September 30, 2008

Schwarzenegger Signs Green Chemistry Bills in Atwater Village

GOVERNOR ARNOLD Schwarzenegger today signed 2 bills to create a "green chemistry" program for hazardous chemicals in Calfornia. His signing ceremony took place in at Nelson Nameplate in South Atwater Village, 2800 Casitas Avenue, just below the 2 freeway. (Almost literally below the 2 freeway.) More from the LA Times.

September: Bad Month for Cars in Atwater Village

STILL NO WORD on the perps who liberated my car stereo back in June, but it looks like my vehicle became less interesting in the nick of time.
  • September 18: 41XX Perlita Ave,. Grand theft auto, reported at 9:30 p.m.
  • September 19: 39XX Boyce Ave., Theft from vehicle, reported at 10 p.m.
  • September 21: 39XX Boyce Ave., Grand theft auto, reported at 12:40 a.m.
  • September 24: 37XX Dover St., Theft from vehicle, Reported at 1:05 a.m.
My Atwater Village Crime Spree 2008 Map is updated.

September 28, 2008

Atwater Chatter: First Autumnal Weekend Edition

FIRST OF FALL NEWS from in and around the 8,000-ish-resident Los Angeles neighborhood we call Atwater Village.

September 26, 2008

Los Feliz Car Wash Charges $1 to Run Your Credit Card

Los Feliz Car Wash

ACCORDING TO THE hand-written note on the cash register, Los Feliz Car Wash in Atwater Village (3013 Los Feliz Blvd.) adds $1 to credit-card transactions of $8.99 or less.

So use a Visa card to pay for an "express" exterior wash, the one trumpeted on the large corner sign for $4.99, and ch-ching! It's $5.99. And it violates their merchant agreement with Visa:
"Visa merchants are not permitted to establish minimum transaction amounts, even on sale items. They also are not permitted to charge you a fee when you want to use your Visa card."
I talked them out of the 20% upcharge this time. "Don't tell the boss," I was warned. But this neighborhood joint isn't the only guilty party. Spend $8 at El Buen Gusto on Glendale Blvd., for example, and they round up your credit-card transaction to $10.

This "fee," common as it might be in these parts, also flies in the face of California Civil Code Section 1748.1:
"No retailer in any sales, service, or lease transaction with a consumer may impose a surcharge on a cardholder who elects to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check, or similar means."
How and why do these local shops get away with ignoring the rules? Do they just not know any better?

New 'Eastside' Blogs in My Blog-LA-Sphere

LET THE DEBATE RAGE about where the "east" side of LA starts and ends, as these 2 "eastside" blogs weigh in:

September 24, 2008

Someone Thinks This Del Taco is Amazing

Del Taco #162, 3020 Los Feliz Blvd.
WITH ALL THE dining options in our neighborhood, including the new location of Hugo's Tacos, I'm rarely tempted to bother with the nearby Del Taco fast-food joint. But other people are, and they survive to Yelp about it:
"Just AMAZING. As a lifelong devotee of the cheap bean burrito I can say that Del Taco has truly one upped Taco Bell.... It wasn't until I moved to California when I discovered this plush temple of burrito love. This particular location is the closest to me and therefore gets my business. It is convienent to The Roost, The Griffith and Bigfoot Lodge all hipster bars on the Blvd and it's 24 hour access trumps all other post-bar food options."

September 23, 2008

Update: $3.8 Million Loss from North Atwater Village Fire

HOT PHOTOS of the Sept. 21 fire on LAFD's Flickr set and the complete story on the LAFD blog:
It took approximately 126 LAFD Firefighters 39 minutes to call a knockdown on the fire. The cause of the fire to Systems Trade Printing, a well established Atwater business, was determined to be electrical. The significant dollar loss, mostly confined to the contents, was estimated at $3,800,000 [$300,000 structure, $3,500,000 contents]. One female was treated and transported by Glendale Fire to an area hospital.

September 21, 2008

Fire! North Atwater Village Commercial Building Burns

THE LOS ANGELES Fire Department at 9:49 a.m. Sunday reports "heavy fire showing in 1 story commercial building" at 4178 E. Chevy Chase Drive in North Atwater Village. Like they do with many fires around the city, we trust the LAFD will have this blaze extinguished within the hour.

UPDATE #1: Looks like this is the address of Systems Trade Printers, across from Chevy Chase Park, adjacent to residences, and next to tracks shared by Metrolink and Amtrak. (At the crossing where Juan Manuel Alvarez parked his Jeep Cherokee in 2005.)

UPDATE #2: CBS2 reports at least 5 battalions of Los Angeles and Glendale fire equipment are being sent.

UPDATE #3: An AV Forums post notes "10 fire trucks and two ambulances just sped down Brunswick towards Chevy Chase. We're also hearing helicopters."

UPDATE #4: CBS2 now reports more than 6 battalions have been sent, and that firefighters describe the burning building as a 2,000-square-foot paint manufacturing building, with part of it 2 stories high. They are "going into a defensive mode to keep flames from spreading to nearby structures."

UPDATE #5: CBS2 now reports 10:20 a.m. knockdown, half an hour after first report.

UPDATE #6: The LA Times files a report and KTLA does too, though they mysteriously reassign the Atwater Village neighborhood to the City of Glendale.

September 18, 2008

Glenoaks Blvd. is a Prettier Drive Than San Fernando Rd.

THERE ISN'T MUCH to appreciate about these recent San Fernando Road closures. For the glory of something called the Fairmount Avenue Extension Project my commute from Atwater Village to Burbank (ish) is bottlenecked to one lane each way. Sometimes the SFR is just plain closed.

Enter my detour, via Glenoaks Blvd. and Pacific Avenue. Where once were train tracks and day laborers, now I see palm trees and senior citizens. From strip clubs to Starbucks.

Yes, another Starbucks.

Hmm, maybe I should just take the 5.

September 17, 2008

Hazy Day at Los Feliz Golf Course

ENJOY A HALF-MINUTE of the 109-yard, par-3 eighth hole at Los Feliz Municipal Golf Course (made famous by the movie Swingers) in Atwater Village. Courtesy Wildbell's Flickr set. He shot a 4.

September 16, 2008

Meanwhile, Hugo's Tacos Has Opened in Atwater Village

AS ANTICIPATED here on the Newbie blog back in April, Studio City's Hugo's Tacos has expanded into Atwater Village. It's now open at 3300 Glendale Blvd.

Urban Daddy says Hugo's has "almost too many options," with "crunchy or soft shell, seven salsas (from mild to not-mild to Honey Chipotle) and seven fillings, from the usual chicken and steak to our favorite, the Soy Chorizo, Potato and Zucchini specialty."

Across from neighborhood mainstay Tacos Villa Corona, Hugo's may have a fighting chance (despite cheesy signage) if it maintains regular 11:00a.m. to 11:00p.m hours. And if it takes plastic.

UPDATE: And if they're not jerks about substitutions.

They Like Viet Noodle Bar, Even Though It's Cash Only

OUR FRIENDS AT the Franklin Avenue blog get communal at 3133 Glendale Blvd., for Rate-A-Restaurant #183: Viet Noodle Bar.

September 15, 2008

DFW: Demapped

I AM NOT, to admit the least, a fast reader. When I accepted the challenge of David Foster Wallace's 1,100-page Infinite Jest, I knew I was in for a long haul.

With life (and other reads) intervening, it's 3 years later1 and I still have 100 pages to go. But, sadly, as of Friday, I don't have David Foster Wallace

1. 2008, or Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment.

September 10, 2008

Atwater Village Puts Lipstick, Stylish Glasses, on Pig

How You Like Sarah Palin Now (1)
WE WERE ON OUR way home (from Home restaurant, Fletcher & Riverside, even) when we stopped cold in the left lane at Glendale Blvd. and Glenfeliz Rd.

"Quick! Let's come back with the camera!" I cried to Mrs. Newbie. "You drive, I'll shoot!"

And thus our slice of northeast Los Angeles weighs in on the whole Barack Obama Sarah Palin whose lipstick is on whom controversy.

Only in LA: Outdoor Ice Cream Party at End of September

WHEN WE MADE UP our lists of Top Ten Reasons to Live in California, Mrs. Newbie and I had no idea about this:
The Great Los Angeles Ice Cream Party
Saturday, September 27, 2008
2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round
4730 Crystal Springs Drive
(between Los Feliz Blvd. & the LA Zoo)
And just across the river from our neck of the woods!

Viet Wrap n' Roll Now Open in Atwater Village

FAVE DINING BLOG Eating L.A. has the details about Viet Wrap n' Roll, 3133 Glendale Blvd. "Bread crunchy crisp on outside; inside soft as a pillow."

Viet Wrap n' Roll is now open next to Viet Noodle Bar, which has been in business nearly a year already. Lunch for two (at Viet Wrap 'n Roll): $23 plus tip. Open Monday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Grand opening celebration this Sunday, Sept. 14, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Sounds like a promising (if pricy, for sandwiches) addition to our ever-improving corridor of Glendale Blvd.

UPDATE: Food GPS has more info, pretty pictures.

September 9, 2008

Atwater Village is No Place for Post-Opera Dinner

OF ALL THE dinner joints in all of Los Angeles, these are not the ones to try after a night at the opera, according to Los Angeles Magazine's The Digest Blog.
"We mad dash it to the freeway and settle on Canele in Atwater Village. This is a Saturday night, after all, in a major American metropolis. The place looks bustling from the sidewalk. We walk in at 10:35 p.m. Sorry, the hostess tells us, the kitchen closed at 10:30. A cook looks over his shoulder from the frying pan at the sad little couple in the opera clothes. Have you no mercy?

"Then it's back in the car and to Palate: sorry, closed ages ago. Next time, maybe?

"Then it's back in the car to Carousel on Brand: sorry, we are told over the headache-inducing din of belly dancing music, the kitchen closed at 10:45. It’s 10:47.

"OK, the Glendale Zankou, maybe? Back in the car, down Brand, quick left on Colorado. Closed at 11. The mops are out. It's 11:01."
They end up at Cheesecake Factory in Pasadena. Sad.

September 8, 2008

Does Any Place in LA Serve Such a Worthy Olive Plate?

Los Olivos Café Lunch, originally uploaded by Innes Keighren.

IT ONLY MAKES sense that a restaurant named Los Olivos Cafe in a town called Los Olivos would serve an outstanding olive plate appetizer.

The varieties, the colors, the quantity, the sizes, the flavors are all worth the 130-mile drive, we found out last month, from Atwater Village to this wine-country hamlet.

Surely there must be a place nearer to 90039 that matches Los Olivos Cafe's plate of little round goodnesses. But where?

September 5, 2008

Atwater Village 'Community Organizer' Takes on Palin

ATWATER VILLAGE Neighborhood Council rep (and Atwater Village is for Lovers blogger) Leonora Gershman slaps back:
"One of the most infuriating aspects of watching the Republican National Convention, and there were many, was hearing the dripping and sour disdain that Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani apparently have for Community Organizers. I am a community volunteer here in Atwater Village. To hear Sarah Palin say that community organizers don't have responsibilities was a slap in the face to every public servant in America."
Leonora politely allows Republicans to maintain their glaring inconsistency of preaching smaller government while praising government positions ("mayor of my hometown") over nongovernmental activism ("community organizer").

A Mini-Mag to Replace Atwater Village's Arthur?

WHEN JAY BABCOCK high-tailed it out of Atwater Village for Brooklyn NY he took the headquarters of micro-magazine Arthur with him. Would anything fill our neighborhood's publishing niche? Now along comes The Drama. The art mag's editor-in-chief and creative director, Joel Speasmaker, moved from Richmond VA to Atwater Village this summer and does Q&A with Rubin Recommends:
RR: Best food you've had in your neighborhood lately or while you were traveling?

Speaksmaker: Found this tiny Cuban spot [Baracoa Cuban Cafe, 3175 Glendale Blvd.] near where I live in Atwater Village that's pretty great, and I meet my buddy Justin pretty much every few days for lunch at EAT [Los Feliz Cafe, 3207 Los Feliz Blvd.] on Los Feliz.
Read the rest of Joel Speasmaker's interview.

September 3, 2008

Sometimes You Have to Leave LA to See Stars

September 1, 2008

Nacoma (1990-2008)

Nacoma in B/W 2
SWEET DREAMS, our big boy, our main Maine Coon, our little old man, our "Nack Attack." May they be filled with hand-stitched catnip pillows, on-demand chin scratching, and oven-roasted chickens that fly off the counter onto the kitchen floor.