Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Downtown Los Angeles Archeology

So Los Angeles is often called the city of the future, especially with this:

Really tall stuff

If you don't mind a little walking, you can see a lot of its past, especially around downtown. This was my first stop because it was part of The Indestructible Man, one of MST3K's many targets.

This ain't a lame cable car

It's Angels Flight, a railway no bigger than an escalator actually. Still, if it's good enough for Butcher Benton, why not. It's like riding a cable car, only straight up, and the train is built for that. Look at the inside of the car, and then the tracks.

Inside an Angels Flight Car

Angel Flight Tracks

It's one of those "only in L-a" experiences you have to try. There's always time for the Dolby Theater or the Walk of Fame. By the way, this is the main depot:

Angels Flight, the depot

It is also surprising there's a lot of really good looking theaters, deserted or sometimes used, on Broadway. It's a tour of the past, where theaters were the main source of entertainment. I bet if the guys who built Grauman's Chinese or the Orpheum were here now, they'd consider watching, say, Hunger Games or Gone With the Wind, on something that you can carry in a knapsack a bigger horror than Frankenstein. Don't worry, guys, nothing beats seeing a movie in a big theater. Once part two of Breaking Dawn unreels, you'll see that. you'll also say "Sure, but Robert Pattison and Kristen Stewart ain't got nothing on Clark Gable and Carole Lombard."
Of course, that's obvious. But Hedda Hopper would break Twitter every day if she had that.

Anyway, take a look at this parade of old theaters:

Palace Theater of Los Angeles

Graveyard of Theaters: Los Angeles

Tower Theater, L-A version

Graveyard of Theaters: United Artists

At least the Orpheum is still active, and not just in videos or commercials, either.

Orpheum Theater

Orpheum sign

This was a surprise: finding the old Herald-Examiner building with the sign still there. You'd think someone would use this place, even to make Internet news.

Ghost of Media Past

There was one bit of irony I did see. This is the entrance to the Belasco theater, used for performances of big shindigs, Look at the neon sign next to the sign:

Notice the Irony?

That must be a joke somewhere.

Along with the old, there is also the new. The Broad Museum is under construction next to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Apparently someone decided to add some modern art in the unfinished building...

Uh, this isn't modern art

Joke's on them. They'll just paint over it.

One more thing: if you have seen the Hollywood sign lately, you'd notice there's something different:

Hollywood Sign Gets Makeover

Not THAT's a makeover. They should finish repainting the sign in a few weeks

Sunday, October 28, 2012

How To See A Broadway Musical For $25

I spent Sunday shopping like mad, mainly at the Fairfax Trading Post. I got an MTV All Access Pass...that was 12 years old...for 50 cents. I also got some pieces of TV history: a KRON TV button from the early 1970's and a Price Is Right ticket from 1980. I even have staitonary from a Disney film, The Rescuers.

Still, there was one dream I had to try...

The Book of Mormon Lottery

It's possible to get a ticket to Book of Mormon for 25 bucks. They just have a handful before each performance at the Pantages, but about a hundred people tried their luck including these two...

I Believe....I'll get inside for $25

You just fill out a form, and hope your name gets called. Mine didn't but I might try again.

Right now, I just hope that I get close enough to the red carpet Monday night for the Wreck-It Ralph event. Naturally, I'll have to wait until next weekend to see it, but it will be worth it. It'll help me forget that someone thought a sequel of the Smurfs should be made...and it has. That scared me more than Franenweenie, personally.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Building A Future, Breaking a Record

A look at the future

In a way, I have been connected with soccer in San Jose. I was there when the Earthquakes joined the North American Soccer League. I was there when San Jose joined Major League Soccer. I even saw them when they were at Raley Field.

Me at the groundbreaking

So, when I heard about this groundbreaking of the team's new stadium at Coleman Avenue, not too far away from their current home of Buck Shaw Stadium, I decided to go and help out. Granted, there were two other reasons: I'd help set a new world record for biggest groundbreaking ever, and I would get a souvenir shovel, like these laid out ready for use....

Shovels at the ready

I am surprised the ground was pre-broken to make it easier to shovel. Hope that is part of the rules. I took some ground home as a souvenir.
The old record was 4532. Safe to say, it got buried. These are two of 6235 fans who got shovels for the team. A big chunk of the fans brought their own shovels, and were still part of the record.

There's Goals In Them Thar Hills

So what was it like to set a world record, and start the ball rolling towards a home the Quakes can call their own?

Quake fans celebrate the Really Big Dig

Just like that.

Would I come to the 2014 season opener at the new place at Coleman Avenue? Maybe.