Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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12/15/2019

Dollface

Filed under: — stan @ 9:06 pm

A few weeks ago, when we were out riding, I saw an ad for a new series on Hulu called “Dollface“. I made a note to look this up, since it’s Kat Dennings, who I’m a huge fan of ever since she was Norah in “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist“. For reasons I can’t quite explain, “Nick & Norah” is one of my most favoritest movies of ever.

So I watched the series when it came out, and I liked it a lot. There are a lot of little surreal bits in it, and in particular, two of my most favorite ones were the beginning of episode 2, when Jules got into a fight with the fitness app on her phone, and also episode 9, where they made their own version of “The Wizard of Oz”. So going to see a couple of these locations became the theme for today’s ride.

The scene with Jules fighting with the app on her phone was shot at the Micheltorena Stairs in Silver Lake, just off Sunset Blvd. I worked out a reasonable route to get there, including riding through downtown L.A., which was the scene of the women’s march in sort-of-Oz in the “Feminist” episode. And we were off.

It was a bit windy when we started out, but we figured it would be all right. By the time we got to downtown L.A., it had reached the point of being windy enough that it was getting unpleasant to ride in. On the other hand, that also made for another tie-in with the show, since the “Feminist” episode began with a crazy windy day in L.A.

We rode out to Hancock Park and stopped for bagels at Noah’s there. The wind had gotten bad enough that people walking were having trouble with it. But we pressed on. We rode back into Silver Lake, and then down a very steep hill to get to the bottom of the staircase. The lower part of it has been painted with hearts, and is known for being the most Instagrammed staircase in L.A. The actual scene from the show was shot on the upper part of the staircase, so I walked up there, carrying the bike. I got my photo-op, and at that point, I said “uncle” and decided to bail out and take Metro home. The nearest Metro station was the subway at Vermont and Beverly, so we headed over there. Just before we got there, we saw a homeless tent colony on fire. That was kind of scary, and the smoke was very thick. But we made it to the subway and rode the train back to Pasadena.

33 miles, including the two miles from the Pasadena Metro station back to the park.

Route map and elevation profile

11/24/2019

The Doo Dah Parade

Filed under: — stan @ 7:10 pm

Last week, I found out my friend Sue from the office was going to be one of the Grand Marshals for the Doo Dah Parade. So that was the plan for the Sunday ride today. I made a slightly shorter route, so we could make it back by 11:00. When we got there, I rode around to the staging area to find Sue and her crew. When I got there, Morgan wrapped a feather boa around my neck, and I got to be an honorary Seismo Sistah. We did two laps of the parade route, dodging a hail of flying tortillas. It was a weird and entertaining experience.

33 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

11/3/2019

The Little Free Pantry

Filed under: — stan @ 2:38 pm

A few weeks ago, I read an article in the L.A. Times about a church in Burbank that had set up a Little Free Pantry. Sort of like a Little Free Library, but with food instead of books. I brought along a can of turkey chili to contribute, since it fit in the water bottle cage on the bike.

The route was basically our regular Burbank and NoHo route. We stopped for snacks at Priscilla’s before heading home. The only real change was that we rode a different route through Griffith Park on the way back.

42 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

10/27/2019

Down for the Count – 2019

Filed under: — stan @ 3:05 pm

Today’s bike ride was the annual “Down for the Count” ride to Culver City to visit Bela Lugosi’s grave. We first did this in 2007, and we’ve done this every year since 2009. It’s one of only two rides we do on the same weekend every year.

We rode out by the usual route through downtown and along the Expo Line to Culver City. As always, when we got there, someone had been there to decorate Bela’s headstone for Halloween.

After we left the cemetery, we rode to La Dijonaise in the old Helms bakery complex. While we were there we saw some women walking some dogs. They said one of them was a Labradoodle, but I think it was really a Poobrador.

On the way back, we passed a couple of new cannabis shops on Venice Blvd. We got a good laugh from Hollyweed and The Pottery.

55 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

10/6/2019

Ciclavia downtown

Filed under: — stan @ 4:53 pm

Today was the latest Ciclavia. The “Heart of L.A.” route from East L.A. and through downtown. We rode down by way of San Gabriel to pad the route a bit. Then we picked up the route at Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights. After going through downtown, we went off the route briefly to see the firehouse where the original “Ghostbusters” was filmed. Then we went back on the route to near MacArthur park, when we turned north to Echo Park. We went through Angelino Heights to see the house from the “Thriller” music video, and also the house from “Charmed“. The route home went up the Arroyo Seco, where we ran into a closed gate. We had to pass the bikes over the gate and crawl underneath it. Just like old times when I did spelunking in Texas. Our final bit of sightseeing was to see Michael Myers’ house from “Halloween“.

All around, it was an entertaining ride.

46 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

9/29/2019

The George Harrison Tree

Filed under: — stan @ 5:14 pm

Today’s bike ride was a trip to Griffith Park to see the George Harrison Tree. Then we did the ride over Mt Hollywood and then the other way through Griffith Park before coming home by way of Highland Park.

47 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

9/22/2019

The Fake McDonald’s

Filed under: — stan @ 5:08 pm

Many years ago, I read once that McDonald’s has location in City of Industry that is never open. It’s just a studio where they film McDonald’s commercials. So that’s been on my sightseeing list for some time, and I recently found out where it is, so that was the destination for this week’s bike ride. This route is slightly longer than ones we usually do, but it’s also comparatively flat.

When we got there, it was closed up, complete with a sign announcing that it was “Not Open To The Public”. It’s pretty big, which I guess may have to do with the logistics of lights and cameras and so forth involved in filming things. And I thought it was funny that they had a smaller golden arches sign on wheels, so they can move the outside sign around.

On the way back, we stopped off for snacks and drinks at Panera in West Covina.

48 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

9/15/2019

The Maywood Pot Shop

Filed under: — stan @ 3:39 pm

Today’s bike club ride was a trip to Maywood to visit the big Cookies L.A. pot shop there. We’ve been there a few times before, and it’s also a chance to see how the construction of the new 6th St bridge is coming, and also to see the hog mural on the Farmer John packing plant in Vernon.

We rode our usual route into downtown L.A., and then south on Santa Fe St through the Arts District to get to Vernon. When we got to the pot shop, the security guys in the parking lot remembered us. I guess they don’t get many bike club groups who ride there from any distance away.

After leaving Maywood, we headed over to Hill Ave and then back into downtown. Then we went out 7th St to Bonnie Brae, and then took that up into Echo Park. We stopped for a moment to see the sort-of-famous old neon sign at the House of Spirits. We stopped for snacks and drinks at Valerie Confections in Echo Park. It’s a pretty nice place, although we still miss Chango Coffee.

Our route home went up through Highland Park and South Pasadena.

45 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

9/8/2019

Here’s a story…

Filed under: — stan @ 2:19 pm

A bit over a year ago, we rode out to Studio City to see the “Brady Bunch” house. It was only seen as the exterior shot in the TV show, and none of the actual filming took place there. But HGTV bought it last year, with the intention of remodeling to make the inside of the house match the ‘inside the house’ sets that used to exist on a soundstage somewhere. So now the remodel is done, and the TV show is scheduled to show, starting tomorrow. So today’s ride was another visit to see the house.

We rode out to Burbank first, then made a loop and headed south to Studio City. Sadly, the house still had the construction fence around it. I guess maybe that’s because they want to keep it under wraps until the show airs. Still, we were able to see several obvious differences compared to the house as it looked last year.

We stopped for drinks and snacks at Sweet Salt in Toluca Lake. Then we rode home by way of Griffith Park and Highland Park.

46 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

9/1/2019

More aerospace history

Filed under: — stan @ 9:23 pm

Since this year is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, today’s ride was to see a bit of aerospace and space program history. The goal was Exposition Park to see the DC-8, F-104, F/A-18, and the space shuttle external fuel tank on display at the science museum.

The ride downtown is pleasant, with 14 miles of gentle downhill. We tried an experiment this time and tried taking Figueroa south through downtown, rather than Spring St. But it turned out that Figueroa turns into one-way northbound at 3rd St, so we ended up having to turn off and take Flower St.

We paused a few minutes at the park to look at the exhibits. Then we continued west on Exposition. That was where we saw the signs for Obama Boulevard. After that, we turned north to our snack stop at Noah’s Bagels in Larchmont Village. While we were sitting there, we saw a Jeep go by with a man, and with his dog wearing a big hat and sitting next to him. I guess with a big enough hat, nobody knows you’re a dog.

46 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

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