Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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John Waters on Hollywood Blvd

Filed under: — stan @ 3:02 pm

Last Monday, I read that John Waters was going to be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I watched the livestream of the unveiling ceremony, and then I said, “I know where the Sunday bike club ride is going this week…”

We rode out by our usual route across Highland Park and Silver Lake to get to Hollywood. We stopped briefly to see Carol Burnett’s star, just because there’s a funny story associated with it. (you can read it here) John Waters’ star itself is in front of Larry Edmunds Bookshop at 6644 Hollywood Blvd. As we were about to cross the street to get there, I noticed that Leonard Nimoy’s star is right there on the corner of Hollywood and Cherokee Ave. We’ve been out to visit his grave at Hillside Memorial in Culver City before.

Leaving Hollywood, we rode to Larchmont Village and had snacks at Noah’s Bagels. Then we headed home by way of downtown L.A. and the Arroyo Seco.

43 miles.

Route map and elevation profile


Star Garden

Filed under: — stan @ 4:48 pm

A few weeks ago, I saw an article about Star Garden in North Hollywood. This is a topless bar that recently reopened after being closed for some time, and it now has the distinction of being the only unionized strip show in the U.S.

So of course I figured this should be a bike club ride. I made up a route, and here it is. It was kind of wet and misty this morning, but after a little while it cleared up. Of course, that meant that it was like 100 degrees by the time we got back, but it was still a nice ride.

42 miles.

Route map and elevation profile


The Silver Ball

Filed under: — stan @ 5:04 pm

Back in 1989, I had a chance to play a pinball game called “EARTHSHAKER!” The theme of the game is Los Angeles and earthquakes, which have long been two of my most favorite things. And in 1995, after I got my job at the USGS earthquake office, I always had in my mind that someday I should have one of these games. So I recently had to have some service done on the “Last Action Hero” game. For pinball service, I always contact Pat Choy at Endless Pinball. He knows everything about these games and can pretty much fix anything. Some time ago, I’d mentioned that someday I would be interested in getting an “EARTHSHAKER!”, and this time, he mentioned that he had one that he’d come upon and restored. So one evening, we went down to Anaheim to try it out. After playing a few games, I was writing a check, and now it’s here in our house.

It’s pretty entertaining, and when I hit the right targets and ramp, the shaker motor goes off, and it shakes the whole room. It’s quite hilarious.



Filed under: — stan @ 4:09 pm

It’s almost Halloween, so this Sunday was time to do one of our Halloween-themed rides. It was a trip through downtown Los Angeles and nearby areas.

We rode into downtown by our regular route, and then did the short side trip to 5th St and the firehouse where a good bit of “Ghostbusters” was filmed. Then we rode down to follow the Metro Expo line for a bit, where we saw car number 1003 again. This car is special, since it’s the one that Carla and I got our pictures taken on in 2015 when we went to the open house at the new Metro Operations Campus in Monrovia.

Next up was a visit to Angelino Heights to see the house that was in the “Thriller” video. Apparently, even though it only appears briefly in the video, the neighbor across the street told us it’s a pretty big tourist draw.

Next, we rode back to downtown for drinks and snacks at Chimney Coffee. That was where we met the very friendly little cat that lives there, and just happens to look like Hitler.

The final sight was in South Pasadena, where we rode by Michael Myers’ house from “Halloween”. We’ve been to see it before, and pictures are there.

47 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.


Santa Monica

Filed under: — stan @ 3:16 pm

This week has been brutally hot, at least by Los Angeles standards. And today was forecast to be about 110F again. So the Sunday bike club ride was a one-way trip to Santa Monica. It’s mostly downhill to the beach, and the beach is slightly less hot than here in Pasadena. So that was the plan.

In the past, we’ve done this route by taking Huntington into downtown L.A., but today I modified this so we started out by going down to East L.A. and Boyle Heights. This is also mostly downhill, but pads it out slightly to make the route longer. We also got to go over the new 6th Street bridge. After that, we went through downtown and down to USC before following the Metro Expo Line west. We stopped at Western Ave and got a couple gallon jugs of cold water to refill all our water bottles.

Continuing on, by the time we got on the Ballona Creek bike trail, we could feel it was getting to be slightly less hot, since we were just a few miles from the ocean at that point. In Marina Del Rey, we were all enjoying the (relatively) cool ocean breeze. The locals weren’t enjoying it, since it was still pretty hot by beach standards, but we thought it felt good. We rode by the canals in Venice, and then up Main St to our snack stop at Dogtown Coffee. We found out today that the coffee shop has a patio out back that we didn’t know about. So that was nice. After that, we rode the final mile or so to the Metro Station at 4th and Colorado in Santa Monica. The we got on the train to come home.

43 miles.

Route map and elevation profile


Vin Scully Memorial

Filed under: — stan @ 2:15 pm

Big news this week was the Vin Scully, the long-time announcer for the Dodgers had died. Apparently, he was the voice of the team for nearly 70 years. Later in the week, I read that an impromptu memorial had been constructed at the entrance to Dodger Stadium, so that was the sightseeing goal for this week.

We rode down through East L.A. to get to downtown, and then up through Echo Park to get to the stadium. The memorial was a random collections of items left by fans, with things going back to the Brooklyn days, and personal notes from fans. Even though I don’t follow baseball, it’s still amazing to see that any one person can cast such an impact on our culture.

We stopped at Chimney Coffee before coming home. That’s where they were plugging the Larb Burger. “Larb and in charge”

40 miles.

Route map and elevation profile


The New 6th Street Bridge

Filed under: — stan @ 4:41 pm

Back in 2015, we took a bike ride to go see the 6th Street Bridge over the Los Angeles River. The old bridge had just been closed, and was going to be demolished and rebuilt. The demolition process led to a bike ride to see a closed-down section of the 101 freeway. Ever since then, every time we’d pass through the Arts District east of downtown, we would stop and see how the construction of the new bridge was coming along. And this weekend was the grand opening of the new bridge.

There was also a CicLAvia going on today on Western Ave in south L.A., so the plan was to go there first. Then we’d head back into downtown for the chance to ride over the new bridge, starting at 11:00.

We rode downtown by our usual basic route down Huntington Drive. Then out on Exposition to Western, where we picked up the CicLAvia route. We rode to the far end of that, and then headed back to downtown. We got to the bridge a few minutes before the 11:00AM opening. We rode across the bridge to Boyle Heights, and then back. All told, they did a pretty good job on it.

We stopped for drinks and snacks at Chimney Coffee outside downtown. Then we came home by way of the Arroyo Seco.

48 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.


Turnbull Canyon

Filed under: — stan @ 1:52 pm

Today’s bike ride was a trip up and over Turnbull Canyon in Whittier. We haven’t done this one in a while, but today was supposed to be a nice day, and not hot. So it seemed like the thing to do.

For some reason, we had big group today, so we took the short side trip in Pico Rivera to go see Dork Street. And we were pleasantly surprised to see that the street sign that was stolen years ago has been replaced. So we were all set for the obligatory photo-ops with the street sign.

After that, we rode across Whittier and up and over the canyon. Our snack stop was at Merengue in Monrovia, and then we headed home.

43 miles.

Route map and elevation profile


The 40th Anniversary of E.T.

Filed under: — stan @ 3:41 pm

June of 1982 was 40 years ago, and that was when “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” was released. At the time, it was just a nice little movie, but over time, it’s taken it’s place in our culture. We’ve been to see Elliott’s house from the movie before, but not for some years. So it was time to go again.

I pared the route down a bit from last time to cut down on the amount of climbing. It was still an impressively steep hill to get up to the house, but we made it.

36 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.


The Daily Show Strikes Again…

Filed under: — stan @ 7:26 pm

On Friday, I heard that “The Daily Show” had set up another art project honoring “Heroes of the Freedomsurrection” for all the brave patriots who fought against the United States. And after displaying it in New York, they were bring it it to Los Angeles. So of course we had to go see. Heh… “Lion Ted”…

This was another “Daily Show” stunt along the lines of the “Presidential Twitter Library” they did a few years ago. And as that was, this one was pretty funny, since the actual underlying reality of it is pretty horrifying.

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