Even Beethoven is excited for the Donut Summit, you guys.

Due to circumstances that are somewhat convoluted and silly, this weekend, I had, in my care, a bust of Beethoven that had been painted to look like the Joker.  The only way to really explain this is just that sometimes, Joker Beethoven just…happens.

My friends and I did what anyone in LA should do when you have someone visiting, and brought our esteemed guest, Joker Beethoven, to Randy’s Donuts, for the Greatest Photo Opportunity that Has Ever Been Staged:

Joker Beethoven is super excited for the Donut Summit.  He think’s Randy’s apple fritter is totally going to be Donut King.

Since It’s Been More Than Two Days Between Posts Here Allow Me To Post This Frivolity Just To Kill The Streak At 48 Fucking Hours

A fellow named Errin who I follow on Twitter saw my tweet of the above photo taken by my wife Saturday and because he has this awesome water-ready bike called a Salsa Mukluk tweeted back that he’d like to do this. So we’re arranging to meet tomorrow (Tuesday) at 10 a.m. at the Crystal Springs entrance to the Los Angeles River westbank Bikeway (pinpoint map) to roll the eastbank south of the Fletcher Bridge in Atwater and the riverbed further downstream to points to be determined.

Short notice, indeed. But if you have a wide-tired bike, a sense of adventure, shoes you don’t mind getting wet, and nothing pressing on your Tuesday morning schedule, you are welcome to join us.

The Return of Non-Carmageddon Carmageddon

Santa Monica Pier
The cars were about this jammed in Santa Monica

After last weekend’s Carmageddon threat, which drove hordes of Los Angeles drivers off the roads and away from the local beaches, today was a different story. It was back to normal in Santa Monica and Venice, meaning tons of cars jamming up the east-west roads like Washington Blvd. and the 10 Freeway, trying to get to the beach. Then, in the late afternoon, the jam reversed direction. In fact, the 10 was bumper to bumper in both directions at about 4:45 p.m. today, as viewed from the 11th Street overpass in Santa Monica.

Welcome back to summer weekends by the beach in L.A. I kind of miss Carmageddon.

The donuts are coming!!! Donut Summit FAQ, 2011 edition

Are you excited for the Donut Summit yet? WE ARE SO EXCITED FOR THE DONUT SUMMIT!!! And so are the lovely folks at LA Weekly and Flavorpill, who were both so kind as to give us a shout out.

With the Donut Summit just a week or so away, on July 31, we wanted to address a few oft-asked questions about the ins and outs of the Donutocalypse:

1.  What will happen at the Donut Summit?
It’s going to work a little something like this:

– The festivities kick off at 2pm. So, from about 2-2:30, we’ll have Donut Registration. Just show up with your Donuts, check in with our illustrious bloggers, and we’ll make sure your donut box is clearly labeled with the name of your donut shop.

– Once everyone’s donuts are registered (so, by about 2:30), donut tasting will begin and will last until about 3:30. We’ll have donut tasting stations set up, and we’ll provide you with a ballot for voting on your top donuts. Be prepared for a DONUT FEEDING FRENZY!  Hand sanitizer and napkins will, naturally, be provided to deal with the ensuing stickiness.

– Once all of the ballots are submitted, we’ll tally the votes! While vote tallying is going on, you lucky people get to hang out with Metbloggers, and there will be fun and games!  Rumors have been flying about donut pong, donut bingo, and, after the outstanding success of last year’s donut haiku contest…donut limericks!

– At around 4:30, after tallying your votes and consulting with our expert judges, we’ll crown the Donut King!
(Please note that all times listed above are approximate and subject to change!)

 

2.  Where is the Donut Summit?
In Elysian Park, in picnic area 6, near the intersection of Elysian Park Drive and Chavez Canyon Road.  We’ll be in the are close to Grace E. Simons lodge, which has free parking available.  Hey, look, a map!


View Donut Summit, 2011! in a larger map

3.  Where should I bring donuts from?

Anywhere! From Winchell’s to Spudnuts to Stan’s to your own kitchen – it’s all fair game. Last year, we put together a short list of local donut shops to give you some ideas, but don’t feel restricted to that list.

4.  How many donuts should I bring?
One dozen per party, please!

5.  What’s going to happen to any leftover donuts?
While we would have liked to donate any leftover donuts to a local food bank or soup kitchen, we haven’t been able to find any local organizations that are willing to deal with perishables (but if any of you, dear readers, do know of a local charity who might be interested, please let us know). So any extra donuts will be sent home with Donut Summit attendees in donut doggie bags, so you’ll have breakfast for the week! And there are lots of tasty things to be done with leftover donuts: you can do donut bread puddingdonut trifledonut french toast, and I, personally, an an advocate of the refried donut – just throw a stale donut into a non-stick pan and the inside will get soft and the glaze will carmelize and go crispy, and it will become the most delicious thing in the world.

I am practicing my donut-eating skills for the Donut Summit RIGHT NOW with an amazing maple old-fashioned from Randy’s.  What are you doing to get ready for the Donut Summit?

 

Seriously this warning needed to be posted?

Bathroom Etiquette
Bathroom Etiquette

Bathroom etiquette takes many forms.  Yesterday I was in a high-falutin office complex in Santa Monica and spotted this sign in the mens room.  It made me laugh, then it made me wonder what the hell happened that made them post the warning.  They not only ask you to clean up after yourself but then enumerate the steps to do so.

The image is kinda crappy as it was done with a cell phone.  To save you the squinting eye strain here are the steps in short.  Flush more than once to leave a clean bowl, make sure the ass gasket is flushed completely, make sure the seat is dry and lastly wash your hands.

Granted it made for a really nice clean restroom and there are plenty of others in the city that could use similar instructions.  Where is your favorite potty stop in the city?  Least favorite?

Pic does get bigger with a click.

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

On a whim last Saturday I responded to a tweet from @Koreatown about a burger-eating challenge, not exactly expecting that I had a real shot at getting into the contest. Many of my friends have remarked about my voracious appetite in the past, having punished myself through such gastronomical exploits as eating 24 pancakes at IHOP, 7.5 Dodger Dogs at a ballgame, and twice completing the Fatburger “Triple King Challenge” in under ten minutes.

Well, the folks at Koreatown got back to me, and they let me know I stood a good chance of competing in the challenge. The concern at that point in time was the lack of female participants. If I could wear a wig, they suggested, I might even stand a better chance. I started to get a little hope that I might be able to back out of this with my pride intact.

Continue reading What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

Scenes from the LA Street Food Fest

Over the weekend, a few dozen old- and new-skool food stands, trucks, restaurants, and even some eateries from Baja trekked to the Rose Bowl to participate in the second annual Street Food Fest. There were three entry times, two during the day and one in the evening. I got there at 6 and, whether it was because of Carmageddon or because everyone decided to do the day trips, the crowd was comfortably crowded – very few long waits and ample time to sample everything you wanted to sample, and then some.  At the end of the day, a few awards were handed out: Javier Plascencia’s smoked oyster with chicarron and sea pickle was the Best in Show amongst the official judges and the crowd, and one of my favorites, Antojitos Carmen, won “Best Old School Street Food” for its huitlacoche huaraches. A few photos from the event below:

Mayor Tony Explains It All For You

Above is a new YouTube clip out of Villaraigosa’s office titled “Building A 21st-Century Transportation System For Los Angeles,” which primarily features the mayor talking to various cameras and groups. He’s seen in front of  the Congress of Mayors in DC. He’s talking to another group about how important the 405 diamond lane is. And apparently in his City Hall office he’s talking to a camera and outlining what he hopes will be his legacy in getting Los Angeles moving mass transportationally in the coming years. To emphasize his dedication to that goal he valiantly proclaims that he’s ever-ready to fly to Washington at even the slightest whiff of federal funding… since there’s just so little here in town for which he’s needed.

Snark (mostly) aside, it’s a decent presentation with good ideas and information, but unfortunately the clip’s bookended by a couple head-shakingingly poor choices.

As shown above, the first thing viewers are greeted with before they press the play button is a YouTube 101 fail; a screen-still* of Villaraigosa taking a nap closed-eyed during an interview — an image that’s safe to project only if you’re a hypnotist or a sleep disorder specialist.

At the other end of the video is this closing image is shown at right, subtitled to indicate the mayor is inside that LAFD helicopter taking off on a purported survey of the work being done on the 405 (click it for slight embiggenation).

*In case Villaraigosa and/or his YouTube team has wised-up and gone back and selected a less-somnolent alternative — which is always an editing option — I’ve posted a screengrab of His Drowsiness after the jump.

Continue reading Mayor Tony Explains It All For You

Sometimes it Starts With a Facebook Page

Valley-Westside Rail
You Should Like This

Before The Event That Never Was, I wrote about the need for a rail line along the 405 corridor. I exchanged a few emails with Bart Reed of the Transit Coalition, who shared some insight as to how to get such an important piece of the transit puzzle off the ground (or rather, under.) He said they have been in talks with Los Angeles Council Districts 6 and 11, and that they would begin promoting through social media sites.

The Valley-Westside Rail project is now up on Facebook. You should like it.

I asked Bart how people could get more involved. He said that we need to start by garnering support from neighborhood councils. So, that’s where I began, with a few emails of my own:

This past weekend, the closure of the 405 and the media attention it received resulted in a ripple effect on the entire freeway system. Drivers got lucky. Businesses did not. This further illustrates the need for viable transportation alternatives. Specifically, a more comprehensive regional rail network.

As a contributing author for Blogging.LA, I wanted to get your input on a newly envisioned Metro rail line from the Valley to the Westside, by way of the 405 corridor.

Continue reading Sometimes it Starts With a Facebook Page

We’re Number Two According to GQ

LA fashion
Malingering's photo used through Creative Commons license

LA was edged out of the number one seat for GQ‘s coveted “worst-dressed city” title by Boston of all places! I find it hard to believe–nearly impossible, in fact–that preppy old Boston can beat LA’s hootchie skirts, hipster glasses, bad knuckle tattoos, and omnipresent flip-flops [Oxford comma represent!]. GQ says:

Angelenos wage a fierce, daily battle against time and taste so effective it would be admirable if the results weren’t so obnoxious. Ground zero of this war against time is strongest in the thrumming hub of mind-blowing sartorial choices of the few neighborhoods nestled on the axis of Sunset Blvd. You know you’re getting close when you start seeing a profusion of regrettable headwear. . .

Note that Washington, D.C., most sartorially boring place on earth, did not even make the list of 40 cities, throwingthe accuracy of GQ’s snark and the list as a whole into question, in my opinion. Truly, I don’t know how a person could spend a couple hours at HiHo on any given weekend and not automatically grant us the gold. Silver–bah!

Win Tickets to See Demetri Martin!!

Would you like to see a man and his flip chart?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaGa3kjRS7o[/youtube]

If so, you’re in luck: Demetri Martin is on tour, and we have a few tickets to see his one-man-plus-props show this Sunday, July 24th, at the Fox Theater in Pomona.  To win, just leave a comment below with your favorite Martin prop: that flip chart? His guitar? Ukelele?  Have at it, folks, and I’ll pick a winner on Wednesday.

Timelapse: Autocalypse Now Ride

On that first day of the anticipated/feared “Carmegeddon,” in Los Angeles , while other far fleeter pedalers were kicking ass over a jet plane in a race from Burbank to Long Beach, I was joined by four awesomely like-minded cyclists — Ann, Harold, Robert and Thaddeus — for a more casual 47-mile bike tour that began and ended in Silver Lake and included a climb up from the valley to the top of the Sepulveda Pass for a look at the ongoing demolition of the Mulholland Bridge over an entirely emptied 405 Freeway.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately depending on your tolerance for stopmotion videography) I can’t show you the entire ride as my camera’s memory card filled up at Mile No. 37, just as we were entering Beverly Hills on the way back to our start point.

But it was an awesome day and an awesome group with which to ride.

Route: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=4642041