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626 Market Night returns bigger and better at Arcadia’s Santa Anita Racetrack Park

October 19, 2012 at 11:04 am in Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, LA, San Gabriel Valley

The first effort was grand, but it was way to small to handle the crowds.  The second event was in a bigger location but even then it was too small for the crowds it drew.  How to make it even bigger and better?  Score a deal with the folks at Arcadia’s Santa Anita Race track off Huntington Drive.  This event is promised to be big enough to handle any crowd tossed at it.  Add in ample parking (there is no mass transit to there yet) and this is set to be a really fun event without the horrendous waits of the original back in July.

All the deets you could want on their FB page HERE.

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Space Shuttle Endeavour makes its final cross of L.A

October 12, 2012 at 11:24 am in Downtown, Photography, South Side, Transportation

Its happening now, the space shuttle is slowly making the drive to its new home at the California Science Center.

Just my luck I blew out my knee and can’t stalk it as it makes its way to the CSC.  If you had a chance to see it in transit today please feel free to share links to your stuff in the comment section.

Another CicLAvia, Another HandlebarCam Timelapse

October 7, 2012 at 9:14 pm in Biking in LA, Downtown, East Side, Events, South Side, Transportation

Not to take away from the awesomeness of today’s CicLAvia, but there will never be one as supremely magical as the first one, two years ago. Even if it can never be topped, I still get out with my trusty GoPro cam mounted to my handlebar and participate whenever the next edition rolls around, and today’s was no exception.

So without further adieu, here’s the timelapse vid of me riding in from Silver Lake and then casually roll every inch of the 9.5 mile route from MacArthur Park to Exposition Park, back to downtown, then to Boyle Heights, back downtown, then up  into Chinatown and through downtown and to MacArthur Park (about 21 miles total over three hours):

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Did you film or video the Endeavour today?

September 21, 2012 at 8:56 pm in Events, LA, News, Photography, Which Side?

I am pretty amazed by the number of YouTube videos or flickr sets of the shuttle Endeavour’s tour of L.A. today.  Did you post any pics or videos today of the Endeavour?  If so please share the links to them in the comments section.

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Endeavour unites the city for a few moments this morning

September 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm in LA

shuttle endeavor

It was a pretty amazing, pretty much the entire city of L.A. had its eyes to the skies waiting for their glimpse of the shuttle Endeavour as it made its final flight over us.  The anticipation of its arrival started last night when it made its landing at Edwards AFD and the local news was all aflutter with times and locations to view it.

I took the advice of a friend and headed to Altadena to the Gabrielino Trail head at the top of the Arroyo overlooking the JPL campus and the Hahamonga Park.  What a view we had of the area. Gorgeous skies, at least no fog for us up above the Arroyo.  It was hot and sadly I saw at least 3 folks pass out and need ambulances to wheel them out.  The area was jam packed with cars and had gridlocked itself by 11 AM.  L.A. Sheriff had its hands full trying to control the crowds and keep them off the streets. My best guess is that they gave up as they eventually blocked the roads around the trail head and let it fill up with people.  My best guess is that at least 500 folks lined up along  the road over the Arroyo. Read the rest of this entry →

Endeavor Over Silver Lake

September 21, 2012 at 12:24 pm in News, Science, Transportation

I’d originally planned to bike up to the Observatory and hike to the top of Mt. Hollywood for a nice vantage point of the shuttle as it did its Los Angeles flyover this morning, but I instead opted just to park a rickety old adirondack chair up on the apex of our steeply pitched Silver Lake roof and camp out there with a camera. And not fall down.

Low and behold, at high noon, that blessed spacebird flew into view atop her trusty 747 transport and accompanied by two fighter jet escorts and literally arced around my gleeful self as if the pilots  saw me and said to hell with the Observatory let’s give THAT GUY over their in the chair on that roof a treat.

Of course I hastily snapped off a few frames as I sat gape-mouthed in awe of her relative proximity, the best of which is below when she’s west from me across Silver Lake gulch and over the Micheltorena Ridge and banking southeast to go to downtown. Just awesome (click to enlargify):

PS. I also set up a timelapse cam beside me to autosnap me up on the roof snapping the shuttle, after the jump…

Read the rest of this entry →

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I love L.A. updated for the new century

September 21, 2012 at 7:54 am in Entertainment, Events, Music

Hat tip to Anika aka faboomama who tweeted this link just a few minutes ago.  Its “I love LA” updated for the new century.  Worth the view while you wait for our Shuttle viewing as the Endeavor flies over L.A later this morning.

Speaking of the fly-over I’ve to a super secret spot near JPL that I will be watching it from.  Our own Will Campbell is working his way by bike and hike to the Hollywood sign for his viewing.  Where will you be viewing it from?

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Variety hosts Power of Youth

September 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm in Driving, Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, Transportation

Warning the video does drop the f bomb so it isn’t entirely safe for work.

This past weekend I braved the heat (102F at 1 pm) and attended Variety’s Power of Youth at Paramount studios.  This annual event acknowledges young entertainers for their charitable efforts.  This years honoree’s were The Jonas Brothers, Vanessa Hudgens and others.

This was a really fun event with several different corporations there to help with the event.  These corporations all had programs focused on our kids.  Ford was there with practical hands on demos that were a fun way to learn the dangers of distracted driving.  Allstate was there with their “X the Text” program where the kids could sign off on a car promising not to text and drive.  Sony was there hawking their PlayStation with hands on play time at their corner of the event.  Cartoon network was there with the stars of “Regular Show” Rigby and Mordecai were there for photo ops. Read the rest of this entry →

It Caught My Eye: Arts District Angel

September 19, 2012 at 11:19 am in Art, Downtown, ICME, Photography

Because of whatever often-fleeting eye candy I might chance upon when venturing forth into the urban arena, I rarely leave home without some sort of photographic documentation device in hand — and that goes double whenever I find myself in the Arts District south and east of downtown. Case in point, discovered near the 6th Street Bridge and signed by what looks to be “dreb” near her left hip (click to enlargify):

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Was this YouTube video worth being fired over? I think not.

September 12, 2012 at 9:21 am in Entertainment, Music, People, San Gabriel Valley

I’ve watched this story unfold for a few days now and finally got my hands on the video.  Short version is that the off duty lifegaurds at the public pool in El Monte thought it would be fun to make a parody video of “Gangnum Style”.  It was done pretty tastefully as you can see and it doesn’t include any indication it was shot in El Monte let alone at their public pool.

The city powers that be saw it and fired them for misuse of the pool for personal gain. The pool manager was even fired and he didn’t appear in the video.   All done without warning.

They have a facebook page up.  is rumored to have a petition going (I can’t find it though) . Even one of the city council members thinks there should be an investigation and that the firings were done too fast.

What say you on the firings?  Should they get their jobs back?

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Altadena next target for walmartification and not all want it there.

September 11, 2012 at 9:01 am in environment, Politics, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping, Social issues

Sad, but the quest for domination in L.A. is taking place in the unincorporated areas of the county.  The looser regulations make it possible for them move into communities that don’t necessarily want them.  Altadena, the charming community northwest of Pasadena is the next target and so far no one I know there wants them or their stores.

The community is working on getting people educated but I doubt that will change the plans of walmart to put stores there and circumvent the regulations in Pasadena and other cities that keep them from entering their community and destroying their small indy merchants and downtowns.

Like Chinatown, another unique corner of the city is facing the doom that is walmart.

Bamboo Charlie, Rest In Peace

September 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm in Events, News, Obituaries

I was seriously  saddened to read in today’s LA Times that Charles Ray Walker (aka Bamboo Charlie) was found dead August 26. I first learned of him and the wonderful Boyle Heights space he transformed a couple years ago:

From the LA Times story today by Hector Becerra:

What Walker did, over two decades, was turn something grim into a wonderland garden of edibles and toys. He grew fruits and vegetables on bare slopes. He took discarded toys and whimsical signs and decorated terraces and elaborate stairwells he carved out of the dirt. He built a shack, and under the cool shade of a tree, a home entertainment room with a television set and sofa.

I’d always meant to go there and say hello. Now it’s too late for that. Now, all I can do is go and pay my respects.

‘Tis The [Football] Season

September 1, 2012 at 3:12 pm in Pets, Seasonal, Sports

During the course of college football seasons I’m inevitably greeted with several variations on the WTF theme when it’s discovered that this Los Angeles native’s lifelong, rabid and deathless team allegiance isn’t to the Trojans of USC or the Bruins of UCLA, but rather the Crimson Tide of the University of Alabama.

The short answer is that my mother’s an alum. The longer answer is that whilst I was growing up she pretty much worshiped Bama’s legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and thus by familial fanmosis, did I as well. So much so that my dream during high school was to attend Alabama and play for Bryant, but that all fell apart when he retired during my senior year and then died not more than a couple months later.

Since then, through thick and thin I’ve been content to be the Tide’s self-appointed West Coast representative, so to speak. It’s a lonely job. I was pretty much the only one in town cheering them on when they capped their undefeated 1992 season with the National Championship over Miami. I was in the stands at the Rose Bowl in 2000 when they came for a visit and UCLA spanked them but hard. And these last few years I’ve reveled in the glories they’ve achieved under Coach Nick Saban. If you don’t believe I take this shit too seriously just drive by my house during any televised Bama game on Saturdays and I guarantee you won’t have to linger too long until I rumble out an ultra-loud “Rooooolll Tiiiiiiide!” My wife’ll tell you. The neighbors, too.

You’ve probably been wondering  over the last couple paragraphs what does all that have to do with? And the bridge to that answer is after the jump.

The thing is, as a contributor to coming up on almost 10 years now, I’ve ended up on a variety of PR lists. One of the most recent pitches I found in my inbox was for the Dog-E-Glow (Facebook / Twitter) line of LED- embedded pet collars and leashes. More specifically, the email pointed out the company’s brand new licensed College Collection, one of which was — you guessed it: Alabama.

So of course I wrote back a lengthy reply that basically boiled down to “Gimme! Gimme! Roll Tide! Want!” And in exchange for them sending me a Bama collar and leash combo (pictured at right, biggable if clicked), I promised I’d pimp my beloved Ranger by making her game-day ready for the Tide’s season opener this evening (5 p.m., ABC) against Michigan, show her off here (like so below), and spread a little love about the company and the product in case you want one for your pooch.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla-based Dog-E-Glow was founded by dog and outdoors lovers who above all wanted to keep their pets and others’ safe while looking their very best. The collars and leashes come in 12 fashion designs and 48 (and growing) college brands, and feature a flexible LED tube sewn into each ballistic nylon product whose lights are bright, long-lasting and visible for up to 1,000 feet at night. The collars and leashes are weather resistant, fully adjustable, and have two settings: steady and blinking. At the Dog-E-Glow website, the collars sell for $25.99, the leashes $29.99.

Oh and: Roll Tide!

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Get your grub on at the L.A. County Fair

August 31, 2012 at 9:13 am in Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, LA

Chicken Charlies employee

Where to start…maybe the fact that this year Chicken Charlie out did himself, twice? First is a wonderfully spiced shrimp served up with pineapple and rice in a hollowed out pineapple. The second drop dead delicious treat isn’t as healthy as the first. ITS FRIED COOKIE DOUGH. The latter my kids absolutely went nuts over.  The first option, known as Pineapple Express, will only be available at the Chicken Charlie’s outlet at the far west end of Broadway in the park.

I got to go to the Fair’s food preview night the other day, to see all what else I sampled, including BOOZE options you need to make the jump. Read the rest of this entry →

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Comedian Phyllis Diller dies at age 95.

August 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm in News, Obituaries, People

Funny lady and long time Angeleno (Brentwood to be precise) passed away today.  There is a great article in the LA times about her HERE.  There is more on her life HERE in the wiki.

RIP and thanks for all the laughs over the years.

Do turn up the audio on the video as it isn’t that good of a sound quality.