Monday, April 27, 2009

Hey, did you know about this? I didn't know about this.

So there's a community meeting over at the 9th Street Elementary school, which is great. It's at 5:00 PM, which isn't so great for working parents such as ourselves. In fact it pretty much eliminates any chance of my wife attending in any capacity other than "One Hour Late". But then, I'm not sure if I am supposed to consider myself a "Stakeholder". I didn't get this flyer through the mail or slipped under my door or from a pile in the lobby. I stole this copy from the door handle of a bar.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I think she's shit out of luck

I was just walking into my building when I overheard a girl talking to two cops:

"So like I sublet an apartment in this building and then they evicted the guy I was renting from and the sheriffs showed up and locked us out and now I can't get my stuff..."

Yikes. I'm guessing she was paying rent to the original tenant and he never passed it on to the landlord. Also, it was probably an illegal sublet. Will she ever see her stuff again? Does she have any rights at all in this situation?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Artist Identified

A reader identified the wonderful sculpture I posted about back in March: Unexpected art is unexpected. It's by an artist named Tom Otterness who is based in New York. The sculpture is called The New World and he has photos of it on his site. I've seen his work in NYC but didn't make the connection. How cool to have such great art tucked away in Downtown.

Sunset on KPMG

Grim Times, Los Angeles
April 12, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Performances (and mopeds) at Art Walk

As time goes on, there seem to be more and more performances at Art Walk. I understand that some people are peeved over this, but I kinda like it. Gives our little neighb the sort of energy I so fondly remember from the East Village in the early seventies. The shot above is from the French fest at the Continental Gallery last night. Besides the bandstand and some nifty $1,800 chairs there was a herd of electric scooters:

Not so arty, but I knew it was just a matter of time before Corporate Sponsorship crept in to this scene. No matter, I have a professional interest in electric vehicles, so I asked around and was directed to Alex, who explained that the mopeds are a purely French design, although he couldn't really tell me much about them, and the company rep had split and wouldn't be back 'till the band played. Oh, well. We posed for the photo op and Alex floated off to continue his meet-n-greet.

One look at the band's set list:
And I decided not to wait. However, the "E-Road" Electric bicycle looks nifty and light, and probably qualifies as a "motorized bicycle" under California V.C 406(b) and 24016(a)(3,4), which means no license or registration or insurance needed (unlike a gas moped), but you have to be at least 16 years old and wear a helmet. No prices were given at the event, but EBay seller "E-Road electric bike" has them for $838 shipped. E-Road/BHM LLC, 3113 S. Grand Ave 90007, 213-746-0250

Speaking of performances, I spotted this at the Regent:

When did this happen? I'm so out of touch. Wait, it hasn't happened even yet, at least, no renovations that I can tell. There was a band on stage, but they weren't performing, just doing a sound check. Unless that is the performance. Which it could be... Every time I'm here during Art Walk, the band is doing sound check. Like I said, I'm out of touch.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cowboy Steele is missing his guns!

This big guy at the corner of Sixth and Spring used to have a brace of oversize pistols. A few months ago, paper went up over the window as construction work went on inside. When the paper came down, the pistols were gone.

So if someone tries to hold you up with some suspiciously large six-guns, well, you know where they came from...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Chickens and Art: Just another Sunday downtown

Sunday was a great day for me and Kidlo. It started out with a morning trip to Chinatown to pick up two chickens at Superior Poultry (the poultry is superior because it was clucking just a few minutes before you arrive to take it home).

It was my first time buying a chicken in Chinatown so I was a little nervous, but it couldn't have been easier. At some live poultry places, you come eye to beady eye with dinner before it's dispatched, but at Superior Poultry, the chickens were already bagged when I got there. That doesn't mean the chickens weren't fresh, though--in the picture below, you can see the chicken cleaning going on in the back of the store.

The chickens were $8.50 each, which is a great price for a whole chicken (and I do mean the whole chicken--more on that later).

On the same block as Superior Chicken were two live seafood places. They both had catfish, tilapia and lobster in huge tanks.

One place also had a big softshelled turtle and a tank full of huge frogs. I tried to get a photo, but the owner gave me the stink-eye, which makes me think that maybe dinner was being served off the endangered species list.

After we went home and Kidlo had a little nap, we were off to MOCA for their First Sundays are for Families event. It included a free tour (which we had to bail on since Kidlo decided modern art is booooring) and a chance to make your own art (Kidlo gave that part the thumbs up).

It was hot...really hot. But MB was kind enough to drive us to the museum so that I didn't have to push Kidlo's stroller up Bunker Hill (note to City: open Angel's Flight already, will ya?). The walk home was nice, except that I had to keep a death grip on Kidlo's stroller so that it didn't go careening down Grand Street.

Today, after letting the chickens sit in the fridge for a day to let the rigor mortis subside (I am so not kidding), I pulled one of the birds out of the fridge in order to brine it for roasting tomorrow. Now the thing is, I know that Chinese cuisine makes use of every part of the bird, so seeing the feet was no surprise.

But for some reason, the head scared the hell out of me. (You can't see it in the photo, but underneath the chicken's beak is a very neatly slit vein. Gulp.)

Sawing off the head and feet turned out to be easier than I expected. And the chicken smells wonderful. It doesn't have that slightly rancid smell that supermarket chicken can have. It's just very clean, very fresh. I'll update you tomorrow on how it tastes. If it's as good as the smell, I know where I'll be getting my chickens from now on.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Back Under the Alexandria

The garage under the Alexandria Hotel is now going to be staffed by valets 24-7. That means that no one has to relive the experience I had when I first began parking in the Alexandria last year.

Anyway, I said good-morning and asked the guards to open the gate to the garage. They were nice and polite, as always, but they're not valets and they won't actually get the car for you. I walked onto a waiting elevator and punched the button for the basement. The doors slid open onto a narrow hallway with dirty tile floors and holes punched into the plaster walls. I walked through and into the garage, praying that my car was parked on the first basement level. The first level is pretty dark and pretty dank, but getting my car out of the first level is a straightforward job--just pull out and drive it up the ramp.

But of course, my car wasn't parked on the first level.

Oh shit, the elevator.

Not the elevator I'd just gotten out of. This was a car elevator, painted red, all metal with no door. To run it you have to hold two buttons at the same time. When you do the elevator lurches, then slowly and loudly slides down to the second basement level.

The second basement level makes the first look like paradise. It's dark, there are puddles and chunks of plaster in piles on the floor and I'm the only person down there--well, me and the guy who is hidden under a car, waiting to kill me (har har).

I found my car and backed it into the elevator--and since the elevator is narrow and I drive a 1985 Mercedes Benz with a body that's 17 feet long, this took me a few minutes. Then I pressed the two buttons again and made sure I didn't overshoot the floor, and then I pulled out of the elevator, up the ramp, paused a moment to let a man pushing a shopping cart go past, waved to the guard and finally pulled out onto Spring Street.

Since I usually have my kid with me when I park, I decided that parking at the Alexandria was a little too edgy for me and after a couple of months I moved my car to the lot at 6th and Main. But with the Alexandria offering valet parking for $130/mo, guess what? We're back, baby. The name of the blog makes sense again!