Thursday, January 31, 2008

Poor Snoopy..

the only dogs you'll see in Hope Park (FIDM adjacent) are these sculpted statues..

As "dog friendly" as downtown promoters would have you think the new & old neighborhoods are, there are still few and far between places one can take your dog to roll in the grass and catch a Frisbee.

While not a dog person myself, dog parks, and dog runs (as well other dog-friendly places like bag stands) make life easier on downtowner's, as well the folks who have to step around the dogs that have literally nowhere to go.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

LLoyd Alexander (1924)

Today my honorary uncle Lloyd would have been 84years old.

I started writing him when I was about 12years old (I'll be 40 this summer). We corresponded through everything in my life. He always had time for me, he always was a decent and kind human being. I can't say I would ever live up to to him or what I imagined he was like. Just knowing him gave you something to aspire to, perhaps. I loved him so much like the family I never had, and never would have. He was one of the smartest, kindest most decent people I ever have been lucky to meet, and I would have done anything for him. Honestly. He never asked anything of me no matter what I offered, he was always appreciative. He's one person had he asked me the moon I would have given it.

Not knowing me or much about me,you should know I don't trust easy. I find it hard to love people as deeply or unconditionally as that. He and his wife Janine were beyond measure. I could go on and on about what a good friend he and Janine, but especially Lloyd has been to me. I could never imagine my life without him. He always believed in me. Even when I didn't believe in myself. He seemed to have a sense of love for the people that came into his life. He was giving. He was selfless, and he hardly ever had a bad word for anyone. So of course he wasn't perfect, and who is? No one that's right. He made everything alright though, even when they weren't.

Last year, the 17th of May, 2 days before my 6th wedding anniversary, I got the devastating news that he had passed on from cancer. He smoked most his life, but it wasn't the cigarettes that got him so much. I don't know what it was, he had colon cancer or something. I honestly never knew he was ill. He was writing not just children's literature but letters to his friends almost up the end. He never told me he was sick. I don't know who knew and who didn't, but he never really let on.

I find so many times a day there are things I want to tell him and share with him. Things I'd ask him if only he were here. Adventures I've had and things I've seen, and people I've met. None of that really makes a difference if it's all gone. I imagine it perhaps. Because he isn't here to know. How much he's loved and missed and wanted and needed. He's sailed his golden ship to the Summer Country and left me behind to scrabble on the docks losing my footing now & again..

I know it's not his fault, he stayed as long as he could. He's not responsible for my life. I am. No one else. I learned what I could and then it's up to me and the rest of us to keep going, falling and getting up and teaching each other what we've learned, and perhaps helping each other when we can along the way, grasping.. reaching out for each other when, like a slippery shore, we've fallen forward and hope there's someone to catch us when we lose our balance.

Yes I know I have loved because my heart breaks every day. It's just sometimes there are things that make us forget just a little bit. Today was not one of those days. I wanted to make it right so much. Sometimes no matter how much you want things for yourself or other people, today isn't always going to be the day it happens.

sorry if this post is too long, it had to be said.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Don Garza

don garza
taken at Banquette
At the time I took this (21st of January) I thought it was a good shot.. but now I'm sure I could do better..

I liked Don's pose anyway,despite his looking tired.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Saturday, January 19, 2008

someone tagged my angel

on walking back down Broadway
this angel that I see,
while walking home
when everything is dark.
someone tagged it.
sure it had other tags on it;


maybe I didn't notice as much.
but it made me sad
as if by being here,
you were marked.
Alone with no one to protect you.


The world can be so beautiful,
but you can still be alone.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Joe in Blue

Joe in blue
..a bit out of focus, but I like the way he looked against the backdrop of the cafe wall. I like how his hands stretch out forward creating a depth and shades of color in his shirt.

Maybe one day I'll get this photo right. =)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

Last Chance Skate Next Week.

According to the Downtown News your last chance to skate at Pershing Square Ice Rink is coming soon. Pershing Square's Ice rink will close on the 21st of January (that's Monday next week for those of us date impaired folks like myself).

While I don't skate myself, that hasn't stopped me from enjoying hanging out at the rink with others. With beauty days like we've had, it's best you get your skating in while you can. The Zamboni man will be there soon enough.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

From Thursday/ Friday

on walking back down Broadway
Night was here, and I was OK.

I walked home late from January Art Walk. It was alright. Night had come to downtown and there were people still out making their way for the night. I felt fine. I was happy. I had a long day of walking and seeing and breathing and being around other humans. It's not that I have issue with people, it's that there are so many of them. The only time I really seem adverse to people is when I'm in cramped places like Trader Joe's. Too many people in too narrow an aisle. The world is a pretty place on Art Walk night. I'm glad I went.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Tuesday Night Bike Ride..

aka: "Mo Better Meaty Meat Ride"

Having never experienced the original "Mo' Better Meaty Meat" burger of the 90s onward, the experience of having two firsts, (my first downtown night bike ride & my first "meaty meat" burger) was irresistible. Grateful to be invited, (thanks Will!) the calendar was marked and eagerly anticipated.

Tuesday came, the bike was ready, the helmet, and the light set was purchased and mounted on the bike. Ready to go, heading out on the bike and with very few glitches along the way, we headed to the library where the meet at 7pm was to take place. I say, we because one of the people who was also going on the ride was none other than BlogDowntown's Eric Richardson, who was on his 'fixie' and sporting some fun new bike lights.

I was grateful for the company, as I hadn't experienced the traffic in LA at night like this before and getting to a library I had yet to go to was a challenging prospect. We made it through alright with little incident, and once at the LaFayette Park the rest of the group gathered. There were six of us including blogger Will Campbell.

Even taking the 4th street bike lane had its dangers and we managed to get through them, including a near miss accident (which bent one of our riders rear wheel rims) and the hills and red lights that cost me personally on some time keeping up with the rest of the group. Otherwise it was a pretty easy course, which ended at mid-point with the amazing "Mo Better Meaty Meat Burger" which is now called simply, "Beef Burger Combo" but made by the same original loving hands hot off the grill at the Indulge Cafe.

Indulge Cafe is located near Pico and Redondo. The owners and operators of the place are incredibly friendly and generous. The food was delicious and the brownies.. Amazing! It was well worth the ride out there and I enjoyed burning the calories (or some of them) on the ride back downtown. The entire experience took about 3 or so hours from the ride out from the library at 7pm to returning back downtown by 10pm.

While not so sure about the riding in traffic at night comfort, the comfort of the MO Better Meaty Meat Burger at Indulge (not to mention those amazing brownies) will be a comfort to me in the future I'm sure.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Mo' Better Biking & "Mo' better Meaty Meat"

Yes, another Bicycling post:

I was hoping to get out on the bike yesterday with all the lovely weather. However, by the time I got back out again to my local bike shop (El Maestro, baby!) the sun was fading fast. By the time I was done, the sun was gone! I got a new light set and a mirror (which is giving me some issue, so I have to work on that). I rode a few blocks to try the light set & mirror out and had to stop because I was spending too much time keeping the mirror from falling off. Not good in traffic!

I'll work on it more today and then it's off to do my first long ride in ages.. I'm not sure how much it'll benefit me though, as the purpose of the ride is to get some "Mo' better Meaty Meat" burgers from a new place I've not been before. I love new places and the ride should counteract some of the 40pts of greasy meat I'm thinking I might ingest. (if the place is anything like "Islands" their cheeseburgers run about 40 Weight Watcher points but are well worth it).

I did an official "unofficial" weigh in this morning and I was at 195lbs even. So although I'm not counting points, those little walks and bike rides are doing something for me. =) I guess I might just keep riding.

South Park Construction Walkabout

The weather brightened up earlier than I expected yesterday, so I enjoyed a nice walk around South Park with all the beeping and humming of traffic & construction. Some of the updates I've noticed:

1. A big trench over in "BottleRock" the new wine bar at Met Lofts (which seems to be taking forever to get done) They have dug large trenches toward the back through the concrete and a slew of PVC piping materials seems to accompany an area which makes me think "plumbing!" perhaps. I have an acquaintance who lives there and asked about it and she hasn't heard anything much either but did note as well, it seemed to be taking a long time. Hopefully more on that later.

2. Work on the pick/up drop off dry cleaner in Packard Lofts continues. Last I heard they were working on the air circulation there. Not sure what sort of chemicals are involved (if any) in having pick up/ drop off service, but I'm sure whatever it is, helps to have fresh air.

3. LA LIVE! Is just as busy as ever. Multiple cherry pickers (or whatever you call those giant cherry picker things that carry stuff up) and Cranes are everywhere. I wished I had a good zoom as I missed a prime shot of a welder lighting up.. Ah more practice, I'll get something like it one day (grin).

Cold Stone Creamery 'coming soon'

4. Over at Market Lofts, "Pastagina" is still a work in progress. Also the windows are papered up at the "Robek's Juice" and "Cold Stone Creamery" which the latter is finally sporting a "NOW AUDITIONING" sign for it's mix-in creators. It looked like some gentlemen were installing the lighting fixtures possibly. (I really need to work on not being shy of taking pix of construction sites and big men in construction gear).

South Park Walk-abouts:
I figure I may start going about a couple times a month. The walking is good for me and if the weather permits, why not? I can't walk too far for too long, but I'm getting better. My back has been giving me issue (TMI) but the cycling has been helping considerably. Having nice weather helps get me out.

Monday, January 07, 2008

This morning's photo in South Park

Today I headed outside to see what was up.. 0107skyward00

It's a beautiful day, if not a bit chilly out. I hope the rain stays away for a while. I'd like to go out and enjoy this blue some more. =)

Friday, January 04, 2008


Today is the one year anniversary of the murder of HELEN HILL, resident of New Orleans, wife, mother, artist, film-maker and activist.

While never having personally met Helen, I know that she and her family were willing to do right by New Orleans, and was (quite possibly) murdered by the same sort of folks she & her husband were trying to help. However, it's thought these were people who were in desperate times searching (mistakenly) for money or drugs her doctor husband did not have, nor keep in their home. Helen was murdered, her husband escaped (barely) with his life, and their daughter almost became an orphan overnight. There's much more to Helen and her life than that, however.

If you have access to WYES tv in New Orleans, or a PBS affiliate that carries the special on Helen Hill tonight, be sure and tune in.

Helen Hill Memorial Website

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Ok so I had a long and interesting day.. capped off by getting to take pix from the top of City Hall and taking a quick video of the Triforium!

I got some stuff to work on (including said photos) so I'll get to that but I just wanted to send a shout out to some of the cool folks I got to meet/ hang out with at the last minute policy planning meeting. I don't want ot leave anyone out so I won't mention any names this time)

My first! (I'm getting a lot of those firsts in lately.. *grin*)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A Dry Cleaner???!!

Off again and now on again.. between the hammering and the drilling and general construction sound, you'd think they were putting something amazing in the corner retail unit of my building. Hoping against hope it would be an L&L Hawaiian bbq, I found out that that is just not the case. The dry cleaner we'd heard rumor to be going into the corner unit is going to happen. Contractors are working on installing a air conditioning system and other essentials to make the dry cleaner drop off/ pick up location possible. I guess even the drop off/pick up variety need to go through zoning and licensing just the same as your corner bistro or upscale eatery.

Between this one and the location at Ralph's Fresh Fare, there must be a lot of dry cleaning business to be had in South Park. I guess I'll just keeping hoping for the L&L to come eventually. Otherwise, I might have to learn to make some katsu myself. No one wants Meeko cooking for them in the kitchen.

another day, another new year

I was running errands for myself in the South Park area. I had to pick up a couple things including a giftcard for our cat sitter, (we drink a lot of coffee so having an extra one is kind of evil to have around for long) and some notebooks for myself.

I love having little notebooks but I'm kind of a uni-tasker when having to use a notebook for something I didn't intend. These little habits are either annoying, or make me more focused. Who knows which? =)

One of the images I took this morning was of my favorite funky building near the Starbucks on Grand. It has so much character, I would hate to see it lose that. With all the conversions or 'gentrifying' of what little is left of the old buildings you hate to see things like this go. I'm only hoping that if all the lots and lofts left in the area are converted they at least leave something of the old. The careworn, the beautiful in simplicity. They should leave the sign too.


With all the business going on in South Park one wonders who they are building all this stuff for. Obviously the LA LIVE! construction is for everyone, but especially the followers of the "if you build it they will come" philosophy. Having things to do, as well more places for people to do them in, is a good thing. Bringing revenue to a city as well providing bread & circuses for the masses. I personally am looking forward to the new large screen movie theater I heard was coming, as well the ESPN broadcast center. Issues like traffic congestion will hopefully work itself out after all these large construction projects like SOUTH and the Astani building are complete. Until then it's cranes everywhere and plenty of covered walkways to manage to get the pedestrian (if a little inconvenienced) to where they need to go.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Mr Blue Sky.. blue..

Apologies to one of my favorite bands when I was growing up. Today I went out and rode about 2hrs. It was nice today. The sun was shining one of those ELO sort of "blue sky" days. The air was crisp then warm and beautiful. Sometimes I just want to go ride and not stop. Not be obligated to return. Just keep going.. eventually I do return. It's such a waste to have a day like today and need to come back to a cold box full of cold concrete.


I think sometimes if the sun was shining, I would just keep going. Next thing you know I'd be anywhere but here. Unfortunately LA doesn't work like that. The interstate just holds you in place.

One point in my ride, I got lost. I rode down 7th Street and saw hundreds of people looking like they were waiting for a bus. They weren't. There were so many people and it's not that I don't know about the homeless, but there you go. There they are. I kept riding, not turning off the street because I felt if I left a busy street, I'd be more lost. As it was I just soaked up all the heat and emotions and sadness and I kept thinking, "this could be me." I've been lucky. I've been fortunate. The worst I've ever had, is to couch surf. The worst I've had is to miss my bus after a two shifts (OK, 2 jobs, never a double) and spend the night walking the Quarter or hanging out at my favorite pub drinking diet cokes til 4am watching Perry Mason repeats with the barkeep.. Then I would have to wear the same clothes to my day job all over again. Thinking how lucky I've been and to complain about how cold my building gets, (even now my hands are shaking and my teeth are chattering) seems inane and petty. My nights on the couch will never be as uncomfortable as a night in a cardboard box or a two man tent. Sleeping in tents is what people like myself do for fun, not what I have to do because I have nothing else.

I didn't take any pictures on 7th as other people have that down better than I ever could. Plus I didn't want to stop honestly. The red lights were the worst. The blocks just go on and on with so many people. I don't remember seeing this many homeless people anywhere I've lived. Anywhere. I'm sure there are so many other people, like myself, living in the 'new downtown' that don't have to see that or choose not to see it. It's emotionally scary and sad. Yes, I have no idea. However, I didn't mean for this post to be such a downer.

It really was a beautiful day, despite the crap that goes on to people in the world. For a while I forgot about it and enjoyed the sky, the quiet, the sound of just my bike and myself pedaling through endless roads of emptiness. The situation on 7th street was such an intense contrast to that.

I had a mostly good new year's eve. I had a VERY quiet new years eve. I stayed at home and listened to the other parties going on at all hours through the building, the drunken karaoke or whatever it was. It was horrible. Actually it's still going on tonight. *thump thump.. thump thump..* It'll get going more later I'm sure. Bunch of college kids in the building. I won't be the only deaf person when I get older. I digress though. I spent it reading a library copy of Elements of Style and watching movies.

I don't drink much, so when I do I tend to say and act stupid. I get happy over little things, and upset over little things. I just need to remind myself today started out alright. Tomorrow is another day to forget the world, and to get it right. It's all you can do I suppose to keep from giving it up and packing it in. I hate coming down off buzzes because I usually get a little bummed about things. I'm a lightweight.

Perhaps it's just another day to sleep in. Perhaps it'll be another blue sky sort of day. Happy to be out. Happy to be in the world and not really of it. Just existing and not eating, or being sad or caring to be sad, or caring at all, just being happy at the thought. In other words, another day out on the bike; or not.