November 28, 2014 at 1:56 pm in LA
November 28, 2014 at 1:56 pm in LA
|Hi. My name is Ben, and I’m new to blogging.la.
Photography began, for me, at the age of 19, when my girlfriend handed me a Pentax Spotmatic, and it traveled with me for more years than I like to count.
In between then and now, I spent my time wandering, spending years restoring 1950’s and 1960’s Jaguar’s to perfection, working as a bartender in New Orleans, Alaska, and England and taking classes in everything from astronomy to coding.
Now I have taken all that I love, and wrapped it around photography.
My enjoyment of wandering has taken me all around the city where I live, Los Angeles, with the little details that it displays, and to (never enough) far flung places, where momentary meetings create lasting impressions.
Hodomania means, simply, the mania for travel. I am a writer and photographer based in the Los Angeles area, but my mind takes my feet wandering on a regular basis.
The wandering seems like a good idea at the time.
Sometimes it is.
Sometimes it isn’t.
Click each image to embiggen.
Saturday November 29 is Small Business Saturday, the day the small retailer hopes will make their Holiday Season instead of the chain stores at the Mall. Its been going on a few years now, tomorrow is the day. Make it happen for the Home Grown Retailers that support the community they live in. Here is a run down of some of the things I know are going on in and around my corner of L.A.
First up my friend Lisa Barrios owner of the Paint n Play Art Studio and Gallery in Old Town Monrovia is offering up 20% Saturday only for customers who come in and tell her you saw the post here. The 20% off is on any Holiday Gift item, pottery or ceramics that you chose to do. The Legacy Hand Prints she does are really special momentos you will treasure for a lifetime. 418 S Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia CA 91016. They are on Facebook too…remember to tell them fraz sent you!
Hoopla! in Altadena is closed for the day getting ready for Small Business Saturday. This is a wonderful store full of really unique, often locally sourced artists and writers, gifts. Hoopla will be donating 15% of their proceeds Saturday to both Light Bringer Project and Room 13 associated with Pasadena’s John Muir High School.
Sierra Madre is rolling out the Red Carpet as a community and will be hosting a “SmART Walk” of local artists within established businesses in town. Do stop by Sierra Madre Playhouse and get your tickets for the family to attend their production of A Little House Christmas. Added bonus is photographer Geoffrey Wade will be exhibiting a few of his backstage images. Read the rest of this entry →
Today was Public Days of the L.A. Auto Show. I brought my son and a neighborhood kid I’ve known since he could barely walk. Its our annual tradition.
We left to grab a bite to eat at L.A. Live, Yard House to be precise, and exited to find this vista. The sun bouncing off the Marriot/Ritz Carlton illuminating the ultimate L.A. icon, the Palm Tree. It was otherworldly.
Add in it was 80+ degrees outside in November and it couldn’t be a better reminder of why I love Los Angeles. Click the pic to see it full-size.
When you enter the Apple Pan, you have to understand you are entering a totalitarian state. This joint has been around, almost untouched, since 1947 and nothing you say or do will change how they do business. This is true on any day. This is doubly true on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eves when they make tons of extra pies and all of us die-hards line up to get them. (My husband loves the chocolate cream.) You’ll wait and if you are like me, you’ll enjoy the wait because the wait is great theater.
With all the extra people coming to buy pies on the same days every year, you would think they might put on a special person simply to sell pies and keep the crowds moving. No, no they won’t. Why? Because we are the Apple Pan and because f**k you. You don’t like it? Go buy pies at that tramp Marie Callendar’s place. The guy who takes your pie order is the same guy servicing his side of the counter (which of course is full of lunch eating peeps) and he’ll get to you when he gets to you.
During my 35 minute wait, I was lucky to stand next to a nice woman who had the same attitude as I did, in fact she was going to be late for a doctors appointment, but damned if she was going to miss picking up the apple pie for her boyfriend’s family! We chatted a bit between shows.
I’ve got a few detail pics after the jump. Pretty nifty stuff.
Sound off in the comments on why you think they did it and the meaning of it all.
Forgive me internet, for I have sinned. It has been nearly 1200 days since my last post.
Since my last posts on here, which covered topics like the Donut Summit and a burger-eating contest, I have been exploring a different type of competitive venture in our fair city: endurance athletics. Read the rest of this entry →
Because, this image:
I hereby announce the bLA Graffiti Grammar Bingo & Bee. Once I post five of these, the first commenter gets a prize if they type BINGO!!!! and then identify the error. (Exclamation points not required.)
Obviously, this one should be “you’re,” and I also deduct points because the elephant appears to be both balancing on a ball and levitating to paint the sign. You can’t do both, Jumbo. I know these things.
I welcome submissions. Ping me at the address on my profile to send me one.
I have to tell you the cacophony of the Auto Show during press days is very different than that of public days. Its not thousands of people meandering about, but a herd mentality of media types running from one press conference and reveal to the next. Its usually a couple in a row in one hall where you shuffle a few feet at time vying for the best seat to hear/see and be the first on stage for photos when its over. Its 15 minutes of manufacture hype with 5 minutes of photo op, then 5 minutes to get to the next show. Insanity.
Also different is that the manufacturers have stuff that is available for press days only. The reps I talked with didn’t think the live demo of the iRoad in this video would take place for public days…so thats my lede. Read the rest of this entry →
People often ask me how I get around so much with an infant. It’s pretty easy: my daughter is 5 months old and can’t say “please stop dragging me to everything, Mom.” Since her birth in June, we’ve been in perpetual motion, stopping only long enough to nurse and fight naps. There’s been a diaper change or two in there somewhere.
We’ve been to 3 weddings, 2 baby showers, a wedding shower, and a family reunion, visited folks in 4 states and the District of Columbia, saw the world’s largest rubber ducky in Long Beach, watched Shakespeare in Griffith Park, perused art at the world’s oldest and largest artist colony at the LA Brewery Art Walk, toured one of California’s most over-embellished homes at Hearst Castle, stared at the biggest trees in Big Sur, and gaped at the most expansive collection of Greek artifacts on the West Coast at the Getty Villa. There was a dust-free party for the Burning Man left-behinds in Reseda, a backyard Octoberfest in Eagle Rock, a quick spin through the Patchwork Craft Fair in Long Beach, a free ferry ride to Catalina for my birthday, a single visit to the “Birth Stories” lecture series in Venice, and more baby storytime at the local library than you can shake a stick at. We also spotted a well-known but poorly aging celebrity at a pumpkin patch in West Hollywood. Would it be LA without a star sighting?
I thought life with a baby would slow me down but I’ve been to more places with my tiny partner in crime than I ever went as a single entity. My desire to show my kid the best our world has to offer gets me out of my shell and reintroduces me to all the reasons I moved to California. We don’t plan on stopping. Well, maybe after this nap.
Because if so, there are a few very groovy things on the horizon!
Crafters and Chili Cooks Sought for Holiday Event
at the Antelope Valley Indian Museum
The Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park is currently planning the fourth annual “Holidays on the Homestead,” a holiday-themed fundraiser for the museum to be held on Saturday December 6th from 5 pm – 8 pm. Participants are now sought for the “cowboy” chili cook-off and the handmade craft boutique.
Rose Edwards, the wife of the museum’s builder, was known for her chili and cornbread holiday feasts at their 1930’s homestead holiday celebrations. This delicious tradition is being revived in her honor! All chili styles will be considered; there is no registration fee for the cook-off.
Representing the talents of artist and museum founder Howard Arden Edwards, crafters are being sought for a craft boutique of handmade country and holiday-themed items. Booths are $30, supporting the non-profit Friends of the Antelope Valley Indian Museum.
For chili cook-off or craft booth information and applications, contact Jean Rhyne at (661) 946-6900 or [email protected] See below for more information about this fun event!
What is L.A. Auto Show press days without a manufacturer party or two? My absolute favorite is the Hyundai party. Again this year at the Hotel Figueroa a few blocks from the show itself.
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Yes, they were our live entertainment. Nearly shat myself when they were announced to be our entertainment for the evening. Tons of fun, she hasn’t lost her edge. Totally fun night.
For years, blogging.la has served as a clearinghouse for photos of rude parkers, most often committing the sin of parking across the line and taking up two precious parking spots. Unfortunately, beyond posting the photo along with some snark and overhyped indignation, there was never the full satisfaction of knowing whether or not the “parking turd”* ever saw them publicly shamed.
Now all that is about to change.
Yesterday, Dennis Romero at LA Weekly reported about PL8CHAT, a new app that allows users to text drivers via their license plate numbers.
We immediately thought of the satisfaction that would result from being able to tell a driver what a complete idiot he is. Imagine being able to inform someone about the rules of the road or just about plain parking etiquette.
Yes, IMAGINE! Not only can we post photos online of these human embarrassments, we can then text them to let them know they’ve been suitably shamed on social media. Read the rest of this entry →
Day 1 of L.A. Auto Show Press Days did not disappoint
Of all the truly amazing things at this years L.A. Auto Show this one stopped me in my tracks and I thought wtf. Prolly the best use of a minican ever. If you want to see what Toyota is really capable of check out their FT1 concept. Vette…they have your number and are gonna kick you square in the crotch.
More pics in my flickr album.
Went to our fave 24-hour taco shop, Casa de Tacos, hidden in a small strip mall at the corner of Topanga Canyon and Wyandotte in Canoga Park. It is SO GOOD to enjoy real Latino-style tacos after three years of Georgia tacos. Got me some lengua and some tripas, for the ultimate in all I had missed.