Monday, July 27, 2009

UC Berkeley for a Miyazaki Weekend

Headed off Main Street this weekend for a weekend of fun on the UC Berkeley campus. Sean and I headed up by car on Friday (up I-5) to Berkeley & Emeryville.. (in the Eastbay area of San Francisco Bay area)

We had General Admission tickets reserved for Ponyo on the Cliff (by the Sea) the latest animated film by Hayao Miyazaki.. the writer, animator, director of such classic films as My Neighbor Totoro, Howl's Moving Castle, and Kiki's Delivery Service among many others.. Sean & I have all of his films (that are available that is) and so getting to see a special screening was a wonderful plus.

Got my ticket & waiting in line 4 "Ponyo"
My ticket for "Ponyo.."

We already had special tickets for the "Conversation with Hayao Miyazaki" at Zellerbach Hall, so seeing the film before the discussion was great (we are also planning to see the special D23 screening of the film at the El Capitan Theatre Monday night).

Ponyo is a magical story of love and courage that little children will love.. (and I do mean LITTLE children). I could be wrong, but I think the audience for this film may be younger than the Totoro set.. still, it's a sweet film with a happy ending of course. =)

As we found out the next evening, Miyazaki says "Happy Endings are a requirement.."

Conversation w/ Hayao Miyazaki @ Zellerbach Hall Cal Berkeley

Closeup of Miyazaki program @ Zellerbach
Miyazaki is the 2nd recipient of the "Berkeley Japan Prize" given out by the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of California Berkeley.

This is the 2nd time we were to see Miyazaki in person. We first saw him in San Francisco at a panel with John Lassiter. IMHO, John Lassiter was a much better moderator/interviewer. We also at that time got to see Suzuki (film producer for Miyazaki's films) Suzuki San was there.. but observing from his spot in the audience, like ourselves.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Big Man Bakes OPEN!

Big man cupcakes now open! on Twitpic
Big Man Bakes cupcakes are now being sold at Ray's Old Bank District Market near 4th & Main.. "Extra Large Cupcakes" go for about $3.25 and $1 ea for the 'mini' cupcakes..

Went in there around lunch and they had their carrot cake cupcakes & the red velvet cupcakes. I'm a big fan of the carrot cake capcakes as they are very moist.. The red velvet was good too.. but the frosting was a little too sweet.. in a sugary-y birthday cake sort of way.. but still good. Yes, I'll be back..

There are many cupcake options out there. Please note some really good cupcakes can also be had at Pitfire Pizza at 2nd & Main. The Nickel Diner has an amazingly yummy red velvet cupcake. New options coming soon: Blue Cupcakes opening on the 20th of July (in cooperation with Lot 44 near 3rd & Spring). Babycakes NYC bakery coming to 6th & Main hopefully later this year.. The Historic Core is becoming cupcake central! Pace yourself and start checking out these new places.. Go to Big Man Bakes first!

Big Man Bakes
409 S. Main
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Happy Birthday Main Street USA!

Disneyland celebrates it's 54th birthday today..
the "Partners" statue at Disneyland..

Today, 17 July 2009.. the Disneyland Park (and the Disneyland Resort as a whole) celebrate its birthday.. Today I'll be making a quick trip to the park to attend a "D23" presented event.. "Disneyland USA" which includes a special screening of the aforementioned named film, with discussion and desert.

**Speaking of birthdays, you too can get in on the fun by getting a free day at the park ON your birthday.. (all is needed is to show valid ID with birthdate for admission).. this particular promotion concludes the end of this year.

Monday, July 13, 2009

fire safety

Living in the Old Bank District, we're near the Skid Row Fire Station 9 as well as LAPD's Central Division. That said, we get our fair share of public safety vehicles rushing by on their way somewhere. When either one of these entities makes a noisy show and suddenly stops outside one of our buildings.. I tend to take notice.

@LAFD heading into the Hellman Bldg
This was outside the Hellman Building today near 4th & Main.

LAFD were called out on what I later found out to be a false alarm (some joker may have tripped the fire alarm). The thing is it's not really funny because these are some well trained folks that have better things to be doing than get called out on useless errands of stupidity (that's my opinion). I'm ever so glad they are so quick though.

Had it been a real emergency, they were ready to go! They had their axes in hand and were geared up and ready to get to work. Several minutes later after taking care of the situation, they were very organized and headed out safely on what I imagine was another run, or back to their Skid Row Station.

I guess the only thing I wanted to say is that our police & fire are here to serve the public in times of need, such as a real emergency.. Please be safe at all times & also don't fool around with your building's fire equipment or alarms. It could be your life getting saved next time.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

getting back to blogging

Haven't posted in a while.. I recently headed for a last minute trip to Florida (to visit my mom who wasn't feeling well) the last week of June.. SeanYoda had the flu of some kind and before my trip was over, I too took ill..

I spent several days after my return to LA bed-ridden with serious sinus congestion and cough.. but was well enough in time for the 4th of July (before going back to bed another day to recover).

So here we are the 2nd week of July and the July Art Walk is coming up tomorrow.. Later this month is Bloom Fest in the Arts District.. I hope to make that if possible. I also have a trip to the Berkeley/ SF in a few weeks.

Stuff going on.. and I'm behind on local happenings.. I hope to get my act together soon.

OTOH with all the sickness & travel I've been doing a lot of reading! =)

People swimming at Manasota Beach (Sarasota County Florida)

At Ca d'Zan (John & Mable Ringling Mansion) on Sarasota Bay.. Sarasota, Florida.

Photos of the 4th of July visit to Disneyland are up at SeanYoda's Flickr