WHAT: The LOST Survival Talent Show
WHERE: Upright Citizen’s Brigade, 5919 Franklin Avenue, Hollywood (323) 908-8702
WHEN: Thursday, February 4, 2010, 8pm
DETAILS: Here’s one for you LOST addicts out there… “The island from LOST is holding a competition to determine who is the most talented! The winner get to return home. Everyone else? They’ll be lucky to make it through the show alive! Join all your favorite castaways — Jack and Locke, Sawyer and Kate, Ben and a Polar Bear, and MORE — as they compete to show off their talents in a desperate bid for survival! We are CONFIDENT that this show is basically what’s going to happen on the last episode of LOST, pretty much word-for-word.”
One of my biggest eventual goals for this site is to inspire people to become more actively involved with their environment and community on a variety of levels. The fact is, each and every one of us is capable of actively making Los Angeles a better place. It’s so easy to get worn down by our own problems, though… we ALL need a little reality check sometimes. It’s easy to forget how lucky we are and that, as Ghandi said, we ALL have the power to be the change we want to see in the world.
With that in mind, HLA will occasionally be introducing various charitable organizations and simple ways that readers can get involved to help their fellow Angelenos who are less fortunate. Down the road, we’ll probably be organizing group volunteer days as well. Nothing complex, we’ll just focus on simple actions that change lives.
Case in point, let’s talk about today’s charity! How many of you have fruit trees in your yard? Maybe you can’t eat all of the fruit (you can only do so much with figs after a while!). Or maybe you don’t think those oranges are sweet enough. For someone else though, sour oranges are better than starving. So instead of bagging up the fruit for your coworkers or leaving the rotting fruit to the squirrels and gardener, try something different this year and contact FOOD FORWARD. Not only will they come to your home and pick all of your fruit trees clean at no charge, they will deliver the donated fruit to the LA Food Bank on your behalf and you’ll get a tax deduction in return. Win/win!
CHARITY NAME: FOOD FORWARD
DETAILS: “FOOD FORWARD is an all volunteer grassroots group of Angelenos who care about reconnecting to our food system and making change around urban hunger… We convene at properties we have been invited to and glean the excess fruit on their trees, donating 100% to local food pantries… Our current receiving partners are SOVA Community Food and Resource Program, a program of Jewish Family Services, and MEND POVERTY. Combined, they distribute the food we glean to over 30,000 clients a month across Southern California.”
Photograph taken of a man posting bills on a brick wall reading “Banish Sunday dancing in Venice and stopping Sunday baseball and theatres will be our next move! Sabbath Reform League”… residents wonder whether these are by reformers opposed to dancing or whether it is 11th hour election ruse of pro-Sunday dancers. (Photo date unknown – looks like late 1920s/early 30s to me)
People often ask me how I choose the subjects of my posts. It’s a tough question to answer… often I’ll start working on a post, only to find that by following random links I’m led completely off topic to discover something that’s much more interesting than the original article I had in mind. This is one of those times. So, for the curious, here’s how this post happened: while doing research for a future article on the old Marineland, childhood memories of long-gone Lion Country Safari (1970-1984) distracted me. The quick google search that followed led me to the story of Frasier the Sensuous Lion, shown in all of his sexy glory below.
It was this paragraph on the Yesterland website that jumped out at me:
“Lion Country Safari was given a big boost by an unlikely star attraction. An elderly, nearly toothless lion named Frasier came from a Mexican circus in February 1971. The old cat’s tongue dangled from one side of his mouth, and he had trouble walking. He may not have been much to look at as far as we humans were concerned, but the lionesses saw him differently. There was population boom of lion cubs at the park. Frasier’s sorry visage adorned tee-shirts and other park souvenirs. Frasier sired 35 cubs until his death in June 1972 at 17-20 years of age, equivalent to a human age of 85-100 years. Frasier even inspired a 1973 feature movie, Frasier the Sensuous Lion, rated PG.” (See creepy poster at right)
Vaguely remembering this funny looking lion from my childhood, I had an instant urge to find out more about Frasier. Imagine my surprise when I found out his active sex life had actually gained enough notoriety for the late jazz greats Jimmy Rowles, Johnny Mercer, and Sarah Vaughan to create a song documenting it (video and full lyrics after the jump).
Go Frasier! (more…)
September 1970 “This news clip from 1970 focuses on the start of desegregation-via-busing in the Pasadena school district and the signing of an anti-busing bill by California Gov. Ronald Reagan. A much larger controversy later surrounded busing in the Los Angeles Unified School District, since that district covered many more students. Busing in L.A. and elsewhere in California was largely halted by litigation and the passage of a ballot initiative in the early 1980s. ”
October 1980 “Litigation to order a busing plan for the Los Angeles Unified School District began in the 1960s and a plan was ultimately ordered by Judge Paul Egly in the late 1970s. This news report focuses on “white flight” from the District. Proposition 1 of 1979 was a reaction to the busing plan and limited the scope of busing. After several years of litigation, Prop 1 was upheld and the plan ended. The video shows a sign denouncing Judge Egly.”
Our first meetup at the Tonga Hut was so successful, why not hit the ground running and plan another one? In *my* book, the historic Musso & Frank Grill in Hollywood offers the best prohibition-era cocktails in town… so let’s get together and embrace “the depth beneath the shallow” of an old-school martini glass! Their gin martinis and sidecars are awesome!
Parking in the back is pretty cheap with validation. Their food is good… it can get pricey if you order carelessly, but there are very reasonable options. How much you spend is entirely up to you. The bar can get busy and is not always the easiest place to strike up conversations with people, so we will probably look into getting a table for the group. Word on that later.
We’ve surpassed 2,000 Facebook Fans in 6 months! Time to celebrate!!!
A little reminder… this Thursday night our first HiddenLA meetup will be happenin’ at the hukilau-riffic Tonga Hut on Victory near Coldwater! YAY! Swing by for a mai tai with us!
NOTE: Happy hour lasts until 8pm: $3 well drinks and $2 domestic beer! BUUUUT… the Tonga Hut will *also* be offering up extra HiddenLA food and drink shot specials! WOO HOO!!!!
Aaaaand here’s a little music video to getcha in the mood. Come…! to…! the tiki room…! (more…)
Here in Los Angeles, even tapirs have personal masseuses.
Gee, your hair smells terrific…
July 28, 1951: Three year-old Bobby Ashe – Everest (“Master Ladera Park”) puts his smooth moves on 22 month-old Sharon Hawkins (“Miss Ladera Park”) at The Ladera Park Baby Show.
CLICK ON IMAGES FOR LARGER VIEWS.http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8863776421109511056
WHAT: City Labs – a fun one-day fair to browse, discover and connect with 50 local non-profits — organizations doing great things who need your support to maintain sustainability.
WHEN: Saturday, January 23rd, 11am-4pm
WHERE: California Market Center’s Penthouse, 110 East Ninth Street, Downtown
DONATION AT DOOR: $5 per person (includes entry, a free drink, and DIY workshops)
DETAILS: “Join City Labs to answer the call for community service in this great city. With a huge rise in the need for services from non-profits, and a drastic drop in funding and donations, LA’s community organizations need our help Imagine: If a few thousand people each dedicate themselves to 3-5 non-profit groups (signing-up to volunteer, making donations, offering their skills, joining email lists), we’ll have created over 10,000 new volunteers and donations in just one afternoon!!!”
Between December 2005 and March 2006, journalist Sam Slovick wrote a stunning and insightful series of LA Weekly cover stories that took readers “deep inside the everyday tragedies and triumphs found on Downtown Los Angeles’s Skid Row.” These stories were then turned into a documentary series by GOOD Magazine (a “collaboration of individuals, businesses, and nonprofits pushing the world forward”) in 2008. I’ll be embedding this entire film as a series here.
Los Angeles’ homeless community isn’t exactly hidden, yet poverty is a particularly easy issue to ignore as we go about our busy days, driving through the city streets at high speeds worrying about our own problems. I hope you’ll stop and take a minute to watch these films. Especially in this economy, there but by the grace of God go us all.
DESCRIPTION: Part 1: The lay of the land on Skid Row in Los Angeles, the worst social disaster in America. Alongside Skid Row’s hustlers, transients, and cops are a lesser known population of children, social servants and religious workers whose daily lives play out on LA’s most dangerous city blocks.
After the jump, a really great 30 minute long documentary (shown in 3 parts) about iconic author Raymond Chandler‘s take on the corruption of Los Angeles in the 1930s… a paradise infiltrated by dope fiends, smut peddlers, schemers in low places and high, crooked cops and crooked politicians…
And here’s something you might not have known… I’ll bet you’ve passed The Cahuenga Building in Hollywood a million times and not thought twice about it… but the six-story structure erected by John and Donald Parkinson (they also built Bullock’s Wilshire and the Santa Monica City Hall) was once the tallest building on the Boulevard and the high-profile home for L.A.’s best-known fictional private detective. Cynical gumshoe Philip Marlowe‘s office was located on the top floor in Suite #615 and it’s for this very reason that the building’s intersection was officially named after his creator, author Raymond Chandler. Interested in checking the building out? Well you’ll soon be able to spend the night… it’s currently being turned into a boutique hotel.
UPDATE: We now have an official Facebook Event listing!
Okay, a bunch of you on Facebook expressed interest in getting together for a HiddenLA happy hour of sorts (YAY!) and the 52 year-old local tiki dive known as Tonga Hut came out far ahead of most other favorite local valley bars in our poll… so that’s where we’re going! The next happy hour will be on the other side of the hill… we’ll rotate, just for you. :)
The Tonga Hut is located at12808 Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood (818-769-0708). You can park on the street in front, but it’s probably better to just swing around to the parking lot behind the bar.
I’m excited, and I hope you can make it! Either way it’ll be great… if you all do show up we’ll have a blast – it’ll be great to finally be able to start to put 3D faces to the many names I see on here. I’d especially love to talk to those of you who are interested in helping with the charity aspect of this site that I’m working on starting. And hey… if you *don’t* show up, s’okay. I’ll just have a prime opportunity to drown myself in Mai Tais and slur to the bored bartender my pathetic tale of how Los Angeles rejected my party invite and totally stood me up. WAH. A few years of therapy I should be totally okay! No worries!
Seriously, it’d be nice to see ya there though… :)
Once upon a time, the first roller coaster ever built on the West Coast reached towards the Venice, California sky. The ride was called Race Thru The Clouds and when it opened on July 4, 1911, even with only half of its cars on line over 25,000 people rode it. Yes, in one day. Roller coasters soon became such a popular attraction in Venice that fourteen were built in between 1904 and 1925. In the early 1920′s, visitors to Venice had a choice of six different rides: three on the Venice Pier, one on the inland lagoon and two on the Ocean Park/Lick Piers.
Although the first coaster is long gone, you can still find evidence of Race Thru The Clouds nearby if you look… architect Steve Ehrlich themed a nearby commercial building after its curves. I think my favorite tribute is this, though: a Folsom Prison inmate named William Jennings-Bryan Burke once spent over a decade erecting a replica of the ride made entirely out of toothpicks! AWESOME! (He actually built entire carnivals from toothpicks. I’m not kidding.)
(CLICK ON THE IMAGES BELOW FOR LARGER VIEWS)
As some of you may know, as a teenager during the early 20th century my grandmother preached in tent revivals alongside (and also babysat for) local evangelist Sister Aimee Semple McPherson, who was once – without question – the most powerful, influential, and controversial woman in all of America. Founder of the Foursquare Church, Sister Aimee opened her Angelus Temple on New Year’s Day in 1923… a giant round building facing Echo Park which no doubt many of you pass daily without thinking twice about. The building’s cost was an unheard-of 1.2 million dollars at the time (paid for through average donations of TWO CENTS!!)… leading one critic to declare that Aimee “put the cost in Pentecost.”
At the very bottom of this post is a rare video tour of Aimee’s castle home in Lake Elsinore. Directly below are a few short samples of the show-womanship of Sister Aimee in all of her sin-battling glory… so REPENT, SINNERS!
“Sport Chalet will help collect footwear to support shoe charity Soles4Souls’ commitment to donate more than 250,000 pairs of shoes to affected areas… through Jan. 31, customers at Sport Chalet’s 55 stores will have the opportunity to drop off gently worn pairs of men’s, women’s and children’s shoes.” SOURCE
Oh we got trouble! Right here in Universal City! With a capital “T”! That rhymes with “C”! And that stands for… oh my God isn’t this ridiculous drama over yet?
If you were driving along Lankershim today, you might’ve noticed some unusual traffic. Seems the “I’m With Coco” Facebook group organized a pro-Conan O’Brien rally over at Universal Gate 3 this afternoon and considering the *incredibly* crappy weather, it was more of a success than expected (even Conan himself got involved, see video below).
I’m sure the pro-Jay Leno crowd would’ve organized a rally too… except I hear Hoverounds don’t maneuver very well during flash floods. HEY-YO!!!
Dying is easy. Comedy is difficult. ~ Edmund Gwenn
WHAT: The 9th installment of Comedy is Dead in the historic Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, presented by Duncan Trussell and Hollywood Forever.
WHY: Because hysterically laughing our way to the cemetery is what life’s all about, people! DUH!!!
WHEN: Thursday, January 28th, 2010, Doors open at 8pm – Comedians go on at 9pm sharp
WHERE: Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood (323) 469-1181
PRICE: Admission is $15 and drinks (beer and wine) are $5. PARKING IS FREE. For more information visit www.comedyisdead.info or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (310) 909-7965. Tickets are available online at Brown Paper Tickets.
DETAILS: Comedy line-up includes:
Doug Benson (Super High Me, Best Week Ever), Dana Gould (The Simpsons, HBO), Chris Hardwick (Attack Of The Show, Halloween 2), Guy Branum (Chelsea Lately), Nick Kroll (The League, Worst Week), Natasha Leggero (Chelsea Lately, Reno 911), Duncan Trussell (Curb Your Enthusiasm, HBO’s Funny Or Die)
To answer this question definitively for everyone, let’s just forget about her overexposure and penchant for hair hats and flash back in time for a moment to watch a fresh-faced 19 year-old named Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta – a talented, ambitious and rebellious girl virtually identical to so many in the crowd here – sing about her sick ambition of making it big in “Hollywood” and losing her reflection. Which… she did on both counts, really.
But truth be told, I kinda liked Stefani Germanotta better… illegal though it would be, I find myself wanting to buy underage Lady Gaga a beer. But hey, I’m sure she can well afford to buy her own now.
In the heart of Griffith Park lies a ghost zoo, built in 1912 and abandoned in 1965. You can still visit it, but you’ll have to bring your own animals. A breakdown of the old zoo’s story can be found here.
WARNING: For those of you viewing this from other countries… if you don’t speak English as a first language you might struggle at first to understand the narration in the above video, mainly because it’s true that many of us speak very fast and slur our words together here in Los Angeles and this narrator is no different. (Take a breath, man!) Honestly I’m known to turn five words into one on a regular basis myself, though, which can lose people who aren’t used to hearing it. It’s a great video, though. :)
Scroll down to view a video by Filmmaker Haeyong Moon that goes behind the scenes. Parts 2-3 after the jump.
The Chinese and Egyptian Theaters in Hollywood brought the showman more lasting fame, but The Million Dollar Theatre on South Broadway was failed prospector Sid Grauman‘s first movie house. Located next to the historic Grand Central Market (built in 1917 and still thriving) and across from the iconic Bradbury Building (built in 1893 and now housing internal LAPD offices), this incredible structure was first opened to the public in February 1918.
The wonderful video below goes behind the scenes to share some of the hidden beauty that still exists and few get to see. If you’d like to learn more about the downtown theatre district firsthand, the LA Conservancy offers a walking tour every Saturday at 10am. Tickets are $10. (more…)