Sunday, February 24, 2008

Walking L.A. #11 - NoHo Arts District

It is a shame that we had to drive all the way to North Hollywood for such a short walk - only 3/4 of a mile. The one positive thing about it being short was that we were able to finish quickly just before it started to rain. No one joined us again, most likely because of the long drive and gloomy weather.

Most of the walk was on Lankershim Blvd which contained a few restaurants, coffee shops, and small theaters. We stopped for a late breakfast after the walk at the Eclectic Cafe, a neighborhood eatery that showcases the work of local artists.

The NoHo Arts District seems a little over-hyped to me. I think it is nice to see that there have been a lot of improvements in the neighborhood such as LANI's treatment of the northwest corner of Lankershim Blvd and Magnolia Blvd. But from a visitor's perspective, there isn't a whole lot to see or do.

North on Lankershim from where the walk starts is the Metro station that connects the Orange Line and the Red Line. I wish this was part of the walk so that people could see the metro art/design that is typical of LA's Metro stations. There was also significant development surrounding the station which shows the Transit Oriented Development trend going on here.

The next walk is Studio City's Woodbridge Park.

Walking L.A.: 36 Walking Tours Exploring Stairways, Streets and Buildings You Never Knew Existed

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Walking L.A. #10 - Leimert Park Village

These walks were supposed to be weekly, but we had to skip a few weeks due to rain and a Linux conference I attended. This short walk in Leimert Park was attended only by me, my wife, and my son despite our attempt to appeal to more of our friends by moving the start time from 9AM to 11AM.

We drove to the start point which was right at 43rd St. and Degnan Blvd, the intersection used as an album title by Black Note in the 90's.

I used my TomTom GPS to guide me to the start point, and I was pleasantly surprised that there was a much faster route than the one I was used to. Instead of taking the 10 East to Crenshaw Blvd, I simply could take Slauson Blvd east to Angeles Vista Blvd which cuts right through Windsor Hills to Leimert Park. It is only 6.6 miles from my house.

This walk was incredibly short - less that 1/2 mile. Unlike other walks in the book so far, I did not really discover anything new this time. I have been to Leimert Park many times. I used to go to 5th Street Dick's and the World Stage a lot when I was in college to see jazz groups and to attend a few jam sessions.

We ended our walk with a nice jazz brunch at Papa West. I had catfish, eggs, and potatoes with Louisiana hot sauce - yum! After the walk, we went to 3 or 4 open houses in the View Park neighborhood. Most of these homes were big and had panoramic views of downtown LA to the Westside. It was a really nice neighborhood that I had never explored before.

The next walk is NoHo Arts District.

Walking L.A.: 36 Walking Tours Exploring Stairways, Streets and Buildings You Never Knew Existed

Monday, February 11, 2008

SCaLE 6x 2008 - Linux in LA

I attended the 6th annual Southern California Linux Expo (SCaLE 6x) this weekend at the Westin hotel on Century Blvd near LAX. It was my second year in a row. This year again, I used a promo code mentioned in a podcast ad which brought the registration fee down to only 30-something bucks, a really great price.

The first thing I noticed this year was that the attendance seemed a lot higher, maybe even double what it was last year. The Jono Bacon keynote on Saturday morning was packed and since I got there a little late, I was told to go to the overflow room. Unfortunately there were some technical problems in the overflow room and the video shut off before the presentation was over so I missed the end of it.

The exhibit floor was again full of vendors related to Linux, Linux distros, networking and monitoring tools, and open source software in general. This year I enjoyed visiting the booths of Foresight Linux, Splunk, and LinuxFund. I got some decent swag like a red hat (baseball cap) from RedHat, a water bottle from Sun Microsystems, and a purple stuffed octopus from Plain Black. The latter I gave to my 4-month-old son.

I attended the following sessions this year:
  • PostgreSQL 8.3: Latest Features of the Most Advanced Database - Josh Berkus
  • GNOME: Ten Years of Freedom - Ken VanDine
  • GIMP Demystified - Akkana Peck
  • Linux Entertain Me! - Cecil Watson
  • The Ubuntu Desktop: Bling for Usability - Ted Gould
The conference had a "try it" room where various tutorials were offered every hour. I wish I could have attended one of the sessions on Inkscape, but I found out about it too late.

Overall, I had a great time and will definitely attend again next year if I can. I love the fact that the conference is low-cost, close by, and on the weekend so I don't have to get permission at work to attend.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Influence LA Bike Planning

Attention all bike-riding Angelinos! Now is your chance to influence the future of biking in Los Angeles by participating in an upcoming workshop or simply by mapping your bike commute or any other bike route online at

I just mapped my commute to work from Del Rey to Santa Monica. I gave it a title containing "LA BMP" so that it gets included in the LA Bike Plan study. I urge you to take just a few minutes to map your bike route.