Gimme A Sign: Because It’s The Christian Thing To Do

It was a little more than a year ago when I reported discovering the sale of U.S. National Register of Historic Places Building No. 87000576, more locally designated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 57, which is more readily known as the Second Church of Christ Scientist on Adams Boulevard, just east of Hoover in the West Adams district. For a righteous $8 million, the buyer would score a a 69,000-square-foot lot upon which still proudly stands a magnificent culturally, historically and architecturally significant 24,600-square-foot mansion of worship celebrating its centennial next year, complete with an auditorium that can seat 1,100, a copper clad reinforced-concrete dome that was the largest ever in its day, and a bonus Get Out Of Hell Free card to be used in case of emergency (certain restrictions and blackout dates apply).

Not surprisingly, such a deal languished in real estate purgatory throughout 2008 thanks to the bedeviled state of the market, and the fact that this is pretty much an untouchable structure that will cost anyone a helluva lotta coin to restore/repurpose/maintain (I’m looking at you nearby University of Southern California and thinking “library”).

Much more shockingly, a bike-by last week revealed that its owners have taken on tenants. In and of itself that’s not affronting — in fact it’s nice to see the old place being put to use in the way it was intended instead of just staying locked up and lonely. But what’s got my ingrained respect for this city’s historic touchstones all bent out of true is that the occupiers, known as The Korean Christian Church, have seen it fit to egregiously drape a pathetic and garish banner across the stately facade’s six Corinthian columns as testified above, can I get a witness (click to enlargify).

Continue reading Gimme A Sign: Because It’s The Christian Thing To Do

By the Time L.A.’s Subway Reaches the Sea, You Could be Dead

Metro has released new timelines for several transit projects that could change the way you commute around Los Angeles. The problem is, there aren’t enough of them. And the ones they do have could take decades to finish.

Expo Line to Santa Monica? Not until 2015.

It could be 2018 before the Green Line reaches LAX.

The Purple Line won’t reach Westwood until 2032.

The Valley won’t be able to catch anything except the 405 to the Westside until 2038.

It is refreshing to see Metro putting everything on the table for us to see. But this sure isn’t going to feed the millions of people coming over for dinner. Shouldn’t someone start cooking a little faster?

Consider: Construction began on The New York City subway in 1900. Less than five years later, 21 miles of tunnels and 58 miles of track were completed.

Knitting Factory Eases Economic Pinch with Free Tickets

knitting.JPGIf the big mall crowds and near riots over parking that I witnessed during the week after Christmas are any indication, plenty of people are out there spending money on themselves that they didn’t spend on gifts. If, however, you’re one of the ones that’s actually feeling the pinch of the beat down economy, you’ll be happy to hear that Hollywood’s Knitting Factory is doing you a solid by offering everyone a free pair of tickets to a long list of shows happening between now and April. Just show up at their box office on Monday, January 12th between 6:00 and 8:00 pm and tell ’em what you want to see. Full list of shows after the jump, and the same info I just told you if you make with the clicky on the right.

Continue reading Knitting Factory Eases Economic Pinch with Free Tickets

LA’s cultural stew in an email

Let’s see; Ellen Degeneris, Foreigner, Deepak Chopra, Marissa Tomei and hula hoops. I love when worlds collide in my inbox. Aside from the cultural references in play, it sounds like a pretty cool gig for Bryan Head, drummer about  town (and the country,) as well as holding down the rhythm section for LA’s Dead Rock West, the greatest band west of the Rockies. And who knows– if anyone can meditate while using a hula hoop, it would be Deepak. Tune in today and find out.

Hi everybody,

I’ll be on the Ellen Degeneres show Tomorrow, Tuesday the 6th with Foreigner. The show airs at 3 or 4 pm PST, depending on where you are. Also, Deepak Chopra and Marissa Tomei doing hula hoops (not with Deepak.)

Happy New Year!


Next month, Head hits the road with Supertramp.

Shamwow! Surprising details about pitchman Vince

Warning! This man is an SP!
Warning! This man is an SP!

Long before inviting a TV audience to slap his nuts, Vince Offer took on the Church of Scientology.

Admit it: somewhere between the 10th and 18th time you’ve seen the commercial for Sham-Wow, you’ve been tempted to throw down $19.99 plus shipping and handling just so you can deliberately spill some Kool-Aid on your throw rug to test if the German made rag can actually suck it back up.

No, just me?

Well, then at least admit that, after you’ve wondered why in the hell he has to wear a headset microphone for a commercial (did the boomguy get sucked up by the Shamwow ultra absorption power?), you’ve wondered a little about pitchman Vince, before he began hawking micro-fiber towels and inviting TV viewers to slap his nuts

Fortunately, a little light Googling finds some surprising answers… Continue reading Shamwow! Surprising details about pitchman Vince

KCRW music programming upgrade

A little more than a  month ago, Jason Bentley became the host of KCRW’s flagship music program, Morning Becomes Eclectic, (9 AM to noon, weekdays,) also taking over as music director of the public radio station that makes its home at Santa Monic College. It was only by chance that I heard the announcement in mid-November from the morning DJ/music director he replaced, Nik Harcourt. (Harcourt still has a Sunday evening slot.)

I’ll be honest; even though Harcourt’s passion for music was obvious, I was not a fan of most of what he played and I was not a regular MBE listener. But Bentley’s eponymous evening KCRW program (nee Metropolis) was a favorite, and when he sat in occasionally for Harcourt I found myself repeatedly checking the real time playlist on their site to get the artists’ names. Whenever he subbed on MBE, he didn’t play the same sort of music that he played at night (it had a dark, electronic slant,) but I was definitely more attuned to his taste than I was to Harcourt’s.

December 1st was day one for Bentley, and the entire feel of MBE changed radically at the very beginning as he cued up the hauntingly beautiful “Sense of Touch” from Mark Isham’s soundtrack for the movie Crash. I was immediately hooked and since then, I’ve been tuning in regularly; if I miss the morning broadcast, I can listen in the evening on KCRW’s online station, although it’s trimmed to a two-hour version of the original three-hour program. All past programs are also streamable from the KCRW archives.

Christmas Tree Disposal Reminder

Happy New Year Neighbor!  Funny place to put your tree to celebrate Christmas…oh wait…I see. You haven’t heard about how to dispose of your tree in Los Angeles. I guess you don’t read LA Metblogs. Lucinda already gave you a lot of info on this. 

To reiterate, this weekend (Jan. 3 and 4) from 9am to 4pm both days, you can take your trees to drop-off sites all around LA.  For a full list, click here. If you want to start your “get fit” new years resolution, find yourself a saw and start hacking that tree to bits and it put it in the green bin. Great upper body workout and you save the gas to drive the tree to a drop off point.

If you leave your tree out, like the one pictured here, it will remain there until it decomposes or you hope Will Campbell drives by.

Blogherding in the SGV -Miss Havisham’s blog is dead


The Miss Havisham blog mysteriously disappeared without a word.  Equally mysterious the entire cast of characters returned on the Mademoiselle Gramophone blog.  Yes, Miss Havisham, Mary Kathleen O’Looney and the unnamed secretary have all returned.  There’s even an ongoing cameo with “psychiatrist” Dr Burchard, aka Petrea Burchard of the Pasadena Daily Photo blog.  This video is part of the series involving the complete and total mental collapse of Miss Havisham and yields few clues regarding the demise of the blog bearing her name.  

For the herding and snarks you need to make the jump. Continue reading Blogherding in the SGV -Miss Havisham’s blog is dead

It’s New Year’s Day and Where the Hell is Everybody?

Walgrove Ave. near Venice Blvd.
Walgrove Ave. near Venice Blvd.

Driving around the West Side today was a thrill. I’m used to seeing the streets of big cities, such as New York and Washington, DC, empty on New Year’s Day morning. But the West Side streets were also empty as late as 4 o’clock this afternoon, which, along with the light fog, made for an eerie sensation. I assume it was a combo of (1) hangovers; (2) brunches; (3) vacation absenteeism; (4) Tournament of Roses parade watching; and, especially, (5) USC Rose Bowl watching. Whatever the reason, the empty streets reminded me that Los Angeles would be especially pleasurable with fewer people and fewer cars. I tip my hat to the bicycle commuters out there. As for the rest of us who live here and drive around town, I guess we can’t complain too much, since we’re part of the problem.  But at least we can enjoy one day of decreased stress.

Los Angeles ghost town, after the jump