DungaBrook Diary: Bucolic Madness

Hits: 243
October 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

Vicki Whicker: Central New York Country Girl.

[Vicki Whicker six years ago decided to leave Los Angeles. She packed up, bought an old farmhouse in Central New York State, and now chronicles her journey by iPhone photography, as well as with her prose (https://www.facebook.com/vicki.whicker ). Many follow her on Facebook as she posts her photos of the lush countryside, accompanied by her remarkable writing. (She is included in the anthology Twelve Los Angeles Poets (https://smile.amazon.com/Twelve-Los-Angeles-Poets-Onthebus/dp/0941017141/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506735743&sr=8-1&keywords=twelve+los+angeles+poets )

 

Vicki Whicker

This diary is not for LA lovers, there are plenty of you and this is not for you. Undecided LA newbies? Only fires, floods, riots, earthquakes and time will tell.

This diary is a cautionary-tale for the LA denizens who find themselves involuntarily perusing (nights, lunch hours, before coffee) the web, looking for little places with a big spaces where the air is clean and the water plentiful, where there may be a cow or two, definitely chickens, a place where (they imagine) dollars go further, and traffic-jams consist of tractors chugging sun-dappled roads, a place where you can definitely afford to own an 1820’s farmhouse. Read more

To Live and Drive in LA

Hits: 155
October 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

By Bob Vickrey

I knew this day would eventually arrive that would require a dreaded in-person visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles—a premise that Stephen King should have considered as a theme for one of his chilling thrillers.

I found out recently that after reaching a certain age (you’ll find out soon enough what that age is,) the DMV will no longer automatically issue your license renewal by mail. It had been 20 years since I had been required to actually visit a branch—apparently because I had not been involved in an accident, nor been cited for any moving violations, and had not robbed any major banking institutions since the last renewal period. Read more

LA County to Field 38 Homeless Outreach Teams

Hits: 37
October 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

C3 homeless outreach team in Downtown Skid Row. Photo: Curbed Los Angeles

Leslie Evans

Who runs them? What do they do? What’s new about this?

As the Los Angeles homeless crisis has deepened, county and city government, with county health agencies in the lead, have been investing in new and more comprehensive homeless outreach teams. City Council member Jose Huizar, whose district includes Skid Row, on September 8 announced that sufficient funding is now in place to boost the number of teams, now roughly 25, to 38 by the end of the year. Read more

LUNCH CLUB’S SNEAK PREVIEW OF MADEO

Hits: 32
October 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

Lunch group with Madeo owner Gianni Vietina (standing). All photos by Barry Stein.

 

By Bob Vickrey

Our monthly lunch club decided to check out Madeo Italian Restaurant in West Hollywood after it was announced that our town will have its own branch of the famous trattoria when the new Palisades Village Project opens in 2018.

Madeo is known as one of the best Italian restaurants in the city of Los Angeles and it also has a reputation as a place where first-time customers may flinch at their menu prices. But our group appreciates fine food, so we forged ahead after draining our bank accounts beforehand.

I took a quick look at the online menu before arriving and noticed the Dover Sole, which is flown in from Holland—and is all yours for $72. Maybe their printed menu would offer a trout amandine entrée (“trucked in” from Malibu Creek) at a slightly friendlier price. Read more

Motel Conversions for Homeless Housing

Hits: 112
October 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

1057 Vine Street, Hollywood motel conversion to homless housing by Step Up on Vine.

Leslie Evans

There are plenty of aging motels, some abandoned and others barely scraping by. City governments, nonprofits, current owners, and developers are discovering that one promising possibility is to convert them to efficiency units for the homeless, especially homeless veterans.

Los Angeles in May 2017 approved a plan to create 500 apartments for homeless vets. 400 of the units are to be created by a partnership between the Shangri-La Construction company and the Step Up on Second nonprofit homeless support agency. The other 100 will be developed at one North Hollywood motel by the Volunteers of America. Read more

A NATIVE SON’S LONG VIGIL FOR HIS HOMETOWN

Hits: 342
September 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

Hurricane_Harvey_500

By Bob Vickrey

In recent years, we’ve watched natural disasters unfold in cities across the country that created unparalleled misery and hardships for its citizens that forever altered lives. Hurricane Katrina and super-storm Sandy remain indelible in our memories.

However, in watching the hurricane-spawned disaster play out in Houston, the circumstances were quite different. This was my hometown, my city, and my people. This time it was personal.

I left Houston more than 40 years ago, but this past week I found out that my heart still belonged to my beloved hometown and its people there. From my living room in Southern California, I watched television images of the inconceivable, never-ending rainfall that inundated my city. Read more

“Hollywood in Havana” at Pasadena Museum of California Art exhibits Spanish-language posters promoting US films as Cuban art

Hits: 32
September 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

Pasadena_Weekly_Havana_art

Posted by Mary Reinholz | Aug 17, 2017, from the Pasadena Weekly

Starting Sunday, Aug. 20, the Pasadena Museum of California Art presents the exhibition “Hollywood in Havana: Five Decades of Cuban Posters Promoting U.S. Films,” showcasing approximately 40 posters advertising iconic movies — most from the capitalist heart of La La Land that were produced from 1960 through 2012. The posters were created by Cuban artists trained at a free, government-sponsored studio in the communist paradise. How the American films got past the US trade embargo against Cuba remains unclear.

CSPG_45668

Among the posters are bold silkscreen prints publicizing such Hollywood blockbusters as “The Silence of the Lambs” with Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster, which won five Academy Awards; and “Schindler’s List” directed by Steven Spielberg, which garnered seven Oscars. A few of the posters boost Cuban films, such as a documentary on Marilyn Monroe. Read more

Important Setback for Homeless Housing

Hits: 29
September 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 
Architect's rendering of proposed Lorena Plaza, 3407 E. 1st Street, Boyle Heights

Architect’s rendering of proposed Lorena Plaza, 3407 E. 1st Street, Boyle Heights

Leslie Evans

The Los Angeles City Council’s Planning and Land Use Committee (PLUM) on August 16 rejected a plan from the highly regarded A Community of Friends (ACOF) to build a 49-unit affordable income apartment house in Boyle Heights, half of whose tenants would be mentally ill homeless.

The contested property, a one-acre empty lot at 3407 E. First Street at the corner of Lorena Street in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of East Los Angeles, is a one-acre empty lot owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. To the west is the Evergreen Cemetery. To the east is El Mercado, a combined market, restaurant, nightclub, and craft store. Read more

ESCAPING THE RAT PACK AT EL COYOTE

Hits: 159
September 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

El_Coyote_Sign

By Bob Vickrey

It seems that just about every legendary Los Angles restaurant our monthly lunch club has visited in the last couple of years, staff members invariably claim Frank Sinatra and his “Rat Pack” once hung out there.

So, fearing an uprising from our readership about overworking the “Rat Pack” theme, I decided to call ahead to our next destination and make sure Sinatra and his entourage had never held target practice in the back room with their plate of chicken enchiladas. When the host of El Coyote failed to understand my “Rat Pack” reference, I realized he had perhaps confused me with the city health inspector. Nevertheless, I knew we had found our spot for August. Read more

The Affordable Housing Crisis Won’t Be Over Soon

Hits: 24
September 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 
Mija Town Homes, 4501 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles 90037. One of the all-too-few affordable housing complexes in Los Angeles.

Mija Town Homes, 4501 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles 90037. One of the all-too-few affordable housing complexes in Los Angeles.

Leslie Evans

A daunting complex of causes stands behind Los Angeles’ crisis-level lack of affordable housing. Too few houses and too expensive ones, along with very low wages, are the single biggest causes of the city’s huge homeless population. According to Professor Dennis P. Culhane, an authority on homelessness at the University of Pennsylvania, “It’s not personal vulnerabilities of drug use or illness driving homelessness. It’s a lack of access to housing. If there were lots of available housing, all of these vulnerabilities would be hidden.” (8-2-2017 LA Times) Read more

Next Page »