New Carpool Lane on the Pomona Fwy

Just a few days ago a new carpool lane opened up on the Pomona Freeway and I just couldn’t wait to break it in. I loaned my recycling route to a friend just to bring you the above clip of an exciting carpool lane in action! And yes, I was Pooling It! Without my approval they’ve decided to refer to these carpool lanes as HOV’s instead, meaning High Occupancy Vehicle. Going from one to two is a BIG deal you know, thus you get some privileges.

So now you know what yer doing this weekend.

Yer Welcome.

CicLAvia moment: Celeste, the Little Rocker

Celeste from Boyle Heights enjoying the music during CicLAvia click here for HD version

By now, there are tons of gushing stories on Los Angeles blogs with participants sharing their photos and experiences at CicLAvia. I also had a great time despite being swiped by one or two cyclists as I attempted a leisurely walk through the route. I would love to see the closing off the streets, not just for a freeway of bikes but for spontaneous street action. Despite what the promotional video touted, there was no way you could have an impromptu soccer match during CicLAvia. Perhaps in the future, we can have an event where our streets are open to the randomness of city life. Despite the domination of cycles, this event was filled with all kinds of awesome moments and I was lucky to catch one of these on video.

Right around Gless and Fourth St in Boyle Heights, I stopped to listen the death metal band Take Flight (El Chavo mentioned them the previous post.) The shady curb was a good spot to take in the music and the passing crowds. Across the street, I noticed a woman and a young girl were waiting for the music to start. When the din of guitars and drums began to roar, the little girl jumped out of the shade, onto the pavement and started rockin’ out!
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CicLAvia: Some Photos

I wasn’t really planning to go, but my friend thought it was a good idea. I just didn’t want to hang around with that whole Bike Kulture set that make my skin crawl. The bike people think they have found the answer to all of life’s problems (aka, the bike) just like the Hemp Hippies thought they had also found the solution to everything in this one plant, which just also happened to get them high. People with simplistic solutions to everything are annoying and usually preachy. I gave up church for a reason.

Oh, pedestrians are invited too? I am a paid member of The Walking Class after all. Well then, lets take a looksey!

Click ahead para ver un chingo de photos.

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The Metro Dream

The Metro Dream circa 1987

While looking through some old papers that belonged to my grandmother, I found this map from the early 1980s of Los Angeles’ projected Metro rail system. It was part of a promotional package sent to Los Angeles city residents. More than twenty years later and sadly only a few of those lines became reality.

The Metro 2010

Detained in the Desert at Casa 0101

“Detained in the Desert” Heats Up Boyle Heights Stage


Yes, the country is riled up over immigration.
But for some of us, the issue of immigration is more than just a hot topic… it’s our life, who we are, and how we came to be.

Boyle Heights’ own Josefina Lopez (“Real Women Have Curves”) had so much to say about the pending immigration statute in Arizona, she popped out a play speaking out on the issue in FOUR days.

So, with no doubt I reserved two seats to Friday’s opening night at CASA 0101 Theater and sneaked in a couple snacks from next door’s liquor (the non-alcoholic kind, although I thought I saw someone with a paper bag over their tall can, but I’m not judging).

A sold out show and no AC, I started to feel like WE were ‘Detained in the Desert,’ but as soon as the lights went out and the immigrant-bashing gringo barked his first lines, I was hotter than hot… I was HEATED!
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The Story of Carmen

View of a large crowd of people on Broadway looking south from 7th St, 1934. Photo courtesy of LAPL.

A beautiful tribute to Carmen Castellanos who passed away on August 16, 2010. Submitted by reader Estella Tinajero Medina and written by her brother Art Tinajero.

My Aunt Carmen’s first memory of America was the glorious reception she received upon her arrival. It was the summer of 1917 and her family, her mother, father and little brother, had finally arrived in El Paso, Texas after a long train ride from Aguascalientes, their hometown in central Mexico.

As they pulled into the station they saw the buildings were all draped in red, white and blue bunting. A military brass band burst into patriotic marches while hundreds of tiny U.S. flags were waiving in the hands of cheering well-wishers. Along the tracks, rows and rows of fresh-faced uniformed soldiers stood at attention in perfect alignment. For a wide-eyed, six-year old little girl, it was an over-whelming welcome that would be ingrained into her memory for the rest of her life.
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Sunday, Sunday, Sunday. One day only, ONE DAY ONLY !!!!! 7 miles of L.A. streets will be closed off so people can frolic, worry free about getting hit by a stupid driver who’s not paying attention to the road. But what exactly is CICLAVIA, from their site,

“A Ciclovía is not just for recreation. It is social integration.

Ciclovías started in Bogotá, Colombia, over thirty years ago as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets. Now they happen throughout Latin America and the United States, connecting communities and giving people a break from the stress of car traffic. The health benefits are immense. Ciclovías bring families outside of their homes to enjoy the streets, our largest public space.

In Los Angeles we need CicLAvia more than ever. Our streets are congested with traffic, our air is polluted with toxic fumes, our children suffer from obesity and other health conditions caused by the scarcity of public space and safe, healthy transportation options. CicLAvia creates a temporary park for free, simply by removing cars from city streets. It creates a network of connections between our neighborhoods and businesses and parks with corridors filled with fun.”

It’s pretty self explanatory, so grab your bike and cruise around. I’ll be at Hollenbeck Park from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. helping out before I head out and ride. The event goes on from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. See ya there. P.S. I’ll be wearing a cape 😀

State of the Torta 2

I’ve been waiting to submit this update on the current state of tortas, but I was missing a 4th addition to the collection. Oh well, I’m gonna wing it. It’s not like it really matters, right? Just some arbitrary number I gave myself, which I can also ungive (?) at a moments notice. ‘Ta bien?  Sopa! Let’s take a look at the various ways in which we find this homely sandwich.

We start off this update with a look at the torta from a usually exemplary eatery, El Huarache Azteca on York. I’ve had their torta vegetariana many times and it’s always a fine specimen, but this day I had it “to go” and it was a bit lacking.

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Not a Sausage

I was flipping thru the latest issue of the LA Weekly, when I came upon this sad article in which some newbie Canadian gives us his North of that other Border take on LA. Do these people that keep moving to Los Angeles not have any knowledgeable friends here to give them an introduction to the city? Cuz the poor sap wrote his lil’ article with some abysmal word choices.

“South-of-the-border folks, Guatemalan or Mexican perhaps, see the sidewalk vending as a livelihood, cooking sausages and onions on a cold Echo Park night…The sausages steamed; the Echo Park clubgoers, unstoppable with their appetite for music (and sausages), were beautiful.”

Uh, sir, those be hot dogs. Bacon wrapped to be precise.

You can consider me a friend now, guiding you along as you make your way in and out of LA. And another thing…

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Eagle Rock Music Festival

Forget about Sunset Junction, the best music festival in Los Angeles is the Eagle Rock Music Festival happening this Saturday, October 2 on Colorado Blvd.

Every year I’ve gone I’ve been impressed by the diverse crowds of all ages and ethnicities, the good vibe feeling of the event and the outstanding music groups. This year it’s even better with both Razorcake and Low End Theory stages and bands like La Santa Cecilia, The Gaslamp Killer, Nosaj Thing and -so excited for this- The Egyptian Lover and the Arabian Prince!

Hope to see you there!

Eagle Rock Music Festival
Saturday, October 2, 2010
On Colorado between Eagle Rock Blvd and Argus

More info at their Facebook page.