Category Archives: Hollywood

This video needs to go viral and L.A. County Sheriff officer involved needs to be fired

Photographer “discarted” whom I have at least heard of, had a really unfortunate run in with an L.A County Sheriff on the Red Line. Watch the video and try to hold your lunch down. The Sheriff quickly jumps from civility to hostility and accuses the photographer of being a terrorist and stops short accuses him of being an Al Qaeda operative out to blow up the L.A. Subway system.  Next thing we know the dude is cuffed and carted away.  For taking pictures.

Devils advocate for a moment.  When I’ve been asked what I’m doing with a camera I explain its personal use, artistic use and am usually left alone.  Maybe if he answered the same this would not have escalated the way it had?  Regardless of what he could have done differently CrimeScene blog reports the ACLU is involved and suing L.A. County Sheriff over this.

The core of “discarteds” innocence lies in the “Photographers Bill of Rights“.  I carry a copy in my camera bag just in case.

Because It’s Not Everyday You See Kent Twitchell Working Out There

Coming back from the Hollywood Home Depot yesterday afternoon, my wife Susan and I opted for surface streets back to Silver Lake instead of the backed-up southbound 101, and boy am I glad we did. Heading east on Fountain I looked south as we passed Kingsley Drive to find none other than renowned and prolific muralist Kent Twitchell doing some touch-up refreshment work to his 1971 Strother Martin Monument mural. With Susan understanding my OMG as we went around the block to pull up across the street from him, I got out and went pretty much total fanboy, interrupting him apologetically to gush about what an honor it was for me to see him in action, and get a picture of him:

Twitchell At Work

I asked him if there was any hope of restoring the Ed Ruscha mural that had been despicably painted out in 2006 (and for which he ultimately settled a lawsuit in 2008 for a reported $1.1 million). He said he hoped for its return but that it would be put up in a different location.

The one mural of his also unceremoniously destroyed whose return I’ve long hoped for is his two-story cool-as-ice-blue Steve McQueen Monument, painted the same year as the one above.

Continue reading Because It’s Not Everyday You See Kent Twitchell Working Out There

Yo Gabba Gabba show @ Meltdown Comics

Yo Gabba Gabba @ Meltdown Comics
Yo Gabba Gabba @ Meltdown Comics

Yo Hipsters, Comic Book Nerds & Alcoholics Anonymous Members (you know who you are)… if you fall into one of these categories, then make sure to clear your Friday night to check out the opening reception of “Here is my Art” A Yo Gabba Gabba Gallery Show at Meltdown Comics on Sunset.

Curated by Julia Vickerman, the art director & co-creator of Yo Gabba Gabba! This show pulls together work from the likes of Christian Jacobs, Leslie Hall, Mark Mothersbaugh, Parker Jacobs, Brandon Bird, Jesse Ledoux, Charlyne Yi, Carlos Ramos, Deanna Rooney, Joel Fox, Kali Fontecchio, Myke Chilian, Dylan Sprouse, Joel Trussell, Erin Pearce, Kevin Sukho Lee, Julia Vickerman & David Wain. Which takes care of the hipsters who love the show & the comic book nerds who’ve followed the careers of several of these artists…

And for the alcoholics & those in recovery alike, the adorable duo of Alie & Georgia will be on hand whipping up a Yo Gabba Gabba cocktail which will be sure to surprise, tingle and amaze your taste-buds.

So mark it in your calendar.

Friday, June 3rd
7pm – 10pm

Meltdown Comics
7522 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 851-7223

Cinespia Looks Back at 10 – With Reruns

Cinespia at 10

Cinespia. Classic films, under the stars, on the hallowed grounds of Hollywood Forever Cemetery. It is an experience that is unrivaled in a city that is chock-full of things to do.

So why the reruns?

for our tenth season, cinespia will be bringing back some of our favorite movies from past seasons

Checking the schedule so far, I’ve already seen two of the films at cinespia in the past 5 years, and a third has been shown by the LA Conservancy at a recent Last Remaining Seats. So what gives?

I know that many of cinespia’s patrons are returning customers. And some of those patrons probably go to LRS as well. (Can we cross-check our screening calendars, please?) With such a short season and so many films from which to choose, I find this baffling. Especially in Hollywood. And especially when cinespia asks fans to make screening suggestions on their own Facebook page.

I’m still going to go. It’s still my favorite thing on Earth. But, I am very, very disappointed.

Vertigo? Again?

WTF – The Chinese Theater sold???

[Sorry, too angry to dig for a CC photo]

I realize the world will end anyway on May 21st, but The Hollywood Reporter is, well, reporting that Grauman’s Chinese Theater is being sold and we should Expect Some Changes once their deal closes on May 20th.

Bull SHIT, sez me!

There’s a Facebook page to save it but everybody knows what that’s worth.

I’m not completely clear if they’re only getting the Mann Chinese 6 at Hollywood and Highland, or if the rumor that the developers are “considering turning the theater, which has 1,152 seats, into a nightclub,” is anything more than that, but still.

Really? The Chinese Theater? It’s not IT enough for you?

The Chinese is on all the historic registries, but developers (and Samaha in particular) are notorious for moving forward with their nefarious agendas and hoping no one will notice until it’s too late (Yes I Mean You out there bulldozing Johnnie’s Broiler).

Let’s not let this get swept under the rug, Angelenos!

What’s a Veg*n to Do? Doomie’s!


Doomie's Veg*n Restaurant

In light of yesterday’s mention of a possible Pure Luck shutdown, and the fact that Madeleine Bistro is closing its doors, I thought it might be nice to offer something happier for vegetarian/vegan (veg*n <– yeah I just figured that one out) Angelenos. And like any good veg*n restaurant, this one’s a great find for omnivores, as well.

guard dog
Eats fingers != vegan

Doomie’s could easily go overlooked, situated as it is in the far corner of a strip mall on Fountain, just off Vine. The parking is a little weird, too, as the lot is valet only, and you have to use the Vine entrance if you want to park in the lot. With a little bit of good parking karma last night, we managed to snag a spot on Fountain and make our way past the vicious finger-eating cone-sporting puppy dog guarding the door to the place.

Doomie’s (FB | twitter) has a varied sort of a southern, comfort-food type menu, ranging from down home fried chicken or pot roast with mashed potatoes to pulled pork sandwiches, chili cheeseburgers, or nachos. Everything is vegetarian, and all of the cheese items on the menu can be substituted for vegan cheese. Last night they were out of pot roast and deep-fried avocado – but don’t rely on their rarely-updated 86 list on the wall for that kind of information, get the scoop from your server. (It seems maybe the list of 86ed items is too high on the wall to update regularly…?)

pulled "pork" w/ mac n cheese
pulled "pork" w/ mac n cheese

Being somewhat a creature of habit, I’ve had the pulled pork sandwich (served with mac and cheese) both times I’ve been to Doomies. My friend Colinski is a fan of the Clam Chowder in a breadbowl, which seems to be a special offering based on availability. Probably the most exciting meal at the table was the fried chicken, which pretty much everyone had to try. It was downright uncanny in its pure comfort deliciousness, and it even included a wooden “bone” for the sake of verisimilitude. We surmised that “the deep fryer is the great equalizer.” Another friend ordered the chili cheeseburger, and much like my own experience with the chili fries on my previous visit, he remarked that the chili is more like chili sauce than actual chili, being mostly liquid. Still, everyone seemed to be pretty happy with their meals, and a couple of us even saved room for dessert: deep fried oreos!!

So if you find yourself in Hollywood looking for something delicious, check out Doomie’s. It may not be able to perfectly fill the gap left by other good veg*n joints closing down, but it will certainly help you forget it for a few hours anyway.

left - chili cheeseburger, right - fried chicken
left - chili cheeseburger, right - fried chicken

Arsonist at large in Los Feliz

Corner of Franklin and Vermont about 12:15AM, 4/29/11

Someone was Lighting a String of Trashcan Fires late Thursday Night / Early Friday Morning

I took the picture to the right myself. Firetrucks were already on the way, and in fact, already in the area, as this was at least the third trashcan fire lit.

I felt slightly guilty snapping the pic, like I should have done something more, but my Android doesn’t have a “Fire Extinguisher” App, and I really didn’t have that much water on me at the time.

“I.C.M.E.” indeed. Eyewitness account after the jump.

Continue reading Arsonist at large in Los Feliz

Tiki-Ti’s 50th Anniversary

If you’ve never had a bar full of hipsters chant “TORO TORO TORO” whilst you chug a crazy concoction of fruit & tequila, then now’s the perfect chance to visit a great Los Angeles institution. Opened in 1961 by an exotic cocktail mixologist Ray Buhen, Tiki-Ti served up traditional Polynesian drinks to the likes of Marlon Brando, Burt Rynolds & Jack Palance. Now with over 86 different cocktails on their menu, Ray’s son & grandson Michael and Mike Buhen carry on his legacy at one of the last classic neighborhood tiki bar.

For such a small bar, they do have a lot of little quirks… like their opening hours/days. Regulars know that you have to check their calendar before making the trek out, since the Buhen’s keep all their concoctions “in the family,” whenever they decide to take a little vacay, their bar shuts down. It’s also cash only, which for many card toting Angelino’s causes a problem… but never fear as they are stocked with an ATM in the back. And finally, smoking? I thought that was outlawed? Apparently not when the location is owner operated… no employees to worry about.

So come out Tomorrow to celebrate their 50th Anniversary! The Flatiron Truck will be there from 4-10pm providing bites of deliciousness to pair with outrageous cocktails! They will also have a Tahitian inspired menu serving Poisson Cru and free Coconut Cupcakes.

4427 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 669-9381

Random Acts of Staggering Kindness in the Big City.

Found in Google Search for "Good Friday," labeled for reuse. Click for photographer's websiteHappy Good Friday/Earth Day. For all of you Jaded City Dwellers, here’s to let you know there’s still some simple human kindness amid the concrete.

So, in the midst of my running around today, I opted to stop at Trader Joe’s. I swung into the one on 3rd and LaBrea on my way back across town.

On a Side Note – Had I not needed a few items, I’d have avoided the area entirely, and I’d advise you do the same; there is crazy construction going on near there that will tie up traffic for the next month or so. Through May 23rd, I believe.

Anyway, I circle my way through the store, gather my few things, drink a dixie cup of coffee, try out a Latka with applesauce, and I come across that rare and beautiful thing: an open checker with no line. Awesome. (It always makes me a little suspicious, like ample free parking – I always think there must be some mistake.)

The checker and I are having a nice banter, trading ideas on making quick dinners out of the things in my basket, and he rings me up for a total of about 18 bucks. I reach for my wallet and … I don’t have my debit card on me. Oh, Crap. I have all of about two bucks in cash.

“OK, I’m sorry, but we have a problem,” I say, “I’m embarrassed, really. I don’t have my card on me for some reason. I so sorry, man. I must have taken it out at home, or something.” The clerk’s totally cool about it, I check my other pockets, kinda shrug sheepishly, apologize again, and make to leave, when I hear a voice.

“You don’t have any dough?” I hadn’t even seen the guy get in line behind me. “Don’t worry about it, I’ll cover you.”


The thought went through my mind in the kind of stunned silence before I found the wherewithal to speak. “What? No. That’s ridiculous, thank you, but I just forgot my card, I can come back. That’s very nice, but … Thank You, I’m okay…”

He would not be dissuaded, “No, it’s fine, it’ll come back around to me, it’s Good Friday, it’s no problem, I insist. Pay it back down the road, it’s all good…”

He walked over to grab some paper products, past the clerk, told him to add it to his stuff and then started giving him his things to ring up. I protested again, but he would not relent.

The clerk and I were stunned. Should I have protested a bit more and ultimately refused? Possibly. Frankly, and I mean this, it really kind of dazed me. So, still stunned, I thanked him profusely, shook both their hands and walked out the door. Outside was a woman collecting for a Homeless Charity, I stuffed that last two bucks of mine into the collection box and asked her to have a nice weekend. I drove home slack jawed, and started writing this post.

So, Hey Man, where ever you are, Thank You. I hope to not only pay your kindness forward, at some point, or whatever the phrase is, but I hope in so doing I can truly brighten and astound someone’s day in the way you did mine. I’m not even sure entirely what Good Friday is, or is meant to be about, but you’ve certainly made an impression on me about it. Lord knows my history with it is slightly checkered.

Here’s to keeping that Spirit of Kindness alive no matter the date, time or reason. (or denomination.)

Thanks Again, Man.

CicLAviawesome Is Back

I’ve come to consider last October’s inaugural CicLAvia something of the Los Angeles cycling community’s Woodstock, both in the fact that it was a defining and shining moment for our city and also because as the years go by I get the feeling that a lot more people are going to say they were there than actually were.

Whether you were or you weren’t a part that street party spanning between East Hollywood and Boyle Heights, your chance to get out and enjoy the second CicLAvia is imminent. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Sunday, April 10, the same 7.5-mile route as the first one will be closed to vehicular traffic and open to all manner of self-propellers. Be it bike, skateboard or just your feet you really should set aside some time to soak up what is such a unique and sensational experience.

Here’s a slightly remodeled version (higher res with an original soundlayer I created with the iPhone Bloom app) of the timelapse I made during part of my CicLAvia’ings from Boyle Heights back to East Hollywood:


Fun with your Banana on Sunday

No, its not that kind of fun, rather a fun little flash mob scene at the Hollywood and Highland shopping center. The folks over at GuerilLA have it all planned out.  Bring your banana and pretend its a cell phone.  Talk into it, text with it, take pictures with it, do what ever you do with a cell phone with it.   The Mission starts at the Orange Court Sunday 2/13 at 1:20 and ends promptly at 1:40.  All the details you could want are on their FB page HERE.

This is also a mass transit friendly event as you can take the Red Line to the Hollywood/Highland stop, and it is also a Metro hub.  Beats traffic and parking hassles.

Hollywood Farmers Market Fate Remains a Question Mark

The fate of the Hollywood Farmers’ Market at Selma and Ivar is still one big question mark, as aptly symbolized by the market’s homepage.  As you recall, the market is in a turf war with the LA Film School: the school specifically wants the market off of the Ivar section between Selma and Sunset so it can access one of its three disconnected parking structures on Sundays; the market says doing so will unacceptably chop off one of its vital arms.  Until now, the market was operating on a week-to-week basis, but, after something akin to a summit between all interested parties on Thursday, the city “verbally committed” to giving SEE-LA (the non-profit arm that operates the market) a 90-day extension on its street closure permit.  Accordingly, the market can continue to operate as-is for the next three months.  During this reprieve, both sides will do their homework: SEE-LA will “work with the Department of Transportation to research alternative market layouts on adjacent streets, […] and could present the opportunity for the market to expand” while the film school “will consider construction options to connect its parking structures and provide access to their facilities 24/7.”

As it turns out, there are others outside the film school interested in seeing the market move from its current location at Selma and Ivar.  During a KCRW discussion on the dispute, Hollywood Property Owners Alliance president Kerry Morrison pointed out that the farmers’ market moved into Hollywood some 20 years ago when there was not a whole lot going on in the area.  Now, the “renaissance of Hollywood has breathed life into different pockets” of the area, including the market’s current location.  “How long can this market continue to survive in a economically vital area?”  she asked.  She then suggested that the market move to, uh, help? bring about a renaissance in other parts of Hollywood:  “[T]here are pockets of Hollywood that would benefit, and could really thrive, with the revitalization of having vendors and pedestrians and just life on a Sunday morning.”  This brings up the question of what, exactly, is the role of a farmers’ market in our community, and whether we all should invest in the idea of a nomadic market, one that moves every few years once its function as an ad hoc gentrifier is completed.

After talking about the market’s role in revitalizing the Hollywood area, she noted (as the film school has, in other outlets) that the school invested some $65 million in Hollywood.  This is something I suppose we to feel very grateful for, so let’s all thank the film school.  Now, if this post were a script, that statement would be followed by a bracketed direction right about here:


Other interesting tidbits from the discussion: the Jack-in-the Box at Ivar and Sunset also is against the market’s permit renewal.  Unless it really does work something reasonable out, then, the city is in a tricky position of restricting fast food restaurants in South LA with the intent to force feed residents market fresh food on one hand, and having to accomodate a fast food restaurant’s demands to shut down a source of market fresh food on the other.

After all this fear and protest about the market as we know it being shut down or truncated, wouldn’t it be a little ironic if this whole situation actually gave the market a chance to expand, with the inclusion of more vendors and the ability to accommodate more people, as Morrison suggested, and as SEE-LA referenced in its announcement?   Market supporters were close to throwing heirloom tomatoes at the film school for its terrible performance in handling this situation; nonetheless, if we do end up with a bigger, better market, well, it will be school that we’ll have to credit.  Better hold on to those tomatoes, for now.

Update on the Hollywood Farmers’ Market Closure

More on the fast-approaching closure of the Hollywood Farmers’ Market, or at least part of it: per KTLA, the issue really is a turf war.  Which is horrible: I would like to think that if a major farmers’ market like the Hollywood one were to shut down, it would be for a better reason than parking.  C’mon, parking, really?  The LA Film School wants access to its parking lot on Ivar (between Sunset and Selma – a huge chunk of the market), which is blocked every Sunday for 9 hours by the market.  Accordingly, it asked the city to deny the markets’ permit renewal to operate on the street.  The market as we know it has been operating at Selma and Ivar for 20 years; according to SEE-LA, the non-profit that runs the market, up to 10,000 people shop at the market every week.

Apparently, very few decisionmakers at the film school shop at the market and realize what a gem it is.  Or, they don’t really care either way.  According to a school official who spoke to LA Weekly: ​”The school has seen incredible growth,” Ibrahim says. “And the weekends are big. Students don’t have class on those days, but they use those labs for their projects … and you’ve got to include visitors on those days.”

…right.  According to SEE-LA, “If the City follows through, most of the Sunday market vendors on Ivar Avenue between Selma Ave. and Sunset Blvd. – about 1/2 of the farmers – could be denied space to operate, or may be shifted to a new, not-yet-determined location less convenient or less safe than their current placement.”  Both SEE-LA and KTLA note a domino effect for other markets in the area if the Hollywood one is forced to shut down.  Many of the vendors make the most income at Hollywood; “with the loss of that income, 7 other smaller farmers’ markets in low income areas like Watts, Crenshaw, South Central, Echo Park, East Hollywood and Atwater Village that are supported by the Hollywood Farmers’ Market could also be forced to close.”  The repercussions, then, reach far beyond just Hollywood.

The LA Film School started in 1999, and one can make a reasonable argument that the school is an important part of the community as well.  That’s just to be fair.  After all, as the official in the LA Weekly story pointed out, the school has a student enrollment of some 1,500 — a fraction of whom, I’ll add, would like to have parking access on Sundays.  Starting at 8am.  So, given the balance of justice here, you’d think there would be some sort of utilitarian argument in favor of allowing the market to operate as it does, once a week, on Sundays. Or, you’d think there would be something about how possession-is-nine-tenths-of-the-law working in the market’s favor, because they were there before the film school.  Alas, I guess they don’t teach the tenets of John Stuart Mill in film school.

On Sunday, market volunteers gathered over 3,400 signatures to object to the closure (this would be over two times the number of students enrolled at the film school), and another petition drive will circulate if necessary.  Councilman Eric Garcetti also is intent on keeping on the market alive as is; as he tweeted this evening, “We love HFM and have worked way too hard to support it financially and with city help. Working hard to resolve legal issues. Thx!”  For now, the market will operate as it does for the next month as the permit issues are ironed out.  Ideally, during this month, more and more people will knock some reason into the film school’s classrooms.

To stay updated on the fate of the market, email your contact information to info [at]  farmernet [dot] com.  And, you can like, really, really like a Facebook page that popped up overnight to support the market here.  I can almost guarantee you that will be a billion times more effective than changing your profile picture to somehow raise child abuse awareness.

“Souper Mix” photo by Lucyrk in LA via the Blogging LA Flickr pool.

Comedy Zen: Jokes of Fury features funny, multicultural comedians


A one night only comedy showcase– Comedy Zen— features some of the funniest and finest multicultural comedians working today. While some of the headliners are from out of town, I’m especially excited about Steven Ho, a Hollywood stuntman you may recognize from Conan O’Brien’s show(s) when he was on NBC.

  • Come see why Steven Ho was the most booked guest on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. He is a professional stuntman at the A-List level working with stars like Tobey Maguire, Brad Pitt, and Leonardo Dicaprio.
  • Joe Wong hails from Boston and was a scientist researching answers for the mysteries of the field. Then he discovered stand up and has never looked back. Joe is the “All American Immigrant.” Even though some Asians might find him to be a novelty act for the white man, we give him full support as an artist mastering a difficult craft, which is the art of laugh inducing. Joe has taken command of this and his appearance on Letterman or the Presidential dinner invitation is proof of this.
  • Jay Phillips was one of VARIETY Magazine’s 10 COMICS TO WATCH and his recent film credits include the #1 weekend opener SEMI-PRO opposite Will Ferrell, PROM NIGHT with Brittnay Snow, and BABY MAMMA opposite Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. His stand-up credits include Def Comedy Jam, The Late Show, and Lafapalooza. You can see him at

Hosted by Hasan Minhaj, comedian, actor, and writer based in Los Angeles, portions of all shows will be going to the American Lung Association. There will be one show on Friday, December 3, 2010 (at 8:30pm) and will be held at the Downtown Independent Theater (251 S. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90012). Tickets are $20, but 8Asians (another site I contribute to) is doing a ticket giveaway.