Friday, September 25, 2009

Space for Yoga Classes

Today I got this request from a friend of mine:

I am emailing you because you live and/or work in or near downtown. I'm looking into possibly renting out my own space for a couple hours every other week to teach some classes. I am trying to gauge if you, anyone you know or your company might be interested in something like this? Also, let me know if you know of any places renting out by the hour for this kind of thing...they might be nicer and cheaper than the ones I am looking into.

Does anyone know of a space that would work? Maybe a loft space that's used as a studio?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Throwdown at Ralphs Fresh Fare!

'Sup G, MB here.

So I needed to buy a few thangs, so I go to the Ralphs Fresh Fare in Southpark. Not my hood, ya know, but whatever. So I'm at the checkout, and there's some noise over by the door...

A security guard is all up in the face of a big bearded guy in a white t-shirt with an armload of groceries. They're bumping chests, next thing I know, the guard grabs a double-handfull of t-shirt and shoves the guy four feet accross the lobby and on to his ass!

You bet it's on now! The big guy comes up swinging. The guard lowers his head and takes the fight down to the mat, UFC style. They roll around trading punches while the fans customers run around excitedly. I grab my camera, but by the time it's powered up the fight is almost over:

That slight woman in the blue? That's my checker. Yah, she ran over and stopped the fight, while everyone else was standing around with their hands in their pockets, picken' their noses and taking bets on the outcome.

After the fight, and after Daniel wimped out and didn't bring the guard over, my checker brought the guard back to where the dry cleaning is. The manager steamed over, no doubt annoyed that the guard made like Royce Gracie and went straight to the mat instead of boxing a little and making it interesting. I think I saw smoke coming out of his ears.

SO that was it. I gathered my groceries and took the elevator down with a very nice Grandmama who'd bought a silver balloon for her g'daughter. Sweet!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Loco (motive) on Spring Street

Small annoyances

The upstairs neighbors are screaming 80s tunes into a karaoke machine. It wouldn't be so bad except they're drunk, tone deaf and slaughtering classics like Little Red Corvette. *sigh*

ETA: Ah shit, they just started in with Men at Work.

ETAA: MB pointed out that karaoke is, by definition, supposed to be sung by drunken tone-deaf people. Fine. /curmudgeon

ETAAA: Now they're doing Blitzkrieg Bop. This one I approve of.

Wayback Machine

Found this cool photo on Wikipedia and thought I'd share. It's a shot of 4th and Main in 1923. Look at how crowded it is!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Music for your wheels

I see this guy on 6th Street almost every day. His taste in music runs to funk--no surprise there.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Quote from my mother

"There are a lot of people in this neighborhood who walk around talking to themselves."

Monday, September 14, 2009


MB and I hung out at Syrup Desserts today. He had a root beer float made with a locally brewed (and amazingly tasty) root beer and I had a latte and a macaroon. It's a really comfortable space, especially the second floor lounge, and they have wifi. I'm always looking for new places to write and I think this is going to be great--out of the apartment so that I don't get distracted by Kidlo, but close enough for me to pop in and out when I need to. Also, because they have outdoor seating, they really fit in on a block that has a lot of outdoor seating already--LA Cafe, the Mexican joint (sorry, can't remember the name), California Pizza and even the grocery store all have their little bistro areas. I hope Syrup Desserts sticks around.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

One New York import we don't need

Went to the new 7-11 on Broadway and preaching right next to the entrance was a group of Real Israelites. They believe that blacks are descended from the lost tribes of Israel and are the true Jews. They are also obnoxious aggressive assholes. They make a lot of noise, block the sidewalk, yell at people who take pictures. You get the idea. I used to see these people all the time in Times Square and it sucks that they're now in Downtown LA. Below is a sample of what they're like.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Grandma Downtown

So my mother is visiting for 10 days and it's been really cool to see her reaction to Downtown. She's a total New Yorker, has lived in the Bronx since her family moved there from Puerto Rico when she was five. And she loves Downtown LA. She keeps saying, "Wow, it's so lively down here! There's so much to do! It's really nice!" Art Walk was a huge success. Kidlo got his photo taken at a gallery, MB and my mom bought some gear at Kapsoul (which is owned by our former neighbor and had its grand opening yesterday), and I scored two fabulous prints photographed by two Marshall High School students for $30. Mom loved all of it, the crowds, the art, the music.

Mom had actually been kind of biased against Downtown because she'd seen a news story about Skid Row. She'd called me afterwards and was like, "I saw on TV that there's a shelter on 6th Street. Don't you live on 6th Street? Are you guys safe?" But she's been here three days and she's cruising around the neighborhood by herself, bought a sandwich at LA Cafe ("Damn, that was a good sandwich!"), has been hanging out with Kidlo at his preschool and just generally fitting right in. I've had a bit of a sense of Downtown LA not being quite ready for primetime, but at least one New Yorker thinks it's great right now.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Good news for 9th Street Elementary

Right on the heels of my post on kids on Skid Row is news that the LAUSD is going to build a $58 million facility to house 9th Street Elementary and a new middle school to be run by Para Los Niños. The facility will also feature a clinic offering medical and mental health services. According to Blogdowntown, construction will start in the fall of 2011, with the new facility completed in the fall of 2013.

This is truly fantastic news. Para Los Niños is a very well-respected organization and the services they provide are badly needed by the children who attend 9th Street Elementary. It's a good day for the kids of skid row.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Up on the roof

Kidlo and I were using the pool this morning when an emaciated platinum blond appeared wearing a thong bikini, double-D factory installed boobs and stripper heels. She climbed up on the roof and posed for photos snapped by someone I presume is her boyfriend, then put her robe back on and scampered off.

Living downtown can be so weird.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Tale of Two Downtowns, Redux

On Saturday, I walked past the residential hotel on 7th and Main and saw a young woman with her son, who was about Kidlo's age, two or thereabouts. The woman looked no older than 20 but she was so sad and the little boy looked listless and unhappy too. It must be hell to be in a shelter with a little kid, no air conditioning, having to listen to the drug dealers out on Main all night.

When I got home I did some googling and found a documentary about kids on skid row. It's a terrible situation and it's a terrible situation unfolding just a few blocks from our loft.

ETA: Turns out the NY Times did a story in Sunday's paper on homeless children: A Surge in Homeless Children Tests School Aid Programs

Saturday on Broadway

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Minor annoyances

Dear Jesus People on Broadway,

Just because I'm wearing a dress and pearls doesn't mean I want a copy of your damned pamphlet. And it especially doesn't mean that I want to have that pamphlet shoved at me by four different people within two blocks.

You worship whoever you want. Just stay out of my face, mmmkay?