*Running of the Clowns to you who don’t know how to use google translate. Its today. 3PM in the streets and alleys of Old Town Pasadena. Its a parody of the running of the bulls in Spain, only with Clowns so no animals are hurt. I’m not running this year…I’ll be photo and videoing it.
What I can share is that if you want to run be at the Memorial Park Station on the Gold Line prior to 3 PM. Dress all in white with a big red sash just like the bull runners do. When the bull horn sounds prepare to run with the others followed by seriously silly and happy clowns. There are breaks where you’ll walk to catch your breath and safely cross streets. The mile or so loop will end with you buying your own pizza and beer at 800 Degrees Pizza at Colorado and Fair Oaks.
If you just want to witness the fun and silliness just be on Colorado Blvd, between Fair Oaks and Delacy St sometime around 3PM and wait for the runner and clowns to come by and cheer them on.
I can tell you its a ton of fun. I did it as a runner last year along with my daughter. Ending at the now defunct Jake’s basement bar. ITs really a lot of silliness and comraderie…how bad can that be?
Well, I suppose its fitting I write the obit for Fresh &Easy since I announced its arrival here back in May ’07 before they even opened their doors. I’m going to miss these guys. They fit the fickle attitudes of my picky eaters as well as my schedule and budget like no other store ever has in the past. I could always count on them for a good selection of fresh, even organic items at best possible prices.
They weren’t without their growing pains. Cheeky “hybrid parking only” signs meant well but drew the ire of a few. Unions tried to bust them and unionize the workers…who were paid more and had benefits directly from Fresh and Easy at the get go. Some larger grocers didn’t like the self check out and lobbied to have it such that booze had to be checked out by an employee which did put a slow down on the checking out process. In the end it came down to a concept us ‘mericans for the most part didn’t get…food shopped fresh daily, quality preservative free prepared meals, sammy’s and salads to go when you don’t have time to cook in a neighborhood market that killed them. Sad.
I certainly feel for all the employees who suddenly got notice and are now out of a job…at the worst possible time of the year to find a new job.
Today I went through the Duarte store. The up to 30% off wasn’t on many items. Everything is off its sale price and listed as full price. Booze and beer was only 10% not enough to get me into frenzy stock up mode. Most canned goods were only 10%, Rice/Beans and Jelly were 20% off. Frozen foods were 30% off and yes, I cleaned them out of every last molten lava cake they had in stock. Ditto their bulgogi Korean BBQ marinade.
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What…Truman Capote at the center of a story for Christmas? Yes, in short this is a loosely based story of his childhood in the foster system and the family that contemplated saving him by sending him to a military school for more structure and balance. There’s your synopsis, the real story lies in the casting and direction of turning this short story in to a musical complete with ukelele. Starring a former “harlette” from Better Midler’s cast of talented crazies this play will be directed by Alison Kalmus, a real treasure and supporter of the Sierra Madre Playhouse.
This isn’t her directing debut with the Playhouse, that was 2004 with A Christmas Carol Story, no this will be her 5th play directed for the Playhouse. She brings a creative vision that ties music and the story line together in what is hoped to be a magical evening. Alison is a huge supporter of the Sierra Madre Playhouse and helps to bring their mission of American Plays by American authors in historical context. I can’t wait to see this play.
And I don’t have to wait for the grand opening as I’ll be hosting another soft opening blogathon at the Playhouse for this play the evening of November 25, 2015, Care to be one of the first to get a sneak peak, a little look see and tweet and instagram it for posterity? Message me at [email protected] with your twitter handle and instagram and I’ll get back to you with details. I can promise you a most outstanding theatre experience, booze and of course my famous Browned Butter Brownies to keep you satiated during the intermission and before hand.
Where to start…something new or something old? Let’s start with the super new Alfa Romeo that is to be revealed at this years 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. Will it be as sexy as the 4c they pulled the curtain from in Detroit in January? My guess is yes. My guess is that it will be a BMW 3 series competitor, because that’s what they all wanna have. We shall see won’t we? Lord knows a sexy 2 door sports car is a nice way to relaunch a brand, but they need more to sustain one.
To kick off the new Alfa the Motor Press Guild is organizing a retrospective of 35 collectible concours quality Alfas from the past to be displayed in the Gilbert Lindsay Plaza of the convention center. Those cars will be driven to the show from the Palm Springs Concorso held the weekend prior. Additionally Alfa Romeo is bringing a few cars from their private collection to show there as well. This will only be available to the press so I’ll take lots of pics for you.
The other news is that the Green Car of the Year finalists were named. This goes to the car, usually a hybrid, though a traditional gasser was included one year and a now not so clean we learned the hard way diesel. But I digress, the field this year is interesting and I’m not sure how it will go. They’re all familiar names, two got complete makeovers. Volt by Chevy is more mainstream looking and has doubled electic range, Prius…gets the funky face front intakes seen on their fuel cell car, not functional, funky for the sake of funky with the promise of better driving dynamics. That’s like asking a toaster not to be a toaster. The finalists up for judging by the Green Car Journal:
Audi A3 e-tron (my personal favorite)
Tickets are on sale now, grab yours early and avoid the crush outside waiting insufferable minutes in the ticket lines. ORDER HERE.
Los Angeles Auto Show, Los Angeles Convention Center. November 20-29, 2015. Check web for daily times.
Pic by me. I’ll be at the show for press days 11/18-19 and share with you the winners and losers.
It seems like only yesterday I wrote about this amazing play and shared the back story of a blogathon soft opening that opened at Sierra Madre Playhouse. This play has exceeded everyones wildest expectations. Between Nikki D’Amico and Cori Cable Kidder, backed up by a live band you get the story of Patsy Cline and her biggest fan in a lively if not outright energetic play. Always…Patsy Cline has received numerous nominations from the local theatre community. Cori herself has received phenomenal reviews and nominations for an Ovation Award from the L.A. Stage Alliance.
Always…Patsy Cline has been extended twice due to demand…selling out every weekend since it opened in July. There are only 10 performances left before the curtains close the final time on October 30, 2015.
Make a night of it. Dinner out at one of the few restaurants in Sierra Madre or kick back a beer at Lucky Baldwin’s in honor of Louise’s Schlitz she pounds down during the play. Order your tickets here. Order fast as they sell out quickly.
Deets: Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre MAP HERE 626-355-4318
I’m gonna snark on this one a bit. We have to consider the source first. Its based on a report from a Bay Area based firm and we know how they are loathe to say anything nice about us ever. So a “C” rating for one station may be signs of the second coming or at least a thaw.
I do however take exception to their finding only one station in all of metro that fit their metrics to give it a good rating. I’m no expert, not even a daily rider, but when I do use Metro I get where I need to be timely and hassle free. Everything works. Multiple lines from the SGV to the Science center as a snap to navigate and on time less than 45 minutes door to door. Ditto to Hollywood/Highland. Ditto Olvera Street. It just works well.
My wife travels the Red/Gold Line and loves it. Easy way to her station from her office DTLA and quick connections most of the time at Union Station. She’s been doing it since January and loves it…how bad can it be? Plus we’re saving a solid $150 month on our fuel bill after you deduct out the cost of the monthly TAP car fill. No small change.
Plus its not all grafitti covered…well the Red Line has its moments. But I digress, my last time around SF on BART the cars were dirty and graffiti filled. Not a nice impression. My wife travels the Red/Gold Line and loves it. Easy way to her station from her office DTLA and quick connections most of the time at Union Station. She’s been doing it since January and loves it…how bad can it be? Plus we’re saving a solid $150 month on our fuel bill after you deduct out the cost of the monthly TAP car fill. No small change.
I’m not saying we’re perfect, but we’re growing and I like the direction we’re taking. By Spring I’ll be able to metro it from my house in the SGV when the new gold line station opens, couple of train swaps and be in SAMO in time for lunch way faster than I can drive it. Plus I don’t have to pay for parking to do it.
The full press release that triggered my praise of Metro after the jump. I get it has a TOD bias, but not everyone wants to live that way like rats compressed into a cube and never drive a car again. Read the rest of this entry →
This weekend was a terrifc weekend, if you forget the blazing heat and attended the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts 52nd Annual Celebrate the Arts and first ever ChalkFest.
Celebrate the Arts incorporated several first as I outlined the other day. What makes these events fun isn’t so much the terrific art, but the ability to see artists working on their art, demonstrating their technique. There year there were several artists doing just that. Glass blower Joshua Smilth wowed folks with his tecnhique. Metal sculpturist Bill Hyatt continued working on his horse head sculpture a painstaking process of welding dot by dot to build up the face and texture of the horse.
Glass artist Joshua Smith bending glass. click to embiggen
This is a biggy for me. Something that I, as a board member, have been all but consumed with the last several weeks. Celebrate the Arts is in its 52nd year and its going to have quite a few firsts on top of the already terrific fine artists populating the park with their art.
Celebrate the Arts is held in Monrovia’s Library Park from 10AM – 6PM both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. There will be a lot of firsts at this show that we are really excited about on top of our usual host of Food Trucks, live music, extremely talented artists. Among our firsts this event:
ChalkFest – a competitive street art event with Lori Escalera as our celebrity judge.
Children’s Chalk Experience -designed for the 12 and under set to experiment with chalk
Featured Artist Elizabeth Butterfield…her collage work is simply stunning
1965 Thunderbird…and example of what you may find there…click to embiggen
There are a few hundred classic cars expected to line South Pasadena’s historic Mission Street for their 10th Annual Cruz’n for Roses classic car show. Car owners pay a fee to enter their cars and the proceeds go towards the cities Rose Parade float.
Also for the day the South Pas Fire and Police department will be hosting an open house if you want to check out their latest gear, cars and of course fire trucks. The open house will take place at their station located at 1422 S Mission from 10AM-3PM
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By far my most favorite auto show in the Los Angeles area has got to be the Rancho Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance. This is a tightly curated show, few if any basic rides, it focuses on the premiere rides of days gone by. Two categories, restored and survivors that they call “Preservation” that are all original and just detailed out to show quality.
License plate ornament from the 1932 games, click to ebmiggen
Its no secret that I love to go to car shows, doesn’t matter what kind, new, old, collectible or survivors its all good. Of late I’ve been into capturing details, mostly pot metal nomenclature as back in the day cars were named and the script font fulfilled the imagery. One of the other details I like is grill badges and plate ornaments. Imagine if you will the squeel I let out when I spotted this gem on a ’32 Franklin at yesterdays Rancho Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance.
Sometimes it is more than the car, its the perfect mix of ambition and heart.
Last night started out like any other manufacturer party. This time hosted by Dodge. It was different as instead of rolling out a red carpet for a shiny new car, it was to give a gift to suburban Los Angeles based “A Walk on Water“. AWOW for short.
Until last night I hadn’t heard of them or their mission. AWOW is there to support families with autistic members. They provide the entire family, not just the person with autism, with the chance to spend a fun day together learning to surf. They believe in the theraputic powers of the ocean and surfing as a way to bridge the communication gap and give a family with special needs a fun learning experience they can share.
Actor Danny Trejo gave a moving introduction to the group and shared how is own family is affected by autism. Its just not the person with special needs that needs help, but the entire family that is affected and need help with coping and learning. The board members of AWOW also shared with us their personal stories on why what they do is important to them and the families they help. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after one board member talked about how his non-verbal son spoke his first words after his first surf ride. He’s skilled now on the board that he’s ready to be a teacher in the group. The power in belief in abilities and that you can make always find a way to make a positive out of a challenge.
The big news dropped at the end of the presentations is that Dodge, a division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was donating $20,000 to AWOW to kick start their growth and expand beyond the Los Angeles area. Dodge/FCA together are also pledging an additional $50 for every test drive at authorized dealerships in the coming days up to $5,000 additional for AWOW. (list of authorized dealers after the jump). It was hinted that Danny Trejo himself will be at some of the dealerships during their day of sponsored test drives to meet and greet those helping out AWOW by taking drive in a shiny new Dodge.
To further sweeten the pot, Nacional Records, our host for the evening festivities, is going to give away 2 tickets per test drive to the October 3 Supersonico Festival at the Palladium.
High Res photo attached. Picture credit: DiMora Motors
Only 25 examples of this car will be hand crafted. Its Los Angeles showing will be at the Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance on September 20. (Full details on the car after the jump).
The Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance is one of my most favorite shows in all of Southern California. IT IS without a doubt the best curated show out there and you can’t go wrong with the location –
General Parking for Concours d’Elegance
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2015
General Parking is Free
Location: Promenade Shopping Center & Peninsula Center – Rolling Hills Estates
See map, below for parking entrances
Shuttle access is at the Peninsula Center parking area.
We are happy to be able to provide FREE general parking for this year’s Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance through the generosity of Promenade on the Peninsula and Peninsula Shopping Center. Constantly running buses, courtesy of L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe, will shuttle you to and from the Concours venue—about a 7 minute drive.
From either Hawthorne or Crenshaw Blvds., turn onto Indian Peak Road.
Signage will direct you to parking entrances
Volunteers will help guide you to a parking spot.
At Promenade on the Peninsula parking structure:
Please use ONLY the parking entrance next to the Norris Theater.
Please do not use any other parking entrance for Concours parking. These areas are reserved for shopping center patrons. Be courteous.
After parking, walk across the street to Peninsula Shopping Center to board the Shuttle.
A detective loses his Dodge Patrol car with a hemi and cries…
Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck announce a year long test of a BMW i3 electric vehicle at a City of Los Angeles press conference in Los Angeles, Sept. 11, 2015. Photo by Danny Moloshok/Newscast courtesy BMW PR
I could add a few more snarks, but bottom line a few electric cars in the LAPD make sense in the right applications. No I can’t imagine them used in a high speed pursuit, but contrary to local TV that is not a constant occurrence. There’s plenty of things they do that involves just slogging around town and idling in traffic that an electric car and its zero emissions at the tail pipe make sense. Detectives cold calling witnesses and victims on follow up doesn’t need speed nor lights flaring. Parking meter slugs idling around town issuing tickets is another area that kinda makes sense.
Regardless of what you think of the EV, they make sense in some applications and if we can save some gas money swapped for electrons cheaper off the grid to power these little beasts its better for the cities bottom line.
Personally, I like the BMW i3, Drives very much like what you expect from BMW, with its aggressive regeneratvie braking systems a quick lift of the throttle feels more like downshifting a gasser than just idle coasting. My full review from a few years ago HERE that included an interview with the BMW i project manager.
Free subscription to blogging.la for the first person who captures a pic of the BMW i3 in action on the streets of L.A.
Ford Custom Coupe…my personal best of show, click to embiggen
Yesterday was the 25th annual Monrovia Car Show and it wasn’t a disappointment. No sirree. It was side by side both sides of the street and some side streets in Old Town Monrovia jam packed with more old cars in every stage of repair and customization you could imagine. Focused primarily on domestics, there were the few odd imports…a Pantera here, an Anglia there, an Austin Healy there…you get the idea. A car show.
Of course there were all sorts of cars and trucks that defied description and you have to see them in person to grasp their importance. Or silliness. to see them you need to make the jump. Read the rest of this entry →