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…)
Some people believe L.A.’s most important residents are the ones who have reality shows… but today’s sizzling Hot Angeleno was sexy cool in his own right. He didn’t have rock hard abs (that we know of), but he clearly worked pretty hard on other less-important things.
HiddenLA‘s HOT Angeleno of the Day: RALPH JOHNSON BUNCHE!!!
(August 7, 1904-1971) Orphaned at age 12, Ralph and his two sisters moved to Los Angeles to live with their grandmother, a former slave who “appeared Caucasian on the outside but was all black fervor inside.” As a teen he was an accomplished athlete who worked all sorts of odd jobs to help his family survive. He was the senior class valedictorian at Jefferson High School in South Central and began his college studies at UCLA (which was then located on Vermont where City College is). Then he went on to get a few other degrees and do a few other important things. And he helped to write some stuff too. Oh yeah, I almost forgot… then at 46 years of age he became THE VERY FIRST PERSON OF COLOR FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD to ever receive the Nobel Prize for Peace. OMG! TOTALLY HOTTTTT!!! (more…)
Note: Event listings are updated during the week as we see fit.
Now through 8/31/09 – Photography: The Billboard Show
7/9/09 – Downtown LA Artwalk
7/10-12/09 – Echo Park Community Festival
7/11/09 – Historic North Hollywood Walking Tour, 80′s Prom Party
7/12/09 – Bastille Day Los Angeles; Art and Poetry with Exene Cervenka
ONGOING THROUGH AUGUST 31st
What: THE BILLBOARD SHOW Selling the California Lifestyle – Photographic Landscapes of the 1950s & 1960s
Where: Take My Picture Gary Leonard 860 South Broadway, Downtown (213) 622-2256
When: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 10am–2pm & 3–6pm; Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am–2pm; Saturdays 12–6pm; Sundays 12–3pm
Details: “Ever since taking a photograph of the Dodgers as a little boy in 1959, Gary Leonard has documented the mercurial landscape of Los Angeles, from the political to the cultural and economic. A former employee of billboard advertising company Pacific Outdoor recently gave Leonard thousands of billboard slides, a hundred of which are now on view at Leonard’s gallery, Take My Picture (named after his column in various regional publications). Advertising everything from funeral services and early fax machines to civic defense and entertainment, the images provide a rare historical survey of mid-century American commercial design, proving that, much like one of his influences, Weegee, Gary Leonard has an excellent sense of timing.” (SOURCE)
What: Lisa Jack Photography Exhibit: Barack Obama: The Freshman
When: Until July 18, Tuesdays–Saturdays (10am–6pm)
Where: M+B Gallery 612 N Almont Dr, WeHo (310) 550-0050
I sure hope Erik Estrada and Kristy McNichol are feeling healthy. All you 1970s celebs might want to look into getting a thorough checkup soon. Clearly something is in the air and frankly, we’re awfully worried about you. It’s really bumming us all out. Please be well.
FARRAH FAWCETT (February 2, 1947 – June 25, 2009) – I really love the Farrah commercial below… it’s like she’s up in heaven with the man of her dreams (who is hopefully nicer than Ryan O’Neal)… sitting in God’s hand on a big shaving cream cloud… rest in peace, oh Beautiful Queen of Feathered Hair.
MICHAEL JACKSON (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) – An insanely talented and very troubled human being, wherever he may be I sincerely hope from the bottom of my heart that Michael Jackson has finally found the peace and perfect nose he spent his life searching for. In my living room I have a photo he autographed for me in the early 90s… in tribute, I think I’ll go set his photo on my piano and then moonwalk backwards into the kitchen. Sha-mon!
The Hollywood Canteen existed at 1451 Cahuenga Boulevard in Hollywood between October 3, 1942 and Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 1945
With Steven Colbert’s recent adoption as USO mascot, I thought it might be timely to revisit one of Hollywood’s biggest efforts to bond with our nation’s soldiers.
Throughout World War II, Americans were very much in the habit of making hospital visits, putting on shows at military bases, and serving doughnuts and hot coffee in canteens in an effort to boost the spirits of enlisted men. As many of them were enlisted themselves, the biggest stars of stage and screen were very much involved in the morale building as well. On American soil, the goal was set to give the servicemen an option to come to the celebrities instead of vice versa… and that was how The Stage Door Canteen Nightclub (located at the 44th Street Theater in Times Square) was born. The driving forces behind the creation of the USO‘s West Coast location, The Hollywood Canteen, were Bette Davis and John Garfield, along with legendary songwriter Jule Styne (FYI, he wrote more than a few tunes you’ve heard before). The Canteen was operated and staffed completely by volunteers from various aspects of the local entertainment industry. By the time the doors opened in 1942, over 3000 stars, players, directors, producers, grips, dancers, musicians, singers, writers, technicians, wardrobe attendants, hair stylists, agents, stand-ins, publicists, secretaries, and allied craftsmen of radio and screen had registered as volunteers. On any given day or night, actresses such as Ann Sothern, Hedy Lamarr and Linda Darnell could be found pouring coffee.
6/25/09 – Harold & Maude EXTRAVAGANZA!
6/28/09 – Free Food at Ruby’s Shake Shack in Malibu; Discounted Tickets for The Los Angeles Accordion Festival; Mondo Jerry Lewis Barbeque at Cinefamily
ALL WEEK: 6/22-28/09 – Bigfoot Drink Discounts
ALL SUMMER: Free food/drink specials at Arby’s
THURSDAY, JUNE 25th
A Salute to Hal Ashby – A HAROLD & MAUDE EXTRAVAGANZA!!!
Place: Samuel Goldwyn Theater, 8949 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills
Time: 7:30pm showtime, doors open at 6:30pm
Price: ONLY $5 for non-Academy members, $3 for Academy members
Note: YES, this fabulous Harold & Maude event is SOLD OUT, *BUT* a standby line will form on Thursday afternoon. Standby numbers will be assigned at approximately 5:30pm and any available tickets will be distributed shortly before showtime.
Details: I love this movie. Always have. And if you have too, then check out the following details about this incredible event: it’s hosted by Cameron Crowe and Peter Bart; features a discussion with Ashby’s colleagues and admirers including Judd Apatow, Diablo Cody, Seth Rogen, Jon Voight and Haskell Wexler; and includes a performance by Yusuf (formerly Cat Stevens – !!!). On top of that, Ruth Gordon has been defrosted from her cryogenically frozen state and will be doing an Egyptian fan dance as Yusef performs the soundtrack from the film. Okay yeah, unfortunately I was only kidding about that last sentence (her fan dance would’ve been GREAT!) but I’m *not* kidding when I say that when everyone stops gushing over how insane and wonderful the movie is, they’ll be screening a brand new print of it from the Academy Film Archive. (Note: The Hal Ashby tribute continues through the end of June at the Linwood Dunn Theater, with The Landlord and Shampoo – June 26; The Last Detail and Coming Home – June 27; Being There – June 28)
SUNDAY, JUNE 28th
Ruby’s Shake Shack – MALIBU LOCATION GRAND OPENING
Place: Malibu Pier, Malibu
Time: Between 11am and 4pm only
Details: During the hours shown above, everyone who shows up will be treated to *FREE* burgers, fries, and shakes. Garden salads have also been mentioned. Official opening day is June 29.
Mondo Jerry Lewis Barbeque
Place: Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N Fairfax Ave, Hollywood (323) 655-2510
Time: See below
Details: To close out their Jerry Lewis retrospective–the first in LA ever!–Cinefamily is celebrating with a Jerrython, an all-day (and we mean it!) blowout of all the assembled rare Jerry footage they could find, including our own mash-up of our favorite moments… So, come early, get a couch, and settle in for hour upon hour of FLAVIN! with hot dogs and the JERRY!
Here’s an approximate itinerary (things might run 15-30 minutes over, give or take):
3-5:30 BBQing, and watching Colgate Comedy Hours with Martin & Lewis
5:30-6:30 Mondo Jerry mix of great scenes and rare clips
6:45-8:15: Cracking Up
8:30: Three on a Couch
10:30: The Big Mouth
Los Angeles Accordian Festival – SQUEEZE FEST L.A.
Place: John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East., Hollywood (323) 461-3673
Time: Pre-show picnic/party: 5:30 pm; Show: 7:30 pm
Price: Full Price $40, $30. Mention “NELA” for a 20% discount.
Details: “The LA Accordion Festival hosts SqueezeFestLA at the majestic outdoor John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, one of LA’s most underappreciated architectural gems. After making forays into music scenes from the parlor to the speakeasy for nearly 200 years, the accordion has also recently experienced a major comeback on the indie stage, expanding its modern influence. This evening, three very different groups showcase the rich, nostalgic sounds of the instrument: operatically infused, neo-boho cabaret act Vagabond Opera, Conjunto Los Pochos (the epitome of culturally complex Tex-Mex music), and Louisiana’s Feufollet. Visitors are encouraged to come early and picnic on the grounds, while local “accordion diva” Gee Rabe performs in the plaza before the show.” (SOURCE)
Oh, and as long as I’m looking for good deals to put into the events listing to help everyone survive financially during these tough times… I’ll just sneak this little tidbit in for ya. It’s not a local thing, I believe it’s nation-wide, but Arby’s is giving away FREE FOOD/DRINKS EVERY WEDNESDAY THIS SUMMER as follows:
July 1st – Free Regular Beef and Cheddar with soft drink purchase.
July 8th – Free Orange Cream Shake with sandwich purchase.
July 15th – Free Regular Roast Beef with soft drink purchase.
July 22nd – Free RoastBurger with soft drink purchase.
July 29th – Free FruiTea with sandwich purchase.
August 5th – Free Regular Roast Beef with soft drink purchase.
August 12th – Free Roast Chicken Club with soft drink purchase.
August 19th – Free FruiTea with sandwich purchase.
August 26th – Free Roast Beef ‘n Cheddar with soft drink purchase.
Up until a few days ago, I had never set foot in the Angelus Temple in Echo Park. Not being much for organized religion myself, this might not seem unusual… except that the temple is one of the more noteworthy parts of my family heritage. At 19, my Grandma Beulah preached at Pentacostal tent revivals alongside the woman who built the temple, Sister Aimee Semple McPherson, and often babysat Aimee’s son Rolf who recently passed away. I’ve passed the huge structure so many times that getting out of my car and walking inside was a long overdue experience.
To say that Sister Aimee was one of the most influential and controversial women of the 20th Century in America is an understatement. Let me put it this way… her following was so large that she estimated the entire $1.2 million cost of the temple (we’re talking 1924, people – think about it) was paid for with an average donation of TWO CENTS. I’ll be writing more about her in the future… now that I have this site, I have a great excuse to make myself get off my rear and do some research. My dream is to go through their archives and find some incredible photo of my nutty Grandma as a young girl speaking in tongues or something, but that will take time. So for the moment I’ll just share with you a photo I took of one of the temple’s original stained glass window after the jump. Sister Aimee is the woman portrayed kneeling on the bottom left. CLICK ON THE IMAGE FOR A LARGER VIEW.
6/21/09 – Opening of the Eagle Rock Rock’N Roll Farmers’ Market
6/22/09 – The Song Stylings of Jackie Chan and Friends – Free Concert in Chinatown; Elvis Costello – Free Show at Amoeba
SUNDAY, JUNE 21st
Eagle Rock’N Roll Farmers’ Market – GRAND OPENING / REOCCURING WEEKLY
Place: 2700 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041 (Located on the upper parking level next to Macy’s)
Time: Every Sunday from 10am to 2pm
Details: Eagle Rock’s groovy new Farmers Market opens up this Fathers’ Day… and if it’s anything like PD Markets’ other locations (I try to attend the Woodman Avenue Market when I can), it’s definitely worth checking out. According to founder Philip Dane, “For those of you that are not familiar with our markets, we are not your ordinary farmers’ market. PD Markets has a unique feel and brings together farmers with artisans and live music. (This Sunday) we have The Bar Band playing 2 sets and of course it’s all Free. Plus we have a Rock Climbing wall and obstacle course for the kids or the kid in you.”
MONDAY, JUNE 22nd
Jackie Chan and Friends – FREE CONCERT IN CHINATOWN Also featured will be Xu Dong Mei, Xu Nin, Jack Tu, Jerry Liao, Yang Zheng, and Ji Tao of the New Lucky Seven, Korean singer Yoo Suengjun, and America’s Sharon Jiao.
Place: Central Plaza, 943-951 N. Broadway, Los Angeles Chinatown
Time: Monday, June 22, 2009 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Details: The always adorable Jackie Chan will reunite friends and pop singers from China in a free performance in Los Angeles Chinatown. The concert will be performed in Mandarin and English. Martial arts performances by both the New Lucky Seven and the Shaolin Warriors of Chinatown will be a part of the evening. According to the press release, Jackie is taking time out from rehearsing for the remake of ‘Karate Kid’ to perform his inspirational music in L.A.’s Chinatown, where his very first U.S. feature film, ‘Rush Hour,’ was shot.
Elvis Costello – FREE IN-STORE CONCERT
Place: Amoeba Records, 6400 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood
Time: June 22, 2009, 8pm
Details: I *really* don’t need to tell you who Elvis Costello (aka Declan McManus, International Art Thief) is, or why you should see him. You already know. And if you don’t? Seriously? Ummm. Well I… I… oh, I just don’t think I can see you anymore. I’m sorry. I really do care about you, but this relationship just isn’t going to work out for me. Yup… that’s a dealbreaker, ladies.