October 23, 2015
Well, This Explains That
The extension of the Gold Line along the 210. I first noticed this bridge sometime last year, I think. I thought it strange that I couldn't recall noticing the distinctive design, nor could I recall a lot of construction in that area. I thought maybe I had just been paying too damn much attention to traffic. But, now I learn that it is a new bridge and it's for the Gold Line extension.
October 17, 2015
Downtown Los Angeles
October 12, 2015
A Little History Of Jaywalking
The right thing to do, now, is to watch that video on your mobile device while actually jaywalking. When they come to scrape your remains off the pavement they'll find your phone or tablet telling them the sad and sorry truth that you were morally superior right up until the car got you.
August 21, 2015
The Hollywood Freeway Today & Tomorrow
Opening Of The Hollywood Freeway
Silent film from 1950. Watch to the end and tell me if it doesn't seem that the Hollywood Freeway was built with sidewalks...or A sidewalk.
August 19, 2015
Hyper Video Survey Of Los Angeles
Some class in video production must have just graduated in L.A. because here's another video survey of Los Angeles, but much faster and flashier.
Aerial Video Survey Of Los Angeles
Not 100% pure Los Angeles, though. There's Santa Monica and Beverly Hills for sure, and there's probably a piece of West Hollywood and Pasadena in there too.
August 17, 2015
Corona to Palm Springs
While driving along CA-91 on one of the hottest days this summer my Ford Ranger seemed to lose its air conditioning. I didn't notice the temperature gauge climbing severely. What had happened was a small plastic part in the heater core had failed (after only 215,000 miles!). I drove probably another ten miles and didn't realize the trouble I was in until I pulled off for gas. When I stopped, steam was pouring out from under the hood. I thought I had blown the water pump, since that is also still original equipment, but it wasn't that. AAA covered my tow back to my mechanic in Palm Springs, about 85 miles one way.
And I took what I hope is a rare opportunity to video the route from a bit higher than I usually sit. I just left my dashcam turned on. Most of this video is at 12X speed. The parts that are not at that speed are faster. So it's only 5½ minutes long.
Music: "Break and Enter" by Prodigy
The highways are CA-91, CA-60/I-215, CA-60, I-10, CA-111.
August 15, 2015
Up Palm Drive, Down Santa Cruz Road
August 13, 2015
How The City Of West Hollywood Keeps Its Citizenry Informed
August 11, 2015
CicLAvia - Culver City & Venice
This past Sunday was another CicLAvia. This one was between Culver City and Venice. I picked a spot about midway – the 405 made a nice dividing line – and walked from there to Venice Beach and back, mostly ignoring Culver City – sorry about that.
Ideas spread slowly. As you may already know, in events like CicLAvia the best way to mount a GoPro for interesting photos is to point it backwards as this intelligent rider has done – and as I do. I can only guess that this isn't more widely done because GoPro cameras tend to attract people who are all about me me me, not those other people with me.
Just look at all the white faces. Random chance, I'm sure.
Venice High School. The high school I attended in Kansas City had landscaping like this, but they finally had to rip out all the palm trees because the ice storms every winter really wrecked 'em.
Requisite Venice Beach shot. The interesting thing I noticed was the one smoke shop I looked into had zero customers. Maybe the market has reached the over-saturation point – even at Venice Beach.
If you're going to put up a trampoline, might as well put it on the roof. I hope they've got a 24-hour camera on that so they can share the horrible accidents that are going to happen.
I glanced in and they had backyard barbecues (or were they little fireplaces?), surfboards and some household furniture on display. Not sure which niche of which market they might be serving.
I was gifted an official LA Public Library lanyard after I took this photo. I think I can get free books at this place.
I was so terribly concerned that Mr. Blake was trying to steal away with some of Alexander Calder's fame that I went and looked for an image of the artist's signature and popped it in there for you, so that we can all relax and know that Mr. Blake is probably an honest man.
Accept it for what it was. No questions about why I didn't go up and question him as to what was going on. Let the little mysteries of life stay mysteries. It's interesting enough that a display of Manual Typing Skills draws a crowd on Venice Beach. Anybody got a couple of rotary phones? Take them out there and watch the kids try to operate them.
Pretty nice bowling alley. I've decided they mean for the name to be pronounced the same as Bolero. Because BOWLer-oh just sounds stupid.
August 10, 2015
Yesterday's CicLAvia - Culver City & Venice
I wonder if part of the reason CicLAvia is popular is because there is no overwhelming emphasis on safe cycling. All I've seen is this safety page on their website, although maybe it's also printed on some of the handouts I see floating around during the event itself. And on that list there are only a few "hard" rules. A "soft" rule is like this one: "CicLAvia isn't a race. It's an experience. Take the time to enjoy it!" Hard rules are: pass on the left (good luck!), helmet required if under age 18 (probably enforced only by the parents), motorized transport is only for the officially disabled (I saw a number of healthy people on things powered by electric motors), don't use phones and cameras while riding (almost half of the riders observe that rule). But the event has not had, as far as I know, any disastrous accidents. I saw one skateboarder fall yesterday, but she hopped right back up and kept going.
August 6, 2015
Light Pole Collapse
In San Francisco, the sudden collapse of a light pole at the intersection of Taylor and Pine Streets has been blamed on "some contribution of dog or human urine on the base of the pole." Turns out this is not the first time this has happened in San Francisco. Below is a photo taken from Google Streetview of the base of the offending light pole. You can see the permanent stain of something running from the light pole base to the gutter...but the preferred hydrant right next to it is showing some use too.
Judging from the position of this pole, completely exposed as it is, I would guess almost all of the contributions came from dogs, not men.
July 9, 2015
Boston Bike Renters Are Asked To Keep Pants On
Hubway, the company that provides shareable bikes in Boston, does not object to riders taking their bikes to ride in the Boston World Naked Bike Ride which happens this Saturday. But they do ask that you not ride the bikes bareass. Look, that rule applies even at Burning Man. They suggest underwear.
The ride starts at 9 PM in Cambridge at North Point Park, which is a newer park built since I left Boston. I'm sure some will tell you that the ride is at night to avoid the summer heat (big eye roll). Honestly, it may simply have grown out of a tradition among Boston bicycle messengers to hold an annual naked race at night. Or it may be to avoid heavy traffic.
I don't know if casual nudity is legal anywhere in Boston or Cambridge. Video from last year's Boston WNBR when they met in front of the State House shows some people riding actually naked. And also shows them riding in the wrong lanes - at night, in traffic. Idiots. Right turns from far left lanes in front of moving traffic where there is no stop sign or traffic light. Double idiots. Somebody built a high-rise next to Berklee School of Music - is that a dorm? The route was pretty short: across the Common to Tremont, go down to the theater district, back past the Public Garden to Beacon Street to Arlington to Comm Ave, ride that a ways to Mass Ave. That over to Boylston, following Boylston up to Berkeley, then over to Newbury and then somehow popping back up to the State House by some route they don't show. That's like, what, 4 or 5 miles?
Most people in San Francisco are aware they live in a bubble. How then to learn about the rest of the wild and wooly United States? Go to this conference on "LGBT Life Outside the Bay Area Bubble." It's conveniently located in downtown San Francisco at 555 California Street. This way the attendee can stay so far from the edge of the bubble he won't even be able to see the iridescent rainbow shimmering that would alert you that would alert him to the approaching bubble boundary.
The first topic in the conference is entitled "People Actually Live In Fresno And Why" or so I am told.
July 5, 2015
Some Photos From San Francisco
Two for one, that's Jeff taking the photo in the foreground. We discovered that night that the rainbow lights on city hall are constantly shifting, and we were surprised and excited by that, although when you think about it, it's San Francisco where one might reasonably ask why all lights don't inherently come with an ability to cycle through rainbow colors automatically upon the playing of the famous Judy Garland song. Google could do that in a weekend with some cardboard and 3 LEDs.
The trans pride parade crossing at the intersection of Market Street and the 101 while Mickey, always happy, looks on.
June 30, 2015
Meanwhile, On The Other Side Of Market Street
I turned away from videoing the trans parade, and what do I see but Critical Mass coming from the other direction. This effectively shut down Market Street completely for a little while.
June 21, 2015
Vernon's Population To Double!
From 100 to 200 (plus or minus). 45 new privately owned apartments will open next month. Twelve units will be reserved for families who already work in Vernon. But the remaining apartments will allow 33 families from other less industrialized areas to enjoy industrial living to its fullest in lovely Vernon.
"'I love the quietness,' said Councilwoman Melissa Ybarra, who said Vernon has a peculiar, industrial charm for the few who have ever called it home."
California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León believes this may bring democracy to Vernon. His earlier proposal was simply to disband the city. Until now, the City of Vernon has owned all of the few housing units in the city. The city also owns the power company. Hard to establish residency without a physical home or electricity.
In 2006, a small group of people intent on forcing the first contested election in a generation moved into a boxy commercial building in the industrial town. Vernon utility trucks quickly arrived, and workers turned off the power and put red tags on the property.
May 28, 2015
Seen In Burbank
Glad to see he eventually got out of that depressing Mayberry, where nobody's hair ever grew! Did you ever notice that? Was it because of their twice daily haircuts?
May 26, 2015
On May 6 I participated in Walk Wilshire, which is yet another of those long distance Los Angeles walks that people do just for fun. No waiver. No t-shirt. No fee. It was to be all the way from Grand Avenue, where Wilshire begins, out to Ocean Boulevard in Santa Monica. I've walked various, but not all, chunks of Wilshire before. Filled in the gaps on this walk. I went only so far as the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, which I overshot on the last Great L.A. Walk that came down Wilshire, so I made a point of visiting this time, before taking the bus back downtown. Walking the segment of Wilshire from Westwood to the Ocean is as good as any other part, I suppose, but not so interesting that I felt I should walk it a third time.
The best way (trust me) to see my photos is to watch this video, which is one photo per second, so it takes only about 36 minutes!
All the still photos are available here. Flickr has a slide show too, but the viewer has no ability to skip ahead or back in their slide show.
A few of the photos:
The Observation Pit. I didn't go see who they had down in the pit.
Beverly Hills a hundred years old; who knew?
I forgot to check on the exact location of Burt Lancaster's grave before I left home, but I knew I was close to it when I was standing here. I left the color in his grave marker. Next to the flowers.