2016 Japanese Car Show and debut of 2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo

For anyone that that thinks an Asian Car Show would be a niche market, think again.  They even charged admission and people lined up for blocks at the Queen Mary yesterday to see it.  A crowd as diverse as all of Los Angeles was there for great cars and a trip down memory lane.  Something some would think not possible when these cars first started selling here in the 60s and 70s given the “buy ‘murican” attitude of the time.  A lot has changed and to say they are mainstream and dominant is an understatement.  Hence this show was also the Los Angeles debut for the 2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo. Continue reading “2016 Japanese Car Show and debut of 2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo”

Sixty-Five More Los Angeles Placenames In Search Of Their Origins

Inspired by Militant Angeleno’s awesome “88 Suburbs In Search Of Their Names” post from last week and equipped with the indispensable “1500 California Place Names” by William Bright, I decided to crack the latter open and see if I couldn’t add to the former’s impressive list of suburbs ‘n stuff. Turns out I could. Some are almost too obvious or well known to mention (Century City? Duh) and some are about as obscure as it gets (Lamanda Park?), but I mention them anyway — and there are a few that are pretty cool (check out the the 220-year-old typo that is Point Dume and the darkness that lurks behind the meaning of “Verdugo”).

So without further to-do, here’s my 65 supplemental places (64 in Los Angeles County and a 471-year-old one just up PCH in Ventura County). Enjoy!

Angeles National Forest: So named in 1908 because the larger part of the forest is within Los Angeles County.

Antelope Valley: Named not for a true antelope, but for the pronghorn (pictured) — the fastest land mammal in the Western Hemisphere — which was once abundant in the state.

Ballona Creek: From the Ballona land grant of 1839; probably a misspelling of Bayona, the name of a town in Spain.

Bel-Air: Named for its developer, Alphonso Bell, in 1923, on the model of French bel air, meaning “fresh air.”

Bouquet Canyon: A misinterpretation of Spanish El Buque, “the ship,” the nickname of a French sailor who settled there.

Brentwood: Named after Brentwood in Essex, England, the ancestral home landowner John Marsh.

Cahuenga Pass: From the Gabrielino village name kawé’nga, probably meaning “at the mountain.”

Canoga Park: Named in the 1890s after Canoga, New York, which was originally a Cayuga (Iroquoian) village.

Castaic: From Ventureño Chumas kashtiq, “the eye, the face”.

Centinela Creek: From the Spanish word for “sentry, sentinel.”

Century City: Named for 20th Century Fox film studios, on the site of which it was built, starting in 1961.

Chatsworth: Named in 1887 after the estate of the Duke of Devonshire in England.

Chilao: Formerly Chileo or Chilleo, a nickname of the herder Jose Gonzales, famous for killing a grizzly bear near here with only a hunting knife. Chil- what? Yeah, me too. It’s primarily a campground area waaay up in the Angeles National Forest.
Continue reading “Sixty-Five More Los Angeles Placenames In Search Of Their Origins”

RIP Cal Worthington

Dude, I moved here and nearly fell over the first time I saw your ad on TV.  It was too funny for words and soon I was watching  just to see what was would be your dog “spot” each time around.  Never, bought a car from you though, being a Valley or SGV dweller you were just a bit far off the beaten track for me.

RIP.  Thanks for all the laughs.

Sometimes it Starts With a Facebook Page

Valley-Westside Rail
You Should Like This

Before The Event That Never Was, I wrote about the need for a rail line along the 405 corridor. I exchanged a few emails with Bart Reed of the Transit Coalition, who shared some insight as to how to get such an important piece of the transit puzzle off the ground (or rather, under.) He said they have been in talks with Los Angeles Council Districts 6 and 11, and that they would begin promoting through social media sites.

The Valley-Westside Rail project is now up on Facebook. You should like it.

I asked Bart how people could get more involved. He said that we need to start by garnering support from neighborhood councils. So, that’s where I began, with a few emails of my own:

This past weekend, the closure of the 405 and the media attention it received resulted in a ripple effect on the entire freeway system. Drivers got lucky. Businesses did not. This further illustrates the need for viable transportation alternatives. Specifically, a more comprehensive regional rail network.

As a contributing author for Blogging.LA, I wanted to get your input on a newly envisioned Metro rail line from the Valley to the Westside, by way of the 405 corridor.

Continue reading “Sometimes it Starts With a Facebook Page”

Reminder: Grand Prix of Long Beach This Weekend

That’s right folks, it’s that time of the year again. Time for gasoline and sunshine….and beer. The 37th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will make it’s way through the streets of Long Beach this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There’s a schedule of events you can check out but I suggest that you do NOT mis the celebrity race on Saturday afternoon as well as the ALMS race immediately after. Sunday will be the main Indy Car race and the culmination of what is to be a great weekend.

It looks like the weather will be perfect too. Sunny and warm, but not hot. I’ll be wearing my sunscreen. If you’ve never been, check out a post I did a couple years ago for OC Metblogs. It gives you a good idea of what to expect each day. I highly suggest you check it out. You can get Friday/Saturday tickets super cheap. Doooo it!

Long Beach Airport: Here’s Looking at You, Kid

For LAers traveling on JetBlue Airways, Long Beach Airport (official initials LGB, not to be confused with sexuality categories) is often the only departure option. I don’t mind that at all. Pulling up to LGB always reminds me of the final scenes of “Casablanca”, which is appropriate given the airport’s extensive history.  For instance, the airport’s main terminal was built in 1941, making it a year older than the release of “Casablanca”, and the airfield itself dates back years earlier. Continue reading “Long Beach Airport: Here’s Looking at You, Kid”