The return of Echo Park Lake to the people this past weekend after an almost two-year closure for renovation, was both a highly anticipated event for those in the surrounding communities, and big enough to warrant coverage by a lot of the local media outlets.
Me? I stayed the heck away on Saturday, opting instead to visit on the far less-hectic day after, with the crowds far less madding and the number of pontificating politicians reduced to zero.
What a beautiful old new place it is. An absolute jewel. My favorite sight? This specimen (click it for the bigger picture):
It did my heart good to see the lotuses once again thriving in the north lagoon.
LA Taco Blog is one of my must-reads. I’m WAY out of its demographic, practically none of its topics are written with anyone of my middle-class unhip ilk in mind, and it covers people, events, things in areas of the greater LA/SoCal region I rarely if ever visit, but I enjoy the hell out of it anyway. It’s like sitting in the back of a clubhouse fulla koolkidz who don’t care you’re there while they talk shop and share shit.
So it was that on a recent click over to their site last month, I found a post extolling the virtues of an eatery called Corner Burger, which is so named because it sits on a street corner on 147th Street a block west of a street called Hawthorne Boulevard. In a city called Lawndale. Which is all a big “Huh?” to me. You have to understand: up until I googled the place’s address, I had no idea where Lawndale was. A native angeleno and I had not a clue. That’s the way it was and is for me and much that region. I just don’t get out there (unless crawling along the 405 around the South Bay Curve counts — and it doesn’t).
Lately, most of my adventures have been in food. A great deal of it has centered around my proximity to Ricardo Zarate and Stephane Bombet of Mo-Chica, Picca and now Paiche fame. They are my bosses. (Amazing bosses, by the way.) So, I’ve had the chance to eat some of the best food being created in LA.
Part of what happens when you are in the nexus of awesome energy is you meet a vast array of amazing people. DTLA people are quickly becoming my favorite sorts. They are artsy, creative, edgy, a little dangerous and full of life. One of those people is Jean Francoise Valcarcel.
Evacuation orders have been lifted for most neighborhoods in my area, with only 2 streets still under them. According to the city web, which has done a bang up job of keep us updated, the command for the fire will shift back to the Emergency Operations Center at City Hall this morning.
Where I sit right now there is no visible flames or smoke, with luck the hot spots will be done with and containment will happen sooner.
Isn’t this an early start to the “fire season”?
A fire broke out this morning on Avacado Place in Monrovia near the “M” that is visibile from the 210 Freeway. It was started by a gardener accidentally. (Contrary to popular rumor it was not a 420 celebration).
Snarks aside this is a serious matter being made worse by lookie loos. As of 4PM it was over 90 acres and a 3 alarm fire. The lookie loos are so bad and thick it is getting hard for the fire fighters and law enforcement to get up to the fire. Please stay away from the fire zone and use the parking lots at Santa Anita Mall, strip malls along Foothill and Huntington in Monrovia if you have to come see the smoke and flames. Thats a good vantage point to watch and not interefere with evacuees leaving or those of us in the affected area from getting in and out of our homes.
As I blogged a while back during another brush fire, the hills above Monrovia and Duarte haven’t burned since the early 60′s and that is nearly 50+years of fuel to feed a fire.
More as this story develops.
The absolute biggest single make auto show on the west coast is the Fabulous Fords Forever show. It got started here at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center at Griffith Park in 1984. It has grown so big its since been moved to Knott’s Berry Farm. It is one of my all time favorite shows. Its about a lot of cars, fun people and celebrities. I had the chance to meet the legendary racer/builder Carroll Shelby two years ago, Henry Ford III last year. Hell, I even absent-minded walked right into Jack Nicholson while I was all agog over the cars.
Every year there is a new theme to the show with new guests as well. This year among the 2000+ cars, it will be celebrating 110 years of Ford Motor Company with a display of milestone cars. Additional features are 85 years of the Ford Model A, 45 years of the Torino and 20 years of SVT. They have cars registered from 13 states and Canada, covering 55 classes of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury cars and trucks, plus several displays of the latest from Ford and Ford Racing.
The guest of honor is the celebrated Formula Drift Champion, Vaughn Gittin, Jr., who will have his latest drifting Mustang on display along with his RTR Mustang stable. Linda Vaughn will be in attendance with a team of legendary 1960’s drag racers of California fame. Meet and greets will be available with them.
Deets: Sunday April 21, 2013 from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Knott’s Berry Farm,8039 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park, CA 90620 MAP HERE
Jonathan Winters passed away in quietly in his
Encino *home overnight. He was one of my favorite comedians. He excelled at improv, but he also was a scene stealer on TV and movies. His Web Site HERE, Wiki and IMBD. That should give you plenty to read, laugh and enjoy. A few more vids after the jump. Read the rest of this entry →
I recently got to participate in a Chef’s Tasting at the soon to be opened Mayan Bar and Grill here in Monrovia. The Mayan will be in the historic Aztec Hotel in the space formerly occupied by the Brass Elephant. It was a fun experience. Tasting and rating menu items for a new restaurant before it goes public. The Mayan will focus on Central American cooking a first for my little corner of L.A.
The food was simply pretty terrific. First up was Ensalada Esmeralda which was a simple mix of roasted chilis and greens tossed with a bright avocado and cilantro dressing. Next up was a Puerco Mole Verde, or pork medallions in a somewhat spice, but deeply flavored mole sauce. The last course they gave us was the Tequila Lime Shrimp…with a spicy sweet mango salsa. All in all I rated them all very highly, made comments where appropriate but really enjoyed the experience. The new Chef at the Mayan did not disappoint.
Do you want to get in on the tastings too? Simply friend the Aztec Hotel on FB and watch for their notices and instructions on what to do for the next event. Its really as simple as noting date, time and emailing the hotels General Manager Art Desaultels that you want to attend. This Thursday is nearly full and they just added in Friday for another tasting. They fill fast so act fast. Read the rest of this entry →
From the ladies that brought us “shit girls say in L.A.” now comes a quick riff on Coachella which most of the music lovers in L.A. will be heading out to the desert for shortly. If you have the time to check out their entire channel on youtube do check out the Trashy Girls.
Its been widely reported that Annette Funicello, one of the original Mouseketeers passed away today. Her TV programs and movies about growing up in the ’50s and ’60s helped make the beach party a part of L.A. and American culture. Never mind all the folks she enticed to make it behind the Orange Curtain for a trip to Disneyland. Complete WIKI on her HERE.
Thanks to the folks at 626 Night Market I now have the answer on how to eat these delicious little bites. After all these years I’ve learned they aren’t finger foods and double dipped.
More on the 626 Night Market can be found on their web. Count on hearing more from me about the arrival of this event closer to the first one in June.
We all run around with our phones snapping pics and sharing the world as we see it. Until now you either tossed onto social media like twitter or photo sharing sites like flickr and shared it with a few friends and that was it. West Hollywood based F.8. Interactive just changed what you do with your pics via Snapcious.
Snapcious takes your image sharing to the next degree. It gives you missions to fulfill with your trusty phone cam and post onto the game. From there other Snapcious review and rate your pics and the winners in many categories are announced each day. Each time you post a pic you get points. You also collect points for suggesting missions, rating images and making comments on what you see.
The game is the brainchild of long time blogging.la contributor Mack Reed and a few others at F.8 Interactive. Since its launch on iTunes a few weeks back it has picked up followers across the globe. You can download it from iTunes HERE and join the fun. Complete guide on points and how to play HERE. Best of all…its a FREE app.
Unlike some of the other social media pic sharing places like, um say Instagram, you own the pics forever and don’t sign away any rights in the TOS. Thats a biggy for me as you never know which images I will wind up using for sale that I want to keep control of.
There is a short video after the jump that explains the game and how to play as well. Read the rest of this entry →
You can read the full news release I got in my email after the jump. But the short version is if you had a reno or remodel done to your home and got screwed by your contractor an LA casting producer from Shed Media is looking to talk to you. The Casting Producer is Ben Selle and he is looking for a homeowner willing to spare a few hours filming with a hopeful host for a soon to launch major cable network reality show about contractor horrors.
I’ve tossed my hat into the ring for this one. We did an addition for a studio/game room and a patio redo. The job should have taken 2 months, but took 10 as the contractor kept disappearing and dodging phone calls. Worse after going over budget the work has aged very poorly…drywall seams showing and cracking, slate tiles popping up or disintegrating. Sigh. Eventually we fired him and hired someone else to finish the job. Now we are finding out how shoddy his work was and we have no recourse.
To make things uber easy write Ben directly at BSelle@Shedmediaus.com with your story of woe. Include pictures of the problem, yourself since you will be on camera, and your location in L.A.
The press release after the jump… Read the rest of this entry →