Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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A fun evening*

Filed under: — stan @ 11:05 pm

On Sunday night, we went to Hollywood Forever for one of the Cinespia movies. Tonight it was “This is Spinal Tap“. It was a fun evening, with one big exception. And that was almost enough to make me never want to go to another of their shows again. But aside from that, it was a fun time. We brought a little picnic dinner, along with the chairs we got for going to “Hamlet” and “The Captains” back in July. So we had a nice time. After the movie, we visited the photo booth and got our picture taken with Stonehenge.

* I’ll write about the utter idiocy that was the line for parking in another post.

Glendale Vistas again

Filed under: — stan @ 12:16 pm

Today’s bike club ride was an old route we haven’t done in quite a while. It’s the “Glendale Vistas” route, and it goes up into the hills above Glendale. I broke my bike on this ride four years ago.

It was not a bad day for riding. It was promising to get hot, but not nearly as bad as some other days have been. There’s not a lot to say about this route. It doesn’t go to any weird sightseeing spots. The most excitement we had was at the stop at Paradise Bakery. They have the best chocolate eclairs there.

After the eclair stop, we headed up into the hills. That was where I got the picture of Alan doing the ‘walk of shame’, pushing his bike up the hill.

It was a nice ride, even if we didn’t do any odd sightseeing along the way.

41 miles.


Neon lights, but not so much water as last time

Filed under: — stan @ 11:30 pm

Last December, we took the Museum of Neon Art’s Holiday Lights tour. And as it turned out, that was the night it was pouring rain in Los Angeles, which is not so good if you’re riding in an open-top sightseeing bus. So tonight, we went to do the summer version of the neon tour, and it seemed like a pretty good bet that it wasn’t going to rain.

The museum has moved out of the old bank building on 4th St in preparation for their move to Glendale next year. So the tour began in Chinatown. There is a lot of nice neon dating back to the 1930s there, and it was always a stop on the tour, so it seemed like a good place to start. While we were waiting to go, we wandered around and took pictures of the neon as the sun went down.

When it got dark, we all loaded up the bus and headed out. They took us downtown to see all the old theaters on Broadway, as well as a number of other old neon signs in the area. Then we had our first stop of the tour, at The Golden Gopher. Word is that Gopher has the oldest liquor license in L.A., and it’s apparently one of very few that allow for take-out. And the little gophers inside were cute.

Leaving downtown, we headed up across Echo Park and Silver Lake into Hollywood. There is a lot of neon and other electric signage in Hollywood, so that was a natural for the tour. Eric was our guide for the tour, and he was very entertaining, telling us stories about the different signs along the way, as well as maintaining a constant patter about which historic buildings have been converted to loft housing. There’s a little video excerpt you can see there that will give a taste of what the tour is like:

It was a very fun evening.


Remembering the ’80s

Filed under: — stan @ 11:30 pm

On Friday night, we started off our long weekend at the Hollywood Bowl. They were having a “Totally ’80s” nostalgia show with Berlin, The Fixx, The B-52s, and The Human League, so we joined about 18,000 other 50-mumble-year-olds and we partied like it was 1983.

Parking at the Hollywood Bowl is the stuff of nightmares, so we did the un-L.A. thing and rode the train. Riding on the Metro, as it were. That worked out well, except that Kathleen got stuck in traffic on the way to the subway station, so we were a bit late. When we got there, Berlin was already playing… “The Metro“. And Terri Nunn still looks great, even 30 years later. They played a short set, and then Terri was the MC for the remainder of the evening.

Second up was The Fixx. I wasn’t all that familiar with them, aside from what was played on KROQ back in the day. But they still looked good, and the played all the songs we knew.

The B-52s were up third, and they stole the show. Fred Schneider has gotten old, but they can still rock. Funny thing was, “Party out of Bounds” just doesn’t sound the same when it’s played by a bunch of middle-agers. Still, they did a good long set, and as always, we knew all the songs. They had the crowd on their feet, which is not always an easy thing to do at our age. I was happy that I’d finally had a chance to see them play, since I missed my first opportunity, back in1980. I was in college at the time, and they were playing at a tiny little club in Houston, Texas. But the show was on a Sunday night, and it was the Sunday night before my first big exam in Physics 311 – Quantum Mechanics. At the time, I thought it was probably a good idea to skip the show and study. So now, 30-something years later, I finally got to see them.

Finally, The Human League rounded out the show. They did all right, although they played a couple of actual new songs. They should know that nobody goes to a nostalgia show to hear or see anything new. We’re there to relive old memories, and quietly weep for our lost youth. Still, they did a good show, and all around it was a fun evening.

Some things don’t change. We could still smell pot wafting by on the breeze. On the other hand, I’d be willing to bet that there was nobody there who got so drunk that they puked on their shoes, unlike if we’d had the same crowd and bands at a show back in, say, 1983. Another thing I thought was funny was seeing the glowing screens of hundreds of digital cameras in the crowd. It looked a lot like the old days, only with cameras instead of lighters. And I’m told now that there’s a ‘lighter app’ for the iPhone now, just so we can combine the best of old and new. Heh.

All told, it was a fun evening.

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