burbank’s finest are on the ball!

Defamer reports that a motorist who gave the finger to a fake presidential motorcade in Burbank was pulled over, handcuffed, and his vehicle searched.

They are shooting a West Wing motorcade scene out on Alameda in front of my window today… So a guy going the other direction in a Mustang honks his horn and flips off the crew as they are going by… One of the real Burbank cops peels off and chases him down. Now there are 4 cop cars and about 10 cops going through his car while he is handcuffed sitting on the ground over by Chadney’s parking lot.. Fun outside my window at someone else’s expense… It doesn’t get any better than this.

Uh . . . what law did this guy break, and why did it warrant four cop cars and ten cops, handcuffs, and a vehicle search? Is there some obscure vehicle code in Burbank that criminalizes giving the finger to fake presidents? If this story is true, I imagine the detained motorist has a very legitimate grievance against Burbank’s finest.

(via LA Observed)

Quality lunch

I have eaten breakfast at Quality (3rd east of Crescent Heights) many times, but today was my first lunch experience. I had the goat cheese salad, which is mixed baby greens with grilled “medallions” of goat cheese, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, avocado, and raspberry vinagrette. I did pick at my husband’s fries a little bit (he had the burger, and OK, fine, I ate almost half the fries) but the salad would have been enough food for a non-pregnant person with a normal appetite. The food was great and at 12:30 (a little early for lunch in LA) the place was a little less than half full and the service was good and prompt.

While we were paying the bill, Sarah Silverman came in with a very tall man and a very short man. Naturally I looked for the camera, but the set was a little too classy for Channel 101 and a little too open for Comedy Central, so I guess they weren’t trying to be funny.

A Quiet Debut For A Park Called Bellevue

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The saga of the rejuvenation of Silver Lake’s Bellevue Park (map) is a loooong one, stretching back to 1996 when voters approved Proposition K, which designated $2 million worth of improvements to it. It was six years later that a citizens committe was finally empowered to decide the specific upgrades, according to a 2004 update on City Council President Eric Garcetti’s website:

After conducting outreach, they settled on landscaping, a pathway, a new picnic area, a sidewalk for Marathon, and field improvements including lights.

The park was closed to the public in June of 2004 as work got underway, and it was initially expected to remain off-limits until July of this year. That’s a heckuva long time for this densely populated, open-space starved community to have to wait, but thankfully the waiting is done and so is all the work that went into its wonderful renewal — and several months ahead of schedule.

Walking with the dog to the north of the park this morning, instead of the closed signs and locked gates to which I’d long become accustomed, I spied an opened access way and the distant sound of children laughing and playing somewhere within. So into it we vbventured and found the place a pristine pocket of paradise. Along the new jogging path the dog and I made our way past the two little league baseball fields, one sporting a brand new electric scoreboard. Then it was over a verdant knoll to the spanking new play areas where a mother pushed her child on a swing and some older kids wrestled and chased each other on the grass. Closer to the park’s south border at Marathon Street I found the virgin picnic area (pictured above) with as-yet-unfired barbecues and tables not yet marred by the inevitable spills and tags.

Welcome back Bellevue and bravo to all who had a hand in bringing you back to life!

Is the flag really the issue?

twoflags.jpg A good friend of mine had a short essay he wrote on the mainstream reaction to la Gran Marcha published on Latino LA. I’m all for debate, but a lot of what I’ve seen written about la Gran Marcha doesn’t tell us much about the perspective of Chicanas/os and Latinas/os (aside from a few quotes and an article or two by Gustavo Arellano).

Ollinkoatl takes on the flag issue and more of what it represents.

While I understand the use of the Stars and Stripes as a precautionary measure to calm the xenophobic tendencies of Anglos, especially in the wake of a 500,000 march of Latinos that filled the megatropolis core of Los Angeles, has it come to this point in the political tactics of Latinos that we must receive approval from Anglos for everything?

Not only that we are humans and deserve rights, as in the case of contesting HR 4437, but we must even seek approval from them for the manner in which we demonstrate our anger at their vindictive immigration policies… such as what type of shirts we wear and what we can or can’t wave at a march? Why not be more precautious and also hold a march in which we only speak English, as we get rid of the flags of Latin-American? Better yet… how about all the dark-skinned Latinos stay home during that march so that they see many of “us” look just like them?

In fact, Americans, widely known for their “linguistic tolerance” do not understand Latino protest language. Within the Latino community we understand the use of flags is to demonstrate the representation of protesters by national origin.

Read the full article here.

(Photo by Haj20.)

The Venice Boardwalk: Now with Less Anarchy!

When I first came to Los Angeles, two years ago, I only knew a few people here – and those were relatives or roomates. So when I was lonely, I would ride my bike along the Venice Beach path, just to see the lunacy down there. I loved that there were so many people there, from so many walks of life: the permanent nomads, the homeless, the street artists, the Midwest tourists, a melee of Eccentric America, in the California sunshine.
Continue reading The Venice Boardwalk: Now with Less Anarchy!

Caroline loves Trader Joes

When I first moved to LA I heard nothing but amazing things about Trader Joes. First time I went I was blown away. And the next and the next. Caroline (who may or may not be on crack) was throwing a last-minute dinner party and TJ’s saved her:

“I’m going to tell you something that as Angelenos you probably already know: Trader Joe’s is a great place to go if you’re throwing a last-minute dinner party, either for a date you want to impress or just some friends you want over to keep you company on a rainy night. They’ve got everything from the cheese plate to oven-baked entrees to ready-to-serve desserts to flowers and candles to a great wine selection.”

So yeah, anyway I was all impressed and shit and then I moved to Silverlake. I was psyched about the fact that there was a TJ’s a few blocks from my house. That was until I tried to go there and noticed there’s about 4 parking spots for the entire place. OK, maybe there’s more than 4, but no many. I’ve spent hours trying to park there -I’ve probably 3 times as much time trying to park as I have actually in the store. It’s a complete nightmare to the point that I won’t even try to go there anymore. If I’m out around town and have time when I’m near one of the other locations then I’m psyched to stop in and get 6 or 7 bags of amazing food for under $20 but the hassle at the lot in Silverlake just isn’t worth it. I don’t really have a point to this post, just wanted to rant for a moment. You can go back to whatever it was you were doing now.

LA Lofts – the book

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Since we’re big on design this week, a blog I’m currently digging called Apartment Therapy, pointed me to a book called “LA Lofts” by senior editor for Home Design at the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine, Barbara Thornburg. Me, I’m all about a bedroom door I can shut but that book looks just my style.

L.A. Lofts is an irresistible object itself, featuring a die-cut cover that teasingly hints at the images of vibrant interiors revealed underneath. Bursting with dazzling photographs and endless color, L.A. Lofts is a surprising and inspiring look into the new breed of loft.

Thornburg writes about some downtown LA lofts in the LAT on March 12. This article inspired an article on LA lofts and LA ghosts – also in the LAT.

Accessing Your Inner Sex Kitten: Pole Dancing 101

heather & tammara

Woooh! Heather’s post below is right on. My ass hurts so much today, I can hardly walk. For years I’ve admired how strippers so easily swing around on poles…and even fantasized about how much fun it would be. Now I know how much muscle it takes. See, I like to give my wonderful boyfriend treats…when he’s happy, I’m happy. So in that spirit, when Heather called and asked me to join her in the Aphrodite intro class to pole dancing, I figured why not?! I can kill two birds with one stone: i.e. learn how to take my clothes off without feeling and looking ridiculous, and I’ll give my honey a girly-fun surprise. Besides, really! How hard can it be to take your clothes off and prance around naked? Boy, was I in for a surprise! There’s even a trick to walking sexy: aka the ‘stripper walk’. It involves walking on the balls of your feet and swaying your hips back and forth in a tantalizing way. The teacher, Gabrielle kept reminding us to use our ‘barbie toes’. It was great fun, and yes, now I can swing around a pole with abandon! Yippee!!! Heather and I will keep you updated on our progress in the weeks to come!!!!

From Maximilian To Monsters

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2006/03/ma01-thumb.jpgThe folks over at Silver Lake’s Materials & Applications have been busy again. Last year they brought us the dazzling installation titled Maximilian’s Schell whose shimmering golden funnel paid homage to Disney’s kitchy sci-fi film The Black Hole (in which one Mr. Schell starred). Now in full effect at 1619 Silver Lake Boulevard is their latest hit titled “Here There Be Monsters” (click image to biggify; couple more images after the jump), consisting of a bamboo ramp bridging an ominous pool in which there may be things watching you.

From their flyer:

The uncharted waters of our spring/summer installation support living systems poised to respond to visitors moving within this outdoor exhibit space. A hand-woven bamboo bridge spanning the water supports surveillance and embedded control systems that work as the sensory and nervous systems for this living aquatic zone.

Spookycool, eh?

The installation, a collaborative effort by infranatural and Levitas, will be up through the end of June. The opening reception is scheduled for April 1 from 2 – 6 p.m.
Continue reading From Maximilian To Monsters

My Neck, My Back…

If you’ve ever wondered why strippers have great abs it’s because it takes muscle to pole dance. Writhing around on the floor, on the pole, on the back mirror in platform heels is not a walk in the park. Why do I know? Because I’m taking a pole dancing class. Fellow b.la writer Tammara joined me and may be posting some photos.

My teacher is the lovely and talented Gabrielle at Aphrodite Strip N Pole. I took her intro class earlier this year and yesterday got together with a bunch of girlfriends to start her 6 week course. Like knowing how to shoot a gun and fly an airplane, serious pole dancing skills may come in handy some day. It’s just one of those skills a girl should know.

Class is cross between Pilates and Ballet with added spice; and takes skills, technique and guts! I felt completely silly sliding my legs, butt and chest on the floor. Approaching the pole with my new walk and practicing tricks until my ankle and legs were bruised, I’m thinking, “could this possibly be sexy?” But then I looked around the room and I only saw totally hot sexy women. Graceful movements. Hair spinning around the pole. The moves were sexy on their own, which made me feel better, because that meant, I wasn’t looking like the big dork I thought I looked like. Once I relaxed, I really had a lot of fun spinning around the pole.

Gabrielle was a great instructor. We didn’t practice in bright overhead light, but instead had low light, candles and plenty of red poles, so we had to pair up at most. She walked and talked us through floor, bar and pole moves. She picked great music and reminded us to breathe and s l o w d o w n. It was a lot of fun and great to see my friends having a fun and learning something new. I was too.

Next week, we practice in platform shoes. I guess I’ll have a reason to go down to Hollywood Blvd and check out La La Shoes and the like. And then there’s the search for my home practice pole… that’s just what I need, another physical activity. But at least the boyfriend reaps extra benefits from this exercise.