Car Thoughts: Important Historical Vehicles in Odd Places – A Series – The Bungatti

This Bungatti story isn’t about barn find vehicles. There’s an excellent site for those types of stories. Instead this is about singularly important vehicles that one either learns the importance of after the fact, or simply doesn’t expect to come across in a given location.

For our first example, we’re going to talk about Kenny Howard “Von Dutch’s” Bungatti.

The Bungatti is one of the last survivors of the great historical Car Florida Migration of the 1980’s

von dutch bungatti

And that’s what we’re going to talk about… Continue reading “Car Thoughts: Important Historical Vehicles in Odd Places – A Series – The Bungatti”

Live Thoughts: My First KROQ Weenie Roast

That’s really all there is to say about it, I went to the KROQ Weenie Roast. The lineup certainly had its fan base there, but I think there had been stronger lineups in the past. Of course, I also didn’t have the wherewithal to go in the past, for which I have only myself to blame. I tried to live stream, and the result wasn’t great as I was limited to using my phone. The cell reception inside the StubHub Center in Carson isn’t the greatest unfortunately. I think my favorite act of the night was probably Cold War Kids. They were utterly flawless.

Anyway, here’s a selection of archived live stream footage that seemed to come out, well, just okay. Enjoy!

Local Thoughts: Heritage Square Needs Work

I should have titled my trip to Heritage Square as another live stream fail (similarly to Hearst Castle), but there was something about Heritage Square that offset my live stream errors and evened everything out: It wasn’t a very good museum.

Heritage Square Museum

I was really looking forward to using my cobbled-together vlogging system for the first time here, but wasn’t able to, not because I forgot a critical component (although that could have been the reason), but rather because photography wasn’t allowed inside the houses, and that’s just lame. Maybe there was a time when one could argue that camera flashes could damage vintage preserved surfaces on an artifact or fabric or room interior, but nobody uses camera flashes anymore (unless they’re the NoH8 Campaign or Terry Richardson and the latter is a creep getting his just desserts…never understood the appeal of his work or how he got work and why I can’t get work) because camera sensors are so good and lenses are so fast that flashes are unnecessary. Continue reading “Local Thoughts: Heritage Square Needs Work”

Car Thoughts: Rolling Coal in A London Black Taxi?

A trip to England isn’t complete without at least fifty rides in the ubiquitous, iconic, London Black Taxi cab.

London Black Taxi

While taxi service in London existed before cars did, this particular model, the FX4, is the body style most often associated mass transit around London’s busy streets and thoroughfares. They had reputations for spaciousness, ridiculously tight turning circles, and polarizing reliability (some worked great, others notsomuch).

Over 75,000 of these black taxis were made (well…not like this), and all (with very few exceptions) ran on simple put-put diesel engines. And then there was this guy. In case you hadn’t noticed, this is an Austin FX4 that appears anyway, to be set up to roll coal.

London Black Taxi

If you don’t know what “rolling coal” means, YouTube it.

The British are known for producing some extremely high end cars with extremely small production runs, but this is probably one of the rarer examples of that happening. In fact, it’s probably the only example of that happening. Like… ever. Coal rollers here in the US often shout with pride, “ ‘MERICA!!” And this leaves us wondering if there are those across the pond who might drive this and shout out, “ ‘NGLUND!!”

London Black Taxi

Local Thoughts: I Found New Coffee (The Palm) Already

This is a quick note/update on a change to my super-important coffee regimen.

The Palm Coffee Bar Having just broken up with Romancing the Bean for siding with its clientele in inappropriately branding a daily regular like me (a terminable offense per personal policies) I subsequently found a new local coffee stop that is, for all intents and purposes better – The Palm Coffee Bar.

This coffee bar actually brews a bean from a roaster called Equator that is at least as good as Groundwork (what is brewed at Romancing the Bean), and sometimes better depending on the bean/brew.

The coffee bar itself is quite small inside, with only a low bench for waiting for a drink, and two small tables outside with seating for four people, which is fine. I was greeted by Barista Ben (who’s featured on their site) who was a kindred spirit and shared my interest in being green and we chatted for a moment about my coffee thermos (which I use in lieu of paper cups whenever possible).

The Palm joins the ranks of Blvd Cafecito (Intelligentsia brewers – will talk about them in a separate post) and Simply Coffee (Stumptown brewers, will chat about them as well).

Now with Groundwork, Stumptown, Intelligentsia, and Equator all represented in Magnolia Park, it’s safe to say that Burbank takes its coffee almost as seriously as the crowd down in Melbourne, Victoria Australia. No really. You haven’t experienced coffee roasters until you’ve been to Melbourne. It’s amazing.

But that’s a post for another day. For today, go check out The Palm. It’s lovely.

Other coffee spots mentioned here are:

Coffee Roasters mentioned here are:

Sad Thoughts: Goodbye Romancing the Bean, Magnolia Park, Burbank, California

Well, Romancing The Bean, it’s time for me to move on.

Romancing the Bean is a lovely little cafe in the heart of the Magnolia Park shopping district, flanked by numerous vintage clothing and curios shops as well as the delicious and highly addictive Porto’s Bakery. It has been so successful in fact, that other businesses rallied to get 1-hour parking restrictions installed on the street in front of it so as to keep would-be diners from hogging parking away from shoppers who might want to visit one of the other small businesses along the blvd.

Romancing the Bean served a great independent coffee roaster, Groundwork, always had nice Pandora stations playing, and the staff was kind and amenable. But the clientele wrecked it all. Continue reading “Sad Thoughts: Goodbye Romancing the Bean, Magnolia Park, Burbank, California”

Past Thoughts: The 14th Factory

Around this time last year (2017), Simon Birch’s The 14th Factory was all the rage in Los Angeles.

Located just east of Dodger Stadium on Avenue 19 in an abandoned industrial bakery, The 14th Factory was an amazing temporary large scale art exhibition that anyone who couldn’t score tickets to the Broad in time for their first trip to LA could go to and still find suitable locations to snap selfies for their tinder profiles which they in turn utilized to boost their follower counts on instagram.

This is too bad because it was utterly brilliant and worthy of so much more than social media exploitation.

Continue reading “Past Thoughts: The 14th Factory”

Car Thoughts: “The Porsche Effect” at the Petersen Automotive Museum

I’ve never been a big fan of Porsche prior to the release of the 996. Everything that came before that just looked like, yes, Volkswagen Beetles – awkward and cartoonish with high rooflines and bizarre aerodynamics.

And the thing is, after going to the Porsche Effect, I still largely feel the same way. I shall explain. Continue reading “Car Thoughts: “The Porsche Effect” at the Petersen Automotive Museum”

Travel Thoughts: The Anza Borrego Serpent Sculpture

I had no idea Anza Borrego had a random iron serpent sculpture out in the desert before instagram, which is an embarrassing thing to admit, but I also have this thing where if I see a cool thing or event on social media, I go see it, and that’s how I ended up here.

After ditching my impractical but supposedly (but not really) earth-friendly EV and getting an impractical and abstractly (but not really) earth friendly SUV, I committed myself to exploring as much of the continental US by roads traveled as I could (time and funds permitting). I successfully made it here (about a four-hour drive overnight to capture sunrise) and to Hearst Castle before I was unceremoniously cut loose from a temporary work assignment I was contracted to be at through the end of May at the earliest.

Continue reading “Travel Thoughts: The Anza Borrego Serpent Sculpture”

Travel Thoughts – New Orleans – A Testament to Building with Wood, Lead, and Tar

God I loved New Orleans, and I can’t put into words why. Okay, blogs are about words, so I should probably try.

In December of 2017, a travel buddy & I embarked upon what may become an annual excursion: Experiencing New Orleans at the best possible time: NOT Mardi Gras. Continue reading “Travel Thoughts – New Orleans – A Testament to Building with Wood, Lead, and Tar”