Monday, October 29, 2007

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Los Angeles Anti-War Rally

Between 15,000 and 20,000 showed up in downtown L.A. to march down historic Broadway to a rally just beside Los Angeles City Hall on Sunday to protest the illegal war in Iraq.It felt good to be among the people who know that the only way out is to speak out. That said, what's really needed at this point is civil disobedience. Anything less is not working. Here are some pics...














Many more photos here.

Los Angeles Metro

If you are sick of businesses (and the media) who do not note the proximity and efficiency of mass transit in L.A. to new and exciting developments like I am, MetroRider Nick suggests you can write the Metro liasion to help pressure businesses.

The MTA liason is Danielle Boutier @ BoutierD@metro.net. Contact her if you need help pressuring any business that refuses to acknowledge Metro Rail.

It's up to the citizens to do it because major media isn't. Contact Danielle today.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Protest the Iraq War

There is a massive protest planned for this coming Saturday in Downtown L.A. If you think the time has come (or passed a lot time ago) to end this war, you owe it to yourself, your country and to the people who are sacrificing their lives for this war to go to the protest and let your voice be heard. Find out more here.

I Heart Alec Baldwin

His performance on 30 Rock this week was a tour de force. This, cut up, from the past...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Freedom of Speach? Freedom of Assembly?

What is Los Angeles

This has already been picked up by many including Metro Rider and Curbed, but it deserves to be spread far and wide. It is the best description of Los Angeles that I have read.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Santa Anas

The winds are blowing all over L.A., but strangely only blew Saturday night here in Atwater Village. Still the city is circled by a ring of fire that Johnny Cash could only sing about and the L.A. Times old warhorrse, Al Martinez, captures it well tonight. Kevin Drum, also, highlights those famour Didion words about the devil winds, but doesn't get it. I do. Do you?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Vince's Market Mural

While wrapping up a Sunday morning constitutional through Atwater Village -- stops included Tacos Villa Corona, Kaldi Coffee and the Sunday Farmer's Market -- I detoured slightly from my more regular route and walked by Vince's Market to see how the mural was coming. Lo and behold, I ran into the muralist, Rafael Escamilla, completing his work.

The paintings are lovely evocations of Atwater Village in a different time. Strangely, though, they could just as easily be from today. The market serves a small bilingual community with fresh food and good neighborliness and now it has a fantastic mural that ties the community back to its former heyday and hopefully dissuades taggers from hitting their walls (which were formerly a frequent target).

Raphael also did the murals on Fletcher and Casitas and is taking part in an art exhibit that is currently being held downtown at City Hall (through November 3rd)that's called "Journey Through Art: The Salvardoran Experience". For more information about the exhibit, call Salef at 213.480.1052. There is a closing reception on November 3rd at 6p.

Here are a couple cell phone camera pics of the mural.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Taking Metro to Work or My Birthday Project #22

I live in Atwater Village. My office moved temporarily from Beverly Hills (no easy commute) to Bundy and Olympic (much more hellish commute). While we were in Beverly Hills, I had decided to take the bus once or twice a week. Now, there's no direct bus, but with just one transfer at Alvarado and Sunset (where there was a recent gang shooting, by the way), I could get to work in about the same time as driving and not fueled by gasoline but rather my own self satisfaction.

So, with the drive much worse, I've opted to try Metro and did so on Thursday. I parked at the Cypress Park Goldline station (it's about 7 minutes away), rode the train into Union Station and transfered to Santa Monica's Big Blue Express Bus that goes through a little bit of downtown and then takes the Santa Monica freeway, dumping me right off on the corner where I work (no, I'm not a hooker).

I arrived at work refreshed, relieved and unstressed. The whole thing took about 20 minutes longer, but well worth the sanity savings. I'm going to try to do it at least once a week.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Marriage Equality

Unlike the San Diego Mayor, once again the Governator vetoed Marriage Equality in California. Now, is the time. Massachusetts and Canada and Spain and a host of other countries and territories have opened up Marriage to all consenting adults and the result has not been catastrophe. It's time California joined them.
Speak out, contribute, spread the word.

Correction of the Year

From LAObserved. Hilarious!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Phantom Pooper

I shit you not. Is it not time to stop asking what brown will do for us. Crikey, local news logs the story.

War with Iran?

Yes, given the lies and rhetoric leading up to the illegal war in Iraq, we should be afraid.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Holy Hamburger Helper Mary

Everybody, now, sing along: "I love New York..." Sex and food go hand in hand...er mouth in the Big Apple.

Monday, October 15, 2007

World Hunger Relief Week

It's blog action day where people who blog are supposed to blog about the environment. Well, I'll start out not about the environment but about World Hunger. I'm not sure why we need a week when if we were really connected compassionate people, every week there are people in the world going hungry should be world hunger week. Anyway, I slightly digress... Find out how you can help.

As for the environment, turn out your lights this coming Saturday, and join millions of people in L.A. and San Francisco, who will have the chance to see stars that they haven't seen in a very long time and also, what they hay, save some energy.

Read about the Climate Crisis from Nobel Peace Prize Winner (Yeah!) Al Gore.

You Can't Handle the Ad

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Blog Action Day

This Monday, October 15th, is Blog Action Day. Post about the environment and take part.

That said, after discussion with my mother this morning, isn't it time that those opposed to the war and this corrupt administration do more than just take to the street. The only thing that will stop this war is civil disobedience. Isn't it past time?

Maybe this is something that will start at the 10/27 anti-war rally in downtown L.A. on Saturday, 10/27. Who knows.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Chinatown, Downtown Los Angeles or My Birthday Project #21

I got home from work early as we're moving offices from Beverly Hills to Bundy and Olympic (Yay, won't my commute from Atwater Village be even more fun!) and was checking out some of my favorite blogs when I stumbled on this post about a free tour today of Chinatown written by the Militant Angeleno.
Now, I love downtown and I love Chinatown, but I don't know all the ins and outs. So, I debate internally through the evening and then the morning while I'm at the gym and decide that, yep, I want to do it. So, I rushed home from the gym, drove over to Cypress Park Gold line stop (5 to 10 minutes, depending on traffic, from Atwater) and take it one stop into Chinatown.

I walked the few blocks over to the Studio for Southern California that is supposed to do the tour. Nobody's there It's only 9:30, so I figure it's early, I'll grab a bite at the bakery around the corner. I grabbed eggy custard item, a dense coconut pastry and a cup for coffee. The coffee came out of a machine that might have been built in the 18th century and the coffee, for that matter, may have been brewing since then. Don't know why I thought I would be able to get coffee in Chinatown and not tea.

I loved that the bakery had pictures of all of its baked goods with descriptions in Chinese, English and Spanish.

Around a quarter to 10 and with a bunch of old asian ladies eyeing and pawing my bakery table, I head back to the studio. Still nothing. I then walked over to the Chinatown branch of the Public Library, go online to the Militant and confirm that the tour starts at 10. I rush back. Nothing.

Now what. Well, I was there, so I might as well do it. I walked through Chung King Road and West Plaza and see the familiar Fongs and other such sights. Most of Chung King seems to have been turned into galleries. Interesting. West Plaza has some dynamic buildings and some additional gentrification. But it all feels soooo themed and planned.

And then I hit Broadway. What a difference. Just like Broadway on the other side of City Hall, this Broadway is thriving. People clog the sidewalks, ducks and pigs hang in windows, live fowl are sold, live large, jumpy fish are thrown from tank to tank -- this is Chinatown.

I was delighted to have decided to stay.

After my delight, hunger attacked. Luckily, I was on Ord and Broadway and I did what any rational man could do. I headed toward Phillipe. At 11a, I grabbed a delicious beef french dip with blue cheese, sat down with fellow Angelenos and stuffed my pie hole.

With hunger abated and knowing that all museums in the city were free today (thank you KCRW), I walked up Main St., behind (or is it in front) of Olvera St., took in the Placita where it seemed a thousand little boys and girls were dressed to the nines, waiting to get their first communion, up to the Cathedral (which still makes me mad that it is gated and not kept open 24/7) and down Grand to MOCA.

MOCA had all sorts of weird shit going on -- none of which really appealed to me. I stayed about five minutes and then walked across the street to Disney Hall to see how their garden had grown(another public space that is hard to get to -- up 3 flights of stairs).

A side note: Hey city planners, stop building public spaces that are hard to reach or that are only accessible by the privleged. They don't make the city better. They're more isolating. Build them more like the new park at Taylor Yard and the Cornfield. Thanks.

With that, my Downtown tour was ending. I hopped back on the Metro at Civic Center, transferred at Union Station and was back at the Cypress Park station in about ten minutes. There, I was stopped by deputies and was asked to show my ticket. That's never ever happened to me in L.A. I gladly showed by day pass and walked off to my car.

A good day in downtown L.A.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Iraqi Freedom

So, this is what we're fighting for?

Asia in Atwater Village

Last night, Carl and I finally got around to checking out that large restaurant on Los Feliz called Asia Los Feliz. With a cool water feature out front -- what reputable asian restaurant doesn't have one, come on! -- and a cool, stark, gold and beige large room, we were ready to be waited on hand and foot. Well, at least waited on.

Though the restaurant was largely empty on a Tuesday night, service was spotty. It seemed that the staff was more interested in gossiping. Ok...

Anyway, with no full liquor license, we started with two Merlots. The Merlot was delicious, but was a smidge pricey at $9 a glass. Carl then had the Lobster Bisque, which had a nice smokey bite and 3 large lumps of sweet lobster meat. Sensational! I had the crab cakes, which were small, yet very tasty. They came with three sauces, beautifully displayed.

For our main plates, I had the special "Sexy" roll, which had Tuna, Eel (I think), a lot of cream cheese and was topped by a jalopeno. With a little less dressing, it could be fabulous. Carl had the Kobe beef burger and fries and, let me tell you, it was out of this world. The burger was deeply flavorful and the seemingly homemade buns were able to capture all of the delicious burger juice. The fries were terrific, as well, and came with a nice green dipping sauce.

Over all, despite the service and the relatively high price, I think we'll definitely go back. Here's hoping it sticks around, lowers its prices some, gets a full liquor license and people start to sample it more.

Lights Out L.A.

On Saturday, October 20 from 8-9pm, a lot of people are turning off their lights in L.A. It's called Lights Out L.A. and it's being done to raise awareness of Global Warming and to see what the stars look like -- you know, the ones in the sky.

The group behind this just did it successfully in San Francisco and were inspired by a group doing it in Sydney -- the city in Australia, not the character as portrayed by Tony Randall in the 1980s.

Here's what the site says about the Sydney event:

"We were inspired by a similar event recently held in Sydney, Australia, called Earth Hour. In Sydney, 2.2 million people participated. Their one hour of lights out meant that 24.86 tons of carbon dioxide were not released into the air - the equivalent of taking 48,613 cars off the road for one hour."

So, what do you say? It couldn't hurt, right?