Saturday, January 27, 2007

Jan 27 Anti-War Rally Downtown Los Angeles

It was cool and showery winter's day, but what looked like to be over a thousand (maybe more, maybe less -- who can tell really) showed up downtown and marched down Broadway, past City Hall and rallied to end the war. There will be much larger countrywide protest on March 17th at Noon starting at Hollywood and Vine. Anyway, here are a few snapshots... You can see them all at my Flickr.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Help End the War

March tomorrow in downtown L.A. You're either part of the problem or part of the solution.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Jimmy Carter at Brandeis University

The former President popped into my alma mater to address the controvery over his new book about Israel and Palestine, Palestine Peace, Not Apartheid. Wish I could have been there. Sounds like a doozy of an evening.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Los Angeles River

Consensus is building that the Los Angeles River can be restored. Let's hope that the progress made thus far is only the beginning.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Good TV

Atwater Village Wine Bar

In the continuing saga of whether there will be a new wine bar/shop going into the space next to the new Starbucks (should that even ever open) has taken yet another twist and turn. True, a pizza and wings shop is going in, but it is going in the back of the building, behind the H&R Block. I, of course, asked a man who wasn't so much as working on the pizza joint, but rather an investor or something, and he said that the wine shop was still going to open. If it ever does, it will go between the Starbucks and H&R Block...but not for another six moths. So, in the end, quien sabe?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

President Bush and Stephen Colbert

Wow. Atrios linked to Colbert's entire speech on Google Video. It is truly spectacular. You must watch the whole thing.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Why I Love L.A. #7,456

Driving down Santa Monica Blvd. this morning -- heading east to west -- I was side by side with a County Sherrif's black and white bus. In other words, a bus filled with prisoners. On the sidewalk, an african-american transvestite with unnaturally red hair, jumped up and down, jubilantly waving at the prisoners on the bus. I've never seen anyone ever look so happy.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Los Angeles River

What once was can be again. There is a man who is determined to kayak the entire length of the river. There is soft bottom and vegetation. There is FOLAR. There are the hopes and aspirations of a new generation. Read this touching story of a family's adventure in the river that runs through Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Gridlock

I live in Atwater Village and work in Beverly Hills and the commute is awful and getting worse. More light rail, subways, busways, and transit-oriented growth will help in the long run, but for now, here are some simple steps that can help us all out immediately:

1. Walk more. Walk to lunch from your workplace. On the weekends, walk in your neighborhood to your local stores, banks, restaurants. It's good for you, good for your neighborhood and good for the city.

2. Prohibit trucks from driving on the roads/freeways during peak hours. This worked during the 84 Olympics and will work again.

3. Prohibit city street crews from working during peak hours. The Mayor was said to put this in place, but from what I can see, it's largely being ignored (anybody remember the leaf blower ban? yeah, that's what I thought.)

4. Pick one day a week to work from home or take public transit to work. Yeah, the public transit is not the best (despite the ludicrous award the Metro got), but it will get you there.

5. Synchronize lights on every major thoroughfare and keep adding those left turn lanes. Just hurry up and do it.

6. Make major east/west streets one way. Start with Olympic, Wilshire, Beverly and Third. It works downtown and it improved Manhattan.

7. The city/county should be spending money on four things: Safety, Education, Transportation and Healthcare. If resources are dithered away to less important things, it's time to hold them accountable.

8. Remember that this is a problem that politicians can't solve themselves. People have to be willing to make some sacrifices. The old cliche is truer now than ever, you're either part of the solution or part of the problem.

You can post your thoughts here or at the L.A. Times Bottleneck blog. Oh, and special note to The Times, this is exactly what you should be doing more of as the Paper of Record for L.A., California and really the entire country west of New York. Good job! More please.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Atwater Village News

I was going to do a post on the closing of the Wertz Candy store -- it's becoming another gallery -- and decided to google "atwater village wertz" and really didn't come up with what I was looking for. Though, I did come across this (pdf) from the L.A. Conservancy which gives a good brief history of our little village.

So, anyway, Wertz Candies is closed and a gallery is going in. Other news highlights include:

1. The space next to Villa Romi (the fab salon) will become a clothing store.

2. There is space next to CC Pounder's gallery.

3. The Manilla Market building is apparently going for about $2million

4. Strato -- next to Canele -- contrary to a commenter on Atwater Newbie's blog, is not a new restaurant. That name has been in the window for years. I believe it's a film company...

5. The much talked about wine bar looks like it's going to be a pizza place. A wine bar sure would go nicely, though, on this ever-growing gallery destination...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Boston Burgers

No one in the northeast does them better than the landmark Mr. and Mrs. Bartleys, in Harvard Square. Old friend, roommate and burger afficionado, Gary, sent in a report of some burger news from beantown. Is Kerry out and Obama in?

All's I know, you can't beat the boursoin burger. It's delish. Keep away from the cole slaw, though. It's been around.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Canele Under Construction?

A commenter at Atwater Newbie says so and I confirmed it this evening. Something's happening in there and it does not appear to be open. I hope it's just some sort of improvement. Canele's been a big positive addition to Atwater Village.

Damn, nothing on chowhound about it.

Who knows?

Los Angeles Times

I love the Times, in all its dysfunction and believe that recently it's really been stepping up its game -- contrary to what a lot of media pundits have been saying. Really, about a month after the horrific redesign, The Times started really starting to cover stories like Kinsley suggested (More California, more Entertainment biz, more Latinio) and doing more indepth analysis of national and local stories.

Evidence of this can be found in the uptick in links from progressive blogs.

Now, I believe that Tim Rutten nailed it with his story on the WSJ and the future of newspapers in print and online. The future of journalism is back to the future -- morning papers and evening papers. The morning papers (now online editions) are for late breaking news while the evening papers (print) are for rich and contextual analysis.

In regard to online, The Times has some amazing print writers/photographers -- Al Martinez, Bill Plashke, Steve Lopez, Shawn Hubler, Mary McNamara, Carolyn Cole -- I hope they can entice them to blog and really turn the online Times into something with the personality of its great writing staff.

And, of course, I hope The Times can be taken out of the Tribune stable and returned to local ownership (whoever that might be from the Chandlers to Geffen to Burkle) and let it cry out in its unique voice far removed from the other power centers of the country. It's good for the city, it's good for the country and, in the end, it's good for the world.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Stop the Iraq Escalation

No suge. No escalation. Too many lives on all sides lost for nothing. Josh Marshall point out why it's time for Congress to stand up and do their job. I hope they do it.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Griffith Park This Weekend

I hiked up to Dante's View both Saturday and this morning around 8:30a. It's not too crowded, the view is from the San Gabriels to Long Beach and beyond, the languages spoken were spanish, english, japanese, chinese, russian (with english in the minority) and it was breathtaking. My actual chest hurts, as do my feet and calves. But, I vow to hike at least once a weekend this year (weather permitting). It just feels that good.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Maria Leavey

I didn't know her, but from what I read, I wish I had. RIP.

More on Maria here.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Atwater Village Pizza?

Oh, dear lord of gentrication, I saw a sign this morning at the Atwater Starbucks/H&R Block/Wine Store location (where only H&R Block has opened) suggesting that the wine store is no more. Soon to come: a pizza shop. While I love the concept of a wine shop (which has been promised to me on multiple visits), a pizza shop sounds like a great alternative. Of course, I would love both!

Monday, January 01, 2007


One of my old college roomates is getting some attention in Maine in regard to his class on Genocide. Read about Jonathan White and genocide, why don't you.

(Hat tip to another old college roomate, Dan Levin.)


Here's to peace.