Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Main Street Gets Tree'd

Early on a Saturday morning about two weeks ago, I caught a glimpse of folks planting trees along the eastern side of Main Street. There were even more workers out on Monday morning, in hard hats, doing some serious digging and planting.

Hooray, green!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ride Against Hate

Thank you, Metro, for the inspiration for this (quick and dirty) graphic:

Ride Against Hate
A moving rally through the street of Orange County to get people to vote NO on Prop 4, 6, and 8.

November 2, 2008

Starting point: TBD location, Irvine, CA
Time: 10:30AM

End point: TBD location, Westminster, CA
Time: ~ 4:00PM

Bring your bike. Your passion. Your voice.

Prop 4: "Prop 4 threatens teen safety by mandating parental notification prior to a minor terminating a pregnancy."


Prop 6: Diverts funding from education to law enforcement, would allow courts to try 14-year-olds as adults.


Prop 8: Bans same-sex marriage. If passed, it would be the first law in California history to eliminate rights.


I'm still putting together the details. Let me know if you want to help map out the route. These props affect all of us. It doesn't matter which one you stand for most.

Let's stand-- and ride-- together.

Bring signs, stickers, flags, water bottles.

We'll stop and rest when folks need to, check out some places of interest along the way (suggestions are welcome), talk to people who want to know more about the props and what we're doing, and get acquainted with the places that we whiz by when we take the 405/73/5 freeways.

Wear your favorite shade of green or blue.

It's going to be awesome.


November 4th:
Bike to your polling place and VOTE!

I hope that those who are abroad were able to get a hold of absentee ballots!


So far 40 people have RSVP'd over Facebook saying that they will attend. I am not sure how many are actually coming and how many mean that they will be there in spirit. I did a test-ride today from Irvine to Santa Ana and will be doing another test ride the day before to finalize the route. The ride will be approximately 30 miles long, with rest stops along the way.

More details forthcoming. Please feel free to spread the word and/or email me with questions.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Milestone Monday

Two glorious things happened on Monday, October 20th:

1. My very dirty, very neglected, very abandoned-looking vehicle was picked up by Car Angel. The title has been turned over. The little card needs to be mailed to the DMV. I'm free. For real.

2. Five months after first claiming the frame and starting the project at Bicycle Kitchen, my 10-speed Cerulean Centurion is finished. I went to every Bitchen (ladies + transgender only night) for the last 6 weeks, including one that was canceled, and was finally able to ride home last night. After the last 8 months riding miles and miles with my rusty 3-speed Schwinn cruiser, riding a road bike is just amazing. When I went for the "safety run" on it, it felt wonderful and I had to tear myself off of it.

Pictures forthcoming. After I do about a thousand cartwheels.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Girls of Fuse say No on Prop 8

I am guilty of saying some unkind things about the West Hollywood set-- particularly that the club/bar scene is composed of people who care more about what kind of hair product will keep the faux-hawk up when the bartenders at Truck Stop pour some (water) on the (audience) at the end of the night than about social justice, community, or politics.

I received an email that challenges that:
All right, the girls of Fuse know how jazzed up everyone is about making sure Prop 8 doesn't pass...can we stop the hate already! So if you haven't made a plan to come out TONIGHT OCTOBER 16TH BTWN 8-10PM to support our "Vote no on Prop 8"event... It's time to rearrange your evening and join us for a pre-dinner, pre-movie, pre-date, pre-whatever...cocktails compliments of Smirnoff 8-9pm.

And if you really want to really help rock the vote... sit down with that free cocktail and write a postcard to a voter in a swing state telling them why it's so important they put down the remote and get out and vote for Obama! We'll have postcards and pens, all you need to do is write and we'll do the rest. Meet us in the atrium!

Sorry for getting political, we know Fuse-events is mostly known for their parties...but hey, it's no fun to party when your rights have been taken away. So here's your chance to really get involved. We had a great turnout on Saturday for our Country Swingers letter writing campaign on Saturday but we want to get even more of you involved. Bring your friends, bring your co-workers, your family...whoever you like, we're all in this together and we need all the help we can get.

Smirnoff hosted bar btwn 8-9pm and if you write 25 or more postcards the girls of fuse will by you a drink as well. We're always so proud of the people who come out to support our events and how you all rally when it's needed so thank you in advance.

See you tonight!

The girls of fuse,

Here Lounge
696 Robertson blvd.
I have to admit that I was surprised to see this email-- and I shouldn't have been, considering the implications of Prop 8. I forget that when it comes right down to it, we're all a part of a community, all affected, and we all go about doing what we can in the way we can, whether we frequent Here Lounge or The Eagle (yes, I'm guilty of that East v. West Side stuff, too), whether we hold signs on street corners or write post cards at an open bar. The point is to do something.

I had a conversation recently with a friend about the difference between being an activist/organizer in Los Angeles versus being one in the Bay Area. The main difference we noticed was that here in the southland, we seem have less of a work-play balance. In my friend's words: "Up there, we'll take a break, have some drinks and tomorrow we'll do what we need to do. Down here it feels like we never stop going." I can see what he's saying. Sometimes it feels like it's not so much "work hard, play hard" as it is "work hard OR play hard" around here. This is not to say there are no organizers and organizations in LA who do a good job balancing both, this is just what it feels like sometimes. Maybe it's something about getting caught up in maintaining an image that does it. That happens easily in Hollywoodland.

Anyway, consider this an apology for all the WeHo negativity. Cheers to the Girls of Fuse for using their partying power for a purpose. As they said, hey, it's no fun to party when your rights have been taken away. We can always use some more of that around here. Thanks, ladies.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dine 'til Nine at City Thai

Thai food within easy biking distance of my apartment?! Thank you, City Thai.

It's hard to miss the bright orange awning that appeared a few months ago on Hill Street between 7th and 8th. City Thai caught my eye for various reasons: it sits far south of most other Thai places that serve the downtown area, it dares to be large and bright in an area that has little development, and it's open until 9PM daily. There is practically no restaurant so far south of downtown that stays open that late so I feel even more motivated to support this place.

Fruit for sale is on display in the front window and there are plenty of large, clear photos of the menu items on the walls inside. My friend is a vegetarian and they had no problem substituting tofu for meat in both the green curry and the pad-see-ew. The capsaicin levels in the food were greatly tuned down and the flavors were a bit muted compared to what I am used to, but I'll definitely give this place another try. (I must give the disclaimer that I like my spicy food to be so spicy it hurts-- along the lines of too-much-of-Philippe's-spicy-mustard kind of pain.) According to the sticker in their window, LA Downtown News declared City Thai the Editor's pick for Best Thai Food in 2008. I look forward to heading over there again (sometime after 7pm and before 9pm) to try the "City Thai fried rice" mentioned in LA Downtown News' initial review of the place.

City Thai
726 S. Hill St.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

To Do in Downtown: TNC & Art Walk

A couple of events that are a must-go this week in Downtown:

The Tuesday Night Cafe season runs from February to October-- it starts indoors at Lost Souls Cafe when there is still a chill in the air, then moves to Aratani Courtyard, in front of the East West Players, for the remainder of the season.

The final show of the season is this Tuesday, October 7th at 7:15PM!

From TNC's Myspace Page:
The (sniff, sniff) Last Show of 2008

So it's October and with rolling tears we are sad that our next show on Oct. 7th is gonna be our last show of 2008. BUT...it's with a cheshire cat smile we are amped to say that it's gonna be the most kick-ass show of the season....damn....check out this line-up!!!

Paolo Espiritu
Jinah Kim
Oymun's 11
The Open Mic
18 Mighty Mountain Warriors
David Tran & Edren Sumagaysay
Sue Jin & Andrew Chiang
Jekai Soulspeak, the Fighting Cocks & Bambu

We'll be back at the courtyard next March to give J-Town a little more TNC. Just so your soul doesn't get rusty this winter, we got a few things lined up that you won't wanna sleep on. Stay tuned for a few parties and of course Midtones! Keep checking back here for more info! See yall soon.

Anyone interested in signing up for The Open Mic should get there by 6:45PM as there are only three slots open during each show.

This is a 10-year-old community event and this show is going to be insanely packed. Expect to stand unless you get there early!


Downtown Art Walk is on Thursday, October 9th! Come and walk around Gallery Row to see downtown come alive with pedestrians abound after 7PM (beyond Pete's Cafe and Banquette). I've been to only one Art Walk so far, but I am planning on checking this one out.

I stopped by Lost Souls Cafe this weekend and saw the artists of LA Fixed installing "The Metropolis," a series of works focused on bikes, their riders, and the places they ride (mostly in Los Angeles). The opening of the show was Saturday night. It's a pretty cool exhibit and worth a stop along the walk. Cruise down Harlem Place Alley off of 4th (between Main & Spring) to take a look.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Goodbye, "Floating Woman," Hello "Head Light."

I am accumulating a very long backlog of working drafts.

Instead of working on these posts that sorely need to be written, I created a new banner with a photo I took over the weekend. It is about time for a change, isn't it?