August 27, 2008

Jury Wants Death for 'Monster of Atwater'

TODAY A LOS ANGELES County jury recommended a death sentence for an Atwater Village gang leader. Timothy McGhee was convicted last November of murdering 2 rival gang members and a woman in 1997, 2000 and 2001. He was also found guilty of four attempted murders. He will be sentenced Nov. 21.

How to Get Escorted Out of a California Casino

Escorted Out of Chumash Casino
STEP ONE: Go to the Chumash Casino Resort in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Step Two: Stop by the hotel guest happy hour next to the casino. (It helps if you're a hotel guest and can produce a happy hour invitation card and/or room key.)

Step Three: Order a glass containing alcohol. Wine, beer, chocolate martini, anything will do.

Step Four: Walk 20 feet to the casino. (It helps if by this point you've forgotten you're not in Las Vegas.)

Step Five: Slowly start to notice how you're the only one in the casino with a drink.

Step Six: Get approached by security guard.

Step Seven: Tell the truth when security guard asks, "Is there alcohol in that glass?" and sheepishly accompany her to the exit while you learn that Chumash Casino is open to ages 18 and up and forbids alcohol.

Step Eight: Stop back later that night, when the casino is packed with people overdosing not on alcohol, but on caffeine from roving coffee carts. Coffee carts!

August 25, 2008

Olympic Flames Dies, Time Warner LA Kills 2 Channels

THE SUMMER GAMES aren't the only thing missing from my TV this morning. Time Warner Cable has removed at least 2 channels from my high-definition lineup: CNBC HD and USA HD.

CNBC and USA aired some of NBC's Olympic coverage, so maybe that's why they went away. But will I see an adjustment on the part of my Time Warner bill where I pay extra for high-def channels? (Answer: not likely.)

And will anyone ever challenge Time Warner's cable monopoly in LA? (Answer: even less likely.)

UPDATE: Time Warner Cable confirms, on the phone, that CNBC HD and USA HD were only available for the Olympics. Tough luck, "Psych" fans.

Kuma Sushi Sees Signs

Kuma Sushi Gets a Sign
ATWATER VILLAGE'S Kuma Sushi, 3179 Los Feliz Blvd., takes steps toward overcoming Mrs. Newbie's primary obstacle to dining here: "It's good, but a little pricey for a place with so many vinyl banners outside."

August 21, 2008

Find the Lamest Headline

Find the Lamest Headline
ANYONE CAN START a blog. Anyone. So what does it mean when the lamest headline on my RSS reader, "Olympic volleyball medalists are hot!" comes from one of the largest professionally-staffed daily news organizations in the nation. (That would be the LA Times.)

August 20, 2008

Juan Manuel Alvarez: 11 Consecutive Life Terms

HOT OFF THE LA Times Web site:
A gasp filled a downtown Los Angeles courtroom Wednesday as a judge sentenced a former Compton laborer to 11 consecutive life prison terms for triggering a commuter train crash [at the Chevy Chase Drive crossing in Atwater Village] that killed 11 people, deadliest train crash in Metrolink's history.

August 19, 2008

Take a Peek Around a Neighbor's House

THIS ONE IS at 3145 Madera Avenue in what we call South Atwater Village:
  • $538,000
  • Built 1924
  • 2 bedrooms
  • 1 bathroom
  • 1,018 square feet
  • Garage

August 18, 2008

See you in September, Fine Diners

EVERYONE'S FAVORITE reservationless restaurant, Canele in Atwater Village, is on vacation for 2 weeks.

P.S. - To the know-it-all at the next table at brunch at Canele yesterday, maybe it's OK to generalize based on anecdotal observations. In a big, diverse place like Los Angeles (without the benefit of actual census data) maybe there's no other way.

August 15, 2008

August 14, 2008

City Trucks at 6:40AM: Apparently OK in LA

City Collection at 6:40am
APPARENTLY THE CITY OF Los Angeles noise rules, where most "excessive, unnecessary, and/or annoying noise" is banned before 7:00am in residential areas, does not apply to the City's own trash and recycling trucks.

The big trucks can roll a whole hour earlier, starting at 6:00am; hence the 6:40am yard-waste truck invasion this morning in Atwater Village.

Does the extra hour really make a difference in collection routes? And if this is a neighborhood's the only regular, excessive and/or annoying noise, does it make sense to exempt it from the noise rules?

August 13, 2008

Yes, Atwater Villagers Would Rather Not Call Ahead

TIME TO REVISIT Canele, Glendale Boulevard's finest local eatery, in this Metromix profile of Lot 1 chef Josef Centeno:
We meet at Canele, a restaurant Centeno, 34, lists first among his favorites on the east side of town. It's a sliver of a space with exposed brick and ceilings high enough to prevent the onset of claustrophobia.

The small dining room dictates a "no reservations" policy, a first-come, first-served axiom that favors the locals of Atwater Village - yet the Mediterranean-inflected cuisine draws foodists from all over the city.

A neighborhood joint with excellent food everyone wants to try? We see the appeal.

August 11, 2008

Saturday: Take an Artwalk Around Atwater Village

Atwater Village Artwalk Map
THIS SATURDAY, August 16, 5:00pm to 9:00pm, neighborhood artists open their doors and studios (and with any luck their bottles of beer and wine) to the huddled masses. It's time for Atwater Village's 2008 Artwalk.
  1. Amelia Fitzwater: 3129 1/2 Glendale Blvd.
  2. Grain: Pamela Burgess & Eban Lehrer: 3135 Glendale Blvd.
  3. Black Maria Gallery: 3137 Glendale Blvd.
  4. Kaldi Coffee: 3147 Glendale Blvd.
  5. Brian Sheffield Photography and Jacob Rushing Photography: 3181 1/2 Glendale Blvd.
  6. LittleBird Gallery: 3195 Glendale Blvd.
  7. Jeff Kies Studios: 3609 Edenhurst Ave., entrance in alley
  8. Pounder Kone Art Space: 3407 Glendale Blvd.
  9. Art and Mayhem Gallery: 3416 Glendale Blvd.
  10. Tom Neely: 3152 La Clede Ave.
  11. Andee Eve Husney: 3783 Glenfeliz Blvd.
  12. Ed & Vivian Flynn: 3765 Legion Lane
  13. Cathy Ford and Steve Stanard: 3910 Glenfeliz Blvd.
Sorry to Tom, his studio at #10 is cut off my map here, but fully represented on the 2008 Atwater Village Artwalk brochure.

Going 'Green' at Atwater Village's Farmers Market

IT TURNS OUT shopping at the Sunday neighborhood farmers market might do something to prevent the destruction of glaciers. Or something. At least that's the impression I get from watching this "going green" report by ABC7 TV:
"It's the price of gas I think that has made people think a little bit more about improving their lifestyle and giving back to the earth," said Joyce Chan a shopper at the farmer's market in Atwater Village, [edit: actually, she's the market organizer] where shoppers can buy locally grown produce.
The Los Angeles news channel has not, to my knowledge, aired any follow-up report on what secret ingredients might be in the No-Name Hummus we bought at yesterday's farmers market. My report: Tasty!

August 8, 2008

What Accounts for 'Starter Homes' Here in Atwater Village

ALTHOUGH THE WISDOM of getting into a mortgage these days is a bit suspect, a couple of Atwater Village "starter" homes are still available:

August 7, 2008

Day Passes in Atwater Village Largely Without Incident

South Atwater Village (2)
THIS POST IS for anyone who thinks the Newbie overhypes the criminal element in our neighborhood.

(Of course if a crime occurred to you, this blind optimism does not apply.)

UPDATE! The day didn't end so quietly, it turns out, after last night's police activity on the end of Perlita near Chevy Chase Park.

August 6, 2008

After Quiet July, August Starts with Bangs

RELATIVELY FEW reports of thug-on-neighbor incidents since the first week of July's window smashings, until these August crime reports on the Atwater Village forum:
  • August 2: "Just saw the Aggravated Assault mark on the LAPD crime map that took place on Tyburn and Garden..."
  • August 5: "We had gunshots on Garden and Glenhurst tonight around 7:45. In fact they shoot windows out of a car. Must be some sort of gang ritual..."
The Atwater Village Crime Spree 2008 Map has been updated.

August 5, 2008

Monster of Atwater Says God Speaks Via Earthquake

FROM THE COMEDIAN formerly known as the Monster of Atwater, via last week's LA Weekly court blog:
"God has spoken!" Timothy McGhee jokingly quipped to a downtown Superior Court room when the earthquake struck at 11:40 a.m. today. McGhee, the convicted triple murderer and Atwater Village street-gang leader, was testifying on the witness stand about his role in a 2005 jail riot...

Ceci N'est Pas Ma Photo

Someone Else's Photo

THIS IS WHERE "select" images from the Flickr group The Water: A California Story are displayed, in a randomly ordered slideshow, at the San Diego Museum of Natural History.

My photograph of the LA River in Atwater Village was "select" but in 40 minutes of sitting and watching on opening weekend, I didn't see it. Maybe someone else will; the Water exhibit is up till November.

Or you can see it right here:

Rising River

August 1, 2008

Cyclists, AVNC Take Fight to Wall Street Journal

FROM THIS MORNING'S Wall Street Journal:
The community organizer [Stephen Box] says he and about a dozen bloggers drafted a Cyclists Bill of Rights in January that he is presenting for a vote at neighborhood council meetings around the region. But Lenore Solis, a council member in Atwater Village, says she voted against it because the assertion of a right to "full access" on "all mass transit with no limitations" is too broad, and could be interpreted as a legal right to bike lanes on freeways.