Friday, December 24, 2010

Deck The Halls With Boughs Of Hollywood

Hollywood and Christmas seem to go hand-in-hand. Not only are there countless motion pictures over the years (like this one, this one and maybe even this one), blockbuster theatrical releases and a post-Thanksgiving weekend parade to kick off the season, but its very name is a reference to the holiday as well.

Those of you who know your local history know that Hollywood started as its own town, independent of Los Angeles, founded in the 1870s and incorporated in 1903. Unlike many local towns and communities named after places in the so-called "Back East" such as Beverly Hills (Beverly Farms, MA) and Wilmington (Wilmington, DE), Hollywood was named after a local, a native even.

The hills above Tinseltown are populated with numerous native bushes known as the Toyon a.k.a. California Holly a.k.a. Christmas Berry a.k.a. Heteromeles arbutifolia a.k.a. Hollywood Plant. Those of you who hike up Griffith Park's many trails have seen them - they have oblong dark green leaves with jagged edges, and in the fall grow clusters of tiny red berries (edible but not very tasty, for humans at least). The word "Toyon" is referred to many times in the Griffith Park area (Toyon Canyon). Yes, Hollywood was named after this very plant.

Around a century ago, Angelenos used to pick Toyon off of the hills for use as Christmas decorations. Eventually this practice became so widespread and noticeably depleted a number of the bushes that a 1920 California state law made it illegal to pick Toyon from public lands.

Thanks to that law, Toyon is plentiful in the Santa Monica Mountains today, where you can easily see them on any hiking trail, or on the road up to the Observatory. Of course this law is still in effect, but many local nurseries sell Toyon for you to grow if you want to revive the old Angeleno holiday tradition. Next time you spot one of these indigenous plants, think about how it's entrenched in history (and how the East Coast-based media hegemony has purposely corrupted its name to stand for all that is materialistic, vacuous and superficial). Militant Christmas, everyone!

Friday, December 3, 2010

UCLA or USC? Who's It Gonna Be? You Decide In The 2nd Annual MILITANT BOWL!

It's that time of the year again, folks! It's the rivalry that dwarfs all So Cal sports rivalries! It makes the Dodgers-Angels rivalry look like a tee-ball game, it makes the Galaxy-Chivas rivalry look like soccer mom fodder, it makes the Kings-Ducks rivalry look like slushy Zamboni scrapings. It even makes the Lakers-Clippers riv...okay there really is no basketball rivalry in Southern California, but still, when it comes to intercollegiate sports rivalries in the same metropolitan area, This Is It. No other city in the USA, or even the world, can lay claim to a rivalry such as this.

This is, as you may or may not know, the weekend where the USC Trojans (7-5) face off against the UCLA Bruins (4-7). As you may or may not know, USC has been sanctioned by the NCAA and is forbidden from postseason play. Meanwhile, UCLA has been suffering from a losing season. Therefore, none of the teams will be going to any Bowl game, and so all bragging rights go down to the wire on Saturday!

History has smiled more favorably on the Cardinal and Gold as the Trojans have won 9 out of the past 10 matchups, and lead the all-time record with 44 wins, 28 losses and seven ties.

The schools have fought for not only bragging rights, but a Victory Bell and a corporately-sponsored Gauntlet.

For the fans...there's The 2nd Annual MILITANT BOWL!
It's goes ike this: from the moment this post is published to the moment of kickoff at Saturday's game, UCLA and USC fans can post their respective roots and cheers for their school below in the Comments section of this blog entry. Points will be awarded (and deducted) and the winner will be announced via This Here Blog as well as the Militant's Twitter account.

Last year saw the inaugural MILITANT BOWL with USC not only winning 5-4, but also winning the football game. Will the winner of this year's MILITANT BOWL also determine the winner of the game?

The Militant will temporarily change out of his camo fatigues and into black-and-white referee stripes! [WHISTLE] So here are the rules! Read carefully!


1. Post a comment below in the Comments section of this blog entry, beginning with "GO UCLA!" or "GO USC!" and then explain, in your opinion, why [UCLA/USC] rules or sucks.

2. ONE entry per person! Subsequent entries by the same comment poster account will be disregarded.

3. You are, however, more than welcome to encourage other fans to post their own comments!

3. Each comment poster must have a screen/user name. Any comments posted by "anonymous" will BE DISQUALIFIED!

4. Comment must be a clear root or diss towards one of the teams. Ambiguous comments will also BE DISQUALIFIED! Also, wise-ass comments irrelevant to UCLA or USC will also BE DISQUALIFIED!

5. Each root for one school or diss against the other school will earn 1 point for the appropriate school.

6. Profanity will be permitted but let's keep this (relatively) civil and respectful! No _____-ist or _____-phobic comments please. Any comment of that nature will be penalized -1 point!

7. A root or diss comment of an extremely witty nature will earn 3 points!

8. In the event of a tie, The Militant Angeleno may or may not exercise his right to use his personal bias towards his unspecified alma mater and name it as the winner of the tiebreaker. So yes, the Militant will have to reveal his unspecified alma mater! LET'S TRY TO AVOID THIS FROM HAPPENING, FOLKS!

9. The comment period shall begin from the moment of this blog entry's posting and will close at the moment of kick-off at Saturday's game (around 7:30 p.m. this Saturday)!


Aas you may or may not know, the Militant is a proud alum of one of the schools, and the rivalry is one of the highlights of the Militant's year! So get out there and post your comments! MAY THE BEST SCHOOL WIN!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mystery Missile Explained!

All of So Cal has been abuzz with news on this seemingly unexplained missile that was launched off the coast of Los Angeles on Monday evening. What was it? An airplane? A military test? An expensive promotional gimmick for Conan O'Brien's new TBS late-night talk show?

The Military has no explanation for it. Conspiracy theorists have their own hypotheses on it. People have been Tweeting about it.

The Militant Angeleno, the expert on all things Los Angeles and vicinity, actually knows. Thanks to operatives of operatives of operatives, the Militant was able gain exclusive access to a picture captured from the missile's onboard launch camera. In light of recent events, the picture makes a whole lot of sense:

Monday, November 8, 2010

(Unm)ask A Chola

A chola she definitely is NOT...She still cute though.

The local blogger/vlogger/Tweeter/internet personality world rocked with an earthquake the past few days as the formerly unspecified Ask A Chola's identity was revealed.

Not only was she not a chola (fairly obvious though), but she was someone who wasn't even Latina - she is revealed to be a Greek American named Chloe Michalopolous. and not "Soledad from East Los" as previously puported. And the stinger? She ain't even from the Eastside. She ain't even from the fake Eastside! She's from Orange County!


Get the rope.

Of course, there are actual cholas from the O.C. (which does not stand for "Original Chola"), and though she hardly resembled any of the heavily-makeup'd, gravity-defying oversprayed hair-bang chicks the Militant remembered from his Jr. High and High School days, he probably chalked her up as a pocha who similarly went to school or lived in close proximity to cholas. But nawwww!

The Militant feels a little disillusioned right now. He feels like burning all his Ask A Chola merchandise. Okay, he has none, but maybe he'll delete her site from his web browser's bookmark list. Admittedly, and as you can see from the Militant's lovely photo, Ask A Chola was a quasi-semi-part inspiration for the Militant Angeleno, and now he feels like a 10-year-old who was informed that there is no Santa Claus.

The Militant actually spotted Ask A Chola (or is that Ask A Chloe?) this past August in Chinatown hanging out in the Chinatown central square for the Chinatown Summer Nights program. She was sitting on a bench, wearing a retro-style yellow dress, and she definitely fit the description. Besides, she just tweeted she was there, and she was typing away on her smart phone.

The Militant was soooo tempted to snap a pic of her and reveal her to the world, but Blogger's Honor prevailed (he would get pissed if one of his peers ratted him out!) so the Militant just let it go. Of course, who would have known she was a phony? The transplants love to say "L.A. people are all phony" - Of course, this particular phony is from The O.C.!

Now that the damage has been done, the Militant wants to let you, a person who may or may not be a regular reader of this here blog, know that the Militant Angeleno is not a phony. He is who he says he is: A native Los Angeleno who has long been pissed off about people's general ignorance about Los Angeles, and efforts by transplants and the East Coast media hegemony to perpetrate that ignorance. The Militant never made any claims about his ethnic heritage, other than that his parents immigrated from an unspecified Third World country. All of the above was, is and will always be TRUE. The Militant is The Real Deal. Believe it!

And if you don't here's a scan of part of the Militant's actual birth certificate (click to enlarge):
Okay, any and all identifying information has been pixelated out...but the pertinent information is there: 1) It is a document from the State of California; 2) The Militant was born in Los Angeles County; 3) The Militant was born in the City of Los Angeles and 4) He was born inside the city limits. Not merely a So Cal native but a Los Angeles native! Buhleedat!

The Militant should take this opportunity to reach out to all the fellow disillusioned Ask A Chola fans out there: Here's a masked person who walks the walk, talks the talk and even bikes the bike. Sure he won't talk about UFOs that much, but you'll learn craploads about this City, researched and written from the perspective of a real Angeleno who grew up on its real streets. Besides, she hasn't updated her blog since February 2009! (And you though thought the Militant is slacking!) If you're looking for your new masked hero, The Militant Is It!

Despite the Militant's little prank earlier this Spring, the Militant remains anonymous. Sure, some think they know who he is. But the Militant can never confirm or deny such hypotheses. Even if he is revealed, he may no longer be anonymous and unspecified, but he will still very much be...a Militant Angeleno.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dia De Los Muertos 2010: The Militant Visits The Dead

Today, as you may or may not know, is Dia De Los Muertos. The Militant has written about people, places and events in Los Angeles, so the Militant figured he'd commemorate the day by visiting the dead.

The Militant was near the Westside on Monday, and happened upon a memorial park by the west end of the Baldwin Hills in Culver City. It was Holy Cross Cemetery, a 71-year old, 200-acre memorial park with sweeping vistas of the South Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

After some Militant research, he discovered that there are quite a few well known Angelenos who have made this their final resting place.

Upon entering the grounds and driving up the hill where a replica of Michelangelo's Pieta sculpture stands, and right under a tree to the right of it, the Militant spotted the headstone of a very beloved figure in Los Angeles sports and one of the greatest play-by-play announcers who have ever lived:
Yes, the great Chick Hearn lies here.

Up the road towards the north, not far from the front entrance of the cemetery's main chapel/mausoleum, lies another legendary Los Angeles sports figure, a man who helped expand professional sports to the West:
Former Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley, the man who brought a bunch of bums from Brooklyn and painted an entire city blue make his eternal home base here (The Militant won't say whether he heard the sound of somebody turning over underground in light of what has happened over the past year, or the horrific, unspeakable event that was to occur on Monday night). Being the great blue-bleeding Dodger fan that the Militant is, he can't thank Mr. O'Malley enough for his favorite team. But the Militant is also forever grateful for Mr. O'Malley's pioneering vision and initiative in making professional sports not only possible in this City, but in the entire western United States.

Another pioneer, this time in the world of motion pictures rests several yards to the east:
Though his epitaph reads, "Beloved King of Comedy," for the Militant, and this entire motion picture industry, he is known for so much more. Nearly a hundred years ago, he founded the Keystone Pictures Co. studios in Edendale (now part of Echo Park), which was the first motion picture sound stage in the world and the genesis of the film industry in Los Angeles.

Speaking of movies, Holy Cross is also the final resting place of countless legends of the silver screen. Located in the Grotto area (just a few yards south of Chick Hearn's grave, towards the entrance) are the gravesites of:
Actor and crooner Bing Crosby; and just a few yards north, on the right side of the Grotto near the curb:
Legendary actress Rita Hayworth.

More contemporary Hollywood figures spend their final repose here, including John Candy and Ricardo Montalban, though the Militant had a hard time trying to locate their gravesites.

Being this the time of the year that it is, there were many of the living making visits to their own stars in their lives here, leaving flowers, mementos or just spending a quiet moment with their loved ones.

One section of the cemetery was somewhat more decorated than the rest of the grounds, with many families standing over headstones, praying or paying respects. A look at the birth and death dates of the stones indicated that those buried in this section were mostly young children, who, for whatever reason, never had a chance to even enjoy a fraction of the lives that we have enjoyed. The Militant felt a little guilty being here, not knowing anyone buried here very closely (most of the Militant's own beloved who passed are buried in an unspecified land far, far away).

Whether or not you observe religious or cultural traditions, the Militant hopes that all of you living Angels in this City just take even a moment to remember your own beloved ones who are now no more in this life. However big or small, their legacy lives on as long as they are remembered.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Oingo Boingo: A Los Angeles Halloween Music Tradition

Transplants, the Los Angeles experts that they are, love saying that this City has no traditions. Wrongo. Los Angeles does have them, you just don't know what they are. But some traditions, long enjoyed by the locals, are no longer around. perhaps the most well-known tradition was the annual Oingo Boingo Halloween concert. Now if you're really new to Los Angeles, or are under 25 years old, or both, you might be saying, "Oingo What?"

The Militant will explain.

Years before Danny Elfman became exclusively known as a film score composer, he was the lead singer of a rock band called Oingo Boingo. Started in the early '70s with his brother Richard and some UCLA friends, they were originally called The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, an eclectic theatrical-music act spanning various genres and eras. In the late '70s, the band gravitated towards a more modern rock, ska and new wave sound and shortened the name to its now-well-known suffix.

The band was signed to A&M records and were local staples on the new wave-formatted KROQ 106.7 FM, and got national exposure via MTV. Songs like "Only A Lad," "Who Do You Want To Be" and "Little Girls" were some of their biggest hits. But they hit the big time through their theme song from the 1985 movie Weird Science and had other hits like "Just Another Day" and "Dead Man's Party."

Even in the midst of their mainstream success and world tours, they would always find the time to come back home to Los Angeles come late October and play their annual Halloween concert, which took place at various venues such as The Palace (now The Avalon Hollywood), Irvine Meadows (now Verizon) Ampitheatre and the Universal (now Gibson) Ampitheatre (See, our venues are still around, they just change their names...), where they played their final Halloween concert - and final concert ever - in 1995.

The heir apparent to Oingo Boingo is the performance art-rock band The Mutaytor, which includes former Oingo Boingo bass player John Avila, who does annual Halloween concerts with a "Danny Elfman-approved" tribute band and sometimes other Oingo Boingo alums such as drummer Johnny Vatos Hernandez and guitarist Steve Bartek. Elfman unfortunately does not participate due to suffering from irreversible hearing loss and avoids loud amplified concert settings.

But Oingo Boingo's music legacy lives on as one of Los Angeles' most influential and original bands, and, along with Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark, (No) Silly String on Hollywood Boulevard, West Hollywood's Halloween Costume Carnival and Knotts Scary Farm, it will always be one of this area's own Halloween traditions. Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Massively Critical: The October Critical Mass Ride

The Militant hasn't done a group bicycle ride in a looong-ass time, so he figured he'd check out this month's last-Friday-of-the-month Los Angeles Critical Mass ride on Friday night, having heard it's quite the shiznit these days, with upwards of over 1800 cyclists, and a police escort which followed this unfortunate incident last year.

This was the Militant's first CM ride in over three years. When he first rode in Spring 2007, about 60 riders started at Wilshire and Western, snaked through Koreatown, Hollywood, Silver Lake, Historic Filipinotown and finally ended unceremoniously in Downtown Los Angeles...with about six riders. The Militant thought it was teh lame and has avoided it since, in favor of these rides and this (now defunct) ride.

But now that CM has grown to the size and scope of its originator up north, the Militant wanted to check it out.

He rode over from the Militant Compound to Wilshire/Western, where some 1300 cyclists gathered (pictured right). And just at the ready, LAPD motorcycles were lined up around the corner, with a number of bike cops waiting at the base of the Solair Wilshire building.

The most interesting observation coming back from the Militant's two-year absence from group rides? The change in the group ride demographic. The majority of riders no longer comprises of white hipsters on fixies, but Latino teenagers...on fixies.

The 30-mile ride got underway at around 7:45 p.m., headed north on Western, west on 6th Street, north on Highland, west on Melrose, south on La Cienega...

...and then, well it sorta got iffy after that. The pack thinned out greatly. In fact, though the po-po were escorting us, they were also ticketing cyclists at every other lighted intersection for running red lights. It was sort of bizarre. One female cyclist openly wept as she tried to reason with the officer.

As we headed down La Cienega, there was some confusion as to where to go. Apparently, the pack turned west on Pico, but we continued south on La Brea and turned west on Venice Blvd. towards Culver City.

But Venice Blvd already has a bike lane, and the Militant was increasingly feeling the uselessness of this ride using a pre-existing bike lane when for the past five miles or so we took over the streets (which is the point of Critical Mass in the first place, no?).

At one point, after Mar Vista and into eastern Venice, the Militant was riding all alone. Hmm, this evening started out as Critical Mass and ended like...well, any other night the Militant rides his bike alone. He overheard people heading south on Lincoln, so he dismounted and hung out on Lincoln and Venice. There were other cyclists on each corner, either hanging out or waiting for others. He even saw some head north on Lincoln. At this point, he thought, "Critical Mass the Militant's Ass!" And contemplated either riding the 33 Metro Local bus or his bike back to his compound.

Suddenly, at around 9:25 p.m., a huge gaggle of riders came up to the street and stopped at the light (Pictured left). Here they are! They probably did go down Pico after all. Los Angeles, you never fail the Militant!

Now joining what now looks like a couple hundred riders, we descended south on Lincoln towards Marina Del Rey and Playa Vista, where we got ready to turn left on Jefferson. But since we were all bicycles and there were no cars stopped on top of the road sensors circles, the left turn green light never came. After over 5 minutes waiting at the left turn lane, two motorcycle officers went ahead on a red light and we all followed them.

There were whoops and hollers as we bolted east on Jefferson back towards Culver City. But then again, at every lighted intersection, cyclists were getting red light tickets. So basically, never bolt past a red light (when the police are present, unless they actually allow you to...).

We headed left on Sepulveda and hit Venice Blvd. Being All Hallow's Eve Eve Eve, a number of cyclists wore costumes, everything from the standard zombie and skeleton to some of the more creative ones - including an iPod and Elliot (a dude wearing a red-hooded sweatshirt with an E.T. doll in his bike's front basket - clever).

There were also some pretty tricked-out bikes, including one pulling a long trailer, and one extremely illuminated cycle owned by Dego from Downtown Los Angeles, who had built his over the past couple years and powers all his lights with a 38-volt battery mounted behind his saddle.

We headed east on Venice, using the bike lane again, and didn't turn north again until Western, where the Militant returned back to the Metro station at Wilshire, where he met up with an operative. What started out as roughly 1300 turned into...13.

In all it was a fun night, though the police presence was confusing. June's much-lauded Critical Mass was called a "love fest" between cyclists and LAPD, but the Militant overheard incidents of officers being unnecessarily rude to CM participants. There were riders who had great conversations with the police, mainly the younger officers on bikes (a number of them did look like they were having fun - they normally don't get to ride that far). Officers do have to uphold the law as they are sworn to do, but as the pack thins out dramatically, the purpose of Critical Mass is all for naught. It looked like there were enough tickets handed out to balance the City's budget woes. So thank a cyclist if that happens.

In the meantime, the Militant will look out for the other group rides. Or...he may or may not organize one of his own. Who's down for that?!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Vlogstyle Episode 07: The Militant Experiences CicLAvia!!!

So CicLAvia finally happened on Sunday. The Militant's utopian wet dream of car-free streets in Los Angeles came true, if only for five hours on 10/10/10. It was a unique day in the city, having been shared this event with some 100,000 others. The day was chill, peaceful, joyful. Never before has he seen so many Angelenos engaged in wondrous displays of leisure. But most important is the social impact. Lots of new friends were made (Facebook as well as real-life), mutual experiences were shared. The Militant was even spotted (probably, he can never conform nor deny any spottings by any of the other participants, but he was definitely out there). Kudos to the people who organized this history-making event. No doubt, this is but the first of many. Los Angeles will never be the same.

So enjoy the Militant's little video of the event. As you can see, it made him react...quite emotionally.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Domingo Gigante: It's CicLAvia!

CicLAvia. You know what it is. Sunday, 10/10/10. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Eastside to East Hollywood. Definitely part of the public space revolution in Los Angeles the Militant recently blogged about. Ride yo bikes, jog yo legs, roll yo skates, push yo strollerz, walk yo dawgs, cuz ERRYBODY gonna be a part of it! Be there -- The Militant may or may not. See ya at CicLAvia!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Infinitely Mortifying! KCET Divorces PBS

An earthquake shook today in the local broadcast television world as TV station KCET decided to terminate its relationship with the Public Broadcasting Service, stemming from disagreement over paying an annual $7 million programming fee to broadcast such shows as PBS News Hour, Antiques Roadshow, NOVA and, of course Sesame Street. Elmo no like that!

KCET has been a PBS station since the network formally started 40 years ago. The Militant, like many people his age, grew up on PBS shows on Channel 28. In addition to Sesame Street, it was all about The Electric Company, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, 3-2-1 Contact, Reading Rainbow and lesser-known shows such as Villa Alegre, Zoom and The Song Bag with Tony Saletan. Where would today's kids turn to? Oh, wait, never mind. Also, most televisions in So Cal can pick up Orange County's KOCE, which remains a PBS affiliate.

Still, the shock is unavoidable, and one can only guess the impact of KCET's split. Hmm. Mayor Villaraigosa got divorced and disappointed Los Angeles. Frank McCourt got divorced and disappointed Los Angeles. Is KCET next?

KCET plans to remain, as station president Al Jerome (no, not that guy) stated in his official announcement, an "independent public television station" with "a track record of producing great local programming." Huell Howser fans need not fret, as he won't be going anywhere. In fact, The Huell will be the undisputed face of the station. Wow, that's a-mazing!

One thing is certain - KCET plans to remain a nonprofit public station, will not go commercial and will continue to carry PBS programming until December 31, 2010. As for 1/1/11, that's anyone's guess.'s what the Militant guesses KCET will be broadcasting, starting in 2011:

Mr. Howser's Neighborhood: The Huell will be hosting yet another show, aimed at children, teaching them about a-ma-zing places in Southern California. There will be a trolley, which will be furnished by the San Pedro Waterfront Red Car.

Hipster Antique Store Roadshow: Filmed on location in Silver Lake, this show features hipsters from all over what they consider to be "The Eastside," lining up to get expert appraisals of their vinyl copy of Vampire Weekend's debut album, their first-generation iPhone and their medium-sized t-shirt with a picture of a synthesizer on it.

The News Hour: The most-talked about local issues of the day are discussed in this nightly news program hosted by's Zach Behrens and Lindsay William-Ross.

This Old Craftsman House: Produced entirely in Highland Park, the show's host shows viewers the step-by-step process of DIY'ing your own craftsman house restoration.

Second Street: This children's program takes place entirely in Downtown Los Angeles starring a human cast with puppet characters, designed by Bob Baker Marionette Theater. Puppet characters include the Taco Monster, Ponderous Pigeon and Oscar The NIMBY.

Actually, this whole independent, local KCET thing might not be a bad idea after all. In fact, it might be the best thing evar for the Los Angeles airwaves. PBS is based in Arlington, VA and has an obvious East Coast Bias. An independent KCET would be...Infinitely Angeleno!

Come to think of it...The Militant Angeleno should have his own show! No, really! After all, he possesses an exemplary knowledge of Los Angeles, has some experience being in front of the camera and KCET obviously knows about him. So whaddya say, KCET? GIVE THE MILITANT HIS OWN SHOW IN 2011!

MA blog readers, let KCET know you want to see the Militant on the air!

Monday, October 4, 2010

All Seoul'd Out: The 37th Los Angeles Korean Festival

The Militant passes through the Olympic/Normandie intersection at least once a week and has been hearing of the big 37th Los Angeles Korean Festival for the past few days. The epic, four-day-long cultural extravaganza from this past Thursday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. sounded like something not to miss.

But a busy weekend with tons of unspecified extramilitant activities caused the Militant to miss the free concert by the insanely popular K-pop group The Wonder Girls on Friday night (not surprisingly, the most-attended night of the festival) or the Bibimbap Fest on Saturday (free bibimbap to the first 1,000 attendees!). Dang!

But the Militant was able to check it out on Sunday night. Expecting the show to be over and lots of booths already packing up, the Militant's expectation was totally wrong. Having arrived at around 7 p.m., the festival was still very much alive!

Perhaps it was perfect timing and true (non-hipster) irony. On the very day the Dodgers formally ended their dream of defending their NL West title for the third straight year, the Militant arrived at this festival, situated over the diamond at the Dodgers-built Dream Field at Seoul International Park, located right across the street from the Korean Pavilion Garden (covered in This Here Blog a couple of years ago).

Of course, this event was a pleasant contrast to the disappointing Dodger season (Deport McCourt!). The festival had much action, joy and...Seoul.

Most outdoor cultural festivals have the usual: Entertainment stage, check. Booths, check. Food stands, check. Kid's Area, check. Beer garden, check.

But this one was different. You actually felt like you were in another country, and that's not a knock on the festival at all. In fact, that's what made it totally awesome.

First off, the Militant, in all his terdysumthin years existing in this great City, had never attended a festival that was situated upon thousands of white plastic panels (pictured right). No, really -- the panels were obviously put in place to minimize dust and protect the park's (and the aforementioned baseball field's) surface, but the look and feel of it all made the experience slightly other-worldy. Seriously, when was the last time you attended an outdoor festival on top of thousands of plastic floor panels?

Next was the fantastic night bazaar that took place on most of the festival grounds. Booths hawked everything from therapeutic footrests to ginseng to t-shirts to cellphone accessories to DVDs to cosmetics. People in product stalls hawking their products repeatedly via bullhorns, microphones or at the top of their voices in rhythmic, repetitive cadences, mostly in Korean, but sometimes in the Korean-English-Spanish linguistic triumvirate of K-Town. Accompanied by the cool air, you didn't have to try too hard to imagine that you were in the Land of the Morning Calm.

And the food? Of course, this is Koreatown, and like the Militant always says, You can't spell "Koreatown" without the word "eat." Korean BBQ? There's plenty of that on Olympic, Western and other streets. Outdoor festivals don't have the infrastructure (nor adequate ventilation) for that, but there's tons more K-food to shake a (stainless steel chop-) stick at.

With so much grub and so little time (not to mention stomach capacity), the Militant went for the Choonchun Dakgalbi booth (pictured right), where he had a nicely-stacked $5 trayful of chicken galbi mixed with cabbage, sweet potato, red sauce and cheese.

The Militant wanted more but was short on cash. No prob! Most of the food booths gave away free samples! Everything from Korean-style popcorn chicken to blood sausage to pajeon seafood pancakes. Still hungry? Just come back later, grab a toothpick and sample away!

The night - and the four-day-long festival - concluded with a pretty kick-ass awesome performance by the Tal Taekwondo troupe (pictured left) - which combined the iconic Korean martial art with traditional dance, drumming, acrobatics, b-boy hip-hop moves and Cirque du Soleil-style theatrics. The performance featured some sort of storyline depicting a Crips vs. Bloods-type Korean folkloric battle. Or at least there were these people dressed in blue pitted against people dressed in red...

Even the ever-native Militant admits that the 37th annual Los Angeles Korean Festival was his first, and wonders why he slept on the past 36 fests. but Los Angeles is always like that. The things you take for granted and don't consider much one moment will smack you upside the head and blow you away the next. The Militant will definitely be back for the 38th.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Huell Takes A Trip

If you thought yesterday's sunset was a trip, get a load of this. Just had to share this with y'all.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

In Appreciation Of The Sunset

You guys just don't know how good we got it here in Los Angeles.

No other place in America can view the setting sun like this. Only with a west-facing ocean where the low-lying orange sun illuminates the sea and makes the clouds glow with a multicolored lightshow from red to orange to purple can you see something like this. Sure, there are many other cities on the West Coast, but San Diego, Oakland and Seattle are obstructed by a peninsula to the west, and San Francisco is a city that largely faces north and east, and only the rich folk who live on the coastal end of Frisco can see it (Why else do they call that part of SF "The Sunset District?"). But here in Los Angeles, the egalitarian sky show is for all. We even named one of our most famous streets after it.

Today. September 29, the penultimate day of the ninth month of the year, and just two days after The Hottest Day Evar, many of us saw and gawked at rainbows, be they single or double, today, as a monsoon rain wet parts of the Southland. Many of us re-enacted or quoted that viral video. The rainbow was clearly today's star.

But while everyone was paying attention to the star of the show, another spectacular performance was playing out on the opposite side of the sky. The same monsoon rainclouds that gave us that rainbow action also lingered in the sky to reflect That Setting Sun. And there it was. The Militant took the top picture from The Militant Compound around 6:40 p.m. today.

The glowing orange sunset clouds were like an ethereal upside-down mountain range. But the show would only last for a while, as the chameleonic sky turned purple, then grey, and the sun would hide until another day (hey, that rhymes...).

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hottest. Day. Evar.

After a Summer of bitching about unseasonably cold temps, after wistfully mourning the end of the Militant's favorite season at the onset of the Autumnal Equinox last week, after biking miles around town listening to Katy Perry's Summer anthem, "California Gurls" spill out of nearly every car stereo on the road, while wearing a jacket, we finally got ourselves a heat wave.

It was hot today.

Boy was it hot.

It was sooo hot in Los Angeles today, the food from the food trucks were cooking themselves. It was sooo hot in Los Angeles today, hipsters were advised to avoid vinyl record shops due to molten merchandise. It was sooo hot in Los Angeles today...

It was the hottest day ever recorded in Los Angeles history. "113 Dees Grees," as they used to say on KIIS-FM. When they used to play good music.

The Militant fondly remembers the previous hottest day - June 26, 1990. It was only 112 that day. Okay, he hardly remembered that day save for riding home in an RTD bus, which may or may not have had its air conditioning running. He did remember the Bell Biv Devoe tune, "Poison," though. Never trust a big butt and a smile, that girl is...Oh hey! The Militant digresses.

In the year 2030, when the Militant blogs (will they still have blogs then?) about that hot-ass day in 2010 when the weather hit 113, he will no doubt try to recall what he did on that day. And it will be quite a challenge, not because of the onset of old age, but because he spent most of the day...sleeping.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Screen & Green: Outdoor 'L.A.' Movies At Barnsdall Park

Yeah, the Militant has been blogging about public space quite a lot this week. But hey!

Looking for something to do tonight? Something that doesn't cost too much? Head over to the public space atop Olive Hill known as Barnsdall (Please don't pronounce it "Barnsdale" but "Barns-Doll") Art Park by Hollywood and Vermont before 7:30 p.m. for the third of their Outdoor 'L.A.' Movies series this month, where they screen four films from the past few decades that are set in, and feature the architecture and landscape of Los Angeles.

The Militant was there on the nocturnal outdoor cinema series' first night, coincidentally on Los Angeles' birthday on September 4, and saw 2009's 500 Days of Summer, a film that was shockingly similar to the Militant's life in unspecified ways...But he digresses. It was the perfect climate and vibe up there on the west lawn of Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House, attended by some 300-plus people. Yeah, there's a few hipsters there (It's just up the hill from Los Feliz Village after all), but the majority are more civilized, educated type folk. Best of all, the move starts right after the sun goes down, and the colorful glow of Hollywood Blvd can easily be seen to the west - the perfect backdrop.

Tonight, they're screening 1997's L.A. Confidential, the James Ellroy-penned crime drama set in the early 1950s starring a couple of Australian actors playing LAPD officers. Crikey!

The movie ain't free, but the $10 admission goes to the Barnsdall Art Park Foundation and their programs.

You're free to bring your own picnic a la Hollywood Bowl, or there's about three or four food trucks parked in the lot just north of the Hollyhock House. Parking is crazy since you know everyone else is gonna drive there, but take the (M) Red Line to the Vermont/Sunset station and walk up Barnsdall Avenue to the park entrance stairs, or just bike up there like the Militant did!

Missed tonight's film? Come check it next Saturday for the final screening of the series with 1988's Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Has The Public Space Revolution Begun?

Ever since the post-World War II years, Angelenos were pretty much content staying in their homes, with their big front lawns and big backyards. The region's expanse geography has often been named as a factor, but an even bigger factor was our built environment - the only places where people were seen en masse in a recreational setting - aside from the beach of course - was indoors, like shopping malls, or in paid-admission environments (Dodger Stadium, the Coliseum, the Rose Bowl, Magic Mountain, Disneyland).

The suburban-based postwar paradigm was a contrast to the way things used to be; Downtown Los Angeles in the 1930s was virtually indistinguishable from New York City or any other bustling city center. And the historic nucleus of our City is, after all, a public plaza. But the freeways, parking lots and tract homes from the late 1940s on changed things.

There have been exceptions: Melrose Avenue, Westwood Village circa early 1980s. Then in the '90s, more of these pedestrian pockets started to gain popularity, namely Santa Monica's 3rd Street Promenade and Old Town Pasadena.

In the 2000s, we've seen Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles gain active street life and public open space (or publicly-accessible, privately owned space, i.e. Hollywood and Highland, LA Live).

Are we in the midst of a public space revolution in Los Angeles?

Today, as you may or may not know, is the fourth annual observance of Park[ing] Day LA, a day where parking spaces reserved for autos become reclaimed for the day in the form of public human activity spaces. The intent, as the activity's SF-based founders established, was to create a dialogue. The Militant covered Park[ing] Day LA extensively back in 2007 (and a following-day epilogue) and in 2008.

But it doesn't stop there -- Hollywood Community Studio's "Streets For Feet" demonstration will transform Hudson Avenue at Hollywood Blvd into a pedestrian plaza from today until Sunday, with a bevy of activities.

And earlier this week, as reported in this here blog, The Robert F. Kennedy Inspiration Park opened to the public right on Wilshire Blvd (in front of the Ambassador Hotel LAUSD's New RFK Community High School) in the form of trees, plants, grass, benches, a public art memorial and even jazz music.

But wait, there's more! The four-block long Civic Center Park in Downtown has recently begun construction and the ever-popular mobile gourmet food truck scene has shown 21st-century Angelenos how to (literally) go out to eat. More and more communities are holding their own weekly Farmers Markets and the increasingly-successful Downtown ArtWalk, and similar regional events, are turning that Missing Persons song into outdated nostalgia ("Words" and "Mental Hopscotch" will still rock for all eternity though).

The revolution will not be televised. It will be outside.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This ISS It: International Space Station Over Los Angeles!

On Tuesday night, an operative exuberantly Tweeted about the International Space Station's scheduled orbit over Los Angeles. The Militant Tweeted the info, and at least a few of you were able to see it. Blogger and Tweeter Highland Park 90042 was able to capture it flying over NELA.

Tuesday's fly-over was spectacular in that the spacecraft was able to reflect a lot of light from the setting sun, and its orbit was close to being directly over Los Angeles; it emerged from the northwestern sky at about 7:34 p.m. and the bright, non-blinking object flew in a straight diagonal line Full-On All The Way Across The Sky (Whoa! OMG! OMG! whooooo!!!!) until it faded above the southeast horizon. It was visible for a full four minutes.

The ISS flew over Los Angeles again on Wednesday night, orbiting somewhat more southwest of the City, but still visible from the West-Southwest sky for two minutes, making a dash under a bright crescent moon, finally disappearing from view over the Southern sky.

The Militant took a pic of it with his trusty Militant Cam, using the motion setting with the flash off and took the pic you see above. Of course, the Militant Compound is filled with lots of nifty technological thingamajigs, so he was able to enlarge the tiny dot to this:
(Click to Enlarge)

Cool, huh? You can easily make out the space station's solar panels on the left and right sides of the image. All from some 260 miles above Los Angeles!

Of course, the ISS is no stranger to this area. Many of its components and modules were built right here in Southern California, at companies like Boeing Aerospace in Huntington Beach and SpaceX in Hawthorne.

The ISS flies over Southern California fairly regularly, though broad daylight and cloud cover obviously hampers the viewing experience. Visit this site to find out when the ISS orbits over Los Angeles next!

Militant Update: RFK A-OK - Public Space After All!

Back in July, the Militant stumbled on a curiously new mini-park being finished up along Wilshire Blvd. Why, he even wrote a blog post about it!

After several weeks and much speculation, Robert F. Kennedy Inspiration Park is finally open to the public, having opened this week in conjunction with the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools just over the fence.

It looks like this other blog (which is run by another local blogger you may or may not know) covered the opening, but the Militant got to set foot in the park on Wednesday afternoon and test it out.

There was a uniformed security guard on the premises, but when the Militant walked his bike in, he didn't even flinch. Good sign (or is the Militant really that stealth?).

The park is adorned by a row of trees through the center over a patch of freshly-grown grass and native, drought-tolerant plants like the spiny blue festuca grass, frame the park's sections. A circumferential pedestrian dirt path lines each section.

The most interesting feature of the park? A speaker on the extreme west end of the park that pipes in -- jazz music! No, not 94.7 The Wave crap, but actual jazz music! Maybe as a crime deterrent. Maybe all our future public spaces, like the under-construction Civic Center Park, should have jazz music playing. Especially that classic Central Avenue and West Coast Cool Jazz sound that originated right here in Los Angeles. Awww yeah.

Despite what some of the comments in the Militant's July post about the park feared, there is no fence, steel or chain link, covering the park. Which is a good thing. Great cities have great monuments and great accessible public spaces -- even better when they're of a historical nature. Now, the Militant has yet another place to add to his list of locales he takes his out-of-town guests to. And you now do too.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

On Los Angeles' 229th Birthday, A Look Back Through Postcards

In the early 1990s, a younger, curious proto-Militant Angeleno used to look intently at the post card displays at the local Thrifty Drug & Discount Store (now, sadly, part of East Coast megaconglomerate Rite Aid). Usually the post cards are there for the interest of tourists to send home to loved ones, (usually to make them jealous). But this native local had a different reason for perusing them: During that time, the postcards, for the first time, depicted a new Los Angeles skyline, topped by the then-brand-new 73-story Library Tower smack dab in the middle. This was now a different-looking City than the one he knew as a kid.

Yes, postcards are unintentional historical markers. The Militant recently stumbled on A Tour of LA Through Vintage Postcards. The very simple HTML site shows scanned postcards of Los Angeles and its environs from the 1930s to the 1990s (though unfortunately none of the postcards are demarcated by year).

Most striking is that of Downtown Los Angeles. One picture (pictured right) shows a circa-1968 skyline, or lack thereof. The tallest building, which is under construction, is the 42-story 611 Place tower, then known as the Crocker Bank Tower, and later the AT&T Building. It was the tallest in the City until the ARCO Plaza twin towers were built in 1971. As you can also tell by the picture, smog was much worse back then and even back in 1968, the 101 Freeway was constantly jammed during evening rush hour.

But other aspects of Los Angeles haven't changed, or have hardly changed, like this postcard of the plaza at Union Station, or the Chinatown Central Plaza.

This view of MacArthur Park (listed in the site's "Westside LA" section, heh heh), is only slightly more verdant than the view we see today, albeit lacking the shimmering view of the modern skyline reflected in the lake.

And speaking of "Westside," apparently Westwood gets its own separate section on this site (perhaps the site was made by a proud Bruin alum). This 1930s-era view of Westwood Village resembles an early 20th-century World's Fair site.

You can spend the whole day looking at these photos, and when you're done, you can look at even more on this Old Los Angeles Postcards Flickr site. Like the saying goes, you don't know where you're going unless you know where you've been. An appropriate activity to do on our fine City's 229th birthday (in addition to a few previously mentioned...). Happy Birthday, Los Angeles!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Celebrate Los Angeles' 229th Birthday Weekend!

Whatup, Angelenos?! Tomorrow is Los Angeles' 229th birthday, and it's so huge, most businesses will be closed on Monday! Oh wait, it's a national holiday? OK, whatever. But here's some kick-ass events to celebrate your city's b-day!

Pobladores History Walk - 6 a.m. to 12 noon, San Gabriel Mission to Olvera Street. Every true Angeleno must do this at least once in their life! Re-enact the original 9-mile journey by our City's founders on foot (Bring comfortable shoes)! The walk was canceled for the first time last year due to the Station Fire, so if you were planning on doing it last year, now is your chance! The Militant did the walk in 2007 and had a great time (the blisters were a bitch though).

2nd Annual Leimert Park Village African Art & Music Festival - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 43rd St. and Degnan Ave, Leimert Park (also Sunday and Monday). Enjoy "The Soul of Los Angeles" with this three-day free festival featuring African and Africa-American music, arts, crafts and food. Last year's festival was a blast, and this year's should be even bigger!

Outdoor 'L.A.' Movies At Barnsdall Park - 7:30 p.m., Barnsdall Park, Hollywood. Cap off the day with this first-in-a-series outdoor screening of famous Los Angeles-based films at Barnsdall Park. Saturday night's featured film will be 2009's 500 Days Of Summer. Upcoming films are: Sept. 11: LA Story (1991); Sept. 18: LA Confidential (1997) and Sept 25: Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988). The movies aren't free, they cost $10 a person, but the proceeds go to the Barnsdall Art Park Foundation and their programs.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

But Oh, Those (Chinatown) Summer Nights

On Saturday the Militant rode into Chinatown for the long-awaited Chinatown Summer Nights (not to be confused with Mayor Villaraigosa's Summer Night Lights program, the annoying karaoke anthem "Summer Nights" from Grease, or Richard Marx's "Endless Summer Nights"). It's a weekly nocturnal event put on by the CRA, Community Arts Resources, KCRW and various cultural and business organizations based in Chinatown to promote nightlife in the Chinatown Plaza vicinity between 5 p.m. and midnight.

It seemed like a decently-attended event, although by the time the Militant arrived a little after 10 p.m., some aspects were already shutting down. All of the energy seemed to be at either the existing bars. the outdoor dancefloors pumping music from various KCRW DJs, or the line of food trucks queued at the Lei Min Way alley. The areas in between, thought, were largely empty.

Most absent, and the biggest bummer for the Militant was the no-show of the promised Night Market feature of the event, as he previously reported in This Here Blog. The Militant got to the bottom of this, and found out that due to budget reasons (remember, kids, anything that doesn't happen in life can easily be blamed on a budget issue), the Night Market (also described as a "Craft Fair") will only be running for two out of the four Saturday of Chinatown Summer Nights: On the 14th and on the 28th. And unlike the original plan, which called for vendors located all over Chinatown Plaza, Chung King Road and the Bamboo Lane Alley, the Night Market will only occupy the parking lot space off of College Street between Hill and Broadway.

Yes, as expected, CSN was populated by Hipsters and HipKids (read: multi-ethnic 20-something locals who are into the same things as hipsters are but do not live the hipster lifestyle), and the Militant won't waste your time bitching about that as usual, but it would be nice to see more families and over-40 folks in the mix, as CSN seems to be targeted to a general audience. After all, the whole point of this event was to promote Chinatown's nightlife to folks who normally don't drop by these here parts when it's not time for the Golden Dragon Parade. And people already go to The Mountain Bar or the nearby art galleries.

The other big gripe was the seeming lack of anything Chinese or Chinese American going on in the added nightlife activities, at least by the time he got there. The Militant heard there were some performances and cultural- and food- demonstrations earlier in the evening, but dude, this is Chinatown. Represent!

This past Saturday's attendance, though, might have been heavily influenced by spillover crowds from the HARD Summer Music Festival going on at the Los Angeles State Historic Park next door. Which means this weekend's crowd could be anybody's guess.

One cool thing was the free bike valet provided by the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. They will be there all four weeks of CSN and they're located towards the Hill Street side. Do take advantage of it when riding down there. The Militant may or may not have!

So drop by this Saturday. You may or may not see the Militant!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Militant's Summer (Or Whatever Season It Is) Ritual: The Bike Ride To The Beach

It's summertime, and the Militant set out on Monday to do his ritual, which he tries to do at least once every Summer - ride his bike from the Militant Compound (located in an unspecified location in Central Los Angeles) to the beach (Here's a post from 2008, via a different route, on this ride)!

The sun was shining, so he brought his bike out onto the streets of Los Angeles, and headed westward!

[Follow the nearly-40-mile ride route here (the first and last few miles omitted for obvious reasons)]:

Okay, after rolling down on an unspecified boulevard and turning on an unspecified avenue, the Militant found himself going south on Oxford Street, just a block east of Western Avenue and a far better alternative as far as riding on two wheels goes. There he headed west on 4th Street, in all its sharrowed-ness, transitioning from the dense apartmentage of Koreatown to the tony mansions of Hancock Park, all while staying on the same street. Upon reaching La Brea Blvd, it's back to the vehicular combat heading south, but not for long; for upon reaching another bike-friendly thoroughfare - Redondo Blvd - just south of Olympic, it was easy sailing for the next few miles.

At the end of the road was Jefferson, where the Metro Exposition Light Rail Line was being built in front of him. In this section, just west of the future La Brea Station, rail was being placed down.

Just west of the future La Cienega Station was a peculiar sight: As most of us know, the Expo Line is the modern-day replacement of the Pacific Electric's Santa Monica Air Line and the wooden bridge which carried the old Red Cars was not torn down for the Metro Rail structure, but rather, the new rail structure was built directly over it (pictured left)! Perhaps the adjoining Exposition Bikeway will be using it when the light rail opens next year.

Further west, the light rail line runs for the next few hundred yards until its terminus just east of Venice Blvd. The Militant snapped this picture of some of the rail-placing that's still going on:
The Militant veered west on Washington, just past the future Expo Line terminus, rounded the corner near the Downtown Culver City Trader Joe's and found himself on Culver Blvd, where he continued in a westerly direction, eventually finding the rails-to-trails Culver Boulevard Median Bicycle Path (pictured left) - which was once a Pacific Electric Red Car Line, and later a Southern Pacific freight line until 1976, The county's transportation commission (Metro's predecessor) bought it in 1990 and converted it to the bike path we see today.

The Militant continued down the path (diverging temporarily for some extra pumps of air courtesy of the Wheel World bike shop on Sepulveda), when he spotted...

...The marine layer. Greeeeat. Suddenly his bright blue Summer sky yielded a dreary mass of grey, more suited for Winter or early Spring days. Um, wasn't the point of this ride to celebrate Summer?

But the Militant's ever-observant eye did spot a peculiar monument on Culver Blvd and Mascagni Street in the Del Rey neighborhood of Los Angeles - an over-six-foot tall entrance pylon (pictured right), most likely a vestigal remnant of the neighborhood's old subdivision development (Note to self: Find some more like this around town. Could make a great future MA post...).

Now with his shades off (hope no one was following him at that point), the Militant ended up on some side streets and made his way to Lincoln Blvd north and Washington Blvd. west, where a fellow cyclist rode alongside him. He was riding a fixie, but he was no teenager or hipster. He was some dude in his '50s. He looked like he was in pain. Poor dude (BTW, there's some sewer replacement going on around here, so be mindful if you're gonna ride along Washington north of the Marina).

In no time, the Militant found his way onto the Venice Pier. But it was overcast. And cold. There Militant was not a very happy camper, especially since he came dressed for temperatures a little higher up on the thermometer.

Funny thing, each of the lifeguard stations along the beach was painted in a bright tone, and bore the words, "Summer of Color" (pictured left). Ummm, riiiiight. He can find two things wrong with that statement on this dreary un-summery day.

So the Militant just rode north on the beach bike path, passing by the Venice Beach Boardwalk, with its numerous souvenir shops, street performers, marijuana dispensaries and throngs of unhappy tourists, expecting to see and experience something that resembles Summer.

The Militant biked north until the Santa Monica Pier, where he walked his bike up onto Ocean Avenue and east on Santa Monica Blvd.

As he passed the Third Street Promenade, he noticed that the place looked exactly the same as the last time he was there (some three or so years ago...). He continued down the boulevard, and after Lincoln, decided to use the less-busy Broadway instead. A perfect route, as it had not only a bike lane but a number of traffic-calming devices, such as curb bump-outs, built into the street!
At this point night was falling, and he learned Broadway in Santa Monica turned into Ohio Ave. in West Los Angeles. He had no choice but to continue on Santa Monica Blvd, but then picked up the SMB bike lane after Sepulveda.

It was at this point the Militant was debating whether to just rest and hop on the Metro 4 or 704 bus back to Central Los Angeles or just continue on the bike. A pounding headache made the latter difficult, but a true Militant never takes the easy way out! ARRRRGH!

While passing through Century City (and taking a short Twitter break), he saw some guitar-playing d-bag on Santa Monica try to serenade some chicks waiting on the curb in front of the Westfield Century City on the other side of the street. LOL.

Anyway, it wasn't long before the Militant found himself in Beverly Hills and Little Santa Monica Blvd turned into Burton Way (yet another abandoned Red Car route!). Then after being near the Beverly Center area and just down 3rd Street from Farmer's Market, he realized that he might as well finish the journey on bike, as he was almost there. From 3rd down Cochran it was back on 4th Street, and then back on Oxford, and then onto the various unspecified streets that led him back to his compound.

The Militant was so worn out from this nearly 40-mile trek that he lacked the energy to post this blog entry until a day later (must be getting old...)!

Anyhoo, comparing this post to the route he took back in '08 shows that both knowing more bike-friendly routes and the existence of more official bike infrastructure can really make a difference riding through Los Angeles. Broadway through Santa Monica was an awesome route, and the Militant hopes the bike path that adjoins the Metro Exposition Line would make this trip a lot easier come next year. He would also like to see true bike-friendly improvements along Santa Monica Blvd west of Sepulveda, and link that to Ohio Avenue and Broadway in Santa Monica.

In the meantime, the Militant wants it to be Summer already...