Friday, November 21, 2008

Save Pine!

save pine
(image by first people)

I've watched with a touch of hope but mostly sorrow as Downtown Long Beach has soared and soured over the last 5 years.  EJ's Banana Pudding Shop, {open}, Koo's, and the Broadlind Cafe began to generate vitality and community in Downtown Long Beach  and fingers were crossed that the good work would restore the downtown area, but to no avail. These great businesses folded or moved to more business-friendly terrain. When we attended the University by the Sea Festival last year, I was dumbfounded at all the vacant buildings in Pine Square - it would not be an exaggeration to label it a ghost town.  All the while, Long Beach developers reached hand-over-fist in 2006 and 2007 to build more and more high-rise lofts and condos, paying no attention to the empty streets below.

Recent articles in the District and the Press Telegram about the Z Gallerie closing, leaving an entire retail block nearly empty, sends a clear message that something is going wrong in Downtown Long Beach.  And the residents of Pine Avenue and Downtown Long Beach have had enough. 
We are residents, business owners and a property owners that love our town and the people in it. We live on, we eat on and we thrive on Pine Ave. and it's neighboring streets and communities. We've seen the DLBA and the CITY chop Pine down and we're furious. Only we (residents, business owners and property owners) can turn this around and we must demand it.

We have seen the same meetings held for 7 years with no answers and no accountability.

SAVE PINE consists of 12 contributors that have lived on Pine for an average of 10 years. We do not have individual profiles on this network. We've elected the BIG GRIZZLY BEAR as our cover because our Council Members, DLBA and the City have made an art form out of avoiding the tough questions from the most demanding people and finding creative ways to marginalize/punish and/or wear down those that speak out. We've agreed that it's best that we be able to move freely and motivate the residents and business owners' from within our community. If together we stand up for the good of the street, if together our voices ring in unity then the more they must act. Our goal is to push for positive changes on our street.

Since none of us have political aspirations or affiliations you can trust that our intentions are true and for the best of the street...We are every where and we are the growing voice of change for Downtown Long Beach.

Who are we? WE ARE PINE!
This is one of my favorite things: People of Long Beach, working together for change!  Hats off to YOU!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Baby Jesus and the SuperSonic!

*Nativity handmade by Karibu, Gifts with Humanity

This holiday season, the Automobile Driving Museum will be exhibiting one of the largest private collections of Nativity Scenes in the country. With 325 Nativity Scenes of various shapes and sizes, museum visitors will enjoy the festive, timeless and classic pictorial scenes. The nativity scenes will be on exhibit among the more than 70 classic and historic cars on display at the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo from November 25, 2008 through January 4, 2009.

The collection has been gathered from all over the world including Russia, South America, Mexico, United Kingdom and Italy. Along with the exhibit is a special children’s area. Books, puzzles, puppets and other hands-on items will be available for kids under 10 to enjoy.

The Automobile Driving Museum will also be accepting new toys for its annual toy collection drive. We invite visitors to bring a toy when they come to the museum. Toys will be distributed to needy children through the El Segundo Fire Department and Kiwanis.

The Automobile Driving Museum is located at 610 Lairport Street, El Segundo. It is open weekends, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Tuesday through Friday by appointment; closed Mondays. Tickets are by a suggested $5 donation. For more information, visit the museum’s website at or call (310) 909-0950.

The Automobile Driving Museum is one of the only known museums to offer short rides in one of its vehicles. “Rides” in select museum vehicles are on Sundays only. To see a full list of cars in the collection and more information about the museum, visit

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Felt Club Holiday 2008!

(with apologies for the photos - I decided to return the Canon G10, sad me, and my digi elph is on its last legs.)

What a fun time we had at Felt Club! We arrived at 9:45am, in time to receive a gift bag (for the first 250 people). Anatomy of a Gift Bag revealed below.

Ran into the following lovely friends and friends of friends: Feanna from Kait Emerson (with a new swoony Spring 2009 line for the little ones!), Bethany from m*o*m (with her awesome Mom, Tere), Rebecca Hahn, who does amazing multilayered illustrations, and Courtney bought some cute finger puppets from Robert of the super Mahar Dry Goods. I was hoping to get a picture with the ever-dapper Charles Phoenix, wearing a delicious red-and-white-striped suit with a sparkly green necktie, but my camera battery was dying.

We danced to Leslie Hall, wearing an amazing gold spandex suit with neon green and pink fringed epaulettes. She has a great time doing high kicks and kicking out the jams, while directing her stand-in dj at the laptop to "Press Play!" before every song. She also paints gorgeous paintings, like these. Two-year-olds danced and screamed for DJ Lance Rock, who was going incognito sans the orange track suit. I splurged at new shop, Good Friday

and we made our own charm bracelets with Kaari of French General, here in Hollywood!

And these were the gifties in the bag:


1.) Felting Wool from Beemiceelf
2.) Rose Earrings and a little gifty bag from Oh, Hello Friend
3.) A cute pin from Pretty Little Thieves
4.) A magnet from The Mincing Mockingbird
5.) Vital Organs embroidery pattern from Sublime Stitching
6.) An origami pin from Feisty Elle
7.) An octopus silhouette card from Frantic Meerkat
8.) Knitting Yarns and Spinning Tales : a knitter's stash of wit and wisdom / Kari Cornwell, editor
9.) Picture perfect knits : step-by-step intarsia with more than 75 inspiring patterns / by Laura Birek, photographs by Sheri Giblin.
10.) ReadyMade

Thank you! How lovely to receive these little presents!

O, We had fun at Felt Club!

Remember to shop small and local this holiday season - your craftastic friends will thank you!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Canon G10 - any thoughts?

(Hijack: I'm taking a break from blogging Long Beach today.)  

Mr. Mod bought me the Canon G10 for my birthday.  I haven't opened the box yet.  I am so frugal - I'm trying to decide if this is the right purchase for the price (gasp!).  I have used almost daily my Canon SD300 Digital Elph - as an ongoing notebook of things I want to remember, and I'm wondering: is this the best carry-around-in-my-purse camera? (Note: I have a very small purse.) Quality is key and I do like to have the option of not lugging around a huge amount of gear for taking "fun" pictures.  

Anyone using this camera? Or the G9?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Doomie's Home Cookin' - Veggie Vegan Restaurant: my birthday adventure in Chinatown.

Doomies Home Cookin
I read a bunch of great reviews of this new restaurant, Doomie's Home Cookin', and just had to try it for myself. Mr. Mod and I went to LA (a rarity these days) and scoped out the parking sitch. It was Dia de los Muertos at Olvera St., and Doomie's is just a few blocks between Olvera and Chinatown, so we parked at the usual $4.00 flat rate lot - it seems like a lot (to me), but it was much easier than finding street parking - and we took a nice long walk post-feast through Chinatown proper, without worrying over the meters.

I remembered it was located at Roberto's bar, and wondered if there would be any confusion about where to find Doomie's but I was pleased to see numerous welcoming signs pointing upstairs from the street and the cute blue bunny logo to greet us.

I've been a vegetarian since 1997, but often get a craving for the Sunday-dinner-style cooking my grandma used to make. I am a fan of the comfort food - mashed potatoes and gravy and the works, which doesn't often correspond to the vegetarian offerings at most restaurants. Mr. Mod and I had a lengthy conversation about why he doesn't really care for it himself - yet, his abuelita made beans, rice and exquisite tamales, which he craves - all around, to me it's the food of happy memory of family and "home". So, when I heard about Doomie's, I knew this was the place to celebrate my birthday.

What a delight to know that I could eat everything on the menu!!! Of course, it was impossible to decide, but I finally settled on the fried chicken. Mr. Mod had the Western BBQ burger, odd choice considering he doesn't like barbecue sauce, which was lavished over the meat. He later told me it was because it comes with onion rings on top, which he wanted, but didn't want to have to eat a whole plate of onion rings. And he was very pleased with his choice - and is not a vegetarian. Mr. Mod is funny sometimes. This morning he raved on about the burger itself - the meat was rich and flavorful and had an amazing texture and the barbecue sauce was a great complement. It comes with veggie or vegan bacon, and fries on the side. Mr. Mod always points out that it is funny that vegetarians eat fake meat. I just remind him that for me, I enjoy tasting the flavors of food that remind me of "home", but yet I appreciate a meat-free lifestyle - it's the best of both worlds.

I enjoyed the clam chowder to start - very thick and potatoey. It's half-eaten in the picture below. I was REALLY hungry.

Then on to the chicken - WOW!!! It was truly amazing. Doomie has perfected the art of fake-meat making - to the point that the menu contains a dislaimer, in case you believe you are being deceived. The potatoes were garlicky but a little lifeless- I asked for a side of gravy, which the very sweet waitress provided, and was very happy with the results. The slaw was crisp and not too-sweet. YUM!

Doomie came out after the meal to ask us how we liked it - what a nice surprise! I enthused over the amazing "drumstick" - there is true artistry and engineering in its design. And it is oh-so-delicious! I have read so many reviews in the last few weeks - I was surprised to find out they have only been open two weeks. Doomie was super-nice and we enjoyed a birthday treat (shown above - it's not on the menu).

There is outdoor seating, with a neat view of the streets below - so there is always something going on. The rule is CASH ONLY - something to be aware of - although there may be some ATM's nearby. UPDATE: As of 11/6, they accept Visa/Mastercard. And they are now serving vegan twinkies, and vanilla and chocolate cupcakes - YUM!

We wish Doomie's the best - great food and great people! We will be back soon.

p.s. pics from chinatown