Archive for the ‘los angeles rocks’ Category

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Yay for Los Angeles

December 10, 2008

Things like this make me pleased to live in L.A.  It’s a taco truck, but run by Korean BBQ chefs.  They use Twitter to tell people where they are and then roam from spot to spot (new locations every evening) serving up delicious marinated Korean meats & spices in soft tacos.  Ah, Los Angeles.

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Mr Pizza Factory

November 22, 2008

On Tuesday before the Hold Steady concert I’m going to grab dinner w/Patrick.  The Wiltern, which is where the concert is, is right in L.A.’s unbelievably large Koreatown, so we’re taking the opportunity to go to Mr Pizza Factory, which, as far as I can tell, does not actually sell pizza.

Their website is spectacular, a single page with an attractive young Korean woman miming the “call me!” action with her hand, while a heart graphic next to her says “Love for Women”.  I have no idea what to expect from Mr Pizza Factory, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be awesome, possibly better than the concert.  All I’m hoping is that my pizza comes with a happy ending.

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Mexicans – Are They Taking Over?

April 2, 2008

Anecdotally, living in Los Angeles it’s pretty clear that Mexicans are overrunning the city.  Entire neighborhoods are blanketed by Spanish language advertising, which is conflicting for me because I love advertising but I hate things I can’t understand.  Perhaps most shocking are the results of my own household census where we’ve gone from 100% Causcasian in 1998 to 66% Hispanic.

But whether you believe this is happening (you’re right) or not (you’re wrong), the question remains – is it intentional?  I believe this print advertisement for Absolut vodka currently running in a Mexico City periodical answers that question:

Ay Dios Mio!

Part of me is distressed to see the naked ambition for conquest, but another part of me is delighted to see U.S. advertisements in English South of the border.  Hah!  Take that, Jorge!  Como Te Gusta Estas Manzanas!!?!?!

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When Will You Guatemalans Learn?

February 22, 2008

My favorite news story of the year:

Veteran actor Omar Sharif has been ordered to pay $318,000 in damages to a car park attendant he punched in 2005. The Doctor Zhivago star was leaving Mastro’s Steakhouse in Beverly Hills, California when he tried to pay Guatemalan valet Juan Anderson for his car in euros. When Anderson pointed out euros aren’t a valid currency in the U.S., Sharif hit him in the head and called him a ‘stupid Mexican.'”

Oh, Zhivago… you had me at “stupid Mexican.”

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Waiting for the Whore Train to Arrive

November 26, 2007

One of my recurrent fantasies has me moving to a small town, like a really quaint Americana place that doesn’t exist any more & probably never did.  It’s a ridiculous ambition, because everything I love in life is part and parcel of big city living.  The interesting people, diverse ethnic foods, cool shops, great cultural scene, etc, wouldn’t be present in my imaginary small town. 

But that hasn’t stopped me from using craigslist to browse random small towns around America looking through the “real estate for sale” section.  One of the most compelling arguments in favor of small towns is that I could buy a home five times the size of my current one for the same amount of money I spent on my couch.  But, being who I am, any visit to craigslist usually ends up with me in the whore section, browsing the whores to see if there’s anything unique or special about small town prostitutes.

Oddly the one thing I found is that there’s a certain population minimum required in order to support a thriving craigslist prostitute economy.  Most of the really small towns I looked at didn’t even have any local talent, but the scant few ads I found were by touring professionals, booking appointments in advance.  It reminded me of a documentary I saw about doctors in Alaska who travel to rural wilderness twice a year and everyone schedules their checkups & non-emergency work at that time.

Unless you count working for corporate America, I’ve never done business with a prostitute, but I can imagine the night before the whore train pulls into town how feverishly excited the local population of small town Johns must be, and how the temptation to masturbate or stick your penis in that one tree that is shaped kinda like a woman has got to be unbearably compelling, but you can’t, you can’t waste a good shagging when an actual big city prostitute is a mere 24 hours away.

So I guess you could describe my feelings about small towns as “conflicted.”

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Fate vs Chance

October 14, 2007

I’ll always remember the night I proposed to my wife.  May 31st, 2000.  Earlier today I watched Near Dark, mostly notable for starring the actor Adrian Pasdar (“Nathan Patrelli” on Heroes) in an early role.  On May 31st, 2000 my friend Jason asked me and a couple friends out to drinks at Q’s, a pool hall on Wilshire in West L.A., but I couldn’t attend, because I had plans to take out my girlfriend & ask her to marry me.  That night Eric Red, the guy who wrote the movie Near Dark (and also the Rutger Hauer/C. Thomas Howell movie “The Hitcher”) tried to commit suicide by driving his car through the front window of Q’s, killing two people.  One of the victims had their skull crushed against Jason’s hip, shattering it & earning him months in traction & a lifelong fear of dining at the window table of any restaurant. 

I think it’s human nature to focus on the times when things don’t go right for us; why did I choose one route home over another & thus get caught in a speed trap? if only I had stayed later or left earlier or said this or gone there things would be different and my troubles would be less.  But of all the universe of possibilities out there, it’s rare we get a direct glimpse into a “there but for the grace of God go I” situation.  I’m not sure I would have been killed or even injured if I’d been at Q’s that evening, but all things considered, I’m glad I wasn’t.

Amusingly enough, when I mentioned this story to a friend who doesn’t live here, their reaction was “Wow. Los Angeles is so full of celebrities that you can’t sit at a bar without having one come crashing through the window in their car.”

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Concert Setlists At Flickr

September 30, 2007

Maybe I’m alone in this, but whenever I go see a band, I wonder what songs they’ll play, hoping it’s the ones I like, etc, and I usually end up Googling around to see if anyone has posted a setlist online.  Recently I realized that the best place to find these setlists is actually on Flickr.  Every concert I’ve been to over the the last few months (five so far, with The Hold Steady at the Wiltern closing things out next month) had a setlist posted on Flickr.  Just search for the name of the band, sort the results by “Most Recent” and you’ll find a fan who took a shot of the printed/hand scribbled setlist on the stage & posted it on their Flickr account.  God Bless a critical mass of users.

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For Sale: One Sign, Slightly Used

September 1, 2007

This place is at the corner of Century Blvd & Vermont, in the Northernmost part of South Central LA. It’s not a business anymore, and I’m not sure how long ago it stopped being one, but I think the answer is “very.”

Like most of the businesses in this area, it’s actually just a house, albeit one with completely boarded up windows & a rolling iron gate across the front door. As I walked up to take the photo, the gate suddenly rolled back and a forty-something black guy asked gruffly what I wanted. I said I was just there to take a picture of the old sign and he asked immediately if I wanted to buy the sign. I politely said I didn’t think I had enough money to buy it, he lost interest & rolled the iron gate back shut on his abandoned looking former Ice Cream Palor.

I’m not really sure how I would have gotten the sign back to my house if I had bought it, or if the homeless looking guy who offered to sell it to me really had the right to do so, for that matter.  But I like that the spirit of capitalism lives on even in this building that hasn’t been a business for several years.

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Newcastle: Finally Good For More Than Just Coal

August 12, 2007

On a recent trip to Galco’s, the Highland Park soda wonderland (like six thousand different kinds of rare imports & domestic micro-brewed hard to find sodas), I was talked into buying a British drink called Fentiman’s Curiosity Cola, and it was 9 kinds of awesome.  If 1) Highland Park wasn’t so far away, and 2) the soda wasn’t like $3 a bottle, I would totally drink this instead of my constant influx of Diet Pepsi.  The secret, claim the folks at Fentiman’s in Newcastle is that they actually brew all their drinks, for like 10 days.  Whatever the trick is, allow me to say “Owdy, Guvn’a!” to you good people of Fentimans.  I’m not sure if that’s a compliment, it just happens to be the only British expression I know.

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Why Do You Need So Many Flamingos?

August 11, 2007

So, having a daughter I realize that sooner or later I may have to go to the zoo.  Unlike Disneyland, I’m not particularly stoked to take the Little Baby Cupcake to the Zoo.  But, since I was in the area today after lunch with a friend who lives on that side of town, I decided I should do a “dry run” of the Zoo, since I haven’t been there in 20+ years, and certainly the rest of Los Angeles has changed a lot in the intervening years.  I would hate to take Emerson there and find out that it’s a gang-banger hang out like Magic Mountain or that the Zoo randomly lets baby-eating animals out of their cages once a day or something equally crazy.

Like many of the non-zoo portions of Los Angeles, my gringo status relegated me to a very slim minority segment of the zoo populace (seriously, I believe flamingos outnumbered whitey at the Zoo, which also says a lot about how many fucking flamingos the L.A. Zoo has).  Undoubtedly I was the only solo white male in his thirties, which is an awesome way to be mistaken for a pedophile.  The racial mix wasn’t really an issue so much as the huge number of teenagers pushing their one & two year olds around in baby carriages.  That alone may be a good reason not to take Emerson here – I don’t want her thinking getting knocked up at fifteen is an acceptable norm.  But the best reason not to go was that the L.A. zoo is a festering pit of inadequate animal care.  The habitats are depressing, the animals look questionably cared for, and overall the place was just shabby seeming.  I think it’s Aquariums & wild animal parks for the LBC from now on.

The biggest plus of the Zoo was that the Mold-A-Rama machines are still in operation.  The one I really wanted was a statue of three chimpanzees doing the “hear no evil” bit, but unfortunately it had broken earlier in the day when the statue refused to leave the mold, so I settled for a Lion statue instead.  I gave it to Emma when I got home, but I realized that at 19 months old, she doesn’t really get the idea of “gifts,” yet.  Everything she sees in the world belongs to her. I’m going to have to start randomly withholding stuff from her so that she appreciates the plastic Lion statue more.