Celebrate Burbank’s Centennial TONIGHT!

The City of Burbank is celebrating its 100th Anniversary today! Tonight, from 5pm to 10pm, you can join in the Centennial Celebration at the city’s “Party of the Century.” The free event is happening in Beautiful Downtown Burbank and will include appearances by local dignitaries and celebrities, an air parade, a mascot parade, a variety of live stage shows and special deals at many local restaurants. The night will be capped off with fireworks.

Burbank will always be a special place for me since it is where I first lived when I moved to L.A. nearly seventeen years ago. Besides, I only moved a few blocks outside of it, so it’s still a big part of my life. You can read a brief history here of the area that started as a sheep farm and is now one of the world’s preeminent media capitals.

Burbank’s Party of the Century is TONIGHT from 5pm to 10pm and is FREE!

High Speed Rail to LAX

Chicago’s outgoing Mayor Daley wants high speed rail from the city’s downtown to O’Hare International Airport. It would be the first of its kind in the United States – meaning that it would be fast, convenient, and far too logical for American politicians to actually build.

Your move, @villaraigosa.

A few years back, I proposed the Metro Flyline – a rail network from Union Station to every airport in the region. It was kind of a joke, in that not many people need to hop a train from Downtown Los Angeles to fly their personal jet out of Van Nuys Airport. But what about a line that did service the major transportation hubs in the region? A high speed TRIANGLE, connecting LAX, Bob Hope in Burbank and Union Station.

Put it all underground. Run the whole thing elevated. Tunnel through every living room in Beverly Hills.

I don’t know where the money would come from. I don’t know ridership numbers. I don’t know environmental impact blahbitty blah. What I do know, is that people would use it. Isn’t that what mass transit is for?

The point here is that it’s time for Los Angeles to start thinking big again. No matter how far-fetched and ridiculous it may seem. Let other cities celebrate highway widenings and Target openings. We’re better than that.

Maybe someday, we’ll have a mayor that won’t mind rolling up his sleeves and putting in a solid 8 hours of work.

See You At Classic Eats #12 Tomorrow Evening!

THE SMOKEHOUSE is our Classic Eats Destination.

The details again:

Saturday August 21st – I’ve made a reservation for 12 in the dining room at 5:15. This gets us in under the early bird special: 25% off anything on the dinner menu until 6pm. At this point we have about 10 peeps who are coming, so there is room for more! If you are coming just for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, that’s cool too, pile in. As ever, look for the Classic Eats sign.

The Smokehouse
4420 West Lakeside Drive
Burbank 91505

See you there!

L.A.’s Greatest Landmarks: Bob’s Big Boy

I took this photo of Big Boy in 2006

From the towering neon sign to the statue of the rotund boy in his distinctive red and white checked overalls to the 1950’s coffee shop architecture, Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank is undoubtedly one of L.A.’s most well-known and beloved landmarks. In 1993, this oldest remaining restaurant in the national chain was restored to its 1949 glory and designated a “California Point of Historical Interest.” At that time, the sign was repaired, the dining room was remodeled, and an outdoor patio was added. Car-hop service was also re-established on Saturday and Sunday nights. Every Friday night, a classic car show is held in the ample parking lot, which fills with shiny hot rods and cruisers from the 1950s and 60s.

I discovered Bob’s Big Boy shortly after moving to L.A. in 1994. We could walk to it from our apartment and more importantly, discovered we could do so 24 hours a day! While we can still walk to Bob’s from our current home, it does take quite a bit longer. Much more frequently, we take advantage of the hours and catch a bite to eat after a concert or movie. It’s become our go-to place after Halloween festivities because the place is packed with other costumed people and the party seems to continue.

If you’re looking for a gourmet meal, Bob’s will not be your first choice, but they do serve up decent, affordable diner fare. You can get breakfast and homemade milk shakes around the clock. The staff is friendly and we recognize other regular customers, as well as the occasional celebrity, when we eat there. I’ll admit that we do go to Bob’s about once a week, often on a particular night to see some friends who have a regular meet up at the restaurant.

Bob’s Big Boy is located at 4211 W Riverside Dr. in Burbank/Toluca Lake. You only have a couple of hours to catch the classic cars, but you have all night to grab a burger or some chili spaghetti.

A full list of the posts in our L.A.’s Great Landmarks series can be found here.

Lodestone Theatre Ensemble to Close its Final Production this weekend

After 10 years of being one of LA’s edgiest Asian American theatre groups, the Lodestone Theatre Ensemble is about present its final show, before shutting its doors for good. Don’t worry– this was a conscious decision made years ago by the artistic directors, not a victim of the global recession.

In 1995, following the 1992 Los Angeles riots, veteran actor Soon-Tek Oh created the Society of Heritage Performers (SHP), a Korean American theatre ensemble. SHP evolved into Lodestone Theatre Ensemble in 1999, organized by original founders: actors Alexandra Bokyun Chun, Tim Lounibos and Chil Kong, and writer Philip W. Chung. Their new focus was embracing a broader Asian Pacific American identity. Chung and Kong have remained to the end as co-artistic directors.

You can still catch the final weekend of their final production, Grace Kim & The Spiders from Mars, which is a play that was specifically written as a farewell to Lodestone. Inspired by classic screwball comedies, Grace Kim & The Spiders from Mars tells the story of Grace, a young Korean American woman, who has withdrawn from the world after the death of her mother ten years ago. But Grace’s life is thrown upside down when she meets her sister’s fiancé and falls in love with him. The play will be permanently retired after this run. (Meet Grace Kim in the video below…)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj4CoeORyO8[/youtube]

Tickets have been lowered to the same price as the first show in 1999: $12 for general admission and $10 each for reserved groups of 10 or more.

Only four more shows before GRACE KIM and Lodestone are gone forever! Performances are Thursday through Saturday (12/17) at 8 p.m. (2-for-1 Thursday tickets with password “Ziggy Stardust”) and closing on Sunday, 12/20 at 2 p.m. RSVP now: (323) 993-7245

GRACE KIM & THE SPIDERS FROM MARS
GTC BURBANK
1111-B W. Olive St.
Burbank, CA 91506
(inside George Izay Park, just west of S. Victory Blvd.)

FREE PARKING: Park near the jet plane in front of George Izay Park at 1111 W. Olive St. Walk into the park, past Olive Recreation Center. GTC Burbank is behind the Rec. Center, facing the softball fields.

It’s a Wrap! Sale

It's a Wrap! 2nd Annual Accessories Extravaganza Begins Friday
It's a Wrap! 2nd Annual Accessories Extravaganza Begins Friday

One of my favorite places to shop in Burbank is It’s a Wrap! They acquire mostly unworn or gently used wardrobe leftovers from movie studios at serious bargain prices. Imagine a thrift store that carries couture! They always have tons of designer labels for both men and women in a variety of sizes (not just size 2). They also have jewelry and accessories. I recently picked up a Prada dress with the tags still intact for under $200, six pairs of luxury tights (unopened) for $3 each, a silk scarf for $5 and a Theory trench coat for $10.

With all of this in mind, I seriously had second thoughts about publicizing this sale so that I could keep all of the bargains to myself, but what the hell. Starting this Friday, November 27, It’s a Wrap! will be hosting their Second Annual Accessories Extravaganza. Also, the first 25 customers to spend $50 or more in the store that day will receive a gift certificate (contact store for specifics).

Recent arrivals include wardrobe from “Monk,” “Deal or No Deal,” “House,” “Law Abiding Citizens,” “Dexter”, Continue reading “It’s a Wrap! Sale”

Parking Tard-Burbank Edition

DSC07335

I had to run out to my vet this afternoon to pick up some medication. I was driving east on Burbank Blvd. (the way this monster of a truck is facing) and attempted to turn right into the partially blocked parking lot. Luckily, I have a small car, but I still had to back out into the street and maneuver to pull in. When I went across the street to take a photo, I saw several other cars have the same difficulty. Except for the Jeep that just drove right over the curb! Maybe this person hates pets. Whatever the case, he’s a jerk.

Burbank Residents: Green Your Home and Get Free Stuff

Burbank Water and Power is conducting a beta test of a new residential energy and water savings program, the “Green Home House Call.” They need volunteers, preferably from single-family homes with automatic sprinklers, to help evaluate the program. As part of the test, you will receive free weatherization services, water efficient product installation, energy efficient lightbulbs and more.

If you would like to volunteer to be in the beta test group, please call 1.866.365.7358 to set up an appointment.

bur

Burbank/Toluca Lake Menchie’s Now Open!

Menchie’s, my favorite of all of the many frozen yogurt chains in L.A., just opened their latest store within walking distance of my house. It’s a nice, longish walk, but can certainly be done when time permits. As mentioned on L.A. Metblogs about a year and a half ago, there is a location in Valley Village, which isn’t too far from me either, but I have to drive to it. I suppose I could ride my bicycle over. Nah.

mench

I haven’t been in the new Burbank/Toluca Lake spot yet. I’m suspicious that it will happen within the next couple of days. So what makes Menchie’s so much better than the omnipresent Pinkberry?

Click here to read more about why Menchie’s rocks!

ICME: Big Red Boot Car in Burbank

Burbank's Red Boot Car by Jodi
Burbank's Red Boot Car by Jodi

This driveable car, in the shape of a red hiking boot, has actually caught my eye for several years now. It typically sits outside of Victor’s Shoe Repair on Verdugo Ave. in Burbank, just west of Hollywood Way. In the past several months, the boot has occasionally been parked in front of Milt & Edie’s Drycleaners on the corner of  Pass and Alameda, also in Burbank.

I’m not sure why this vehicle continues to provide me amusement, but it does. And oh how I’d love to get my hands on the keys and take it for a spin some day!

Burbank Street Closures

Brace yourself, Burbankians. President Obama will be taping the Tonight Show today at NBC.

@ginayates forwarded today’s road closures in Burbank from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.:

* Buena Vista Street between Alameda and Riverside
* Riverside Drive between Keystone and Niagara
* 134 Freeway off-ramp on Buena Vista St and Riverside Drive

ICME: Creative Cars

One of the best things about Los Angeles is that we have such a diverse pool of creative people here.  It seems that people from all over the country, in fact all over the world, come here to get their creative groove on. Whether it is the actor who comes here to follow his or her dream of “making it” in Hollywood, or even just the average Joe whose creative streak runs a little too wide for middle America and moves to L.A. so as to no longer be viewed as “weird.” We tend to be fairly accepting of all manner of creative types. Our motto could easily be, “Los Angeles: Come here and let your freak flag fly!”

Gets bigger with a little massage of your mouse. Click it!
Gets bigger with a little massage of your mouse. Click it!

I was in Burbank the other day and came across this piece of automotive expressionism. Wow! Someone clearly took a lot of time with this one. Take a look at that flock of birds flying down the driver’s side. Although I didn’t get a close up of all of those bumper stickers, as far as you know one of them may read, “My other car is the Partridge Family bus.”

But wait. There’s more! Follow me past the jump to see another car that I also found in Burbank the following day.

Continue reading “ICME: Creative Cars”

This weekend only… Lodestone After Dark: The Beginning of the End

In 1995, following the 1992 Los Angeles riots, veteran actor Soon-Tek Oh created the Society of Heritage Performers (SHP), a Korean American theatre ensemble. SHP evolved into Lodestone Theatre Ensemble in 1999, organized by original founders: actors Alexandra Bokyun Chun, Tim Lounibos and Chil Kong, and writer Philip W. Chung. Their new focus was embracing a broader Asian Pacific American identity. Chung and Kong remain as present co-artistic directors.

As they enter into their tenth (and final) season, they are presenting “Lodestone After Dark: The Beginning of the End,” a cabaret-style show which will feature comedy sketches and musical numbers this weekend. This show will celebrate Lodestone’s ten years and launch the company’s final season of shows before it closes its doors at the end of 2009.

These performances actually kicked off last night, Dec 11, with GEDDE WATANABE (Sixteen Candles’ Long Duk Dong) & ERIN QUILL (Avenue Q) hosting. But you can still catch the performances with ALEC MAPA (Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives) hosting tonight (Dec 12) through Sunday (Dec 14).

Lodestone also promises special celebrity guests who will be making appearances throughout the run of the show including:
*JOHN CHO (Harold and Kumar, Star Trek)
*JAMES KYSON LEE (Heroes)
*KELLY HU (X-Men 2)
*DAVID ONO (Anchor, KABC TV Eyewitness News)
*SANDRA OH (Grey’s Anatomy)
*GEORGE TAKEI (Star Trek)
*SUNG KANG (Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift)
*ROGER FAN (Better Luck Tomorrow)
*KABA MODERN’S YURI TAG & FYSH N’ CHICKS’ TAEKO COLLINS (America’s Top Dance Crew)
*Along with members of the Asian American comedy groups the 18 MIGHTY MOUNTAIN WARRIORS, OPM, COLD TOFU & many other surprises.

I’m planning to be there tonight; I can’t wait!

(More details after the jump)

Continue reading “This weekend only… Lodestone After Dark: The Beginning of the End”

Slow Down, Bike Mavericks!

Pamela Lang writes in the Burbank Leader that there should be a speed limit on the Chandler Bikeway. Because people on bikes and roller blades and distracted runners go really fast, and they are mean.

You see, Pamela goes for morning walks along the bikeway. She recently witnessed an accident involving 2 bicyclists and 1 blader. So, she wants going really fast to be against the law.

The city of Burbank needs to impose and post a speed limit for bicyclists and those using roller blades, skateboards or any other vehicle on wheels. I have personally witnessed those on bikes passing me at an alarmingly fast speed.

Now, I’m not sure about your skateboard or your roller blades, but my Trek mountain bike did not come with a speedometer. However, I did find one for under $5 here. And one for skates here. They even make them for skateboards. Although, this one appears to be discontinued. Shucks.

Anyhoo.. I have a few questions that I’d like you to consider as you trudge through the rest of the day:

  1. Should bikeways be off-limits to bikes?
  2. Should there be posted speed limits?
  3. What should that speed limit be?
  4. Will there be use of radar technology to enforce said speed limit?
  5. What about minimum speeds?
  6. Will dogs and squirrels be exempt?

Discuss.