It Can Work Both Ways

There’s a popular game played here in Los Angeles that drives native residents crazy. The game is called “Everything Was Better Where I Came From” and it frequently involves food and an east coast city.*

Most transplants (myself included) have played this game and I’ll admit that it’s annoying. Well I’ve got good news, this game can work both ways, at least as far as my hometown is concerned.

My father told me that a Fatburger recently opened up in Massapequa Park, NY, which is about ten minutes from where I was grew up. This is the first one in the area so I made sure to tell him that Fatburger was way better than any stupid Long Island burger joint and he should go there immediately. He told me I had no idea what I was talking about (but not exactly in those words).

Now when I go home to see my family I can take them to Fatburger and while we’re there I can talk about how awesome the food is in Los Angeles. When they ask: “If you love LA so much, why don’t you go back there?” I can assure them that I will do just that.

*As Militant Angeleno will tell you, the idea that the your hometown is a culinary wonderland is pure nostalgic bullshit.

Urbane Guerillas

img_0336.jpgIt’s been a few months in the waiting but “The Urban Homestead” written by Echo Parkians Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen is finally out and available and I had to give it a shout because it’s an awesome and informative resource and because Erik’s a friend of mine, but also because the day after I ordered one up I found a hand-delivered package on our doorstep Thursday. Inside was not only my autographed copy of the book, but a bonus bottle of their homebrewed beer as well as a basket of eggs fresh from their own backyard chickens, each one a different color — the eggs, I mean (and perhaps the chickens, too).

I’m not saying that if you order your own copy of the book it’ll arrive similarly augmented with some of the products of their self-sufficiency, but you won’t know if you don’t buy! Available for purchase directly from their excellent Homegrown Evolution blog, at Amazon and booksellers everywhere, including Skylight Books in Los Feliz Village.

P.S. Kelly and Eric were featured in this article on “guerilla gardening” in Thursday’s L.A. Times.

Mr. Hawk is back!

The hawk family has returned.  We spotted the female hiding in a few trees a couple of weeks ago.  At 7:04AM this morning Mr Hawk arrived and started his screeching as he sat atop a power pole next door.

What remains to be discovered is where the pair have built their nest to raise their young.  With luck we’ll find out soon.  Can’t wait as usually around July 4 the babes have lost their pin feathers and are beginning to fly. And hunt.

Pic by me, it does get bigger with a click.

LAMag’s 64 Best Things About LA: For the Love of God, Please No Pink’s

lamag.JPGSo, over at Los Angeles Magazine’s website, they’re down to their final 4 contenders for the best thing in LA.

Wait for it.

Your choices are…

Amoeba Records.

The Capitol Records Building.

The weather.

Or Pink’s Hot Dogs.

Are you FUCKING kidding me? Of all the awesome stuff on that original list of theirs, from the hills to the Getty Center to Langer’s, the Central Library, Topanga Canyon, Disney Hall, the Watts Towers, the Huntington Gardens, the Bradbury Building, Roscoe’s Chicken ‘n’ Waffles, the beach, Griffith park, Sunset Blvd., the Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood Forever, neon art, and the effing quality of the light itself, we come down to THESE four choices?

I feel ill.

If Pink’s wins, I’m sticking my heat in a vat of boiling wiener water and ending it all. At SKOOBY’S.

The weather is really the only viable choice here, IMO. I mean, these things are all cool (with the exception of Pinks, OMG they are awful, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t gotten some sort of gastric distress there) , but THE BEST THING ABOUT LA?! You’ve gotta be kidding me.

Go vote here & save my anemic faith in the people of this city.

Extra credit for buying teachers some visual aids.


My daughter a junior at MHS.  She came home the other day with “Dad if we buy the teacher a National Geographic DVD I get extra credit and can raise my biology grade an entire level”.  What?

Yup, pretty easy deal.  There are a few strings attached.  Namely besides buying one of the DVD’s from the mans impact on earth series she needed to do a study guide and a test.  Still for $19.99 plus tax that’s a decent return on the investment.   Now we actually may see an A in a class she has struggled in even with the help of a tutor.

But please, don’t tell the teacher if she had asked we would have just gotten it for the class without strings.  We do that in my house.

Jesus Comes to the Getty: Free Screenings

getty.jpgIn a delicious blending of high and low culture, the Getty is screening Monty Python’s Life of Brian at 7:30 tomorrow night as part of a three-film “Imagining Christ” series this weekend. The two films bookending LoB are Buñuel’s Simon of the Desert at 4pm and a Canadian film, Jesus of Montreal, on Sunday at 4pm. You can make reservations for any of the three (or all) at the Getty’s site. Personally, I think Life of Brian is one of the funniest films ever made. And if the Getty crowd can rouse themselves to whistle along with the ending I’ll consider it a peak cinematic experience.

(tomsaint11‘s Getty shot used via a Creative Commons license.)

CARtoon art at Pasadena Museum of Art

biggeorge.jpg If you think Pasadena Art is little old blue hairs and their plein air “California Style” paintings have I got some news for you.

Pasadena’s Museum of California Art explores all sorts of art being produced by California Artists.  Opening June 1 is “Tales from the Strip” by Pete Miller celebrating his Hot Rod Comics and Drag Racing Cartoons.  The show will run through September 14,2008. 

Near and dear to my heart is car stuff.  The cool stuff like Mad Magazine and Ed “Big Daddy” Roth produced back in the day of the hot rod.  Miller in his bio says his inspiration came from Mad’s artists and comical satire of the 1950s and 1960s. I’ve seen Millers work in the past and it is comical satire poking fun at the gearheads and their overbuilt hot rods.  Worth seeing if only to look back at that chapter of our history that was so strongly influenced by LA and So Cal.

Details: Pasadena Museum of California Art, 490 East Union Street, Pasadena CA 91101.  Hours: Wednesday – Sunday noon to 5PM.  Adults $7, Kids/Seniors $5.

There is parking in the area but rather than deal with the Pasadena’s Parking Nazis I’d suggest you use metro Gold Line and hop off at Memorial Park Station for a quick 7 block walk.

Roosters Rule in South LA

rooster.jpgSo you think you got it bad with noisy neighbors? In South LA, the roosters, goats, chickens and pigs are taking over. According to this article in the LA Times, barnyard animals are becoming the norm south of the 10 Freeway.

While it’s not entirely legal… well, it’s not legal at all, this neighborhood, which used to be predominately African American, has now transformed into a rich composite of immigrant Latin American people, many from Mexico, where having roosters, geese and the occasional goat in the backyard is the norm. Animal Control officials say they don’t have the manpower to stop it, and don’t investigate, unless there’s a complaint. Hmm….. recession…. people gotta eat…. chicken in every pot… makes sense.

Calling all Angelenos: Boycott Dunkin’ Donuts!


UPDATE: Keith Olberman is now calling on a national boycott of Dunkin’ Donuts.

It’s now official: the bigots have taken over America. The most recent sign of this comes from Dunkin’ Donuts, who pulled a recent ad featuring Rachael Ray because of her fashion.

Low riding shorts showing her coin slot? Salciously exposing her cleavage? Nope. Her scarf offended right wingers.

Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin complained that the scarf wrapped around her looked like a kaffiyeh, the traditional Arab headdress. ”The kaffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad,” Malkin wrote in her syndicated column. [CNN]

Wow. I guess I must be clueless. I didn’t know that the right to free expression excluded fashion choices including ugly scarves.

And I thought it was conservatives who were always complaining about the US becoming too PC?

Alas, I’m calling on all of Los Angeles to boycott Dunkin’ Donuts. Take a stand, people!

ARTWALK Culver City This Saturday

artwalk20081-custom.gif Those Culver City showoffs are at it again. On Saturday, May 31, the third annual ARTWALK Culver City will take place in the Culver City Arts District, at the intersection of Washington and La Cienega Boulevards.  At this free event, sponsored by Sony Pictures and KCRW with participation by The MOCA Contemporaries, Culver City’s galleries will open their doors from noon until 6 p.m., with some galleries staying open until 8.  The ARTWALK will be accompanied by outdoor live jazz music. Area restaurants and cafes will offer special promotions.  And, based on reports from last year, some of the galleries will likely be serving wine, champagne, and other beverages.

For more information, contact the Culver City Cultural Affairs Hotline at (310) 253-5716. 

The Mayor is Leaving Los Angeles. Again.

israel.jpgIn case you missed it, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is traveling to Israel in June with a delegation of city leaders for a week-long discussion of security and green technology. Israel. To talk about air and airports.

The sound you just heard was the local media choking on its own snore.

Weren’t we just all over Antonio about road tripping with Hillary? Is this just another PR trip to bolster his image in the eyes of California voters? Not even 2 weeks ago, The San Francisco Chronicle noted SF Mayor Gavin Newsom’s rise in statue after the state’s same-sex marriage ruling. Coincidentally, Newsom himself just came back from Israel, with the Jewish Community Federation picking up the tab. Villaraigosa’s trip? Paid in part by… Los Angeles World Airports.

Continue reading The Mayor is Leaving Los Angeles. Again.