L.A. the Blog: One Love Improv In Session

Improv group Nonstop Pregnancy Scare onstage at One Love Improv – June 25, 2012

Monday night, a sleepy night, a night of wholesome television and family gathering, the start of the work week and mostly uneventful. A night of recuperation, extra rest and nothing much. That is why L.A. the Blog says thank you to One Love Improv for taking Monday night from the cradle of normal and making it hilarious, raunchy and more fun than a bag of raw chicken.

The brainchild of comedians Mike Callaghan (a friend of ours who turned us onto the show), Victor Lopez and David Danipour, the weekly show invites local comedic talent from all over, and the jokes are as varied as the performers. So for those wishing to escape the confines of the couch and disappear into the Hollywood night, One Love Improv provides the perfect excuse, and at the same time a fun comedy show with a guaranteed laugh.

Originally started back in May as a one-off event they dubbed the Secret Improv Show held at the Neon Venus Art Theatre, they packed the house (albeit a small house) as guest improv groups like Sticky Nights, and the founders own act Gummy Tears provided enough immodest and off-the-hook improv to garner them an ongoing weekly show. Still in the same location and retitled One Love, Mondays will never be the same.

So far L.A. the Blog visited the last two shows along with those first few Secret Imrpov shows, and the events bring in top, underground talent. The group Nonstop Pregnancy Scare, who’s making their rounds in the L.A. area performed a few weeks back and they left a soul-scouring mark on innocence as they profaned everything from love to religion. We won’t mention the Star of David poop joke or the abandoned Evangelist child skit … oh, whoops!

MurderCliff onstage ripping one of their signature and uncanny raps at One Love Improv – June 25, 2012.

This last Monday, July 2, saw Gummy Tears onstage again in a courageous display of dragon slaying and sleepwalking children, along with their astounding guests Elephants Gerald and The Lady’s of Anne Taylor’s Loft. Elephants Gerald, a two-person improv show staffed by Suzi Barrett and Rebecca Drysdale stole the night as the experienced duo bantered and generally poked fun at everything from cell phone family plans for gay couples to Hollywood screenwriter’s critiquing Total Recall the total remake.

Some other fabulous acts that have graced the stage: MurderCliff, Monika Smith, Colton Dunn & Friends, and Mr. and Mrs. All-Star.

While a light crowd at the last show took some of the energy away that the first two shows brimming with standing room only put forth, generally the comedic troupes bring the humor. A trip to One Love is a guaranteed laugh, or your money back … haha. The best part is the show’s donation only (in other words free) so the jokes on you. We haven’t heard the lineup for next week but as soon as we do the Blog will provide an update. Below find some pics we shot, and some info on the Neon Venus.

One Love Improv happens every Monday night, from 10:30 pm to midnight, at the Neon Venus Art Theatre, 7023 Melrose Ave (@ La Brea), Los Angeles, CA 90038.  Please check their facebook page for updates and show information.

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L.A. the Blog: Two New Eateries On Hollywood Blvd.

As the machine development wheels forward unconquerable, implacable along the famous stretch of Hollywood Boulevard known as the Walk of Fame, where in golden stars immortalized forever rest the names of iconic people who bestowed years of entertainment upon us – L.A. the Blog is happy to announce two new eateries marking the mythic landscape.  They totally make the “cheap eats” list of places to grab a quick bite and both are well worth the visit.

The first place anyone from New York will recognize, and everyone else who watched Spider Man 2 the movie should remember fondly.  The silver screen made-famous Joe’s Pizza where Toby McGuire playing Peter Parker worked delivering pizza in the film’s opening scenes – yes!  Joe’s Pizza is now gracing Hollywood right at Wilcox and Hollywood Blvd., and yes!  Right around the corner of another New York staple Papaya King.  We are experiencing a wholesale invasion from the east coast.  Next will see Dunkin’ Donuts or something.

Joe's Pizza

Joe’s famous NYC Pizza

As L.A. the Blog is personally very familiar with Joe’s pizza in New York our readers can trust us to safely critique the flavor of this new Joe’s in comparison to the one in NY.  Surprisingly the pizza is very similar in taste, almost exactly the same in taste, so we give the place an A+ for its pizza.  We will point out the slight differences.  Whether it is the high-volume of pies that Joe’s in NYC throws out compared to this one, or that the cooks on the east coast have a process they are used too, the pizza at the Los Angeles location definitely was in better condition and looked as if they LA guys took time and tender loving care putting the pizza together.  The crust was a little thicker, and in LA-fashion crispy too.

Where Joe’s NYC is famous for fresh out of the oven pies, and a really thin crust that no one in their right mind would call crispy; the LA spot hasn’t reached the years of perfection in knocking down millimeters off the thickness and doesn’t do the volume to demand out-of-the-oven pizzas every five minutes.  That we believe give the NY pies their distinct difference.  Or as others believe it could be that the water in Los Angeles is different from the water in NYC.  Yeah we use less chlorine maybe?

As taste goes if you miss a slice of NYC, then head to Joe’s because it is damn close!!!  The prices for a slice were around $2.50 so this place also makes our “cheap eats” list.

The other spot that just opened is right next to Joe’s at Hollywood and Wilcox, and is a taco stand, err … truck, or restaurant, or a really awesome and creative eatery that serves up some good Mexican food.

The Calle Taco truck, once a real food truck that graced the streets of Los Angeles now sits under an old Hollywood theater marquee near the intersection of Hollywood and Wilcox, slightly back from the sidewalk with tables and chairs in front, giving costumers a place to eat what the truck dishes up.

Calle Tacos should get an award for best-designed restaurant on the boulevard.  Not only did the place take a food truck, cut it in half, and place it on the inside of their restaurant so costumers have to order from the taco truck window, they also went all out in gracing the inside of the restaurant with beautiful graffiti murals of Los Angeles, and literally made the entrance to the bathrooms the front door to the food truck too.

Why you ask?  All in honor of the many taco / burrito dishing food trucks that everyday feed us on our merry ways through the city.  Memorializing in true Hollywood fashion a staple of Los Angeles life and culture.  L.A the Blog loves LA, so we love you Calle Tacos.

The food was good, we didn’t try everything on the menu but the carne asade burrito tasted great.  While not as cheep as a food truck with tacos at $1.95 and burritos at $5.95, you can definitely get some grub for under the $5, so it also makes the Blogs “cheap eats” list.  Check out below for some picks of the place and when in Hollywood be sure to stop in!  FYI – the graffiti is by LA-based artist Hex, aka Hector Rios.

UPDATE:  We just visited Calle Tacos again and noticed that Tuesday is $0.99 taco day, every Tuesday, and right now if you visit they have a free can of soda if you check in to their facebook page, or tweet about your visit.  We scored a great lunch for $3.24!

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L.A. the Blog: Little House On The Sidewalk Prairie

Just off Melrose exists a quiet little home in the middle of a grass partition, we like to call it little house on the sidewalk prairie.  Once again we would like to pay our respects to the creative use of public space …

L.A. the Blog: $30 – Drink ‘Till You Puke, Or Something …

Cruising the famous Hollywood Walk of Stars today L.A. the Blog came across an interesting sidewalk advertisement – $30 all you can drink alcohol.  As it turns out they have all you can drink Tuesdays, the rest of the time you pay top dollar.

$30 all you can drink sidewalk advertisementSo for the hardcore alcoholic and barfly out there we suggest you run not walk to this establishment.  They even have a facebook page where you can post pictures of you puking after!!  It is also good to know Jack lives there, except we ourselves have no idea who Jack, Jose or Jim actually are but we keep hearing those names in drinking establishments.

Last we want everyone to appreciate that the sign is tagged … what a great use of negative space.  Oh, and before we forget the place is called Angels & Kings.  At this moment we are considering sponsoring an contest to see who can drink the most, entrance fee will only be $30 and if you win we will feature your photo on L.A. the Blog.

L.A. the Blog: Persecution Takes A Holiday in L.A.

Call it art!  Call it vandalism!  Call it the protest that its name implies, but whatever it is (maybe I should just ask??) these pics circulating online show once again that making a statement requires little else than a few drops of paint and an idea.  L.A. the Blog applauds “Persecution Takes a Holiday In L.A.”:

PS – If you have more pics send them my way!!!

UPDATE:  Added in June 2012 is some more pics from the project.

 

L.A. the Blog: Papaya King L.A.

While L.A. the Blog is a little late on the scene reporting that Papaya King is opening in Los Angeles, well it is and it will be here this Spring (L.A. Weekly reports in April).  It is located just off Hollywood Boulevard’s main club drag on Wilcox Avenue.  The question remains how late it will be open, but 24-hours a day sounds good.

Not to be confused the Papaya Dog, nor Gray’s Papaya, but yes it is the original chain that opened back 1932.  For a little rumor history, people say that Papaya Dog was started by a former employee of the original Papaya King, and it might be said about Gray’s Papaya too.  All I know is that if the hot dogs have that New York City snap, they will be something unique in Los Angeles.

(This is a side note – if you ever get the chance go to Criff Dog in NYC, it’s worth it just to see the babe hugging the dog, and it’s yum!)

Stay tuned for more updates as they come in …

UPDATE 4/19/13:  Papaya King didn’t last long in Los Angeles, most likely from the crappy service, and is now closed.

L.A. the Blog: What’s up with graffiti in Hollywood?

Everyone knows you can get a good look at some of L.A.’s graffiti artist by cruising Melrose between and around Fairfax and La Brea Ave., but if you’re interested in digging a bit deeper, just off the beaten path in Hollywood some real treasures exist.

Los Angeles - street style

For instance not less than a half mile from the well-known shopping area on North Gower Street tucked behind Paramount Studios sits a plethora of industrial spaces transformed from the dull white or gray into something out of the 80’s.

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It looks like most of the wall space along Gower in the area has been taken for all you fledgling street bombers out there, at least all the wall space that hasn’t been painted over or buffed. Of course you can always buff and paint over, but then you risk the wrath of angering some of the most notorious street graffiti crews in Los Angeles: AWR, MSK, and who knows who else …

We Hate All You's

Curious L.A. the Blog sent an e-mail to Paramount to find out if any of the work was commissioned by the studio or of any of it found its way into the movies. We will keep you updated as we plague the studio with phone calls.  Anyway check out the picks below (you win a prize if you spot Filter Magazines office in the pics):

The next hidden street gallery, though only consisting of two real walls that have been exploited is much closer to the Melrose shopping district, on the corner of Melrose and Highland Ave.

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Most notably you can find Buff Monster’s 10-year anniversary piece.  You know Buff Monster, the cute bubbly guy:

Buff Monster 2011

 

Last in this piece (ha, get it piece!) is another new location that is still under work and put up in 2010.  It is at the corner of Edgewood and La Brea Ave rivaling the Paramount spot in breadth and variety.

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The spot is further than the other two location, but definitely worth the drive.  If you go be sure to travel a little further down on La Brea and you can catch MBW’s send off to the Academy Awards (and most likely Exit Through the Gift Shop), Storm Troopers and all.  Before it was a tribute to Charlie Chaplin.

Graffiti

L.A. the Blog is trying to figure out if MBW licensed the storm troopers from Lucas Films LTD.  We will keep you updated.

Please look at a complete set of pictures in the gallery below.  While there are numerous spots in Hollywood to look at great graffiti, we will try to bring them all as we come across them.  Best!

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