truck and Coolhaus food trucks for sustainable noshing
- First ever sustainable beer garden with a biodegradable “little red cup” featuring the beer from Craftsman Brewing Company and Eagle Rock Brewery
- Fallen Fruit will be there with its jam making wisdom. Feel free to bring in your found fruit from public spaces or your own back yard.
For gawds sake take public transpo to the Gold Line and exit Memorial Park Station…you’ll be right at the park and only a very short walk to the Armory Center. Show your metro pass or ticket at the Transportation Booth and they will have a gift for you…well a gift as long as the supply lasts. Beats the difficulty in finding parking in the area which can be expensive when you do find a space and don’t forget that PPD does patrol hard for scofflaws.
Details:Saturday April 14, 2012 11AM-5PM, 145 Raymond Street, Pasadena CA, MAP HERE
This promises to be an interesting event this coming Saturday on the steps of City Hall in Pasadena. The folks at Clean Vehicle Rebate Project and the city of Pasadena are sponsoring the fair and it is free and open to everyone.
The EV Fair will feature a number of vehicles for test drives and on static display. As of now I have confirmed that a Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Toyota Prius Plug-In and CODA will be available for attendees to experience at the event. (
Unfortunately Ford dealerships have not quite received the all-electric Focus so the dealers will not be participating. They are, however, working with Ford to provide a Focus EV for the event). UPDATE 3/29 Ford will have a new Focus EV at the event. They will also have a number of electric vehicle charging equipment providers at the event displaying products and providing information on home installation). Read the rest of this entry →
Go ahead, call me a train geek, I won’t deny it. While biking toward downtown along Exposition Boulevard yesterday, I got my camera out just in time to catch a brand spankin’ new Expo Line train on the move eastbound (raced by a hearse of all things). The line is not yet open to the public and there is yet a firm date set as testing of it continues, but this was sure a purty sight to see.
UPDATE (3.23): Streetsblog Los Angeles reports that an April 28 opening date for the Expo Line has been announced!
If you love old British sports cars and motorcycles this is the show for you. This show brings in a more than a few classic British cars and cycles in various states of repair and restoration. There is even a “auto jumble” (swap meet) full of parts and stuff to repair and customize your own car.
Do you have an old British car or cycle you’d love to show? If so visit them and register to show online here.
This is a FREE event for spectators.
Last year the show went on in the rain, looks like this year promises to be wet early in the day so its hard telling if the “show will go on” or not. My guess is that it will go on regardless.
Deets: Sunday 3/18/2012 9AM-4PM. Queen’s English,(626) 797-4221, Woodley Park, Van Nuys CA MAP HERE.
On the final day of its journey from Riverside County to its new home at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, I opted to bike down to South Los Angeles with my friend Joni because we’re a couple of those kook types who thought it would be da schist to pull a literal all-night “boulder dash” and follow the 340-ton rock along the entire length of the last 10.5 miles to the museum. Call it Levitated Mass Transit.
Your enthusiasm may vary, but the trek was a total once-in-a-dozen-lifetimes blast. And while its moment of arrival in front of LACMA at 4:30 a.m. was cause for celebration among the hundreds gathered in attendance, for me the most dramatic moment happened above in Exposition Park at the bend in Figueroa Street just south of Exposition Boulevard when the 200-foot long, three-lane-wide transport vehicle had to negotiate its first turn of the night, and its right front corner came within what looked to be less than an inch of making contact with a speed limit sign. As the spotter says to me at the end, “If you’ve got a half-inch, you’ve got a mile.”
Gneissly and successfully avoided.
I spotted this PINK fur covered bike in Santa Monica yesterday afternoon near the Promenade. I loved this bike, totally impractical but so expressive. I stuck around a bit for the owner to find out the why’s and how’s but unfortunately I had to split for a meeting before they showed.
Pretty Terrific stuff there.
The 2012 edition of my Watts Happening Ride took place this past picture-perfect Saturday, and it was my complete pleasure to share the following landmark people, places and events I’ve discovered there with the 28 cyclists who joined me:
- The last residence of jazz great Jelly Roll Morton
- The childhood home of Nobel Prize Winner Ralph Bunche
- The location of the 1969 Black Panthers shootout
- The Hotel Dunbar, centerpiece of the Historic Central Avenue Jazz Corridor
- The location of the 1974 SLA shootout
- The actual fictional location of the Sanford and Son Salvage Yard
- The Watts Towers of Simon Rodia
- The location of the incident setting off the 1965 Watts Riots
- The home of Eula Love, killed by police in 1979 as a result of a past-due gas bill dispute
- The motel where legendary singer Sam Cooke was killed
- The flashpoint of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots
- The location of Wrigley Field, demolished in 1966.
Unfortunately, the above annotated timelapse video abruptly ends at the third-to-last location we visited, leaving me to discover that I need to get a bigger memory card if I want to capture the entire 33-mile, six-hour tour on camera the next time — and there will be a next time. I hope you’ll join me.