New Apple Store in Century City

You know what they say about Century City, besides everything being so nice and pretty. No, not the thing about all the people looking the same either. It’s that they are screwed in the Apple Store department. They have to drive all the way to Santa Monica or West Hollywood for their Apple fix, and darling, that just won’t do. Luckily for them, this is all in the past. This weekend a Century City Apple Store opened it’s doors and started spreading the Mac love. That’s right folks, it just got a little less lame over there.

Parking Meter Scam in Downtown

The homeless guys who hang around the wholesale toy district downtown have got a crazy parking meter scam going. I’ve been over there a few times in the past week or so in the quest for cubes and have encountered it every time. Basically it’s like this – they figured out how the meters register the coins and fashioned little plastic sticks that they can slide down the coin slot and rack up time – then they jam the slot so you can’t put any change in it. When you park they rush you and explain that if you want to park in that spot you need to give them the change you would have put in the meter and they will then rig it for you so you have time, if you don’t pay them, they won’t use their magic meter sticks and you’ll get a ticket. There’s probably 20 different guys doing this all day on the several blocks north of 3rd and west of Alameda, specifically on Boyd and Wall streets. I got the feeling they’ve been doing this unchallenged for a while because they were telling me the scam before asking how long I was going to be there or if I was a cop (which they did, but after they’d already given me a hour credit).

The karma of this came back and kicked me in the ass an hour later when I got a $45 ticket at 2:58 in Culver City for parking in a “street cleaning – no parking noon – 3PM” zone. Ugh.


This year’s “KXLU FUNDRAZOR SHOW 2005” is happening on Saturday June 4th, 2005 @ 7:00 pm @ The Knitting Factory, Hollywood (in all 3 rooms). It’ll only cost you $15 to see all 15 bands and all money goes to benefiting KXLU 88.9 FM (LA’s only TRUE indie station). Bands playing live will be Her Space Holiday, The Mean Reds, Year Future, Wires On Fire, Rolling Blackouts, Pigeon John, Ariel Pink, My Barbarian, Child Pornography, Watch Me Burn, This Song Is a Mess But So Am I, My Little Red Toe and more special guests! Should be a great show cuz you know the kid from The Mean Reds will prolly pull his penis out plus it’s for a really good cause. You can also donate money to KXLU here. And you can always listen online at Awwww yeah.

360 Building (Sunset Tower) on Fire

The old 360 building at Sunset + Vine is on fire. (I work in the building across the street.)

It’s a toxic smell and I think they are evacuating us pre-emptively since it looks like they’re closing down Sunset.

Update: We weren’t evacuated but because the fumes were being pumped through the infamous air-conditioner and many people were complaining about burning eyes, noses and throats, they had to cut the A/C. Our group got the OK to leave early. By the time I left the building, the fire was out. Kudos for LAFD for being so quick to respond. My co-workers who sit in the corner offices closest to the fire said that they as soon as they saw smoke and pondered calling 911, they already saw a chopper above and saw a fire engine responding.)

Pictures forthcoming below taken by me from inside my building. ::David Kurtz’s pictures from the roof here:: ::Story and photos from NBC4:: ::Official LAFD blog post::

@ 4:01:14 pm

Sunset Tower Fire @ 4:01:14 pm

(more in the extended entry)
Continue reading 360 Building (Sunset Tower) on Fire

Bowling For Scholars 2005…

DSC_0575dx.jpgSunday night was the fifth annual Bowling For Scholars charity event at the Palos Verdes Bowl in Torrance.

Disappointments aside with its organization, it was well worth the effort that I spent in bringing friends to bowl with me. I didn’t hear any complaints from them either, but that was probably because they were too busy gawking at the pornstars who were in attendance, such as Belladonna, Avy Scott, Mari Possa, and Naudia.

More NSFW (not safe for work) photos here.

(Yikes, leave it to me to follow up a great and touching Memorial Day post by Will with this one!)

UPDATE: Photo links updated.

Just Around the Corner

Yesterday we took a trip over to Ameoba for some new music. Also on the list were a few things from Bed, Bath & Beyond, so we headed across the street. We usually have a bit of lunch at the Baja Fresh but decided we weren’t really in the mood, so we were pleased to find a little place around the corner, just next to The Shops at Schwabs called Zen Zoo. There we ordered some steamed potstickers and summer rolls – perfect light fare for a Sunday afternoon.

After ordering we checked out their second floor and found a wonderful little lounge area that would be great for pre or post Arclight gathering.

On the menu was also a bit of upscale boba fare. They called them Zodiac ZenFusion, which were tea blends (served iced) with soy creamer (all are vegan) for your Chinese Zodiac sign.

The Man ordered the Dragon which was simply green (and I mean it was green) tea and mint while I opted for one of their other items, a barley latte, which is espresso style barley done as a latte. It was kind of like a chai, only more roasty tasty. My only caution is to order them unsweetened. The Man’s Dragon was much too sweet for him, though my barley latte was very drinkable (though I’d prefer it unsweetened too). see bad photo of menu here

Take A Hike (next in an occasional series)

It’s been awhile since I last posted a trek, but while waiting for the June gloom (May gray?) to burn off before going over to Westwood to pay my annual respects at the Los Angeles National Cemetery this Memorial Day, I figured I’d brag about the hike my fiancee and I made to Trail Canyon Falls in the Angeles National Forest above Sunland/Tujunga.

We’d first heard about Trail Canyon Trail via a feature on area waterfalls that I read in the Outdoors section of the L.A. Times a couple weeks back, and set out yesterday morning in search of the dramatic 50-foot curtain falls featured in the cover photo. The dirt road off Big Tujunga Canyon Road to the trailhead is easy to miss and we did by miles, but after doubling back we found roadside signage indicating its proximity. In a few more minutes we were parked, loaded up and heading out.

For being just a two-mile trek to the falls from the trailhead, this hike offers a wonderful variety of terrain and scenery. From several shady rock hops across Trail Canyon Creek beneath the tree canopy, to the marvelous vistas found after the climb up out of the canyon, there’s something for everyone out here. And the marvelous falls is a must-see highlight that’s defintely worth the trip ó even if the bottom of the falls is accessible only via a semi-steep scramble down an overgrown singletrack, that splits off to the right.

Directions and other details after the jump. A closer pic I got of the falls can be found here on the Flickr photo pool (or click the image at right for a larger view).
Continue reading Take A Hike (next in an occasional series)

Griffith Park Blaze

The details on the Griffith Park first have been posted on the LAFD News & Information Blog:

“On Sunday, May 29, 2005 at 5:34 PM PDT, twenty-one Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three LAFD Helicopters, one LAFD Brush Patrol, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one EMS District Captain, six LAFD Battalion Officer Command Teams and two Handcrews from the Los Angeles County Fire Department, all under the direction of LAFD Assistant Chief Michael Fulmis responded to a Major Emergency Brush Fire east of the picnic areas adjacent to the Wilson-Harding Golf Complex in Griffith Park.”

Just something to check out

As you might know, local rockstar Dave Navarro fills a lot of his blog with answers to questions posted by his readers. One recently asked, considering the fact that he is a rock star and fairly well known “just how much did the drugs/addiction get into the way of your career and I guess life in general?” Dave’s response is pretty awesome. He says…

“This is a very interesting question. And as much as I see your point, I have to say a few things. My addiction to drugs played an enormous role in the demise of some of the projects I was involved in. I certainly contributed to the destruction of some really great things. Sure, some work got done, but the continuous struggle with day to day things, relationships and work load made for a very unhappy way to live out my dreams. I had a complete lack of spiritual connection, health problems and negativity within my personal life as well as my professional projects. I can see how from the outside looking in, things might have looked like they were all right. Work did get done, tours and lots of music, but the truth is that I can only imagine how much more would have gotten done without the drugs, as well as how much more I could have enjoyed it all. In addition, my romantic and family relationships suffered dramatically as well. Several overdoses, canceled shows and emotional wreckage. Hospitals, lost trust and faith… General indifference and insanity. Things were not just fine and dandy. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to work with some really great and inspiring people. If it wasn’t for them, I would not have been able to carry on alone. So now, years away from that life I really embrace the opportunities put in front of me. How did I do it? I allowed others to help me. Got off the drugs and began to embrace a spiritual way of life. There is obviously no one way to do this so I chose what worked best for me. I have never in my life been happier.”

Say it, don’t spray it.

clickitarmy.jpgAnybody else noticed the recent glut of ìClick It or Ticketî warnings on the radio stations and freeways of Los Angeles? I know theyíre only trying to save lives, but these spots make me want to unlatch my seatbelt if only out of spite. Am I not capable of deciding whether or not to wear a seatbelt on my own? And with 90.4 percent of Californians already wearing seatbelts, is a $3.3 million marketing campaign really a good use of funds? This press release explains the statewide effort, but not the annoying catch-phrase.

“CHP Deputy Commissioner Farrow said that the patrol is deeply committed toward raising seat belt use in California. ìThe simplest and most effective action a motor vehicle driver or occupant can do to save their life is to spend two seconds and buckle a seat belt.î

Now thatís a reasonable cost/benefit analysis. Two seconds versus death? Iíll take a seatbelt, thank you very much. But ìIt only takes 2 secondsî just doesnít have the poetic flippancy of the familiar ìClick It or Ticket!î

Is it me or do the ticketing authorities of Los Angeles and California (and other states) bandy this ìClick It or Ticketî catch-phrase about in a particularly self-satisfied manner? I imagine uniformed commissioners repressing smug smiles, like theyíre SOO pleased with the clever rhyme, but too bureaucratic to admit it. In fact, the implicit pleasure taken in the obvious couplet suggests a smarmy self-righteousness I find quite annoying as well as paternalistic.

And now I’m on a roll…
Continue reading Say it, don’t spray it.

What Goes Down …

This weekend is the Great Arcata to Ferndale Kinetic Scuplture Race. For those of you not familiar with this challenge – people build and power vehicles of all shapes and sizes that can travel on roads, sand dunes and across the bay in a madcap three day race. We have no such nuttiness here in Los Angeles.

But there’s an attempt to cultivate more of these neighborhood events and even a new effort to get the Silverlake Downhill Derby going. Honestly, how can you live in a neighborhood with one of the steepest streets in the city and not want to roll down it freestyle? Now set for Saturday, June 18th at 10 AM, there’s still time to build and enter. The race is set to start at the corner of Landa and Redcliff.

I seriously think that needs its own entry. And that it should be shaped like a robot.

Getto Chess

048c2c20.jpgI just saw a flyer for a group of people playing Getto Chess and I had to go check out their website. Every page is better than the one before it and at this point I can’t decide what is more amusing. The fact that ‘getto’ should actually be spelled ‘ghetto’? The guestbook? The action shots? Or the claims that this game was invented in the 90’s here in LA. In case you don’t recognize it this game is also known as GoMoku Narabe (aka stones) and has been around for quite a bit longer than the 90’s. It’s also been a staple cell phone game for a good many years, but who cares about those minor details.