Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Dog-Gone Kinda Situation

There's been a lot going around town lately, most notably some high-profile political event in Hollywood on Thursday evening, but most of the Militant's adventures had to be put on the shelf this week for one reason:

The Militant's K-9 unit - a frequent companion of some of the Militant's pedestrian adventures - was missing.

The Militant last saw his K-9 unit this past weekend during the big rain storms. The dog frequently finds its way outside of the compound, only later to show up at the front porch the next morning, returned by an observant neighbor or being caught by the Militant a few blocks from the compound.

But this time was different.

On Monday evening, while the Militant was performing some highly classified duties, one of the Militant's siblings visited the compound, hoping to spend time with the K-9 unit, and texted the Militant asking whether the K-9 unit was taken for a walk.

"Negative," the Militant replied, somewhat concerned.

The next day, no K-9 unit at the front step, no observant neighbor and no sight of the K-9 unit anywhere.

The Militant had grown more concerned.

The day after, the Militant went on a search and rescue mission on his bike on several streets in the vicinity of the compound.

The search turned up fruitless (forgive the pun, but the Militant was barking up the wrong tree).

At this point, the Militant felt like singing a popular childhood nursery rhyme that dealt with a missing dog. You can say the Militant had a ruff, er, rough week, as he paused for the cause of the paws.

The Militant scoured Craigslist's 'Lost and Found' listings, hoping someone nearby might have found the Militant's mutt. One person who lived in an adjacent community posted the picture of a dog that bore a similar likeness to the Militant's K-9 unit, and the Militant replied, but he learned the posted pooch was of the opposite gender.

But ever the resourceful Angeleno, the Militant recalled that the City of Los Angeles' Animal Services department has several animal shelters (now PC-ized as "Care Centers") around the City. Before he planned a trip to visit one of them, he discovered that the City's animal Care Centers have an awesome website where one can search for their missing pets, filling in descriptive parameters and coming up with search results containing a photo and description of the animal, as well as which shelter it is located in.

The Militant went to the site of his local shelter, the North Central Care Center and searched for his K-9 unit. There was one that resembled Militant Mutt somewhat, but the Militant wasn't quite sure. The breed and estimated age in the description were way off.

By chance he tried his luck with some of the other regional shelters in the City. Just in case. Who knows.

He went to the West Los Angeles Care Center's site and searched for his K-9 unit there.

After looking through two pages of results, one dog comes up -- Hello, what's this? The correct gender, the correct breed, age somewhat close, been at the shelter since...January 28...The photo was a very close match...can this be?

On Thursday afternoon the Militant canceled his coverage of the presidential debate and rally in Hollywood to visit the West Los Angeles Cere Center with his sibling to settle this once and for all. Armed with several pictures of the K-9 unit, they arrived at the shelter on Missouri Avenue near the FOX11 TV studios and...

...They had moved a mile or so away on Pico. D'oh.

Shortly after arriving at the brand-spanking new shelter on Pico and Pontius, just west of the 405, and visiting the front desk, the Militant was told to go to the kennels to ID his missing K-9 unit.

It wasn't before long when they spotted the dog. It was most definitely the K-9 unit, absolutely positively.

There is a dog!

The K-9 unit sounded overwhelmed and traumatized, as the shelter staff reported to the Militant that it was discovered roaming the streets around the Beverly Center -- some six miles from the compound, most likely disoriented by its usual scent references having been washed out by last weekend's rain. Besides, the K-9 unit is simply not used to life in a sterile concrete cell, accompanied by the cacophony of several other K-9 units - likewise just as traumatized - barking in such close proximity.

After paying a fee covering vet care, food and boarding, a City dog license and, yes, getting the K-9 unit fixed (hasn't yet been done out of procrastination), the Militant will pick up his trusty, yet wayward, K-9 unit on Friday for its return to the compound.

The Militant does not know whether to punish the K-9 or grant it gratefulness like a reunited prodigal scion of Biblical lore. Regardless, the Militant is thankful his K-9 unit did not suffer the fate of being roadkill, and that our City has such a great online resource that allows people to search for their lost pets online without wasting time, money, gas and hassle.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My Name Is Los Angeles, And I Am Beautiful

The first day of sunshine after a winter rainstorm is usually the day postcard photographers scramble to take that moneyshot of the Downtown skyline and the snowcapped San Gabriels. When the Militant headed out today to perform a couple Militant duties, he looked northeast and saw them. Beautiful is the word of the day. Later, the Militant biked up Olive Hill at Barnsdall Park, took some pics, and just sat down and enjoyed the view. This was the first time in a long time where he recalled the snow level being so low.

He obviously wasn't the only one armed with a camera (pictured right). He saw at least three other photographers snapping the newly-blanched local mountains, some with fancy gear with telephot lenses, some digital cameras, some simple point-and-shooters.

The Militant found a social atmosphere as those of us who took pictures of the same thing commented on how beautiful they were. The Militant recommended to another photographer an even better vantage point in the park, unobstructed by buildings or trees. He also chatted with the woman above who had just pulled her car up alongside where the Militant was. The woman, in her 60s, commented that she had lived here for nine years and would like to share the pic to her friends in the East Coast, who think that the west is devoid of any beauty, just to prove them wrong.

She also commented on how the mountains to the west (the Verdugos) were more snow-covered than the San Gabriels. She assumed they were taller, but the Militant explained that the San Gabriels face the city, which is warmer because of all the concrete, and that the Verdugos are much closer to the forest, where the distance from the urban heat island keeps the temps down.

As the Militant types this, the grey skies are back. He's glad he had the opportunity to see the awesome splendor that towers over the City.

Sure, it snows in other places, even other cities with mountains, but the contrast of the white snow, the blue sky, the brown lower elevations, the greenery of the trees and the various other colors that make up the City displays a spectacular contrast and chromatic variety, as opposed to a homogenized, monochromatic blanketing of snow as far as the eye can see.

There's got to be a metaphor in that somewhere...

Friday, January 25, 2008

You Can Has Freeway Park!

Pssst...readers! Wanna be more Militant? Wanna be more involved in the community? Wanna play an active role in our City's future?

The proponents of the Hollywood Freeway Central Park are having a community-wide meeting on Saturday morning, January 26 at Selma Ave. Elementary School in Hollywood to discuss the proposal with members of the community and initiate community's thoughts and input on the park. Wanna see it happen? Militant Angeleno says, "Be There!"

The Militant may or may not be there, of course. But a number of his operatives definitely will be, as well as councilmen Eric Garcetti and Tom LaBonge, two local officials who the Militant is known to hang out with.

For those of you just catching up, the Hollywood Freeway Central Park is a proposal to build a structural cap over the below-street level section of the Hollywood Freeway between Bronson Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd. and create a 34-acre greenway and recreation space on it (Yeah, it's gonna cost a lot of dough...).

One of the Militant's first posts talked about the park plan as he attended a meeting of involved community members back in June of last year (and wrote about it in the first person, no less). Our City is extremely parkspace-deficient, especially in the Hollywood area, and though it won't even bring the area up to acceptable parkspace-per-resident levels, any addition of parkspace in the Hollywood area will be beneficial.

Sounds like a crazy idea? Other freeway cap parks exist in the country in places like Boston and Seattle. More closer to home, the half-mile long Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix, AZ sits over the 10 Freeway and is home to that city's Central Library and a Japanese Garden. Even closer, there are short freeway cap parks in San Diego (over the 15) and Memorial Park in La CaƱada Flintridge (over the 210).

Though already some have come out in opposition. Aside from those who naturally have issues with the possible structural integrity (see Boston's Big Dig), terrorism or those asshats who would rather see the freeway widened and double-decked, there are some ultra-paranoid tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy theorist freakos in the community who believe the City is supporting a park that will "never get built" and is just fronting it as a ploy to re-zone the area for superdensity and use eminent domain to kick out all the existing residents (Um, if the park never gets built, what incentive is there for developers to build a large parkside condo if there's no park in the first place?).

Of course, if you like to believe that stuff, kindly go to the nearest gun store, purchase a pistol, load it with bullets, point it to your own head, and pull the trigger, since anyone who's that cynical might as well not continue living anyway.

The proposed park over the Hollywood Freeway would be another jewel in Hollywood to benefit locals and tourists alike. Most of all it would provide a means for people, especially children, in the community to have somewhere to play (as opposed to the streets or private parking lots, like they do now), and it would ultimately re-unite neighborhoods that were divided when the freeway was built.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The First Last Great Hamburger Stand?

Like the Militant always says, you see more of the City when you're not driving in your car. So when the Militant rode up Western Avenue after watching the Kingdom Day Parade on Monday, he had an, as calls it, ICME moment.

Behold, on the west side of Western Avenue halfway between 30th and 31st streets, stands a boarded-up teal-colored shack, boasting itself as being "The Original Fatburger."

Fatburger's corporate history site makes only scant reference to its past - that the iconic La Cienega location is not the first Fatburger, and that the chain was founded by a Ms. Lovie Yancey in 1952.

The official site does show a photo of the original stand (pictured right) which does bear a strong resemblance to the main photo above (especially in the neon sign and the front awning) but no acknowledgment of its Western Avenue roots. Can anyone point to the Militant any solid proof that this was indeed the first Fatburger? And when did it close?

Similarly, Carl's Jr's corporate history lets you know exactly how much the late Carl Karcher invested in his hot dog cart operation, but doesn't mention that his most famous cart operated out of the corner of Florence and Western (Wiki Wiki Wiki). Does this street get any respect?

Though both chains are synonymous with the West, they now have grown to where their franchises can be found in other countries, even other continents. But it all supposedly began on this one street, which doesn't get any props for its history?

The Kingdom Rains, But A Little Drizzle Never Hurt the MLK Day Parade

The Militant thanks Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today, not just for his achievements, vision and legacy, but for the fact that the 23rd annual Kingdom Day Parade, the yearly Los Angeles procession held in the slain civil rights leader's honor, gave the Militant the perfect excuse he needed to go on his first Militant bike adventure of 2008. "Free at Last!" indeed.

After a Metro Rapid ride down to Dr. King's eponymous avenue, the Militant biked the rest of the way west in the light drizzle to catch up with the parade, which had just started a few minutes before. Near the intersection of King and Western, he biked past and through the parade's assembly zone: The marching bands originated on Western and turned west on King, while the floats, cars and other vehicles readied themselves on Western. Surely if the Militant had driven here, he would have been SOL, but since this is the Militant we're talking about, he deftly maneuvered his way across Western through various sidestreets, ultimately emerging near King and Arlington to get a nice view of the festivities.

The rain certainly didn't stop several thousand people from lining the 2-mile parade route, which headed west down King, then south on Crenshaw and hooking around Leimert Park on Vernon.
Celebrities, elected officials, community leaders, local broadcast personalities, labor unions, fraternal organizations, nonprofit groups, religious groups, marching bands, drill teams, step crews (pictured above) and equestrian units made this a true community parade - large enough to be a city event, yet small enough to be personal and interactive. When KCBS sportscaster Jim Hill rolled by in a convertible, one man shouted from the crowd and asked Hill his Super Bowl predictions. The sports anchor turned around, looked at the man, stretched out his arms, smiled and said, "Patriots!"

When a representative from the service organization 100 Black Men passed by, a woman shouted from the side of the street and asked him, "Hey 100 Black Men! What y'all do?"

"We do everything!" the well-dressed man proudly smiled from the convertible.

"I still wanna know what y'all do!" the woman responded, smiling back yet still not satisfied with her answer.

And when singer Stevie Wonder's convertible crawled by (pictured left), a short delay in the parade caused it to stop and an impromptu crowd formed right next to the car, pulled out their cameras and cameraphones to capture a glimpse of the Motown legend at such a close proximity (of course, the Militant got even closer to Stevie this past weekend, and impressed his fellow spectators by sharing with them some of the pics he took on Friday).

Though this wasn't the Militant's first Kingdom Day Parade, he did note what made this year's edition unique, aside from the weather (which partially cleared up halfway though the parade and not a drop fell since).

Most obvious, in this election year, and just 15 days before the California Primary Elections, was the presence of Barack Obama supporters, including a group that marched in the parade (most of whom were UCLA students), while other parade participants wore the candidate's buttons or stickers on their clothing. And thank the movie Drum Line for making marching bands hip and cool for a change. With the sound of bass drums thundering down the street, middle and high school bands pounded out hip hop-inspired beats - both old-school and new. Local favorite Crenshaw High's marching band, not only played, but danced Soulja Boy Tellem's uber-smash hit "Crank That." Now watch them Yuuuuuuuuuuuh!

At the parade's end in Leimert Park, participants and spectators alike intermingled to celebrate MLK Day as one. A stage at 43rd Pl. and Degnan Ave., sponsored by KJLH 102.3 FM provided entertainment, as well as a second stage a block away sponsored by Councilman Bernard Parks that featured jazz and gospel performers. The Militant biked his way through the wonderfully bike-friendly streets of Chesterfield Square and Leimert Park, which are some of the most beautiful-looking residential neighborhoods in the city.

The Militant unfortunately had to bike back to the compound early to make an appointment, but after the past few years of sleeping in, he was able to finally enjoy celebrating MLK Day, Militant-style.

More pics of the parade:

Hail to the (Fire) Chief: LAFD's Douglas Barry rolls by.

A Shriner from the Egyptian Temple zips through the route in his mini-car.

A drill team from a local middle school marches by.

Dancing to New Orleans brass band music, a Second-Liner from LA-LA (Louisiana to Los Angeles Organizing Committee) reminds us all that Mardi Gras is near.

KCAL 9's Pat Harvey gives the Militant a shout-out!

What other city in America has Stevie Freaking Wonder himself lead the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday" (his 1980 song about Dr. King) for their MLK Day festivities?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Hot Damn! The NAMM Music Products Show in Anaheim

So now it's time to reveal why the Militant has been spending time in Orange County lately. Militant Operative Stingray, himself quite the talented musician, hooked the Militant up with a pass to The NAMM Show, the annual music products show at the Anaheim Convention Center and the venue's largest annual event. Think of the CES Show, but for musical instruments. The Militant, known by some as a master cowbellist, took up Stingray's offer and crossed the Orange Curtain for the first time this year (which will likely not exceed 3-5 more times).

Like CES, the show is not open to the public, only to the exhibtors, their customers in the retail/wholesale field and various guests. Stingray got his hookups from an unspecified software company who had a booth at the show, which started Thursday and ends on Sunday.

First off, the Anaheim Convention Center is h-u-g-e. The Los Angeles Convention Center is big, this is even bigger. It's length is about equal to the diameter of nearby Disneyland. Manufacturers of drums and percussion, orchestral instruments, guitars, audio equipment, keyboards/software and DJ/lighting equipment, all debuted their 2008 wares, with most of them set up for guests to see, touch and play.

That all meant one thing: the place was LOUD. Think your average Guitar Center, but 30 times larger. Yeah, like that. But noisy can also mean fun.

One ultracool aspect of the show was seeing - and meeting - all sorts of famous musicians, such as Slash, Herbie Hancock and some blind dude who was playing on a keyboard (pictured right). There was also tons of free swag: lanyards, candy, guitar picks, bags and magazines. The Militant has seen many things in Southern California, but this event is truly unreal, with the convention halls packed with a mix of people dressed in business suits, leather (and the requisite bad '80s metal band hair to complement) and regular-looking folk, all here to celebrate their love of making music (and the business of selling all those instruments).

Though the Militant didn't find an abundance of cowbells to hit, he did see a keyboard instrument made by Korg on display that was no doubt designed especially for a Militant (pictured left)! Maybe the Militant will brush up on his piano playing skills just so he can add this to the compound.

After the show closed for the day at 6 p.m. on Friday, Stingray, via one of his own operatives (yes, operatives can have their own set of operatives not directly connected to the Militant), got some invites to one of the many post-show afterparties in and around the hotel-studded convention center vicinity. This particular party, at the nearby Crowne Plaza hotel, was a 20th anniversary celebration of Irwindale-based musical instrument company M-Audio, which featured a concert by the energetic Los Angeles-based Latin band Cecilia Noel and the Wild Clams, a 16-piece band which also included Jimmy Kimmel Live! house band guitarist Toshi Yanagi on guitar). Aside from the music, the vibe at the party was largely subdued, but hey there was an open bar with free booze, so ya can't lose!

So for this Militant, the NAMM show is total sensory overload and is the annual highlight of a facet of the music industry that doesn't get much mainstream recognition. So yeah, it was totally worth it to go out to the OC this week.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Strawberry Fields Forever

The Militant finds himself in Orange County this week (he'll explain exactly why on Friday - yes an Angeleno needs an explanation as to why they have to go to the OC). But one of the neatest sights to behold the Militant's eyes is the apparently stalwart 56-acre Fujishige farm, which is not only one of the last visible vestiges of Orange County's agricultural past, but a testament to immigrant American history (back then, immigrant families not only worked in the farm, they owned it too).

Started decades ago by brothers Hiroshi and Masao Fujishige, they were among many Japanese American farms dotting the Orange County landscape in the mid-20th century. But brothers' children sold most of the farm to the Walt Disney Company in 1998. The fate of the farm was in question following the opening of nearby Disney's California Adventure in 2001 but shifting expansion plans and economic conditions have kept the farm intact.

Here, in the large strawberry field along Harbor Blvd., a close-to-ripe berry grows (pictured left). How wonderful is it to see a beautiful large green pasture amongst the theme parks, hotels and convention facilities in Anaheim? Especially on a beautiful, sunny Winter day with the snow-capped Mt. Baldy looming boldly in the horizon?

Across Convention Way, there's a produce stand run by the family, selling the farm's fruits of its labor, though it was closed when the Militant passed by there today.

The Militant hopes for a(n) (un-) real Disney ending, that the farm eventually outlasts The Mouse's plans - a berry enduring endeavor, indeed.

Shakin' Up The Memories - Happy Northridge Earthquake Day

Do you remember what you were doing at 4:31 a.m. on Monday, January 17, 1994?

Today is the 14th anniversary of the Northridge Earthquake, our largest quake in the past half-century.

The quake registered a 6.7 on the Richter Scale and caused considerable damage not only in the San Fernando Valley, but in parts of Hollywood, the Westside and even at the Coliseum. Seventy-two people died, over 11,000 were injured and the damages totalled $12.5 billion - the costliest natural disaster in the U.S. before the levees broke in the Crescent City two and a half years ago.

The 5/14 interchange was partially destroyed and the missing chunks of the structure caused LAPD officer Clarence Wayne Dean, riding his motorcycle, to plunge to his death. The interchange was eventually named in honor of the policeman. A section of the 10 freeway near La Cienega was also badly damaged and shut down, though finally repaired and reopened just six weeks later.

One good thing to come out of the quake -- Metrolink, which barely had been operating for a year an a half - hadn't planned any service to the Antelope Valley until 2010 or so, but due to the damaged 5/14 interchange, makeshift stations were built and the former Santa Clarita Line was extended all the way to Lancaster - in just four days.

A younger Militant was among the many rudely awoken in the wee hours of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday by the violent shaking, and the crashing sound of a display case made him realize this was serious business. Especially since he decided to crash that night in the living room and the said display case landed mere feet from where he slept. Yikes.

Any Northridge Earthquake memories? Post them as comments and share them with your fellow Militant readers.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Facing The Facebook

Some of you bloggers might have found it already, but the jig is up; The Militant Angeleno is on Facebook. Wheee. Add him. Add him now. But don't confuse him with all these crazy applications. He isn't that ADD-riddled. He can't seem to find anything else to talk about today, so...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Of Winter Hibernation And Lame Excuses

The Militant hates making excuses, but it seems Winter is not an ideal season for the Militant. The days are shorter and the nights are not as eventful, which is a good reason why he hasn't taken to blogging lately (the other is a few major unspecified extramilitant projects he is occupied with). Granted, it's a little warmer during the day lately (which is one of the reasons he's taken back to blogging for the first time in over a week) but the days are oh-so short that the sun barely has a chance to warm up the sky.

On Thursday, the Militant took another walk with his K-9 unit around an unspecified area near his compound. While walking up to Barnsdall Park, he saw a fleet of eerie and awesome lenticular clouds hovering over Mt. Lee (where the Hollywood Sign stands) and the North Hollywood-Burbank area. Surely the Militant would have snapped this breathtaking sight, enhanced by the reddish glow of the setting sun, which was sinking fast behind the silhouette of the Westside, but he didn't have his Militant cam on him. Yeah, no excuse.

Saturday was the first day this year he took to his bike; today was the second. And it's probably a good time to get a tune-up.

Damn, '08, give the Militant a jump-start already!

Why Can't Los Angeles Have A Mayor Like This?

This is Michael Nutter, the newly-inaugurated mayor of Philadelphia, PA, droppin' some rhymes on the mic in his rendition of The Sugarhill Gang's seminal 1979 hip-hop hit, "Rapper's Delight." Now why can't Tony Villar have a cool special talent? Uh, aside from that one.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Local Music Store Hearts Huckabee?

While StormWatch 2008 has been keeping the Militant from much of his reconnaissance missions, Decision 2008 has been the talk of the town - not just in Iowa and New Hampshire, but much more locally.

Aside from our City Council President and City Controller stumping for last week's Iowa Caucus Democratic winner, it seems at least one local business appears to be giving props to last week's GOP winner - or at least is riding on some free Mike Huckabee publicity.

Local music store chain West L.A. Music, with stores in Universal City and in...West Los Angeles (duh) recently splashed a pic of the bass guitar-playing Arkansas Republican posing with store staff on its website. The site also displayed an audio link and transcript of American Public Media's Weekend America radio show segment on Huckabee, which followed him on the campaign trail and featured the candidate (gratuitously?) mentioning the store by name when the topic suddenly shifts to music:

"McCartney was more innovative. Entwistle had a more traditional concept of the bass. But McCartney was the most innovative bass player of that era. He really was. And let me tell you this: I was in Los Angeles and I got to play John Entwistle's actual Thunderbird bass. It's at the West LA Music Company, and Don Griffin, the guy who owns that store, owns that guitar. And so he pulls it out, and I got to play on that guitar that he played on all The Who's earlier stuff."

"Mitt Romney will never play that guitar," I said.

Huckabee smiled. "If he did, he probably wouldn't play all that well."

With a month to go before the California Primary election, is this pretty much the store's endorsement of Huckabee? Or is it just cashing in on the election?

One thing's for sure, West L.A. Music's primary competitor, the Guitar Center music store chain (founded here in Southern California), most likely would not heart Huckabee, as the borg-like chain was recently purchased by the Massachusetts-based Bain Capital - a company founded by...this guy.

Of course, former governors with presidential ambitions displaying their musical talents on television is not a new concept. So maybe for his own sake, Mitt might want to pick up the bass himself.

Who knows? Perhaps the Republican nomination might be ultimately decided by a game of Guitar Hero.

Friday, January 4, 2008

St. Vincent Court - Los Angeles' Littler Armenia

Part of the Militant's nooyeah's resolutions is to shrink the number of places in this City that the Militant has yet to go to. One such place is a tiny corner of Downtown - an alley literally - by the Jewelry District called St. Vincent Court.

He has passed this location off of 7th Street many times, even as recently as New Year's Eve afternoon, most recently hearing about the abundance of Mediterranean-Middle Eastern food spots nestled in there.

Walking around Downtown after checking out a political rally, the Militant decided to pop in and check out what it's all about.

What the Militant found was a seemingly hidden "alternate world" where due to the tunnel-like entrance of the alley, it appears to look like night even during the day, with its storefronts adorned with faux-European awnings, porticos and statues, which apparently was a relatively recent addition to the court. Most of the storefronts are cafes, delis and restaurants serving what many assume is Persian food, when in reality the majority of them are Armenian-owned, as evident in the establishment names (Garo's Deli, Sevan's (Armenian for "Steven") Garden Kebab House), menu items (Armenian borek pastries and basturma sandwiches) and the sound of Armenian-language conversations emanating from a cafe where several gentlemen are having a small, shot-glass sized cup of Armenian coffee (quite potent from the Militant's experience). In addition, some of the Militant's Armenian community operatives have told him that many of the jewelry businesses nearby are Armenian-owned, making this a micro-enclave of Armenian businesses in Los Angeles - a Littler Armenia, if you will, separate from the designated community in the East Hollywood area, some five miles to the northwest. The Persian and Greek references are no front, either, as the Armenian culture is a highly disasporic one, with Many Armenians settling in primarily Middle Eastern and European countries after the 1915 Armenian Genocide, yet maintaining their cultural heritage and identity - even today.

Signs by the entrance read "Historic St. Vincent Court." An alley? Historic? O RLY? But a state historic marker on the eastern wall of the alley indicates that the site was home to Saint Vincent's College, an all-boys Catholic school, from 1868-1887. The school eventually became Loyola College and merged with the all-girls' Marymount College in 1973 to become today's Loyola Marymount University in Westchester.

Garcetti, Chick Backs Barack

Around 150 local supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama rode high on the previous night's caucus ruckus and staged a small noontime rally Friday at the historic Farmers and Merchants Bank of Los Angeles building in Downtown's Old Bank District.

The program, organized by campaign staffers and led by Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti and City Controller Laura Chick - both active Obama supporters - was designed to energize and solicit campaign volunteers and precint leaders leading into the February 5th California Primary election. Supporters of The O chanted and waved signs, while the Militant also spotted some of his operatives who work in unspecified positions in City government there.

The event also featured Echo Park-based local reggae DJs Aurelito and Shakespeare from the I&I Sound System to provide some musical background (their trademark ice cream truck was parked on Main street, adorned with Obama signs).

The rally, originally scheduled to take place outside of City Hall was moved to the lobby of the 103-year old Classical Revival-style historic cultural monument due to rainy weather.

So does this reveal the Militant's primary election leanings? The answer is - of course - it may or may not. Draw your own conclusions (One thing's for sure, the Militant is not a Ron Paul supporter -- he doesn't spend his time playing video games all day and he has been kissed by a girl before. But he would support Sean Paul for President, though).

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Things to Anticipate in '08

Phew! Finally! the Militant got out of his strange time glitch and knocked himself back to the future (okay, the present). Now he's finally in 2008, though he totally missed that Dodger float in Tuesday's Rose Parade.

Anyway, here's a list of things here in town the Militant is looking forward to this year...

January: Metro TAP (Transit Access Pass) This is gonna be a serious new paradigm for everyone in Los Angeles County who rides the Metro system, either dependent on it or by choice. The TAP card will be a prepaid transit pass that automatically deducts the appropriate fare when "tapped" against a fare validator sensor. No magnetic stripes here - there's a tiny chip inside each card that stores the value of each card (as well as where the user has been, in the system, muhahahaha). Will it work? Aw hell no, there's gonna be tons of bugs up the ying-yang when it's first rolled out. But the Militant will get his card on January 25 and give it a roll, if just to have an excuse for something to blog about.

February: Ride-Arc Starts Up Again Ride-Arc, the Militant's favorite monthly bike ride, with its large-yet-not-ginormous group, diverse ridership and best of all, an edumacational bent to the ride, starts up again for '08.

March-April: Dodger Season Begins! Not only does baseball season begin, not only do we get to see how Joe Torre manages this team, but check it: The Dodgers play an exhibition game vs. the Boston BoraSox at the Coliseum on March 29. Oh's the freaking 50th Anniversary Season, with tons of special Golden Anniversary-type events the whole year, including a 1988 World Championship team reunion and (as much as possible) an all-Los Angeles-Dodger reunion event in September. And as for October - who knows?

May: Some Huge-Ass Movie Will Be Opening The Militant doesn't have to tell you what it is, who's directing it or who's starring in it. You already know it'll be HUGE. May 22.

June: Militant Angeleno's 1st Anniversary Shindig The Militant may or may not have a huge celebration commemorating his first year of blogdom. You may or may not get an invitation.

June: SUMMER! The Militant can't wait for his favorite season to begin. Let's go already!

July-December: The Militant Hasn't Planned That Far Ahead Yet Maybe we'll revisit this in six months. Until then, have a great '08 everyone!