Got Fed!

JavaJunkee and a Grill Em All Weedeater
JavaJunkee and a GrillemAll Weedeater

Hey everybody – I’m a newbie blogger here at blogging.la, so I wanted to get things started on the right foot by letting you know two things: 1. I love to eat. 2. Nevermind, I guess I already covered that in point 1.

But seriously, I’ve been a longtime reader of blogging.la and have always appreciated what the fine authors here have offered in terms of both individual character and LA culture. I’ve tagged along to various events such as the Blog-around-the-clock marathon at Canter’s and the Donut Summit in Griffith Park. (I missed the Hot Dog Death March and have yet to attend an installment of Classic Eats, but it’s going to happen!) Now that blogging.la has given me an opportunity to contribute to what they’ve got going here, I’m certainly hoping that my offerings will be half as valuable to other readers as I’ve found blogging.la to be for me over these past (almost) five years I’ve had the privilege of calling myself an Angeleno.

Anyway, I wanted to take the opportunity in this post to let folks know about a semi-regular event that seems to be gaining steam over in my neck of the woods, North Hollywood. Last Saturday I ventured out with fellow blogging.la author Travis Koplow and a couple other friends to a lot behind The Federal Bar where ten food trucks had gathered for a third installment of “Get FED!” The truck lineup appears to vary from month to month, and the purpose of the event seems to be at least a little bit focused on trying to promote The Federal Bar. The first time through, back in mid-January, Frysmith tried to dissuade one of my companions from swapping out sweet po’ fries for the regulars on whatever special she happened to order, and then tweeted an apology after the fact. This time around, me and my companions tried out one of the Grill Em All Truck‘s specials, the “weedeater,” and left feeling quite satisfied. Probably the highlight of the event, though, was the two homeless men, or homeless-looking men – completely independent of one another – getting down to the music provided by live DJs. I haven’t seen anything that says with certainty that this will be a monthly event; the first took place on the 15th of January, the second on the 12th of March, and the third on the 9th of April. If you’re looking for a chance to catch multiple food trucks in a single location in the east Valley, I’d say keep your eyes peeled around the first or second Saturday of May for your next chance to catch this one.

While it’s definitely nice to have an event like this just down the street on occasion, I do have to temper my excitement with the sense of disappointment I experience when something really cool – like the food truck phenomenon in LA – reaches that point at which it starts to feel like it’s being exploited as another great marketing gimmick. I’m still not sure, though, which is more distasteful to me: businesses shamelessly trying to tap into the zeitgeist to make a quick dollar (which Get FED! may or may not be, but bank billboards definitely are when they say things like “we have ATMs all over for when you happen to cross paths with that gourmet food truck” – no I don’t have a pic for this but I swear I’ve seen it), or the fact that something cool and obscure about the city becomes ubiquitous and pedestrian. Is that hipster-ish of me to say? Oops.

It’s The Most Magical Night Of The Year

Photo by Jodi
Photo by Jodi

For the fifteen years I’ve lived in Los Angeles, every Christmas Eve I’ve enjoyed The Magical Christmas Caroling Truck. For the 26th year, the sixty-two foot tractor-trailer will wind it’s way through the neighborhoods of Toluca Lake and North Hollywood between 4:30 and 11pm tonight, spreading lots of holiday cheer along the way.

Honestly, I can be a bit bah-humbug this time of year, but the truck never fails to get me feeling a little more of the “holiday spirit.” Back in 1994, we had no idea what the racket was outside of our Toluca Lake area apartment. We ran outside and were amazed by the brightly lit holiday show traveling down our street. When we moved into a house a couple of years later, we were delighted to find out we were still on the caroling truck’s route! It has become a tradition that I hold near and dear and  look forward to every year now. Our neighbors have a party and when the truck hits our street, we rush out and enjoy, occasionally even walking along with it for a while. Instead of having to go out and find lights to look at, they come to us!

The vehicle is adorned with thousands of lights, blasts holiday music, all while over 200 people sing and dance on and along side the truck. A separate train car rides behind carrying Santa (or one of his “helpers,” since his will be busy, of course) and there is snow. The truck ambles along through the neighborhoods, stopping from time to time. It seems like it gets just a little more festive every year, if that is even possible.

Even if you don’t live in the neighborhoods The Magical Christmas Caroling Truck visits, you can bring the family to the area and enjoy. See the truck’s website for photos and videos, as well as a map of the approximate times and locations. This just might become one of your favorite holiday traditions too!

How NoHo Gateway Got Approved

nohosign
This artist's rendering of another artist's POS

“I love public art projects because, when they’re done right, they give identity and character to a neighborhood,” said Councilmember Tom LaBonge.

The North Hollywood Gateway is up, it’s lit, and it already has its fair share of detractors. Metblogs’ own Jodi gave her review just a few days ago.

Let’s be honest: Nobody likes it. When I drive under the massive public art thing that has vomitously spewed across Lankershim Boulevard, I can’t help but think, “Who approved this?”

So, I asked.
Continue reading “How NoHo Gateway Got Approved”