Thursday, May 31, 2007

Devils Canyon or My Birthday Project #8

My friend Tom and I decided to be more adventurous last weekend and instead of doing the regular strenuous in-city Runyon Cyn hike, we decided to head into the Angeles National Forest. Now, having really never been there as adults, we didn't know what to expect. Tom did a little due diligence and chose a trail well into the forest. As it turned out, we couldn't get there because of a landslide...that occurred 5 years ago.

We didn't know that, so we headed off on the 2 highway and in just a few minutes from L.A., we found ourselves deep in the forest and mountains and climbing (in Tom's car) very steep and curvy roads. After 30 minutes or so, we realized we were starving and that we both forgot to bring food for trail. Fortunately, there is a biker restaurant/bar --Newcomb's-- in the middle of the forest that serves up great grub.

We fueled up on one of the best egg sandwiches I have ever had and continued, despite the fact of the landslide. After a few more miles, we realized we needed an adventure pass and returnedto the restaurant to buy one -- $5. A few minutes before Newcomb's is Devil's Canyon. This would have to do.

And do it did. It's a strenuous upside down hike -- you hike down to the bottom and back up to the trailhead. None of it was too steep, but it was quite hot and we didn't know what to expect. From upper elevation of the trail, we saw cacti, but as we got closer and closer, there were plenty of pines and more verdant vegetation. Since the rain season was so poor this year, the creek at the bottom was very still. It's quite possible we didn't make it all the way down before we headed back up, but even if we had, I would bet the water features of this hike are currently limited.

All in all, it was about a 2 and a half hour hike and was filled with the peace of a mountain wind whistling through tall trees. And it's oh so close to L.A.

If you have a chance, escape to the Angeles National Forest.

Sarah is a Rocker Chick

Dance, Sarah, Dance!

Sweet Dreams, Lindsay

via Defamer.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Charles Nelson Reily

Rest in peace.

A nice tribute in the LA Times.

Memorial Day

Mark Twain wrote THE WAR PRAYER, but was convinced not to release it until after he died.

Mother's Day at the Pantages or My Birthday Project #7

With Carl's mother in town from Ireland, our friend Tom who's mother recently passed away, had the fun idea of getting house seats to WICKED at the Pantages for Carl, his mom, our friend Steve and his mom and me and my mother and himself.

Now, the Pantages is one of those grand historic L.A. theatres, which thankfully they haven't torn down, but rather Disney helped to rennovate for when THE LION KING played L.A., and it simply look magnificent on this Mother's Day.

The musical was really fun -- albeit a tad loud for the moms -- and filled with catchy songs, a strong book, great costumes and sets and just what American Musical Theater is meant to be.

After the show, we all headed off for late lunch and drinks at the Cat and Fiddle restaurant in Hollywood. More big laughs, great food and drink and a perfect way to end the first Mother's day ever spent together by my mom and Carl's.

Here we are at the Cat and Fiddle.

Next up: A hike through the Angeles National Forest.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Al Martinez, formerly of the L.A. Times

Man, the people who are making decisions at the L.A. Times suck ass. They've just let go Al Martinez. That's like letting go of Jim Murray or any number of previous greats that the Times used to have in its stable. Hopefully, Zell will sell the Times to a local owner who will bring back greatness to the former Paper of Record. It'javascript:void(0)
Publish Posts a dark week for journalism in Los Angeles.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Colorado Blvd. or My Birthday Project #6

Happened about a week ago. I'm swamped at work and, therefore, have less time than I would like to write regularly. Carl, Lena and I -- after an afternoon at the Gorgeous Huntington Gardens (named after Henry Hungtington -- it's his old house -- who made a fortune building then selling streetcars in Los Angeles in the first half of the 20th century -- shunned the freeway and took Colorado Blvd. all the way to Glendale.

After cursing through some of the more congested intersections in Pasadena, we crossed over the spectacular Colorado St. bridge (famous for it's architecture and formerly frequent suicides), through now-bustling Eagle Rock and into Glendale.

It was glorious. See, you don't have to take the freeway in L.A.

Project #5 coming up: Mother's Day at Wicked at the Pantages.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell is Dead

If there is an afterlife, his will not be peaceful. Today, the world is a bit brighter.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Rio de Los Angeles State Park or My Birthday Project #5

I did this last week, so I still haven't missed a week (he pats himself on the back),and this is it. I visited the all-new Rio de Los Angeles state park. It's on 40 acres of a former railroad yard (Taylor Yard) that a diverse coalition of groups worked to save from being turned into warehouses. Now, it's soccer fields, baseball fields, trails and standard kiddie park equipment. A real green oasis in the middle of a city that's starved for green oasis and another step towards making Los Angeles more liveable and more environmentally friendly. This and the new cornfield park in Chinatown and the finally approved and emerging emerald necklace that will be designed around the resurgence and reclamation of the Los Angeles river is something that the city, county and state leaders and the people can be proud of. Visit it!

Here are some snapshots.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Griffith Park

Here's how you can help.

Here are just some of the things you used to be able to do at the park, and hopefully will be able to do in the future.

I know I am going to miss Dante's View. I had planned on going Tuesday morning, but had opted for a walk around the Silverlake Resevoir instead. A shame, really.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Monday, May 07, 2007

Atwater Starbucks Now Open

Huzzah. Take that Nimbys! Now, I can go back to enjoying locally owned Kaldi and the Rollin' Pin Bakery.