Category Archives: Angels

Michael Bay Apocalyptic Film Set or Future Academy Museum?


City of Angels and Angles today only had to walk up the street from our Miracle Mile office to take a peek at the blown-out setting for what looks like a future blockbuster.  Naturally, this being L.A., I drove.

Sorry, Mr. Bay, it’s not your back lot version of America 2125.  This site belongs to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences , and while it’s clearly not ready for its Hollywood close-up yet, the future Academy Museum promises to be a game changer when it debuts.

Game changer in both good and potentially bad ways.

Not only will it up the glitz/glamour quotient of the area, but it will change the game for traffic in and around the middle of already overcrowded Wilshire Blvd.  Such is the price to pay for bringing yet another world class showcase to the Museum Square area, joining LACMA’s  redesigned  future campus and the red-clad Petersen, Automotive Museum, which revs its engines right across the street.

The future Academy Museum looks like it has a perfect place for a 50-foot Oscar. The Petersen is in the foreground.

Here’s what the front looks like now, the gold façade still familiar to longtime Los Angeles residents as the former May Company Department Store.  If you’re not quite that old you still might remember the building as the place that had the King Tut exhibition over a decade ago.

That cool deco front façade is sure to change into something spectacular, but nothing will match the impact of the giant glass  bubble  that will eventually replace the growing rubble pile on the other side of the enormous structure. Surely this futuristic fish bowl as theatre entertainment venue will displace  the floating rock at LACMA as the most popular sort-of-circular tourist destination in town.  The balls at MacArthur Park lake held that title in the fall but they are gone now.
Continue reading Michael Bay Apocalyptic Film Set or Future Academy Museum?

Naming Rights For A Rock

Creative flair is everywhere in the City of Angels and Angles,          and never has a city been more worthy of the saying, “Art is in the eye of the beholder.”

Wall murals, site-specific theatre, competing orchestras, random cows statues, otherworldly art installations, roaming, slow-motion mud characters, buskers, web series, TV series, above ground art walks, underground art exhibits, open mics,  closed screenings, L.A., has it all – good, bad, memorable and forgettable.

And rarely can you get two people to agree what merits applause or a closing sign.

True, one person’s artistic pleasure is another’s pain, and even if you’re not into that kind of thing, you can understand the foolishness that comes with trying to get people to agree if something is good art or bad art or even art at all.

I generally try to stay out of art arguments because paint gets everywhere and in the end no one is ever fully right,  especially, when it comes to big bucks museum acquisitions, where, perhaps, the more appropriate saying might be “Art is in the eye of the check holder.”

But I do have a thought about how art is named. Yes, named.

Which brings me to the giant rock currently floating outside at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art –LACMA.

Floating, as the hype around it purports that if you view “Levitated Mass” at just the right angle, you’ll believe it hovers in the air.

Continue reading Naming Rights For A Rock

Nothing Lost in Translation

Little Tokyo I  kod441_1You

Southpark, it’s not you.  You’re wonderful, really…it’s just that I’ve met a new neighborhood and I’m going to be spending more time there, but we can still be friends…right?

While downtown continues its mega-march toward urban greatness, and likely will as long as the promised retailers arrive to support an impressive number of newbies flocking to the city center – and only then if our hard-to-find Mayor finally addresses the city’s enormous homeless dilemma – there is one area of Los Angeles in which your pulse will immediately slow to a restful state.

I’m talking, of course, about the quieter, cleaner, more relaxed and, frankly, what feels like, more pride-filled area of downtown known as Little Tokyo.   Its attractiveness and flair are a league above most of the rest of downtown, not that those other #dtla areas appear to be in any grand pursuit of equaling Little Tokyo’s balance of urban comfort and style in the first place.

The noise, poor city services and random acts of madness that still plague much the new downtown – even as developer money pours in like a Brinks convention – seems to stop at the border of Little Tokyo.

Why? Continue reading Nothing Lost in Translation

It’s 3:00 A.M., I’ve got $3, I’m hungry. Where do I go?

We’ve all been there in the City of Angels:  the all-night shoot downtown wrapped early, the sharks at Hollywood Park casino decimated your stack, or your emoticon girlfriend just dumped you at the virtual club…and dammit, you’re hungry!

Hungry for tacos!

The food-serving angels on La Brea will soothe you, even though every restaurant along the curvy section south of San Vicente is long closed for the night.  And it’s not brick and mortar grub you’re craving anyway…it’s the allure and strange comfort of the taco trucks.

They won’t disappoint and they’ll be happy to present you with three delicious south of the border delectables for the three bucks you have crumpled in your hand.  Don’t even think about a credit card.

You’ll know you’ve found them by the sudden bursts of neon color and the buzz of bodies huddled together placing their orders.  It’s 3:00 A.M. and yet truck after truck, corner after corner is alive with electricity.  They park, some permanently, at several intersections – four-wheel-full-time residents at their preferred spots, and they soothe you with slurp it down, delicious, greasy, perfect one-dollar morsels.

Movie stars, truck drivers, partiers, insomniacs and cops dine together on two legs  – all as one in the City of Angels.  Anyone can find a pricy food truck during the day.  It takes commitment and a desire for what the night may bring to draw you out only hours before sunrise.  That and four quarters.

El Chato Taco Truck – Olympic and La Brea

Tacos Leo – Venice and La Brea



Angel’s Flight

A part of your life or not, for a moment envision an angel as she floats above the basin of Los Angeles looking at the city below.   She looks to the right and thinks, Downtown, man they’re building a lot over there.  I wonder what will happen to the homeless?

She then looks straight ahead and can’t help but think that Frank Capra shot that “An angel just got his wings,” scene right at that studio over there.  That’s really cool.

Then she glances to the left and sees Playa Vista, a city within the city, growing in hypertime, adjacent to L.A.’s only remaining estuarine, the Ballona Wetlands, and wonders, Hmmm, I really hope they keep their promise to protect those birds.

And then she peers down at all of the cars on the freeways and thinks, That’s a lot of frayed nerves, and hopes, and dreams and lives down there.  Each one of those people is a unique story, each one is deserving of happiness, and I’m really glad I have these wings so that I don’t have to sit in that lousy traffic right now.

Downtown explodes

Locations in Los Angeles for It’s a Wonderful Life

Ballona Wetlands

Traffic woes