Posts Tagged ‘ london ’

Jack in the Box Unveils Bacon-Flavored Milkshake

February 8, 2012
Jack in the Box Unveils Bacon-Flavored Milkshake

The “technically vegetarian” beverage isn’t listed on the menu. Read this article: Jack in the Box Unveils Bacon-Flavored Milkshake

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“Bored” Clerk Caught Watching Porn During Rape Trial

February 8, 2012
“Bored” Clerk Caught Watching Porn During Rape Trial

A veteran court clerk in London caught surfing porn sites during a rape trial said he did so “because he was bored.” View original post here: “Bored” Clerk Caught Watching Porn During Rape Trial

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Year in Eater : Friends of Eater Recall Their Single Best Meals of 2011

December 29, 2011
Year in Eater : Friends of Eater Recall Their Single Best Meals of 2011

As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, bloggers, and readers. We’ve already covered Top Newcomers , Top Standbys , Best Dining Neighborhood , 2011 described in one word , and Biggest Dining Surprises . Now, Best Meals. Readers, please add your thoughts to the comments. [Scarpetta, Beverly Hills. Elizabeth Daniels ] Q: What was your single best meal of 2011? Lonny Pugh, LA editor, Urban Daddy : Scarpetta . It involved the spaghetti—one of those simple dishes that can’t possibly be as good as everybody says it is. But then it is. And then later you think it can’t possibly be as good as you remember. So you go back and have it again. And it still is. Stephane Bombet, owner, Picca: Gary Menes pop up dinner at Le Comptoir at Tiara Cafe. My favorite dish was his home made foie gras au torchon with balsamic vinegar and callery pears. Jonathan Gold, LA Weekly : A lovely three-hour lunch at Providence – Michael Cimarusti has quietly become the best chef in Los Angeles. Hadley Tomicki, LA editor, Grub Street : I’m still surprised I didn’t wake up at some point when Cimarusti, Ludo, Urasawa, and Zarate came together at Providence, but I’d have to say the kaiseki dinner I had at N/Naka , as I’ve rarely had such an emotional reaction to food. One side of the table was laughing in wonder, the other crying in joy. Lesley Barger Suter , dine editor, LAmag : I keep giving it love, but I’m going to have to say my first meal at Sotto : Bread with lardo, perfect pork meatballs, and that pizza, plus cannolis…all washed down with some amaro. Wolfgang Puck: I would say that my single best meal was at the Fat Duck outside of London if I exclude the meal that Tetsu made for me at Spago. Zach Brooks, Midtown Lunch : Do I have to choose between ink. and Son of a Gun … because I really don’t want to. Jeff Miller, LA editor, Thrillist : I was lucky enough to spend some major time in Las Vegas and got to eat at Bartolotta . Not only was it the best meal I ate all year, but that’s one of my favorite meals I’ve ever had. Every single bite was perfect. Yassmin Sarmadi, restaurant owner, Church & State: Chef’s Tasting Menu at Patina – I have always enjoyed Patina, but had not been for some time. Hands down this was one of my best dining experiences in 2011! George Abou-Daoud, restaurateur, Bowery Street Enterprises : Chicharron en Verde followed by Espinoza de Cerdo en Guajillo in Mexico City—-amazing. Lindsay William-Ross, LAist : This is probably the hardest for me to answer, because I can’t just say one thing! I did get to sit down to an amazing meal in the private dining room of Osteria Mozza for a dinner honoring Ruth Reichl where the guests were some amazing local chefs and food writers, which was made only more surreal by the fact that I was high on cold medicine. But a lot of my greatest dining pleasures came while traveling, like the half-dozen fresh oysters I had at Seattle’s Pike Place Market, or the epic meals at Julian Serrano and Sage at the Aria in Vegas with some of my food writing girlfriends. The donuts from The Doughnut Plant in NYC my boyfriend and I ate while walking around the Lower East Side one very cold Sunday morning in March after we flew in on a red eye. A White Spot burger in Vancouver. Anytime I got to share a table with a loved one, or experience something while I traveled, well, that’s my best meal! Daniela Galarza, associate editor, Eater LA: In LA – Picca . Outside of LA – Pok Pok. Maggie Nemser, founder, Blackboard Eats : At Joe’s in Venice with Walter Manzke as the guest chef serving an unforgettable Millbrook Venison with Sauce Poivrade. Josh Lurie, Food GPS : That’s a tough call. My meaty meal at Snow’s BBQ, about an hour outside of Austin, was pretty spectacular. Sooke Harbour House, situated right on the water in a spectacular Vancouver Island setting, was stunning for multiple reasons, including the hyper-local food. Still, since this is Eater LA, let’s go with something that’s actually in Los Angeles. One of my most recent blowout meals in L.A. was at Sushi Gen , where we let a friend take the lead, and he proceeded to order an onslaught of pristine seafood, including toro, uni, mirugai (giant clam) and amaebi (sweet shrimp). Seriously, how could that not taste good? And of course the people were fun, so that always helps. Kat Odell, editor, Eater LA: I would probably have to go with the epic Krug dinner I had earlier this year at Urasawa . Can’t compete with Hiro’s sushi and 15 bottles of vintage Krug divided between 10 diners… also had a surprisingly fun/flavorful dinner at Miss Lily’s recently in NYC. · Year in Eater 2011 [~ELA~] Go here to read the rest: Year in Eater : Friends of Eater Recall Their Single Best Meals of 2011

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Year in Eater : Friends of Eater Name Top Restaurant Standbys of 2011

December 28, 2011
Year in Eater : Friends of Eater Name Top Restaurant Standbys of 2011

As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, bloggers, and readers. We’ve already covered Top Newcomers. Now it’s time for Top Standbys. [Public Kitchen & Bar inside the Roosevelt.] Q: What were your top standbys of 2011? Lindsay William-Ross, LAist : Besides my neighborhood lunch haunts, I’d say I made happy multiple visits to Public Kitchen & Bar, Wood & Vine, Tony’s Darts Away, ink.sack, The Fat Dog, Taylor’s Steakhouse, Black Market Liquor Bar, Playa, Black Cat Bakery, Dominick’s, and Ray’s & Stark Bar. Maggie Nemser, founder, Blackboard Eats: Sakura House (mochi maki/shrimp gyoza), Ado (tuna tartar), Gjelina (mushroom pizza & tuscan Kale), Oscar’s (ambience + fried potatoes) Akbar (Bindi Masala, Chicken Tiki Masala). Hadley Tomicki, LA editor, Grub Street : A-Frame, Tacos Leo, Ramen Yamadaya, Jiraffe, Waterloo & City, MexiCali Tacos & Co., Fig, Coffee Tomo, Juquila, Centanni Deli, Daichan Kaiten, and La Colmena. Wolfgang Puck: Obviously, I spend a lot of time in my restaurants, especially with all of the new openings in 2011, such as CUT London and Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air. When I’m in LA, I’m always at Chinois, CUT and Spago, whether it’s in the kitchen or to entertain guests. When I’m not at my own restaurants, I always visit Matsuhisa, Angelini and Valentino. Lesley Barger Suter , dine editor, LAmag : Sotto, Barbrix, Jitlada, Ray’s, Black Market Liquor Bar. Lonny Pugh, LA editor, Urban Daddy : I live in and love Los Feliz. So when I’m not out trying somewhere new I can often be found at Little Dom’s, Speranza, Berlin Currywurst (a new favorite), Forage or pretending Covell’s charcuterie plate counts as dinner. I’m also firmly in favor of stalking food trucks at Barnsdall Art Park. Since we’re talking about LA, I’ll assume that counts as going to a restaurant. Jonathan Gold, LA Weekly : Jitlada, Europane, the Spice Table, Mozza, Sapp Coffee Shop, Golden Deli, My Taco. George Abou-Daoud, restaurateur, Bowery Street Enterprises : Singapore Banana Leaf, Sushi Ike, Guelaguetza, Spring Street Smokehouse, The Hungry Cat, Hunan Chili King, Natalie Peruvian, Rustic Canyon, and all of my places. Josh Lurie, Food GPS : Aside from all the Armenian flatbread places I hit in east Hollywood for breakfast, and Scoops Westside for coffee and ice cream? The Tasting Kitchen is a touchstone for seasonal Cal-Med-Italian cooking, a buzz-worthy vibe and great cocktails. Zam Zam Market in Culver City was a place I hit a few times for flavorful Pakistani food that should probably never travel in a car, or at least a car that has closed windows. Dino’s Burgers #2 is another semi-regular stop for pollo maniaco, and they even remodeled in 2011. Fancy. Flor de Yucatan also had a recurring role in my life lately, for big portions of Yucatecan food, with many dishes involving pork, at ridiculously low prices. Jeff Miller, LA editor, Thrillist : I’m totally an Angeleno in that I stay in my neighborhood most of the time, so for that I thank Robata Jinya for opening walking distance from me. Not only is it the best ramen in my hood, it’s some of the best ramen in LA — and that’s not even acknowledging the chicken meatballs, or the seared yellowtail. It’s also got one of the greatest lunch specials in the city: $11 literally stuffs you. I’m there enough that I jokingly say to the server “see you tomorrow” as I leave — and sometimes, I do! I also gotta give props to the Izakaya on 3rd, which has the best sushi special I’ve seen at a higher-end sushi spot: $12.50 gets you a monster-sized chirashi with ultra-fresh fish, as well as miso and salad. Respec’. Daniela Galarza, associate editor, Eater LA: A-Frame, The Tasting Kitchen, Picca. Kat Odell, editor, Eater LA: Dean Sin World, The Tasting Kitchen, Pa-Ord, Huckleberry, Golden Mean, True Food Kitchen, sugarFISH, Hiko, Sunnin, Caffe Luxxe, Eveleigh, Bay Cities, Farmshop, Picca, Public/Library Bar/Spare Room, A-Frame, Scarpetta, Hostaria del Piccolo, The Bazaar, Venice Beach Wines. · Year in Eater 2011 [~ELA~] Read this article: Year in Eater : Friends of Eater Name Top Restaurant Standbys of 2011

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Derek Fisher practicing

December 3, 2011
Derek Fisher practicing

http://www.youtube.com/v/a6-HR0D8dvA?version=3&f=user_uploads&app=youtube_gdata See the original post here: Derek Fisher practicing

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Derek Fisher at Lakers’ volunteer workouts

December 3, 2011
Derek Fisher at Lakers’ volunteer workouts

http://www.youtube.com/v/3vuc5_BXLMc?version=3&f=user_uploads&app=youtube_gdata Derek Fisher at Lakers’ volunteer workouts More: Derek Fisher at Lakers’ volunteer workouts

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Tamie Adaya: West Hollywood: A Cultural Gem

December 2, 2011

Nestled between Beverly Hills and Hollywood, and bordered by the Santa Monica Mountains and an honor guard of mega-billboards, West Hollywood, the Creative City, is one of Los Angeles’ finest examples of the culture of the cutting-edge. WeHo is home to 39,000 full-time residents, yet plays host to a weekend influx of 78,000 who come to take advantage of world-class shopping, dining and events the likes of the annual Vanity Fair Oscar Party and largest Halloween Street Party in the world; quite the attractive blend of intimacy and vibrancy. A two-square-mile city, WeHo natives put the “nobody walks in LA” cliche to rest. There are only three Cecconi’s Restaurants in the world, one in London, one in Miami and one, at the Melrose Avenue and Robertson Boulevard intersection, in the heart of WeHo. Cecconi’s is an absolute must for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or unparalleled Italian Tapas. Just down the block on Melrose, you’ll run into one of my favorite hair salons, Galvin & Benjamin, breathtaking boutiques such as Maxfield , Marc Jacobs , Alexander McQueen , Paul Smith , Miu Miu …and if you’re a vintage-maven like me, just a few blocks further east and you’ll find some of LA’s best kept secrets, selling gowns and formal-wear from the 20′s, 30′s and 40′s. The City’s “Art on the Outside” engages visitors and residents with innovative artwork. Currently WeHo is hosting seven colossal abstract sculptures from world-renowned contemporary artists along the grass median of Santa Monica Blvd, historic Route 66. Sprinkled throughout the city and also running through June 2012, you can also find multi-lingual poetic municipal signs by artist Rebecca Lowry. But, the cherry on top of WeHo at the moment, lies within MOCA’s Pacific Design Center Space, where former Dior Homme designer, YSL art & collections director, and International Designer of the Year, Hedi Slimane demonstrates a uniquely experiential & uplifting breed of story-telling with his exhibit “California Song.” On the ground floor Slimane’s ‘California years’ black-and-white photographs are framed in unfinished wooden boxes and separated from one another by mirror’s, offering individualized vantage points to take stock of the series of narratives being whispered in the intimate space. A genuine look at California’s rock and roll heritage is splattered throughout the gallery, from monochrome portraits of Francis Bean and her mother Courtney Love, Beach Boy Brian Wilson and up-and-coming lead-singer Christopher Owens, set next to iconic images of broken down squats, vintage pontiacs against the Pacific Ocean and a blurry look at the American dream. The top floor, produced exclusively for MOCA, showcases an outstanding sonic & motion-picture installation. Photographs are projected onto a cube in the center of the room, surrounded by speakers, inviting you to soak up your own version of Slimane’s slightly morose exploration of youth subculture & beauty culture, and the immersive intersection of fashion as art & photo as literature. “California Song” will be on display at MOCA’s Pacific Design Center space in West Hollywood through Jan-22, 2012. The rest is here: Tamie Adaya: West Hollywood: A Cultural Gem

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Floor Plan Porn: 740 Park Avenue

November 9, 2011
Floor Plan Porn: 740 Park Avenue

SELLER: Courtney Sale Ross LOCATION: New York City, NY PRICE: $60,000,000 SIZE: Titanic YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Buckle your real estate safety belts butter beans because Time Warner widow and philanthropist Courtney Sale Ross has just re-listed her monumental duplex apartment in New York City’s s 740 Park Avenue with an asking price of $60,000,000. Y’all are in luck this time around because Miz Ross not only listed the behemoth apartment on the open market yesterday, she and her Real Estates included photographs and floor plans for her sprawling spread located near the top of the impossibly posh, exceedingly exclusive and hideously expensive 17 story limestone-clad edifice. Back in 2008 Miz Ross quietly floated her colossal co-operative apartment–an awkward quasi-combination between two already halaciously huge high-floor duplex units–on the market back with a rumored and reported price tag of sixty million clams. In May of this year (2011) the two-unit mega mansion-sized apartment was semi-officially listed when it was reported in the Wall Street Journal that Miz Ross had made them available together (at sixty million bucks) and separately, one for twenty-five and the other for thirty-five million. Perhaps the simplest way for the less-luxurious living children to attempt to comprehend the magnitude of Miz Ross’ ree-donkulously gigantic apartment is to peruse the floor plan (above) including with the listing. By Your Mama’s count the Ross residence spreads out over 2 floors and encompasses 30 (or so) rooms with more than two dozen closets and dressing rooms, 9 full and 3 half bathrooms, 6 principal bedrooms that include a sprawling master suite with private sitting room, 2-3 staff bedrooms, 7 wood burning fireplaces, 6 separate landscaped terraces (none of them particularly large), 2 grand entrance galleries each with swooping floating staircase, 2 living rooms (one 35-feet long and almost 20-feet wide), two dining rooms, 2 well-equipped chef-friendly kitchens, two libraries, and one game room/gym. Brace yourselves for this puppies because not only is the palace-sized co-operative apartment currently priced at a toe-curling $60,000,0000, listing information shows the monthly maintenance totals $28,087 per month. No babies, that is not a typo. According to Your Mama’s bejeweled abacus that comes to a blood curdling $337,044 each year. Miz Ross is making the two apartments available for purchase together–at $60,000,000–or separately. The smaller 14-room duplex comes with a $25,000,000 price tag and the larger 16-room duplex is listed at $35,000,000. Sixty million bucks might quite logically seem like a frighteningly high and unrealistic amount of money for Miz Ross to ask for her pair of not completely combined duplex apartments. In fact, Elise Knutsen over at the New York Observer is taking bets on how much the combo-crib will sell for and when. (She says two years and $42,000,000.) However, it seems to Your Mama that Miz Ross and her Real Estates just may have timed the market right for despite the ongoing global economic turmoils–Hello Italy, Greece and Zuccotti Park–the super rich, those immune to even the steepest of economic down towns, seem to be in a spendy mood to acquire lavish and insanely priced properties. Por ejemplo, at just 22-years old Formula One racing heiress Petra Ecclestone is already a major international real estate baller. Not only did she reportedly drop $100,000,000 of Daddy Ecclestone’s dinero on a massive mansion in London late in 2010, she also threw down $85,000,000 in cold hard cash –allegedly mostly borrowed from her former model mother Slavica–for Showbiz widow Candy Spelling’s hulking, 55,000 square foot house in Los Angeles’s hoity-toity Holmby Hills ‘hood. In New York this last summer, telecom heiress Sloan (Lindemann) Barnett and her businessman husband Roger Barnett unloaded their historic Peter Marino-designed Upper East Side townhouse in a private deal worth $48,000,000 to notoriously peripatetic Band-Aid heiress Libet Johnson. The children may recall that Mister and Missus Barnett just paid $33,000,000 to acquire a 17,000-plus square foot San Francisco (CA) mansion long owned by the recently deceased, couture-clad iconoclast and international high society maven Dodie Rosekrans. The Barnett’s new house, just a block from their old smaller but still huge house, sits hard up next door to a contemporary mansion owned by Oracle multi-billionaire Larry Ellison who himself has spent more than $100,000,000 over the last few years snapping up a trio of non-contiguous compounds that hug the punishingly pricey shore of Lake Tahoe.

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John Mirisch: Fight on for UCLA: Rejecting a Westwood-Adjacent Subway Station

October 7, 2011

This article is not about the Century City subway station. Let’s for a moment assume that birds are chirping, children are playing, the sun is shining and everyone is pleased as punch at the Century City alignment. Let’s assume the tunnel is smack dab between Santa Monica Blvd. and Constellation Blvd. and that there are portals on both of those streets. And so we leave the scene, with the happy, well-adjusted commuters, subway users, schoolchildren and surrounding residents, never more to be seen in this article. Heeding the sage advice of Horace Greeley (or the Pet Shop Boys, as the case were), let’s move one station down the line and let’s turn our attentions west to Westwood. Yes, the area that is the home of UCLA, one of our finest educational institutions and an obvious target for subway access. The station planned for the Westside extension’s Purple Line is known as the “UCLA/Westwood” station. If nothing else, the station name alone seems to indicate the station’s intentions of proudly serving the “sons — and daughters — of Westwood.” Even in the world of college rivalries, where USC is getting the benefit of the new Expo line station, this balance makes a lot of sense. From a transit policy perspective, a station at UCLA makes even more sense than that: creating a viable public transportation option to access one of the region’s most important institutions is what public transportation’s all about, isn’t it? USC gets its station, now UCLA gets its station. Let the best team win, right? Not so fast. All this would seem well and good if there were a level playing field. Let’s not forget: this isn’t the U.S. Supreme Court, where the idea of “leveling the playing field” is both taboo and anathema at the same time — as if fairness were not a basic American value. But how fair is a football game when one team is allowed, say, 30 scholarships more than the other team? And just how useful and functional is the “UCLA” station when it’s not really near UCLA? The “UCLA/Westwood” subway station is planned to be located at the intersection of Wilshire Blvd. and Westwood Blvd. The distance between Wilshire and Westwood and Pauley Pavilion, located towards the southwest part of the UCLA campus, which stretches all the way up to Sunset, is about three-quarters of a mile. It’s a major hike, and way beyond all reasonable parameters for subway access. In fact, the distance to the Veterans’ Administration campus is actually less than the walk from the proposed Metro station to Pauley Pavilion. And, by the way, the Veterans’ Administration is itself the site of the next — and, for the time being — final station of the entire extension. Is the Veterans’ Administration a bustling hub of urban activity? Does it have nearly as much activity on a daily basis as the UCLA campus? Not only will the VA be better served by the subway through its own station, it will actually be better served by the UCLA/Westwood station than UCLA itself. Doesn’t make a lot of sense, now does it? Perhaps Metro thought that the naming of the UCLA/Westwood station would solve all its problems. “Hey, we have a UCLA station. See? It says so on the sign over there.” But this “strategy” seems to be the transit equivalent of sticking an “organic — no trans-fat” label on a box of Fruity Pebbles and calling it health food. How is it possible that UCLA got so royally shafted by the subway station location without so much as a peep from the self-styled transit advocates? UCLA gets a station the better part of a mile away from the campus, while USC gets a station close to both the campus and the Coliseum. Heck, the USC campus can actually be reasonably accessed by multiple Metro stations. Where are the protests and where’s the uproar? Where is the Self-Appointed Transit Truth Squad (SATTS) when you really need them? Perhaps they’re all dyed-in-the-wool Trojans? Perhaps they’re Bruins who are so embarrassed about UCLA basketball’s decline that they want to spare fans the indignity of seeing the Trojan basketball team beat the pants off of Coach Wooden’s heirs at Pauley? Perhaps they’re afraid of offending Metro CEO Art Leahy? Despite degrees from both institutions, Art Leahy hardly seems divided when it comes to his own loyalties. As LA Streetsblog wrote in an interview with him: “When entering Metro CEO Art Leahy’s office, you can’t help but notice that he’s a sports fan and a native Angeleno. His wall is decorated with USC football paraphernalia… When staff that happened to graduate from UCLA are in the room, they get ribbed.” Perhaps the location of the station the ultimate way to rib UCLA acolytes: “Yeah, you beat us in football in 2006, but wait’ll you Bruins get a load of where the ‘UCLA’ station is — ha ha ha!” Or maybe the station location is the ultimate payback for UCLA pranksters’ painting Tommy Trojan blue and gold. OK, I admit: that might be pushing it a bit. Of course, Art Leahy, who himself answers to the Metro board, wasn’t trying to give the Trojans yet another competitive advantage, but there aren’t really a lot of better explanations as to why the SATTS isn’t hot and bothered about the UCLA station. So what are the real reasons behind this “UCLA station that’s not a UCLA station”? Let’s begin our attempt to answer this question by stating the obvious: there is no question that a station in the middle of Westwood Village would better serve the UCLA campus and UCLA community and the Village itself, along with continuing to serve the office buildings along Wilshire. The middle of the Village would seem to have everything that Metro purports to value in a subway station, with both ridership and access to one of the most important educational institutions in the region. So why not build the station where it makes the most sense? For one, Metro is suggesting that there are construction-related issues. We’ve heard that the streets in Westwood Village are narrow and it’s difficult to find room for the construction equipment. While that may be true, we’ve also heard on numerous occasions from most of the SATTS that most potential obstacles are but small bumps in the road for Metro. We’ve heard how construction of a subway in an earthquake zone is no problemo. We’ve heard how long-term construction impacts are basically non-existent and how there is no task that Metro and modern engineering are not up to. So the streets in Westwood are narrow: big deal, big shmeal. Ever been to Rome? Or London? Or Paris? Ever seen how narrow some of the streets there are or how some of the subway stations seem to fit into the most irregular spaces? Surely, the engineers at Metro are up to the technical challenges and could figure out how to build a station in Westwood which would actually serve the needs of the UCLA campus, as well as the surrounding areas. But placing the eponymous UCLA station the better part of a mile away from UCLA isn’t just about construction or engineering challenges. One of the other reasons we’ve heard about not building a subway station with better access to UCLA in the middle of Westwood Village was that the westward extension of the subway towards the VA would necessitate tunneling under a cemetery. Again, we’ve heard from the transit crowd that “there are subway tunnels under synagogues, churches, schools, department stores, and dance studios. Heck, there’s even a subway tunnel under the Pentagon.” So why should tunneling under a cemetery preclude Metro from picking an alignment which will actually serve UCLA? Is it a safety issue? Is it a potential noise and vibration issue? We’ve heard from Metro : “Since the first segment of the subway opened in 1993, Metro has received no complaints about noise or vibration due to subway operations. Additionally, in the North Hollywood area, there are sound recording studios adjacent to current subway tunnels.” So the inhabitants of the cemetery can rest assured that their eternal rest will be disturbed by neither noise nor vibrations. And that should mean that the best station location to serve the living should be chosen. Yet flying in the face of the actual geographical location of UCLA and the demographic make-up of Westwood, a number of the transit hipsters have seriously tried to suggest that the intersection of Wilshire Blvd. and Westwood Blvd. is actually the best location for the UCLA/Westwood station. Guess they don’t actually need to access the UCLA campus or care whether the students and faculty can or can’t. It seems like they’re being protective of Metro and thinking politically rather than logically in trying to justify something that really can’t be justified. Their response is that Sepulveda line — someday, somehow — may actually come to serve the UCLA campus. But even if a Sepulveda line to the Valley is actually built someday, somehow, it won’t do much to ameliorate things. Just look at the map. They’re still going to have to tunnel under the cemetery to get anywhere close to UCLA. If they really want to, that is. Perhaps therein lies the true answer. Another “explanation” I’ve heard for not building the UCLA/Westwood station in the center of the center of Westwood Village is that “UCLA students all live on campus and don’t have cars.” Of course, even if this attempt to rationalize the station location blunder were true, then these students would be in even greater need of convenient public transportation to connect them with the rest of the city, especially considering the hundreds of thousands of hours in reduced bus service Metro is imposing upon their bus system and their riders each year. However, we read that a large number of the students who live close to the campus do, in fact, have cars. And we read that those cars create problems in parts of Westwood. As the LA Times wrote earlier this summer: “For decades, Westwood residents — many of them UCLA students — have packed their cars into driveways in such a way that they block sidewalks and spill out into the street. They argue that the makeshift, but illegal, practice is the only way to deal with a critical lack of parking around the campus and in the Westwood Village area.” The Times article reports further that solution to this widespread “apron parking,” which many in the neighborhood consider to be a nuisance, was a draconian program of relentless ticketing. Wouldn’t an accessible subway station be a better solution? As one of the students quoted in the article says, “It’s pretty impossible to get around without a car.” One would think that a convenient Metro station would encourage such students to “leave the driving to Metro.” One would think that a UCLA subway station that actually served UCLA would go a long ways towards alleviating the massive parking problems in Westwood, including those created by apron parking. One would think that a subway station that actually served ALL of Westwood would have massive benefits beyond the currently planned “Westwood adjacent” station location. One would think. But then one would actually have to think. Perhaps the greatest irony is that, in conjunction with Metro’s reduction of bus service throughout the region, we can read in Metro’s own FAQ about the Westside Subway that their advice to would-be commuters to UCLA is to “take the bus.” Writes an anonymous Metro wag on the Metro site: “There is already significant bus service in the Westwood Village area provided by Metro, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, Culver City Municipal Bus Lines, UCLA Transit and others that provide many connections between Wilshire and the campus.” So essentially Metro is spending billions of dollars on the subway including on the so-called “UCLA/Westwood” station so that people who want to go to UCLA can… take a bus. Way to go, Metro. Why would it be unsurprising to expect the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the “UCLA/Westwood” station to be accompanied by the Trojan Marching Band playing a rousing version of “Fight On.” Metro’s TOD (transit-oriented dissing) of the entire UCLA community, including its students and faculty, could hardly be any worse. If all else fails in determining the proper location for the subway station, let’s put the UCLA/Westwood station location to the Yaroslavsky Test, that nifty transit-oriented version of the Pepsi Challenge. In the words of Metro Board member and LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, himself a UCLA grad: “Any schoolchild will tell you that the center of the circle is in the middle of the circle and not at the edge or at the tangent.” Presumably Yaroslavsky’s circle statement also applies to UCLA students and grads, notwithstanding the fact that USC now for the second year in a row has topped UCLA in the U.S. News and World Report ‘s college rankings. And the center is… (Drum roll, please). And so, yes, even according to the rigorous and sophisticated standards of the Yaroslavsky Test, the UCLA/Westwood station should be located in the middle of Westwood Village; in fact, it must be located in the middle of Westwood Village; to be sure, it can only be located in the middle of Westwood Village. Or to use the words of Century City Chamber of Commerce honcho Susan Bursk: “”[When it comes to the location of a subway station], we have one opportunity to get this right.” Metro, are you listening? Or are you only able to hear the stirring tones of Alfred Newman’s “Conquest” from “The Captain from Castille,” as you make the “V for Victory” sign with your right hand, bending your arm forwards and backwards to the music’s relentless rhythm? As much as I delight in the cardinal and gold, perhaps for the sake of transit sanity, we can prevail upon Dr. Bartner to take his band downtown to Metro headquarters. Dr. Bartner, could we please — please — ask you to play “Sons of Westwood”? For the sake of the region. Just this once? See more here: John Mirisch: Fight on for UCLA: Rejecting a Westwood-Adjacent Subway Station

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Raw Video: Dramatic crash caught on UK dashcam

August 23, 2011
Raw Video: Dramatic crash caught on UK dashcam

Police in Surrey, England near London released dramatic dashcam video showing a BMW crashing into a police car, then hitting a barrier. The driver was later caught after a foot chase. (Aug. 2)

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Raw Police Video