Paris vs. Los Angeles

Harold at the Château de Vincennes on the east side of Paris.
Harold at the Château de Vincennes on the east side of Paris.

Over the holidays I left the warmth of sunny LA to visit mon homme, Harold in Paris and decided to reveal my comparative observations between these two great cities. Also, I can’t think of anything else to blog about this week.

Weather – I don’t even know why I am bothering to comment on this, as LA is the obvious winner. Visiting France in the winter didn’t help Paris here, but come on, no matter what the season, not many cities are going to beat LA when it comes to our average weather year round, which is quite spectacular.

Public Transportation – As a frequent rider of LA’s Metro system, I feel qualified to declare Paris the winner here. The City of Lights boasts many more trains per hour (like one train every 5 minutes) and is much more accessible than LA’s Metro system. You can get within a few blocks of just about anywhere you need to go. The one drawback is that it can be quite crowded, even during off peak hours.

Cost of Living – LA may not be the cheapest big city, but it sure beats Paris when it comes to housing and food values. Harold’s apartment is a good example. His place is smaller than mine, in a more suburban Continue reading “Paris vs. Los Angeles”

As the Year Winds Down to a Close

Yeah, big fan of the whole "Freedom of Spech" thing.
Who is this dashing RobNoxious fellow?

Time to let go of ’09 and get ready for a New Start.

2009 is almost finished, and while there have been some great things that have happened, been plenty to remember fondly and celebrate, there’s also been a good lot that I’m sure none of us will miss. Some things that we should just put behind us. Some stuff that makes us just want to put paid to ’09  and get on with the New Year. Bring on some 2010.

Like the fact that RobNoxious hasn’t posted on Metblogs at all this year!

I Know! A Whole Year! Longer, really. Horrible, isn’t it? Tragic, one might say.

Well, well, welly well, my Little Droogs, not to worry. And we need not wait until the calendar flips its page into the next Three Sixty Five for my return:
The Noxious One is back, Friends.

All of my old posts can be found here:
(http://la.metblogs.com/author/robnoxious/)

But to narrow things down a bit, I think you should know that:
I like it The Punk Rock,
I like Comic Books and Sci Fi,
I don’t like surruptitious throttling of my internet, tapping of my phone or threats to Net Neutality,
I like Amusement Parks,
I don’t like douche bags,
I love exploring our fine city,
and even enjoy the occasional bit of poetry.

Really, though, I’m just another Artist making his way in L.A., paying the bills at his work-a-day job. But y’know, sometimes the job can really be HELL. (for someone, anyway. heh.)

In any case, it’s really good to be back, and I look forward to venturing into the New Year with everyone.

Thanks guys,
Rob

This Week’s Featured Metro Rider

metroriderA few weeks ago, I had the displeasure of riding the Metro across from a girl who was plucking her eyebrows. This week I found an even more offensive character who clearly has zero regard for his fellow passengers. Based on this debonair gentleman’s devil-may-care attitude, I assume that he somehow came under the mistaken presumption that the city bus is not a shared ride, but rather his own personal mode of transportation upon which he can do whatever he likes, such as kicking back, taking up several seats, putting his wet shoes on the seat (it was raining that day) and horking down an extremely pungent container of fried rice. This guy is a class act all the way. I can only imagine the lucky girl (or guy) who gets to come home to this every night.

Those of you who ride the Metro are surely familiar with the rules they announce over the PA on regular intervals – don’t place your feet on the seats, no eating, drinking or smoking allowed. In fact, for the latter three, you could apparently be fined up to $250, that is if there were Metro officials who actually enforced these rules. However, since I do not have the authority to fine individuals like this, nor do I think it’s a good idea to confront strangers on public transportation, I will do the one thing I am comfortable with. That is, mocking jerks like this in a public forum in the hopes of shaming people in general into being considerate. I’ll let you know how that all works out.

Late For Home Ec.

Inside Home Ec. (photo courtesy of Jenny Ryan. Some rights reserved.)
Inside Home Ec.'s Beautifully Organized Space (Photo courtesy of Jenny Ryan. Some rights reserved).

This post is a bit tardy, but I’ve been in detention like all year.

One of my favorite local DIY mavens recently opened Home Ec., an adorable retail space located in the heart of Sunset Junction in Silver Lake.

Just standing on the sidewalk, peering into Home Ec.’s warm, holiday decorated window, my fingers start to twitch as I spy a studious row of sewing machines, colorful bolts of fabric, neatly organized cubbies filled with yarns and spacious work tables inside. Home Ec. is not just a sewing and craft workshop, it’s a dream workshop that I hope to replicate in my own home some day.

The store offers fabrics and yarns, sewing patterns, books, craft kits and even some exclusive products that you will only find in the store. They also host classes ranging from sewing and fiber arts to paper crafting and glasswork.

Home Ec. owner Jenny Ryan is the creator of the hugely popular Felt Club. She’s also an occasional blogger for CRAFT and Apartment Therapy LA, and the author of Sew Darn Cute: 30 Sweet & Simple Projects to Sew & Embellish. Continue reading “Late For Home Ec.”

I Will, I Will Mock You

Public Eyebrow Groomer as seen on a Metro Bus
Public Eyebrow Groomer as seen on a Metro Bus

Since I began my adventures in public transportation earlier this year, I have seen a lot of rude, inappropriate and often strange behavior from my fellow carbon-based life forms. I have seen people carelessly put their shoes on bus seats.  I have seen someone leave a half-eaten sandwich on the floor of the train. I have seen a perfectly nice looking middle-aged woman forcibly push her way to the front of a line of people boarding a bus, just to be the first one on. I have shared personal space with people emitting body odors that would make a mortician gag. Yes my friends, I have been to hell and back and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

While annoying, I have grown to accept many of these acts of humanness as part of the deal when taking public transportation. Still, when I see something like today’s featured Metro rider, I can’t help but make a public mockery of it.

Today, while making my connection to the Metro Red Line, I sat across from this girl who was plucking her eyebrows. Maybe some of you think this is OK, but let me tell you, YOU ARE WRONG. Some personal grooming is acceptable on public transportation I would say. Like powdering your nose or putting on lipstick. However, anything involving body hair is an absolute disgusting DON’T. You wouldn’t shave your armpits on the bus, would you? Would she? I don’t know. Fortunately, I made my connection before I had to find out.

LA SantaCon 2009

VerdElf at SantaCon 2008 (Photo courtesy of Colin Young-Wolff and the LA Times)
VerdElf at SantaCon 2008 (Photo courtesy of Colin Young-Wolff and the LA Times)

Details about the annual Santa Conference (SantaCon) is usually unavailable this early in the year and the veracity of any information that does become available is often in question due to Santa’s propensity for pranking. What we do know is this, the annual conference is coordinated by a shadowy figure known only as “Santa” and while he sometimes tolerates elves at his annual gathering,  he will do anything it takes to keep those damn clowns from ruining his jolly good time.

While specific details about SantaCon are never revealed until it is actually happening, I just received some intel regarding this year’s event that may be helpful for those of you who are looking to either participate or avoid it altogether. My sources have informed me that this year’s event will take place on Saturday, December 12.

I am also told that Santa is likely to be traveling on foot instead of bus this year, which means a $5 Metro Day Pass is all you’re going to need to hurl your cheer onto every street corner.

Last year, Santa merged at Echo Park Lake to begin the conference. So far, no one has revealed the exact starting location of this year’s event, but to me downtown seems like an obvious choice. Then, you never really know with Santa.

Ho, ho, ho.

See Nissan’s First Zero Emissions Car This Weekend

On November 14, 15 and 16, locals will have the opportunity to check out Nissan’s first ever zero-emissions electric car, the LEAF. This will be the first public unveiling of the LEAF in North America. You can check it out this weekend at the following locations:

Nissan's New Electric Car Debuts in LA this Weekend
Nissan's New Electric Car Debuts in LA this Weekend

November 14, 2009 10am – 9pm
Third Street Promenade
1351 3rd Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA

November 15, 2009 11am – 8pm
Americana at Brand
233 S. Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA

November 16, 2009 9am – 5pm
University Southern California
3501 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA

According to Nissan, the LEAF handles and accelerates like a V6 and has a top speed of up to 90mph. It will have an average range of 100 miles per charge and the battery will charge in 4-8 hours on a 220V home charging unit. At quick-charge stations, it will charge to 80% in about 26 minutes. Although Nissan has not released exact information on pricing, they say that they are “targeting a price in the range of other typical family sedans.” The LEAF will be on the road in some states in 2010, with mass-production beginning in 2012.

To attend one of the unveiling events this weekend, register on their website here.

Butter Me, Baby

Buttermilk Truck's Red Velvet Cupcakes
Buttermilk Truck's Red Velvet Cupcakes

With the explosion of specialty food trucks on the LA food scene over the past year or so, fueled in part by the immense popularity of Kogi BBQ, the undisputed monarch of motorized food purveyors, announcements of new food trucks were becoming somewhat noisy and commonplace. Sipping a cocktail at a bar one night, I overheard a couple gush about The Grilled Cheese Truck. Getting a pedicure, I witnessed the entire staff at the nail salon go nuts over the Nom Nom Truck. Just as I my inner cynic began to roll her eyes and slap a jumped shark sticker on the bumper of the food truck craze, someone said two magical words that snapped me right out of it, like a plunge into an ice cold bath.

“Buttermilk Truck.” I could almost smell the warm vanilla in the air when I heard those words.

Buttermilk Truck, scheduled to launch this Wednesday, November 11 at The Brig in Venice, is a “breakfast diner on wheels,” boasting chicken and cinnamon waffles, red velvet cupcakes, Hawaiian bread breakfast sliders and more. They make their pastries from scratch and even offer a late night menu – because we all know the best time to have breakfast is before the sun rises.

Hawaiian Bread Breakfast Sliders
Hawaiian Bread Breakfast Sliders

Like many of LA’s nouveau gourmet food trucks, you can follow Buttermilk Truck on twitter to keep up with where they are going to park their truck next. Also, LAist has compiled a rather comprehensive twitter list of just about every food truck in town. <——– Just click there to access the list.

I may not be able to make it to Buttermilk Truck’s launch this Wednesday, but you can guarantee that I will be the first in line when they drop by Silver Lake.

For more information on Buttermilk Truck and to check out their complete menu, visit them at http://buttermilktruck.com/.

Are These Potatoes Still Vegetarian Approved?

This morning, Harold and I were sitting at the counter at Millie’s waiting for our breakfast and I noticed how the potatoes, pancakes and french toast all share the same tight grill space as the corned beef hash, bacon, sausage and pork chops. I’m not vegetarian, but I began to wonder if this is something that bothers vegetarians. Are you OK knowing that your rosemary potatoes are cooked within inches of bacon and the same spatula used to flip a hamburger patty is used to shovel those meatless potatoes onto your plate? Is it OK if meat juices touch your veggies as long as you don’t actually eat the meat? Are these potatoes still fit for a vegetarian diet? I don’t have a strong opinion on this, so I ask you vegetarians: How far will you go to make sure that your food is prepared in a meatless environment?

A fresh batch of rosemary potatoes are thrown on the grill
A fresh batch of rosemary potatoes are thrown on the grill
Millie's Busy Breakfast Grill
Millie's Busy Breakfast Grill

Get Drunk and Go Home With a Stranger

As the holiday season approaches and your calendar begins to overflow with festive party invites, we at Metblogs urge you to act responsibly, especially when it comes to alcohol consumption.

Our motto is: If you’re going to be making a merry mess of yourself all over town, please do us all a favor and go home with a stranger.

OK, maybe that’s not an official Metblogs motto, but it should be. The thing is, there are many alternatives to drinking and driving. You can take the Metro, call a taxi, hire a limo, appoint a designated driver, call a sober friend, call Alcoholics Anonymous. Still, with all of these options, so many of us will choose to get behind the wheel of our own car and drive home after a night of boozing. I am not proud to admit how many times I have done this in the past.

According to Y Drive, “The main reason people drink and drive is that they don’t want to leave their cars behind.”

Y Drive's Magic Folding Scooter
Y Drive's Magic Folding Scooter

That’s why Y Drive came up with an innovative and affordable service that eliminates this factor altogether. When you call Y Drive, a professional driver will come to you on a folding scooter. For a flat fee of $38, the Continue reading “Get Drunk and Go Home With a Stranger”

Utopia In Progress

Remember last week when I posted that rant about the garbage piling up next door? Well thanks to my friend Jonathan’s intel, I was able to track down the owner of the business and they hauled away all of the trash today! This renews my belief in the notion that one person (with the help of some well connected friends) can make a difference. I’d like to thank the owner of Natural Mind, Arnaud Ozharun for taking my complaint seriously, but above all, for taking action. Drinks are on me!

The Trash Pile No Longer Clutters Natural Mind's Parking Lot
Trash Pile No Longer Clutters Natural Mind's Parking Lot

The Untidy Germaphobe

The Untidy Germaphobe
The Untidy Germaphobe

Today in LA fashion I bring you the “Untidy Germaphobe,” as spotted on the Metro Red Line to Union Station. Yeah, yeah, I know. Criticizing fashion on the Metro is too easy, but I go with what I know.

When I first saw the “Untidy Germaphobe” sitting across from me on the train, I only noticed his surgical mask.

“He must be wearing that because of the poor air quality due to the Station Fire,” I thought to myself, smirking arrogantly at my own reflection in my iPod.

Then my eyes moved down to his hands, which were tautly sheathed in blue latex gloves, perfectly color coordinated to match his jaunty mask.

“Hmm. Germaphobe,” I nodded, feeling quite satisfied that I had him all figured out.

Glancing over one more time, I took in the rest of his ensemble, which continued to vex me for at least three more minutes, or however long it takes to get from Hollywood & Highland to Sunset & Vermont.  The gloves and the mask seemed to match a Mysophobic personality disorder sure, but what the hell was going on with the rest of his scene? First of all, his clothes and boots were visibly filthy. Not approved Germaphobe attire. Second, he smelled like he had not showered in quite some time. Definitely the type of violation that could get you kicked out of Germaphobe Camp.

Taking all of the above into consideration, I finally narrowed this guy down to one of three stereotypes, placing the most weight of course on his peculiar outfit (who wears a snow hat in LA during a heat wave?):

1. Recently discharged Vietnam War veteran

2. Construction worker from the 1950’s

3. Anti-government militia soldier

I can’t decide which one, so I’m leaving it up to you fine readers to decide. What’s this dude’s deal? Feel free to offer your own guess.

The Dogs of Metblogs

Che Needs a Permnanent or Foster Home, Can You Help?
Che Needs a Permnanent or Foster Home, Can You Help?

This week’s featured rescue dog is a three year old Vizla/Pit mix who was minutes away from being euthanized at the West Valley Pound before the nice people at Karma Rescue stepped in to help.

Che is a very playful, energetic guy who needs someone who can give him plenty of exercise. He is housebroken, great with other dogs and apparently even friendly with cats too! Che is currently living in a temporary boarding facility where he isn’t getting a lot of attention. He could really use a structured home environment until Karma Rescue finds him a permanent home, so if you can volunteer as a “foster parent,” please e-mail [email protected] for more information.

You can also stop by Karma Rescue’s regular pet adoption events held at Kirby’s Pet Depot located at 12112 Venice Blvd in Mar Vista (one block east of Centinela). Check Karma Rescue’s web site for more information.

Karma Rescue
www.karmarescue.org

Wagner Wrangle

A few months ago, I heard the arts editor of a prominent local weekly (no, not THAT one) say she didn’t like opera and didn’t know anyone who did. Just the other night a bunch of friends, sitting around my table, said the same…how dumb opera was, how long it took for anything to happen. Why bother?

All this made me wonder why, if opera is so unpopular locally, are its tickets so hard to come by? Is affection for grand opera another Love that Dares not State its Name? Did all these people in reality have season tickets, but were too frightened of being outed to admit it? Maybe even tickets to next year’s controversial Wagner Ring cycle? Which is costing LA Opera a reported $32 million to mount.

And which just drew a hostile motion from Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich. This was a motion which the rest of the LA County Board of Supervisors, confronted on the same day with the county’s worst budget crisis in 75 years, found time to flatten. Mike, as I get it, had just heard that Wagner was an anti-Semite. His reasoning seemed to be that the performances ought therefore to be diluted with material written by non-anti-Semites–maybe Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, or Rogers and Hammerstein.

Now, Mike Antonovich is probably the longest-serving elected local office holder in Southern California — certainly in LA County, where he’s been on the board for 29 years. I giggled to hear him assert, at a Monday press conference protesting the state’s homicidal new budget, that… Continue reading “Wagner Wrangle”

Abigail’s Story

FlowerThis is Abigail, a one year old Pit Bull mix who became the victim of shocking, barbaric abuse when she was inexplicably set on fire. Abigail was brought to the Lancaster Shelter where Karma Rescue heard of her tragic story. Karma immediately transported Abigail to a local animal hospital where she received intensive care for her injuries including second and third degree burns throughout her body.

It has been a long road to recovery. Abigail has had multiple surgeries requiring skin grafts, but she is going to make it, thanks to the generous care and support of Karma Rescue’s donors and volunteers.

Unfortunately, the perpetrators of this heinous crime were never caught, Continue reading “Abigail’s Story”