What A Novel Concept!

April 16, 2004 at 7:54 am in Uncategorized

cahbranch.jpg So I’ve lately been itching to read “The Da Vinci Code” but not so itching to fork over any of my hard-earned Di Nero for Da Pleasure. I also wasn’t really eager to do the crapshoot that comes with traipsing around to the various city library branches (such as the Cahuenga Branch, pictured, on Santa Monica a couple blocks east of the Vermonica installation Cybele profiles below) hoping a copy would be available. So first I paid a visit to the Los Angeles Public Library website a couple weeks ago to peruse its online catalog and minimize my traipsing options by finding out who had what and where. Turns out at that time the closest branch with a copy was in that distant and foreign place known as Canoga Park. But I didn’t care how good a story it might tell, CP was a mountain range too far to go.

But ho! Little did I know (and pardon me for surely being way behind the times on this; hopefully I’m not the last person in town to discover it) that our city’s glorious public library system allows you to reserve a book online so that once it becomes available at the branch of your choosing they dial your digits and tell you to come on down!

Somewhat skeptical, I personally inaugurated this feature and sure enough the call came yesterday alerting me that the Cahuenga Branch had my copy ready and waiting, which I picked up after work without a hitch. Looks like the beginning of a beautiful symbiosis.

Need a good laugh?

April 15, 2004 at 10:42 pm in Uncategorized

Go read LA Observed right now. This is part of a letter being discussed:

LA.com, for instance, is more of a hybrid magazine and city guide than just a guide. It has a fresh, opinionated editorial voice (they hired a veteran style reporter as editor in chief) and delivers new information around the clock…it even has a blog, LA.COMfidential. The goal is to have people visit not just when they’re planning a trip or a night out, but on a regular basis to get their LA.com “fix.”

LA.com’s president, Lynda Keeler, and editor in chief, Laurie Pike, will be in New York next week, April 21-23. Would you be interested in meeting with them? They can give you a “tour” of LA.com and explain what they’re doing to make LA.com “relevant.” They can also tell you about some other online city guides they think are getting it right.

As if the letter itself isn’t good enough, it was sent to the Los Angeles bureau chief at Forbes.com who, like all Los Angeles bureau chiefs, is based IN Los Angeles, not NY. Damn that’s funny.

Back On The Air America

April 15, 2004 at 10:33 pm in Uncategorized

Follow up to Robert’s earlier post: Yahoo is reporting that Air America will be back on the air in LA and Chicago shortly:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A New York judge ordered the owner of two radio stations on Thursday to put the 2-week-old, liberal radio network known as Air America back on the air.

MultiCultural Radio Broadcasting Inc, which owns radio stations in Chicago and Los Angeles, pulled the plug on Air America on Wednesday. MultiCultural’s owner, Arthur Liu, told the Chicago Tribune the radio network “bounced a check” and was in default.

Air America, which leases radio stations in 16 cities, filed a complaint in New York State Supreme Court demanding it be restored to the air and compensated.

Judge Marilyn Diamond issued a temporary restraining order on the condition that Air America post a $156,000 bond. The judge will hold a hearing on the dispute on Monday.

“We won the first round. We’ll be back on the air sometime before the end of the day on Friday,” Air America Chairman Evan Cohen said.


April 15, 2004 at 5:03 pm in Uncategorized

Von Iva!Months upon months ago, I saw Von Iva at Spaceland. They went on unannounced when Low Flying Owls cancelled. I don’t know Low Flying Owls, but good lord, did Von Iva kick ass.

Since then, I have haunted the band’s site waiting for the announcement of another L.A. gig. As it happens, Von Iva will be appearing at M Bar, 1253 N. Vine, this very Saturday night. M Bar’s site isn’t particularly helpful from a scheduling point of view, so I gave them a call. That was even worse. But after insisting that the band, at least, seemed to have the gig scheduled, I was put on hold, asked to give my number for a callback and, in an uncharacteristic move for a nightclub, actually did receive a callback. The verdict? Von Iva goes on at 10 p.m.

I’ve never been to M Bar, but Daily Candy seems to like it. (I’ve never known a publication, on- or offline, to use the royal “We” quite as much.) Anyhoo, I’ll be there. Early. So I can find a big, cushy seat. I’m inclined to rock reclined.

Cleanliness is next to Mall-liness.

April 15, 2004 at 3:50 pm in Uncategorized

Every time I visit the shiny new West Hollywood Gateway at Santa Monica and La Brea, I’m transfixed by this bizarre sign that hangs in the courtyard area. Is there a new variation on the urban redevelopment scheme that includes free showers? Is it an attempt to make the local homeless population more palatable? Whatever the reason, I want my free shower and I want it now!

I've got the power!

April 15, 2004 at 2:00 pm in Uncategorized

Tuesday night I was in need to some serious boozin so myself and Mr. R.G. Fogarty headed down the street to one of our favorite dive bars in Hollywood. The Powerhouse! It’s about half a block north of Hollywood Blvd on Highland. Directly across the street from the overpriced bowling alley “Lucky Strike” and the utterly annoying Ryan Seacrest show. They have cheap beer. An amazing jukebox and darts. It’s all about the darts! Usually we get there early enough to juke-block the entire evening but missed the window that night so we were tortured by the Bon Jovi and Prince tunes. But the darts are all important. Celeb sighting of the night was “Angel” actor Christian Kane playing darts with his friend at the board next to us for pretty much the entire evening. Too bad he’s in a Country band. Evil! If you aren’t scared of clown art and crappy beer add it to your dive-tastic list.

A Milkshake with My Sharona

April 15, 2004 at 1:19 pm in Uncategorized

Tonight from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. is karaoke night at the Mel’s Drive-In on Highland. A friend of mine hosts the weekly event, but I must add this disclaimer: Mel’s is a very strange place for a karaoke night. The performers are positioned inside the U-bend of the bar facing the front door, so folks sitting at the bar get an up-close and personal experience, plus the wait staff often has to move around them to take orders or retrieve cutlery from the bins under the counter. Combine this with the fact that the seating at Mel’s on Highland doesn’t lend well to seeing anything except the people you are dining with, and you have a recipe for weird.

Still, it’s my understanding that this particular karaoke night is very popular with the post-bar crowd, allowing them the opportunity for a drunken chorus of “I Will Survive” and a coupla patty melts.

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Adultcon 6

April 15, 2004 at 2:19 am in Uncategorized

UPDATE: I had a major brain fart. Adultcon 6 takes place on Sunday, May 16th. My bad!

WARNING: All links except for the first one in this post are NSFW.

Coinciding with the news earlier this week in the porn industry that a male pornstar has tested HIV positive, this Sunday is Adultcon 6 at the Marriott Hotel in Woodland Hills from 2:00 PM-8:00 PM, with a post convention party at VIP Showgirls in North Hollywood from 8:00 PM-12:00 AM.

Unfortunately, the roster of porn stars scheduled to be in attendence is extremely lacking in star wattage, especially considering the fact that past attendees have included Jenna Jameson, former gubernatorial candidate Mary Carey, and the hedgehog himself, Ron Jeremy. But that could be an advantage as this Sunday’s convention should be nowhere near as crowded and chaotic as their past conventions.

While there is usually a charge for an autograph, there is no charge to take photos. And if you do go, get ready to be creeped out by the guys taking upskirt shots of the pornstars without the pornstars realizing it. :o


April 14, 2004 at 5:07 pm in Uncategorized

Want a little stroll down memory lane at the office supply store? I stumbled on this display (pretty much literally) on my way to work one day. There, in the middle of a parking lot are two dozen street lights. No two the same. I found them at the corner of Vermont and Santa Monica, known as the Vermonica shopping plaza. (Catty corner from the subway station and down the street from LACC.)

You’ll find a Staples, Rite Aid, a donut shop and various restaurants and shops. And there in the center median of the lot is this odd assemblage. To be honest, I found it rather unattractive at first because they’re such a jumble – if each were set apart or on a street with others of the same type I think they’d shine a bit better. But here they go from ornate to positively pedestrian with little to cleanse the pallette in between.
Read the rest of this entry →

Off The Air America?

April 14, 2004 at 2:03 pm in Uncategorized

According to a report on Drudge posted just now, Air America has been yanked off the air in L.A. and Chicago, reportedly because of bouncing checks. The Smoking Gun has what seems to be an injunction filed by AAR against Multimedia Radio Broadcasting, owners of the stations in question. No word on whether Republican troops are demolishing liberal landmarks around the city. ;) I’m not near a radio at the moment — can anyone confirm or deny?

Update: apparently it is for real. See comments for more info.

Update 2: Sean has posted a followup to the ongoing saga.

Brewery Artwalk This Weekend

April 14, 2004 at 9:31 am in Uncategorized

My resident status at the Brewery compels me to tell you about the fun and fabulous Brewery Artwalk this weekend, April 17 and 18. The Brewery is an artists’ community near downtown Los Angeles, and the Artwalk is held twice a year. Over 100 resident artists will open their studios to the public. You’ll see art from student, up-and-coming, and established artists, in a variety of mediums such as painting, functional metal art, photography, and robots. Robots that breathe fire.

Admission and parking are free, and studios will be open from 11-6 both Saturday and Sunday.

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April 13, 2004 at 4:19 pm in Uncategorized

So every now and then I’ll have someone madly and impatiently tailgating me on the freeway, and it’s in those rare moments of being harassed by such an ass-clown that I take pride in the way that I tell her/him to fuck off: I turn on my windshield wiper jets and leave them on for several seconds.

At the speed with which I’m usually travelling, much of the resulting spray flies directly over my car and goes directly into the ass-clown trailing me. I then look on with absolute glee as the offensive driver then turns on her/his windshield wipers in annoyance. And if s/he is driving a car that’s been freshly washed, well even better! Serves her/him right for being such an idiot.

I don’t know if a friend of mine was joking when he wrote that when he’s been caught in those circumstances, he usually tosses a few peanut M&Ms out of his sunroof and that usually does the trick. Talk about inventive, not to mention obnoxious!

Um, what city are we in?

April 12, 2004 at 11:05 pm in Uncategorized

So I’ve been sporadically listening to Air America, and here’s my question: Why does the LA station – 1580 AM – seem to always be transmitting the New York feed? In the past two weeks I’ve heard about 672 commercials exhorting me to buy tickets for Tim Robbins’ “Embedded” at the Public Theatre (never mind that I couldn’t get tickets when it played at Actors’ Gang). I’ve heard a simulcast of a talk show from 770AM WABC-NY, complete with calls from Chuckie in Clifton and Jerome from the Bronx. I even caught a traffic advisory telling me to avoid the Goethals Bridge while it was being repaved, and to use the Bayonne Bridge instead. I’m keep listening to hear if they’ve suspended alternate side of the street parking.

I’m thinking of going to NYC this weekend, on a fact-finding mission to get to the bottom of this.


April 12, 2004 at 6:44 pm in Uncategorized

On my way to pick up a wee pair of Vans for the newborn son of a skater friend, I ran across Massimo’s Delectables in Culver City. Though not as wee as the aforementioned shoes, it is a very small bakery tucked behind the Vans store at 13222 W. Washington Blvd.

Massimo is from Milan by way of Vancouver, and not only does he bake lots of yummy cookies and cakes, he also makes his own gelato. Aw yeah. Do your sweet tooth a favor and visit either the Washington Blvd. bakery or his cafe at 1029 Abbot Kinney Blvd.

The man gave me a free cookie, which makes him my new hero.

Here’s a (rather old) Los Angeles Magazine review of Massimo’s.

B.la Mystery Photo Contest: / Vol. 1, No. 2

April 12, 2004 at 12:48 pm in Uncategorized

0411mp.jpg Given the underwhelming response to the inaugural edition of this cheesy endeavor, I’m guessing that this week’s mystery pic is going to generate even less interest (if that’s possible), in large part because it’s a much tougher one to EyeDee. In other words, how does that old En Vogue song go? “Never gonna get it / No you’re never gonna get it…” I was beginning to sing that last week until bubblicious Bronwyn chimed in at the last second and correctly answered that the subject of the previous week’s image was located on Myra (just south of the Sunset Boulevard overpass).

Clue: The margarita’s-eye-view image was taken of this statue, which also happens to be identifiable by the street near which it resides , but an historical street where no cars travel. Bonus points if you name the establishment it oversees.

tinytush.jpgRules First one to post a comment most correctly listing the location wins the admiration of the blogging.la readership (or me, whichever’s greater at the time) and a collector’s edition Tush sticker printed with real ink and made with real adhesive. In the event of no one getting it right, the creator of the most entertaining guess will be crowned.