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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday @ Santa Monica Farmers Market

The Farmers Market on Main St and Ocean Park in Santa Monica takes place every Sunday morning starting at 9:30. Established in 1995 , it is one of four weekly Farmers Markets in Santa Monica. In addition to the usual excellent selection of organic produce and flowers, there are plenty of good things to eat including crepes, tamales , baked goods, and sausages. There are also clothing stalls and craft goods, along with musical entertainment and pony rides for the kids. Parking is a bit of a challenge, so ride your bike over if you can and use the free bike valet.And in the whole time I was there, I only got called a paparazzi once, which is pretty good considering celebs show up there from time to time.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kogi BBQ Phenomenon Keeps Growing

The Kogi BBQ taco truck phenomenon is only getting stronger. I went over to Culver City today for lunch after seeing their twitter tweet that they were nearby. A couple weeks ago I went there, and only waited for a minute, today no such luck as the long line was taking at least half an hour just to get an order in. These guys have struck a gold mine. The trucks (there's two Roja and Verde) have recently been asked to leave a few places because of the large crowds that gather when they show up. I've heard they've had over 800 people in line at one time.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Running Man

A silhouetted runner passes over the Pico Blvd storm drain, heading north on the bike path in Santa Monica

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Keanu Reeves and Adrien Brody Will Compete in 2009 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race

The field for the 2009 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race includes Keanu Reeves, Adrien Brody, Al Unser Jr, and Alex Trebek. Saturday was a training session at Willow Springs Raceway and the Race will take place on Saturday, April 17 during the 35th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. This is serious racing in race modified Scion tC cars. This event raises over $100,000 for Racing For Kids, which benefits children's hospitals in Southern California.Six time Long Beach Grand Prix winner Al Unser Jr, Adrien Brody , and Keanu Reeves. And fyi- there is no word yet on whether Keanu and Adrien will be shaving off their beards before the race next month!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Air Force One And President Obama Depart SoCal

I was at Long Beach Airport today to photograph President Obama as he boarded Air Force One after completing his two day stint in So Cal. The whole thing is choreographed very tightly. Photographer Nick Ut of AP and Gary Friedman of the LA Times were there as well plus about 15 other TV journalists. We had plenty of time on our hands waiting for Marine One to arrive with Obama, so there was plenty of time for all the journos to get photos of each other with Air Force One in the background. As for the reason we were all there, from the time the President stepped out of the Marine One Presidential helicopter to him going inside AF One took about one minute. Good times!

President Obama in Southern California

President Barack Obama came to Southern California On Wednesday and held a town hall meeting with a Q&A seesion with the audience at the Orange County Fairgrounds. It was an electric atmosphere and the people were showing tremendous love and support for the President. It was a very memorable event to witness and Chief Executive was the picture of cool in the sweltering hot auditorium.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mr Millard Kaufman R.I.P.

Mr Millard Kaufman passed away this past Saturday March 14 at age 92 , two days after his birthday. He was a Hollywood screenwriter, a newspaper reporter, WWII Vet , and at age 90, a first time novelist for is book "Bowl of Cherries". I had the privilege of spending a couple hours with Mr Kaufman last spring to photograph him for a profile in The Washington Post. When I arrived at his home, he sat me down and we chatted about life, both his and mine, he was genuinely interested to know about my story too. He was a very happy, wise, and kind man who lived a very full and successful life. I am grateful to have spent those hours with him. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, their three children and seven grandchildren. Rest in Peace Mr Kaufman.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Kogi Korean BBQ Taco Truck @SMC

Kogi Korean BBQ has taken the ever popular Los Angeles taco truck culture to a whole new level. By mixing Korean BBQ with tacos and burritos, add in the social networking site Twitter and you have an overnight success story. Here's another twist, a success story which involves social networking. Today, I went to Santa Monica College to photograph them after I saw a tweet indicating a 4 pm arrival time there. As the trucks move around Los Angeles, they update their location on their Twitter feed @kogibbq . Sometimes the lines are so long, it takes over an hour to get your tacos which include spicy pork, chicken or tofu soaked in red chili vinaigrette and topped with kimchi. Due to the phenomenal rise of the world's first hi-tech taco truck ,they are planning on expanding soon. Here's an LAist post on Kogi BBQ

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sign of the Times- Circuit City Closes

Circuit City, formerly the nation's second largest electronic goods chain, closed down for the final time yesterday across the nation after weeks of sales to liquidate the remaining stock of merchandise. More than 34,000 employees are now part of the unemployment ranks and an additional 18 million sq feet of empty resale space is being added to the the faltering real estate market. I have a friend who is one of the laid off workers, she asked me if I knew of any jobs, I wish I did. It's tough times out there.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lance Armstrong and Shepard Fairey in L.A.

Lance Armstrong hosted an event in Los Angeles benefiting the Lance Armstrong Foundation's battle to overcome cancer. Artist Shepard Fairey unveiled a giant mural of Armstrong on the Exterior of the Montalban Theatre as part of the campaign. Ben Harper then rocked the house to close out the evening. Lance is heading to Europe to race in the Giro d'Italia and to prepare for his return to the Tour De France this summer for the first time since his retirement in 2005.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

When Celebrity Trials Collide

There was an LA moment today at the 1st court hearing for Rhianna beater Chris Brown. His family was mobbed by the press (mistakenly thinking his brother was Chris Brown) as they entered the LA County Court, and seconds after they cleared a ramp, down comes music producer Phil Spector and his entourage after his hearing on murder charges was adjourned for the day. Only in L.A. FYI- Chris Brown was driven into the underground parking at the court , avoiding most of the press pack waiting outside. The arraignment was postponed to April 6.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Naked Man On Cross Shuts Down La Brea

A naked man climbed onto a cross above a church on La Brea and West 9th St today. He stayed on the perch high above the street for about 7 hours before finally climbing down and being taken into custody. He was arrested on a vandalism charge, for s-reading his feces on the cross. Reports are that he will likely be held at a psychiatric hospital for 72 hours. No doubt one of the more bizarre scenes I've come across in my years covering Los Angeles.