Rally Bear makes them quake

rallybear

The so-called Rally Bear who briefly, and unauthorizedly, entertained the crowd at the Dodger-Cards game Monday night was — local angle alert! — Mark Monninger of Rancho Cucamonga, a former Tremor for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. LA Weekly talks to him about his stunt and posts a funny video of his antics. (That second split looks like it hurt.)

Monninger is banned from the stadium for six months, which I guess means he can’t attend baseball games this winter. Gosh!

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

The Apple Pan

applepan1

West L.A.’s venerable Apple Pan was mentioned in my column last Wednesday and I thought I’d post about it here as well. After all, as it’s been around since 1947, surely some of you have eaten there. It’s in the shadow of the Westside Pavilion mall. “Quality Forever” is their motto, and like In-N-Out, they do only a few things but do them exceedingly well.

Burgers, fries and pies are the main items, although they have a few other sandwiches, including what’s said to be an amazing egg salad. (I’d try it, but as I eat there about once every five years, I stick to the burgers.) The weird name must have to do with their apple pie. Well, the name is memorable.

Everything about the place is vintage, including the staff, who wear paper hats and aprons, and the cash registers, which ring you up in pre-electronic style.

I had a steakburger with cheese, Coke (with a paper cone of ice in a stainless steel holder) and banana cream pie. The bill came to $17.10, but was well worth it. Check out the pie: Unusually, the bananas have their own layer, with the cream part above and below. Delicious.

As I headed back to the 10 Freeway on Overland, I saw a portion of the Expo Line under construction. If it’s a station, as I think it is (the map is here), that will put the Apple Pan within walking distance of a transit stop, and after its 2015 opening I’ll probably go more often.

You can read more about the restaurant on its Wikipedia page, and for the definitive take, read Charles Perry’s lengthy 60th-anniversary piece from the Times.

applepan2

applepan3

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

He takes in a museum doubleheader

20130707_134349

Above, “La Gerbe (The Sheaf)” by Matisse at LACMA.

You can keep your baseball doubleheaders. I took in two museums in one day, the Hammer and LACMA, and both were free, thanks to a Bank of America deal offering free admission to certain museums the first weekend of the month for customers. Naturally I did the whole thing on public transit. The most expensive thing I did that day was a $10.50 lunch. You can read all about this outing in Sunday’s column.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Even LA can seem like a small town

Sunday’s column is in part about last weekend’s CicLAvia event in L.A., which I attended. A lot of fun, and between the Claremont Metrolink station, Union Station and the Metrolink train home, I kept running into people I knew (or, in one case, who knew me). After that is the usual array of cultural and other items of note.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Winnie the Huell

Unless you watched Disney’s 2011 feature “Winnie the Pooh,” you probably don’t know that in the post-credits sequence, Huell Howser voiced a character. Link is here, and thanks to reader Judi Guizado for bringing this honey of a clip to our attention!

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

‘Oh…my…gosh!’

Golly! PBS’ Huell Howser is retiring, the Sacramento Bee reported Tuesday:

“It’s not ‘amazing,’ as Howser would say, that he has decided to hang up his microphone without issuing a press release. The host of the long-running series called ‘California’s Gold’ is known for his unpretentious manner and wide-eyed amazement.”

That manner has, of course, been widely parodied, usually with affection. One favorite of mine is this video montage titled “Huell Howser Tripping” — pairing psychedelic and desert scenes with edited exclamations by Howser — that always cracks me up.

LAist has links to some short Howser video clips, including ones from Glendora’s Donut Man and the defunct Claremont Museum of Art.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Learning to TAP

62503-092812181938.jpg

This will only be of interest to transit geeks, but I got a TAP card (Transit Access Pass) on the Gold Line Sept. 28 from Pasadena, because paper tickets have been eliminated throughout the L.A. system.

I needed to buy a day pass and it was the usual $6, except that $1 of that charge was to buy the card — in other words, a day pass will be $5 next time, when I “reload” the card. The TAP card was purchased out of a machine similar to the old paper-ticket machine, making the transaction simple. You tap the card against a sensor before going through turnstiles or when boarding a bus.

Metrolink is still selling paper tickets and those tickets still allow free transfers throughout the system (buses, subways, light rail). Thus, L.A.-area turnstiles have not been locked yet because Metrolink riders wouldn’t be able to get through with a paper ticket.

The MTA’s Rick Jager told me the gates are expected to be locked by early December and that his agency is “still working with Metrolink to try to finalize a solution to ensure Metrolink riders will still have access through those gates once we lock them.”

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

America’s next great mass transit city: LA?

A piece in Slate magazine headlined “L.A.’s Transit Revolution: How a ballot initiative, a visionary mayor, and a quest for growth are turning Los Angeles into America’s next great mass-transit city” begins in, of all places, Claremont.

The opening:

“On a recent visit to Southern California, I began my day in Claremont, where I’d spoken the previous evening at a Pomona College event. I walked from a hotel near campus to the Claremont Metrolink station, where I grabbed a commuter rail train to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. From there I transferred to the L.A. Metro’s Red Line and rode up to the Vermont/Santa Monica station and checked into a new hotel. I had lunch in that neighborhood, and later walked east to meet a friend for dinner and drinks in Silver Lake.

“My father, a lifelong New Yorker and confirmed L.A. hater whose screenwriting work has frequently taken him to the City of Angels, found the idea of a carless California day pretty amusing. But the city that’s defined in the public imagination as the great auto-centric counterpoint to the traditional cities of the Northeast has quietly emerged as a serious mass transit contender.”

Read the whole piece here.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Missed it by that much

61852-metrolink.jpg

The saddest sight in the world, or in my world, at least: a Metrolink train pulling away from the Union Station platform, with yours truly having arrived no more than a minute too late to catch it. But a miss is as good as a mile.

(The train was even closer when I got there but it took me a few seconds to get my camera ready.)

These things happen. I was out and about in L.A. on Saturday, going to the record store Amoeba Music near Sunset and Vine and eating an early dinner at Go Burger. The waitress paid me a memorable compliment upon seeing a book on my table: “It’s so nice to see someone reading. You are a unicorn, my friend.” (As personal nicknames go, perhaps “Unicorn” will become the new “D-Bomb.”)

Although I finished my meal around 5:30, her remark encouraged me to hang out with my nose in my book (Sax Rohmer’s “The Bride of Fu Manchu,” which as the title implies is weighty stuff) for a half-hour or so afterward. There was no rush.

I walked back to the Hollywood and Vine subway stop. It was 6:25. My Metrolink train was at 7:10. A block away was the Fonda Theater, and I thought I’d go over and see who would be playing in the near future. After returning, I took a photo of the subway entrance and posted it on Foursquare. Oh, you fool.

When I got to the subway platform at 6:40, I’d missed the subway by five minutes. The next one came at 6:47. Uh-oh. Making the 7:10 Metrolink was looking impossible, but I rode all the way to Union Station just in case. I arrived at 7:08, the time changing to 7:09 before I got to the escalator, and by the time I made the Metrolink platform, the 7:10 was pulling away.

The perils of public transit. You’d think I’d know better, after doing this so many times, but sometimes lessons must be learned again and again.

With trains often two hours apart, missing one can be an inconvenience. The next one was at 9. But it wasn’t like I had to be anywhere, so I made the best of it, walking to the new Grand Park near City Hall and reading a while longer, then taking the subway back to Union Station shortly after 8. I boarded the train at 8:45. I wasn’t going to miss this one. (If I had, I’d have been stuck until 11:30.)

Had I actually had to be home, I could have taken the Silver Streak bus to Montclair or Pomona, although I wouldn’t have known how to get from there to my car in Claremont. Transit-savvy reader Erik Griswold supplies the answer via Twitter: the 480 bus from either location or the 187, 197 or 492 from Montclair.

Anyway, I arrived in Claremont at 9:50, and a few minutes before arriving, I finished my novel. Why? Because I am a unicorn.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email