Tuesday, December 30, 2008

One Year in 40 Seconds

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wafaa Bilal

Just heard about this artist on The World.

Great Depression Cooking

We all thought it would never happen again, but today we stand on the precipice of another depression. Our elders told stories of enduring hardships we could only imagine. Now those stories are no longer outside the realm of possibility. What lessons can we draw from their experiences and innovations? Here's a start: Cooking Lessons from the Great Depression, brought to us by Clara, a 91 year old who grew up during those trying times.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

LA Philharmonic visits Van Nuys High

What a glorious concert I heard tonight at Van Nuys High. The LA Philharmonic's annual neighborhood and community concert series is a free program where they play throughout Los Angeles at schools, churchs and other community gathering places. Tonight, the brilliant young conductor, Ryan McAdams, played 3 great pieces:

Vaughan Williams
: Fantasia on Greensleeves
: Exsultate jubilate
: The Nutcracker, Suite No. 1

Another young star, soprano Ji Young Yang from the SF Opera, sang an amazing Mozart piece that blew me away. As McAdams tells us, she filled in as there weren't any castrados in L.A. to sing the part. There was something magical about seeing and hearing this timeless music in that setting. Plus, I never turn down free tickets to see great music. The series continues this week with concerts in Pomona tommorrow and Inglewood on Friday.

Call to Action! Urge Corrupt City Council to stop Billboard Blight!

Yes, they put a billboard up in the middle of a bike path!

Trying not to appear in the pockets of outdoor advertisers, LA City Council is conducting much of their business regarding outdoor digital billboards and illegal billboards in secret, closed door meetings. They need to hear from us that we're not happy with their give-aways to advertisers who are ruining our city. Today, Ron Kaye urges Angelenos to contact the city council and let them know what you think about this subject:

(So you have a 24-hour digital sunrise in your bedroom? So, your kid was maimed in an accident as a result of a distracted driver watching a digital billboard? Ever tried to sell a home with a ditigal billboard in your backyard? Much to ponder. The City needs time from the moratorium to get its house in order.)

councilmember.reyes@lacity.org councilmember.greuel@lacity.org councilmember.zine@lacity.org councilmember.labonge@lacity.org, councilmember.weiss@lacity.org councilmember.cardenas@lacity.org, councilmember.alarcon@lacity.org councilmember.parks@lacity.org, councilmember.wesson@lacity.org councilmember.smith@lacity.org, councilmember.garcetti@lacity.org councilmember.rosendahl@lacity.org, councilmember.huizar@lacity.org councilmember.hahn@lacity.org Jan.Perry@lacity.org, mayor@lacity.org

Not sure what to tell them?

Try this:

From: The Engaged Observer
To: councilmember.reyes@lacity.org; councilmember.greuel@lacity.org; councilmember.zine@lacity.org; councilmember.labonge@lacity.org; councilmember.weiss@lacity.org; councilmember.cardenas@lacity.org; councilmember.alarcon@lacity.org; councilmember.parks@lacity.org; councilmember.wesson@lacity.org; councilmember.smith@lacity.org; councilmember.garcetti@lacity.org; councilmember.rosendahl@lacity.org; councilmember.huizar@lacity.org; councilmember.hahn@lacity.org; Jan.Perry@lacity.org; mayor@lacity.org
Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 10:07:02 AM
Subject: Billboard Blight in our fair city

Dear Leaders of Los Angeles:

You're failing me and every other resident of Los Angeles. Your refusal to:

1. Enact an immediate moratorium on billboards
2. Enforce and remove criminal and illegal billboards
3. Effectively regulate outdoor advertisers

has eroded the trust and confidence we the citizens place in your hands. You're not looking out for our best interests. You're a disappointment at best and perhaps criminals at worst.

We are watching you. Please behave like your jobs depend on our trust and confidence.

Best Regards,

The Engaged Observer

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Moon Over The Vista Theater

Shot last night on our way to dinner at Blairs. The food was incredible, atmosphere was warm and cozy, perfect dinner option on a cold windy night.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The End of Wall Street

Here's the best article yet to explain what the hell happened to our financial system.

The End,

Meth Lab by Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe

Meth Lab by Jonah Freeman Justin Lowe. As seem installed at The Station in Miami, December 7th, 2008.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Meth Lab at The Station in Miami

One of the highlights of Miami this year was the installation piece by artists Jonah Freeman Justin Lowe at The Station. Wandering thru a meth lab, complete with thousands of sudafeds, stuffed coyotes and a kitchen turned laboratory was akin to a haunted house. I'll post a 4 minute as soon as I get a good wireless connection.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

30 Americans - Rubell Collection

Before arriving at Aqua this morning, Heather and I joined her parents for a quick tour of the Rubell Collection in Miami's Wynwood district. The current exhibition, 30 Americans, is a powerful and dynamic showcase of 31 artists. Why 31?

As the show evolved, we decided to call it “30 Americans.” “Americans,” rather than “African Americans” or “Black Americans” because nationality is a statement of fact, while racial identity is a question each artist answers in his or her own way, or not at all. And the number 30 because we acknowledge, even as it is happening, that this show does not include everyone who could be in it. The truth is, because we do collect right up to the last minute before a show, there are actually 31 artists in “30 Americans."

We saw Mr. Rubell walking thru his museum with a happy smile on his face, visibly joyed by all the people he inspires thru his collection. I hope Los Angeles has philanthropists that think in the same way as Mr. Rubell. Perhaps they'll step in and solve the mess that has become MOCA.

Glenn Ligon

Hank Willis Thomas

Jeff Sonhouse

John Bankston

Kara Walker

Kehinde Wiley

Leonardo Drew

Nick Cave

Rodney McMillian

Noah Davis

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Foggy L.A.

Shot this the other day. I'm heading to Miami, hopefully it'll be sunny and warm. See you next week!

eBay: Do you think you're a monopoly?

Here's a great comment on my previous post about eBay's failures to serve their customers with integrity. I thought it was worth reposting.

moonrockmuzik said...

I was thinking about this article last night while I was working and if my memory serves me right the last article I read about eBay actually had John Donahoe quoted as saying something to the degree of "well, the good thing about the internet is that there are alot of alternatives out there for disgruntled sellers....

"That is the very crux of this problem. The attitude of John and the rest of the eBay CEO's clearly shows that a) they choose ignorance, which is stupid....b) they are actually so snide and nasty about their current destruction of their customer base and the eBay platform that they ACTUALLY TELL YOU TO LEAVE....as if they are TEMPTING you do to do it with their SMUG WE HAVE A MONOPOLY AND YOU WILL EITHER DO WHAT WE SAY OR SELL NOTHING attitude......They don't care about ANYONE....we are only NUMBERS in their NIFTY ALGORHYTHMS which are created by techie idiots anyway.

Ever since Pierre sold eBay and Meg and her tenure started eBay has gone straight downhill (....remember that folks??? when ebay auctions cost 1/3 of what they do now, SafeHarbor (Trust and Safety) actually GAVE A DAMN about what happens on eBay, and PayPal actually paid you 5 bucks if you got them a new customer....) ......Every year, half-year, quarter in some cases they come out with a new brilliant scheme that they pitch as "necessary for eBay to continue to grow" and they say "it is going to make eBay a better selling environment...."....BUT their changes are NOTHING BUT A) AN EXCUSE TO RAISE FEES AND COSTS (whether with explicit fee hikes or hidden price hikes, and most of the time they try to hide them.....), B) A PLAN DEVELOPED BY SOME NEW UP AND COMING EBAY EXEC (I think there must be an indoctrination into the ceo pool at eBay....They probably take you to a secret hidden magic room with a cauldron and you have to develop some evil scheme to screw the public before you can escape from the devils grasp.....), and C) A FURTHER ATTEMPT TO BECOME BIG BROTHER IN SOME ORWELLIAN EBAY NIGHTMARE THEY ALL ENVISION.....I AM SURE THAT THEY ENVISION A WORLD IN WHICH ALL CITIZENS OF EARTH HAVE AN EBAY BARCODE BURNED INTO THEIR FOREHEAD WITH A LASER AND WE ARE DIRECTED BY BLOCK-WIDE PLASMA TV'S THAT TELL US WHAT TO DO AND THINK, ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORWELL'S 1984 AND EBAY'S OVERALL LONG-TERM PLAN IS THAT EBAY RUBS YOUR FACE IN WHAT THEY ARE DOING INSTEAD OF TRYING TO HIDE THEIR EVIL PLOYS AND SCHEMES....

eBay representatives attributes their horrifying decline in profit margin and site activity "....on the bad economy."....it is the standard quote they have all been instructed to tell sellers while they get ebay stuck further in the La Brea tarpits.....And of COURSE they tell you to hang on and not close listings, THEY WANT YOU TO KEEP PAYING THE LISTING FEES!!!! They refuse to believe that they have made the customer base so mad that we NEVER want to return, and they ABSOLUTELY REFUSE TO.... A) WORK, B) STAND BEHIND THEIR GOOD FAITH POLICIES THAT THEY STATE IN THEIR TERMS OF SERVICE CONTRACT, C) ACT IN A TIMELY MANNER (regarding ANYTHING!)......AND D) THEY REFUSE TO TAKE ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANYTHING WHATSOEVER.




A former PowerSeller/one of the former 5000 largest eBay stores/sellers

Monday, December 1, 2008

Los Angeles rests in fog while the Moon dances with Venus and Jupiter

Imagine if Antonio was more like Gavin

From Streetsblog:

“We’ve accomplished a great deal together, but much work remains to be done to improve the safety and convenience of bicycling,” said Newsom. “I will continue to push for a better bicycling environment as part of my deep commitment to improving the health of our environment, our residents and our city.”

If only Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa placed bicycle transportation on equal footing with other transportation options, Los Angeles would be a better place to live, work and commute. Our air quality would improve and our residents would suffer from less pollution-caused health problems.