Archive for July, 2009

EVENT – Suckin’ up mudbugs at the Long Beach Crawfish Festival

SATURDAY, AUGUST 1st
YouTube Preview Image What: 16th Annual Long Beach Crawfish Festival (Note: The Newport Beach Lobsterfest is on Sunday as well, but it appears to be sold out.)
Where: Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach (562) 495-5959
When: Noon-11pm
Price: Various tickets available. For $2 off door admission, go to their web site and click on the crawdad.

Details: After scathing reviews for running out of beignets, beer and crawfish last year, the promoters of the Long Beach Crawfish Festival are determined to prove themselves on Saturday. Not only is Yelp now their official sponsor, but the promoter used the site to say the following to potential attendees: “Last year attendance 3X (tripled) in number 4 hours prior to the festival. This was not anticipated and we do acknowledge that there were longer lines, we did run out of beer, and we were low on Live Crawfish. The Crawfish are flown in Live the day of the festival and adjustments could not be made within hours based on the influx of sales… We have accommodated for the additional Live Crawfish to be flown in. We have extensive beer reserves stationed onsite for immediate use. There are two entrances. Bars have been expanded with extensive signage in place. Overall the festival has been expanded to accommodate last year’s attendance and more giving a fun festival experience to all that attend. We thank all those that make Long Beach Crawfish Festival the largest Crawfish Festival outside of Louisiana —  right here in Southern California. “

Their official promotional blurb: “The 16th Annual Long Beach Crawfish Festival serves mouth-watering Cajun Crawfish dinners! Delicious Louisiana-style crawfish prepared to spicy perfection by chefs from Bristol Farms. Crawfish feasts include succulent red baby potatoes, buttery corn on the cob and a special remoulade dipping sauce. Dance to live Cajun, Zydeco and New Orleans bands. Also, giant food court, beach bars and a children’s area.”

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FLASHBACK – A Day with The Doors

The following video “tells the story of Gary and Henry, two wild and crazy guys from the 60′s who designed albums covers for some of the biggest names in Rock and Roll… Gary and Henry discuss (with Ray Manzarek) how they came up with the infamous MORRISON HOTEL cover. They revisit the old hotel in downtown Los Angeles where they took the now classic shots of the doors in the hotel window. What’s amazing about this story is how different the world was back then. You can imagine today, taking a major rock and roll band to hotel with no advance notice and asking, “Hey mind if we take a few pictures?” Today, it would take months to set up the shoot and it would include bus loads of advertising people, reps from the record company, legal observers, and many many assistants. Ad to this, a full catering truck and security and you get the picture!”

See what The Morrison Hotel looks like today after the jump. Let’s just say I doubt you’ll be rushing there to book a room.

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(more…)

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VIDEO – Dave Brubeck’s Magic Carpet Ride

In Los Angeles, even jazz legends on flying carpets get traffic tickets.

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In this video, the Dave Brubeck Quartet is shown riding a magic carpet over an L.A. freeway while performing Blue Rondo A la Turk. This performance was a segment on the Vic Damone-hosted variety television show The Lively Ones and aired July 25, 1962.

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EVENTS – Kristin’s List

kristinWhen it comes to online event listings, there is no better guide to cool happenings in Los Angeles than Kristin’s List. Not even us! Kristin has an incredible knack for weeding out the very best there is to do in this booming megalopolis of ours and presents it beautifully on a weekly basis. So bookmark her site if you haven’t already.

“Kristin’s List is a project by Kristin Bedford that explores LA’s cultural landscape. As a psychogeographer, artist and lover of the local, Kristin seeks out authentic ways to engage with the city. Born from her curiosity and affinity for list making, Kristin’s List is a resource for fellow explorers looking to experience a creative and original LA.”

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VIDEO – How to Fix California

Next time someone tells you Northern Californians are smarter than Southern Californians, just quietly nod and then send them this video. I came across it a few days ago and wasn’t going to post it here… but frankly, I keep finding myself watching it. Honestly, this girl is just too dang adorable to keep to myself. She just wants to help, y’all!!! YouTube Preview Image

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RIP – Julius Schulman, California Cool Photographer

Case Study House No. 22 Sometimes I’ll start researching an article and then realize someone else has already crafted the post I was about to do. This is one of those times, so rather than re-invent the wheel, let me just say that Flavorpill did a great post on late architectural photographer Julius Shulman this morning. Schulman, who passed away on July 15th at 98, masterfully framed the “California cool” lifestyle as modernism entered the Southland landscape. His photos make me want to sit on an avocado green divan and drink a martini. Yes, I know it’s 10am. Your point?

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SIDESHOW – Hitting the Boardwalk with the Roué Cyr Wheel

YouTube Preview Image The roué cyr is not a complex piece of exercise equipment, the name literally means “simple wheel” in French. But if you long to follow in the footsteps of the Cirque du Soliel masters and learn how to gracefully work with one, you too can soon become one of the trendiest performers on the Venice Boardwalk… a sidewalk which has seen its share of trends. Personally, I’m a big baby so this stuff makes me dizzy… but if you feel like taking a spin over to Venice, Corona del Mar, or Long Beach to catch the wheel in action, here’s this guy’s schedule.

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OPINION – Get off our lawn, Perez Hilton!

Astronaut-Michael-Collins-249x300 One of the reasons I created this site was due to my aversion to the whole Perez Hilton/Speidi celebrity culture that’s slowly taken over our region and culture. I wanted to create something that would actively put focus on the more substantial and positive human realities that our community of 10 million people offers its residents and visitors. Because that stuff exists.

Fact is, I don’t want to live in a world where people are encouraged to believe it’s no longer cool to aim towards pursuing meaningful or rewarding stuff that makes the world a better place to live in. What kind of future do we have to look forward to and build upon if we set up a standard where being a narcissistic jerk is a paying accomplishment to aspire to? (Mind you, I’m not nearly as old as I’m sounding right now… but whatever. Get off my lawn!) Anyhow, in light of this… I would like to announce that Astronaut Michael Collins is officially my favorite person of the day. No, he has nothing to do with Southern California really… I simply love what he had to say in his recently posted Q&A statement featured on NASA’s web site.

Think about it… Michael Collins was the third Apollo 11 crew member. He was an integral team member on the first successful moon landing… a contributor to world history. Yet nobody remembers his name because he was the person who stayed inside while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took the first steps on the moon. Basically, he made it all the way to the moon and then had to wait behind in the car. And had Michael not stayed behind, despite being terrified that his deepest fears would be realized and he would have to navigate back to Earth alone, the mission couldn’t have succeeded. But is he upset that whenever people are asked about the event, nobody remembers his name? Nope. As a matter of fact, during the big Apollo 11 40th Anniversary celebration, Collins decided not to give any media interviews and instead issued the previously mentioned Q & A of the questions he is most frequently asked. He just doesn’t feel he deserves the attention.

*Highlights of his Q&A and a video of Michael Collins discussing his thoughts (and wishing out loud that we’d flown to Mars instead) after the jump* (more…)

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FLASHBACK – The Grooviest Day on Olvera Street

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
Scopitone film of Tijuana Taxi (filmed on Olvera Street circa 1966)

YouTube Preview Image tacobelltaxi This video was filmed specifically to be shown on a Scopitone machine, an early video jukebox which could be found in bars throughout the world in the 60s (and disappeared by the 70s). To see more great Scopitone films, there are plenty online. (Here’s my other current favorite… it’s like watching someone sing the story of my life. Sigh.)

P.S. – Be sure to click on and enlarge the little album cover image above right. Remember when the Taco Bell sign was a sleeping Mexican wearing a hat? Ha!

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FOCUS – Me-Tagging the LA River

Chicano artist Leo Limón has been painting the drains of the Los Angeles River for twenty years. In this interview from 2005, he explains what he calls “me-tagging.”
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Leo Limón
‘s activities date back to the very formative years of the Chicano Art Movement and his work reflects the vision, aspirations and images of his surroundings and roots. For 30 plus years he has being painting the Los Angeles River Cat faces on the storm-drain covers and is involved with groups whose efforts are to revive the river as a historic region, cultural arts enclave and tourist destination.”

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COVET THIS – 20th Century Props Auction

*To launch a captioned photo gallery of crazy stuff, click on the little image below labeled LOT #4030*

austinpowerscapsuleSigh. After over 40 years in business, Harvey Schwartz, owner of Twentieth Century Props, will be closing shop and putting 113,000 square feet of tangible movie history up for auction from July 28 to August 1.

This closing is incredibly sad to see on many many levels, but you *know* you want to sit in Dr. Evil’s pod (aka LOT #504) while you’re watching television. So because I’m nice, I took a moment to go through the online catalog and pull out a few things you might not even realize you need, BUT DO. You’re welcome. Just click on the beer keg at left.

You can also inspect the merchandise in person at 11651 Hart Street in North Hollywood through Monday (9am-4pm) and after 8am on the mornings of the sale.

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SILLY – Do the Doo, Dude!!!

doodahsurfWhat: The Doo Dah Surf Parade, hosted by the totally rad Charles Phoenix
Where:
Sunset Beach, Pacific Palisades
When:
Saturday July 25, 2009, EARRRRLY in the a.m. SCHEDULE HERE
Price:
FREEEEE!
Details:
“Meet at the bluff for a group paddle out to say goodbye to the aggro attitude and to bring back the stoke that keeps us surfing!” Let’s put it this way: the Doo Dah Surf Parade is to the U.S. Open of Surfing as The Doo Dah Parade is to the Rose Parade. The main guideline is this: if you don’t have a sense of humor, don’t do the Doo.
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“Back in the Spring of 2002, after a day of frustration at local breaks known for aggro-vibes and hostility, four local Surfers decided the best way to get surfing back to it’s pure and fun origins was to go the extreme of laughing at ourselves. Three short months later in June of 2002, over 30 Surfers showed up in costumes rangings from nuns, to business men, to bumblebees. Ever since Doo Dah Surf 2002, each ensuing year has seen attendance double as well as increased recognition from media to documentaries. All proving that the surf community is ready for a day of fun and celebration.”

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GOOD CAUSE – 826LA’s Paddle Boat Regatta

***Echo Park Paddleboat Regatta deadline is MIDNIGHT TONIGHT!***

826LA Echo Park Regatta What: 826LA’s Echo Park Lake Paddle Boat Regatta
When:
Sunday, July 26, 2009, 4pm
Where: Echo Park Lake. Duh.
Who: You! Sponsor a team! Donate prizes! Just show up to gawk and cheer or JOIN IN AND RACE – bring friends or join a pre-existing team.
Why: Because it’s great Sunday fun to mow down swamp turtles with a paddle boat! Oh, and it’s also cool to raise money for the kids of 826LA. *PLUS* there are PRIZES and goodie bags involved! Wheeeee!

Details: “On Sunday, July 26, 90 paddle-boaters (45 teams) will meet for the second annual 826LA Echo Park Lake Paddle Boat Regatta. These fearless navigators will brave the elements, the geese, and each other as they race through (the possibly monster-infested) Echo Park Lake to earn the title of World’s Best Paddle Boat Racers and to raise funds for 826LA. Teams pre-register online, then solicit donations from friends, family, significant others, passers-by on the street, and large corporations—all to secure a better starting position.” Registration and fundraising for the Regatta closes midnight on July 24th.

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HLA HOT ANGELENO – Ted Maiman

TedMaimanMEET MR. THEODORE HAROLD
“TED” MAIMAN

(July 11, 1927 – May 5, 2007)

Our HOT ANGELENO OF THE DAY found his true calling by first taking inspiration from his electrical engineer father. Young Ted Maiman repaired and refurbished household appliances in order to save up enough money to put himself through college. COOL, DUDE! Oh, but that’s not the part that leaves us weak in the knees… our love was sealed when a mere five years after earning his doctorate at Stanford, while working as a Junior Engineer at Hughes in Malibu, Teddy created the first machine that would actively amplify light waves of atoms that had been stimulated to radiate, and then shoot them out as narrow, intense beams of light! WOO HOO! In other words… Ted won a world-wide race of scientific engineering by CONSTRUCTING THE WORLD’S FIRST WORKING LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) DESPITE LACK OF SUPPORT AND A LAUGHABLE $50,000 BUDGET.

HUBBA HUBBA!!! Is it laser hot in here or is it just Ted!??? Yep, I’m thinkin’ it’s Ted!
(more…)

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FLASHBACK – Black Gold at Kiddyland

Ever wonder what was on the corner of Beverly and La Cienega before the Beverly Center existed?

Kiddie rides and oil rigs. And the oil rigs are still there. Huh.

YouTube Preview Image “In 1946, Dave Bradley opened Beverly Park and Playland (Kiddyland) at Beverly and LaCienega. It had a Tilt-a-Whirl, bumper cars, a roller coaster, merry-go-round, pony rides, blue hippo, you name it. And gourmet food, according to their ads.

…One of his visitors at Playland (Kiddyland) was Walt Disney, and Bradley became an advisor to Disney on many of the rides at Disneyland. He was one of the geniuses who decided that everything on Main Street would be built to 7/8 scale, so people would feel tall and not so overwhelmed as they walked around.” (SOURCE)

“This little amusement park, complete with roller coaster and spook house, sat in the shadow of one of the thousands of disguised oil pumps creakily pumping up profits from the huge oil reservoir under the area. Many a bedraggled parent found solace here, as for the price of a few 25 cent tickets, children could be let loose to ply the cheesy old rides while Mom and Dad sipped soda under a tree.” (SOURCE)

After 28 years, Beverly Park closed in 1974 and in 1978 plans for Beverly Center were announced. The mall opened in 1982. More than you ever needed to know about Kiddyland can be found on the Facebook page dedicated to the park.

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RESOURCE – Crime Maps

LAPD crime mapFeel like taking a stroll around the block in your finest diamonds but curious about the safety of your neighborhood? While I wouldn’t exactly recommend it as the definitive source, if you plug your address into the LAPD Crime Maps interface, you’ll see an interesting view of some of the stuff that went down in your hood over the last week. Diamond heists generally included.

EveryBlock is another site that’s possibly more thorough, although it seems to work better when you list an intersection instead of an exact address.

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FILM – Hogwarts and Heinekens

http://www.dailymotion.com/videox7kien hermione What: ARCLIGHT 21+ MOVIE SCREENING – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Where: Arclight Cinema, Sherman Oaks
When: July 24-25 10:50pm, July 26 & 30 10:55pm
Price: $13.50, not including alcohol. Oh, and you have to have ID saying you’re over 21. Duh.

Details: Wanna see the new Harry Potter movie… but not enough to cancel a night of cocktails with your friends? Well now you can have your Snape and Muscat too! You may be a mere muggle but at least *you’re* old enough to legally down a beer! Take THAT, witches!


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EVENTS – The Close Up 7/23-26

Note: this listing will be updated during the week as we see fit, and we try to include FREEEEE events whenever possible. :)
THROUGH 7/26 – US Open of Surfing
7/23 – Latin Dance Championship; Summer Nights on the Boulevard in Atwater
7/24 – Disco Dancing Downtown Under The Stars; Classic Rock Night at the LA Zoo
7/25 – Battle of the Tribute Bands; Heritage Park Silent Movie Night

7/26 – Dessert Decadence

That was my SKULL!!!THROUGH SUNDAY, JULY 26
What: U.S. OPEN OF SURFING
New and improved with added skateboarding!
When:
Daily through July 26
Where:
Huntington Beach Pier, PCH & Main Street, Huntington Beach
Price: FREEEEE!

Details: I’m allergic to the sun and have a fear of the ocean and large crowds. Some lame native Southern Californian I am, huh? Although this event sounds like it would be everything I don’t like, I grew up around surfers so I love the peoplewatching at surfing competitions. Plus the ocean’s always pretty to look at… I just don’t want to get in it ‘cuz there are bitey things in there. Yeah, I’m a complex girl.

From the event site: “What’s the closest thing to watching the world’s best surfers compete in a full-on stadium atmosphere? Look no further than Huntington Beach in July, when up to 500,000 people will find their way to the real Surf City, post up in the sand and cheer on their heroes at the Pier. It’s been that way for 50 years now, starting with the US Championships in 1959 and evolving to today: the Hurley US Open of Surfing.” (more…)

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IMAGERY – The Car Next Door

angelyne in her corvette, 1997Sometimes my little dog sits in my lap when I drive. Yeah, I know it’s not exactly an encouraged driving habit, but she knows if she stays very very still I’ll allow her to rest her face on the sill of the car window and stare at people. Lately, other drivers have started staring back at her and every once in a while I’ll hear baby talk coming from dog-loving drivers at stoplights (which of course she loves). Now I laugh and smile, but at first it felt awkward to me… as if there was some kind of social code being broken… like you aren’t *supposed* to acknowledge that you’re staring at other drivers while en route to wherever. With so much time spent in them, cars can be strangely personal, like an extension of someone’s private home.

VECTOR PORTRAITS is a collection of images by Andrew Bush, all taken between 1989 and 1997, that explore this exact unspoken code: “Andrew Bush (b. 1956) examines this tension between private and public in his remarkable series of photographs of individuals driving cars in and around Los Angeles—a city famous for its car culture. By attaching a camera to the passenger side window, Bush made these pictures while driving alongside his subjects—often traveling at 60 mph. Taking notes on the speed and direction he was going, Bush created extended captions for the images and called the series Vector Portraits.”

Besides the coffee table book, seems that some of the images may be available as prints if you like them.

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MATINEE – Lady Cops!!!!

DRAGNET – “TRAINING” (Season 3, Episode 9, 1968)


Today Joe Friday will teach us all about the attractive young gals who battled their self-doubts,
self-absorbed fiancés, and obnoxious lady reporters to help make the LAPD what it is today –
mainly because they didn’t want to be secretaries. THANKS FOR CHANGING THE WORLD, LADIES!!!

My personal favorite moment is watching the cadettes on the firing range in matching Jackie Onassis suits.

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VIDEO – LAPD’s Notorious Evidence Vault

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8376199523322794642

“The three floors near the top of the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Building in downtown Los Angeles, domain of the district attorney’s office, house a cache of mementos, evidence from prominent trials and even artwork... Two floors below is a locked walk-in closet officially known as the Historical Vault. It’s the repository for evidence collected in some of the county’s most infamous cases, many of which have been the subjects of books and movies.  (more…)

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PSA – Your Dog Is Cool

saddog
It’s been awfully hot lately, so this is just a little reminder… please leave your dog safely at home instead of in your car. A Stanford University study shows that even on comparatively cool days, such as 72 degrees, a car’s internal temperature will rocket to 116 degrees within 60 minutes. And contrary to rumor, keeping the windows open a crack hardly slows the rise at all.

Think the weather might be cool enough to risk leaving Spot for a little bit? Well before you leave the house, plug your zipcode into MY DOG IS COOL.com to find out whether or not you’re right. Right now, you probably aren’t. Just know, accidentally sending your dog to heaven will send you directly to jail.

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FOCUS – Adult Aquaphobia Classes

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8978625612758049371 What: Safely conquer your water fears with Paul Lennon
Where: Glendale
When: Call or e-mail for information. Here’s Paul’s site: BeAFish.com

A million years ago I was a waitress and Paul Lennon was one of my regular customers. Every Sunday, he and a large group of equally friendly people would grab a table in my section. I slowly got to know them over iced tea refills, discovering that Paul was a swim instructor and they were all his students. They seemed strangely close for a swim class, and I soon found out why. Paul Lennon specializes in helping adults who are terrified of the water (adult aquaphobia), and watching his students interact with him I realized he was clearly very good at his job. These people had been set free from something, and when they talked about their classes, they were beaming.

“Aquaphobia can usually be traced to a single incident in a person’s life in which he or she panicked in the water. Tales of personal horror range from being tossed into the deep end of a pool as a child to surviving the sinking of a seagoing vessel as an adult. Moreover, adults who can’t swim typically have at least one parent with aquaphobia, and they may have even taken traditional swimming lessons as a child but for whatever reason were never comfortable in water. Now, many of them are embarrassed. (more…)

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RESOURCE – Specialty Book Stores

book cat It’s an understatement to say that by nature I’m a bit of a book addict. While many people may think it’s fun to joke that the residents of Los Angeles don’t even know *how* to read, you and I both know that there are a gazillion absolutely incredible places for bibliophiles to get their book fix in this town. After the jump is a listing of some of the most unique *specialty* book stores to be found in Los Angeles. Whether you’re looking for the latest in Armenian fiction or a manual on how to meet code when building a home, if these vendors don’t have the topic you’re looking for in stock, they can probably point you towards someone who might.

*If you notice any errors or would like to suggest a beloved shop that we’ve missed, please e-mail us.*

TRAVEL
Geographica – Travel, Toluca Lake (818) 848-1414
Distant Lands – Travel, Pasadena (626) 449-3220
Traveler’s Bookcase
– Travel, 3rd Street (323) 655-0114

HOBBIES
Autobooks-Aerobooks – Aviation and Automobiles, Burbank (818) 845-0707
Janet Jarvits Bookseller – Cooking, Pasadena (626) 296-1638
The Cook’s Library (it’s still open!) – Cooking, West LA (323) 655-3141
Hollywood Magic Inc – Magic, Hollywood (323) 464-5610

(more…)

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