Tagged: Los Angeles Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • hardie karges 6:04 pm on June 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amtrak, , , Los Angeles,   

    LA at Midnight, Tucson by Morning… 

    IMG_2475Thumpity thump thump thumpity thump thump thumpity thumpity thumpity thump thump, thumpity thump thump thumpity thump thump thumpity thumpity thumpity thump thump, thumpity thumpity thumpity thump thump thumpity thumpity thumpity thump thump…

    “Man with a plan don’t play with no band just me and these hands and a few hundred fans who never hesitate to step up and donate, so please don’t wait, I get off at the next gate…”

    The guy on the Metro ‘Red Line’ is playing a tune, using only his hands, and the long metal walls of the subway car, in a style probably best described as rap, early style, long before hip-hop, long before the progeny and the misogyny and the world-wide knock-offs as appropriate to local milieu… (More …)

     
    • esther Fabbricante 9:40 pm on June 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Too deep for me.

    • hardie karges 10:00 pm on June 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Okay, no more deep stuff, I promise…

    • davekingsbury 10:21 pm on June 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Oh I like deep … travel writing with a free-wheeling Kerouac style spiritual dimension still has a way to go – surface not even scratched – and is always up my alley, done v well here, keep up the g work!!!

      • hardie karges 8:14 pm on June 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, sir, thank you thank you thank you… there is no higher compliment than Jack K…

  • hardie karges 6:19 pm on February 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Krung Thep, Los Angeles,   

    Los Angeles and Bangkok (Krung Thep) both translate as “City of Angels”, BUT…  

    IMG_0292

    LA freeway overpass encampment

    …I don’t see what’s so angelic about either of them.  They are two of the most God-forsaken places in the world IMHO.  They just go and on forever, like your older brother talking his endless rap.  There are ten million people and you haven’t got a friend in the world, just streets and highways, all going nowhere.

    Buildings flash their fifty-story erections in worship to a dark God, a God of greed and corruption, each story a different tale of intrigue and cunning, each ending a false one, happiness imposed by the dictates of fiction.

    IMG_0208

    Bangkok’s pubs-n-clubs define a genre

    It wouldn’t be so bad if there were just some escape, some momentary relief from the grid-work of conformity.  But there’s no relief in sight, no mountains, no forests, no streams of consciousness to break the monotone droning on and on through public address systems and loudspeakers in airports, train stations, and bus stops ad infinitum ad nauseum.

    The grid conquers all, miles and miles of wires and cables pretending to meet at right angles like Saxons and Jutes at the corner pub, get shit-faced, then get up in the morning and do it all over again.  Homo erectus falls flat on his face and sapiens sapiens takes over a bit self-consciously. I fight the grid with a worldwide web of my own design, but it’s never enough.  You can’t change a world that’s not ready to be changed.  You can only change yourself.

     
  • hardie karges 9:26 pm on December 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Los Angeles, ,   

    Tale of 3 Cities—High-Tech San Fran, Skid-Row LA, Tucson not-so-Hostel 

    700 N. 7th

    Hypertravel Hostel

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…so far like the present period…”–Dickens, Tale of 2 Cities  I think my house, aka ‘Hypertravel Hostel’, is mad at me—seriously. Since the day we signed the sales contract—poof! Something just went away at that moment, and may not come back. And since the closing date is still months away, this is no laughing matter. We still have to live together.

    Now I think the house is jinxing me—good time to travel.  When the sale of this house in Tucson is final, if I try to operate another hostel, I figure it’ll be in the Bay Area, the closest thing the US has to a true ‘gold rush’, what with dot-com companies finally coming of age and looking for permanent digs, having now outgrown the freshman dorm on the Silicon Valley campus and taking firm root in downtown San Francisco… (More …)

     
    • Esther Fabbricante 12:25 am on December 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I have visited San Fran twice and loved it – was only in LA briefly a couple of times. I do agree that I liked San Fran better – and then on to El Cerito, Palo Alto, Mission Viejo, Capistrano, San Diego, Escondido, Ontario, Lake Tahoe – all great!

      Phoenix was exciting, too – and a brief visit to Scottsdale, and Sedona, etc. Good ole Brandon. A lazy town, laid back.

      Esther

  • hardie karges 6:51 pm on September 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , desert, Desert Hot Springs, , Los Angeles   

    Perfect Day, Infinite Gist, final part: Bus, Crappers, Caffeine, DFW, D-i-v-o-r-c-e… 

    Desert Oasis in California

    Desert Oasis in California

    (continued from previous)

    And so the bus breaks down, at three in the morning, with battery problems, or something in the electrical system, as those things are hard to pinpoint without accurate diagnostic tests. Anyway, it’s not good news, though somewhat mitigated by the fact that the desert is not so hot at three in the morning, AND…

    …the place has crappers. This is important for early morning ablutions, almost indispensable, in fact, given the circadian rhythms of the human body, without even considering the semi-trauma of being broken down on the side of the road, albeit in a pump-and-poop parking lot. It’s not the first time I’ve ever been in a broken-down bus, but the first time in America. (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 12:16 am on May 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amenia, Los Angeles,   

    Little Armenia, Big Armenia 

    Lunch break for the duduk makers

    Lunch break for the duduk makers

    When I’m in LA, it’ll be Thai Town, sometimes called the 77th province of Thailand, enough Thai restaurants to satiate even the most famished of Thai affections, and a few grocery stores, gift shops and massage parlors to boot.

    It’s also Little Armenia, which overlaps the Thai part of town, and is the larger of the two, though you might mistake the Armenians for Russians, since most speak Russian also, unless they came here 100 years ago during the final days of the Ottoman Empire and that celebrated genocide of resident Armenians, who were there first by millennia, at least in the eastern half of the country that is now Turkey, that now turns its ‘zero-tolerance’ racial policy mostly toward Kurds, Armenians long subdued, either by change of name and language or actual geography just to the east which at the time was also in process of becoming part of the USSR, and probably saved its life.

    (More …)

     
    • Esther Fabbricante 12:40 am on May 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Very interesting.

  • hardie karges 1:23 am on October 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Flagstaff, Gallup, , Kingman, Los Angeles, Williams, Winslow   

    Indian Country: Arizona Highways, Arizona Highlands 

    Route 66:The Mother Road

    Route 66 in Winslow, Arizona:The Mother Road

    Think of Arizona and you don’t usually think of mountains—more like deserts, or canyons at best—but there they are, topping out at 12,637ft/3852m near Flagstaff, and that’s not the only one. Flagstaff itself sits higher than half that, high and lonely, something that’s come as a surprise to more than one motorist stranded in a snowstorm there, and a boon to the hospitality industry. It’s better than being stranded there in jail—I hear.

    Leave LA 9:45 a.m., gonna’ tow my rental car at 10 if I don’t, (only time I can find a parking place in LA is in the run-up to street cleaning), perfect timing, freeways clear by then, click on Google Drive and set co-ordinates to Flagstaff, no sweat, get the 101 to I-10 east past San Bernardino, then I-15 to Barstow, where it fades out, temporary no-man’s land until you stumble on to I-40 east, miss my last gasp for cheap gas there at Montara Road, make a note, shoulda’ known since I used to drive the route religiously back in my previous life as a itinerant salesman of trinkets and unrequited desires… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 2:58 pm on September 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Carmen Rizzo, DhakaBrakha, , Los Angeles, Marisoul, Yuna   

    One More (Sweetest) Thing: Encore in LA w/ La Santa Cecilia 

    La Santa live in LA

    La Santa live in LA

    I’m back. Yeah, I know I said my good-byes already, but I’ve had an epiphany, okay? Epiphanies are good. We call them ‘piffs’ in the trade of desires and obliquities. This one is called La Santa Cecilia. Now I don’t know who the group is named after, and I’m too lazy to Google it, since it really doesn’t matter—probably the patron saint to somebody’s hometown in Mexico or beloved Aunt Cecily or something. It really doesn’t matter. Whoever she is: she’s cool.

    La Santa Cecilia

    La Santa Cecilia

    Now it’s no big secret that I’m not LA’s biggest civic booster, considering its constant need for approval as a major world city to be definitive proof of the very opposite. But it HAS gotten better over the last 20-30 years—much better—a revived downtown sufficient evidence of that, and the fact that I’ve survived most of the last five years (t)here without a car as the definitive proof. But still, in comparison to New York? Yeah, right…

    Until now LA has been a paragon of the contradictions that define modern America: wealth and poverty, privileged and needy, American and Mexican, entrenched power and massive immigration. And that’s generally reflected in the entertainment, too. Latinos have their gigs and ‘real Americans’ have theirs. LA arts-clique-approved Latino groups like Nortec Collective from TJ and that Bosstich/Fussible act they do don’t really resonate with la raza, and homeboy success stories Los Lobos and Ozomatli only do marginally better. (More …)

     
    • Esther Fabbricante 3:07 pm on September 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I can’t even pronounce the names of the gigs – you are profound.

    • hardie karges 3:21 pm on September 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanx, Esther, always good to hear from you…

  • hardie karges 9:51 pm on August 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Los Angeles, , Santa Monica, The Zombies   

    LA Summer Daze: Dinosaurs, Dawg Days and Beats… Oh, My! 

    zombies

    The Zombies

    I don’t often gorge on the comfort-food of ‘classic rock’; I leave that to others. Apparently it’s warm in there. But it’s not that I’m trying to be hip, cool y todo eso, (though there’s that), it’s just that I get tired of re-hashing the same old lines and riffs—and memories—when what I really crave is ‘the other.’ That means novelty. I’ll travel halfway around the world to hear something new and see something different. Most people just surf You Tube or listen to the left-hand side of the radio dial. That’s easier.

    But there are exceptions to the ‘no dinosaurs’ rule. Some old 60’s and 70’s rock groups and solo artists just never got their full due on their first go-round: think Love. Others just never were in the right genre, such as Townes Van Zandt. Others died way too young: think Nick Drake. Others took long detours: such as Sexto Rodriguez. And still others just seem to get better with age, like The Zombies.

    (More …)

     
    • Esther Fabbricante 2:49 am on August 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      It’s a whole new world out there – and so outside my realm.

  • hardie karges 10:37 pm on July 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Girl in a Coma, , , Los Angeles, Nina Diaz, Omar Souleyman, Orquesta Charangoa, Pancho Sanchez, Pete Escovedo, , Shelby Lynne   

    World Party LA, Very Be Patient: #Escovedo, #Sanchez, #Souleyman 

     

    Omar Souleyman

    Omar Souleyman

    Another week, another music festival to mix and match, tailor to your own designs, tweak to your own proclivities. Last week the best gigs for me were Orquesta Charangoa at LACMA’s Latin Sturdays, one of the village’s best-kept secrets, along with Jazz Fridays, featuring the best in jazz’s extended circles, everybody you hear on K-jazz’s all over the country playing right here sooner or later, most of them, anyway, since many, if not most, are based right here, getting work on film scores and TV jingles that they can’t get elsewhere.

    Then there was Quetzal’s 20th anniversary party at Grand Performances in downtown LA, another pleasure to behold, featuring guests from all friendly genres and many fellow travelers, including members of La Santa Cecilia. The band’s own stuff has progressed far beyond the son jarocho that inspired and informed their early efforts, now evolved into a signature sound that is both indie and trad, Americana and Mex, past and future pop for now people…

    (More …)

     
    • Esther Fabbricante 11:34 pm on July 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Who else but you could describe so vividly the goings-on in your neck of the woods. I wish my great niece could meet you. She is a writer, storyteller, lecturer all over the world.

  • hardie karges 3:31 pm on July 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: coconut, , , Los Angeles, smoothies, Thai Town,   

    Thai Town: Coconut Smoothies, a Little Bit of Heaven 

     

    Coconut smoothies

    Coconut smoothies

    Thai Town has got the good stuff—coconut ice cream, that is, or at least a reasonable facsimile, more like a coconut smoothie, I guess. Works for me. It’s even presented in the same actual coconut shell that’s also becoming popular in Thailand now, franchised as a matter of fact. More often, though, it’s sold as ice cream by guys with pushcarts attached to a motorbike, around half a buck for a cone of the stuff and your choice of toppings, nuts and palm fruit and sticky rice and bread chunks, OR…

    You can put it into a REAL ice-cream sandwich, utilizing store-made dinner rolls bought especially for the purpose, find the carts especially around schools in the afternoon.  We kids like our ice cream, you know. Here in Thai Town it’s more like five bucks a pop, but in all fairness, that’s probably twice what you’d get there, so not so bad. Best coconut smoothie I ever had previously was in Battambang, Cambodia, BTW, stayed there a couple extra days just to indulge myself on the stuff. As the hash-seller in Tangier, Morocco said, “It gets you closer to God.” You can find it at Lacha Somtam at 5171 Hollywood Boulevard in East Hollywood (If you DO try ‘somtam’ papaya salad for the first time, remember to wear protection; it ain’t dessert).

     

     

     

     
    • Esther Fabbricante 3:51 pm on July 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Sounds divine. With my gluten-free diet, I can have smoothies!

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