Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bird on a Wire

Loooooooove it! This is how street art should be made. It should be inventive. It should have its very own style. It should be beyond original. It should make the viewer wonder "how the hell did he/she do that?". It should be beautiful. It should be ugly. It should make people happy and angry.

Maybe you have seen some of these urban birds around town lately. I saw this first one at Franklin and Hollywood, near where I work, and did a triple take. How is that up there? I pulled over and looked closer and saw that it seems to be attached to a little lock. That gives it the density needed to, I imagine, throw the bird up there and hope it wraps around the wire.

Then I started to see more around town as I was driving around. All at intersections. In the middle of the intersections which adds another degree of difficulty. They have been spotted at 3rd and Wilshire. I just saw one last night by Cobra and Matadors on Beverly.

Where else have any of you spotted them?

And WHO is the artist?

Johnny Cash "Bird on a Wire"
DJ Shadow "What Does Your Soul Look Like"

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

More Scenery

Another abandoned car. Up around Flat Top in Montecito Heights. Old school bright orange dusty ass BMW.

Hope it holds out as long as it can.

Charles Mingus "Song with Orange"
Julieta Venegas "Casa Abandonada"

Friday, August 25, 2006


What's that old saying about coming in threes? Even though the others weren't technically Montecito Heights, another sketchy crime happened within biking distance.

Neighborhood tale from, well, a neighbor last night...

"I heard five or six shots at around 8:05 tonight and immediately ran out because I figured they were on Berenice or on Montecito Drive. I could hear ricochets and thwacks very close to my house. Sure enough, when I got to the street, a neighbor was running up the street yelling about how close some of those bullets had gone by him. I tried to call Rich while he called 911. Another neighbor had been on the street just little around the bend when it happened, so he was able to identify a black Honda Acura. There was another car along with it, too, but he couldn't see what it was.

Five black and whites arrived within ten minutes. I am fairly certain that some other neighbors who were closer to the source of the gunfire had already called 911 a couple of minutes earlier.

We had already found some 9mm shell casings on the pavement and pointed them out the the officers. Police took statements from witnesses, then most of them left. I believe they picked up the shells and then they drove up and down the street a few times. We thought they were leaving when they returned and pulled a car across the road, blocking Montecito Dr. One officer asked the five of us neighbors who had talked to them to stay where we were. He said there was a victim. I was alarmed at first and asked if this was a neighbor from one of the houses (the bullets had all gone into the yards of the houses along Pagoda alley. He said no, it was someone from one of the cars and that person was on the way to the hospital. He wanted us to stay because if the victim were to die it would be a homicide and we would have to talk to a detective.

Interesting process.

Anyway, after a while they said we could go and they got in their car and started to leave. A few seconds later they turned around and came back and blocked the road again and told us to stay again. A sergeant drove up and they all commiserated quietly for quite a time. I could overhear some things on the car radio. "...shot in face..." " at end of Montecito with bullet holes..."

Anyway, after another ten or so minutes, they got in their cars again and waved goodbye and thanked us without imparting any more news. It wasn't until 9:20 that I walked back home."

Sun Ra "Sketch"
Mobb Deep "Shook Ones, Part 2"

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Joseph goes to the Hill

Sadly one of the few remaining greats from the Studio One era of Jamaica died over the weekend. Joseph Hill fronted the roots reggae band Culture. Seen them a handful of times and it was always the best show. The band would go into long extended dub jams while Hill would be skankin' around the stage. His voice was still as strong and amazing as ever. He played with everyone, Burning Spear, Marley, Dennis Brown on and on. His lyrics, especially on the break out album, When Two Sevens Clash, was politically charged and dead on.

Hope some of you saw the legend recently when they came thru the Hollywood Bowl.

Culture "Trod On"
Culture "International Herb"

Tuesday, August 22, 2006



I can't post any pics without this computer crashing.

Without pics, this is nothing.

My words are boring.


Bob Marley "So Much Trouble in the World"
Tom Waits "Low Side of the Road"

Monday, August 21, 2006


I am one of the few that actually loves earthquakes. The shaking. The power. The randomness. I feel bad for the death and destruction they create but unfortunately that is just nature.

If you have lived in California for any length of time, you have felt many small quakes and maybe even a big one or two. We sit right upon many active faults and our fault areas in Los Angeles are really getting the squeeze.

A couple of years back, scientists have discovered a new fault that is even more under us on the Montecito Heights side of things. The study finds "the strain is rapidly accumulating within an area 7.5 to 16 miles south where the San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys and nearby hills meet. The region is located between the Puente Hills fault, which begins south of downtown Los Angeles and extends east, and the Sierra Madre fault, which runs along the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. The finding also suggests that the Puente Hills Fault and nearby faults in the area, such as the upper Elysian Park Fault, may be more likely to break than those elsewhere in metropolitan Los Angeles."

The Harvard Gazette is yappin' about it. The even more prestigious The Onion chimes in also.

Who knows, all this could make our side of California break off into an island. This wouldn't be all too bad. It would definitely open up a whole new coast of surf breaks!

Beck "Terromoto Tempo (Earthquake Weather)"
Beastie Boys "Shake Your Rump"

Friday, August 18, 2006


Love all of the abandoned trucks, vans, and cars on Montecito Drive. I am sure a lot of residents don't however.

I especially like this brown van called a Handivan about halfway up the hill. Maybe some guy by the name of DAC owns it? Bet some local kids have the keys to it and use it as their house away from the parents. I definitely would. Set up a nice couch, radio, little fridge with some beers, call some girls. Ahhh, to be young again.

Beck "Side of the Road"
The Specials "Too Much Too Young"

Thursday, August 17, 2006


I know I have posted a lot of surf haps lately but these pics are too great not to add. They were taken from a south swell that hit the South Pacific a couple of weeks ago. The summer storms form close by to Tahiti and it takes the full impact of the swell. The swell hits a shelf and just stands up where the ocean was just flat a minute ago. This wave is unreal. It looks so fake and heavy and powerful and lovely and beautiful and angry.

I hope to see it firsthand sometime in my life.

The Pixies "Wave of Mutilation"
Sly and Robbie "Super Larger"

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Heard many helicopters flying around last night as we were chillin' in the backyard. Went to the front and saw a ghetto bird swooping down in Happy Valley. Turned on the news and found out a police officer was shot....with an AK-47! I know it is much safer here up on the hill but still crazy that there are AK-47's out there, and so close to our nice little hood.

Be safe out there ya'll! And hope the officer recovers fast.

UPDATE from the LAPD blog says that the shooter was a Montecito Heights resident named Jose Perez, 31. No apparent gang affiliation and will be going to prison for a long, long time. Unfortunately, doctors believe that they will not be able to save the rookie officer's near severed hand. Sad.

The Chief will give a press conference today at 10am to discuss his concerns about the rising number of firearm assaults on police this year.

Ice Cube "Ghetto Bird"
Legion of Mary "Last Train from Poor Valley"

Friday, August 11, 2006


This picture from Malibu the other morning says it all. How would you like to surf? A fat surfer on a longboard just standing on the wave? Or a surfer on a fish flying down the wave face and whacking the lip?

Both boards are made for small waves. But only one board is made for fun.

The style originated in the late 60's/early 70's down in LaJolla outside of San Diego. Skip Frye, Steve Lis, Larry Mabile, on and on, all tripped out the masses with their litle sub 6 foot boards with two long, keel fins. With their extra large thickness and wide points, they could get into the wave just as early as the others with 10 foot boards. And go faster. And quicker. And with their two long fins and deep split tail, they could be turned on a dime. Making even the smallest waves enjoyable. Fish are even fun if it is a 5'6" pink foam board.

They have enjoyed a little revolution over the last couple of years. Maybe it is the whole retro 70's thing that is going around, maybe it is just because they look cool. Either way, they rip.

Mandala, KG and some others make super nice versions of them now. Or, even better, just grab a blank and shape your own. Live the soul.

But you'll probably just keep on using your 9 foot board, needing your paddling crutch, standing in a stink bug stance trying to turn the huge board, and not move until the wave dies. Fun?

Weezer "Keep Fishin'"
Fishbone "Bonin' in the Boneyard"

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Little Cave

Every full moon night they have a little shindig at this hideaway bar on Figueroa in Highland Park.

Wear a mask or costume and you get cheap ass drink specials. This goes perfect with the foam rocks inside and the starry ceiling and all the bats hanging around. The jukebox rocks too. Oh, and yes, tonight is a full moon.

5922 Figueora St.
Highland Park, 90042
(323) 255-6871

Billie Holiday "What a Little Moonlight Can Do"
White Stripes "LIttle Ghost"

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


As you probably have heard, a Superior Super Warehouse will be coming to the old Albertson's location on Figueroa. We all knew it was coming to our area. Some of us wanted a Trader Joes. Some wanted a Whole Foods. I am just glad any supermarket will now be close by. Apparently, Superior Super Warehouse is known for its cheaper prices, more of an upscale look than other "warehouse" stores, has a bakery, deli etc.

There will be a Superior Super Warehouse meeting tonight at 7pm in the Ramona Hall. Come share your thoughts and concerns as the Superior people will be laying out their plans, community survey results, ideas for the store and will take resident questions and concerns. They seem pretty open to suggestions and want to make this market fit all of our Northeast LA needs and wants. Plus Councilmember Ed Reyes will be there in the flesh.

Ramona Hall
4580 N Figueroa St
Highland Park

Please contact Albina Ferreyra with questions on 213.485 0763

Sounds superiorly super!

The Clash "Lost in a Supermarket"
James Brown "Super Bad"

Friday, August 04, 2006

Up in the Trees

Love the Greek Theatre in LA. Love the secret spot up in the trees above the Greek. Love that my old hippie roommates showed me the semi-secret spot. Love the great sound up in the trees. Love it sharing your 6/12/case of beers that you brought. Love it especially when a great band such as Broken Social Scene rip it up as they did last night.

The only downside is the crappy view, the loud drunks during a good show and stumbling in the dark down the dirty hill.

But it is so worth it.

Find the dirt path up the hill. Find the happy fools swaying to the tunes. And you will find the best place in Los Angeles to hear a free concert.

Screaming Trees "Nearly Lost You"
Broken Social Scene "Mushaboom"