Wednesday, December 31, 2008



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

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?

"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.

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

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

False Alarm at the Barclay


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.

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

checking out the scene

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

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

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..
A different Main Street.. a different coast.

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..)