Archive: Westside

Entries in this category going back awhile

Elon Musk close to drilling under Pico and Sepulveda

whitts-wood-yard.jpg City Hall is pushing waivers from environmental studies so Musk can bore a 2.7-mile test hole south to Culver City.

Barnes & Noble closes in Santa Monica

bn-sm.jpg That leaves one chain bookstore west of the Grove, unless you count the new Amazon store in Century City.

5 things: Double politics, fake quake news, bike lane rage

wartzman-bottom-line.png "Left, Right & Center is one of KCRW’s most popular shows, on air and as a podcast..."

Kelly Wong, 29, Los Angeles firefighter

kelly-wong-wife-child-eric-leonard.jpg Wong was based in Rancho Park and was training at his new station downtown when he fell from a ladder and died.

What would Ray Bradbury say?

thom-mayne-home.jpg KCRW's Frances Anderton goes through the house that architect Thom Mayne built for himself on the site of Bradbury's longtime home in Cheviot Hills.

CicLAvia in Mar Vista

ciclavia-mar-vista.jpg CicLAvia returned on Sunday to the always popular Culver City to Venice Beach route.

Westwood's Regent theatre to close, become restaurants

regent-theater-bldg.jpg Westwood Village, once the place where big films opened, is about to be down to just two remaining movie houses.

FAA agrees to 2028 close of Santa Monica Airport

spirit-of-santa-monica.jpg Hard to imagine a bigger change to the infrastructure and environment of the Westside.

Norms Pico has definitely closed

norms-pico-closed.jpg The windows are covered, cones block the driveway and the We Never Close sign has gone dark.

Norms on Pico looks to be closing this month

norms-pico.jpg The local homeowner group says the 24-hour coffee shop will close December 31 to make way for a new development.

Santa Monica High kid gets photo gig in NYT Magazine

samo-girl-nico-young-crop.jpg Natalia, 18, got into Berkeley. Cropped to fit. Nico Young/NYT Magazine. Nico Young, an 11th grader last year at Santa Monica High School, is suddenly the envy of big-time and...

California Incline redo in timelapse

santa-monica-sign-incline.jpg The crucial transportation link in Santa Monica reopens today after being closed for more than a year.

Border Grill closing in Santa Monica after 26 years

milliken-feniger.jpg Chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken have been VIPs in the LA food scene since they opened City Cafe in 1981.

Expo Line buzz lifts rail system numbers

expo-line-train-sm.jpg Numbers are up enough on the newly lengthened Expo Line to stop the decline in rail ridership.

Expo Line to Santa Monica opened Friday at noon

bus-service-expo-line.jpg Train service returns to the beach city for the first time since 1953, though the old Red Cars were dead long before that.

Obama returns Thursday, Trump (not) here Friday*

la-traffic-file-art.jpg There's good news and bad news for Westside drivers in the president's schedule of fundraiser appearances this trip.

Bill Rosendahl, 70: Former councilman had cancer

rosendahl-gleonard.jpg The longtime Westside councilman and television host entered hospice care last month.

Photo: Another Starbucks coming in Santa Monica

starbucks-pico-sm.jpg A former stand-alone Kentucky Fried Chicken on Pico Boulevard is well along in its conversion.

Expo Line opens to Santa Monica on May 20

expo-line-bergamot-hymon.jpg Downtown to Santa Monica (or back) by train for the first time since 1953.

Ex-councilman Bill Rosendahl in hospice care

bill-rosendahl-mv-block-party.jpg He is at home in Mar Vista and "gravely ill," his successor, Mike Bonin, announced on Facebook.

Gold Line opens in March, Expo in May*

expo-line-cc-overhead.jpg Just in time, perhaps, because rail ridership is dropping in Los Angeles, not rising.

Our favorite hazardous LA sidewalk, now with cones

now-with-cones-prosser-sidewalk.jpg The sidewalk on Prosser Avenue in Rancho Park has been a trip-and-fall waiting to happen since at least 2012. We have the pictures.

Melvin Feuer: School volunteer was 92

mike-feuer-mel-mailer.jpg The father of City Attorney Mike Feuer died today. His talks with students at Castle Heights Elementary School were featured in a Steve Lopez column this year.

Bel-Air Camera in Westwood to close before Christmas

bel-air-camera-camera.jpg The family-owned store that opened in 1957 was sold just five months ago. Lots of other changes coming to Westwood Village soon.

Expo Line in Santa Monica gets first crash out of the way

expo-linecrash-arthur.jpg Train versus truck after an illegal left turn at 7th Street and Colorado about noon Thursday.

Santa Monica PD sends 19 cops to an apartment burglary?

seabrooks-smpd.jpg Two black women -- an executive rousted at gunpoint and the chief of police -- have varied perspectives of the same incident.

Hunting the water guzzlers of Bel Air

moraga-vineyard.jpg The Center for Investigative Reporting got the story rolling. Now Steve Lopez is on the case.

Fine Arts to be a Laemmle theater again

fine-arts-large.jpg The Fine Arts movie house on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, dark for five years, reopens Sept. 18. Opened in 1937 as the Wilshire Regina.

Hennessey + Ingalls to move to DTLA Arts District

hennessey+ingalls.jpg The 52-year-old bookstore is leaving Santa Monica for a new 5,000-foot bookstore space at One Santa Fe.

Gjusta written up by health inspector, given B grade

GjustaReport-7-15.jpg Inspection last month found too many flies, improper food prep and dirty fingernails among other violations. Bon Appetit's top new LA restaurant now has an A.

CicLAvia returns to Venice Beach with changes

ciclavia-venice-815.jpg Instead of 15 miles from downtown, Sunday's 6-mile route begins in Culver City. Here's the map and some tips to avoid bike and car congestion.

Trains moving in Santa Monica after 60 years (video)

expoline-clear-train-sm.jpg An Expo Line test train rolls where old tourist cars and freight trains used to run -- and where an Edison cameraman of the 1890s took some of the oldest footage of the LA area.

First grave in the LA veterans cemetery

lanc-flags-long-52415.jpg My post for Memorial Day includes a book excerpt and a visit to Los Angeles National Cemetery.

Mormon temple lawn goes brown

mormon-temple-brown-grass.jpg I don't know if this a drought measure or what, but the big expanse of green grass on Santa Monica Boulevard in Westwood is mostly brown.
venice-boardwalk-stalls.jpg Chief Beck has already said he's concerned about this shooting after seeing video footage.

New Expo Line stations getting their art

expo-line-west-art.jpg Metro is installing the artwork for the elevated station at Sepulveda Boulevard. Westwood/Rancho Park and Palms went first.

Sawtelle Japantown is now official

sawtelle-japantown-signage.jpg The city's first blue signs for the new district were unveiled on Sunday.

LA sidewalk homeless camp of the week (photos)

homeless-pico-expo-line.jpg Sunday on Pico Boulevard in West Los Angeles. Also: the sidewalk outside downtown's venerable California Club.

Days sound numbered for Norms on La Cienega

norms-la-cienega.jpg The news doesn't really get better for fans of the Googie-style Norms coffee shop.

In the Sawtelle district, a name change that makes sense

sawtelle-hide-sushi.jpg Designating Sawtelle Japantown has more local authenticity than Little Osaka or West LA.

Nordstrom leaving Westside Pavilion for Century City

nordstrom-westside.jpg Just as the Expo Line will be arriving, Nordstrom will be relocating to a much bigger space a few miles east.

Village Books razed but not forgotten

Village-Books-Demolition-Jan-2015.jpg The block in Pacific Palisades is being torn down for Rick Caruso's newest shopping area. But Bob Vickrey remembers.

Producer Megan Ellison, Annapurna Pictures step up to save Vidiots

vidiots-annapurna.jpg The producer of "Zero Dark Thirty" and "American Hustle" loves her video store, I guess.

Vidiots in Santa Monica to close

vidiots-smmirror.jpg Video store on Pico has amassed a collection of 50,000 titles over three decades.

Still life: Nate 'n Al's on a Saturday

nate-als-stillife.jpg One in a (possibly) occasional LA Observed series.

A new sign over West LA

variety-sign-wla-close.jpg The Variety logo that used to shine from the tallest office tower on the Wilshire Miracle Mile is now on the facade of a non-descript mid-rise on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Los Angeles.

Producer's 'detention' by BHPD creates big backlash

charles-belk-msnbc.jpg Charles Belk was at an Emmy event in Beverly Hills when he went out to feed his meter. He was stopped by police, cuffed and taken away as a bank robbery suspect. He says its about walking while black and his Facebook post has gone huge.

George McKenna elected to school board

george-mckenna-crowd.jpg Retired school principal George McKenna won the vacant seat on the Los Angeles Unified school board in Tuesday's runoff, using his long name recognition and backing by UTLA to defeat Alex Johnson in the divisive runoff.

Final layer of asphalt goes on Sunset Boulevard sinkhole*

paving-sunset-sinkhole.jpg The sinkhole created by that water main break near UCLA has been filled in and as of 20 minutes or so ago was being paved. Update: Sunset reopened early Monday morning.

Water lost in Sunset break doubles to 20 million gallons

dwp-sinkhole-balloon.jpg Enough water to sustain 100 families for a year was lost in the pipeline break that flooded parts of UCLA. More than 900 cars are stranded in underground garages and half of those may have been submerged.

Obama stops in Canters for some lunch chat

obama-at-canters-crowley.jpg Between the Brentwood high-roller breakfast and Trade-Tech, President Obama made a stop on Fairfax to have lunch and swap some stories.

Traffic guidance for today's visit by President Obama

Thumbnail image for obama-student4_mid.jpg Obamajam potential looks to be centered in Hancock Park and around the Four Seasons Hotel this afternoon and evening, then tomorrow in Brentwood and downtown at Trade-Tech.

Metro's 405 contractor sues the agency over delays

405-ramp-closed.jpg This seems like a twist in the long saga of the 405 freeway improvement project through Sepulveda Pass. Kiewit, the project's main contractor, is suing Metro — not the other way around.

Westwood Village newsstand to close

westwood-market.jpg Karl Johansson has run the Village Center Newsstand for 20 years, since shortly after he came over from Sweden. He's going to close down by the end of the month.

Light quake under Sepulveda Pass area bumped up to 4.2

shake-map-6-1-2014.jpg An earthquake of the variety that seismologists classify as "light" rumbled under the basin at 7:36, prompting a routine cautionary response from the LAFD and the usual suspects in LA media to do their over-excited thing on Twitter.
405-north-after-completion.jpg The northbound carpool lane that was the nominal reason for work on the 405 opened Friday morning. Time to look at what five years of work and $1.1 billion bought.

Pepy's Galley at Mar Vista Lanes may face eviction

pepys-mar-vista-front.jpg Plans to evict Pepy's Galley to make way for a supper club has inspired a Facebook group with 4,000 members and a petition site with 1,200 signatures. A bunch of those are probably LAPD motorcycle cops.
purple-line-extension-map.jpg Garcetti, Yaroslavsky and others witnessed the signing of papers this morning in Washington. "As public transit milestones go, they don’t get much bigger than this," Yaroslavsky blogged.

Pelican frenzy at Marina del Rey before fish die-off (video)

pelicans-mdr-crop.jpg On Saturday afternoon I came upon dozens of brown pelicans diving frantically into the shallow water on the edge of the Marina del Rey entrance channel, obviously enjoying some kind of unseen fish bonanza.
bradbury-home-front.jpg The Cheviot Drive home where Ray Bradbury lived and wrote for 50 years has been listed for sale at $1.495 million. It's open on Sunday.

Answer: No the NYT can't

nyt-mag-grab-33cd.jpg Question: Can the New York Times Magazine cover LA Westside politics without saying "Botox Belt" or "Nate 'n Al's"?

Former Robinsons in BH for sale again

Thumbnail image for robinsons-bh-hess.jpg The site at 9900 Wilshire Boulevard, just west of the Beverly Hilton hotel, would come fully approved for construction of a luxury condo project, says the LA Times.

Modernist William Krisel's iconic Brentwood home razed

krisel-home-shulman.jpg The iconic LA architect built his own midcentury masterpiece on North Tigertail Road. Krisel and the architectural preservation community were horrified to discover late last week that the home was being torn down.
robinsons-bh-hess.jpg The long-closed Robinsons store beside the Beverly Hilton near the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards is being razed (but apparently not today) to make way for a big new development called 9900 Wilshire. This mid-century modern Robinsons had a lot of fans.

Netanyajam comes to Westside today

405-traffic.jpg We do it for President Obama's visits, so take note: Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is coming to town this afternoon. Traffic jams will ensue thanks to closures.

Occidental, LA's biggest company, leaving for Houston

oxy-hq-westwood-lao.jpg Restructuring Occidental Petroleum will give up its longtime home at the busiest intersection in Los Angeles. “Energy companies feel very welcome in Houston and in Texas,” says the head of the LA Chamber of Commerce.

KCRW's Matt Miller joins race for Waxman seat

matt-miller-bw.jpg The race to succeed Rep. Henry Waxman in the 33rd congressional district just got more crowded. Miller will take a leave from KCRW and his Washington Post column.

This will be a bad traffic weekend around Sepulveda Pass

405-sepulveda-pass.jpg Westside, Valley side or up in the canyons — doesn't matter. Metro officials are urging everyone to avoid driving on the northbound 405 freeway or nearby over this holiday weekend.

Greuel's new team a little like the old team

greuel-media-mayor-race.jpg Greuel is going with old Villaraigosa hands to run her campaign this time, but Ace Smith and Sean Clegg also advised one of the so-called independent PACs that pushed Greuel for mayor last year.

Let the scramble begin for Waxman's seat in Congress *

33rd-distrisct-map.jpg Rep. Henry Waxman's decision to retire rather than run for another term makes available one of the Democrats' most valuable congressional districts.

Bobby Shriver to make Supes run official on Tuesday

bobby-shriver-web-grab.jpg Shriver and Sheila Kuehl are both of Santa Monica but they look to be the main choices for Democratic voters across a wide swath of Los Angeles County.

Thomas V. Jones, LA aerospace giant was 93

Thumbnail image for moraga-vineyard.jpg Jones led Northrop for three decades and after retiring created Moraga Vineyards and its respected winery on a slope in Bel Air — a premium winery within the city limits of Los Angeles.

Culver City Ice Arena has Feb. 2 closing date

culver-city-ice-rink-letter.jpg The figure skating and hockey cultures of the Westside are feverishly trying to avert the impending closure of the fixture on Sepulveda Boulevard where Wayne Gretzky practiced as an LA King (and before) and where generations of local kids learned to skate.

'Carmageddon' bridge over 405 opens

Thumbnail image for mulholland-bridge-dusk-thesource.jpg The rebuilt Mulholland Drive bridge opened this morning across the 405 freeway in Sepulveda Pass.

Another Ridley-Thomas elected to public office

tuttle-walters-srthq.jpg Sebastian Ridley-Thomas won outright tonight in the special election in the 54th Assembly District.

Obama meets with victims of LAX shooting*

marine-one-obama-ranchopk.jpg During a half-hour stop this evening at the Beverly Hilton before heading up the canyon to Magic Johnson's home, President Obama met with the family of Gerardo Hernandez, the TSA officer who was killed during this month's shooting at LAX. The President also met with two TSA officers who were wounded.

Five years later, owner drops plan to raze Dutton's

duttons-wake.jpg Early in the morning of February 25, 2008, I posted an item that I hoped not to ever post. "It is with profound regret and sorrow that Dutton's Brentwood Books must announce that it will be closing...."

Final Wilshire@405 fly-over ramp to open Thursday

wilshire-ramps-metro.jpg When the eastbound Wilshire Boulevard onramp to the northbound 405 opens, the transformation will be essentially complete at one of the city's most painful traffic choke points. The ramp project is done 13 days early.

High-rise fire at Brentwood Plaza

brentwood-plaza-fire-grab.jpg The LAFD sent a massive presence to a fire that broke out this morning on the 11th floor of the Brentwood Plaza residential tower at Wilshire Boulevard and Barrington Avenue.

Hammer Museum declares that art will be free

Thumbnail image for streetsc-lindbrook+westwood.jpg UCLA Hammer Museum director Ann Philbin announced at her annual Saturday night gala that the the Westwood galleries will switch to free admission in February. Hammer donors Erika Glazer and Brenda Potter are making the change possible.

Buggy Whip Steak House in Westchester: closed

buggy-whip-closed.jpg The La Tijera Boulevard standby had been around since 1949.

Morley Builders says CEO and son were in SMO crash

Mark Benjamin and his son Luke were on board the Cessna Citation that crashed and burned Sunday evening at Santa Monica Airport, according to Morley Builders, the longtime Southern California construction company.

Deaths in jet crash at Santa Monica airport

smo-jet-fire-grab.jpg Fire officials called the crash and fire "unsurvivable" for people on the plane, but they have not said how many crew and passengers, if any, were on board. The Cessna Citation business jet came from Hailey, Idaho, near Sun Valley, and can carry eight.

First flyover ramp opens at Wilshire and the 405

405-flyover-ramp-metro.jpg The Westside is starting to slowly wake up from its long traffic nightmare around the 405 freeway construction, known officially as the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project.

Soon as the 405 is done, more work planned for Wilshire

bus-lane-va-zevweb.jpg Soon after work wraps up in January on the new freeway ramps where the 405 crosses over Wilshire Boulevard, crews will begin tearing up Wilshire all over again — this time to add a dedicated bus rapid transit lane west of the freeway.

Press release o' the day: suggestive enough for Huffington Post

arrangement-finders-board.jpg The release flacking a raunchy billboard for a sexual service says the sign is near UCLA and targets students — but it's three miles away and never mentions students. Works for HuffPo.

Jurgensen's sign a Westwood history artifact

westwood-1931-huntington-geab.jpg Several LA Observed regulars knew right away that the mystery Jurgensen's Grocery sign posted last week can be found on Glendon Avenue in Westwood Village. There's nothing quite like the Jurgensen's chain in LA today.

Sunset Boulevard ramp off 405 to close for four months

sunset_off-ramp-graphic.jpg Just when you thought the endless 405 freeway upgrade project was becoming manageable and some of the quote unquote upgrades were opening for use, the freeway gods play a little joke.

Westwood and LAPD gird for protester 'fun run' this evening *

streetsc-lindbrook+westwood.jpg The LAPD has warned businesses in Westwood Village that mayhem is possible tonight when pro-Trayvon Martin protesters target the neighborhood. Protesters are expected to gather at Wilshire and Veteran about 6:30.

Another deli down: Jerry's in Westwood Village

jerrys-deli-ktla.jpg The Jerry's Famous Deli in Westwood Village closed its doors tonight, citing a disagreement with the landlord. Employees were given three days notice, according to manager Michael Angelo.

How the Getty found architect Claud Beelman's papers

oxy-building-from-west-lao.jpg Claud Beelman was one of those Los Angeles architects whose work spanned eras and dramatic changes in style. He's responsible for noteworthy LA examples as different as the Eastern Columbia building downtown and the office tower occupied by Occidental Petroleum and the Hammer Museum in Westwood.

Fifth victim of Santa Monica rampage dies

john-zawahri-smpd.jpg Marcela Franco, who was 26, died Sunday after her family decided to remove her from life support. She was leaving Santa Monica College on Friday with her father when they were both fatally shot by John Zawahri.

Garcettis come out to Mar Vista

garcettiselfie-bonin-eloymendez.jpg Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti has public events on his calendar most days already. On Sunday afternoon, he came to the annual Mar Vista Neighborhood Association block party on Barry Avenue with his wife, Amy Wakeland.

John Zawahri photo at Santa Monica High School

john-zawahri-laobserved2.jpg A student named John Zawahri appears as a junior in the 2006 yearbook. He did not appear a year later with the 2007 graduating class. Those grads would be 23 or 24 now.
kcrw-team-at-nprwest.jpg Video from inside the tense KCRW studios just before yesterday's evacuation. The U.K. band had to cancel last night's show at The Avalon. Will try again Sunday.

Santa Monica shooter had 1,300 rounds, ties to college

smc-gunman-video-grab.jpg One of the dead was a long-time employee of Santa Monica College. His wounded daughter is not expected to survive, the college president says in a statement. Media have identified the slain gunman as John Zawahri, who would have turned 24 today.
body-smc-evangeorge.jpg Police revised downward the number of deaths at multiple locations. They believe the shooter acted alone. KCRW staff was evacuated from the studios and moved to Culver City.

Traffic advice for Obama's visit on Friday

Thumbnail image for air-force-one-pictures.jpg As I mentioned earlier, the Obamajam potential for Friday's short visit by President Obama is not bad. He's coming in mid-morning and leaving early afternoon so the driving disruption should be localized. But it's still Santa Monica in tourist season, so traffic could be a challenge.

Antonio Villaraigosa, it turns out, is a Venice kind of guy

villaraigosa-dancing-ko.jpg When his term ends July 1, making Villaraigosa a bachelor free agent, he apparently wants to move even further to the west. A source tells LA Observed that Villaraigosa is looking hard at Venice (or already there.)

A horticultural update from Rancho Park

century-plant-update-megsullivan.jpg Remember our report in April on the twin agave century plants just starting to sprout in Meg Sullivan and Steve Roe's front yard? Well you better look again.

Rupert Murdoch buys Bel-Air vineyard and estate

moraga-vineyard.jpg The media mogul and possible buyer of the LA Times announced via Twitter that he has bought the Moraga estate on the Bel-Air ridge that faces across the 405 freeway at the Getty Center. Check out his tweet.

Councilman-elect Bonin names his chiefs of staff

molnar-mclennan.jpg Chad Molnar will be the chief of staff to incoming Westside city council member Mike Bonin. Laura McLennan will be deputy chief of staff. Both work for Councilman Bill Rosendahl, as did Bonin.

Road rage vs. cyclist in Beverly Hills (video)

Beverly Hills police are asking for help in identifying the driver of this car who appears to deliberately pin a bicyclist against a trash dumpster in an alley off Wilshire Boulevard.

Ciclavia got a bit backed up

cicLAvia_April_2013_crowd.jpg Many fans are loath to say anything negative about Ciclavia, but USC physics professor Clifford V. Johnson — as enthusiastic a supporter as there is — has some constructive criticism after Sunday's mass turnout across the Westside. One, there were too many bike traffic jams. More inside.

Sunday's cross-town Ciclavia: your guide *

ciclavia-map-42113.jpg The sixth version of Ciclavia is breaking out of the central city and extending west all the way to Venice Beach. Venice Boulevard and selected other streets will be closed to cars and buses from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Digital billboards go dark across town

venice-blvd-billboard-dark.jpg All the electronic billboards I usually see on the Westside were turned off today. The companies that operate 77 digital boards in the city of Los Angeles, Clear Channel and CBS Outdoor, were told by a judge to darken the signs by 5 p.m.

Something's growing b-i-g in Rancho Park

century-plant-meg.jpg Meg Sullivan and Steve Roe came home Sunday to find the agave in the front yard beginning to sprout the big reproductive thingy in the middle. Same for a nearby plant: two century plants sprouting at the same time. Anyone want to take pictures?

Pico-Robertson meat market sold

Thumbnail image for doheny-glatt-kosher.jpg A quick update to the story of the Doheny Glatt Kosher Meat Market, which has been accused of selling meat that isn't as kosher as advertised.

Pico-Robertson roiled by charges of non-kosher meat

doheny-glatt-kosher.jpg Doheny Glatt Kosher Meats has been for years "the premier retailer to kosher consumers in this densely populated Jewish neighborhood" of Pico-Roberston, the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles says. But the store has had its kosher certification yanked by the Rabbinical Council of California after an investigative report on KTLA said that the store sold meat that was not truly glatt kosher, a higher designation than merely kosher. The scandal keeps expanding.

Woe to the commuters of Coldwater Canyon

coldwater-closed-dwp.jpg For a month starting on March 23, the main canyon road connecting the Valley with Beverly Hills will be closed during the day. Coldwater Canyon Avenue needs to be dug up to replace the main water line installed during the William Mulholland era with a new trunk line.

Time travel: Car racing on Wilshire Boulevard (video)

wilshire-races-crash-grab.jpg From 1909 until 1919, a big winter road race was held in Santa Monica that attracted top drivers and thousands of spectators. Former Huell Howser producer Harry Pallenberg is posting a series of video documentaries on SoCal's racing history, and right now his website features the Wilshire Boulevard races.

Westside stench returns and the Pacific is blamed

marina-peninsula-beach.jpg Residents along the beach in Santa Monica and Venice complained early Sunday of a foul smell that seemed to be coming from the ocean. Readings on the water detected higher than typical amounts of odorless methane, so go figure.

405 northbound lanes opened early Sunday

405-work-buildings.jpg Metro, the agency in charge of the massive 405 freeway upgrade and widening project, announced that the weekend work was completed 29 hours early. It went to so well that no full shutdown of the northbound freeway was required, as originally threatened.

Check out the progress on the 405 project at Wilshire

405-wilshire-from-va.jpg The 405 freeway widening and upgrade project on the Westside and in Sepulveda Pass is about a year behind schedule. But if you haven't been through there in awhile, you might be surprised at the visuals. The skyline at the Wilshire Boulevard interchange is starting to look very different.

Colby Evett, model shop owner was 92

Thumbnail image for Evetts-model-shop-ad.jpg Colby Evett owned and operated Evett's Model Shop on Ocean Park Boulevard in Santa Monica. The store celebrated its 65th anniversary in January.

Expo Line West rising

expo-line-work-sepulveda.jpg Behind a construction fence on Pico Boulevard, what used to be the parking lot for Billingsley's Steak House and a medical marijuana dispensary is now taken up with bridge structures for the second, Westside phase of Metro's Expo Line light rail. More scenes inside.

Century City parking is going to cost you

century-city-parking-fa.jpg The Westfield mall at Century City is dropping out of the ranks of Los Angeles malls that let you park free for at least a couple of hours. Starting Feb. 1, it's going to cost a dollar an hour — up to three hours. After that, it's a dollar for every fifteen minutes.

Celebrate January and MLK Day with a swim

annenberg-pool-jan2013.jpg Remember how the big news in Los Angeles just last weekend was the cold? This winter weekend, the swimming pool at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica is adding extra hours for Martin Luther King Day.

Inside Billy Wilder's Wilshire Boulevard co-op

wilder-apt-curbed.jpg Billy and Audrey Wilder lived for decades in the Wilshire Terrace co-op building in the Platinum Mile stretch of Wilshire Boulevard between Westwood and Beverly Hills. The apartment is on the market for $1.049 million, with monthly homeowner dues of $2,812, says Curbed LA.

Street view of new Century Plaza Hotel

century-plaza-entry-plaza.jpg The City Council on Tuesday gave final approval for that $2 billion development around the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City. Here are details and what the front of the hotel would look like.

Evett's Model Shop to mark 65 years on Saturday

Evetts-model-shop-ad.jpg On a trendifying block of Ocean Park Boulevard in Santa Monica, between Bob's Market and Thyme Cafe, is a relic of another time. Owner Colby Evett, 93, goes to work every day, and is kind of famous in the world of models and radio-controlled airplanes.

LA New Year's Eve ritual: The smoking deaths billboard

smokingdeaths-bboard.jpg Westside playwright and screenwriter Gideon Brower has found community in the small crowd that gathers to watch the death counter on Santa Monica Boulevard reset to zero at midnight. "People cheer and drink champagne," he says. There's a twist.

End-of-year restaurant closure roundup

juniors-sign-wide-lao.jpg Junior's Deli in Rancho Park closes today at 5 p.m., and there are other longtime LA restaurants shutting down or already gone.

Junior's Deli can't face rent hike, will close within days

juniorr-deli-ext.jpg Longtime employes of Junior's Deli at the Rancho Park end of Westwood Boulevard were told today that the Westside landmark will close before the end of the year. A rent hike from the landlord is to blame, along with slumping business, say the sons of Junior's late founder.

Oscar Niemeyer, Brazilian architect was 104

strick-house-schall.jpg The modernist designed one home in the United States, the Strick House in Santa Monica. He never saw it.

Track 16 yields to the Expo Line

track-16-goodbye-kcrw.jpg Beside Olympic Boulevard in Santa Monica, bridge foundations are rising that portend the demise of a portion of the Bergamot Station arts complex, including the Track 16 gallery where many have attended events through the years. Lisa Napoli pays a little tribute for KCRW.

Santa Monica mayor resigns, heads to Sacramento

ad50-results-table.jpg Richard Bloom leads Assemblywoman Betsy Butler by 1,705 votes in this afternoon's essentially final update on the Nov. 6 election from LA County Registrar-Recorder Dean Logan. Bloom posted a resignation message on Facebook.

Bloom's lead grows again in AD 50, he claims victory

Thumbnail image for richard-bloom-portrait.jpg Santa Monica mayor Richard Bloom said he expects to be sworn into the state Assembly on Monday. Measure J creeps closer yet, but almost certainly won't pass.

Richard Bloom's lead grows in Westside Assembly race

richard-bloom-portrait.jpg Really, America? Tomorrow is three weeks from the election, and they're still counting votes. For the first time — these are not recounts, folks.

Expo Line work can proceed, state high court says

expo-line-work-sepul.jpg The California Supreme Court denied a request by Neighbors for Smart Rail for a stay that would stop construction on the Expo Line extension across the Westside to Santa Monica. The supremes agreed with previous rulings that there's no cause to stop work while the homeowner groups press their case that the project's environmental review made mistakes.

Bloom-Butler Assembly race too close to call *

With 100% of the precincts counted, but not all of the ballots, Santa Monica mayor Richard Bloom leads Assemblywoman Betsy Butler by 218 votes. That's out of 138,342 votes already counted. The county hasn't said how many provisional and uncounted ballots it thinks it has.

Time travel: Century City, 1968

century-city-1968.jpg This looks south down Avenue of the Stars from Santa Monica Boulevard, toward Pico Boulevard. The Century Plaza Hotel stood mostly by itself then.

New in West LA: Hardware store for women

osh-nursery.jpg My local Orchard Supply Hardware store on Bundy Drive has redesigned and rebranded as the kind of hardware store it says should appeal to women. You know: brighter colors, lower shelves, "aspirational images" and less of that masculine hardware stuff.

Bill Rosendahl's message to supporters in CD 11

bonin-rosendahl.jpg Here's the full text of the email that just landed around the 11th council district (Brentwood to LAX, basically) from Councilman Bill Rosendahl. He tells supporters that he intends to become a cancer survivor, but is dropping his reelection campaign and endorsing chief deputy Mike Bonin.

Rosendahl will not seek reelection, endorses chief of staff

Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who has been fighting cancer, plans to announce in a letter to his district tomorrow that he will not seek reelection in the spring, the LA Times reports.

Obama drops in on Katzenberg, other high rollers

ritz-carlton-tower-lao.jpg President Obama arrived at LAX a little after 1 p.m. and went right to a private gathering of donors in Trousdale Estates before tonight's concert and exclusive dinner downtown.

Time travel: 3rd Street (Promenade) in 1949

promenade-crossing-lao.jpg Before Santa Monica's 3rd Street shopping district hit the skids and was re-imagined as a pedestrian mall, it was the busy center of town. This photo was posted Sunday at the Vintage Los Angeles Facebook page.

Gundlach gets his stolen artwork back

That $10 million art theft at the home of Santa Monica bond trader Jeffrey Gundlach has been solved — or at least he has gotten his artwork back and two men have been arrested. I guess rewards work when they are big enough.

Media will pool helicopters for Carmageddon II

If things go right, there will be fewer media choppers hovering pointlessly above the ends of the closed 405 freeway during this weekend's traffic event. Or non-event, whatever.

Finally, something gets better on the 405

Sunset-Bridge-new-metro.jpg No, Carmageddon II is still coming this weekend. But the people behind Carmageddon had a ceremony out along the 405 freeway this morning to reopen the rebuilt Sunset Boulevard bridge.

Man falls to his death inside the Pacific Design Center

pdc-green-red-wehonews.jpg The man fell "from considerable height" on Thursday in the rotunda of the center's green building, WeHo News reports. Sheriff's detectives made a tentative determination that it was a suicide.

VA takes in millions while housing plans go nowhere

va-wla-out-window-npr.jpg NPR's Ina Jaffe calls the West Los Angeles "campus" of the Department of Veterans Affairs "one of the most fought-over pieces of property in Los Angeles." Indeed.

Westside tweets about second light quake in a week *

quake-map-9712.jpg Go back to bed. It's the lengthy, rocking, violent quakes that you have to worry about, not the puny 3.5 neighborhood shakers that are over in a few seconds.

Joel Silver's purchase of old Venice post office is official

venice-post-office-old.jpg The producer of the “Matrix,” “Lethal Weapon” and “Sherlock Holmes” series of films was officially welcomed to Venice by press release quoting Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilman Bil Rosendahl. Silver is moving his production company, Silver Pictures, into the former post office on Windward Circle built in 1939 during the Works Progress Administration.

Chris Burden's favorite Westwood office tower

helmut-jahn-tower.jpg Artist Chris Burden used to see the Helmut Jahn-designed Tower building at Wilshire and Midvale Avenue on his trips to and from UCLA, where he taught for 26 years. It's a "visually complex and satisfying office building" that gives him pleasure, as he explains.
mar-vista-firesta-palms.jpg That the south side of working class Mar Vista is upset about declining city services is a less joke-producing turn of events than exclusive Holmby Hills making noises about leaving Los Angeles. But the chances of the Mar Vista-to-Culver City movement going anywhere are equally non-existent.

Hotel Shangri-La discriminated against Jews, jury rules

Hotel_Shangri_La_Exterior.jpg The Santa Monica jury found that the Art Deco hotel on Ocean Avenue and its Muslim owner violated the rights of attendees at a Jewish gathering two years ago. Guests...

Hearse driver dies behind the wheel in Beverly Hills

beverly-hills-city-limits.jpg It appears to be just one of those things. A woman who had been en route to a funeral was found dead sitting in a hearse outside the Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunset Boulevard.

Westwood Village trees marked for the ax

westwood-trees-glendon.jpg Some sidewalk trees in Westwood Village are bearing signs that announce they will soon be removed. Like in many areas of the city, Westwood's sidewalks are being cracked or buckled by tree roots.

Holmby Hills group takes the chutzpah prize

holmby-hills-carolwood.jpg The neighborhood of Holmby Hills is one of the highest-income enclaves of Los Angeles, if not the highest. It has probably the least-used city streets — in part because of the questionably profligate use of no parking signs. But still, a small group wants to be traded to Beverly Hills because financially strapped LA City Hall won't fix a few potholes.

Tale of two ex-Bullock's stores in Westwood

westwood-village-aerial.jpg Target's new City store opened on Weyburn Avenue, but BeBe has vacated the original Bullock's department store location in Westwood Village.

That quake this morning was just a baby

Just a magnitude 3.7 earthquake but right under a pretty big population: a little north and east of LAX, and three miles south of Culver City. The shake map stays all blue though the measurement seems quite widespread.

Rhino Records, the video, needs your help

rhino-popup-poster.jpg Keith Shapiro grew up in Pittsburgh listening to Dr. Demento talk about a magical place in LA's Westwood called Rhino Records. Now he's making a movie. Check out the video.

Carmageddon II has a date: weekend of Sept. 28

I405-East-View-of-Mulholland-Bridge-5501.jpg Metro has decided when to drop the other shoe on the necessary weekend closure of the entire 405 Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass. The follow-up to last summer's disruptive but successful closure will begin about 7 p.m. on Friday, September 28. The freeway will be scheduled to reopen at 5 a.m. on Monday, October 1

Christopher Hawthorne considers Sunset Boulevard

sunset-junction-sign-100.jpgThe LA Times architecture critic's expanded essays based on walking the Los Angeles area's "iconic boulevards" took on Sunset this weekend. He previously visited Atlantic Boulevard.

Suspect in Ventura Blvd. vandalism: 58-year-old broker

encino-commons-sign-lao.jpg Michael Steven Poret has an investment brokerage office on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and a home in the posh hills of Encino. Still, police have now arrested him twice as the suspect in a siege of broken windows on Ventura Boulevard and in Beverly Hills.

Getty tightens the screws on parking a bit more

getty-entrance-view.jpg Research readers will now have to pay to park at the Getty, and automated machines are replacing the money takers out at the Sepulveda gate. Still $15 a car to get in, or $10 after 5 p.m.

Google Maps deems 'Tehrangeles' a (very specific) place

googlemap-tehrangeles-bldg.jpg Ask Google Maps to find you Tehrangeles, and it places the community on the upper floor of an apartment building in the 10600 block of Kinnard Avenue, between Westholme and Hilts avenues. That's in Westwood, about eight blocks east of Westwood Boulevard, the shopping street sometimes referred to as Little Tehran. Street view is even more specific.

Revisiting the Eames home after 57 years

schoener-eames-house.jpg No blogger has written this before, I suspect. Allon Schoener, the New York author transplanted to Boyle Heights who posts as The Reluctant Angeleno, recently visited the iconic home of Charles and Ray Eames in Pacific Palisades for the first time in a long time. "I had been there often between 1951 and 1955," he says. Let him explain.

Santa Monica's mean parking meters observed

santa-monica-sidewalk-meter.jpg Santa Monica is the largest city in the U.S. to convert to parking meters that reset to zero when a car leaves, the New York Times says in a story. Santa Monica officials insist it's not about the money, but UCLA's parking reform expert says of course it's about the money.

Also on Wednesday in LA: Obamajam

av-obama-lax.jpg President Obama returns to Los Angeles late Wednesday afternoon for yet another campaign fundraising appearance, this time at the the Regent Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. The event is a gay and lesbian community fundraiser for Obama. Here is some early traffic guidance.

Jim Rainey posts nice tribute to slain brother

James Rainey, the Los Angeles Times media reporter, posted to Facebook and tweeted a nice piece about his brother. Robert Rainey, the Palms chiropractor who was discovered beaten to death in his Venice Boulevard office on May 31, was a well-known runner in the LA area. The Raineys grew up in Malibu.

For Memorial Day: Just sayin'

lancflags06a.jpg There are more people interred at Los Angeles National Cemetery in Westwood than live in Westwood today. Or in Beverly Hills and Culver City combined. More stats for Memorial Day.

Brentwood Run canceled: fees too high, sponsors too few

brentwood-run.jpg The Brentwood 5k/10k Run on San Vicente Boulevard had become a Memorial Day tradition after 35 years. An email notice on Friday reminded runners and Westsiders who lined the route that "regretfully, the Brentwood Run has been cancelled for this year due to a loss in financial sponsorships."

405 project months behind, Carmageddon II delayed

Thumbnail image for 405-mulholland-bridge-zevweb.jpg The overall project is now four to six months behind schedule. This means that the plans to close the freeway over a weekend to finish tearing down the Muholland Drive bridge in Sepulveda Pass are now delayed at least until late summer. Plus: Wilshire Rampture by the numbers.

MTA board approves subway tunnel under Beverly Hills High

westside-subway-logo.jpg What was mostly at stake today was where to put the Century City station — the MTA board stayed with Constellation Avenue and Avenue of the Stars, inside the development.

Mountain lions spotted in Santa Monica, Griffith Park *

mountain lion courtyard-thumb-550x732.jpg The city of Santa Monica sent residents an email alert this morning saying that "2nd St. between Wilshire and Arizona is closed down to vehicular and pedestrian traffic due to a mountain lion sighting. The lion is contained and The Department of Fish and Game is in route." Plus the first known photo of a lion in Griffith Park. More Update: Lion shot and killed.

Urasawa the second most expensive restaurant in US

urasawa-daily-meal.jpg The Daily Meal did a web exercise of deciding the 25 most expensive restaurants in the United States. Urasawa in Beverly Hills came in at number two, after Masa in New York City. The average bill at Urasawa is said to be $1,111. But there are alternatives.

Two video views of Beverly Hills subway issues

westside-subway-logo.jpg The MTA board held a hearing today to listen to concerns from Beverly Hills about the agency's desire to tunnel under Beverly Hills High School and locate the Purple Line station inside Century City at Constellation Avenue. For various reasons some in Beverly Hills would like the station to be on Santa Monica Boulevard and the tunnel re-routed from beneath the school.

The four stooges break in to Apple store in Santa Monica

Surveillance video spotted four suspects, two males and two females, fleeing the scene. "Three fled north on the Promenade and the fourth ran south."

Carroll Shelby's LA connections and the Cobra *

carroll-cobras-venice.jpg Carroll Shelby, the auto racing legend who died last week in Dallas at age 89, apparently divided his time recently between Texas and Beverly Hills. The Southern California chapters of his career, though, are a pretty important part of the story.
rampmerge550.jpg in June, the rebuilding of the Wilshire Boulevard on- and off-ramps will begin a year-long traffic disruption in one of the nation's congested spots that will be so majorly disruptive it's being called The Rampture. We've been warning you this was coming. In case you were hoping it would just go away, it didn't.
santa-monica-sidewalk-meter.jpg The city bills the new parking meters as smarter and cooler. For drivers, though, they foretell some expensive lessons in how you can't cheat technology. Get ready for more tickets.

Expo Line grand opening at noon hour on Friday

expo-park-usc-station.jpg The grand opening to unveil the new Expo Line light rail train is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at the 7th Street/Metro station in downtown. That kicks off a weekend...

'20/20' drives down Sunset Boulevard, talks to celebs

lou-adler-abcgrab.jpg ABC devoted a two-hour "20/20" special edition this past weekend to Sunset Boulevard, "a curving slice of American romance running from the rough edges of East LA through the music of Hollywood, past the riches of Beverly Hills and ending at the Pacific Ocean." Well, not quite East LA, or even the Eastside, but hey it's the promotional side of national news — what do they know.

Frantic searches to set up shop in tony parts of L.A.

intermix.jpg With consumer spending on the rise, especially among affluent shoppers, it's little wonder that merchants are starting to compete for the most desirable locations.

Westside subway EIS/EIR goes with 7 new stations

purple+line+map+zevweb.jpg Metro recommends that the Century City station be at Constellation Boulevard and the Westwood station at Wilshire and Westwood boulevards.

The Grove, ten years later

seibu+lapl.jpg Curbed LA revisits ten things said about The Grove when it opened ten years ago today. Plus: Seibu department store.

The homeless of Beverly Hills 90210, in art

homeless-of-bh.jpg On Monday evenings, All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills feeds the homeless who show up on the church's patio at Santa Monica Boulevard and Camden Drive. Here's some art of them.

Work on 405 getting intense again (for drivers)

Thumbnail image for I-405-logo-color.jpg Midnight freeway closures this week and, as of Monday night, one direction or another of Wilshire Boulevard is subject to complete closure over the next week, starting each night at 8 p.m.

Architectural sites that define a fifth of LA County

reece-interchange-googlemaps.jpg They range from historic buildings such as the Dominguez Rancho Adobe and UCLA's William Andrews Clark Library on West Adams to cultural sites such as the Dunbar Hotel on Central Avenue, the Watts Towers and Angelus Funeral Home.

Fired editor in Culver City burns bridges and names names

I've been meaning for a few days to post this. The fired editor of the Culver City News tells all and reveals how the local free weekly works. Scott Bridges...

Beware Westwood: Obama is coming through this afternoon *

obama-piolin.jpg President Obama is scheduled to land at LAX about 4 p.m. After that traffic could suck for awhile in the corridor from Brentwood to Beverly Hills.

Proof that ficus trees are bad for the sidewalks

prosser-sidewalk-jg.jpg Judy Graeme noticed an especially bad sidewalk rupture on Prosser Avenue, just below Pico in Rancho Park.

New Year's Eve with the smoking deaths billboard

smokingdeathsbboard.jpg As the centerpiece of an end-of-year ritual it really works, says a writer.

Conan O’Brien to headline event for Geffen Playhouse

conan-geffen.jpg O'Brien, Nick Offerman and Patton Oswalt will take part in a family-friendly benefit for the Geffen Playhouse Story Pirates Play/Write program.

It's back to the Westside for next month's Obamajam

obama-piolin.jpg I guess it's good news that the president's main venue on Feb. 15 will be in Holmby Hills, at the home of soap opera producer and writer Bradley Bell and his wife Colleen.

Let the redistricting fun begin

white+horse+inn+lao.jpg The secret City Council district maps were released publicly today, revealing whose ox is being gored. As she foreshadowed, Councilwoman Jan Perry is among the gored.

Actor finds you can go home again

mueller+stahl+spiegel.jpg Armin Mueller-Stahl, the German actor who has settled in Pacific Palisades, recently returned to his birthplace in East Prussia to receive honorary citizenship. Oh, but it's so much more complicated than that.

UCLA in the 1940s — in color

A new history book, UCLA: The First Century, has hundreds of photographs of the campus through the years, but this might be my favorite.

Behold the captive noses of Venice

noses-of-venice.jpg A Venice landscape designer has a Facebook album of almost two dozen dog noses poking out as she walks by.

Drago to close Santa Monica restaurant

drago+logo.jpg Celestino Drago has decided not to renew the lease for Drago on Wilshire Boulevard.

More restaurant closures plus a couple of newbies *

mr-cecils-zoomout.jpg Mr. Cecil's Ribs on Pico is gone and Orris is going. But there are a couple of fresh new entries in Westwood Village.

Metro confirms trouble with 405 retaining wall

I-405-logo-color.jpg Metro says it has no cause yet for the failure of a retaining wall section on the 405 freeway improvement project in Sepulveda Pass.

Autumn colors come to Los Angeles

meg-sullivan-autumn.jpg Meg Sullivan photograph from the Rancho Park neighborhood.

Barnes & Noble looking for new Westside location

barnes-noble-westside.jpg Confirming what we reported in October, Barnes & Noble stores CEO Mitchell Klipper says the only reason the store is leaving Westside Pavilion is the mall's rent hike when the...

Shopping cart Christmas tree

shopping-cart-xmas.jpg Main Street, Santa Monica by Judy Graeme.

Expo Line turned over to MTA

jeans-shack.jpg The Expo Line has taken its next big step on the path from construction project to actual light-rail transit line.

A month later, LAT discovers Barnes & Noble closing

barnes-noble-window-clearan.jpg LA Observed readers have known since October about the Westside Pavilion store shutting down.

Wilshire and Barrington condo project shrinks in size

wilshire-barrington-curbed.jpg The 28-story condo tower once proposed for the vacant northeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Barrington Avenue has been downscaled to a six-story apartment building.

7 of 10 most congested freeway segments are here

405-looking-north.jpg The worst of the bunch, in the latest Texas Transportation Institute study, is supposedly the stretch of the 110 Freeway from Interstate 10 to the Dodger Stadium exit at Stadium Way.

Expo Line's next phase approved by PUC *

expo-line-rightofway.jpg The California Public Utilities Commission gave its go-ahead to the grade crossings proposed for the second phase of the Expo Line, west from Culver City across the Westside to Santa Monica.

Demolishing the 405's Sunset Boulevard bridge

Time-lapse video of the tear-down work on the north side of the Sunset bridge.

German Shepherds get a new Westside home

german-shepherd-arrivals.jpg LAPD K-9 units last week escorted the delivery of what the flackage calls 60 German Shepherds from a dog boarding facility in downtown.

Barnes & Noble Westside Pavilion: R.I.P. *

barnes-noble-westside.jpg Hushed talk has been around for a few weeks, but now the red clearance signs have gone up — 30 percent off on a lot of books — and store clerks acknowledged the news today.

Real Housewives of Westchester, the spoof

KCET producer Karen Foshay Kolesnikow and friends made this video as a school fundraiser.

Obama waffles while L.A. is fuming

obamajam-creshts-1011.jpg L.A. gets acquainted with a new level of Obamajam while President Obama himself stops for takeout and politics at Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles.

Beverly Hills has a major earthquake fault

fault-map5501.jpg A byproduct of the geological research for Metro's Westside subway extension is that the northern end of the deadly Newport-Inglewood Fault is better understood by scientists.

Feeling sorry for Westwood Village

streetsc-lindbrook+westwood.jpg Josh Stephens, the editor of the California Planning and Development Report, set up a recent event to brainstorm solutions to the decline of Westwood Village with a revealing passage on how much they are needed.

MTA experts recommend Constellation station in Century City

westside-subway-logo.jpg Metro's experts panel of seismologists, geologists and engineers also says tunneling poses no threat to Beverly Hills High School.

Video: Robert Redford in Westwood Village in 1965

Robert Redford romps on the roof and inside the Village movie theatre in Westwood in a 1965 clip shot by actor Roddy McDowall.

Hotel Bel-Air to return to protests by fired workers

blue-sign-belair.jpg Only about 12 of the 275 union workers who were laid off when the Hotel Bel-Air closed for renovations two years ago have been rehired

Would you believe the 'Rampture' on I-405?

sunset-bridge-1957.jpg On- and off-ramps serving Sunset Boulevard at the 405 freeway will start closing Friday for 14-day periods of rebuilding. It's the other shoe falling from the earlier demolition of half...

Obama on his way to Denver

If you were caught in traffic near Sunset Boulevard between Beverly Hills and Brentwood between 9:30 and 10 a.m., that was just President Obama heading for his helicopter.

Obama in for the night

So far the timing of the president's moves across the Westside seems to be smooth and on schedule.

LA Observed on KCRW: Why Obamajam annoys

sunset-strip-obamajam.jpg Coming up on my Monday KCRW commentary: why presidential visits are mainly traffic events for Angelenos, and why they also tend to create the worst jams.

Obama's day in California is underway

President Obama woke up in San Francisco, is in La Jolla now for a fundraising lunch and will be in L.A. this afternoon.

Here's your Obamajam advisory for Monday (and Tuesday) *

405-traffic.jpg Presidential visits (of both parties) typically create the most intense surface street traffic jams most of us have ever seen in L.A., but they tend to be localized and avoidable if you just plan ahead.

Missed it by that much: car on the edge

car-at-edge copy.jpg Check out the car hanging over the edge of a parking structure on Wilshire Boulevard near Veteran Avenue in Westwood.

Shepard Fairey art in Westwood

fairey-ww-cityproject.jpg The City Project has posted a series of photos of wall art that has been popping up in Westwood Village.

LA Observed on KCRW: East-West axis

jmichaelwalker-map-piece.jpg In my Monday afternoon column coming up on KCRW, I praise today's Expo Line groundbreaking in Santa Monica — and the Libros Schmibros bookstore at the Hammer Museum.

New literary map of L.A.

walker-map-hammer.jpg As part of David Kipen's Libros Schmibros pop-up bookstore at the Hammer Museum in Westwood, artist and author J. Michael Walker created a map that spans 23 feet by 5 feet that depicts L.A. literary figures.

Westwood Village hotel would squeeze in very small space

T0725WILSHIREGAYLEY.jpg The proposed Gayley at Wilshire would be wedged into an irregular-shaped-lot at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Gayley Avenue formerly occupied by a video store and gas station.

Next for the 405: closing the Wilshire ramps

wilshire-loops-as-finished.jpg "The feeling is that this could be much worse" than Carmageddon, says the president of the Westwood Homeowners Association.

While in L.A., NPR types do a few stories

NHMLA_IMG_4868_edit.jpg With so many NPR staffers in town the past week, L.A. stories are getting a good ride on the network.

Business as usual on the 405: night closures

Now that the big media event is over, it's back to the routine closures that users of the 405 freeway have experienced over the past several months. Here's tonight's partial list.

Bad news: 405 to reopen today *

It's been real quiet across the Westside with no 405 freeway spewing white noise for miles around. Villaraigosa thanks "the people of Los Angeles for doing their part."

Pre-Carmageddon traffic report

It's not bad out there. I came over Sepulveda Pass about 2 o'clock, and except for what seemed to be a bit of lookie-loo slowdown on both sides approaching the...

Janice Hahn elected to Congress *

With the final election night ballots counted, and most of the mail-ins tabulated, the county registrar says it's 54.56 percent for Democrat Janice Hahn and 45.44 percent for Republican Craig Huey.

LA Observed on KCRW: Preparing for Carmageddon

SEPULVEDA CUT 1962 AERIAL.jpg The Automobile Club of Southern California Archives have some stunning photos from the years in which the L.A. area was discovering its relationship with the car. Like this one.

Westside subway construction: the basics

westside-subway-rendering.jpg Metro has posted a six-page fact sheet on construction of the Westside subway extension, a project whose future is still tied to decisions yet to be made in Congress.

405 Carmageddon machine cranks up

kiewit-snake-soqui.jpg The latest news and gimmicks on the coming 405 shutdown, including the LAPD asks a favor of Lady Gaga.

That was prescient of Google

bulgerHouse.jpg The Google street view glimpse of the Santa Monica apartment house where Boston crime boss James Bulger was living shows a unit for lease sign up.

Boston crime boss James 'Whitey' Bulger nabbed here *

bulger-status.jpg Bulger, a fugitive since 1994, was reportedly arrested tonight in Santa Monica, the L.A. Times says citing "multiple law enforcement sources."

Shot fired this time at Century City jewelry heist

A robber hit the Fast Fix jewelry store in the Westfield Century City outdoor shopping mall about noon today, and while running to a waiting car he fired one shot in the air as a security guard gave chase.

Wingnut video swings at Hahn and misses

Craig Huey, the Republican running against Janice Hahn in the 36th congressional district, says he had nothing to do with it and called the video "inappropriate [and] highly offensive."

It's getting real in the Whole Foods parking lot

"It's how we live on the Westside of my 80 bucks for six things and get the heck out."

Santa Monica mayor running for state Assembly

Richard Bloom is getting in the race to succeed the terming-out Julie Brownley. Torie Osborn, the onetime adviser to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, is also in.

Coming up on LA Observed on KCRW

In tonight's column I visit Pacific Palisades, one of the city's richest corners, and hang around the bookstore the community could not keep open.

405 shutdown will be "heard around the world"

405-mulholland-bridge-zevweb.jpg How LAX is planning for the worst weekend ever. Isn't it weird how the best job of covering the 405 freeway construction disruption so far hasn't been by any traditional media at all, but by the websites of Metro and of Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky?

Bookstore down: Village Books to close its doors

laughlin0602.jpg Katie O'Laughlin announced today "with great regret and sadness" that she will close Village Books on June 30, after fourteen years in Pacific Palisades.
victoria-beckham-2011.jpg Gjelina's no substitution policy has always been ridiculously amateurish, but this time the Venice hot spot did its Menu Nazi act on Victoria Beckham. And Gordon Ramsay.

More testing tonight on the Expo Line

A three-car train is due to be tested on Metro's new Expo Line between today and Thursday.

No fireworks show in Marina del Rey this July 4

The county's Department of Beaches and Harbors website blames "budget curtailments" for the cancellation of the traditional beachfront fireworks show.

Details of the 405's weekend closure in July: it's Big

405detailsmap1.jpg When was the last time you saw a news release issued jointly by Caltrans, Metro, the California Highway Patrol, the Los Angeles Police Department and the L.A. Fire Department?

Big day at the Metro board meeting

Crenshaw-route-map-mta.jpg The MTA board passed its largest annual budget ever, held fares at current levels, gave support to — but declined to fund — a Crenshaw rail station at Leimert Park, and approved 7.7 miles of interrupted peak-hour bus lanes on Wilshire Boulevard.

405 update: What's going to happen at Wilshire

wilshire-loops-as-finished.jpg It's going to get a lot worse before it gets better — and be prepared for two years of disruption near the busiest intersection in Los Angeles.

Anti-circumcision vote could be coming to Santa Monica

A Notice of Intent to Circulate a Petition that would make most circumcision a misdemeanor was filed with the city of Santa Monica this week.

Bowen concedes, race now set in 36th district

It will be Democrat Janice Hahn and Republican Craig Huey in the July 12 runoff to succeed Jane Harman in Congress.
The only real surprise is that Craig Huey, the unknown Republican businessman who finished second in the 36th congressional district, didn't get more votes. Here's why.

LA Observed on KCRW: The freeway that ate summer

I-405-logo-color.jpg Tonight's KCRW column, airing at 6:44 p.m. talks about the massive I-405 freeway makeover and the plans to close the freeway for a weekend in July.

405 project: No more playing nice

I405-East-View-of-Mulholland-Bridge-5501.jpg All lanes of the freeway will close in Sepulveda Pass for an enitre weekend in July. You've been warned, but you will be warned again.

Obama pool reporter not a foodie - or a details person *

Pool reporter from the LA Times gets the name of Obama's restaurant wrong. Can't say she wasn't warned.

Obama media alert: it's Tavern *

tavern-grab.jpg There is no article in Tavern, and no solid news on how to avoid traffic from president Obama's visit this evening.

A bit more detail on Thursday's Obamajam

President Obama is scheduled to land at LAX at about 2:45 P.M. Thursday. He then has to get to the Sony lot for a 4:30 fund-raising appearance, then up to Tavern in Brentwood for dinner and another fundraiser.

Trutanich files papers to raise money for DA

The latest to form a fundraising committee is Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, who filed so he can accept checks to finance a run for District Attorney, if DA Steve Cooley decides not to seek reelection in 2012.

Santa Monica bombing suspect arrested in Ohio

Federal officials say Ron Hirsch, 60, was arrested Monday night in Cleveland.

Banksy pieces gone from PCH, Westwood *

banksy-pch-alcorn.jpg The tank painted with the words "This looks a bit like an elephant" was towed from the field along Pacific Coast Highway on Friday.

Debate you didn't know was on: will Jews ride the subway?

jj-cover-022511.jpg The Jewish Journal cover story this week poses the question to the community: will Jews support the expansion of Metro's subway, other rail lines and busways?

Much better snow view

alcorn-bikes-snow-22011.jpg And now from a real photographer: Jonathan Alcorn, out early Sunday at Marina del Rey.

Bowen not scared off by Hahn endorsements

debra-bowen-bee.jpg Bowen, the California Secretary of State, announced today that she will be a candidate in the special election to replace Jane Harman.

Playboy Mansion toll now 170

County Health says that 170 people who attended that party at the Playboy Mansion on Feb. 3 have since been reported as feeling symptoms afterward.

Playboy Mansion makes people sick, officially this time

playboymansionsat.jpg Many conventioneers go to the Playboy Mansion hoping for a special experience, but attendees at the DOMAINFest conference really did catch something special.

Rep. Jane Harman leaving Congress to run think tank *

Looks like there will be yet another p[ening and possible special election in the South Bay to Westside crescent.

Wilshire bus lane hits a snag with Rosendahl

metro-rapid-bus-320x200.jpg The proposal to dedicate a lane each way of Wilshire Boulevard to Bus Rapid Transit during the hours when the street is already at its most packed has picked up a new obstacle in Westside Councilman Bill Rosendahl.

Deal preserves Marquez family cemetery in Santa Monica Canyon

marquez-cemetery-ucla-today.jpg Ernest Marquez, who's a fellow author at Angel City Press, has been working to hold on to access to the cemetery, which through the years has been surrounded by homes and yards.

From Majestic Theatre to majestic Rockies

MDR Logo 3.jpg Robert Bucksbaum, the Majestic Crest Theatre savior who got out of the cinema biz last year, sent an email to his former patrons today saying he now owns a guest ranch in Colorado. And you're invited.

JPMorgan buys Fox Interactive Media offices in Playa Vista

The Hollywood Reporter calls the sale of the Horizon at Playa Vista, at about $300 million, "one of the biggest real estate deals in Los Angeles in years."

Friars Club in Beverly Hills coming down

friars-club-la.jpg The Los Angeles Conservancy sent out an alert this afternoon saying the owner of the 1961 building that housed the Friars Club has begun razing the unofficial landmark, with no plans yet filed for a new structure at the site on Little Santa Monica Boulevard.

Google's expansion includes space in Venice

binoc-bldg.jpg One of Google's new locations is the Frank Gehry-designed former Chiat/Day ad agency studio on Main Street with the distinctive binocular sculpture out front.

Peter Fonda finds body of suicide on Sunset Boulevard

peter-fonda.jpg Actor Peter Fonda was driving in Pacific Palisades this afternoon when he discovered an apparent suicide. Plus: Jane Fonda tweets.

Mystery Bookstore in Westwood to close

Ack. Another independent bookstore in Los Angeles is closing.

Further thoughts on the loss of Borders Westwood

Mark at LA Biz Observed has been watching the slow demise of the Borders chain, and in particular the Westwood Boulevard store near his home. Now Gendy Alimurung of the...

Alarm in Westwood Village about city parking garages

The plan to sell off the city parking garages is not going over well in Westwood Village.

Wilshire fly-over ramps on 405 confirmed

wilshire-ramp-graphic.jpg This might be the biggest thing to help Westside traffic congestion that is in the works.

Email: earlier threat kinda maybe similar to Chasen's

The Daily Beast runs an email, apparently of the Beverly Hills neighbor-to-neighbor gossip sort, reporting second-hand that someone saw a black man in gang garb brandish a gun at a driver on Benedict Canyon a week or so before Ronni Chasen's murder.

Broadway Deli is history *

The Broadway Deli, opened in 1990 by Bruce Marder and Marvin Zeidler, closed Monday after the landlord said the restaurant had to be out by Nov. 30.

Radio news vet to try new niche

kvb-grab.jpg Longtime radio reporter Michael Linder plans to launch a Venice Beach-based Internet radio outlet after the first of the year.

Publicist Ronni Chasen is the driver shot in Beverly Hills

Longtime Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen, 64, was found dead of five gunshot wounds about 12:30 a.m. today in her Mercedes-Benz E-350, which had crashed into a light pole on Whittier Drive just south of Sunset Boulevard.

Call it the Westside subway

wilshirechapel.jpg Today's MTA vote approving the Wilshire subway route leaves out the West Hollywood detour and the politically sensitive Crenshaw station, leaves undecided the dicey political question of just where the tunnel will go under Century City and Beverly Hills, and should put to rest for now Mayor Villaraigosa's inoperative "subway to the sea" meme.

Back to the beach for the Spirit Awards

No actual knowledge of what happened, but I'll assume L.A. Live lured Film Independent's last Spirit Awards Downtown with a special deal — then didn't offer it again for next...

36 hours in Santa Monica

The New York Times Travel section checks in on the Bay City with an update on what's interesting since Santa Monica Place reopened.

405 project gets serious again

I-405-logo-color.jpg Tonight the giant concrete muncher begins taking down the northern side of the Skirball Center Drive bridge over the 405 freeway deep in Sepulveda Pass.

Inside Robert Graham's Venice studio

robert-graham-studio.jpg has posted a slide show of scenes from inside the late artist's "imaginarium" in Venice, along with features on Graham and on Angelica Huston.

Community wins big change on 405 project

mulholland-bridge-550.jpg Caltrans and Metro have all but finally decided to alter the way the impressively high, 1959-era Mulholland Drive bridge is replaced during the I-405 widening project. It's a simple change that will reduce headaches and could save $10 million.

Flying man of Venice

jeb-corliss-flying.jpg Jeb Corliss wants to be the first person to jump out of an airplane and land safely without a parachute.

Majestic Crest to keep showing movies

Robert Bucksbaum, who recently announced he is giving up the Majestic Crest theatre in Westwood, says in his final email to customers that a chain will be taking over and continuing to show movies.

First Friday on Abbot Kinney

firstfriday910e.jpg Abbot Kinney Boulevard's sidewalks were packed for tonight's monthly First Friday extravaganza — with pictures — plus an exhibit for L.A. Times photographer Carolyn Cole.

Three men shot to death in West Hollywood

Three bodies were found in an apartment shortly after "shots fired" calls came in from the 600 block of North Kings Road, just off Melrose, about 9:15 p.m. West Hollywood...

Beverly Hills pedestrian sting: 53 tickets

The Beverly Hills PD cracked down on drivers failing to yield to a plainclothes officer crossing Wilshire Boulevard at Palm Avenue, the intersection where the city says it gets the most complaints.

Majestic Crest theatre in Westwood sold

Email about one of the city's cinema treasure from owner Roebert Bucksbaum, who saved the theatre from closing once and has been trying to sell it since 2008.

Geez, people really want to go shopping

The freeway alert sign on the 10 West approaching Santa Monica is warning people this afternoon that parking in downtown Santa Monica is full. It's because of today's opening of...

Placing a subway station in Westwood

Westwood-UCLA-Station-Slide2.jpg Say that Metro Rail ever reaches as far west as Westwood Village. It's going to need a station. But where should it go?

WeHo News has been sold

A controlling interest in WeHo News, the West Hollywood cyber newspaper, has been purchased by Mark Hundahl and David Stern, the partners in Frontiers Media LLC, which publishes the gay magazine Frontiers IN Los Angeles.

Sunset Blvd. bridge, 1957

sunset-bridge-1957.jpg he Sunset Boulevard bridge over the 405 freeway in Brentwood is being torn down, piece by piece, for replacement. When it was completed in 1956, the road was still being called the Sepulveda Freeway.

Bringing the Expo Line to life *

Mark posted this earlier at LA Biz Observed, but everybody I've shown it to loved it so much here it is again.

Sunset curve the scene of bad accident

A head-on crash this afternoon involving a semi-truck and more than one car blocked all lanes of Sunset Boulevard for awhile at Bellagio Road, adjacent to the north side of UCLA in a spot called Dead Man's Curve in L.A. lore.

What Stephen Kanner meant to Westwood Village

IN-N-OUT-WW-KANNER.jpg A tribute that Westwood restaurateur and community leader Steven Sann wrote about architect Stephen Kanner, who died Friday of cancer at 54, shows how one architect can freshen and re-shape a place like Westwood (itself planned in the 1920s) while honoring its past.

Tonight's 405 closures

Thumbnail image for I-405-logo-color.jpg Lane closures after 10 a.m. at Sunset Boulevard.

Live chat with the boss about 405 project

I-405-logo-color.jpg Mike Barbour, the project manager on the big 405 freeway rehab and widening project from the Westside through Sepulveda Pass to the Valley, will take questions on the Metro website from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

Westwood traffic gummed up *

westwood-traf-520.jpg There's some kind of demonstration on Wilshire Boulevard in front of the Westwood federal building

Tonight's damage on the 405

Thumbnail image for 405projectlogo.jpg Expect a busy night of work and traffic disruption on the San Diego Freeway below Sepulveda Pass (on the Westwood side, not the Valley side.) Here are the scheduled closures.

Dismantling the 405: Be very afraid

Hoe-ram550.jpg The 405 freeway widening project begins a new phase this week, and you're not going to like it. Got to be done, but still — beware if you can. There will be full freeway closures at night this week and next heading up into Sepulveda Pass from the Westside, for restriping of lanes. That's because this month a giant "hoe ram" — a crane equipped with a massive jackhammer — will begin smashing the Sunset Boulevard bridge over the freeway.

Inside the Brody mansion in Holmby Hills

brody1AB-nyt.jpg Since the prize of the Frances and Sidney Brody art collection — “Nu au Plateau de Sculpteur” — sold at auction last night for a record $106.5 million, the New York Times offers a look inside the mansion where the Picasso used to hang.

Rhino Records to return for charity

From May 17-31, Rhino Records will re-open near its original Westwood Boulevard location. Rhino, which closed in 2006, did the resurrection by pop-up thing during the holiday season in 2007....

Another Pinkberry melts away

pinkberry-abbot-kinney.jpg Since we seem to be on the Pinkberry closure beat now, let it be noted that the Abbot Kinney outpost of the empire — mildly controversial when it opened two Julys ago — shuts down on May 3.

Original Pinkberry (the one in WeHo) closes

pinkberry-wehonews.jpg The little shop on Huntley Drive where you or someone you know probably lined up for tart yogurt-like icy stuff — and possibly earned a parking ticket or two —...

L.A. milestones o' the week

apple-pan-logo.jpg The Apple Pan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar turn 63, plus Jackie Robinson and the Hollywood Freeway.

Myrna Loy statue returning to Venice High

myrna-loy.jpg Myrna Loy crossed over from the silents to carve out a career as the witty, urbane type in 1930s Hollywood fare. She attended the Westlake School for Girls, but for decades a statue said to be based on her stood outside Venice High School. Venice alumni raised the money to restore the sculpture, and on Saturday a restored sculpture will be re-dedicated.

Attempted assaults at UCLA lead the news

All the TV stations I saw tonight went live from UCLA due to a fifth recent attempted sexual assault on or near the campus.

Westwood Village movie house gems saved

westwood_village_theater.jpg The Bruin and the older Village (the one with the Fox sign on the tower) are being taken over by Regency Theatres.

End of the line for Broadway Deli?

broadwaydeli_logo_small.png A big rent hike and the desire by the landlord to break up the space at the south end of Santa Monica's 3rd Street Promenade looks like it spells the end, the Santa Monica Daily Press says.

Beverly Hills makes ready for a celebrity mayor

delshad-cruz.jpg It's not quite the return of Will Rogers, but when Jimmy Delshad rotates into the office of mayor tomorrow he will become the country's highest-ranking Iranian-American public official. Again.

Pacific Palisades loses its last video store

palisades-blockbuster.jpg With the local Blockbuster closing, Tabloid Baby blogs that the community at the far end of Sunset Boulevard from Downtown — home to Hollywood heavies such as Steven Spielberg, Kate Hudson "and until yesterday, Peter Graves" — will be without a bricks-and-mortar video outlet.

Work resumes tonight on the 405

405projectlogo.jpg You'll start to see K-rails brought onto the San Diego Freeway tonight as part of the carpool lane and bridge repair project in and around Sepulveda Pass.

Police back off hit-and-run in Brentwood girl's death

No criminal charges are expected in the death of Julia Siegler, a 13-year-old eighth-grader at Harvard-Westlake School who was struck by two cars Friday morning while crossing Sunset Boulevard.

405 work moving along

Picture 4.png Metro just tweeted that restriping of the northbound lanes has been completed for now. Southbound restriping won't begin until March 3 at the earliest.

Checking in with the real Sharona

sharon-alperin.jpg Sharona Alperin was a 17-year-old at Fairfax High School and the girlfriend of the lead singer, then 25, when The Knack's 1979 hit My Sharona made her name famous.

Roadside fires quickly put out in Sepulveda Pass

Northbound freeway traffic was snarled briefly near Getty Center Drive.

Equator Books in Venice, RIP

equatorbooks-to-close.jpg Sunday at midnight is the final closing for Equator Books on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. The owners sent a note to customers and friends saying, "We ask that you come by...

Village Books puts out the appeal again

village-books-logocrop.jpg This past season wasn't so great at the independent bookstore in Pacific Palisades, so they're asking customers to come in for a 25 percent off sale this weekend.

Tiffany robbery in Century City a tad underplayed, no?

tiffany-cc.jpg Three, four or five armed men in ski masks walk through Century City's outdoor shopping mall, storm into Tiffany and Co., order the employees on the floor, then use hammers to smash the jewelry cases before fleeing with loot — and they aren't seen by dozens of nearby shoppers at 6:30 p.m.?

It takes a military man to fix the 405 freeway mess

mike-barbor-featured.jpg When work begins Wednesday night on the Sepulveda Pass Widening Project — the first full closure of the northbound freeway is after midnight — Metro's man in charge will be an Iraq veteran.

Palisades bike rage driver gets five years

Superior Court Judge Scott T. Millington expressed doubts about Dr. Christopher Thompson's remorse for stopping short and injuring two cyclists on Mandeville Canyon Road. Millington also claimed the five-year sentence...

Three years of hell on the 405

405projectlogo.jpg Think the new construction project only affects the freeway? Ho ho ho. goes after Prop. 13 *

The first story to benefit from collaboration with Los Angeles is a report by the Garment & Citizen downtown that seems aimed at getting country clubs on the Westside...

Alien invasion in Santa Monica

battleofsm.jpg Residents of Santa Monica have been warned to expect low-flying military helicopters over the city during the lunch rush on Tuesday. It may look and sound like a war zone,...

An angel in the flesh

Angelo incarnato.jpg Leonardo da Vinci's "Angel in the Flesh" is hanging this week at the Italian Cultural Institute in Westwood, the drawing's first public showing ever in the Americas. The piece used...

In praise of Madame Wong

madamewongband.jpg While we're on a bit of a music jag, Esther Wong was the godmother of punk in Los Angeles. Her restaurant-clubs in Chinatown and Santa Monica would be in the...

Broad's museum sites considered

Since we broke the news Friday night about Eli Broad's museum talks with Santa Monica, there have been copycat blog posts — plus a nice mention by Tyler Green at...

Broad museum talking to Santa Monica

At the Broad Art Foundation's 25th anniversary event tonight in Santa Monica, there was talk that a museum for Eli Broad's art collection — formerly contemplated in Beverly Hills —...

Be the hardest-working reporter in L.A.

Actually, Santa Monica. The Santa Monica Daily Press is hiring a GA reporter. Full-time there means 10 to 12 stories a week, some holidays and weekends, and "if there’s a...

Orso closing by Nov. 21

The Hollywood power lunch spot near the Cedars medical buildings on West 3rd Street is soon to shut its doors, after 20 years. “It’s not without some sadness and remorse,"...

Movie premieres moving Downtown?

The new Regal Cinemas' L.A. Live Stadium 14 debuts officially on Tuesday with the first showings of Michael Jackson's "This Is It." Variety sees the new Downtown cineplex — which...

Delay in Expo line

Phase 1, going from downtown to Culver City, was supposed to be finished in 2010, but now they're talking about only a partial opening. Spokesperson Gabriela G. Collins tells Curbed...

Worries near SM Airport

Talk about a story that's going nowhere fast (the above video is from 2007 and not much has happened since). As the FAA and the city of Santa Monica...

'Julie & Julia' & the Crest

cresttpanorama.jpg Tonight's main showing of "Julie and Julia" ended with applause from the crowd at the Westwood Crest Theatre, but the first ovation of the night was for owner Robert Bucksbaum....

LA Sketchbook: Westwouldn't

sgWestwood.jpg News items: Westwood movie future bleak and Westwood's Mann Festival RIP. Click the cartoon to view it larger. See more by Steve Greenberg in his LA Sketchbook archive...

Westwood's movie future bleak

Today's L.A. Times follows on our Thursday night news about the Festival theater closing and adds a triple whammy of bad news for Westwood: Mann is giving up its leases...

Westwood's Mann Festival, RIP

anseladamsww.jpg Hat tip to the New Beverly Theater's Twitter poster for noticing that the Mann Festival has put up a final message to patrons. Known previously as the Egyptian (and as...

Watch for subway crews

metrodrilling.jpg This week's exploratory subway drilling is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday at San Vicente and Gracie Allen (that's near Cedars-Sinai), Wednesday in UCLA parking lot 36 near Wilshire and Veteran,...

Salonen's musical sauna

salonensauna.jpg Esa-Pekka Salonen's house in upper Brentwood has gone on the market for $4.1 million. It has six bedrooms, 5.5 baths and a chilly Scandinavian demeanor throughout. Check out the sauna...

Century Plaza goes national

centuryplazadovarganes.jpg Tomorrow's New York Times real estate page ventures into the Century Plaza preservation dispute. Diane Keaton, listing the hotel's supposed glories, likens the design to a "sexy woman surrounded by...

Don't block the driveway in Venice

veniceparking.jpg When visiting Venice, notes the blog Yo Venice, "it is advisable not to block a driveway when you park your vehicle. Odds are that two towing trucks, two parking enforcement...

Fire moving away from Getty, Mt. St. Mary's

alcorngettyfire.jpg Smoke is much reduced out here. Jonathan Alcorn shot this photo when the plume was still growing....

Wildfire forcing evacuation of the Getty

1cGettySmoke.jpg The Getty Museum is being evacuated down through Brentwood as a precaution due to a fire burning in brush a ridge or two to the north in Sepulevda Pass. Damn...

Protesting Ahmadinejad

iraniansalcorn2.jpg Local Iranian-Americans demonstrated today against the election results and ensuing violence in Tehran, in the usual spot outside the federal building on Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood. Jonathan Alcorn has...

Rosendahl thinking big

Westside city councilman Bill Rosendahl admits that he is actively considering a run for the U.S. Senate if Dianne Feinstein steps down in 2012. This even though, as the LA...

Live by flakkery, die by....

Now that the owner of the Century Plaza wants to tear down the hotel, Dakota Smith at Curbed LA dug up what developer Michael Rosenfeld's release said when he bought...

A little Yvonne Burke joke *

A local journo wonders in email if the new Yvonne Brathwaite Burke Park in Marina del Rey, near where the retired county Supervisor used to claim she lived, will have...

Psst, how about Arnold to start a newspaper?

arnoldharleysmall.jpg Author and Slate blogger Mickey Kaus has several friends at the Los Angeles Times, but for years he has been advocating the demise of the paper — partly in the...

Venice remembers Marvin Rand

Architectural photographer Marvin Rand was 84 when he died on Feb. 14. Along Abbot Kinney Boulevard, where he kept his studio, Rand is being called one of them — a...

Santa Monica Airport closed by crash

A private plane has crashed and burned on takeoff at Santa Monica Airport. The plane stayed on airport property. Channel 2 says two people on board are believed to have...

Robert Graham as gang counselor

Author and former state Senator Tom Hayden, writing at the Huffington Post, praises the late sculptor Robert Graham for his quiet work with the street gangs in Venice. In the...

Herb Katz, Santa Monica ex-mayor

The city of Santa Monica website says that Katz, a member of the City Council, died today with family and close friends by his side. The family appreciates everyones prayers...

Tom Hanks steps up for Village Books

Village Books struggles to get by in the little shopping district of Pacific Palisades, but things seem especially grim on that street this year. The bookstore has loyal fans, though,...

Crest Theatre put up for sale

Owner Robert Bucksbaum, who saved the Crest Theatre on Westwood Boulevard and turned it into one of the most fun movie venues in L.A., has listed it for sale after...

Scratch another Hamburger Hamlet

Sign on the Sepulveda and National Hamlet on the Westside cites loss of the lease, but skeptical Chowhound posters suspect "loss of customers" is behind the closure. "We'll certainly see...

Abbot Kinney killing gang inspired?

Tibby Rothman's Venice Paper picks up street talk that the murder of a young man Sunday night after the Abbot Kinney Festival was a targeted gang hit. Just talk at...

Another look at the Westside's salons

Actress-writer Heather Thomas's monthly breakfast gatherings (with her husband, entertainment lawyer Skip Brittenham) in Santa Monica lead the roundup of a "burgeoning breed of über-stylish salonistas" in the September issue...

Molina kills transit tax measure *

Supervisor Gloria Molina joined the two Republicans on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to reject placing a sales tax increase question on the November ballot, citing friction between...

Cover story o' the week: Pali rats

Excellent piece by Max Taves in the LA Weekly on elderly identical twin sisters in Pacific Palisades who "had spent years fanatically feeding the Palisades rat population. Although the full...

Larry Oakley, Westwood stalwart was 80

Oakley's Barber Shop is the last of the original businesses in Westwood Village, dating to 1929. It started on Vermont, near the original UCLA campus that now houses Los Angeles...

MySpace and friends headed to Playa Vista

Fox Interactive Media, the News Corp subsidiary that includes Myspace, signed a 12-year lease agreement to move next June into a new facility at the Playa Vista development. TechCrunch has...

Editor's notes

Eric Lynxwiler and I will be the featured speakers in Westwood today at 4 pm at the inaugural literary salon of the Friends of the Westwood Library. It's a benefit...

Around LA Observed today

Erika Schickel chatted up Bo Diddley on a plane to New Mexico. She was ten and headed for sleep-away camp. Denise Hamilton loved Pest Control the Musical so much "my...

Santa Monica axing ficus trees

Crews this morning began cutting down the disputed ficus trees on 2nd Street near Wilshire. Activists lost a court bid to block the city from removing the trees, which it...

Westwood Village never looked so good

Nice photo by Lawrence K. Ho of the Los Angeles Times, to go with a story today about Westwood Village merchants hoping that the opening of the new Palazzo complex...

National Theatre is history

Demolition didn't take long. A crew took down the scaffolding yesterday, leaving a bare lot at the corner of Gayley and Lindbrook where the newest, most modern single-screen in Westwood...

Santa Monica now has 2 homicides in '08

The body of Alexander Merman, 35, was found shot to death in his Montana Avenue apartment last night. Over the weekend, aspiring actress Juliana Maureen Redding, 21, was found in...

Digg this, Mar Vista * did a little web photo feature on where successful website startups such as Craigslist began. In the case of Digg, it was Kevin Rose's apartment at 3255 Sawtelle Blvd.,...

Sepulveda blocked by landslide at Montana

Slope slides down to the street, knocks out power and pretty much screws traffic in that part of Westwood. LAT Also: Commuting isn't fun on Pacific Coast Highway either....

Naked babe on Promenade

Writer and blogger Tom Teicholz was on the Santa Monica Promenade this afternoon when he spotted a woman strolling naked and preening for a video camera and still photographer. "This...

Formerly the Mann National

Once the home of long-running hit movies, the National at Lindbrook and Gayley in Westwood Village is most of the way demolished. The Daily Bruin at UCLA poked behind the...

Coming war between the Valley and Westside

Much honored Los Angeles sci-fi writer and alternate historian Harry Turtledove writes about time travel in his Crosstime Traffic series. Could he be predicting the future with the sixth book...

Another used book shop goes down

An LA Observed reader who works at Cal State Long Beach stopped by Wilshire Books in Santa Monica and found the store cleared out. "Quietly closed at the end of...

405 or the San Diego?

Larry Mantle this morning took on one of the lesser issues of our time, but one that's still interesting and perplexing for locals: should we refer to freeways by their...

New theaters for Westside

The 12-screen Landmark opens in five weeks at Pico and Westwood, in the annex to Westside Pavilion. It will be the flagship of the Landmark theater chain, featuring indie fare,...

Westside landmark sold *

Allied Model Trains, which opened in 1946 and calls itself "the largest train store ever built," has been sold by longtime owner Allen Drucker. A version of the store will...

Coffee place down

CityBeat columnist Andrew Gumbel enjoys spending time at The Talking Stick on Ocean Park Boulevard in lower Santa Monica. It's "pretty close to the perfect coffee shop, not only a...

L.A. geography isn't that hard

This shouldn't happen at the Los Angeles Times. In the staff-written web story about the UCLA student who got the stun gun, the Times says the incident has prompted "outrage...

Odors in the news

Sure it's not the Westside stench, or even the Long Beach reek, but sensitive noses have again come through. An American Airlines 757 headed for Miami returned to LAX about...

Crisis in the Palisades

This week's Palisadian Post leads with the news that Mort's Deli might be for sale. The owner isn't talking, but plenty of others are. Former mayor Richard Riordan is said...

Future of Marina del Rey

Big Sunday package in the Daily Breeze details the proposed redevelopment that would see the number of boat slips reduced, some live-aboard residents displaced and older apartments replaced by newer,...

Rhino is final

Reader T. J. Sullivan emailed this photo from Westwood Boulevard. If you can't read the sign, the Rhino Records extinction sale is this weekend. Chris Morris had an appreciation in...

Rhino Records shuttered

The rumors about the Rhino record store on Westwood Boulevard closing are apparently true. Reader T.J. emailed that he went by today and the marquee said that they lost the...

Rumble of Brentwood revisited

Mickey Kaus has posted a follow to my follow to my original post on his original post about a Halloween night gang fight on the border between Santa Monica and...

What Bush did to the commute

Friday morning's traffic jam caused by President Bush's stay-over at Bradford Freeman's $10 million mansion in Brentwood was even worse than the night before. Today's Daily News banners a story...

Bushlock on the Westside

President Bush has arrived at LAX and is heading toward Beverly Hills by helicopter. Once he lands, traffic officials are expecting a rough time in the area around UCLA during...

That stench is spreading *

We never did get a satisfactory explanation for the unsavory odor that wafted over a wide swath of L.A. last week. But now they are complaining about a similar thing...

Mystery of the stench deepens **

More readers are reporting in that they too detected the bad smell wafting through the Westside. Author Deanne Stillman writes that it was all over Venice and Marina del Rey...

That Westside stench **

The first email this morning I ignored, figuring the moment would pass: Here's a scoop for you: the entire city of Beverly Hills smells like garbage this morning. My house,...

Westside shopping mall threat

KNBC reported that the LAPD has issued a threat advisory after federal officials received an "unsubstantiated potential threat of an attack" planned against an unspecified West Los Angeles shopping mall...
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