Good news for Bob Baker (and his puppets)

Bob's happy, but he's not out of the woods yet -
Bob's happy, but he's not out of the woods yet -

From Esotouric‘s own Kim Cooper, just this morning: There’s good news for Bob Baker, but he still needs your help.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5 – BOB BAKER’S MARIONETTE THEATER is up for
Cultural-Historic Monument landmark status, with a 10am hearing at City
Hall. As the blabbermouth who leaked the news of the unscrupulous
foreclosure threat facing this beloved site, I’ve been heartened by the
outpouring of love, press coverage and cash that’s helped keep Bob’s magical
theater running into 2009. The landmarking application is the work of Lauren
Everett, who we worked with on last year’s successful Charles Bukowski CHC
proposal. Come down (City Hall, 200 N Spring Street) and show your support
for Bob and his puppets, or email your support of the nomination to The
Cultural Heritage Commission before 5pm Wednesday, c/o
[email protected]

I know not everyone can attend the hearing, but it would be great if you could send a quick email!

Free Denny’s breakfast or help support Jack?

Man, I’m torn. On one hand, Denny’s is giving away free breakfast this morning from 6am to 2pm to help prove you can have a tasty, healthy meal while discussing a mob hit in relative peace. For your nearest location, click here. (It’s been rumored that Sam Zell and Eddy Hartenstein like to discuss killing off the Times while eating aMoons Over My Hammy).

And then there’s Jack Box, who was hit by an MTA bus in downtown LA on Sunday morning. Now recovering in a hospital, he’s asking in lieu of flowers for supporters to just buy something off the menu. Of course, some skeptics believe the whole thing was staged, an exploitive attempt for sympathy.

Gosh dangit, fellow Angelenos… where should I have breakfast?

Galco’s Soda Pop Stop: A Bubbly Walk Down Memory Lane

Surely you’ve heard of, and maybe even visited, Galco’s Soda Pop Stop in Highland Park. It’s definitely one of my favorite L.A. places, which I enjoy introducing to friends. The warm, summery weather we’ve been enjoying lately has got me craving one of my favorite hot weather beverages that I can only get there.

Among the 400+ sodas that Galco’s owner John Nese stocks is something that is called Mr. Q. Cumber. Yep, cucumber flavored soda. Many turn their nose up at the very idea. But, I’m here to tell you that it is actually quite tasty and very refreshing.

An outing to Galco’s is always an experience. It’s really fun to peruse the shelves to find new things you’ve never tasted or those classic drinks you remember from your childhood. John is usually stocking the shelves and is more than happy to share his extensive knowledge of any and every product in his store. He is clearly passionate about soda and his enthusiasm is contagious. I find it hard to leave the place without a case or two of liquid goodness. It’s not cheap, so I either splurge or just make due with a few bottles. There is a “Case Club Card” you can get if you do buy in bulk.

Click for more good stuff

Vote on Solar Power in Los Angeles this March 3

On March 3, Los Angeles voters will be able to vote on a ballot measure that could significantly increase L.A.’s use of solar power.  So-called Measure B, the “Green Energy and Good Jobs for Los Angeles Program” (you want some crackers with that cheese?) would require the Department of Water and Power to “install, operate, maintain and repair and/or oversee the installation, operation, maintenance and repair of solar power installations within the City and on City-owned airports to meet specified goals regarding the production of electric generation ….”  The full text of Measure B is here.

Continue reading Vote on Solar Power in Los Angeles this March 3

Be alert! – String of assaults in Silver Lake

Beware. A string of assaults has occurred in Silver Lake over the past few weeks. I received this email a few minutes ago from a friend. It makes a good argument for David Markland’s post a little further down the page about  LAPD implementing Twitter as a community tool.

Dear neighbors,

This past Friday January 30, a friend of mine was brutally assaulted walking from Blair’s near  Hyperion to Edendale Bar and Grill on Rowena. It was maybe between 11:30 PM or 12:30 AM near the West Silver Lake Street entrance on Rowena.  He was pulled into the back of a dark driveway, had a gun pressed against his temple and then savagely thrown to the ground and beaten, crushing his left cheek; he blacked out and doesn’t remember what happened next. He couldn’t see both suspects but got a look at one who he describes as a tall, young Hispanic male.

Larry was rushed to Kaiser on Sunset and when the police came, one exclaimed that this was the 9th such assault by the same suspects in 2 weeks in the Silver Lake area, almost one assault a day!!!  The police also said they were just there the night before with another victim who had his face sliced from the corner of his eye to the the corner of his mouth by the same SOB, they also said they (the police) were on it.

I think if they were truly “on it” we SL residents would have been warned somehow, either by fliers or a news blurb.  My friend is puzzled by the attack and thinks it’s a hate crime since they didn’t take his wallet nor his watch but isn’t quite sure.  I am scared but really really pissed at the police for keeping the 9 assaults, one after the other, on the down-low, so I’m going to spread the word somehow and someway.

A friend and I are making fliers and going to some of the neighborhood bars, cafes and stores and posting warnings.  If you have any ideas– contacting the news, email blasts etc., let me know or just help spread the warning any way you know how.

PS.  Another female dog-owner/friend on Michelterona and Sunset was sexually assaulted 3 weeks ago at 7:30 PM by a tall white male with shoulder length hair.  He didn’t care if she had her 140 lbs dog with her, he grabbed her from behind, pushed her up against a wall and began to fondle her and only let go when he saw a family walking towards them down the hill from Micheltorena.

I apologize for all the somber news but I’m sure you’d rather be safe than sorry.

There’s Bicycling and then there’s BICYCLING!!!11!

Well, the day has finally come when I have the urge to stand around and watch bicycling rather than do it. That day will be February 21 when Stage No. 7 of the nine-day, 750-mile  2009 Amgen Tour of California (Feb. 14-22) comes to town. Starting out in Santa Clarita the finish line will be 89 miles away at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

What’s the big deal? Granted you have to be something of a cycling geek to get overly excited about it, but even if you aren’t and the sport doesn’t draw much interest from you, this year’s Amgen Tour promises to be an unparalleled milestone event in the history of United States of Americyling in large part because it’s fielded the most talented group of pro cyclists pretty much ever assembled in this country. Not “arguably,” not “one of the…” The. Best. Ever. Evereverever!

And that’s not just me geeking the hell out. I’m talking the world’s top racers: Leipheimer! Basso! Cancellera! Landis! Hincapie! Boonen! Freire! Vande Velde! Cavendish! Shleck!

OK, so some of those names don’t mean much to me either, but here’s one you’re gonna recognize: Lance. As in Armstrong. As in the seven-time champion of the Tour de France who’s come out of retirement and is getting set to go back to see if he can win it an eighth time. For him, the road to that prize goes through California.

So after years of watching tape delays of Armstrong thousands of miles away, the thought of seeing the world’s greatest cyclist in action cranking by me is more than enough to get me out of the saddle to watch him on his. Hell, I even submitted a volunteer application to help with course control!

I know, I know: GEEK!

Fuck. Doomies Closes.

DoomiesThat sound you just was the sound of a million vegans suddenly crying out in terror and then suddenly silenced. Or at least crying out on twitter. Doomie just posted the news on his MySpace blog:

Doomie’s is now CLOSED for business. We would like to think of it more as a hiatus as we are looking for a new place to relocate and planning on reopening, hopefully sometime by the end of the year. Until then, however, keep posted as we will give out details and any updates we may have.We’re working on having a whole lot more goodies and surprises on our reopening!

If you want to be put on our mailing list for any updates, send an email over to [email protected]
Also, if you have any parties or events that you would like catered, we’re still available for catering!

Thank you all for your support and your patronage during our first three months; we like to think of this as an appetizer to your vegan/vegetarian appetites . We’ll see you all soon!

-Doomie’s Home Cookin.

That good news that they are looking for a new place, and that they are still available for catering, but man the end of the year is a long way off. That said, the space they were in downtown was weird as hell and I often talked with people about how much better they would do if they were just in a better location. Fingers crossed for a speedy return!

In the meantime I’m thinking we need to have a big metblogs doomies dinner, right? Who is in??

Ruin Beckons On Friday Nights

Photo courtesy of LA Dead and Catalyst Echo
Photo courtesy of LA Dead and Catalyst Echo

Ruin at the Monte Cristo has been one of the most consistently enjoyable nights out to be had in the Los Angeles underground since it opened. Taking place in one of the few decent venues that has become a fixture for upscale Goths and alternative lifestylers, the club was at one time in danger of closing down. It seems to have bounced back with a vengeance.

I had heard rumors of the new renovations at the Monte Cristo and been curious for weeks to see how the décor could have possibly been improved upon. Between that and the noir theme for the night, I was unable to resist inviting a group of friends to join me for a warm up evening before the highly anticipated Edwardian Ball.  So, we converged upon Ruin for a night of delicious escapism.

The remodeling was not as breathtaking as I had been expecting though it wasn’t without some useful improvements.  The space was opened up quite a bit, making it seem twice as large. Windows were unearthed from behind a wall in the backroom. I imagine those will help when the summer hits as the venue is notoriously unbearable during a heat wave. Some additional seating was added, an inspired move as there is no longer seating out on the patio.

Continue reading Ruin Beckons On Friday Nights

5 Ways the City of L.A. Should Be Using Twitter

Imagine if there was a way for the LAPD to blast out the license plate number and vehicle description of a recent carjacking to cell phones city wide? Or if the DWP could send a text notifying residents of power outages and updates so customers didn’t have to jam their phone lines asking WTF? Or how about if City Hall could notify informed citizens of how Council voted on measures affecting the city?

And what if this tool was free, easy to implement and update, and already widely used?

Of course, Twitter can already handle all this. But so far, only the Los Angeles Fire Department has fully tapped into its potential with frequent alerts of responses to fires in the City. More recently, the MTA has been experimenting with it, notifying residents of bus and subway delays and upcoming board meetings. And in the past few days City Council President Eric Garcetti has joined the bandwagon, most recently alerting subscribers to a suspicious package in Hollywood and the resulting traffic jam.

So the question is, who else should be using Twitter? My top 5 list begins with the LAPD… for the rest, and reasons why, click to continue reading.

Furtographs Closing Reception at Sugar Hair Salon

Right before I got my dog, there were two things I vowed I’d never do: (1) unless out of pure necessity, dress her up; and (2) get a professional pet photographer to take photos of her as if she graduated college or something (and even then, no one in my family bought any of my graduation photos).  I’ve steadfastly stuck to the first vow; I’m dangerously close to breaking the second.

This potential affair is all because of Sugar Hair Salon.  It’s a hair salon and, with an eye towards its potential role in gentrifying Echo Park, plays host to a surprisingly tasteful, community-oriented rotating gallery of art.  This means  a visit to get a haircut – or, in my case, a de-mulleting – also is a visit to a mini-art show.  The last time I went in for my chop, Sugar was exhibiting gorgeous photographs of … dogs.  Specifically, canine profiles captured by pet portraiture studio Furtographs, with the piece de la resistance being a “40 Year Old Virgin”-like Chihuahua wearing a striped sweater, hung on the salon’s largest wall.

Ordinarily, I roll my eyes way, way back at people who get their dogs professionally photographed, but these?  These are adorable and, honestly, beautiful.  The closing reception for the show is this Saturday, February 7, 7pm-11pm, at Sugar (3022 Sunset Blvd.).  Food from Pho Cafe and booze will be provided.  For the first time in a long time, I’m going to a reception for more than the free drinks and without feeling compelled to say random, pretentious things like, “Yeah, that one is, like, post-modern but without the confines of modernism, you know?”  Because, really, I don’t know.  Dogs are so much easier to work with.

High-end boutiques move east

Confederacy, on Hollywood Blvd. in Los Feliz.
Confederacy, on Hollywood Blvd. in Los Feliz.

New shops, plus a rumor about Sunset Junction.

With the economy in a tail-spin, now may not be the time to consider high-end fashion boutiques in Los Angeles that are drifting eastward into Los Feliz and Silver Lake, but it has been happening ever since Lake opened on Rowena two years ago, bringing labels that previously were only seen further west in the city.

Confederacy, the boutique co-owned by an assortment of fashion, TV-actor, art and restaurant world players, opened on Hollywood Blvd. in Los Feliz last Fall in an ambitiously large space that I’ve only observed as mostly empty of customers. With a staff uniform by New York-based label Rag and Bone, a schedule of art exhibits along one wall ((currently, etchings by Julian Schnabel) and a stylist’s eye dictating the brands carried, all of the elements for success seem to be in place, on the inside of the shop, anyway. (The men’s wear is to die for.) What remains to be seen is if the outside world cooperates. When most stores had fire sale prices during the run-up to Christmas, Confederacy kept its price points high. Now the winter line is on sale, but much of it could be had in mid-November for a fraction of the price at stores like Barneys, Nordstrom, Saks and the like. Who wants it now with Spring looming? Continue reading High-end boutiques move east

Win tix to Eagles Of Death Metal 2/4 with The Living Things at the Fonda

Wacky rock-humorists Eagles Of Death Metal will be bringing the noise, and the funk, this Wednesday along with charming locals the Living Things. Wanna go? It should be a really fun show. We’ve got a few tickets to give away–just add a comment telling me your favorite EODM song and why you love it so. We’ll get back to a couple winners & send you with a pal.

Here’s all the info on the show, in case you’d like to buy tickets and don’t have the GUTS to try to win tickets from us. Pansies.

Hey, Getty, How’s It Hanging? Yup, a Lecture on Male Nudity.


What is happening to Los Angeles’ venerable cultural institutions?

Last October, LACMA presented a lecture called “Holy Sh*t: Scatology and Longing in the Art of James Ensor.”

Now, this Thursday, the Getty is welcoming UC Berkeley professor Chris Hallett to the Getty Villa in Malibu to present a lecture entitled Athletes, Warriors, Emperors and Gods: Nude Male Statuary in the Roman World.

According to the Getty, Hallett will offer a look at “the fascinating variety of nude statuary found throughout ancient Rome — fearless warriors, victorious athletes, elite emperors, and thunderbolt-wielding gods.”

What’s next? “An Evening with 2 Live Crew” at Disney Hall?

In all fairness, Hallett has written an acclaimed book on the subject, The Roman Nude: Heroic Portrait Statuary 200 B.C. – 300 A.D., so perhaps we’d better give him the benefit of the doubt.

But if the Getty were up to shenanigans, I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s not like this type of thing hasn’t already been well documented.

Image: Statue of Hercules (Landsowne Herakles), about 125 A.D.
Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Villaraigosa + Weiss + Greuel = Crime Fightin’ Triumvirate?

The LA Times has an interesting article about the potentially disastrous, or potentially awesome, consequences if Antonio Villaraigosa is re-elected as mayor, Jack Weiss is elected as city attorney, and Wendy Greuel is elected as city controller.  As Weiss and Greuel are the mayor’s most unabashed supporters, their respective campaign rivals caution that “a victory for all three would leave City Hall without checks and balances over its three most powerful political posts.”  Villaraigosa’s spokesman predictably pooh-poohs such dire predictions, stating that if the three worked together, family-restaurant style, the result would be “unequivocally positive” and would allow them to combat crime and other issues effectively.

So, what say you?  If Batman, the Boy Wonder, and Batgirl all win their respective races, will the city crumble as the lemmings rubber stamp Villaraigosa’s agenda, or will the two underlings actually exercise a mind of their own?

Awesome Batman photo courtesy sjd52878 from the Metblogs Flickr pool.

So, Los Angeles, how do you like your winter season?

Palm Trees outside Union Station
Palm Trees outside Union Station, photo taken by yours truly!

That’s right, guys. It’s now February and Los Angeles has now experienced maybe–maybe–two weeks worth of winter. According to the National Weather Service, yesterday was a wonderful 77 degrees in downtown Los Angeles, with the rest of our fine city peaking in the mid 80s. In the middle of winter.

How are you enjoying our notoriously fine weather?