Posts Tagged ‘los angeles’

The 405 Freeway Closure: Alternate Routes You Can Take

June 8, 2011

Interstate 405, or I-405, will be closed July 16-17, 2011 for 53 hours, affecting ten miles of the 405 Freeway in the Westside of Los Angeles.  This freeway is heavily traveled and is bound to disrupt people’s travels, especially mid-summer.  The Metro is offering free subway rides during the 405 closure to help people get around the anticipated traffic build-up.

On July 16-17, 2011, a 10-mile section of the 405 freeway, which is one of the most congested highways in the U.S., will be closed for 53 hours. Here are some alternate routes you can take.The construction for the freeway widening and the partial demolition of the Mulholland Bridge (map | street view) over the freeway will cost $1.3 billion.  A northbound carpool lane will be added to the 405 Freeway between the 10 and 101 freeways, while the bridge will be widened and more resistant to seismic activity.  The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority says 500,000 vehicles travel the 405 on a typical mid-July weekend.  Officials are advising people to use the Metro Rail service to bypass the massive traffic pile up that is expected during the construction.  There will be alternate route solutions posted on the project’s website as well as a few suggestions below.

Google Maps: Section of 405 Freeway closure

Maps of alternate routes from San Fernando to the South Bay

Map of routes to the Westside

If you are flying into LAX on July 16 or 17 and headed to all points north or west, take the following route through Downtown Los Angeles.

  • Route (From the airport): South Sepulveda Blvd., I-105 E, I-110 N, I-5 N

From I-5 N:

If you are from Ventura, Santa Barbara, or San Luis Obispo and you are headed to LAX, take Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) from Oxnard and head east.

Before you head out in or around the Los Angeles area, go to the following website and watch traffic maps of the LA area in real time:

Sigalert.com

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Taylor P.

Cinco de Mayo Celebrations

May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo, which is Spanish for the “Fifth of May”, is a Mexican holiday that commemorates the Mexican victory against French forces on May 5, 1862.  The holiday is widely celebrated in the United States of America, more so than in Mexico itself.  People should not confuse this holiday with Mexico’s Independence Day, which takes place on September 16th.  Cinco de Mayo is a fun and exciting holiday to celebrate with the family or at a public event.  If you choose not to celebrate at home, Olvera Street in Los Angeles, 4th Street in Santa Ana, and Virginia Park in Santa Monica all have public activities for this holiday.

Many families get together and make Mexican food and play Mexican music.  On the historic site, Olvera Street in Los Angeles, mariachis, folklorico dancers, piñatas and other activities take place.  At Virginia Park in Santa Monica, mariachis, a salsa band, folklorico dancers, and children’s crafts will all be on-site with classic, vintage, muscle cars, low riders, trucks and specialty vehicles.  Santa Ana has the largest Mexican-American community in Orange County.  On the city’s 4th Street, a two-day festival is held with carnival rides, games, music, dance and lots of food.  With food, and entertainment for people of all ages, you can be sure that Cinco de Mayo will be enjoyed by the whole family!

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Taylor P.

Top Ten Prom Locations in Los Angeles

April 28, 2011

Prom night can mean a lot to people in high school.  It is a big part of your high school career, the one night many look forward to in their senior or junior year.  Finding the right tuxedo, dress, limo, corsage, boutonniere, and date is all up to you.  Finding a great location is up to the school.  With a little research, I found out the top ten prom locations near Los Angeles, California.  Here is a list of the top locations:

1. The Athenaeum in Pasadena (map | street view)

The large number of public and private venues in Southern California could make it difficult for high school prom organizers to choose a location. Here are ten popular prom locations in and around the Los Angeles area.

2. The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles (map | street view)

The large number of public and private venues in Southern California could make it difficult for high school prom organizers to choose a location. Here are ten popular prom locations in and around the Los Angeles area.

3. Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood (map | street view)

The large number of public and private venues in Southern California could make it difficult for high school prom organizers to choose a location. Here are ten popular prom locations in and around the Los Angeles area.

4. Autry National Center in Griffith Park (map | street view)

The large number of public and private venues in Southern California could make it difficult for high school prom organizers to choose a location. Here are ten popular prom locations in and around the Los Angeles area.

5. The Key Club in West Hollywood (map | street view)

The large number of public and private venues in Southern California could make it difficult for high school prom organizers to choose a location. Here are ten popular prom locations in and around the Los Angeles area.

6. The Music Box in Hollywood (map | street view)

The large number of public and private venues in Southern California could make it difficult for high school prom organizers to choose a location. Here are ten popular prom locations in and around the Los Angeles area.

7. The Hollywood Palladium (map | street view)

The large number of public and private venues in Southern California could make it difficult for high school prom organizers to choose a location. Here are ten popular prom locations in and around the Los Angeles area.

8. The Bluebird Café in Culver City (map | street view)

The large number of public and private venues in Southern California could make it difficult for high school prom organizers to choose a location. Here are ten popular prom locations in and around the Los Angeles area.

9. The Castaway in Burbank (map | street view)

The large number of public and private venues in Southern California could make it difficult for high school prom organizers to choose a location. Here are ten popular prom locations in and around the Los Angeles area.

10. California Science Center in Los Angeles (map | street view)

The large number of public and private venues in Southern California could make it difficult for high school prom organizers to choose a location. Here are ten popular prom locations in and around the Los Angeles area.

These ten places have gotten the best reviews in the Los Angeles area.  Most of these places also have concerts and shows so they are made to have fun parties for prom.  With decorations and music, these places become part of the prom night dream.

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Taylor P.

Filipino food – Too slow to assimilate into the mainstream?

February 25, 2010

Filipino food has not assimilated into mainstream American cuisine.  Why not?Despite the high position of many of the top Los Angeles chefs, many of whom are Filipino and grew up on Filipino food, few traces of Filipino food can be found in the restaurants they work for or own.  The private kitchens of these chefs churn out dish after ethnic dish for their families or private company, but diners at the restaurants would find no such dishes.  Marvin Gapultos, a Filipino-American food blogger, cites the geography of the Philippines as a factor of the lack of a unifying dish, where “there are 7,000 ways to make [adobo]“.  The history of the Philippines offers glimpses into the foreign influences that shape what Filipino cuisine is today: Indonesian and Malaysian cultures brought biko and suman; the Chinese, lumpia and pancit, the Mexicans, tamarind, chiles, and chocolate; and the Americans, hot dogs, spaghetti, and Spam.  Read more

If Filipinos can assimilate into other dominant cultures (Spaniards brought Roman Catholicism and the Latin script; the Americans brought English), why has Filipino food not yet assimilated into mainstream American cuisine?

Related: Recipes for chicken adobo

Mom’s nilaga

Auntie Fe’s bichu-bichu

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Francis M. Unson

Santa Clarita, 1986

February 16, 2010

There are many, many ways that Santa Clarita has changed since my family moved here at the end of 1986. The following list illustrates just how much things have changed in the last 26 years, and these are just a handful of the changes:

Magic Mountain - Santa Clarita, CaliforniaSix Flags Magic Mountain

  • There were only two rollercoasters that went upside-down: Shockwave, a stand-up rollercoaster, and Revolution.  The latter is still around, yet quite modest compared to Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom, which opened to the public on July 7, 2012.
  • Six Flags divided the park into “areas”: Area 1 (Revolution), Area 2 (Bugs Bunny World), etc..
  • They hosted hip hop and R&B concerts there briefly with acts such as Paperboy and TLC.
  • Hurricane Harbor would arrive nine years later.

Around town

  • The west terminus of Newhall Ranch Road connected to Avenue Scott, next to the old Daily News building.
  • Rye Canyon Road was a cul-de-sac, ending in front of HR Textron (now Woodward HRT).
  • Copper Hill Drive ended at McBean Parkway.
  • The Old Road was discontinuous at its south end, turning into Valencia Blvd. and restarting at Pico Canyon Road.
  • Stevenson Ranch did not exist and the land to the west of the freeway was mostly farmland.  I would see the cows grazing next to the southbound 5 freeway between Valencia Blvd. and McBean Parkway on my way to church.
  • At the intersection of McBean Parkway and Bouquet Canyon Road, the sole commercial area was Bouquet Center in the northeast corner across the street from the present-day Burger King and Best Buy.
  • By the way, Newhall Ranch Road ended just after that shopping center.
  • K-Mart was the sole department store.  Target arrived a year later in 1987.
  • The southbound Lyons Ave. exit was to the left of Carl’s Jr., not to the right as it is now, and it was without a traffic light.
  • If you stood at where Target would be built on Magic Mountain Parkway, you could see clear across the undeveloped land where the Westfield Valencia is now.
  • There were no Starbucks(!).
  • The computer monitors at Valencia Public Library displayed information in orange.
  • The traffic lights at the intersection of Soledad Canyon and Rainbow Glen Drives were not yet turned on.
  • People going to the swap meet at Saugus Speedway used to park on Soledad Canyon.
  • The south terminus of Whites Canyon Road was next to Ralph’s.  Yes, another cul-de-sac.
  • The father of my elementary school classmate owned a lot of the land around Newhall Ranch Road, McBean Parkway, and Decoro Drive.  Chesebrough County Park is named after him.
  • The bowling alley, Newhall Bowl, occupied what is now Valencia Lanes.  The theater next door used to show movies weeks into their run.  50’s Cafe occupied what is now Lily’s Cafe.

What other changes have you seen around Santa Clarita? Post them in the comments below.

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Francis M. Unson

Hulu may soon start charging fees

January 21, 2010

Please retweetHulu, a video website that offered free online viewing of popular TV shows, may soon start charging fees after distributing TV shows and movies over the Internet without charge for almost two years.  One plan being considered would allow users to view the five most recent episodes of a TV show but require a subscription of $4.99 a month to watch older episodes afterwards.  Hulu admits that the most difficult obstacle is to make people pay for online content they have long received for free.  Read more

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Francis M. Unson

“Hope for Haiti” telethon on Friday, January 22, 2010

January 20, 2010

Please retweetThe unions and collaborations that take place in the face of disaster are intriguing.

The Irish rock band, U2, hip hop artist, Jay-Z, and R&B artist, Rihanna, are due to appear together in London on Friday as part of the “Hope for Haiti” telethon.  Although a single has been recorded, it is not clear whether it will be released or premiered during the telethon.  Other acts that will take part in the telethon include Coldplay in London; Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, and Keith Urban in Los Angeles; and Wyclef Jean, Sting, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, and Bruce Springsteen in New York.  Many other acts are also set to perform.  The telethon will air at 8PM, EST, on MTV, VH1, CMT, BET, PBS, CNN, Bravo, and a host of other networks.  In addition, the telethon will be streamed live on websites including YouTube, MySpace and AOL.

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Francis M. Unson

A cheaper solution to ease gridlock: the “dynamic lane”

January 18, 2010

Would a "dynamic lane", fluorescent lights and electronic warning signs, ease traffic congestion where you live?Caltrans has come up with an inexpensive way to reduce congestion and accidents on the interchange between the 5 and 110 freeways near Dodger Stadium: fluorescent bluish-white lights and electronic warning signs.  The use of the lights began last week by providing a second lane to get on the northbound 5 and, without involving any major construction, doubled the connector’s capacity.  A Caltrans official called the system a “dynamic lane”.  If successful, the model could be expanded to other freeway connectors throughout California.  Read more

Please retweetDo you think that the dynamic lane would be successful where you live?

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Francis M. Unson


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