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Echo ParkÖa nice place to be?

echopark.JPG With the sun out, the reflection of the blue sky turning the dirty water of the lake an acceptable shade of aqua, and a fair number of young families feeding the ducks at lake’s edge, for a few hours today, Echo Park was a place I would actually consider spending some time.

Living a block from the park, it’s easy to take a quick jaunt around the lake and I frequently do, but I have never, and rarely ever even consider stopping to enjoy the place. Truth be told, there isn’t that much to enjoy. That’s why today was so surprising. Maybe it was the mild temperature, maybe the fact that maintenance workers were in the process of dressing up the grassy knolls and picking up fallen palm fronds. Whatever it was, the place suddenly had so much potential.

So with favorable perspective, I picked out the specific individual characteristics of the park that combine to typically make it an unpleasant place to be and went back and snapped a few photos. In this neighborhood with it’s ambitious squads of graffiti artists, fixing these unsightly aspects and keeping them fixed would require tireless diligence, but I think the neighborhood is evolving into a community that could devote such diligence. All it takes is a somewhere to start.

What follows the jump is a photo essay of the park’s unsightly elements and ideas to fix them.
Continue reading Echo ParkÖa nice place to be?

Any Irish in ya?

punch.jpgIrish pubs are typically my least favorite drinking establishments, but I make exceptions on holidays. Any suggestions?

High on the list of priorities are: 1) authentic “Irish” experience, 2) crowded enough to have a good time, but not too crowded (as the obvious venues will surely be), and 3) moderate potential for bar fights.

On a related note, what ever happened to pinching people who don’t wear green?

The Los Angeles Almanac

lavamps.jpgAnyone familiar with the Los Angeles Almanac, the self-proclaimed “most comprehensive Internet source for facts and statistics about Los Angeles County”? It seems to be an amazing clearinghouse for all things LA whether it be records of Maximum Ozone Concentrations within Los Angeles County from 1995-2000 or the best and worst times to fly in or out of LAX. Packed with useful information, I found the ìMysterious LAî pages most useful with brief synopses of rare LA legends like the Legend of Underground People or LA Vampires. With a whopping total of 36 in 1995, Los Angeles allegedly had the highest concentration of vampires worldwide. We rule!

Now they know…!

I just had the pleasure of receiving a phone poll pertaining to the upcoming mayoral election. The poller had the most pleasant “radio-quality” voice. I love the style of these folks. They never ask if they may ask you a few questions. They tell you they’re going to ask you a few questions. And then they do. But the genius of it is, by the time you think about not answering, you’re so caught up in the line of questioning that you accidentally engage in what proves to be an intellectually stimulating interview. Here’s what I mean…

I knew it was going to be good when they asked me to rate the “warm, positive” feeling I had towards the following names (100 being very warm and positive): Bill Bratton, Jim Hahn, Bob Hertzberg, Antonio Villaraigosa, Richard Alarcon, Bernard Parks, (one name I forgot), and Magic Johnson. MAGIC JOHNSON?! “Is Magic Johnson running for mayor?” I asked. The poller (or is it pollster) responded in the negative and suggested that Magic Johnson is a prominent figure in city politics. Is that true? I mean I know he’s an activist, but does he operate in some official capacity? Or, is he included as the next most prominent African-American city figure? Is he a race control for the “warm/positive” rating of Bernard Parks? I asked the poller and he had no opinion. Anyway, ever since a college statistics class where the only thing I learned was what constitutes a random sample, I’ve always been curious about polls. How are they written? How are their results analyzed? Why do they, in some cases, ask the same question twice in different words?

Sadly, there were only two supervisors on shift and they had both taken a coffee break simultaneously, so no one could answer my questions. The poller indicated that there were only two because the third woman recently broke her arm. If anyone is interested, the company running the poll is called Research Data Design and the pollers were not aware of who was paying for it. The only one clearly not paying for it was Villaraigosa. It displayed conspicuous anti-Villaraigosan language.

George Harrison Birthday Celebration

Commemorate Beatle George Harrisonís birthday with a gathering outside Capitol Records this Friday, Feb 25 at 6PM. The event includes a cake-cutting ceremony and an appearance by Chris Carter, current host of ìBreakfast with the Beatlesî, founding member of Dramarama (Iíll give you diamonds, give you pillsÖ), and producer of “Mayor of the Sunset Strip“. Event organizer Jerry Rubin promises a foam-core George Harrison Walk of Fame Star to place next to John Lennonís. Rubin hopes this will be the future location of a star for Harrison though the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce reportedly requires five years to pass after the death of a potential Star before granting permission. And then there’s still the $15,000 price tag. As there are sure to be more than enough Hollywood lunatics milling about, Rubin could not verify cake to go around. The birthday party is to be held at 1750 N. Vine St at 6PM with a cake-cutting ceremony at 6:30.

Nominate your own Walk of Fame Star here.

Mud Bath

I’m in Malibu. Apparently PCH is covered in mud. Topanga Canyon is closed. Malibu Canyon is closed. I can risk Kanan Dune death trap or sleep in the office chair. Good times.

UPDATE: Yup, I’m back at the office. Maybe I’ll clean out the filing cabinet.