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Pardon the dust…

The Native L.A. Tourist is undergoing a makeover!  I’m making the switch from the free to a hosted WordPress blog, so please pardon the dust while the site upgrades!

In the meantime, here are a few sites I regularly check:

  • I was a big fan of LAist even before I started writing for the site; they’ve got great LAistory posts on — you guessed it — the history of Los Angeles.
  • A new kind of news site with a fresh take on current events.
  • The Sartorialist Photographer Scott Schuman’s eye for street fashion and the subtle details people incorporate into their wardrobe is inspiring to see, regardless of your personal style.
  • The Lunch Bunch Two friends of mine who take time every Sunday to prepare bags of lunch for the homeless chronicle their adventures in helping people who live on the street.  A few weeks ago I joined them while they drove through Los Feliz and downtown L.A. to give out food and supplies…A post that will come soon!
  • Apartment Therapy As a lover of mid century modern furniture, it’s great to see how others decorate their homes in similar styles.
  • Los Angeles Paranormal Association I’ve always been fascinated with paranormal phenomena, and this local group explore a lot of cool places. They were recently featured on the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures show as they investigated the Linda Vista Community Hospital in Boyle Heights, which I’ve blogged about (though nothing exciting happened on my visit).

K-Town’s Bellejar Vintage Is Open!

Customers browse Bellejar Vintage's wares during its grand opening Saturday, Dec. 5.

From the article I wrote for LAist last week:

Over the past year, friends Katie Stratton and Jayde DiVita had been on a nation-wide search for the best clothing to stock the store they planned to open together. The pair went everywhere: Arizona, Colorado, New York, and North Carolina were just some of the states they traveled to during their hunt…

…All the fruits of their labor and travels were finally revealed during Bellejar Vintage‘s grand opening on Saturday. The result was an amazing, well-edited collection of gorgeous ’40s heels, dainty ’50s cardigans, sexy Mad Men-era lingerie, vintage luggage, classy handbags galore and more at their new store in Korea Town.

The store is seriously a high-fructose candy store for any vintage fashion enthusiast; just try to find something you don’t love.  The store is located at 3103 W. 6th Street, Los Angeles 90038.

Buy art from last month’s Monster Drawing Rally

Among the art available for $50 from the Monster Drawing Rally includes Maxfield Hegedus' 12 x 9" ink and watercolor piece. Image courtesy of Outpost for Contemporary Art.

About a month ago, Highland Park-based Outpost for Contemporary Art held a drawing rally to fundraise for their non-profit organization.  Now, some of the art made at the event is available for $50 (originally $75!)

Art is available for local pick-up, and shipping is also available.

Visit Outpost’s website to see what else is up for sale and help support the local art community…You know your walls need it!

CSUN’s pedestrian safety examined

An intersection near CSUN. Courtesy of the Daily Sundial. Photo Credit: Jonathan Pobre / Executive Editor

While still a journalism student not too long ago, one of this blogger’s last projects included an investigative story about the lack of pedestrian safety near Cal State University, Northridge.  Recent hit-and-run accidents — including that of Chinese exchange student, Yao Lu, who was seriously injured and in a coma for eight days after being hit by a car as she crossed a painted crosswalk — spurred the investigation, which was printed in CSUN’s Daily Sundial (Full disclosure: I’m a former EIC!) as a four-part series earlier this October & November.

For those interested, the article can be found here:

Part 1, posted Oct. 12: Student journalists investigate traffic accidents and injuries on and around CSUN campus

Part 2, posted Oct. 19: Intersections near campus dangerous, community says

Part 3, posted Nov. 8: Examining busy CSUN-area intersections

Part 4, posted Nov. 14: Drivers, pedestrians on both sides of safety coin

After working on this story, I noticed one particular accident-prone intersection in my North Hollywood neighborhood.  Those familiar with the madness that is the Lankershim/Vineland/Riverside intersection often feel pity to L.A. newcomers confused with any left-turn making within that triple-threat spot:

Just south of that intersection is one of our favorite local Italian restaurants, Little Toni’s — which is impossible to get to legally by foot or bicycle.  Anyone have similar not-so-pedestrian-friendly spots in their neighborhoods?

Support local artists at the Monster Drawing Rally tomorrow


Artist Howie Cherman is watched by a curious kid at last year's Monster Drawing Rally. Photo courtesy of Anita K. Marto / Outpost for Contemporary Art

If you’ve ever wanted to see the creative process behind art, tomorrow’s your chance to see local artists exhibit their talents live at the Monster Drawing Rally at the Center for the Arts in Eagle Rock tomorrow, Sunday, Nov. 8.

From the article I wrote for

When the idea was first unveiled in L.A. by the non-profit Outpost for Contemporary Art (it was originally conceived by SF-based Southern Exposure) in 2004, organization director Julie Deamer wasn’t sure how the SoCal crowd would respond. A Ventura native who lived in San Fran for 12 years before returning to the City of Angels, she quickly became disillusioned with the over-competitive, career-driven side of L.A.’s gallery scene. “Here I am thinking art could change the world,” Deamer said in an interview. “In San Francisco, you don’t have the strong market forces…People are making art just because they want to.” For her and the rest of the Outpost members, the event was all about “filling a gap in Los Angeles.”

For only a $10 donation ($5 for students and free for seniors, 12 & under or Outpost members), watch as over a hundred artists draw side-by-side, enjoy food from Oinkster, beer from the New Belgium Brewing Company (the folks that brought you Fat Tire) and coffee & tea from Cafe De Leche. But wait, there’s more…future little artists can enjoy the Kid’s Drawing Corner and DJ Dave Muller, Artichoke and Dude Dogg will also perform at the event.

It’s all happening from 2 to 7 p.m. at 2225 Colorado Blvd., L.A., 90041.

On Halloween shopping ideas at Burbank’s Magnolia Boulevard

It seems every July, I come up with an idea for the perfect Halloween costume. I swear to myself that I’ll get a head-start on hand-picking all the pieces so come Oct. 1, I’ll be armed and ready for those “a-ha” party conversation moments 30 days later.  Unfailingly, I procrastinate, and as seen in the previous years during the week of All Hallow’s Eve I end up desperately rummaging through the clearance section of costume shops looking for anything that sorta kinda resembles a Little Orphan Annie wig, or a straw hat for a Chiquita banana lady outfit that isn’t three times larger than the size of my head, or a blue size extra-large child’s dress to help me transform into that petite fille française, Madeline.

However, there’s always a place I go after leaving Target’s Halloween section empty-handed: Burbank’s Magnolia Boulevard, where a handful of antique furniture and used & vintage clothing stores line the street.  It seems every year, I’ve found the last piece of the puzzle to my costume at one of Magnolia’s many shops.  To read more about the best places to check out last-minute stops for costume ideas, check out my article at

Coming in 1960: The monorail in L.A.

Imagine that it’s 1959: Fidel Castro has just risen to power, doe-eyed Barbie wins the hearts of millions of little girls, and Alaska and Hawaii have just become the last two stars on the American flag.

In the following year of 1960, Los Angeles would have looked forward to a 75-mile monorail that would have stretched from Santa Monica to San Bernardino, as well as through the Valley and Alhambra.

Unfortunately, “the plan for an elevated monorail on Wilshire upsets corridor stakeholders, and the plan was scrapped,” according to Metro, which recently uploaded some of their historic transit maps and plans as old as over 100 years their online library via Scribd.

The monorail would have cost $529,700,000 and eventually would ‘ve expanded to 150 miles from San Fernando to Inglewood and other areas throughout L.A., notes document’s caption.

Users can also check out Mad Men-era bus routes back when Metro was still Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (LAMTA), or the streetcar routes of 1906.

In modern transit news, Metro just OK’d long-range transportation plans that would expand their bus, rail and subway services.  Steve Hymon, formerly of the L.A. Times, writes on Metro’s “The Source” blog the $300 billion project spanning over the next 30 years will extend the Foothill Gold Line.  I’m hoping the “subway to the sea” plan will finally get me from NoHo to Santa Monica car-free sometime within the next decade.

NoHo’s very own Antique Row


Santiago's Antiques actually has two storefronts, which both sandwich Miss Peaches Southern Cuisine, on Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood.

An abundance of small theaters aren’t the only things North Hollywood has to offer.  Travel further north on Lankershim Boulevard past Burbank Boulevard and you’ll find a plethora of antiques and vintage stores, all within walking distance from each other.

Before heading to the Pasadena Rose Bowl flea market on Sunday (see previous post about my visit), I finally made time to hit the antique stores in my own neighborhood.

Most of the stores are closed Sundays because the owners also sell at local flea markets, so your best bet might be to stop by during the weekdays and Saturdays.  Generally, they’re open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., but it’s a good idea to call and double-check with the stores (Click the jump cut below for a full list of addresses and phone numbers).

From Hollywood Regency decor to ’60s space age seating to Queen Anne dining sets and a few movie props thrown into the mix, there’s a style and decade to please buyers and browsers alike.  I’m a huge fan of mid century & Danish modern, and the stores definitely have plenty of it to offer.  Some of my favorite finds included a slatted George Nelson-style wood bench for $60 at Frank’s Antiques, a Danish modern chair for $25 at Angel’s Antiques and a set of 4 wire dining chairs from Santiago’s for $350.

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Tips for an adventure at the Rose Bowl flea market


From shabby chic dressers to turn-of-the-century bric-a-brac, there's something for everyone at the Rose Bowl flea market.

Supposedly, it’s the beginning of the end of the recession, but that doesn’t mean shoppers need to revert back to their pre-downturn spending.  Rather than buying brand-new items, consumers are heading to flea markets to buy used furniture and other products, resulting in a 10- to 15 percent increase in foot traffic.

The crowds definitely showed up at the Rose Bowl flea market in Pasadena, and as a first-timer to the overwhelming shopping experience, this blogger could not believe her eyes at the endless rows of awesome mid century modern furniture, antique knick-knacks and random oddities.  Though regular adult admission is $8; we definitely got our money’s worth; among some of our finds included a vintage framed picture of Mont St. Michel for $15, a Danish modern chair for $35 and mid century dark wood magazine rack for $20.

To get an idea of the market’s massiveness, we arrived shortly after 11 a.m. and had barely finished browsing the antiques section by 2:30 p.m. as vendors started packing up their shops.  After strolling through one row of the other side of the market, which consisted mainly of vintage clothing, we called it a day and headed home with our new (old) wares.

For more photos, plus a few tips  if you decide to check it out for yourself (the next one is Sunday, September 13), are after the jump.

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