The rebirth of blogging.la

bloggingla

Once upon a time a bunch of bloggers in Los Angeles got all emo for each other. A/S/L was asked and responded to. As things are want to do in such situations inhibitions were thrown to the wind, chances were taken, protection was not worn, and a site called blogging.la was born unto the world. This site was snotty and annoyed the crap out of people, but it was young so everyone put up with it. Eventually it grew up and got a real job and people started calling it Los Angeles Metroblogging until they decided that name was too long and stupid and settled on LA Metblogs. It towed the company line for many years and it seemed like it always would until one day, and reports are a bit conflicting on this, it woke up dead. Some said suicide, some said murder, some said far reaching international cloak and dagger level spy vs spy assassination. Fearing public outcry a massive coverup was undertaken. Reports were faked and lookalikes were hired. Weekend at Bernie‘s became daily operating procedure until finally the lie became too big, and the rotting corpse too stinky.

The big guns were called in, but the situation was too much for them so the faithful turned to the dark arts. Black candles were lit and spooky latin was recited.

Backwards.

And also forwards, just to be safe.

And the ground shook, oh did it shake. For about 30 seconds until twitter confirmed it was just another aftershock from Baja California. Oh and also blogging.la had risen from the grave. And here it is, back in bla.. well, light blue.

Enjoy.

Win Tix to The Brian Jonestown Massacre on June 22!

I remember when I first started hearing music from the BJM is the early oughts, when the band was already over ten years old, and their combo of druggy spacerock and Rolling Stones influences was legendary on the non-westside (I can’t call it the eastside, someone will come to my house & break my kneecaps). So were the antics of their eccentric frontman, Anton Newcombe.

They’re playing around again, and this is a great chance to see the sound and the feeling that really captured the heart of this city’s [non-westside] music scene in the early 2000s.

In honor of Anton, to win you have to leave the craziest rock-star story you can think of. It can be made up, it can be real, it can be autobiographical or the stuff of “Behind The Music” legends.

Info on the show is here.

Lakers Sweet Victory!!!

The Lakers are the Kings of LA today!  The game last night was simply epic. They played with heart, soul and fire and kept us on the edge of our seat til the very end!  Congratulations to the new champions!  Whew!  That was a great ride!  THAT was entertainment!

I had a friend who wanted to watch the game at a sports bar with his buddies and they left TWO hours beforehand to get a seat and had to go to five bars before they found one they could squeeze into!  He called us at 8am this morning to share the crazy shenanigans of the drunken crowd.  Me, I watched it in the sweet comfort of my own home so I could laugh at my love, Dan the Man jumping around in front of the TV waving his fists every five minutes.  There’s something inherently tender about your guy getting full of testosterone watching his team.

And Ron-Ron, you earned your jersey!  So sweet, thanking his wife, his mom and his psychiatrist!

What a game!  Every single Laker player contributed in his own way.  Fisher pulling out that three, Pau, never giving up and Kobe rallying in the last quarter!  Thank You.  I am honored to be a fan of this awesome team!

GO LAKERS!

Rioters’ Index

With apologies to Harper’s.

Number of rubbish fires: 15

Number of vehicle fires: 3

Number of shopping cart fires: At least 1.

Number of fatalities: 0

Number of people “beaten unconscious”: At least 1. Think it was a Celtics fan, the poor guy.

Number of arrests: 38

Oddest object hurled at cops: Tie between chunks of cement (presumably from the broken sidewalks – like hitting the city over the head with its own shoe) and a rat trap

Objects that the cops hurled back: Tear gas and rubber bullets

Vehicles attacked: Parking enforcement, KCAL 9 news van, taco truck (<– WTF people), taxi, Honda

Poor excuse for a soccer ball: Caltrans barrier, broken.

Alternative to Caltrans barrier-as-soccer-ball: Watching the World Cup on television like normal people

Local Issues More Worthy of a Riot Than the Lakers’ Victory: Unemployment; lack of access to health care; we are still fighting a war, what?; no decent 24-hour coffee shops; massive cuts in library funding

All of the above notwithstanding, number of minutes it took me to drive from Chego in Palms back to my place in Los Feliz at 10:30pm: 25 minutes.  Not too bad.

There Are Times I Wouldn’t Mind Living In Certain Parts of Downtown

Today is not one of those times.

Crowds hurled bottles and other objects at police, smashed marquees, jumped on vehicles, broke windows, and set rubbish dumpsters and vehicles on fire along Figueroa Street north of Staples Center and on Flower Street.

At least one person was beaten unconscious as fights broke out on Flower Street near Olympic Boulevard. A bicyclist was injured when struck by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department vehicle near 11th and Flower streets, according to the LAPD.

Oh well. Now it’s time to focus on today’s US/Slovenia World Cup game. At least soccer is a sport where the fans behave themselves!

(Yes: That was sarcasm.)

Downtown Traffic Today: A LOT

The E3 Convention at the Convention Center concludes tonight at 5pm or so.

The Lakers-Celtics game is at the Staples Center and starts at 6pm.

The LA Film Fest opens with The Kids are All Right at Regal Cinemas; the screening starts at 7:30pm.

Lakers fans may commence rioting when the game ends, around 7:30 or 8:00pm.  This likely will occur regardless of whether the home team wins or loses.  I’m not sure which version of rioting – celebratory or distressed – is worse.

Video Games Live is at the Nokia Theater and starts at 8:00pm.

A battle with “extraordinary resources” that the LAPD will deploy tonight: From 8:00pm on.

The LA Weekly has a handy list of street closures surrounding all of the above here.  The lesson: If you’re not invited to any of the above parties (womp womp), just avoid downtown this evening and save the headache for tomorrow’s rush hour traffic.  That’s bad enough, isn’t it?

Love: Still a Battlefield at Border’s, This Friday

Photo by Heidy Escobar

I’m not a religious guy. I believe in science and evolution and Einstein. When people ask me what I think about the origin of the universe, I generally tell them the same story every time: That superintelligent otherdimensional aliens used hyperadvanced technologies to create a simulated universe with the goal that that universe would eventually develop a planet whose inhabitants would evolve to create the most pure, most unambiguously perfect example of art, and that that goal was reached in 1987 when The Replacements recorded “Alex Chilton,” and ever since then the universe has outlived its usefulness and we just have to figure out ways to spend our time until the whole cotillion runs low on thermodynamic free energy and collapses.

Though I admit I could be wrong. The answer could actually be Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker.”

I mention this because Benatar herself will be appearing at the Border’s at 1360 Westwood Blvd. this Friday night at 7 PM to promote her new book “Between a Heart and a Rock Place.” As a fan of small and used bookstores I’m generally not too keen on Border’s, but I’m willing to pay them a visit when they either (a) send me a coupon for 40% off any item in the store or (b) host one of the greatest rock musicians of the 1980s.

Visit the Border’s event page for more information.

Vintage Expo + Pop Up Shop this Saturday

Michael Stahl's Helms photo used through Creative Commons license

Get dad a sharkskin suit or a vintage tie for Father’s Day–head to the Helms Bakery building for what sounds like a damned cool event. Billed as “part ‘Pop-Up Shop,’ part vintage expo, part art opening,” this one day event should be good shopping and people watching. If you’ve ever been to the clothing and textile show in Burbank, you know that there promise to be plenty of Rockabilly and Bettys at the Helms Saturday.  I met the event organizer, Dave from Clever Vintage Clothing, at a Hidden LA meet-up and then I saw him at the Burbank show, and I can tell you the man will find you what you’re looking for. If you’ve got a vintage itch, he’ll help you scratch it. For this event, he’s gathered 12 of his favorite dealers.

The details:
Saturday, June 19, 2010
10:00am – 4:00pm
At the LightSpace Studio at the Historic Helm’s Bakery Building
8755 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA

Cure for a Donut Coma?

After leaving Sunday’s fabulous and famous Donut Summit, I decided to do some impromptu hiking on the trails near Griffith Observatory.  I learned a few things:

1.  Donuts do not make for great energy food for hiking.  Who knew?

2.  That bite of Stan’s peanut butter-filled donut probably saved my ass.  Not to mention that it was delicious.

3.  All that coffee was a big help too.

4.  Wrong turns = more uphills.

5.  Windy day + big hat = side trips down and up steep loose inclines to retrieve hat that inevitably blows away.
More to learn in Griffith Park, with photos, after the jump

Donut Summit: Postmortem With Pictures

It all started so nice and tidy: lovely pink pastry boxes lined up, neatly labeled, evenly spaced.

And then the Donut-teers descended like locusts and peace was forever destroyed by the sound of dozens of mouths chewing chewing chewing, moans of pleasure echoing across the park, up to Griffith Observatory where tourists stood, confused by the unearthly sounds of fried, frittered and glazed pleasure.

Come with me past the jump to see the full frontal donut porn.

Continue reading Donut Summit: Postmortem With Pictures

Eat My Bacon Choco-Chip Cookies at the Eat My Blog Bake Sale

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye8mB6VsUHw[/youtube]

Because the sugar rush-turned-devastating-crash experienced by all of us at the Donut Summit was not enough to satisfy even the sweetest of tooths, this weekend brings another sweet treat: Gastronomy Blog’s Eat My Blog Charity Bake Sale from 10am to 4pm outside of Tender Greens in West Hollywood.  Cathy Danh – the super sweet blogger/photographer behind Gastronomy Blog – organized the first Eat My Blog bake sale last December, with proceeds going to the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank.  The results were pretty impressive: over $3,000 was raised, more than enough for the coveted Super Nintendo prize during my elementary school fundraiser days.  This weekend is the second iteration of the sale, with even more bloggers participating than the first time, including yours truly.  I’ll be baking bacon – specifically, bacon chocolate chip cookies.  For those of you who like your dessert meat-less, I’ll also have some old fashioned chocolate chip cookies on standby as well.  And, oh look, everyone else’s contributions sound even more amazing: salted brown butter rice krispy treats; Mexican brownies; Momofuku crack pie.  Low fat Girl Scout cookies are so last year.

In addition to the amateurs, the professionals are playing with us too:  Evan Kleiman at Angeli Caffe (and the soothing host behind KCRW’s Good Food), the Kitchen Ninja and crew at Starry Kitchen, the chefs over at Drago Centro and Cube, and even Chef Ludo – last seen at his pop-up restaurant at the perpetually jammed packed LudoBites 4.0 at Gram and Papa’s – all will bake for the cause.  Come out, say hi to your friendly neighborhood bloggers, ask them what they made and what type of camera they used to take capture their creation, and help us support the food bank.  We’re going for the XBox 360.

Gastronomy Blog’s Eat My Blog Charity Bake Sale is this Saturday, June 19 from 10am to 4pm outside of Tender Greens in West Hollywood (8759 Santa Monica Blvd, between La Cienega and San Vicente).  The sweets are priced between $1 to $4, with all proceeds from the sale benefiting the Los Angeles Regional FoodBank.

Taschen Sale This Weekend

grooverama's Taschen photo used through Creative Commons

I had the paradigmatic blogger moral struggle about this post: do I do my duty as a Metblogger and let you all know about the Taschen sale or do I keep mum and save all the best buys for myself? In the end, my love for you, my fellow Angelenos, won out. I am letting the cat out of the bargain bag.

This weekend there is a giant sale (50-75% off) on display copies and slightly banged up books at all Taschen stores. Taschen, for those of you who are unfamiliar, publishes lovely, delicious books that are almost as much fun to hold in your hands as they are to read. Recent publications include books on David LaChapelle, big butts, Burton Holmes’ turn of the century travel photos, and Philippe Starck. I have no idea what in particular will be on sale, but it’s hard to go wrong in a Taschen store. Details after the jump.

Continue reading Taschen Sale This Weekend

Win Tickets to Video Games Live at the Nokia Theatre!

Reality has such a high resolution...
I Can't wait for this to come out on Rock Band!

So, the Downside of this Contest is that if you win, you might actually have to go outside.

And for the people who really deserve it, that might be an issue.

Video Games Live is coming to the Nokia Theatre at LA Live on June 17th as part of the E3 Expo!

And MetBlogs is giving away two pair of tickets!

I’m so excited I can barely hold my Wii!
(Don’t judge me, that’s the first pun I’ve really been able to make online about the console since it came out. Video games aren’t necessarily my “beat.” Beat. Wii. This is too easy.)

Wanna Go? Describe in the comments section the best/worst/most embarrassing thing you’ve ever sacrificed or missed in order to play, or continue playing, a Video Game.

Did you miss Finals to make the next level on Doom? Did you skip studying for the Bar Exam for an all nighter on Bio-Shock? Miss out on a hot date because the Guild needed you for a Raid? (Sure you did, buddy.) Let us know!

Winners will be determined in a totally biased and unfair manner by me, or maybe randomly. Alliance Scum may well have no chance.

Victory for Sylvanas!

(Oh, stop…I’ll be fair to members of the Alliance. The Horde are Just and know Mercy, when appropriate. … As in “Mercy Kill.”      …  For the Horde!)

Donut Summit: The Postmortem Continues

I like to keep a master list of things I learn every year, so I can go back at the end of the year and see whether I’ve grown at all as a person. Usually, of course, I haven’t; if I was the kind of person who experienced personal growth I’d be a lot richer, and probably at least a few inches taller. Anyway, this year, “Don’t eat five donuts in a row and then expect to get anything done for the next 24 hours” made the list. Yesterday, in the aftermath of the Donut Summit, I experienced a sugar crash that heretofore has only been described in the pages of the Old Testament, when Moses ate like sixteen beignets and wound up falling asleep when the rest of the Jews found the promised land. And God didn’t let him in, because that was when God was still all into his principles, before he settled down and had a kid and had to confront the compromises we all have to make in real life. You can read all about it in my spec pilot, Promises, which I’m hoping to sell to either Lifetime or that Christian channel where ladies with big hair sit in fancy chairs praying with their eyes closed.

But I, as usual, digress. As per Alexandra’s request, here are the category descriptions for the Donut Summit Voting Guide.

BEST RAISED DONUT. A raised donut is a donut leavened by yeast or another leavening agent (like baking soda or baking powder). They are typically lighter and less dense than cake donuts, which are closer to cupcakes or muffins in consistency. They’re generally glazed or frosted. They’re also generally awesome. Winner: Moon Donuts/Frygirl/Huckleberry Donuts/Spudnuts

BEST CAKE DONUT. Cake donuts are cake that you eat for breakfast. The next time you get depressed because you just turned on the news only to learn even more about the political corruption and environmental degradation and crime that plague the world, just remember that you also live in a universe where you are compelled to eat cake for your first meal of the day, and that very often this cake is frosted with chocolate. Winner: Tasty Donuts

BEST DONUT FILLING. Donuts can be filled with anything, from cream to jelly to lemon custard to apple pie filling. In Japan, donuts are filled with red bean paste, and in Pakistan, donuts called kichori are filled with beef or chicken. Donut scientists from the University of Donuts estimate that by 2025, food will be considered unfit for human consumption unless it is stuffed into a donut. What’s the best donut filling you had today ? Winner: Donut Man

Continue reading Donut Summit: The Postmortem Continues

Donut Summit: Announcing the Donut King!

We came, we saw, we donutted. And it was awesome. A huge thank you, from me and from all of us here at Metblogs, to everyone, who came out to the Donut Summit today! We had an fifty entries – so basically, a heck of a lot of donuts – and a great crowd, and a beautiful afternoon! I’m sure you’re all dying to know the voting results, and who reigns supreme as DONUT KING (!!!) but first, there are a few people who need lots of thanking:

To our readers, old and new, for coming out and supporting us!

To all of the writers here at Metblogs who helped out in all kinds of ways but most especially the following people:

Kevin Ott, for writing a hilarious voting guide (which I’m going to ask him to post here for everyone to read), for helping scout locations, and for hanging out with me in Griffith Park for three hours this morning so that nobody would steal our picnic tables;

Our intrepid captain Lucinda, for her publicity know-how, her event-running smarts, her megaphone, her fantastic donut hats, for making last-minute trips to Smart and Final, and for thinking this event was a good idea in the first place;

Julia Frey, our coffee maven;

Queequeg, who drove all the way to Glendora to make sure that we would have those fresh strawberry Donut Man donuts;

The minds who came up with the idea of the Donut Summit – ,as I recall, it was hatched over pastrami sandwiches during the Classic Eats visit to Langer’s – I was there, Julia was there, Robnoxious was there, I think maybe Will Campbell was there, and I don’t remember who else – and I think it was Robnoxious who first suggested we bring all of LA’s donuts to one central location.  And thus the Donut Summit was born!

I also want to thank some of my non-Metblogger friends who drove me around to get Donut Summit supplies, and stayed up late with me spraypainting silver and gold donut medals. And special thanks to my friend Nikki who put her stage managerial skills to work and ran Donut Registration for us today.   I’m sure I’ve forgotten other people who deserve a huge thank you, but please know that we appreciate all your help and support!

I was so excited at the number of donut shops represented today – we had very little overlap, and later this week I’ll post a full list of the donut shops who were represented. I want to give a nod to what I thought were some of the highlights of the competition: DK’s Donuts, from Santa Monica absolutely floored me with their blueberry apple fritters (I think they were robbed of the Best Fritter title!) and fresh whipped cream donuts; Babycakes’ vegan donuts were delicious and light and tasty; and Frygirl’s homemade mini donuts were totally to die for (and she does catering!) and I will admit to personally saving all of the leftover Frygirl donuts for myself.

And now, after the jump, the results!

Continue reading Donut Summit: Announcing the Donut King!