Local Interest

JAVA – What Coffeehouse Would Jesus Go To?

The other day I spent my lunch hour at Centinela Feed buying dog food. I knew I needed coffee to get through the rest of the day and spotted a really interesting looking place called The Coffee Connection that I’d never noticed before. I pulled over immediately to check it out. It just had to be done.

coffee connectionI opened the thick wooden door and was shocked. The beautiful patio and warm wood interior and stained glass windows reminded me a bit of one of my very favorite coffeehouses in town, 18th Street in Santa Monica. But there was a huge difference between The Coffee Connection and any coffee house I’ve ever been in before. IT WAS FREAKISHLY SILENT. There were eight occupied tables, but no sound whatsoever… I had an immediate flashback of the dark ages when I was regularly shushed in libraries (and I’ll admit, that memory made me a bit uncomfortable at first). I whispered my order to the girl at the counter and asked her how long they’d been in business. She said 7 years. I asked if it was always this quiet and she replied that it usually was, and that there’s ample parking lots and no line in the morning “so that’s really good.” (Although it’s probably not good if a coffeehouse wants to make a profit and stay in business.) As I walked to my car, eager to return to the crazy loudness of my desk, I sipped my latte. Gotta say, it was very tasty.

Once I turned the street corner, I realized why the vibe of this coffeehouse was a little different. The Coffee Connection on Centinela (no relation to Jennifer’s Coffee Connection in Studio City, btw), is affiliated with the Vineyard Christian Church next door. As the late, great, Michael Jackson might’ve called it… I was drinking some Jesus Java.

And it was good.

THE COFFEE CONNECTION View Google Map
HOURS: Monday – Friday:  6:30am – 9pm, Saturday:  7am – 5pm, Sunday: Closed
PROS: Ample church parking. Reasonably priced/tasty organic and fair trade coffee. Free Wifi and access to electric outlets. Friendly service. Clean bathrooms. Open early and late. Daily newspapers free to read, some food, great selection of teas, and I’ve heard they offer a free computer if you don’t have your own. Great place to focus on work, reading the Bible or to just hang out, especially if you’re antisocial and don’t like chitchat much.
CONS: Well, there’s the uncomfortable silence. And apparently there were Prop 8 posters in the window during election time which cut down a lot of their customer base. But I can’t deny it’s a great room and good coffee… so that’s all the negative I can say (which might be enough for some).


EVENT – L.A. Noir with LAPD Chief William Bratton

LA NoirWHAT: Los Angeles Magazine and Writer’s Bloc literary culture series presents John Buntin in conversation with LAPD Chief Bill Bratton
WHERE: The Writer’s Guild Theatre, 135 South Doheny, Beverly Hills
WHEN: Monday, Sept. 21, 7:30pm 
PRICE: $20. Reservations required. Make a reservation via e-mail

DETAILS: Urban historian John Buntin writes a thrilling and gripping narrative about the relationship between Jewish mobster Mickey Cohen and LAPD Chief William Parker in the 50’s. His book, L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City, is as exciting a cops and robbers book about Los Angeles you’ll read, and it’s nonfiction. Chief Bratton loved it so much that he’ll chat with author John Buntin and do the post-mortem himself.


POETRY – Ode to Density

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYiTAU-4QuI[/youtube]Part of the Urban Hike Series organized by the Architecture + Design Museum, Mike The Poet shares his poem “DENSITY” in the historic geography of MacArthur Park in downtown Los Angeles. Found on CurbedLA


FLASHBACK – Olvera Street circa 1937

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50DnilLc7x0[/youtube]


IMAGERY – Photos of the Week

The Most Awesome Treehouse Ever

I was walking back to my car after having coffee at Aroma, and suddenly looked up to find… just what the title says. The most awesome Spanky & Our Gang He Man Woman Haters Club-quality treehouse I’ve ever seen. Complete with ladders and all sortsa stuff. I’m not even a kid and I covet this treehouse.

treehouse

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FRIDAY FEED – Happy Linky Day!

Labor(More added as we feel the urge…)
» Downtown ArtWalk is blogging The Living Museum – Downtown Art Walk
» The Edison’s Midnight Breakfast debuts tonight – Caroline on Crack
» The Map LA Art Project – Travelin’ Local
» In honor of the Santa Monica Pier turning 100 years old, The Fig at Fairmont is serving a special menu of gourmet pier junk food until September 9th! Lobster corn dog, anyone? – Caroline on Crack
» God wants Fritz Coleman to stop referring to offshore and onshore winds, dammit! – The Daily Breeze
» No, Los Angeles won’t be paying more “extraordinary expenses” for Michael Jackson. – LA Times
» 30 Straight Days of Vegan Events – PositiveTV
» Man swam from Catalina Island to Palos Verdes overnight! – LAist
» Sweet & Hot Festival this weekend
» Wow, tough crowd – losanjealous
» The future comes to Hollywood – CurbedLA
»  LA’s golf cart debacle – LA Times
» Should be a cool holiday weekend – LA Times
» Participating restaurants announced for DineLA Week in October! – DineLA
» Firefighters making progress – LA Times
» Need a piano? – BargainsLA
» One of my very favorite local blogs, Travelin’ Local, got a write-up in the Travel section. :) – LA Times


HUMOR – The Onion


Californians Gather To Celebrate Annual Wildfire Tradition


RIP Crazy Gideon’s – Gideon is Retiring After 35 Years

His yelling may stop, but he will probably still be surrounded by nurses.

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hOHY2eEXOY[/youtube]
gideonVery soon, we won’t have self-proclaimed playboy Gideon Kotzer to scream his bargains in our faces anymore… Crazy Gideon’s has announced its final sale and will be going out of business after 35 years. He’s crazy, but he’s not stupid… no doubt he’s hurrying to shut the doors before he CHANGES HIS MIIIIIIIND!!!!!! 

A man clearly filled with entrepreneurial spirit, most Angelenos recognize Tel Aviv-born Gideon as “that guy” on late night television, often straight-jacketed and surrounded by women in nurse outfits as he screams about craaaazy deals in a thick Israeli accent. Gideon’s acting chops can *also* be seen at 6:00 in this short film made by “career homeless” neighbor, BumDog… in which he portrays a member of the Jewish Mafia. My personal favorite line in his monologue is: “If you don’t give me my money back I’ll teach you how the fish make pee pee!!!” Nice touch, Gideon!

Your unique style will indeed be missed, Sir. Godspeed to you.


RESOURCE – 99 Essential LA Dining Experiences

terri_staff01Each year, Jonathan Gold (food critic for the LA Weekly) compiles his list of “99 Essential L.A. Restaurants.” This year, classic standbys like Musso & Frank’s and Campanile are still there… but with the fall of the economy and the rise of the “twitter truck,” there’s no need to give up your first born for luxury table reservations to find a good meal nowadays. For some of this city’s top food experiences all you need is internet access, a sense of adventure, and the patience to stand in line on a street corner with other hungry strangers.

“As we’ve said before, an essential restaurant is one that reflects Los Angeles in a startling and unusual way, that uses fresh local ingredients in a fashion that respects the land in which they were grown, that showcases cooking echoing both foreign-trained chefs’ region of origin and the hypercharged mosaic of the L.A. dining scene. An essential restaurant moves people, inspires them to think about food in a different way, inspires them to think about Southern California as a great agricultural region, a great port, a builder of the shiny symbolism that is a large factor in how the rest of the world thinks of itself. And it’s also a damned good place to eat.”

San Franciscans enjoy telling me differently, but there’s a lot of great food in this town. Let’s just keep that little secret to ourselves, shall we? ;)
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FRIDAY FEED – Feelin’ Linky

summerdog(More added as we feel the urge…)

» The Joker in Santa Monica – the best place to channel your inner Bukowski at 8am on Saturday morning – LA Weekly

» Saturday from 6-10pm, Sea and Space Resort will be having a giant fundraising flea market, featuring performances by Simone Gad (a short spoken word piece), Homesick Elephant and Doormouse, sounds, Fluxus popsicles, massages, psychic readings and food.

» LACMA film program extended through 2010 – LA Times

» LA fire map – LA Times

» Apparently it’s 110 in the valley today. I really hope I don’t come home to find my dog has melted. – LA Times

» The Westin Bonaventure was given an award for its eco-friendly efforts. – Blog Downtown

» LA chefs, bars and restaurants on twitter – LA Times

» Axe Body Spray funds study which says LA has the most sensitive guys. These sensitive guys obviously aren’t the people who write Axe Body Spray’s ads, though. – LAist

» Classic Eats Saturday is tomorrow at The Reel Inn. – LA Metblogs

» Tomorrow at 12:30 in Echo Park: Javier presents the Bacon Days of Summer! What a giver, that Javier. – Yelp

» Help save the California Coast – Native Intelligence

» Honoring the Patriot Guard Riders. – LA Metblogs

» We have a new fire chief. – LA Blips


FEED – Linkalicious Friday

38(More added as we feel the urge…)

» A review of Octomom! The Musical. – losanjealous

» The food truck war continues. – LAist

» The LAPD needs your help in identifying three robbery suspects caught on video. – LAist

» Can Russ Stanton turn around the LA Times? – Market Watch

» This is the closing weekend for ANIME! High Art – Pop Culture (FREE) at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, FYI.

» Lit Happy Hour: FREE WINE and 25% off regular price titles at Book Soup every weekday from 4-7pm! – Flavorpill

» Right next to the Hollywood Farmers Market this Sunday, UniqueLA + Space 15 Twenty will be holding an awesome little mini-market of handmade and designy stuff! YAY! – UniqueLA

» Also on Sunday, competitive eaters including champion Joey Chestnut will choose not to compete in the 3rd Annual Nisei Week Gyoza Eating Championship in Little Tokyo, instead walking that food a few blocks South to feed the people starving on Skid Row. HA!!! JUST KIDDING!!! A bunch of gluttons are going to eat until they puke, just like last year. – LA Metblogs

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NATURE – The Beauty of Franklin Canyon

[vimeo width=”590″ height=”350″]http://vimeo.com/4787778[/vimeo]

*Click on the box below to launch photos from our walk around the lake*

FRANKLIN CANYON LAKE

So many people in the world believe that without ever having lived in Los Angeles they have a clear understanding of everything it is: traffic, violence, famous people, stress, opulence, plastic surgery, starlets who don’t wear underwear. But you and I both know that’s not reality. This city has a lot more to offer than most people realize… as a matter of fact, in the literal heart of Los Angeles beautiful sights exist that even L.A. residents are often oblivious to.

Franklin Canyon is 605 acres of wooded parkland located just North of Beverly Hills. It’s a great area to go for a leisurely stroll with the dog and kids, for a picnic, for a workout or a low-key nature stroll. If the area looks familiar even though you’ve never been there, there’s a very, very good reason for that. Franklin Lake, in the middle of the canyon, was originally named Myers Lake after the Production Manager on the Andy Griffith Show (Remember the opening of the show where Opie skipped rocks on a lake? Guess where that was filmed). The park also features free special events and guided walks on a regular basis and a nice 3 acre duck pond reservoir.

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FRIDAY FEED – Linkapalooza

a-team by doug savage(More added as we feel the urge…)
»
Slash remembers Les Paul – LA Weekly
» Cruising returns to Van Nuys tonight – Daily News
»
Honk if you’re a honker – Native Intelligence
» Our water fountains suck – LA Weekly
»
The latest on state park shutdowns – LA Times
»
John Oates is not the moustache – losanjealous
»
LA Times redesigns – LAist
»
A favorite little waterfall – boingboing
» Yay for kids with free computers – The Eastsider
» Spend eternity on top of Marilyn Monroe
for $500,000 – LA Times
» It’s heeeere… get ready to blow all that
restaurant tip money, ladies – LA Times
» I pity the fools – LA Snark


HAPPY 86th BIRTHDAY Stan Chambers

[youtube width=”590″ height=”410″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoI7dHA9c3I[/youtube]


VIDEO – A Little Face Time with Marty & Elayne

There are few things we can truly count on in life,
but we can always count on Marty & Elayne to be… 

Marty & Elayne.

‘Cuz they’ve got us… under their dermis.

[youtube width=”590″ height=”425″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nrzOHH8tOo[/youtube]
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FEED – Link Spotlight

spotlight More added when we feel the urge. :)

> Ahhh. Sweet Undy’s! – Jessie B
No new books for California kids until somewhere around 2016. Sigh. – UPI
> The jobless need to look good too! Every Wednesday, Flair Drycleaners will clean 4 FREE items for unemployed customers. Ends Sept 2. – Fighting Mad Mary
> Welcome back to the neighborhood, Laura Ling. – Fighting Mad Mary
>
Happy Birthday to HLA fave Ralph Bunche!
>
Haunted Manson members speak – LA Times
>
The closed case of William Bratton – LA Times
>
Let’s not be NIMBYs, okay? – Travelin’ Local
>
I’ll take a Manhattan – Caroline on Crack
> For the right thing to happen at the right time, at the right moment, one must make it happen. – LA Metblogs
> Top Chef runner up/lesbian lover Stefan Richter opens up a new restaurant – EaterLA
> The latest on the subway to the sea – Curbed LA
> Homegirl Cafe, where heart meets soul – Viva LA Foodies
> Los Angeles fights to save the LACMA film program – LA Times
> PLEASE be careful buying cars on Craigslist, people – Laist


BIG SIGH – Saving Clifton’s. And L.A.

cliftons2It feels like so many great things in Los Angeles are being killed by the economy. Paddle boats and lotus plants, film screenings, 80% of our parks, and now it looks like there’s a hint of trouble for historic, campground ambiance-filled purveyor of ambrosia salad for nearly 70 years, Clifton’s Cafeteria. Mind you, I still haven’t finished mourning Kelbo’s Coco Bowl… I just don’t think I can take much more.

This is such a scary time… in case you haven’t noticed, many wonderful things that surround us are being taken away like grains of sand – one by one – most never to return. Something needs to change about this trend, for anyone who actually believes closing parks and landmarks is for the good of a community isn’t thinking very hard about the reality. Many of the things that are disappearing have foundations that took multiple lifetimes to build… these things are our traditions and speaking for myself, the heart of our heritage. Without them, we become less. We lose identity… one grain of sand at a time.

By the time this run of closures is finished, there won’t be much to go outside for. Do we really want our children to never experience parks or art programs or a cafeteria filled with movie set decor modeled after the Santa Cruz Mountains circa 1935? Do we really want to be people who do nothing besides stare at iphones all day?

Not six months ago, The L.A. Times called Clifton’s “The place where L.A. finds itself.” If and when the kitschy goodness of Clifton’s disappears from our tangible landscape, we’re going to be even more lost than we are now. Moral of the story:  take notice of the things around you Los Angeles. Appreciate them NOW. Don’t take them for granted, they’re too important. And while it’s still there, please go check out Clifton’s if you haven’t… or even if you have. The food may not be on anyone’s diet, but that’s part of the charm. And before you leave Clifton’s, take a minute to go up to Clifton’s diorama chapel (created for owner Clifford Clifton by artist Einar Petersen) and say a little prayer for its future. Actually, throw another one in for ours while you’re at it.

©USC Digital Archive


HANDSHAKE – We love you, North Dakota!

North DakotaAccording to Google Analytics, the only state in all of America that has yet to visit HiddenLA even *once* is North Dakota. Seriously! Even though we did a nice big feature on one of their native sons! Sigh.

Feeling a bit sad and rejected with this news, naturally the only solution was to turn to the internet for possible answers. It was tough admitting that all I really knew about North Dakota was to stay away from wood chippers. It seemed a good time to learn a bit about the commonalities we share so that perhaps we might have a better chance of forging a bond of web friendship. (I mean, how tough could it be… the word Dakota MEANS “allies” in the Sioux language, for Christ’s sake, so they’ve gotta be super friendly people. Right?)

After a bit of research it’s easy to see why North Dakota might be a bit intimidated by Los Angeles, though… the entire state contains nearly ONE THIRD the population of the San Fernando Valley alone. Wow.

Well, we may be big city folk, but that doesn’t mean we don’t care about stuff that’s important to our fellow Americans, though. We do! So after a bit of research, here are a few things I’ve come up with… an olive leaf of sorts. An itemized list with links after the jump.

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RIP – Julius Schulman, California Cool Photographer

Case Study House No. 22 Sometimes I’ll start researching an article and then realize someone else has already crafted the post I was about to do. This is one of those times, so rather than re-invent the wheel, let me just say that Flavorpill did a great post on late architectural photographer Julius Shulman this morning. Schulman, who passed away on July 15th at 98, masterfully framed the “California cool” lifestyle as modernism entered the Southland landscape. His photos make me want to sit on an avocado green divan and drink a martini. Yes, I know it’s 10am. Your point?


SIDESHOW – Hitting the Boardwalk with the Roué Cyr Wheel

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM9PVUTHlwE[/youtube] The roué cyr is not a complex piece of exercise equipment, the name literally means “simple wheel” in French. But if you long to follow in the footsteps of the Cirque du Soliel masters and learn how to gracefully work with one, you too can soon become one of the trendiest performers on the Venice Boardwalk… a sidewalk which has seen its share of trends. Personally, I’m a big baby so this stuff makes me dizzy… but if you feel like taking a spin over to Venice, Corona del Mar, or Long Beach to catch the wheel in action, here’s this guy’s schedule.


FOCUS – Me-Tagging the LA River

Chicano artist Leo Limón has been painting the drains of the Los Angeles River for twenty years. In this interview from 2005, he explains what he calls “me-tagging.”
[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0gSI6r16dA[/youtube]
Leo Limón
‘s activities date back to the very formative years of the Chicano Art Movement and his work reflects the vision, aspirations and images of his surroundings and roots. For 30 plus years he has being painting the Los Angeles River Cat faces on the storm-drain covers and is involved with groups whose efforts are to revive the river as a historic region, cultural arts enclave and tourist destination.”


SILLY – Do the Doo, Dude!!!

doodahsurfWhat: The Doo Dah Surf Parade, hosted by the totally rad Charles Phoenix
Where:
Sunset Beach, Pacific Palisades
When:
Saturday July 25, 2009, EARRRRLY in the a.m. SCHEDULE HERE
Price:
FREEEEE!
Details:
“Meet at the bluff for a group paddle out to say goodbye to the aggro attitude and to bring back the stoke that keeps us surfing!” Let’s put it this way: the Doo Dah Surf Parade is to the U.S. Open of Surfing as The Doo Dah Parade is to the Rose Parade. The main guideline is this: if you don’t have a sense of humor, don’t do the Doo.
[youtube width=”590″ height=”370″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hes-ZzdwgJ4[/youtube]
“Back in the Spring of 2002, after a day of frustration at local breaks known for aggro-vibes and hostility, four local Surfers decided the best way to get surfing back to it’s pure and fun origins was to go the extreme of laughing at ourselves. Three short months later in June of 2002, over 30 Surfers showed up in costumes rangings from nuns, to business men, to bumblebees. Ever since Doo Dah Surf 2002, each ensuing year has seen attendance double as well as increased recognition from media to documentaries. All proving that the surf community is ready for a day of fun and celebration.”


HLA HOT ANGELENO – Ted Maiman

TedMaimanMEET MR. THEODORE HAROLD
“TED” MAIMAN

(July 11, 1927 – May 5, 2007)

Our HOT ANGELENO OF THE DAY found his true calling by first taking inspiration from his electrical engineer father. Young Ted Maiman repaired and refurbished household appliances in order to save up enough money to put himself through college. COOL, DUDE! Oh, but that’s not the part that leaves us weak in the knees… our love was sealed when a mere five years after earning his doctorate at Stanford, while working as a Junior Engineer at Hughes in Malibu, Teddy created the first machine that would actively amplify light waves of atoms that had been stimulated to radiate, and then shoot them out as narrow, intense beams of light! WOO HOO! In other words… Ted won a world-wide race of scientific engineering by CONSTRUCTING THE WORLD’S FIRST WORKING LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) DESPITE LACK OF SUPPORT AND A LAUGHABLE $50,000 BUDGET.

HUBBA HUBBA!!! Is it laser hot in here or is it just Ted!??? Yep, I’m thinkin’ it’s Ted!
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VIDEO – LAPD’s Notorious Evidence Vault

[googlevideo width=”590″ height=”420″]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8376199523322794642[/googlevideo]

“The three floors near the top of the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Building in downtown Los Angeles, domain of the district attorney’s office, house a cache of mementos, evidence from prominent trials and even artwork... Two floors below is a locked walk-in closet officially known as the Historical Vault. It’s the repository for evidence collected in some of the county’s most infamous cases, many of which have been the subjects of books and movies.  (more…)