Dunkin’ Donuts makes it’s triumphant return to SoCal!

September 2, 2014 Santa Monica, CA

I love LA.  I’ve lived here for eight years and the only thing missing, as far as I can tell, is Dunkin’ Donuts.  That changed yesterday as the first Dunkin’ Donuts opened in Santa Monica!  The MA- based coffee/donut chain had stores in CA at one time, but that was decades ago.  How can America run on Dunkin without California on-board?

I waited in line yesterday (twice) and had the fortitude to get in once.  The morning line was unbearable, so I went back yesterday evening to try again.  It was totally worth the wait.  Donuts-shmonuts.  I’m all about the coffee!  I hope they hurry up and open more throughout the greater LA area, starting with East Hollywood!  Everyone knows Eastside/Westside relationships can’t last.  For now, I’ll have my weekends with Dunks as I switch up my hiking locations to accommodate accordingly.  Make mine a large black iced with a turbo shot!  Welcome back to Cali, Dunkin’ Donuts!!

1132 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, California

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Photo set: 10th Annual Johnny Ramone Tribute Q&A Panel

August 24, 2014

Q&A Panel at the 10th Annual Johnny Ramone tribute held at the Hollywood Forever cemetery in Hollywood, CA

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Photo set: Murphy’s Ranch/Rustic Canyon Hike, Pacific Palisades, CA

I recently hiked down to Murphy’s Ranch in Rustic Canyon to check out the graffiti and old ruins.  It was built in the 1930’s by Nazi sympathizers and then became an artist community in the 60’s.  Now, it’s just an interesting destination with abandoned  structures covered in lots of bright graffiti.  And the stairs!  Roundtrip, my friend and I climbed over 1000 stairs and walked over 5 miles.

About 10 minutes from Murphy’s Ranch, we came across a barn/horse stable.  It didn’t seem to be part of the compound as it appeared to have been built more recently than the 30s.  We felt the most creeped out at this location.  Between the bees and the eerie feeling inside, it was definitely not a place I’d want to be at night.  At different times, we both thought we saw a person out of the corner of our eyes.

Here are the photos I took:

 

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My memories of Woodstock ’99, 15 years later. Rome, NY

Woodstock '99

Last week marked the 15th anniversary of Woodstock 99.  I dug through my storage to see what memories I could resurrect, and I was happy to find some photos and souvenirs commemorating the often tumultuous weekend.

Woodstock '99 ticketWoodstock '99 bus ticket

The morning of July 23rd started off wonderfully.  My friend and I excitedly left for Foxboro Stadium to take a bus to Rome, NY.  We were happy that we didn’t have to deal with driving.  But, traffic was heinous and we missed the first act.  Which wouldn’t have been so bad if the opener hadn’t been JAMES BROWN!  We made the most of it and had a lot of fun on the first day, despite the heat and pricey food.  The bands I remember the most were Korn and Bush.

Reality set in on day two when I was jolted awake from my tent by a man yelling “Hear ye, hear ye!  Don’t drink the water!”  He was walking through the tent area spreading the word that the water lines were contaminated, showing the town newspaper with the headline news.  At $4 a bottle, that soon became a problem.  We got to the Spitfire stage super early to be up front for Perry Farrell’s DJ set and we made friends with the security guards who kept filling up our water bottles for free.  At some point on day two, the folks in charge of picking up the trash and recycling seemed to have given up.  The porta-potties were the bane of our existence and the ATMs ran out of cash.  We waited in line and were able to phone home before the row of pay phones were all broken.  Also at some point on day two, I realized it was a bad idea to be a mud person…especially since an open drain ditch seemed to be the only shower at Griffiss Park.  Live and learn!

Day three was the highlight for me, with sets from Megadeth and Sevendust.  We were getting ready to end the night by checking out the Red Hot Chili Peppers, when people came around handing out candles.  I remember telling my friend that I didn’t think that was a good idea.  Soon enough, bonfires broke out all over the grass.  By the time RHCP covered Jimi Hendrix’s Fire, the flames were getting out of control.   Once the merch booth looting began, we headed to the tents to get away from the mayhem.  We were definitely regretting not having our cars there as our bus didn’t leave until the next morning.  The last photo was taken on July 26, 1999 before we left to go back home.  When people ask why I don’t go to Coachella, I tell them because I went to Woodstock ’99.  No more festival camping for me!  All in all, we had a lot of fun.  It was a great adventure that just ended on a really bad note.  I think the person who had the worst time experiencing Woodstock ’99 was my mother.  She was home watching all the drama unfold on the newscasts in a pre-cell phone era.  Sorry mom!

Photos:

 

 

Postcard, maps and pages from the Woodstock ’99 program:

 

 

 

 

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Below the King Eddy Saloon: A peek into prohibition era L.A.

Living in Los Angeles, it sometimes hard to separate the truth and fiction of old and new.  Lots of places are crafted with throwback decor and old-timey reproductions.  The first time I stepped into the King Eddy Saloon, when Bill was still the manager, I knew this place was an authentic old bar.  It’s since changed ownership and has been spruced up with artwork honoring it’s literary history (Fante, Bukowski) and more libations including one of my favorites- Stone IPA on tap!  Recently, I was able to see what lies beneath the King Eddy, in all of it’s prohibition era glory…the former King Eddy speakeasy.  There are plans to refurbish the space in the future!

 

 

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