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  1. Less than 24 hours ago, I disembarked from a JetBlue flight after five days in LA. A little like Vegas, my limit is right at the three day mark but the weather was beautiful, so the extra two days were still an enjoyment! My first day was a wash food-wise since I split my dining between a turkey sandwich my mom packed for the plane trip out west, snacks provided in lieu of real food on the plane, and mass quantities of catered fajitas at a tailgate party on the 9th green just north of the Rose Bowl . Countless Bud Lites and a few peanuts later, it was time to celebrate a victory for the Texas Longhorns (even the aggies were cheering for us)! On Thursday I had the opportunity to visit the Farmers Market on 3rd & Fairfax near Beverly Hills . I passed on the pork sausages but found Lite My Fire - the perfect shop for adventurous hot sauce lovers . My cousins and I hit Carnival in Sherman Oaks for dinner that night. Very affordable, delectable middle eastern fare that comes out quickly in huge portions. I was glad that my companions suggested ordering the 1/2 portions or else we'd've been eating baba ganoush and falafel for days! Friday I bought a scone for breakfast at Getty_Center & sat enjoying the view . Not sure the pastry was good, but it sure was memorable! Dinner was spent at Casa Vega also in Sherman Oaks. The food was typical and was delivered to the table at warp speed. The place was packed - we were quoted an hour & a half wait which turned out to only be 20 minutes or so. The margaritas were amazing, so we lingered a bit after checking that there were at least three empty tables nearby. Saturday was the bright spot on this gastric tour of LA. We hit Melrose for lunch, choosing the apparent place to be that day - Toast. I feasted on a bowl of potato corn chowder that was complete with peas, sauteed mushrooms and hearty chunks of potato. I paired the soup with a 1/2 salad that was so full of fresh squash, cucumber, tomato, avocado, grilled chicken and goat cheese that I almost forgot I was eating a salad. It was topped with the house vinaigrette that had a hint of sesame flavor. AWESOME! We had dinner at The Belmont on La Cienaga that night, which wasn't great but definitely wasn't awful. Consensus among the group was that we should have tried to get into Koi across the street for sushi instead. Oh well... All in all, it was a beautiful week in LA. Amazingly enough, didn't stop at In-and-Out Burger once...maybe next trip!
  2. It may seem somewhat random that I'm beginning a thread on Ned Beatty, but I just discovered a piece of arcane trivia about this beloved actor from Louisville, KY (yes, pun intended, for which I'll roast in Hell). It *was* completely random that I stumbled across a police-training video on YouTube called "Stay Alert, Stay Alive," which I believe to be filmed in 1965 (based exclusively on the National Archives code), and starting out with a letter by J. Edgar Hoover himself. But I believe the person who put up this marvelous little piece of Americana didn't realize what he had found, because at one point - 17'45" into the 22'17" video for those who don't want to watch the entire thing - my jaw dropped when I saw who I'm *certain* is a young Ned Beatty. Note: It is not a complete waste of your time to watch the entire video - it's pretty well-made, informative, and I found it quite interesting - both as a tiny piece of history, and as a Dragnet-type instructional video - so do yourself a favor and watch the entire thing to get a "flavor" for it before your encounter with Beatty. Note also: In Beatty's Wikipedia entry (first paragraph), the second paragraph of the "Early Life" section reads, "During his first ten years of theater, he worked at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, the State Theater of Virginia." Abingdon is twenty minutes southwest of Chilhowie, former home of John and Karen Shields' famed Town House restaurant, and there are things in the film (the hotel, for example), that led me to believe it was filmed in Virginia, so I'm guessing they may have recruited some actors from the Barter Theatre. Although I don't know for sure, this may be the oldest existing copy of a professional work by Ned Beatty, in which case, it's of historical significance for that alone. Enjoy! The Doo-Dad Jiggle <--- "Hmm, this guy feels just like a hawg."
  3. In the midst of the NBA playoffs, the Warriors have beaten the Houston Rockets twice; once in which Stephen Curry played only 20 minutes, lit up the scoring, then got hurt and sat for the rest of the rout(game). In the 2nd match up, Curry didn't play due to injury...opening up tremendous opportunities for Houston. Didn't pan out though as the Golden State Warriors won again, even without Curry. Of course there could be a variety of reasons for the results...but one suggestion is that James Harden's defense is simply not that stellar. Below a video of some of his shining moments on defense: "Great Moments in James Harden Defensive History" on espn.go.com
  4. It's a shame that the names Lennie Tristano, Warne Marsh and Lee Konitz are not well known. Lennie was a pianist who was Warne's and Lee's mentor and teacher. His accolytes are numerous. You hear his influence in musicians of the time and, wonderfully, some of today's young jazz players who are looking at a way past all the technical excellence now present in highly schooled players who can do anything on their instrument and are now searching for something to say. Lennie Tristano's school of so called "cool" jazz didn't believe in fire for fire's sake, there was no decoration, no attempt to impress. Just a passionate dedication the music itself, to its basic building blocks of harmony and line. It was all about the raw product. One of my great pleasures was the time I spent learning jazz improvisation from Warne Marsh. I'd ravel to his home in Pasadena (or was it Altadena) and have an hour of amazing instruction. We might spend an hour of my just repeating a simple 12 bar blues time after time exploring the harmonics. Sometimes Warne would blow, sometimes he would pay a few notes at the piano. But it was an hour of intense concentration on a single idea. For a while my lessons would be scheduled after Warne's own practice time. I started coming early and standing outside so I could hear him playing to a metronome. Do yourself a favor and listen to the Video ("Lennie's Pennies") on this post. That's Warne on tenor. No one ever sounds like him, played like him, or, in my opinion, got to the essence ofthe music like him. More Warne Marsh: An Improvised Life. Listen to Lee Konitz and Warne playing together, one shared musical mind with such different expressions yet a unique sound when they played the melodies together, a single voice. Rec'd in person at The Half Note, 06 JUN 1964: Lee Konitz as/ Warne Marsh ts/ Lennie Tristano p/ Sonny Dallas b/ Nick Stabulas d [band members from credits rolled at the end] 1. Subconscious Lee (Lee Konitz) - almost 6 min 2. @ 317 East 32nd Street (Lennie Tristano; Out of Nowhere changes) - almost 10 min 3. Background Music (Warne Marsh) - almost 8 mins :I: More modern Warne Warne from the time I studied with him Warne and Art Pepper Warne and Lennie on Improvisation Wow! This is a clasic Lennie Tristano School Quintet Warne is gone now, and to many he is unknown. To some, he is a legendary name. To those lucky enough to hear him, he was a revelation. To me he was a mentor who really instilled a love of music and the flowing of ideas in music that has been with me for 40 years. Thanks to Warne and to the people who are trying to keep him memory alive and to help him gain his rightful place in jazz history. Those hours in his house, his mind and his music are such an important part of who I am.
  5. "FUN FACT: Zamperini's roommate at the 1936 Berlin Olympics was the great Jesse Owens who won 4 gold medals." Louis Zamperini on bringbackthemile.com --- "Unbroken" - 2010, Book (DonRocks) "Unbroken" - 2014, Film (DonRocks)
  6. Of note: "Linda's Film on Menstruation" (1974) aired the year after Roe v. Wade was decided (1973).
  7. Lonzo Ball, I fear, is somewhat overrated, has too much baggage, and might be a disappointment in the NBA. Look at his stat line this year: 14.6 points, 6 rebounds, 7.6 assists. That's very impressive, especially for a freshman, and especially in the assists category. However, his shooting technique is extremely flawed, and he's not mature enough to tell his father to back off. Yes, he can shoot an open 3, but his free-throw percentage this year is 67.3% - think about that for a moment. He's big and quick, he can jump, and he can pass very well, but he is a big risk - my dark side hopes the Lakers pass on him at #2, just to irk his father. I believe Lonzo Ball will be a good NBA player, but I'm not convinced he'll be the superstar his father claims he already is. Feb 1, 2017 - "Why Lonzo Ball Isn't the Surefire NBA Superstar Some People Seem To Think He Is" by Colin Ward-Henninger on cbssports.com
  8. Monica Lewis was the voice of Chiquita Banana for 14 years. She also dated Ronald Reagan.
  9. In doing research for the 1970 World Series, I learned that Emmett Ashford was the first black umpire ever to officiate a World Series Game (I've updated my post about Game One of the World Series to reflect this fact.) Not only that, Ashford was the first black umpire ever to be in Major League Baseball - working from 1966-1970. Feb 7, 2011 - "Ashford Broke Barriers behind a Mask" by Danny Wild on milb.com (note milb, not mlb) Incredibly, Chuck Meriwether became the second black umpire in the American League - in 1993. In 2008, the donrockwell.com community was three-years old, and Barack Obama won the Presidential election. That same year, a pair of black umpires would work a major-league game for the first time. When I was younger, I thought affirmative action was demeaning and unnecessary; I could not have been more wrong. How is Emmett Ashford *not* in the Baseball Hall of Fame? Oct 10, 2009 - "Chapman Students Want Black Ump in Hall of Fame" by Doug Irving on ocregister.com
  10. I was just watching the opening credits of "Murder on a Honeymoon," and noticed that in the long list of secondary names, there was an actor simply named "Sleep 'n' Eat." "What the heck is 'Sleep 'n' Eat?'" I said. So I looked it up, and of course, it was a black actor. Named Willie Best, and active from 1930-1955, he was a comedian who also had the derogatory name, "Sleep 'n' Eat," and I mean that's how he's billed in this movie! That isn't right, so I decided to give Mr. Best his own thread here, with no mention of this terrible nickname in the title. I only make such a big deal out of it here because that's the only way I know who he is. Hopefully, someone will eventually chime in with some mention of his work. Mr. William "Willie" Best (1916-1962):
  11. General admission tickets at The Broad are FREE and allow you to view A Journey That Wasn’t in The Broad’s first floor galleries showing through early February 2019. Hoping to score tickets for Jordan Wolfson’s (Female figure), 2014, which become available every Monday at noon PT for the then current week. The exhibition is on view Thursday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to closing (8 p.m.), and on Sunday from 10:15 a.m. to closing (6 p.m.), October 11, 2018, through January 20, 2019, with a break from November 29 through December 2 for scheduled maintenance.
  12. iPhone users, follow these steps to create a Los Angeles Dining Guide quasi-app: 1) Bring up this webpage. 2) Tap this image on the bottom of the screen 3) Tap "Add Bookmark." Voila! Your own free (kind of, sort of) app in less than 30 seconds! --- Please feel free to contact me with any typos, suggestions, corrections, or comments. In order to ensure future access to this dining guide, simply become a participating member of donrockwell.com. Go back and read the previous sentence ten times: none of the restaurants covered in this guide serve a free lunch, and there is a very high likelihood that this guide will revert to being a reward for our participating members even though that means limiting readership (which, by definition, makes this website less popular). Our members - the ones who post here - are our life-blood, and they deserve to be rewarded for their efforts. It's very easy to sit back with a cup of coffee and read through all the content here; it takes effort to write and add content, and I want our participating members to know how much I appreciate them - I can't say it enough. Please register, post in the Please Introduce Yourselves thread, and then know that your simple actions have just supported this website which cannot go on without you - it takes less than five minutes, it's absolutely free, and your information is safeguarded and remains private. And if you're already a participating member, allow me to say thank you - the best thing you can do for us is to tell a friend about donrockwell.com (again, another simple action that only takes a few minutes). Cheers, Rocks. Readers: After endless searching, I'm convinced that there doesn't exist a single good, well-delineated map of Los Angeles neighborhood maps on the entire internet - one that clearly marks the street boundaries of each neighborhood. Of course, there is overlap between neighborhoods, and the borders are fuzzy, but I couldn't find one single map that dared even attempt. If you know of one, or, if you see clear mistakes in my geographical listings, would you please write me and let me know? Thank you! Please read the above paragraph: I need help with organizing this guide!
  13. Last night, I watched "In Cold Blood" (1967), the magnificent, black-and-white, artsy, non-fiction masterpiece for the second time, and was positively riveted by the performance of Robert Blake, just as I was before - maybe even more so: Blake was nearly perfect in this role. But this is a two-man film, and the "other" co-star, Scott Wilson, was just as effective in his own swaggering, Elvis-like, cold-blooded role as sociopath Dick Hickock, and I began to wonder what, exactly, happened to this fine actor. Where has he been for the past fifty years? So I looked him up, and I can honestly say that, in thirty-five years of being an amateur film scholar, and certainly in the past several years of being a very serious amateur film scholar, I have never experienced such a jaw-dropping moment in my life. Well, there was one other time that came close - when I found out that Merle in "The Walking Dead" was Henry in "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer." Seriously, I about peed my pants when I found that one out, and that's what inspired me to re-watch "Henry" after not having seen it since it was released in 1986. When I did re-watch it, I could see that, yes, Michael Rooker was both Henry and Merle, even though it took me a couple of days to recover from that shock. But never, *ever* have I been so shocked as when I discovered that Scott Wilson, the man who portrayed Dick Hickock in "In Cold Blood," pictured here with co-star Robert Blake: was the very same person who played, well, see for yourself ... but be forewarned: If you've seen "In Cold Blood" before, and if you're a fan of "The Walking Dead," prepare to have a heart attack.
  14. Jonathan Gold was the best food critic in the United States. "Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic Jonathan Gold Dies at 57" by Andrea Chang on latimes.com
  15. Most people of a certain age know that George Reeves played "Superman" in the original television series. Many people know that he died of suicide, by a suspicious gunshot. But who knew that he spoke the very first lines in "Gone with the Wind?!"
  16. Tickets are $25 each and include museum admission. I just picked up a pair this morning and there appears to be good availability left, although some days are completely sold out. The following description is from The Broad website:
  17. Art and Art Exhibitions "IndigNATION: Political Drawings by Jim Carrey, 2016-2018" (Maccarone, Oct 23 - Dec 1, 2018) "Yayoi Kusuma - Infinity Mirrors" (The Broad, Oct 21, 2017 - Jan 1, 2018) Day Trips Carpinteria (Oceanside Town - 90 Minutes) Weekend Trips Anza-Borrego State Park (Colorado Desert - 4 Hours) Events California Avocado Festival (Early Octobers) Film and TV Studios Universal Studios Warner Bros. Studio Tour General Discussion Visiting Los Angeles Sports LA Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park
  18. Jason Wingreen is a man you could go an entire lifetime missing, just because he never got a big break, but I've discovered he's been in at least five things I've watched in the past couple of years: 1976-1979 - He's Archie Bunker's business partner Harry Snowden in 26 "All In The Family" episodes: And was in three "Twilight Zone" episodes: May 6, 1960 (Season 1, Episode 30) - The modern-day porter in "A Stop at Willoughby": Nov 17, 1961 (Season 3, Episode 10) - Mr. Shuster, who leaves town in "The Midnight Sun": May 23, 1963 (Season 4, Episode 18) - In a fairly big role, the Director, trying to reign in Burt Reynolds, in "The Bard": Dec 6, 1968 (Season 3, Episode 12) - In a bit part, the ill-fated Dr. Linke (dressed in orange) in the Star Trek episode "The Empath": Who knows how much else he's been in, or whether or not I'll notice him? But I'm glad I can recognize him with his own thread. Wingreen has lived a long life, and has had a fruitful career:
  19. UCLA scored 35 unanswered points on Saturday to defeat Texas A&M, 45-44, in the second-biggest comeback in NCAA football history. That said, I believe if their final touchdown was reviewed correctly (or, at all), it *might* have been overturned: Only one foot landed in-bounds, and the ball was in the process of sliding out of the receiver's hands until it was stopped by his leg. There probably isn't enough conclusive evidence to overturn the call, but I think that if it wasn't for his leg, the ball would have slipped through the receiver's hands. Judge for yourself: "LOOK: Was UCLA's Game-Winning TD Pass vs. Texas A&M Actually Incomplete?" by Ben Kercheval on cbssports.com <--- Scroll down. The key issue is: If the receiver had control of the ball when his right leg came down, then it's a touchdown. One way of looking at the sequence is: 1) Right leg lands in the end zone. 2) Ball is slipping, but is stabilized by leg. 3) Left leg lands out-of-bounds. And unless he had "control of the ball" at the time #1) occurred, it's not a touchdown. An alternative way of looking at it is: 1) Receiver catches ball over his head, and has control at that point. 2) Right leg lands in the end zone. 3) Ball starts slipping out *after* the right foot landed. In which case it's a touchdown. Looking at it from this point of view, you can't overturn the call. This is a tough one, but unless it's definitive, the call must stand. I've watched this probably 100 times, and I can't tell for sure, but it seems to me like: 1) Receiver catches ball over his head, and has control at that point. 2) The ball hits the receiver's right rib cage, and the ball is jarred loose. 3) About 1/100th of a second after that, the receiver's right leg lands in the end zone. 4) The receiver stabilizes the ball with his leg. 5) Left leg lands out-of-bounds. Only God knows for sure what happened, but I think the analysis immediately above is correct. In other words, he didn't have control, but you can't possibly overturn this call. You'll need to watch the video loop 20 times just to clearly see the time difference between #2) and #3). To me, the most interesting thing is that, if the play was ruled incomplete, there wouldn't be enough conclusive evidence to overturn that call either - so either way it was called, the call must stand. Whew! (Don't forget, even if the pass was called incomplete, it would have been only 2nd down, so UCLA would have had 3 more chances.)
  20. In case anyone hasn't noticed, I've been compensating for a lifetime of not having watched television, and a decade of not having watched films - and I've been compensating in a big way. Completely organically, I've discovered a gentleman named Robert Butler - a man whom I'd certainly never heard of before, and a man whom I suspect is a household name only within the industry. However, here's why every single person with the slightest bit of interest in television (and film) should be instantly familiar with the name Robert Butler. Let's take *just* the pilot episodes he directed, and nothing else. I reiterate: These are the pilot episodes only - look what we have here: Nov 27, 1988: Star Trek - "The Cage" (Butler completed this work in Feb, 1965, but it didn't air for over 23 years; it was shown in a different form as "The Menagerie," of which he directed Part Two.) Sep 17, 1965: Hogan's Heroes - "The Informer" (This is the only one out of 168 episodes to be filmed in black-and-white.) Jan 12, 1966: Batman - "Hi Diddle Riddle" (The first appearance of Frank Gorshin as The Riddler.) May 9, 1975: The Blue Knight - "The Blue Knight" was a TV movie which served as the pilot for this crime series starring George Kennedy. Jan 15, 1981: Hill Street Blues - "Hill Street Station" - Do you see how formidable this list is becoming? Oct 1, 1982: Remington Steele - "Tempered Steele" - A relatively minor series, but still made it to 94 episodes. Mar 3, 1985: Moonlighting - "Moonlighting" - Bruce Willis, anyone? May 11, 1991: Sisters - "Moving In, Moving Out, Moving On" - This seemingly "small" series had 127 episodes. Sep 12, 1993: Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman - "Pilot" - Teri Hatcher Butler also directed many episodes of "The Dick Van Dyke Show," and essentially began Kurt Russell's career - he also did a *lot* more than I've listed here (I've listed only the pilots that he directed). I think that *just* directing the pilot of "Star Trek" is enough to make Butler famous, but considering everything he did on top of that? This man is an absolute legend - and I'd never even heard of him. Sometimes it takes a non-expert to shed light on a subject, and I hope I've done that here - Mr. Butler deserves it.
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