HAPPY SUNDAY, LA – Go outside and take a walk! :)

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLZKPiTpY0k[/youtube]

The painfully adorable/ talented Kate Micucci will be returning to her show at the Steve Allen Theater in March. You can also catch her performing around town as Oates of Garfunkel and Oates, as ukulele girl on Scrubs reruns, or in many other cute videos on You Tube.

WOW. What a crazy week.

To quote my friend Dennis, “This city just got a lot smaller.”

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOqyygAQSX0[/youtube]
Our site was down overnight, sorry. But it’s your fault so please bear with me while I ramble for a moment here. We had so many visitors yesterday that it crashed the server and everything had to be migrated elsewhere. It blows my mind. I can’t say I expected this week… I mean, I’d hoped one day this site would catch on and a little LA love would be spread, but I truly underestimated just how starved many Angelenos have become to focus on the positive around them and explore the deeper details about where they live and/or grew up. I’ll admit, this week’s turn of events have put me in a bit of an emotional daze… and since I’m on super tight deadlines for my day job right now, I was already a bit dizzy. (more…)

HAPPY SUNDAY – Everybody Dance!

Photograph taken of a man posting bills on a brick wall reading “Banish Sunday dancing in Venice and stopping Sunday baseball and theatres will be our next move! Sabbath Reform League”… residents wonder whether these are by reformers opposed to dancing or whether it is 11th hour election ruse of pro-Sunday dancers. (Photo date unknown – looks like late 1920s/early 30s to me)


AWESOME – Frasier the Sensuous Lion

People often ask me how I choose the subjects of my posts. It’s a tough question to answer… often I’ll start working on a post, only to find that by following random links I’m led completely off topic to discover something that’s much more interesting than the original article I had in mind. This is one of those times. So, for the curious, here’s how this post happened: while doing research for a future article on the old Marineland, childhood memories of long-gone Lion Country Safari (1970-1984) distracted me. The quick google search that followed led me to the story of Frasier the Sensuous Lion, shown in all of his sexy glory below.

Frasier the Lion

It was this paragraph on the Yesterland website that jumped out at me: Frasier movie poster

“Lion Country Safari was given a big boost by an unlikely star attraction. An elderly, nearly toothless lion named Frasier came from a Mexican circus in February 1971. The old cat’s tongue dangled from one side of his mouth, and he had trouble walking. He may not have been much to look at as far as we humans were concerned, but the lionesses saw him differently. There was population boom of lion cubs at the park. Frasier’s sorry visage adorned tee-shirts and other park souvenirs. Frasier sired 35 cubs until his death in June 1972 at 17-20 years of age, equivalent to a human age of 85-100 years. Frasier even inspired a 1973 feature movie, Frasier the Sensuous Lion, rated PG.” (See creepy poster at right)

Vaguely remembering this funny looking lion from my childhood, I had an instant urge to find out more about Frasier. Imagine my surprise when I found out his active sex life had actually gained enough notoriety for the late jazz greats Jimmy Rowles, Johnny Mercer, and Sarah Vaughan to create a song documenting it (video and full lyrics after the jump).

Go Frasier! (more…)

HAPPY SUNDAY – Lie Down and Relaaaax!

Here in Los Angeles, even tapirs have personal masseuses.

Jealous much?

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

HELP HAITI – Donate Shoes at Sports Chalet

shoeWant to help the people of Haiti without draining your already drained bank account? Well, clean out your shoe closet!

Sport Chalet will help collect footwear to support shoe charity Soles4Souls’ commitment to donate more than 250,000 pairs of shoes to affected areas… through Jan. 31, customers at Sport Chalet’s 55 stores will have the opportunity to drop off gently worn pairs of men’s, women’s and children’s shoes.” SOURCE

MISC – Team Coco Takin’ It To The Streets

Oh we got trouble! Right here in Universal City! With a capital “T”! That rhymes with “C”! And that stands for… oh my God isn’t this ridiculous drama over yet?

wetforconan If you were driving along Lankershim today, you might’ve noticed some unusual traffic. Seems the “I’m With Coco” Facebook group organized a pro-Conan O’Brien rally over at Universal Gate 3 this afternoon and considering the *incredibly* crappy weather, it was more of a success than expected (even Conan himself got involved, see video below).

I’m sure the pro-Jay Leno crowd would’ve organized a rally too… except I hear Hoverounds don’t maneuver very well during flash floods. HEY-YO!!!

MUSIC VIDEO – Pre-Gaga Hollywood

gagaWhen I was in Austria over Christmas, the top question asked of me was this: “So this Lady Gaga, that’s a man, right? Not a woman?” I’m not kidding. Three people asked me that.

To answer this question definitively for everyone, let’s just forget about her overexposure and penchant for hair hats and flash back in time for a moment to watch a fresh-faced 19 year-old named Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta – a talented, ambitious and rebellious girl virtually identical to so many in the crowd here – sing about her sick ambition of making it big in “Hollywood” and losing her reflection. Which… she did on both counts, really.

But truth be told, I kinda liked Stefani Germanotta better… illegal though it would be, I find myself wanting to buy underage Lady Gaga a beer. But hey, I’m sure she can well afford to buy her own now.
[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b2C20qN4Ps[/youtube]

ESCAPE – I love Paris in the winter, when it drizzles.

Running in the rain. I’m posting this a few days late due to a bad internet connection. I’m in Vienna now, but let’s just pretend I’m not…

I found myself wandering through Paris just *obsessed* with using my new camera… playing with the shutter speeds and apertures and all of the other little tricks. I can’t believe how far I walked in two days. For me, the weather was perfect… I was wearing three or four layers, but I was never uncomfortable. The sky was drizzling in a way that made all of the lights magically glow at night, but it never rained so much that I rushed indoors. There was ice on the ground, but not enough to slip on. All in all, they were perfect winter days and nights. I very literally took hundreds of photos, and I’ll spread some of the best over a couple of posts. Today I’ll post my favorite rainy night photos…

NOTE: Due to some problems with WordPress’ photo album feature, I moved these photos into a different album. Just click on the square image below to see eighteen pretty pictures.

A Rainy Night in Paris

ESCAPE – Join Me For An Austrian Christmas!

austria Let me tell you a story. When I was 14, I signed up to be part of the AFS program and live overseas with a family for the summer. Unfortunately, they called me with the news that I’d been accepted after I’d already made other commitments so I couldn’t go. I learned that my chosen host family consisted of a mother, a father, a younger son, and a girl about my age who all lived together on a dairy farm near Leoben, Austria. I immediately sent them an apology for not being able to meet them, and a few weeks later received a letter from the girl, Walpurga (Burgi for short), who soon became my pen-pal and first international friend. We came from totally different realities, but in our letters we talked about everything we could think of despite the language barrier, focusing on the things we had in common: school, friends, pets, concerns about Michael Jackson’s hair catching on fire… (Seriously. I wrote an entire letter about that. She still has it.) (more…)

Gobble. Gobble.

Have a fabulous Thanksgiving, Los Angeles.
Don’t forget to butter your Butter Ball!
[myspace width=”590″ height=”420″]http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoID=1259423592[/myspace]

HAPPY SUNDAY – Go outside and be L.A., L.A.!

[dailymotion width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2dcxh_im-so-la_fun[/dailymotion] But stay away from the cocaine tray, even if it matches your sunglasses. M’kay?

MATINEE – Tim Burton’s VINCENT (1982)

Happy Halloween Los Angeles! [youtube width=”590″ height=”520″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxQcBKUPm8o[/youtube]

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.

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).

YAY! – We’ve been honorably mentioned!

WebAs I mentioned to our followers on Facebook and whatnot, while I’m in the middle of looking to expand this site I had to walk away from regularly posting for a bit due to a (paying) job opportunity I had to focus on. Now that the job’s running pretty smoothly (knock on wood), I promised I’d be back as of October 11th. So here I am!

And meanwhile, little did I know… despite a lull in posting history I just found out that HiddenLA has won an Honorable Mention for Best Blog Design in the Creativity 39 Global Design Awards! WOOOOO HOOOOOO!

Not bad for a girl who’d never designed a blog in her life, eh? :)

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.



HAPPY SUNDAY – Have a rockin’ Labor Day!

I’ll be adding more stuff to our event calendar tonight, so check back tomorrow!

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo74OnQbhr4[/youtube]

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

FREEEEE – Flu Shots

As of September 1st Walgreens and CVS pharmacies are offering FREEEEE flu shots to anyone who is unemployed and looking for a job. So hurry up and pull out those want ads, people!

Go to their web site or call 1-888-FLU-SHOT for details.

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb1hqVr-xL4[/youtube]

HAPPY SUNDAY – Los Angelenos

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

Los Angelenos
All come from somewhere
To live in sunshine
Their funky exile
Midwestern ladies
High-heeled and faded
Drivin’ sleek new sports cars
With their New York cowboys

Hiding up in the mountains
Laying low in the canyons
Goin’ nowhere on the streets
With their Spanish names (more…)

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

IMAGERY – Adventures in Stupid Signage #2

Oh my God, I had the weirdest dream last night. I was driving a taco truck through a horrible rainstorm, see? Okay, so I’m driving this truck and it’s really dirty and there are refried beans and condiments falling all over the place as I’m careening out of control through the mud when suddenly a giant-sized Gordon Ramsay comes up out of the ground, trapped up to his waist in a big ol’ sinkhole! Weird right!??? Okay, but it gets even weirder. See, Gordon is trying to wrap me up in some kind of parchment roll of pasta! Feels like he wants to smother me or something!!!! So I speed up to get away from him and just as he calls me a donkey, suddenly I swerve to avoid hitting a HUGE chocolate cupcake (with vanilla buttercream frosting, no less!) and GIANT STRAWBERRIES! I mean, they’re right there in the middle of this muddy road! And damn, that mud-covered chocolate cupcake’s like the size of a HOUSE or something!!! WTF!? Crazy, right? Man, don’t you hate dreams like that?