Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!

rose parade van
Rose Parade

after all the celebrating, don't forget the Rose Parade! If you're not one of those people to spend your night on a cold sidewalk waiting for the January 1st "Tournament of Roses" parade, you of course can watch it on your TV (and nurse your hangover) first thing tomorrow morning.. 8am.

Don't forget the New Year's cabbage and blackeyed peas..

However you do it, celebrate safe!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday draws to a close

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SeanYoda got a new camera (Nikon D60) which I'll hopefully get to learn to use and be taking lots of pix in the future.
This is one of the test shots I took today. This was on auto with no flash through a tinted window.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hollywood U2. World's Greatest.. cover band?

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"Hollywood Bono" (with the "Hollywood Larry Mullins") performing at Pershing Square.

The problem I have when people call anything "World's Greatest" or "Best EVER" is that it sets the bar a little too high for expectations. I don't know how many friends (or people in general) that say something is "the best" I usually am up for disappointment.

This brings me to Friday night, when "The World's BEST U2 tribute band" performed at Pershing Square, (and had kindly waved their fee). First I want to say they were pretty good for what they are. Each "Hollywood U2" band member is a musician in their own right. Joe Heir, "Hollywood Bono" performs with another band, "The Supermodelz" and is a pretty good ringer for Bono himself (assuming there was a contest for that). The Hollywood Larry Mullen, (drummer Jorgen Ingmar) has a lifetime of musical experience. The band together has performed all over the world and even opened & closed for U2 during the Vertigo tour.

With all that hype.. I don't know what I was ready for; perhaps something a little more flashy and spectacular (albeit on a small scale). The music itself was pretty good. The singing, for the most part was alright. I don't see myself writing home (or emailing) saying how fantastic they were. There were a few times when Hollywood Bono seemed to sing off key and the sound was not quite there.

I thought the show lacked the enthusiasm and energy one might expect from a group of people who really love what they do. Granted this is all coming from someone who can't sing and can't play a guitar (or anything for that matter). I do love U2 though, but it seemed like I was attending someone's wedding rather than a real high energy concert.

Hollywood Bono would often ask inane questions like "Who has the "Joshua Tree" album?" or similar before each song as a way of introducing the next number. Maybe they were thinking they were coming into a situation where many folk might not have been fans. Whatever reason, it seemed odd. Sometimes Hollywood Bono would call out for requests and get heckled. "Free Bird!" someone called out. A few spectators echoed the response. Hollywood Bono quiped back "Why doesn't anyone ever request "Stairway to Heaven"? That's a much better song.. at least I think so."

They continued singing, and at one point, when they sang "Mysterious Ways," their Hollywood U2 bellydancer came out on stage and danced along to the song. Hollywood Bono made a comment like "wow we didn't expect that." um.. Seriously?? I mean yes, it was cold outside (my feet were getting wet standing in the melting "snow" that random kid skaters had tossed about) but she's part of the act, isn't she? According to their website, she's a recent addition.

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Performing "Mysterious Ways."

Perhaps I'm too jaded for the Hollywood U2 act. It was a free concert after all. Eventually the audience did seem to warm up to the band and started singing along to some of the music when coaxed by Hollywood Bono. In the second hour it even picked up with props for "Sunday Bloody Sunday." However, while I was still there the audience didn't really seem to get up and dance or move much for the band.

It was a cold night and crowded on the rink. The seven pm session at Pershing Square had sold out and the eight & nine pm sold out shortly after. Many people stayed to hear the band and was a really big crowd. The band was good, but great? I resolve that if you want to see U2 in concert, be sure and catch the real thing. If you are a mild fan or keep your expectations in check, you'll be entertained with Hollywood U2.

I admit I stayed til shortly after nine pm. No amount of really good (but not great) music was going to keep my frozen feet from wanting to make the tracks back home to the Historic Core where my hot chocolate and a fresh pair of warm socks were waiting for me to gather up and settle in. There's more concerts coming up Friday, Saturday & Sundays through January.. and maybe next time I got I'll remember the warm socks. If you skate, Pershing Square will be open every day with last chance skate the 19th of January 2009.

my Hu2 flickr set

related links:
Pershing Square Downtown on Ice
HollywoodU2.com

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

False Alarm at the Barclay

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Being close to a Fire Department in a true emergency is good thing. This can be attested by the many calls that seem to go out around our neighborhood whether at the Alexandria around the corner, or the warehouse on Winston earlier this year.

Regardless what the reason, I remind myself daily how important these guys are & what an excellent job they do. So tonight rather than get frustrated with the loud interruption to my viewing of "White Christmas" (it's not as if it's not available on DVD) I went downstairs to investigate.

Initially there were some four or five vehicles.. including 2 large ladder trucks gathered around the corner on 4th Street, down below on Main in front of the Hellman Building and the future location of the Medallion. From the vantage of the loft I could see folks running up the sidewalk to Pete's Cafe to get a closer look.

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"purple shirts" were securing the intersection on either end of Main Street at 4th as well at the corner at Winston.

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checking out the scene

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several firemen had gone up the ladder to observe one of the units (my best guess).

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City Hall can be seen shining in the background as the Fire Department work on retracting the ladder.

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With everything seeming A-OK the LAFD eventually wrapped up and by the time I returned to the loft, they were well on their way to whatever came next.

Oh, and eventually my girl Kiki Cat & myself got back to watching "White Christmas" with limited interruption.

Happy Hanukkah & Merry Christmas & thank you to the LAFD & all our Public Safety folks who protect us all day & night.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Weeneez Saturday only..

Saturday breakfasts at Weeneez

Biscuits & Sausage Gravy served Saturday only..
biscuits w/ sausage gravy
so that's what I had. A very nice hot breakfast on a cool Saturday morning.. a nice welcome back to the neighborhood.

**please note: Weeneez will be closed Christmas Day and through the weekend after in celebration of the holidays.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Art Deco LA

One of the things noted while away in Florida is the plethora of art deco and neon prevalent at the Disney Studios in Orlando. So much neon and architecture of the earlier part of the 20th century. So beloved that they're planning to use the scheme yet again when they refurbish (or re-imagineer if you will) the 2nd gate of Disneyland, "Disney's California Adventure" (DCA).

WDW Hollywood Studios

So much of LA seems to be a tear it down & rebuild it into something else sort of culture. It really is a shame. The fact is that so much of what LA used to be is honored and memorialized in kitch-y Disney fashion because it is beloved, and in many cases, no longer exists: the Brown Derby, the Crossroads (ok that's sort of still there) and the Pan-Pacific Auditorium.. which being relatively new to California (and LA especially) I wasn't aware what it was or that it burned down.

What about that LA architecture? The fact is if it weren't for the historic tours such as the neon bus or the Conservancy tours, these lost treasures would be just that.. completely lost.

I'm so grateful that while living in LA, I have the opportunity to make my home in a place that makes an attempt at keeping old LA alive and well, not just gentrifying a place but re-purposing the structure, keeping as much of the original intact. The fact is we need to keep these places as original and pristine as possible. Places have meaning for us because they have history and a story behind them. We care for the things we love and they will stay with us, and not become just another place to be honored in an amusement park, or books about recalling the past that no longer exists.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Meeko on Main Street USA

It's been rather quiet here lately..
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A different Main Street.. a different coast.

I'M MISSING ART WALK!
I will be missing my first Downtown Art Walk this year. I recall last year that I kept meaning to go, and then didn't. Putting it off seems silly now. I love Art Walk. I'm bummed I'm going to miss it.

There's several events to look forward to that night including some really great opportunities to get some fantastic art pieces for the holiday. (Be sure and check out Juie Rico's Gallery & Weeneez where some really cool art is available in her "Don't Go to the Mall" installation, as well some truly beautiful ceramic holiday bells will be hanging inside Weeneez. I heard there may be some smaller versions available for sale for under $30.

If you're in the mood for caroling, the First United Methodist Church of Los Angeles will be meeting up at 6th & Spring at 7pm Thursday evening for caroling around the neighborhood,(according to Ginny Case).

I love caroling but I'll be missing it. Instead I'll be enjoying some great handbell performances by one of my friends & his group at the Grand Floridian Resort in WDW (Walt Disney World). So you see I really do have a good excuse for missing stuff. Despite the scary rumors, there is just one of me.. (and we should all be thankful for that! LOL!).

No worries, I'm still trying to keep up with you all.. don't think I'm going to let my blog go completely silent these next handful of days. =) My posts may be tinged with a bit of "magic" and "pixie dust" (hey.. not that kind!) but I'll try to keep it slightly relevant & then back to the really good 4th & Main observations..

Thursday, December 04, 2008

bits & pieces

some small items that have been happening around my corner of Old Bank District...

Concrete pouring
The Medallion Project, while slow to start has been progressing along and they were pouring the first part of the 2nd level (or so it seemed). I don't have such a great vantage as I did from the Continental, but I'm still keeping an eye on their progress!

Yesterday, while coming back from what seems a dozen visits to the eye doctor (this time to pick up my new contact lens prescription!) I noticed a sign painter working on the outside of the T-Mobile Store..
Hand-painted cellular holidays!
Nothing beats original art to say "Happy Holidays!"

Lastly I'm a week behind on this, but Coldspring Fine Art has their new Philipp Jordan installation "1000 Teddies" on display along with Ben Dewell's "Yosemite Winter" as of 28 November. One can almost not blame the timing since it was around Thanksgiving weekend with the reception taking place on the 29th of November. Just the same, I'm sure you'll want to go check the exhibit out..
1000 Teddy Bears
Who can deny the cuteness of the Teddies??? (ok, not many..)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like..

The Mullin Building (6th & Fig)

Roosevelt Lofts

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Paradise Florist @ 7th & Fig

Post-Thanksgiving update

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Dinner at Home was a yummy meal of Herb seasoned turkey breast, homemade mashed sweet potatoes & stuffing w/ cranberries & veggies.


Post-Thanksgiving feast we took some time to go see the new Disney film "BOLT" staring a rambunctious hamster named "Rhino".. Seriously though, the film was about a dog that thinks he has super powers (Rhino is the uber geek fan and is hysterical running around in his little ball).


..one of the souvenir tees for sale at the Disney Soda Fountain & Studio Store.

After the film at the El Cap let out, I went to my one crazy "Black Friday" sale at the Glendale Galleria Disney Store. It was fun and maybe there were some deals but getting out of there at 3am, I doubt I would do that too many times. I'm getting too old for that and it just reminded me of those holidays I worked at the World of Disney through Christmas & New Years Eve. I don't envy those folks the long hours, as I've done them! I must say they were very organized and no crazy pushing that you hear about at some of the other "Black Friday" sales.

We left with a light up Mickey holiday wreath & a couple other items.

Saturday I had an eye exam and was able to get my contact lens prescription & order in. I have new eyeglasses too that I've been wearing for the past two weeks. I don't enjoy wearing eyeglasses but having a pair with a updated prescription makes it way more tolerable! =)

Sunday (today) I put on my trial contact lenses and headed to the LA Bike Meander that meets every Sunday over at the Toy Lofts.

Monday, November 24, 2008

YES WE DID!

18.3 miles to the sea?

OK
OK!

It was time for the Great Los Angeles Walk, (technically the 3rd annual Great LA Walk) organized by Franklin Ave's MIke & Maria. The first time it was Wilshire, which we had company so I left them beyond Good Samaritan, then last year, was Pico.. which I managed to get about 12.5 miles of the 16 before giving up and taking the bus to the sea. This year would be different. I've been walking, and despite the recent weight gain, I had started getting in better shape. I figured if nothing else, I could at least beat my old record.. and know when to quit. I would pay attention & listen. I would have fun (I had fun with Pico but towards the end I just didn't have the right mindset).





So what happened?





I got the shoes..
my new walking shoes!
I ordered these for my upcoming trip to WDW, but yeah, the Great LA Walk was perfect timing to test them out. =P


I got on the RedLine..
red line to union station


I got to Union Station & some 150 people were all there!
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so many folks they don't all fit in my lens! =)


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Eric Lynxweiler of MoNA & neon cruise fame (or "ShainLa's friend" as I like to say) was there to give us some tips & wish us well.



We all headed out.. walking from Union Station, through Olvera Street's El Pueblo, to Cesar Chavez,




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passed Chinatown and on toward Sunset,



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around Sunset Junction





onto Santa Monica Blvd.

Barney's Beanery (mi. 9)
We reached Mile 9 & Barney's Beanery around 1230pm & we all found lunch.


I ended up going along with Will Campbell & folks to Champagne Bakery for sandwiches & salads.



pumpkin cookie
not to mention the yummy pumpkin cookie!





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and then met up around 2pm at mile 10, which was the "Beverly Hills" sign where we waited in the park to regroup.


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and then onward to the Sea..



er, to Brittania.. =)


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there were toasts all around.. (and someone ordered fish & chips).


Then it was time for me to sit, so I wished everyone well, said my thanks & goodbyes and headed to the 704..



waiting...
Here I had to wait a bit more for the sitting and then finally when I got back home to Main Street.. I treated myself. 18.3 miles??


I can haz cookie now!!!
I can haz cookie now! Thanks everyone for the good time!!! It was great seeing all the friendly faces both familiar & new.. I love meeting new people & a big shout out to everyone on twitter who kept me going, especially "MelanieO" and Will Campbell who was encouraging me all the way! =)


Sometime late Saturday, my legs finally cramped up and I spent most of Sunday trying to rest and recover. Late afternoon had me hobbling around Hawthorne doing some pre-Thanksgiving shopping and treated myself to some L&L (now that's my kind of food!) I'm doing better now.. so.. We ready for the next Great LA Walk?? =) Thanks again Maria & Mike!

HERE is the rest of my flickr photos, as well:


  • Great LA WALK photo pool
  • Atwater Village Newbie's set
  • Will Campbell's set
  • Scott Lowe's set
  • ShaInLA's set
  • Walterrrrr's massive flickr set!


    **this post dedicated to BIG CITY ("Eureka") POZ .. =) I know you would have joined me for the walk if you were still here. RIGHT?? *grin*
  • Thursday, November 20, 2008

    Ma Petite Bakery

    I went by Ma Petite Bakery the other day on my way back from picking up my new eyeglasses (LA Vision Optometry, btw). This is the second time I came by the bakery since they opened Art Walk day last Thursday. Just as that evening there were almost out of everything, they were down to a very limited amount of pastries.

    I can't say I blame them for running low. All the items I've tried from the cheese rolls to the plain croissants and now the blueberry cheese pastries are very tasty. Everything is fairly affordable too. The blueberry cheese croissants were 1.49 each. I got two and brought them home. After brewing up a fresh pot of Peet's holiday blend, we had dessert first,(life is short after all!).

    We didn't ruin our dinner, as the croissant is light and flaky. The fruit is fresh and the cream cheese filling has a mild sweet flavor. Of course the coffee and pastries went well together and it was nice having a small treat that didn't break the bank.

    Unfortunately I don't have any photos to show you. You'll just have to go check them out yourself. The Bakery, which is located on Spring Street next to Lot 44, opens at 730am til 9pm weekdays and from 730am til 11am on Saturdays & Sundays (reopens later for dinner and closes at 9pm).

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    New City Church LA to move to New LATC

    Just posted to Kevin Haah's blog CALLED the New City Church of LA will be re-locating once again, this time to the New LATC on Spring Street.

    The "come as you are" church which welcomes everyone in the community will be relocating the 7th of December. Currently the church is holding worship services at Club 740 in the Globe Theater on Sunday mornings.

    From Called:
    "From December 7, 2008, New City Church of LA will be meeting at Los Angeles Theatre Center (which is called The New LATC) for our Sunday worship gathering. It's only about 2 blocks away from Club 740 and it is a fantastic facility. It's been my dream venue. It is the only multi-plex playhouse in downtown. There are four performance theaters in there. They have a great room for kids ministry there as well. And, it is clean! The facility is operated by Latino Theater Company and owned by City of Los Angeles."


    I am wishing Kevin and his congregation the very best. They have really reached out to the community and grown to answer the needs of downtown LA. The New LATC is a fabulous place and I think will be a very warm & welcoming place for folks in the community.

    Saturday, November 15, 2008

    IMPACT No on 8 Rally





    Rally as it made the turn left and up Main Street. The entire Rally took about 1/2 hour to completely make the turn from 4th Street to Main.

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    The Nickel Diner

    mild disclaimer: Just in time to start thinking about Thanksgiving, I'm well over-due for a review of The Nickel. I've been collecting images now & again of various items I've ordered at the Nickel, so forgive me for the disarray of images, that may have nothing to do with what I actually ate today (which was the smac & cheese). This is more of a not ready for prime time review.. I even forgot to take a shot of the entrance!*

    Untitled

    Neighborhood restaurateurs Monica May & Kristen Trattner's cozy as a broken-in shoe soft-opened to huge crowds of hungry neighbor friends & area co-workers a couple months back. I've lost count how many times I've eaten at the Nickel Diner since then. I know it hasn't been often enough to try every item on the menu just yet. Luckily, there's 5 of 7 days in a week they are open, and starting later this year they are looking to extend hours of operation. Currently their hours are 730am-330pm.

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    Buttermilk pancakes (w/ bananas & berries)

    Breakfast will have you satisfied with pancakes (served til 11am), omelets, traditional egg breakfasts and some of the favorite "hangover helper" (which I have yet to try). I did, however, get there in time for some pancakes. They have buttermilk, w/ or without fruit. The blueberry pancakes are excellent, as are the buttermilk served with optional bananas & berries. I recommend the pancakes regardless of how you order them.

    Waiting those two days they are closed is almost painful. Many a soul (including mine) will have a craving for one of their special menu items, and might get as far as out the front door before remembering they are open Wednesday thru Sunday, and darn it if it's Monday or Tuesday! You'll have to wait.

    The waiting was over and grateful it was Wednesday, we headed over to the Nickel where I could sate my mad craving for the "smac & cheese" and perhaps something off the dessert menu. Oh yes, even if you are way too full after dining, you'll want dessert, if nothing more than to take a slice home.

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    Nickel Diner bacon burger (optioned with onion rings.. which can't be beat).

    It's not just the smac & cheese that you'll want to tuck into. The pulled pork with coleslaw is tangy and satisfying. The Bacon Burger is juicy and quite filling or the Classic Caesar salad with piping hot grilled chicken. You might have to take some home with you if you can't eat it all.

    pulled pork sandwich @the nickel
    Pulled Pork sandwich (and option of french fries, cole slaw, or side salad.. onion rings $1.00 more). This reviewer loves coleslaw so that's why there's more than just what came on the pulled pork.


    Now for dessert.. They always have something you'll want to try. Their desserts range from tapioca, or tres leche, red velvet cake, various cupcakes, and pie. Everything is baked fresh on premises, so be sure and ask to see the dessert selections. Today they ran out of the red velvet cake, but they did have something new and surprising (for me).


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    The pumpkin cheesecake, seasonal selection just in time for Thanksgiving.

    The pumpkin cheesecake was amazingly light & fluffy, melt in your mouth delicious with what looked like lightly toasted marshmallow topping. Oh yes. I'll be asking for this again before Turkey Day is out.

    Just in case you forget, you can order a fresh pie or cheesecake to take home for Thanksgiving (the Nickel will be closed Thanksgiving Day). Prices on pies to order range from $20-$24.00 and your request needs to be in no later than Sunday the 23rd of November. You'll want to make arrangements for pick-up; asking Kristen, she was saying it may very well be the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week.

    The Nickel Diner
    524 S. Main Street
    Los Angeles, CA

    Open Wednesday-Sunday
    730-330pm

    Thursday, November 06, 2008

    Happy (Recession) Holidays!

    What? you say it's too early for the holidays?? I agree, but some local retail stores are jumping on the bandwagon, while we still have a couple nickels to scrape together. Despite the good news that the election brings, the economy isn't the best and it's going to take some time to save the money we need for the perfect gift.

    Christmas @ Goodwill on Broadway
    Seen this afternoon on Broadway,the tree & many other Christmas decorations.

    Tacky as it might be to some, re-gifting in the form of Goodwill can save a lot. Perhaps you don't want to buy a gift for someone else from Goodwill. However, it looks like the Goodwill on Broadway could have you literally trimming the tree. If you don't have a tree to trim, then you might be bringing the tree home as well!

    Sunday, November 02, 2008

    Reminder "No on 8" Rally Sunday

    No on 8 Rally at Pershing Square today 1-4pm. Prop 8 is discrimination and that's just wrong.


    New No on Prop 8 Ad Calls Upon Californians to Reject Discrimination. Narrated by Samuel Jackson.

    Friday, October 31, 2008

    Happy Hallowe'en Downtowner's!

    Have a Safe & Fun Halloween! (and don't forget to vote!)
    and now a 'hopeful' message from "yes we carve" (fun pumpkins!)


    you tube video courtesy "YES WE CARVE" (Barack O'Lanterns!)

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008

    remember NO on 8!

    Margaret Cho explains why you need to Vote "NO on Prop 8"

    It's about the right to Marry!

    More Construction across the Street

    former "Burger's & s&!#" near 4th & Main
    the former "Burgers & Sh!%" near 4th & Main had it's front signage removed
    within the past 2 days. Shot yesterday afternoon.

    Was actually trying to get a photo of a DASH bus broke down in
    front of Pete's Cafe and instead got the above and this, below:
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    a 'convoy' of moped-driven software advertisements.

    Tuesday, October 28, 2008

    Saturday, October 25, 2008

    Unity Festival 2008

    IMG_9850
    Saturday's Unity Festival put on by the CHAC (Corporation for History, Arts & Culture) & local businesses had many activities for the community.

    This family-friendly event brought music, dance, and lots of good times to 5th Street, just around the corner from the Historic Core. The massive line-up of entertainment included: skateboarding, various bands, gospel & blues singing groups, dramatic readings from Dramastage Qumran, and much more.

    Here's just a sampling from the set of photos I took this afternoon:
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    IMG_9844
    The Rockafarians sang Reggae, blues & some Cajun too!

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    Several games of chess were played simultaneously at the festival.

    face painting
    There was face painting for the kids..

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    Salsalicious Latin Dance troupe performed.


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    art from Lamp Community Art Project.

    My Unity Festival 2008 set on flickr

    learn more about the CHAC Unity Festival & firestation 23