Archive for August, 2009

IMAGERY – Panoramas of Los(t) Angeles

I have a bit of an obsession with vintage panoramas of Los Angeles. Watch this video closely and you might develop one yourself. Think about it… these are the same streets you drive every day. Had you been born during a different era, that could’ve been you sunning yourself on the Santa Monica pier in Victorian garb.
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Most of these images were taken between 1902-1948.

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HAPPY SUNDAY – Los Angelenos

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Los Angelenos
All come from somewhere
To live in sunshine
Their funky exile
Midwestern ladies
High-heeled and faded
Drivin’ sleek new sports cars
With their New York cowboys

Hiding up in the mountains
Laying low in the canyons
Goin’ nowhere on the streets
With their Spanish names (more…)

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RIP Crazy Gideon’s – Gideon is Retiring After 35 Years

His yelling may stop, but he will probably still be surrounded by nurses.

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gideonVery soon, we won’t have self-proclaimed playboy Gideon Kotzer to scream his bargains in our faces anymore… Crazy Gideon’s has announced its final sale and will be going out of business after 35 years. He’s crazy, but he’s not stupid… no doubt he’s hurrying to shut the doors before he CHANGES HIS MIIIIIIIND!!!!!! 

A man clearly filled with entrepreneurial spirit, most Angelenos recognize Tel Aviv-born Gideon as “that guy” on late night television, often straight-jacketed and surrounded by women in nurse outfits as he screams about craaaazy deals in a thick Israeli accent. Gideon’s acting chops can *also* be seen at 6:00 in this short film made by “career homeless” neighbor, BumDog… in which he portrays a member of the Jewish Mafia. My personal favorite line in his monologue is: “If you don’t give me my money back I’ll teach you how the fish make pee pee!!!” Nice touch, Gideon!

Your unique style will indeed be missed, Sir. Godspeed to you.

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EVENT – The Berlin Wall Falls in Los Angeles

YouTube Preview Image Let’s just pray David Hasselhoff doesn’t show up and start singing.

In honor of the 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, on November 8th the Wende Museum of the Cold War and artists Shepard Fairey, Kent Twitchell, and Thierry Noir will be erecting a symbolic Berlin Wall aross Wilshire Boulevard. No, I’m not kidding.

The Wall Project, painted by professional and amateur artists, will close Sunday afternoon traffic on one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares for three hours on Nov. 8 beginning at 3 p.m. The project involves the Culver City’s Wende Museum and Archive of the Cold War, the city of Los Angeles, the German Consulate General in Los Angeles and other partners… In a reenactment of the actual events, invited dignitaries will break down selected portions of the Wilshire wall, which will be placed directly in front of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Project leaders plan a live feed of the events between Los Angeles and Berlin, official sister cities since 1967. (Because of the time difference, it will already be Nov. 9 in Berlin, the day the wall came down in 1989).

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TONIGHT – Jazz Photography *Icon* Herman Leonard!

ellafitzgeraldWhat: Mingling with 86-year old legendary jazz photographer Herman Leonard in person. Enjoy art and refreshments along with music provided by Joey Altruda and his Cocktail Crew.

When: Tonight (8/29),  8-11pm 

Where: Reserve,
420 North Fairfax

Price: FREEEEE!

Details: AIGA/LA & Reserve present The Photography of Herman Leonard. Meet legendary jazz photographer and coolest guy in the world, Herman Leonard, at his solo exhibition.

“In the late 1940’s, Herman Leonard’s passion for jazz brought him to the swinging clubs of Broadway, 52nd Street and Harlem. With the camera as his free ticket, he photographed and developed friendships with some of the greats of jazz history including Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and many more.

A year’s apprenticeship with Yasuf Karsh provided invaluable experience photographing the likes of Albert Einstein, Harry S. Truman and Clark Gable. In 1956 Leonard was chosen to be Marlon Brando’s personal photographer for an extensive research trip to the Far East. In the late 1950’s Leonard headed for Paris where he worked in fashion and advertising and served as the European photographer for Playboy Magazine.

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RESOURCE – 99 Essential LA Dining Experiences

terri_staff01Each year, Jonathan Gold (food critic for the LA Weekly) compiles his list of “99 Essential L.A. Restaurants.” This year, classic standbys like Musso & Frank’s and Campanile are still there… but with the fall of the economy and the rise of the “twitter truck,” there’s no need to give up your first born for luxury table reservations to find a good meal nowadays. For some of this city’s top food experiences all you need is internet access, a sense of adventure, and the patience to stand in line on a street corner with other hungry strangers.

“As we’ve said before, an essential restaurant is one that reflects Los Angeles in a startling and unusual way, that uses fresh local ingredients in a fashion that respects the land in which they were grown, that showcases cooking echoing both foreign-trained chefs’ region of origin and the hypercharged mosaic of the L.A. dining scene. An essential restaurant moves people, inspires them to think about food in a different way, inspires them to think about Southern California as a great agricultural region, a great port, a builder of the shiny symbolism that is a large factor in how the rest of the world thinks of itself. And it’s also a damned good place to eat.”

San Franciscans enjoy telling me differently, but there’s a lot of great food in this town. Let’s just keep that little secret to ourselves, shall we? ;)
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EVENT – Thriller Practice

Picture 1What: Open rehearsal of Michael Jackson’s Thriller dance in preparation for LA’s Thrill the World performance on October 25th (You can also learn the moves online)
When: Saturday, August 29. According to their Facebook page, Thriller practice will be from 10am – noon and 4-7pm. A “Beat It” event will be taking place from noon-3:30pm and 7-9pm.
Where: Weddington Park South, 10719 Valleyheart Drive, Toluca Lake, CA 91604
Cost: FREEEEE!
Details: Go to the LA Zombies Facebook page for more details.

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FRIDAY FEED – Feelin’ Linky

summerdog(More added as we feel the urge…)

» The Joker in Santa Monica – the best place to channel your inner Bukowski at 8am on Saturday morning – LA Weekly

» Saturday from 6-10pm, Sea and Space Resort will be having a giant fundraising flea market, featuring performances by Simone Gad (a short spoken word piece), Homesick Elephant and Doormouse, sounds, Fluxus popsicles, massages, psychic readings and food.

» LACMA film program extended through 2010 – LA Times

» LA fire map – LA Times

» Apparently it’s 110 in the valley today. I really hope I don’t come home to find my dog has melted. – LA Times

» The Westin Bonaventure was given an award for its eco-friendly efforts. – Blog Downtown

» LA chefs, bars and restaurants on twitter – LA Times

» Axe Body Spray funds study which says LA has the most sensitive guys. These sensitive guys obviously aren’t the people who write Axe Body Spray’s ads, though. – LAist

» Classic Eats Saturday is tomorrow at The Reel Inn. – LA Metblogs

» Tomorrow at 12:30 in Echo Park: Javier presents the Bacon Days of Summer! What a giver, that Javier. – Yelp

» Help save the California Coast – Native Intelligence

» Honoring the Patriot Guard Riders. – LA Metblogs

» We have a new fire chief. – LA Blips

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FLASHBACK – Why do people work?

I’m baaaack! As mentioned, I’ve been working a lot this week… provided the economy’s treating you all right, perhaps you’ve been working hard too! Aren’t we all glad it’s Friday? Yay Friday! As a tribute to our hard work this week, below is a groovy little glimpse into the lives of hardworking Angelenos back in glamorous 1973. People in the 1970s liked Fridays too, I’ll bet.

After the jump, a special little treat to accompany this film. 

http://www.veoh.com/videos/v6407079gR4c6zQ4 (more…)

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EVENT – Summer Camp Night at Cinefamily

summercampsummercampNeed an escape? You’re never too old to run away to summer camp!

What: An all-night summer camp movie marathon! Click on the image at left for more details on the film line-up!
Where: Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater, 611 N Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, 90036, 323-655-2510
When: This Saturday, August 29, starting at 8pm
Price: $12.00 admission, FREEEEEE breakfast to those who survive!

Details:  Two kegs of Pabst Blue Ribbon, s’mores and DJs out on the back patio, and the aforementioned free breakfast. No word on whether or not people will be dared to eat live goldfish, but attendees should beware of falling asleep mid-film and waking up on the roof with their hand in a bowl of warm water.

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RIP – Budd Schulberg

sammyI can’t believe I only *just* read about the passing of Budd Schulberg. I don’t know how I missed it.

While most people might first recognize him for penning incredible scripts such as On The Waterfront, his 1941 novel What Makes Sammy Run is easily one of the most controversial and dead-on observations of  the ruthlessness of Hollywood. Written as a scandalous exposé, the reprehensible, self-obsessed behavior of Sammy Glick (a composite of various real people Schulberg knew) was brought into the light as something one should never aspire to, but instead he became the poster boy for a certain breed of man. I discovered the book in a thrift store when I first moved to South Pasadena in the late 80s, and was instantly mesmerized. I remember excitedly driving my Ford Escort over Suicide Bridge a few hours after reading about it, it was one of the first times in my life that reality actually mingled with the literature on my nightstand. Little did I know how many real-life Sammy Glicks I would meet down the road.

After the jump is a scene from the 1959 Sunday Showcase television broadcast of  What Makes Sammy Run, featuring Larry Blyden as Sammy.

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FEED – Linkalicious Friday

38(More added as we feel the urge…)

» A review of Octomom! The Musical. – losanjealous

» The food truck war continues. – LAist

» The LAPD needs your help in identifying three robbery suspects caught on video. – LAist

» Can Russ Stanton turn around the LA Times? – Market Watch

» This is the closing weekend for ANIME! High Art – Pop Culture (FREE) at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, FYI.

» Lit Happy Hour: FREE WINE and 25% off regular price titles at Book Soup every weekday from 4-7pm! – Flavorpill

» Right next to the Hollywood Farmers Market this Sunday, UniqueLA + Space 15 Twenty will be holding an awesome little mini-market of handmade and designy stuff! YAY! – UniqueLA

» Also on Sunday, competitive eaters including champion Joey Chestnut will choose not to compete in the 3rd Annual Nisei Week Gyoza Eating Championship in Little Tokyo, instead walking that food a few blocks South to feed the people starving on Skid Row. HA!!! JUST KIDDING!!! A bunch of gluttons are going to eat until they puke, just like last year. – LA Metblogs

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IMAGERY – Adventures in Stupid Signage #2

laxbillboard
Oh my God, I had the weirdest dream last night. I was driving a taco truck through a horrible rainstorm, see? Okay, so I’m driving this truck and it’s really dirty and there are refried beans and condiments falling all over the place as I’m careening out of control through the mud when suddenly a giant-sized Gordon Ramsay comes up out of the ground, trapped up to his waist in a big ol’ sinkhole! Weird right!??? Okay, but it gets even weirder. See, Gordon is trying to wrap me up in some kind of parchment roll of pasta! Feels like he wants to smother me or something!!!! So I speed up to get away from him and just as he calls me a donkey, suddenly I swerve to avoid hitting a HUGE chocolate cupcake (with vanilla buttercream frosting, no less!) and GIANT STRAWBERRIES! I mean, they’re right there in the middle of this muddy road! And damn, that mud-covered chocolate cupcake’s like the size of a HOUSE or something!!! WTF!? Crazy, right? Man, don’t you hate dreams like that?

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EVENT – Soundtrack For A Revolution

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soundtrackWhat: A special advanced screening of the film Soundtrack For A Revolutionincluding lecture and live music
Where:
Otis College of Art
When:
Friday, August 27, 2009 – Bands start at 5pm, Screening begins at 7pm
Price:
For more info, contact (310) 846-2586 or IL@Otis.edu.
Details:
Part of Otis’ “Movies that Matter” series, Oscar-winning filmmaker Dan Sturman will also be present for a Q&A session.

“Soundtrack for a Revolution tells the story of the American civil rights movement through its powerful music–the freedom songs protesters sang in their fight for justice and equality. The film features vibrant new performances by top artists, including John Legend, Wyclef Jean, Joss Stone and The Roots; riveting archival footage; and interviews with civil rights foot soldiers and leaders, including Congressman John Lewis, Harry Belafonte, Julian Bond and Ambassador Andrew Young. Directed, produced and written by Bill Guttentag & Dan Sturman; Executive Producer Danny Glover. Official Selection 2009 Tribeca Film Festival and 2009 Cannes Film Festival.”

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NATURE – The Beauty of Franklin Canyon

*Click on the box below to launch photos from our walk around the lake*

So many people in the world believe that without ever having lived in Los Angeles they have a clear understanding of everything it is: traffic, violence, famous people, stress, opulence, plastic surgery, starlets who don’t wear underwear. But you and I both know that’s not reality. This city has a lot more to offer than most people realize… as a matter of fact, in the literal heart of Los Angeles beautiful sights exist that even L.A. residents are often oblivious to.

Franklin Canyon is 605 acres of wooded parkland located just North of Beverly Hills. It’s a great area to go for a leisurely stroll with the dog and kids, for a picnic, for a workout or a low-key nature stroll. If the area looks familiar even though you’ve never been there, there’s a very, very good reason for that. Franklin Lake, in the middle of the canyon, was originally named Myers Lake after the Production Manager on the Andy Griffith Show (Remember the opening of the show where Opie skipped rocks on a lake? Guess where that was filmed). The park also features free special events and guided walks on a regular basis and a nice 3 acre duck pond reservoir.

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ONGOING – Just Two More Cemetery Screenings!

*Click on the small box below left for a captioned photo gallery*

There’s something so Southern California about watching movies outside on a summer night. I’ve been *dying* to experience Cinespia movie screenings at the Hollywood Forever cemetery, but friends continually refused to go. Some said they were worried about sitting “on top of dead people,” others said they didn’t feel like dealing with crowds. I finally went last weekend so let me just tell all of you the following: the audience does NOT sit on graves, and the crowd and traffic control is far more organized, relaxed and stress-free than expected. It’s a great time all around. If you go just be sure to bring a sweater… it does get cold in the cemetery at night. And bring a nice bottle of wine. Just because life’s more fun that way.

The movie is $10, and it’s $5 extra to park on the cemetery grounds which we did. As I said, it was very organized and our cars ended up being a *very* short walk to the screen. There are two more screenings left in the season according to the Cinespia website. This Saturday night is Singing In The Rain and August 29th is American Werewolf in London.
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FLASHBACK – De-Best of Ed Debevic’s

“If you’re really a good customer… you’d order more.”

debevicsBehold the magic of the internet… one click of the mouse and Ed Debevic’s Restaurant (which sat on the heart of La Cienega Restaurant Row from the mid-1980s up until the revolving doors were put out of motion in 2003) still exists. The clip after the jump features sights and sounds that will make you smile with recognition if Ed’s was ever a part of your life… from the little details in decor down to the steady merriment of lip-synced dance numbers, it’s the same ol’ Ed’s.

Ed Debevic’s was a fun place to bring visiting guests of all ages and group sizes (my dad *loved* it), gather for a birthday, or just hang out when you were feeling down. For a long time, it was the location of choice to commiserate when my friends and I broke up with boyfriends… we found it difficult to wallow in self pity after experiencing a few hours of girl talk, abject silliness (with dashes of pure stupidity) and comfort food (a huge bowl of mac and cheese works wonders). We each had our favorite waitstaff, and they knew us. Ed’s felt like (a very dysfunctional but fun) home somehow.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7180881846253184198
Note: I think my favorite performance in the video is the Vicki Carr tribute at 32:35

The folks at Ed’s *always* had something wacky going on. My friend Adri and I ate there on Election Day in 1988 and were surprised to see a makeshift boxing ring set up in the middle of the room. About a half hour later, two guys wearing Bush/Dukakis masks and boxing gear suddenly ran into the room and proceeded to beat each other up while diners were encouraged to cheer. Good times. Speaking for myself, I thought the food was pretty good, too… I loved the chili cheese fries, burgers and pie. I found their coffee strangely salty though, I must admit, which always confused me… how does one even make salty coffee?

A Japanese restaurant called Gonpachi now stands where the streamliner once was. Salty coffee aside, I miss the craziness of Ed’s, though… trends change, but I’m sorry it’s gone. There are more than enough Japanese restaurants in Los Angeles. We need more choreographed dance numbers.

P.S. – If you would like a memento of Ed’s, you can still buy one of their famous pickle pens online.

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COVET THIS – Junk For Joy

*Click on the thumbnail image below to launch photo gallery*

HERE’S THE CONCEPT OF “COVET THIS”:

1. We walk into a store spontaneously.
2. We pick out a handful of random things that catch our eye/s.
3. We take covert photos.
4. We post the images with silly captions for you to see.
5. YOU are overwhelmed by an urge to rush to said establishment and possess said items (silly as they may be at times), thereby helping very small businesses to stay afloat during our troubled economy. :)

The Chosen Store: Purveyors of “fun and funky clothing, collectibles and other goodies,” Junk For Joy
The Location: 3314 West Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank (818) 569-4903
Our Previous Customer Experience: I first wandered into Junk For Joy back in the 80s during a lunch break when I was working at a record company nearby. Although I hadn’t been back in over a decade, I was surprised to find that it hasn’t changed at all. Literally! I think it even has some of the same inventory. It was like visiting the 80s again, only this time I wasn’t wearing blue eyeshadow and moon boots.


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FOCUS – 500 Days of Los Angeles

Although the majority of American movies originate in Los Angeles on some level, local filming locations are often chosen based upon how easily LA can be made to look like another city entirely. Palm trees are airbrushed out; store escalators are disguised as New York Subway terminals; Downtown alleyways become cozy cobblestone streets found in a European village. It’s rare to find a movie where the city of Los Angeles is allowed to shine without shame as a featured character in a film. There are a few standouts, of course… LA Confidential, Chinatown, Sunset Boulevard, LA Story, Mildred Pierce, The Player… and everyone seems to agree  that this year’s 500 Days of Summer can be added to the list for shining a bright light on Downtown LA’s pre-1950 architecture in particular.

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It helps that the stars of the movie are young Los Angeles natives who both express refreshingly vocal personal affection for the city, as witnessed in the adorable-even-though-it’s-movie-PR video clip above. Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt come across as poster children for cool people who know they shouldn’t have to ever apologize for or be ashamed of where they’re from. PR or no, we can’t help but love that about them. That and the French Canada joke, although admittedly my neighborhood feels a bit more like Mexican Canada.

After the jump is a second video clip showing various movie locations in the film as well as a handy google map (created by the Los Angeles Times) specifically pointing out the standout locations featured in the film if you’d like to check them out for yourself.

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SURVEY – How are we doing?

It’s just a *little* test. It won’t hurt a bit, we promise.

©USC Digital Archive This week we’re trying to really weigh how we’ve been doing so far with HiddenLA and set up goals for where we should be heading in the future to make it a better resource for you. 

It would make us absolutely GIDDY (plus be incredibly helpful) if you could take a moment to fill out a quick survey and let us know your thoughts.

This site is for you, so we need your help. Pretty please? :)

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SUNDAY MATINEE – It Happened One Night (1934)

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=469537997522665739

This seriously adorable Frank Capra classic starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert was filmed in Franklin Canyon, the literal center of Los Angeles (we’ll be talking more about the park and adjoining lake later in the week). Not only was It Happened One Night the first comedy to ever win serious film awards, it was the very first film in history (of any genre) to sweep the Oscars completely, winning Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director and Writing.

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IMAGERY – Lawn Bowling on a Friday Afternoon

To see a few more pictures, click on the image at left. If you, too, feel a hankering to do some hardcore lawn bowling, check out the Santa Monica Lawn Bowls Club. Below is a google map showing where the club hangs out in lovely Douglas Park. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen!


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FRIDAY FEED – Linkapalooza

a-team by doug savage(More added as we feel the urge…)
»
Slash remembers Les Paul – LA Weekly
» Cruising returns to Van Nuys tonight – Daily News
»
Honk if you’re a honker – Native Intelligence
» Our water fountains suck – LA Weekly
»
The latest on state park shutdowns – LA Times
»
John Oates is not the moustache – losanjealous
»
LA Times redesigns – LAist
»
A favorite little waterfall – boingboing
» Yay for kids with free computers – The Eastsider
» Spend eternity on top of Marilyn Monroe
for $500,000 – LA Times
» It’s heeeere… get ready to blow all that
restaurant tip money, ladies – LA Times
» I pity the fools – LA Snark

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FLASHBACK – Coming Into Los Anjuleez. Far out.

First, let me just say that the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock has brought what is perhaps the best ABC News story headline I have ever seen. Although wow, the article’s pretty depressing.

Anyhow, in honor of this auspicious anniversary of the biggest day in naked muddy hippie history, I’m posting Arlo Guthrie’s Woodstock performance of “Coming into Los Angeles.” In case you were not aware, this song was written in 1968 about illegal drug smuggling – SURPRISE!!!!!  Yeah, that’s a shocker, I know. But I digress. In 2007 LA Times reporter Geoff Boucher asked Arlo to speak  a little more in depth about the story behind the song… you can read his comments after the jump.

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