Archive for Los Angeles

Getting Organized to Start Off 2018

Starting Off in Grand Fashion

Happy New Year! Manigong Bagong Taon! Feliz Año Nuevo! I spent last night ringing in the New Year at Grand Park in Downtown Los Angeles, which has been doing their #NYELA event for the past five New Year’s Eves. I’ve gone to them every other year (to ring in the even years, incidentally – 2014, 2016 and now 2018) and each time the event has gotten better. Centered around a high-tech digital projection show on the west face of Los Angeles’ City Hall (which turns 90 this year), what started out as a quiet projection show has now blossomed into a multi-stage music event with a small fireworks display at the stroke of midnight. The crowd was large, and grows every year, but very lively, very civil, and not too packed where one can’t move around. I was even able to meet up with my friend Maya in front of the main stage below City Hall just in time to see the big show at midnight (my own video above). Los Angeles has come a long way since the anticlimactic lighting of the Hollywood Sign as an anemic attempt to ring in the new millennium.

To My Heart’s Content

I’ve had this site for over five years but have really neglected the potential of this blog (paying my annual hosting fee for nothing more than a glorified email server…), citing things like procrastination and wasting time on Facebook, among other things. But since we’re starting off the year, a time when people traditionally make resolutions, this is actually a fulfillment of one of them.

During my nearly 10 year-long love/hate relationship with Facebook, I’ve been prone to sharing my original jokes, memes, musings, and life experiences on my FB posts, but because of the sudden discontinuation of (and sister Gothamist sites) in November of last year (hey, this is the first time I referenced 2017 as “last year,” cool…), whereby over a decade of content was gone forever, leaving their writers with nothing to link past work with for future opportunities, or even the use archived articles for historical reference, it gave me pause to wonder, “How much of my online content online do I actually own?” The content on Facebook is, for all intents and purposes, the property of Zuck and Co., and not mine or yours. If one day FB were ever to go Error 404 on us, then…our prized moments, photos, videos and other posts would be gone forever. Since I own this blog, and have the whole WordPress thing set up anyway, I might as well use it. So here goes…

Annual Traditions

The biggest New Year’s Day tradition here in Southern California is an internationally-recognized floral procession followed by a collegiate football match. Many people have various New Year’s Day traditions; in the past I’ve spent The First Day Of The Year doing things like going to family parties, hiking, attending church, going on a bike ride, going to a brunch hosted by some new friends I just met the night before, or just vegging out at home. This year was more like the latter, but with a purpose: It’s time to get organized, yo.

Email organization

Into the “2017” folder you go, email from last year!

I decided to just spend the day at home getting things in order aside from cleaning up my room, I also devoted time to organizing my email folder [above], moving all my mail from last year into the “2017” folder, deleting all unnecessary email (marketing/list email, “me too” replies and the like, while archiving any emails that contributed to my life story over the past 12 months) and starting from a near-empty inbox.

Photo folder archives

How I organize all my archived cell phone pics on my PC. And yes, I rock both a PC and Mac.

Another New Year’s ritual is the (Semi-) Annual Archival Of My Cell Phone’s Photos and Videos. Since I got my first digital camera in 2001, I have made it a point to regularly move my photos off of the memory card and into year-organized folders on my computer (with subfolders organized by month – named as “01_January,” “02_February” etc. so they will show up in chronological, and not alphabetical, order on the computer). Not only does it free up memory for the card, but it also allows for an archive of my photos. That way, if I need to recall a photo from a certain event, I can simply call it up by date. And thanks to the high amount of available data storage in memory cards, and the more ubiquitous use of phones as both still and video cameras, I do this archiving thing every January and July, starting off with a blank DCIM directory twice a year. I also back up these photo directories onto an external hard drive for safekeeping.

New year standards

Yes, I actually filled a whole page with “2018” handwritten 156 times. Because that’s just how I roll.

On a decidedly less technical realm, here’s an annual New Year’s tradition I’ve done since I was in elementary school: Getting used to writing the new year [above]. Due to habit, most of us are still prone to writing the previous year on homework, on reports, on checks or other sorts of documents. So to combat that, I forced myself to do “standards” and write the name of the new year repeatedly on a piece of paper. That way, training myself via muscle memory would get used to me writing out the new year.

I guess I should be ready to face 2018, now that I’m organized, or at least somewhat so. Let’s see if I can consistently keep up this blogging thing…

New Year’s Eve on the Red Line

I ride the Metro Red Line subway to work every day. But it’s usually never like this, when during New Year’s Eve at around 9:30 p.m. (where all rides are free and trains run for 24 hours), a bunch of passengers decided to applaud and cheer random strangers boarding the train (I was one of their “victims” earlier :)). Happy New Year!

New KCET Article: Is Los Angeles a West Coast City?

My first article in almost a year just made the site today. It’s part of the Lost L.A. section, a piece on Los Angeles’ true geographical location, titled, Is L.A. a West Coast City? For Many, It’s the East. Or the North.

Quoted, Contributed to KCET Article

That’s little me (in the overalls) at a Filipino provincial association picnic in Redondo Beach, circa summer 1973.

I contributed a few quotes and a picture to a recent article today. Hometown Picnics: How Newcomers Kept Memory of Home Alive in Los Angeleswritten by my friend and fellow local history aficionado, Victoria Bernal, contained a few quotes from me on how picnics, holiday parties and other social events organized by organizations in the Filipino American community contributed to the cultural fabric of Los Angeles. I also scanned a picture from my early childhood, with my dad and little 1 1/2 year-old me at the Boholanos of Southern California, Inc annual picnic at Veteran’s Park in Redondo Beach, taken in June 1973.

Aussie-Pie L.A.: Bronzed Aussie Brings Down Under To Downtown

When I first visited Australia in 2009, one of my fondest memories was riding the train around Sydney and stopping at a pie shop for a cheap meat pie right outside the train station. Fast forward four years later, and I could pretty much do the same thing here in my hometown, thanks to Bronzed Aussie.

Downtown is where it’s at now, and this one-of-a-kind restaurant in Los Angeles is a pleasant surprise. I can take the Metro to the 7th Street/Metro Center station and walk or bike down to Los Angeles street (the food court does have bike parking racks) and drop by here.

I came here on a Saturday and though the place wasn’t packed, there was a steady stream of customers, most of whom were Australians seeing what this place was about (or at least feeling homesick). I had a ground beef pie, a spinach & feta roll and a large cappuccino.

The pie was excellent, the crust was the right kind of flakiness, and the meat filling, though slightly greasy, was downright flavorful. The spinach and feta rolls were excellent. The cappuccino, true to what I experienced in Australia, came with some fancy designs on the surface — that’s a big part of the cafe culture there. My only complaint was that the cappuccino wasn’t as hot as I had expected (though stil entirely drinkable).

They also sell frozen pies to go, at about a dollar less than the ready-to-eat versions. I bought a Thai Chicken Curry pie, a chunky beef pie, and a couple sausage rolls to take home. I also had a Lamington, which I never had in Australia – basically a cube of sponge cake covered in chocolate frosting and shredded coconut.

I’d totally come by here again, I even thanked Samantha, the owner, for opening up in a central and easily accessible (especially via transit) location in Downtown. A few years ago, there was a place called Mojo Pies in Redondo Beach that sold Australian meat pies, but they closed down (incidentally, I came on their final day and was their last customer…).

Incidentally, I had visited Samantha’s hometown of Manly, a beach town outside of Sydney on the Pacific Coast, which reminded me a lot of the Redondo/Hermosa Beach area. She told me she was originally considering opening the restaurant in that area, where she also happens to live in. And having visited her Australian hometown, I know that area reminded her of home.

This place is Fair Dinkum! Highly recommended for Aussies, Aussiephiles and eaters of all cuisines.

Bronzed Aussie, 714 S Los Angeles St, Downtown Los Angeles.