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Real Estate is a Crap Shoot

My hands were sweaty as I nervously darted my eyes around the craps table . I was the pariah because I was “betting on the don’t line“. This particular strategy can be extraordinarily frustrating when a table gets hot. It requires a bettor to double up his stake each time he is incorrect. It takes incredible faith in the mathematical probability of a negative result.

“Seven Out!” yelled the croupier.

Victory, while inevitable, doesn’t really feel that sweet. I risked $2500 to win five bucks. I proved my strategy to the reckless gamblers betting the other way. I yelped exuberantly, not for my intellectual superiority, but in relief that my bet, the family vacation money, hadn’t disappeared. While I was yelping, the players at my table were pocketing pink and black chips and cheering raucously. Confused, I learned that they were collecting chips every time those dice hit various numbers on the way to making ten straight points .

Now craps may seem like a poor analogy to the real estate market. It really isn’t.

I know that craps, a loaded game of chance, always favors the house no matter what strategy you employ. Real estate is a loaded game of chance; the best thing about it is that it is loaded in the owner’s favor. The “MySpace Generation” and the immigrant population are entering the housing market in the next 10 years. The demographics are astoundingly favorable, especially for the sunbelt states.

I think all the bubbleheads and doom pundits should yelp. You were absolutely correct this year. 2006, perhaps part of 2007, will be the year (s) of the bubbleheads. Gloat! Wipe your brow with confidence in your marked intelligence. I commend you for your prowess. You had to be correct one of these years; you had mathematics on your side. Take a look around. Your neighbor sold that rental property in Anaheim and lost $30,000. So why, like the gamblers betting on the come line, is he cheering ?. He is cheering because he still has rental properties in Albuquerque, Salt Lake City, and Bakersfield.

Now that I’ve commended you, I must warn you of something. You really don’t want a 30% decline in housing prices because every financial asset you have will be devalued . If you’re stashing your cash in the local bank, it will be gone because the bank will collapse. The FDIC will not weather a bailout without significant tax increases. Stocks will sink and mortgage-backed securities will be worthless setting your well-diversified, employer-sponsored 401(k) account back to it’s 1984 value. Think of the big picture bubbleheads. Isn’t that a huge price to pay for bragging rights?

2007 should be the year you stop gloating and start asking the tough questions about how YOU can profit off the changing markets. It is far more courageous to ask those questions than to post argumentum ad hominum under a pseudonym (although I secretly enjoy the mindless banter).

The real estate market, like a cold craps table, will quickly get hot.. History and demographics dictate that this table will have a lot of winners on it.

I hope you’ll get prepared for the big roll.


You may have noticed the "Recent Readers" column on the left, provided by MyBlogLog.  MyBlogLog has become rather popular in the real estate blogging community.  Sure, it provides stats, but on a more basic level, I think people just like seeing that their online friends have been reading each others blogs.   

Dustin at Rain City Guide posted his take on MyBlogLog.  And, Dustin, I think that same soft core blogger joined the NELA Live community, too.  Whatever floats your boat.

So, everyone, please feel free to go ahead and click on the "View Reader Community" link, and join MyBlogLog.  It's free.  (The Pro version is $25.00 per year)  I'd enjoy seeing some local faces.  And we'll see how it goes.

Arroyo Seco Recreation Culture & the Arts Newsletter

Arroyo Seco Recreation Culture & the Arts Newsletter
Issue 44 12.28.06


Happy Holidays! Feliz Fiestas!

A Prosperous New Year! Prospero Año Neuvo!


Well, last week I didn’t write about Las Posadas, and so even though they are ended until next year, this week’s intro is about them. I find them interesting in two respects, both of which have to do with syncretism. One is the preHispanic history, the other is the Sephardic Jewish history. As usual, I realize many will disagree with my perspective, but then that’s what it is, my perspective written from my very unique history and ethnic make-up.

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke, 2:1-7 KJV

Las Posadas means "the inns" or  "the shelters" in Spanish.  A religious and social celebration that takes place for nine nights, from December 16 - 24, it commemorates Joseph and Mary's journey to Bethlehem and their search for shelter prior to the birth of Christ.  Las Posadas is a reenactment of this difficult journey.  The procession is led by children, followed by adults & musicians.  They travel to a different house in the village or neighborhood each night looking for lodging.  When they enter the designated house, they begin the evening with prayer; soon after, the celebration begins, full of music, fireworks, food, candy & treats for all. The Christmas season ends with the Feast of the Epiphany or Feast of Three Kings on January 6.

In preHispanic Mexico they celebrated the advent (arrival) of Huitzilopochtli (Dios de la Guerra – the god of war) in winter from December 17 – 26, which coincided with the European Christmas celebration. In order to replace the Aztec celebration a novena, or nine days of prayer, was introduced, perhaps, by St. Ignatius Loyola. The celebration further evolved in 1587, when Fray Diego de Soria, priest of the Convent of San Agustin Acolman, asked the Pope for permission to hold Yuletide masses outdoors, because the church could not accommodate the multitude attending the dawn services. Eventually it became the celebration we know today with a candle-lit procession stopping each night for nine nights at three different locations looking for a place to stay.

What is even more interesting is that it has traveled to LA has two different roads. The expected one is the one from Mexico as Las Posadas is a Mexican Catholic custom. What is the unexpected one is the one from the Philippines. There the unique Christmas celebration dates back to when Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the first Spanish governor-general in the country, celebrated the first Feast of the Nativity in the archipelago. In following Pope Sixtus V’s decree that dawn masses should also be held annually in the Philippines, the simbang gabi became a Filipino religious tradition in about 1660.

And then what did I see but two candles lit in the window. What’s this? Oh, it’s the first night of Januka, which comes somewhere in December, this year December 15 - 22. First night, yes. Januka lasts for 8 nights until 9 candles are lit by the window. And, in Mexico, yet! Oh, remember those Sephardic Jews who came along with Cristobal Colon, who were expelled from Spain, who fled the Inquisition, who went to the Philippines. If I were them (and some of my ancestors were), wouldn’t it be a real coup to hide Januka not only within the Catholic traditions, but integrate First Peoples traditions so as to disguise what is being done. Ummm… Well, it’s my thought.

But, whatever light it takes to get passed Winter Solstice, is fine with me. So I light my Januka candles and I participate in candle-lit Posadas. What do you do?

Nu Roots 07

Sunday, December 31, 8p

Ignite, 11364 E Imperial Hwy, Norwalk, CA

After Party: The Node, 11723 Firestone Blvd, Norwalk, CA

Sponsored by: Ignite, My Place, The Node, Mi Amigo Clothing, Flatblack Clothing

Performing live: Pigeon John, LA Symphony & Red Cloud. B.boy Battle - $150 cash prize. Spoken Word. Fashion & Art Show – Aerosol by Zender, Cab, TCA crew of arts and Door Prizes. Vendors. 3 Stages. DJ’s Spinning on the 1’s n 2’s.

For a complete listing of this newsletter go to or or


January 2006 Elected Board Representatives take office.

All are welcome & invited to attend the following meetings:

Nothing scheduled until after January 1, 2007.


East LA Bike Oven XX

Second & Fourth Saturdays, 1 - 4p

130 W Ave 42, LA, CA
310.902.5439 Ubrayj02(

A bicycle workshop for women. You already know about ELBO on Wednesday Nights. Well now meet it's fledgeling sister, ELBO XX. Bike Wrenching, Tea, Snacks & Conversation for women.

East LA Bike Oven
Wednesdays, 6 - 10p
130 W Ave 42, LA, CA

East LA Bike Oven is a community bicycle workspace where anyone can walk in and work on their bike. Available are 2 bike workstands, a wheel-building stand, and various hand tools for common repairs. Tools and some parts have been donated by the ELBO founder and some of the regulars. Feel free to come in with your own donations.

7th Annual Nacimiento Bike Tour
Sunday, January 7, 12noon - 4p

Registration: 11:30a

Rain or Threat of Rain Cancels

Bike RSVP: 213.629.2142 Check out the Nacimiento Tour map

Sponsors include: the Latino Urban Forum, The Rare Times, LA County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), &, of course, the residents

Merry, Merry, riding through the streets, Zigzaging thru cars & christmas trees, all in fun to find the best of nacimientos! This 15-20 mile tour will wind its way through homes and public displays of East LAs' rich folk art of nativity scenes, covering the communities of Highland Park, Lincoln Heights & Boyle Heights. The tour starts at the Avenue 26 Gold Line Station parking lot. Helmets are required (for liability). Take the self-guided tour any time between noon and 4p.

The Bike Oven & Locos Armadillos 42 Bike Club present:

Spoke(n) Art Bike Ride

Saturday, January 13, 6 - 11p

Meet at: Flagpole, Figueroa/York, 6p

Leave at: Flagpole, Figueroa/York, 6:30p

Sponsored by:  The Outreach & Recreation, Culture & the Arts Committees of the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council

626.831.7970 310.902.5439

Come to the Spoke(n) Art Bike Ride. It meets at the corner of Figueroa & York (at the flag pole). North East Los Angeles has two dozen galleries & art houses in a two-mile radius & we’ll travel to a selected group of them so that we can spend quality time at each stop. This ride is an entire evening worth of bikes, art & fun.

The ride will wind its way around the Eagle Rock, Highland Park & Sycamore Grove areas, stopping at selected galleries open that night as part of NELAart's ongoing 2nd Saturday Gallery Night.  The galleries will generally be open from 7 - 10p & run a wide spectrum of different genres & styles. If you get lost, or want to meet up with the ride, call (310) 902-5439 or 626.831.7970 for directions.

Rock Rose Gallery, 4108 N Figueroa, will be the last gallery on the ride. After that you can head over to the Bike Oven, 130 W Avenue 42, for the after-party. Both are close to Gold Line train stations (SouthWest Museum & Heritage Square) & several all-night bus lines that run on Figueroa.

Gallery itinerary available the week of the ride on-line & at the flagpole.  Maps will be provided at the flagpole & can also be picked up along the route.

NELA Bikes! presents:
3rd Fridays NELA Critical Mass
Friday, January 20, Gather 6:30p, Ride leaves 7p
Avenue 57 Gold Line Station (151 N Ave 57), Highland Park, CA

Critical Mass is a monthly bicycle ride to celebrate cycling. It started in San Francisco in 1992 and quickly spread to cities all over the world. And now it's in NELA! They meet at Avenue 57 Gold Line Station.


The Old LA Certified Farmers Market, Highland Park

Tuesday, January 9, 3 – 8p

Parking Lot adjacent to Metro Gold Line Highland Park Station (Ave 57 & Marmion Wy)

Operated by: North Figueroa Assn (Highland Park BID), 115 N Ave 53, LA



Their farmers will be taking a two-week vacation. They wish you Happy Holidays & the best produce in the new year!

In season at the market right now are:  Strawberries, avocados, a variety of citrus including grapefruits, blood oranges and navel oranges, salad greens and fresh herbs, carrots, broccoli, spinach and other greens, potatoes, fresh cut flowers, tomatoes, corn and asparagus, as well as staples like onions, garlic and apples.  In addition to the farm produce, a number of local food vendors will be selling freshly baked breads, rotisserie chicken, roast corn and baked yams, tamales, Thai-Mexican food and kettle corn, among other items.  Finally, a number of local crafters will also be selling their wares.  Please stop by and pick up fresh, field-ripened, high quality produce from local farmers and meet your friends, neighbors and other community members.

The market specializes in CA certified fresh produce.  People who join the "Frequent Shoppers Club" program will be eligible to receive free gifts. The market will also be accepting WIC & Food stamp EBT cards.

Holiday Heritage: A Southern California Christmas Exhibit

Saturdays/Sundays, 12noon - 4p

Heritage Square Museum, 3800 Homer St, LA, CA

Thru January 15

323.225.2700ext 222



Where are the NorthEast LA artists this weekend/next week? 

This Chicana artist doing a dance presentation at the LA Recreation & Parks Winter Solstice event at Balboa Park on Saturday and then on Sunday I’ll be at Acorn Gallery for The Arroyo Arts Collective and the Avenue 50 Studio Holiday Sale and Fundraiser and the Candlelight Posada for Immigrant Rights.  Due to work constraints, Sunday and early week listings, including these Sunday events will be sent out later. Shalom, RuthAnne 

Where will you be???


For a complete listing of this newsletter go to or or


Cultural Cinema on Main
Foreign Film Dinner Screening
: Thursday, December 28, 6:30p
Casa de Sousa Coffee House, 634 N Main St, LA, CA 90012

This is an eclectic, intercontinental cinematic dining affair.

Friday Night Fun
Friday, December 29, 6 - 8 p

That Yarn Store, 1578 W Colorado Blvd, LA, CA

Every Friday they'll be having a fun activity.  Sometimes it's a knitting or crocheting circle with
a theme, other times a movie or live music. They’ll bring the wine, you bring the cheese. Ring in the nearly new year with some wine, cheese, & yarn.

Cine Chicano on Main
Cine Sin Fin
: Friday, December 29, 9p
Casa de Sousa Coffee House, 634 N Main St, LA, CA 90012

Screening the best of the best – archives of the world renowned East LA Chicano Film Festival, powered by Tamales.

NorthEastLA Galleries
Call for hours

Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Glassell Park, Sycamore Grove

If you missed any of these galleries on Second Saturday Gallery Night or you just want to revisit them for your holiday shopping, browse below to make your choices. Call ahead to find our their hours during this holiday season.

Participating Galleries: Acorn Gallery, Avenue 50 Studio, Blue Chips, Cactus Gallery, Carlotta's Passion, Drkrm, Future Studio, MorYork Gallery, Rock Rose Gallery, Sugarbutterbex, Young Art.

The Arroyo Arts Collective presents:
Gifts & Treasures - Cash & Carry: An Open Members Exhibition 

Saturday, December 23, 12noon - 4p

The Acorn Gallery, 135 N Ave 50, Highland Park, CA

Thru December 31


This is a display of small works priced $100. & under, 12" x 12" in size. Art is hung salon style & sold off the wall upon payment. But don't worry if you miss that one special piece, another will soon go up in its place. Artists include: Edith Abeyta, Lynn Bennett, Beth Block, Paul August Bruinslot, Kate Burroughs, Carol Colin, Jack Fenn, Cicely Gilman, Heather Hoggan, Patty Sue Jones, Patricia Lee, Linda Lyke, Gregory Liffick, Karen Lockert, Heather McLarty, Gurdon Miller, Susan Moss, Jennifer Murphy, Connie Rohman, Benette Rottman, Dorothy Shepherd, Suzie Stroll, RuthAnne Tarletz, Deborah Thomas, Ted Waltz, Betty Phoenix Wan & many, many others.

Contemporary Nacimientos: Paintings Sculpture Nativities
Avenue 50 Studio, 131 N Ave 50, LA, CA
Thru January 7


This exhibit features art interpreting and reinterpreting the nativity story.  The artists invited to participate bring to the nativity story their personal and political perspectives be they traditional, contemporary or impious. Participating artists are Linda Arreola, David Botello, Barbara Carrasco, Carol Colin & Ted Waltz, Raoul De la Sota, Heather Hoggan, Pola Lopez, José Lozano, Poli Marichal, Isabel Martinez, Andrés Montoya, Suzanne Siegel & Annie Sperling

Minatures Showcase / Murals

Blue Chips, 5505 N Figueroa, Highland Park, CA


Their mural has been repainted by Eyeone & Yem. Currently they have life-size installation/murals of 15 LA artists who have worked internationally & nationally. Together with the artists they have embarked on the Blue Chips clothing line, which is a collection of work by the artists that is available for purchase. Come by Friday night & custom design your own t-shirt outside in the back.

Blue Chips has monthly miniature exhibitions showcases the 15 featured artists: Zender, Germs, Yem, Timoi, Antonio Pelayo, Oscar Magallanes, Raul Baktazar, Mon-'SteR, Solomon, Omar Ramirez, Daniel Gonzalez, Peter Carrrillo, Joe Bravo, Emi Motokawa, Pazadaword, Fandomist ... These featured artists will have their installation/murals up until the end of 2006 when the next selection of feature artists will install their murals.

Tiny Treasures

Cactus Gallery & Gifts, 4534 Eagle Rock Blvd, Eagle Rock, CA

Thru January 4


This is an exhibit of small scale works done on canvas, wood, paper, glass & recycled objects. Participating Artists: Jason Cardwell, Jena Cardwell, Henry Chávez, Catie Davis, Natalie Egnatchik, Domenico Foschi, Annie Fourguette, Viktoria Gaw, Eleonora Ghioldi, Deborah Green, Guadulesa, José Ángel Hernández, José Herrera, Maricruz Huerta, Merle Keller, Brooke Kent, Gregory Liffick, Heather Lloyd, Sophia Louisa, Janice Markham, Ginger Mayerson, Candace Metzger, Miss Mindy, Andrea Monroe, Melissa Moss, Mario Ocampo, Ángela María Ortíz S, Jason Schaper, Robert Selvaggio, Snow Mack, Jennifer Phiffer, Kelly Thompson, Mike Tracy, René Trujillo, Edwin Ushiro & Cristián Vega-Rojo.


Carlotta's Passion Fine Art, 2012 Colorado Blvd, LA, CA
Thru January 7


The works are as diverse as the artists’ experiences and their chosen media of expression. Participating artists: Maria Elena Castro, Martin Charlot, James Osorio, Ramon Ramirez, Sergio Rebia, Frank Romero, Sharon Romero, Sonia Romero, Hector Silva, J. Dudley Slay III, Gregg Stone, Otto Sturcke, Ruben Trejo, Linda Vallejo & Mark Vallen.

Low Brow Xmas Show

Closing Reception & Art Auction: Saturday, January 6, 7 - 11p

drkrm Gallery & Lab, 2121 San Fernando Rd Ste 3, LA, CA
Thru January 6

323.223.6867 626.825.2442

The Low Brow culture represents the revitalization of the 40’s hot rod era when hot rods, pinup girls and rockabilly music flourished in America. This show features over 30 artists from around the world. The exhibition will feature works by Keith Weesner, Coop, Skratch, Chip Foose, Max Grundy, Dennis McPhail, Mitzi Valenzuela Cardenas, Rikki Rockett, Tom Kelley, Dan Collins, Tiffany Collins, Makoto ( Japan ), Grimb, Tingler, Dennis Ricklef, Jeff Allison, Mr. G (Japan), Rob Struven, Sid, Mike Pike, Jo-Jo, Robert Hamilton, Nick O’ Teen, Sara Ray, Matt Antone, Tick One, Broadview Graphics, Mike Dorman, Nigel, Dan Guilday, Ric Frane, edFox, and other artists. The show offers a variety of mediums including illustration, photography, pinstriping, tattoo work and more.

Gallery Show

Future Studio Gallery, 5558 N Figueroa St, LA, CA

I Heart Everything Sweet 

Sugarbutterbex, 5110 York Blvd, Highland Park, CA

This show includes small, whimsical drawings dealing w/baking, fashion and eating. as well as, some yummy baked goods to be included with the show’s opening.

Shared Vision: a collaboration of Ruth DeNicola & Cidne Hart

MorYork Gallery, 4959 York Blvd, Highland Park, CA

Thru January 6
323.258.5446 323.258.6873

This is a collaborative exhibition of assemblage by Ruth DeNicola and collages by photographer Cidne Hart with by installation by Clare Graham. These two Los Angeles artists are neighbors on a hill in Highland Park, and this exhibition is an outgrowth of that proximity--in space and in vision. They share a passion for expressive personal statements using the human face and figure. The unspoken depth of emotion evoked by manipulating effigies in art can remove us from time and place, reminding us of the eternal human issues.

Virgen de Guadalupe Exhibit and Altar

Rock Rose Gallery, 4108 N Figueroa St, Sycamore Grove, CA


Sponsored by the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council

Come to an art exhibit honoring the Virgen de Guadalupe featuring the Virgen in various media including paintings, prints, wood carvings & boxes, ceramics, photos, wearable art. Featuring the following artists: Monica Hernandez, Heather Hoggan, Leo Limon, Karen Lockert, Juan Olazaba, Rachel Rifat, Eduardo Rocha Soto, RuthAnne Tarletz & Alberto Varela.

Paul Forney Exhibit

Young Art, 747 N Avenue 50, LA, CA

Thru January 6


This exhibit is of new paintings by Paul Forney.


La Tocada Latina: Free radio SAIC with La Veneno Cortes

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Fridays, 5 - 6p Chicago/Mexico, 3 - 4p LA

Listen to Carmina Cortes, a local Chicana artist, as she broadcasts from art school in Chicago. Go to the website, click on Listen Now, then an orange box will pop up can send your hellos & even see Carmina on this little orange box.  She'll be playing music en espanol.  You can call her & be on the air as well.


Community Drum Circles
Sundays, 12:30p families, 1:30p adults only
Rock Rose Gallery/Productions & Arroyo Books, 4108 N Figueroa St, Sycamore Grove

Drum Circle - Bring your own drum or percussion instrument or use one of those provided by the gallery.  Taught by Mr Blue, a versatile artist from New York.

Jazz Composers Workshop
Sundays, 3 - 5:30p
Rock Rose Gallery/Productions & Arroyo Books, 4108 N Figueroa St, Sycamore Grove

Son Jarocho Classes
Tuesdays, 4:30 - 6p
East Side Café, 5469 Huntington Dr N, LA, CA
Donations are accepted

Son Jarocho Classes! Learn to: Play Jarana: String Instrument from Veracruz; Dance Zapateado; Sing & compose Sones-songs; & Gain Knowledge of Son Jarocho music, Children, teens & Adults welcome!

Men's Night
Second Wednesdays, 5:30p

That Yarn Store, 1578 W Colorado Blvd, LA, CA

Come and hang out and work on your projects, or buy our beginner's package & David will teach you how to knit or crochet.

Spin a Good Yarn Night
Third Wednesdays, 7p

That Yarn Store, 1578 W Colorado Blvd, LA, CA
323.258.2647 that.yarnstore@gmail

Enjoy an evening  of  spoken word stories, poems, editorials,original fiction, jokes and tales. Tell a story, read a poem, tell a joke & listen. All are welcome. Feel free to bring a snack.
Knitting not required.


Call For Entries 2007 Silver Lake Film Festival – LA: The 7th Edition of Los Angeles' Leading Independent Film & Arts Showcase Unspools May 3-12, 2007. The organizers of Silver Lake Film Festival, LAs' leading showcase for independent film and multi-media, have announced its seventh annual edition will be held May 3-12, 2007 at venues throughout Los Angeles' Eastside, including sites in Hollywood, Silver Lake, Echo Park and Downtown. Silver Lake Film Festival uses Without a Box ( for its registration process.

The deadlines for submission of films are:
Feature films – December 31

Silver Lake Film Festival proudly embraces the work of independent filmmakers; in fact, the greater Silver Lake area is home to the largest community of independent filmmakers in the world. Alternative and experimental film and video -- features, shorts and documentaries -- are the festival's focus. The primary programming goal is to provide access to films that would not necessarily be available to the public. A portion of each year's programming line-up is reserved to showcase the distinctively alternative style of local filmmakers.

The 2007 annual Silver Lake Film Festival will present an expanded MP4Fest, the digital content program that debuted at the 2006 festival. Also returning in an expanded format is MusicFest, the festival's music documentary and live-musical performance program.