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February 2008
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April 2008

This weekend at La Casa Blue in Highland Park

Look for La Casa Blue on "The Cho Show" on VH1. Margaret Cho recently filmed an episode of her zany show here on the La Casa Blue main stage.

Come meet our new chefs, David and Julio from Juanita's Restaurant formerly on Eagle Rock Boulevard. We have a wonderful new four page Mexican California fusion dinner menu, so come check it out.

Tuesday thru Saturday It's our Happy Hour (food specials) form  5 PM to 9 PM.

Fridays: local bands provided by Mockingbird Productions, Mystery Beer specials.

Saturday & Sundays: Open early for Champagne Brunch 8AM to 2PM.
Saturday night: Original Music performances by local musicians & 2.50 XX all the time.

Sunday: 8AM to 2PM Champagne Brunch for god sakes!

Beer bust starts at 2PM and goes till 9 pm. 

Life In Los Angeles 1908 Style

Republished from "A Tenderfoot In Southern California" a delightful collection of letters by Mina Deana Halsey, written in 1908 and now in public domain.

Los Angeles Streets

I got into Los Angeles in ample time to go through their annual tearing up period.

You know, there is something funny about this.  Just as soon as winter comes, Los Angeles begins to tear up its streets from one end to the other.

All summer long, when mighty few strangers are in town, there is nothing doing.  But just as sure as fine fall sun-shiny weather begins, then an army marches forth, and proceeds to dig up every blamed street in town.

It is just the same, year in and year out.  Its got to be a joke with the tourists, for Los Angeles wouldnt look natural to 'em, when they come out to spend the winter, if the whole shopping district wasnt well nigh impassable.

They will finish putting down a macadamized street one day, and by jingo, during the following night, I'll be hanged if some fellar hasnt figured out how to tear it up.  Needn't take my word for it, Bill.

Here's another fellar kicking through the columns of a Los Angeles newspaper:


Will there ever come a season,

When the workmen will abstain

From ripping loose the asphalt

On Broadway, Spring and Main?

After you've cussed yourself sick, trying to squirm your way under horses' noses and women's four-story hats-falling over a couple of hundred little wooden saw-horses the workmen stick up any old place in the middle of the street, while they patch up a few dozen holes--go and hire an automobile at $4.00 per hour (--yep, they soak you that much in the Angel City) and take a ride out of the city  through the beautiful residence portion of the town.

The country and residence portion is all right --glorious sunshine, and views--but suffering Peter, the roads--the roads!!  Bill, I never worked so hard and paid $4.00 an hour for the privilege or doing so, in all my life--never!

We hit every chuck hole from Pasadena to the ocean.  Now, when I tell you this, it means a whole lot more to me that it does to you, for it is a sore subject to look back on, I tell you.

There are little holes and big holes, long holes and short holes, holes you fall in all over, and the kind you pull in after you, on your way down.  There are mud holes, water holes, oil holes, dust holes, in fact, Bill, every known variety of chuck holes you ever thought of, can be found in and around Los Angeles.


(Editor's note:  The more things change, the more they stay the same!)

Historic estate sale in Garvanza this weekend

This estate sale one is unique to the Northeast and its place in local history. The hope is to keep some of the items local.

This weekend, starting Friday, March 28 at 8AM and ongoing through the weekend, the collection of  local residents, Bill Baker and Florian Gabriel will be on sale at their 1897 Colonial Four Square home at 200 N. Ave 66, north of York and west of the 110 Fwy at Marmion Way/Ave 64 exit. -- not far from Judson Studios.

The house is filled with 55 yrs. of designer, decorator, and artist treasures. Florian was a former designer of Stephen Crane & Associates, and well known in the Tiki design movement in Los Angeles and was a volunteer at the Southwest Museum. He collected numerous cultural items that may be of interest.

Tons of great attic items are to be brought down each day for the 1st few days of the sale. (As room allows.)

If a sale like this appeals to you, please come out and take a look at the sale, support a local resident and see this home's recently restored exterior recognized with a recent 2007/2008 HPHT award.

KPFK Radio To Feature Lummis Day

Noted Southern California poets Lory Bedikian and William Archila will read poetry and discuss their
participation in the Lummis Day Library Program on three broadcasts of "Poets Cafe," a regularly
scheduled half-hour program airing every second Wednesday at noon on public radio station KPFK 90.7 FM.

The first radio program in KPFK's Lummis Day series will be broadcast at noon on Wednesday, March 26 and will be heard streaming soon thereafter at The additional programs will air on April 9 and April 23. All three programs will be moderated by Kate Gaidos of the Los Angeles Public Library and produced and engineered for KPFK by Marlene Bond.

The library poetry program, which begins in late April and continues on consecutive Saturdays through May, will lead into the gala poetry reading that serves as the opening event of the Lummis Day Festival on June 1 at Lummis Home. William Archila, Lory Bedikian and others will read their work at afternoon library gatherings in April and May. On alternating weeks, Archila and Bedikian will also be conducting free writing workshops -- giving poetry lovers and library-goers a chance to find their own artistic oices. Finally, at a wrap-up party at the Braun Library of the Southwest Museum, emerging writers will share their work in company with more established poets and other artists.

William Archila received his MFA from the University of Oregon. His poems have appeared in the Georgia Review, AGN1, Crab Orchard Review, Poetry International, the Los Angeles Review, Notre Dame and Portland Review, among others. His work will also appear in Puerto Del Sol. His first book, The Art of Exile, is forthcoming from Bilingual Press.

Lory Bedikian earned her MFA from the University of Oregon where she received the Dan Kimble First Year Teaching Award in Poetry. Her collection of poetry has been selected as a finalist in both the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition and the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award Competition. She has been published in various journals including the Connecticut Review, Heliotrope, and Poetry International. She currently writes a column, "Poetry Matters," for the Armenian Reporter.

The Lummis Day library program was designed and organized by Lummis Day Community Foundation members Kate Gaidos, a librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library Arroyo Seco Branch; Elizabeth Garcia, field representative for Anthony Portantino, Assemblymember, 44th State Assembly District; Suzanne Lummis, founder, Los Angeles Poetry Festival; and Anna Liza Posas, reference librarian, Braun Research Library of the Autry National Center.

Support for the Lummis Day Library program and the Festival's June 1 gala poetry reading at Lummis Home is provided by Poets & Writers Inc. through a grant it has received from the James Irvine Foundation.

Lummis Day is presented by the Annenberg Foundation and the Autry National Center. Festival sponsors include the Department of Recreation and Parks, the Arroyo Seco, Eagle Rock, Greater Cypress Park and Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Councils,  public radio station KPFK 90.7, the Arroyo Seco Journal, Poets & Writers, Inc., the North Figueroa Association, Los Angeles City Council Districts 1 and 14, the Historical Society of Southern California, Heritage Square Museum, the Highland Park Heritage Trust, the Mount Washington Association, the Los Angeles Poetry Festival and other community organizations.

Visit for updates on all Lummis Day events.


Contact: Eliot Sekuler

Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Report- March 21, 2008

Los Angeles mortgage markets are taking pause today, in honor of Good Friday.  It was another dramatic week with Ben Bernanke playing John Wayne.  Last weekend, Bernanke brokered a deal that handed Bear Stearns over to Jamie Dimon and JP Morgan Chase. Last week, a share of Bear Stearns traded for the price of a tankful of gasoline, this week, it trades around the price of a Starbucks cup of coffee.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac agreed to buy a lot of mortgages, $200 billion worth to be precise.  This buoyed up the mortgage bonds market and had a positive effect on Los Angeles mortgage rates.

Let's lock those rates, now.  I don't see a whole lot more reward on the horizon and the risk of higher rates will increase next week.

ARM rates are out of whack, again, and the fixed-rate mortgages are the best priced.  Today, the wholesale rate for a 30-year fixed-rate loan is 5.625%.  If you called me, you would get that 30-year fixed rate loan for 1% of the loan amount plus $499 for an APR of 5.89%.  A 15-year fixed rate mortgage can be locked for 4.875% for an APR of 5.15%.  That's about .75% less than what rates were on March 10.  My advice to stay calm, in the face of panic, and float rates, panned out.

If you need specific advice, about a mortgage, contact me here.

Life in Los Angeles 1908 Style

Republished from "A Tenderfoot In Southern California" a delightful collection of letters by Mina Deana Halsey, written in 1908 and now in public domain.

Don't Take Any Winter Clothes

When I came out to California, Bill, some blamed idiot who knew it all, advised me what to bring.

He said -- (and I'll bet my old pair of suspenders he never saw California) says he,

"Don't take any winter clothes out there with you, its such a hot country you wont need 'em".

Wall, I didnt, and by gum, I like froze to death.

All I had in that blamed trunk of mine was some peek-a-boo underwear and drop sitched stockings.

I wore a summer suit and a straw hat out on the train, to keep cool, and was snow bound on the way to Los Angeles, and frost bitten, by gum, after I got here.  It sure was a cold night when we pulled in, and as the train was four or five hours late, I footed it uptown, to a hotel.

I didn't put up at Mr. Alexandria's or the Van Noose, as I heard on the train they charged you extra to blow your nose, if you stopped there.  So I found a room on Main Street (which is nothing to be proud of) and the landlady hollered after me, as  I went up the stairs, not to blow out the gas.

I didnt.

By gum, I was so stiff with the cold, I kept it burning all night to melt the icicles I knew must be hanging to the end of my nose.  There was only one measley pair of summer blankets on that bed, and the pillows were so small, I came blamed near losing 'em in my ear before morning.

I went to bed with all my clothes on, and the rest of the night I laid there and shook with cold  until I jarred the bed, and some fellar who had a room under mine, pounded on the ceiling, and told me to make less noise up there.

Wall, I couldnt help it -- the slats in the old bed were loose and rattled, anyway.