Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lock Your Car

Common sense, but here are two items from the police report in the Burbank Leader:
  • 1000 Block of Alameda Avenue: A Burbank man reported Monday that someone stole his 1960 Chevrolet Impala while he was shopping at Staples. The man stated that he did not lock his car and that it was a custom show car valued at more than $100,000.
  • 1000 Block of San Fernando Boulevard: A Burbank woman reported that someone had stolen her car from the parking lot at Ralphs on Tuesday. The woman had left the keys in her car and kept the engine running while she went inside to shop.
Who leaves their car running while shopping? Beyond the fact that your car could be stolen, that's an appalling waste of fuel.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cookie Dough Ice Cream Completely Lacks Cookie Dough

Today I bought some Dreyer's cookie dough ice cream to help cope with the 104 degree heat. Just one problem: NO COOKIE DOUGH PIECES! After one scoop from the container unearthed no cookie dough, I assumed Dreyer's was being stingy. I dug deeper in the carton, looking for any trace, and found none. Perhaps the ice cream had melted, causing the heavier cookie dough chunks to collect at the bottom of the carton. I dumped the entire container in a large bowl and poked through it with a spoon. Still no dough. Generally the Dreyer's light ice creams are triumphs of food science, but they really had an off day with this batch!

Local Swimming Pool Options

Today it was over 104 degrees here. Glendale residents trying to stay cool are hampered by the fact that Glendale hasn't had a proper community swimming pool since the Verdugo Swim Stadium was demolished in 1988. There is a proposal to add a pool to Pacific Park, but that would come far too late for this summer's heat waves. In the meantime, here are some aquatic options.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Whiskey, Banking And The Masons

Today I noticed the juxtaposition of two faded advertisements on the side of the former Masonic Temple building (PDF) at 234 S. Brand Blvd:


Here's a snap of the front of the imposing structure, which was designed in 1928 by Arthur G. Lindley. Lindley's firm was also responsible for designing the Alex Theatre and the Hotel Glendale (PDF) at the northeast corner of Broadway & Glendale Ave.

Jewel City Photo: Sadco

"Life got you down? Shop at SADCO!"
A strange name for an otherwise ordinary jewelry shop next to Porto's and Da Juice Bar on Brand.

Everything At Salvation Army Now 75% Off

Every item in the Salvation Army Family Store at Brand & Wilson is currently marked down 75%. You'd better hurry if you want anything, because the store is set to close any day now.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

4,300 Gallons Of Diesel Stolen In Burbank

Here's a crime I've never considered. From The Burbank Leader:
More than 4,000 gallons of gasoline were stolen early Saturday morning from an Exxon station in Burbank, an unprecedented theft in the city at a time when gas prices continue to rise, police said Monday.

Between midnight Friday and 5 a.m. Saturday at least one suspect driving a gasoline tanker-truck pumped about 4,300 gallons from the underground storage depot when the station, located at 2417 N. San Fernando Blvd., was closed, Lt. Armen Dermenjian said.

There were no eyewitnesses and police do not know how many people are responsible for the theft, but investigators believe that the truck used was not imprinted with company logos usually found on gas tankers, he said.

“We have no reports of a gas truck being stolen,” Dermenjian said, “so it was probably unmarked. They would have had to have brought a tanker truck to the gas station, but whether it was stolen or not, we don’t know.”
Presumably the theft was commissioned by a dirty gas station owner. This week I'll post some real solutions to high gas prices.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Coming Soon: Starbucks at Central & Acacia

They're putting in a Starbucks right at my front door. A new mini-mall thing has been built at Acacia & Central, and the first tenant is going to be a Starbucks in the circular space at the corner of the development. Starbucks is a welcome addition to this gritty-for-Glendale stretch of Central, especially since the otherwise decent bakery across the street only serves weak coffee with non-dairy creamer...

Future Site Of The Glendale Triangle

Here is the future site of the 218-unit Glendale Triangle complex as it appears today. Currently there is a tire shop, a Burger King, and the Atwater Village Newbie's favorite car wash on the site. I was motivated to take these pictures because I regret not documenting the Americana site before demolition.
In the lower picture you can see the new red light camera that's just been installed at Los Feliz and San Fernando Road. It will become fully operational on June 30th. Here are the intersections in Glendale with red light cameras:
  • West bound Mountain St. at the intersection with Verdugo Rd.
  • South bound Glendale Ave. at the intersection with Broadway
  • East bound Colorado St. at the intersection with Pacific Ave.
  • North bound San Fernando Rd at the intersection with Los Feliz Rd.
  • East bound Los Feliz Rd at the intersection with San Fernando Rd.
It's dangerous as hell to blow through a red light, plus it'll cost you $380, so slow down. Glendale PD's red-light camera FAQ explains a few situations that make me paranoid when approaching a camera intersection:
What if the light was YELLOW or GREEN when I entered the intersection?
  • Drivers are only cited via the camera system for entering the intersection after the light has turned RED. If you enter an intersection on a green or yellow light you will not receive a citation. Remember, the red light camera program is about RED violations; it is not illegal to enter an intersection on a yellow or green light. The goal of the program is to increase the safety and quality of life for Glendale residents by reducing red light running.
Can I TURN RIGHT on a RED LIGHT at Red Light Photo-Enforcement intersection?
  • Yes, but only after bringing your vehicle to a complete stop before the limit line, which is the first white crosswalk line or other painted limit line. You are not required to simply slow down as you make your turn, you must stop. A “CALIFORNIA ROLLING STOP” IS NOT A STOP.
  • * Drivers may NOT turn right at an intersection which is marked NO RIGHT TURN ON RED.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Marshmallow Pizza And Burger/Fries

Marshmallows masquerading as pizza and burgers! And the fries come with "Sour Kandy Ketchup Gel"! Spotted at the 99 Cent Store at Sonora & San Fernando Road.

What The Heck Is Chevy Chase?*

According to an informal poll of friends, most assumed it had something to do with the actor/comedian, whose real name is Cornelius Crane Chase.

The name Chevy Chase actually comes from an ancient Scottish ballad called "The Ballad of Chevy Chase". The "chase" refers to a hunting party, and the "Chevy" is from the Cheviot Hills, which are located along the English/Scottish border. More context:
The chase is led by Percy, the English Earl of Northumberland. The Scottish Earl of Douglas had forbidden this hunt, and interprets it as an invasion of Scotland. In response he attacks, causing a bloody battle which only 110 people survived.

They are thought to have been based on the events of the Battle of Otterburn in 1388, although the account of the battle is not historically accurate and it may relate to border skirmishes up to fifty years later.

More from The Straight Dope:
Whatever its factual basis, the story of Chevy Chase became a cherished part of Scottish folklore, and people of Scottish ancestry applied the name to various places in America. The best known example is Chevy Chase, Maryland, a planned community established as a green refuge from Washington DC. It's one of the priciest residential areas on the east coast (location, location, location) and still fairly green and park-like.
Many early Glendale residents were of Scottish ancestry, including L.C. Brand.

Interestingly, the word glendale appears in the text of the ballad!
Wher syx and thrittè Skottishe knyghtes
on a day wear beaten down;
Glendale glytteryde on ther armor bryght,
over castille, towar, and town.
From a later version:
Of fifteen hundred Englishmen
Went home but fifty-three;
The rest were slain in Chevy Chase
Under the greenwood tree.
So there you have it: Chevy Chase Drive is named after a tale of Scottish knights kicking ass, not the star of Fletch.

*Update: Poking through my copy of A Brief History Of Adams Square, I've learned that some parts of Chevy Chase Drive were originally named Park Avenue and Sycamore Canyon, but in the mid 1920's a real estate agent named E.R. Austin worked to create an additional entrance into Glendale from Los Angeles and was able to convince L.A. and Glendale officials to change the name of this route to Chevy Chase Drive for the entire length of the street, as well as extend the street in various places. All this combining of names and extending made Chevy Chase Drive the longest street in Glendale.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Coroner In Griffith Park?

I spotted four grim looking police vehicles near the Old Zoo while hiking in Griffith Park with the Sierra Club tonight. Upon closer inspection I realized it was the Clark County Coroner van and related vehicles...from CSI. There were no crew members near the vehicles.

There was also a giant shoot for Mad Men that displaced the Sierra Club from the upper merry-go-round parking lot.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Glendale Triangle

Sounds a bit like Bermuda Triangle. Actually, it's a new development being proposed right in my (very walkable) backyard, at the corner of Los Feliz Blvd. and San Fernando Road. Here is a description from the initial study:

The project is a mixed-use residential and retail development which would include 218 residential apartment units, 54,000 square feet of retail space, a 3½-level subterranean parking structure, and recreation and open space amenities. The proposed project would consist of two five-story structures, sharing one common podium, with each structure featuring retail uses on the ground level with the residential uses occupying the four levels above. The design includes retail uses fronting San Fernando Road, Los Feliz Road, and Central Avenue. Central Avenue would provide residential access and San Fernando Road would provide retail access to the site.
Currently the site houses a Burger King, a car wash and a tire store. Here are some images from the initial study.

Jewel City Photo: Fire Truck

Spotted in the flammable hills of Brand Park. The firemen were doing some training.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Reclining Nude At The Americana

Take a very close look at the steam coming out of the train in the lobby mural of the theater at The Americana. You can click the image to enlarge.
A rather risqué image of a busty woman becomes apparent.
Here is a wider picture of the right half of the mural. In addition to the reclining nude, you can also spot references to The Alex, the Glendale train station and Grand Central Air Terminal. The nude alone nearly makes up for the fact that this theater doesn't sell coffee.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Baskin Robbins Place

Ice cream giant Baskin Robbins was founded in Glendale, but I didn't realize that Glendale actually has a street named Baskin Robbins Place until poking around Google maps this week:

Baskin Robbins Place is the tiny one way street connecting Sonora to Victory. The only real reference I could find to it online other than the map were some trademarks registered to BR at "31 Baskin Robbins Place, Glendale CA". According to their webpage, the current BR corporate headquarters is in Connecticut. I do know that there is a BR training center just down Victory, next to the drive-in BR. I wouldn't have guessed that ice cream lends itself to being eaten on the road.

Here is Baskin Robbins Place in all of its glory. The first BR was originally called Snowbird Ice Cream, and was located at 1120-1130 S. Adams in Adams Square.

Strip Club Makeover Complete

It appears that the makeover of the extremely Glendale-adjacent strip club on San Fernando Road is complete. Here's the new look. Those images light up brightly at night.

Downtown Glendale Openings and Closings

Here are the latest business openings and closings in Downtown Glendale:
  • The Salvation Army will close around June 21st. The landlord is now looking to rent the space to an upscale, Benihana-ish restaurant.
  • Linens and Things in the weird spot across from the upstairs theaters at The Exchange is finally closing. I say finally because I worked a block away for about three years before I even realized it was open.
  • A restaurant called LunchBox is going into The Exchange near the Ben Franklin bench and Zono Sushi. There used to be a convenience store in that spot, but it has been vacant for years. The Lunchbox menu board was up and featured pressed sandwiches and pizzas in the $7 dollar range. This is already a good location for sandwiches, as LaBelle Cafe and Angela's are just around the corner. I'm curious to try the pizza.
  • La Cubana is open in the former Maurizio's space at The Exchange. My companions and I ate there today. The food was fairly good, although they are lacking any lower priced lunch specials, and also have literally zero vegetarian entrees.
  • Fortunately for the vegetarians, a Korean chain called Tofu Village will be opening soon in the former Takeshi Ramen spot.

Girls Drawin' Girls Pin Up Art Show Downtown

My girlfriend Anne is a key member of the drawing group Girls Drawin' Girls. GDG have a gallery opening this Saturday featuring artwork from their second book, which showcases fairy tale themed original pin-up artwork.

The opening is at 8pm.

The Hive Gallery
729 S. Spring St.
Los Angeles 90014

The show runs 6/7-6/28.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Windshield Advertisements

Car dealerships can't give away the SUVs and full-size trucks rotting on their lots. Here are some strange window ads that I spotted on Brand as I walked to my polling place yesterday.

Yes, join the club of people who wish they had never purchased an inefficient gas hog and are desperate to get rid of it!

For a moment I thought this was only addressed to men named Ramon. I thought, wow, that is desperate. It took me a minute to figure out that it was actually a Dodge RAM pick up truck.

This one is just baffling.

What's Missing From This Picture?

If you said Downtown L.A., you'd be correct. I took this yesterday while hiking at Stough Canyon in Burbank. Downtown Glendale, six miles away, is barely visible at left. The skyscrapers of Downtown Los Angeles, twelve miles away, are nowhere to be found. Blecch. I can't wait to hike back up here on a nice clean day.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Swarm Of Bees Spotted Downtown Again

Two weeks ago there was a giant swarm of bees on the window of a building on Maryland and Broadway, now they've moved west a block to Brand and Broadway, and are swarming around a tree in front of the C&C Internet Cafe and BJ's.

If you hear a dissonant buzz overhead, you probably want to keep moving.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

New BMW M3 On Blocks

Wow, this is messed up. I don't think I've ever seen a car on blocks in Burbank or Glendale before, much less a brand new M3. Glendale did have a rash of BMW emblem theft about a year ago, but this is another level of wrong. It still has the temporary registration taped inside the windshield. This is one of the best handling cars you can buy today...with wheels, of course.

Spotted just inside Burbank in the Walgreens parking lot on San Fernando Road.