This is my favorite event of the year and it starts tonight and runs through July 2nd. It is the 626 Night Market, the premiere event of the summer here in the 626. Food, Music, Shopping and FUN. Its an experience not to be missed.
Parking fills fast so arrive early or Uber/Lyft in from the Arcadia Metro Gold Line Station. If you must drive take the 210 to Arcadia, Exit Santa Anita and follow the signs to the Santa Anita Racetrack.
Last fall the Foothill Extension signed over the tracks to Metro and testing began. Testing is nearly over and the grand opening is set for this saturday. Duarte station is the site of the official ribbon cutting and opening at the midway point between Pasadena and the end at Azusa. With the ribbon cutting trains start rolling at noon to the new stations in Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and finally Azusa.
Monrovia plans on making a day of it. Bands, food tents, craft tents in the area around the train depot known officially as “Station Square” Their ceremony is set to start at 11AM Saturday with ribbon cutting at 11:30 and first train rolling in at noon. To ensure the community can get to the fun down at Station Square they will be running a free shuttle from Old Town Monrovia down to the station activities.
Metro to celebrate the day has made the Gold Line a free ride from noon to midnight on Saturday. This could be your chance to visit the SGV and cities along the route to see what makes them different and special. Just remember if traveling here from other lines you will need to have your TAP card filled and loaded as those lines will not be free. Failing to tap your TAP can be a big fine.
Last year was awesome fun. This year promises more of the same at the 626 Night Market held at the Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. Its one of the biggest events of the year in the SGV…second to maybe the Rose Parade thingy, but that has no food, bands or stuff. This, the 626 Night Market has tons, TONS of food, live bands and all sorts of stuff you didn’t know you needed for sale. Cheap.
Friday August 7,4PM-1AM, Saturday August 8, 4PM-1AM, Sunday August 9, 4PM-11PM
Santa Anita Park, 285 W Huntington Drive, Arcadia. MAP HERE.
Always-Patsy Cline the production kicking off the 2015-2016 season at the Sierra Madre Playhouse officially opens this weekend to a sold out crowd. SOLD OUT.
As a board member I’m involved in a lot of aspects behind the scene’s. JozJozJoz, metblogs/blogging.la CEO is an official tweeter for the L.A. Opera and that was the germ of the idea for the blogathon for the soft opening, last rehearsal of Always-Patsy Cline. But more on that a bit later.
This is a wonderful story of an overly zealous fan and the star she adored becoming accidental friends and pen pals. The play itself is about how Louise Seger, a Houston housewife played by Nikki D’Amico who is best characterized as a spitfire hellcat fun loving divorcee, reminiscing over the night she first heard Pasty Cline on the radio and how she followed her career until they met a club outside Houston. They became best of friends, Louise and Pasty became penpals and wrote each other until Patsy’s untimely death at the age of 30. Those letters to Louise ended with the salutation “Always-Patsy Cline”. That story, and the story of Patsy’s life are intertwined and told through 27 songs by Patsy Cline beautifully recreated by Cori Cable Kidder and backed up by a live band. Continue reading Always-Patsy Cline and the blogathon soft open→
Community theatre is derided but not always deservedly so. The theatre group associated with Monrovia High School tackles big plays and does them quite nicely. Most importantly its a community effort supported by MUSD and gives kids and young adults in the area a chance to spread their wings, experiment and grow.
The play plot is well known. Young girl goes to New York looking for a rich husband instead of love. The part of Milly is played by Marjory Zuk who not only sings well, but dances well to bring the character to life. Theres a large pool of local talent to round out the cast and make for a lively evening.
This is going to be an awesomely fun evening. Sierra Madre Playhouse and Vroman’s Books in Hasting Ranch have teamed up to bring the cast and crew from their soon to open “Always…Patsy Cline” production down the hill for a listening party. Listen to such classics as Crazy, Walking After Midnight, and I Fall To Pieces.
Learn about the singing techniques Patsy used to evoke the heartbreak and longing that have made her songs country and pop classics. Presented in tandem with the production of Always… Patsy Cline at The Sierra Madre Playhouse, playing July 31 – September 12, 2015.
I know this shopping center well. Parking is always tight and you can idle forever waiting for a spot to open. I’d suggest if you are mass transit enabled take the Gold Line to the Sierra Madre Station and walk the 4 blocks east to Vroman’s or grab an ARTS shuttle or Foothill Transit 187 “murder bus” to the center. Much easier and less stressful than dealing with tight parking.
Deets: The Patsy Cline Listening Party will take place at Vroman’s Hastings Ranch store at 3729 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107 on Friday, July 17, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. Free event. MAP HERE.
I knew about Tower Records long before I moved here. Sunset and Horn. My bestest buddy from college lived just up the hill on Horn from there. Every trip to visit Los Angeles included at trip to Tower Records to soak up the vibe and pick up the lastest and greatest tunes. And star sightings. Lots of them back in the 80s. Even after I moved here and was living in Canoga Park I still made it there often. As I look at my collection of tapes and CD’s and odd bits of vinyl each brings back a memory of a trip there.
The Grammy Museum at L.A Live has a documentary on the rise and fall of Tower Records that will show March 25, 2015. Tickets are on sale now . Reel to Reel: All Things Must Pass promises to be a joyous trip down memory lane. The old store may have been killed by the MP3 pirates, but its memories will live on.
Deets: The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live. Olympic and Figueroa, Los Angeles MAP HERE Tickets: $15
The beloved all-ages venue in the far west Valley that has given thousands of local kids their start in music, tens of thousands of poets a chance to read their work, and probably millions of young people to tag/sticker bathrooms (and hallways…and sidewalks…and rear exterior walls…and everything else), and just generally get the F outta the house without having to go to the mall–will be closing at the end of the month. I regret to pass this news on so late but I only just found out myself.
Extremely patient and awesome owner Dave Politi founded the Cobalt Cafe coffeehouse in 1991. Grunge was a rising tide, emo was in its early stages, weird ska/funk/pop-punk hybrids particular to the Valley and south LA in general were bubbling up from high schoolers’ garages, and Starbucks wasn’t here.
I was a high school goth chick, shy as hell and loathe to speak to anyone. My friends’ bands played the shows. Seeing them, their openers, and those for whom they opened, up close and personal on a stage about a foot off the ground and approximately three feet from my face so their sweat flew in my eyes, lit off a fuse within myself that altered my DNA, transformed my passions and creative dreams forever. I got up the guts to read my mediocre emo high-school-girl poetry at the weekly poetry readings.
I got to know people. I became a regular. I met my first long-term boyfriend there, played chess there, bought punk records from unknown bands there from small private presses before records were collectors’ items, met some of the folks I’d run into long, long down the line ten years later in Silver Lake at Spaceland (and in other rooms), watched the comfy overstuffed furniture go the way of the dodo (too many episodes of puking, sweating and cigarettes leads them to an early grave), giving way to a more Spartan interior. People liked my poetry enough that I got a featured reading at a coffeehouse on Sunset Blvd, and I kept writing long into my late 20s. I sometimes wonder if all that writing didn’t lay the groundwork for my public blogging and journalism career, which itself has led to experiences and interactions that could never have been imagined by the mind of a repressed, shy 17-year-old black-lipstick-wearing girl in 1996.
Every time I have returned to the Valley to see a line of self-conscious green-and-black-haired high schoolers goofing off with each other in front of the venue, or bros in short pants and Deftones t-shirts unloading a 350 Ford, I have smiled to myself, grateful that sometimes, good things don’t change, and that there’s a place for us weirdos to go–still. Yeah, sometimes the music sucked. Well, usually it does when people are that green. But it was music, and we–now, they–were and are making it. Some of them got really, really good. Some of the poets went on to long careers as luminaries in the poetry arts scene throughout the US. Records were make, books published. Creative dreams came true.
The place reeked of sweat, coffee and cigarettes; the bathrooms are an archaeological dig though layers of paint, Sharpie, and stickers; sometimes the baristas were overwhelmed or had a ‘tude (as is proper, whiners!), but that all just made it better. I have been everywhere, man, and seen a lotta shows, but the Cobalt was the most genuine, unprepossessing, free-spirited creative fermentation machine I had ever seen. You did not have to be hip to walk in. You did not have to wear the right clothes. In fact, it’s still pretty hipster-repellent.
Sadly, Dave’s got his own Life S**t going on these days, and there’s less and less money coming in the doors with promoters and bookers being less supportive than they used to be; and let’s face it, non-Starbucks-priced coffee will never keep an indie business afloat, especially when your clientele is allowed to just hang out and buy nothing the entire time they’re there.
Dave Politi should be lauded for giving so much of his life and energy to a cause–“the kids” and “the music” and “the words”. The longtime host of Tuesday Night Poetry–he’s been doing it almost as long as the Cobalt was open–Rick Lupert–should be thanked, and I encourage you to see him read his funny and thoughtful work at other venues around town. All the hosts of Monday night open mics, all the baristas who endured patiently for many years, every doorman who had to bust kids doing the things that kids do–thank you, one and all. Here’s to the Cobalt Cafe. From such a humble little corner of the West San Fernando Valley, her influence has already spread around the world. Dave and the Cobalt are studies in how simply making space for others to be themselves, can ripple outwards in a quietly irresistible wave of transformation.
Hover over photos for Creative Commons/other photo credits.
What is L.A. Auto Show press days without a manufacturer party or two? My absolute favorite is the Hyundai party. Again this year at the Hotel Figueroa a few blocks from the show itself.
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Yes, they were our live entertainment. Nearly shat myself when they were announced to be our entertainment for the evening. Tons of fun, she hasn’t lost her edge. Totally fun night.
It’s here the final 626 Night Market, the thing to do in the SGV, is this weekend. Friday night it starts at 4PM and runs Saturday into Sunday too. Food, stuff, music and special guest appearances market this weekend.
Theres still no transit way to make it there. From the 210 Exit Santa Anita and drive south to Huntington. Make a right and follow Huntington to the Santa Anita Park.
Parking is free and admission is a measly $3 per person.
Deets. Santa Anita Park, 285 W Huntington Drive, Arcadia. MAP HERE Hours Friday/Saturday 4PM-1AM, Sunday 4PM-10PM
Nearly 4 years ago the island country of Haiti was devastated with an earthquake. International aid helped, but they have a long way towards rebuilding. Their education system took a huge hit and is in need of contnued help. Taste of Haiti comes to Los Angeles as a fund raiser to continue rebuilding their schools and stuff.
Taste of Haiti is a celebration of all things Haitian and will take place on a rooftop in DTLA on Wilshire. Food, Dance, and Music to celebrate their culture and share with those of us who can help with the cause. High light of the event is food by Chef Jacques Laventure.
This isn’t free, tickets range in price from $20 to $100 with perks commensurate with your tax deductible donation. Ticket purchase and more about the L.A. Event here. More on the total Taste of Haiti Here.
Details: May 28, 2014 7:30PM, 3100 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles 90005
What’s the Xylovan? Its an amazing community music machine. Its about a personal expression shared with all. It first made its appearance at Burning Man a few years back. Its since made appearrances at the decompressions at Joshua Tree and here in L.A. Its fun.
It needs our help for the family that owns the Xylovan to make some much needed repairs and push it to the next level. Whats that…a roving ball room repleat with LED lights and such.
To Help you can contribute to them HERE at Indiegogo where they have a crowd sourcing campain in place. And its not all fun and games, there are prizes, tokens of appreciation for donors based on your level of donation.
American Sabor opens on Saturday Nov 16th at Cal State University LA with a huge open house. Its an exhibit on loan to CSULA until February 6 2014. The Exhibit is here are part of a grant from Ford Motor Company. The exhibit left me speechless. Yes, I knew some of the famous names, but I never knew until touring this exhibit the depth that Latin Music, its flavor or sabor has influenced all of American Music.
More importantly this exhibit has a portion dedicated solely to the contributions of Angelenos, specifically East LA in the 1990s. That will be part of the permanent collection at CSULA when the Smithsonian moves on loan to its next city. Famous Angelenos starting with Desi Arnaz and flash forward to Black Eyed Peas I was amazed, outright blown away with the influence Latin music has had on pop music, hip hop, jazz and other genres. Other artists of note that are showcased in the exhibit are Alice Bag, Los Lobos, Los Illegals, and Quetzal. Continue reading American Sabor: Latin flavor in American Music and an LA focus→