Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Giant lizards, The Seven Wonders of Hollywood Bicycle Tour and Michael Keaton sighting -- was that his bike?

Leaping Lizards!
Giant lizards have nothing to do with bicycling except that when I awoke from a bicycle induced nap this afternoon the first thing I laid eyes on was a giant lizard slithering across my bedroom carpet. My first thought was there can't be a lizard in here I live in the middle of Hollywood in an Apt., I'm not in the Mojave... huh?
Waking further I remembered that I had seen a giant lizard a week ago out back near some tool boxes and that I had brought those same tool boxes into my apt. shortly after that sighting. So what has he/she been doing in my apt. all week...there's no roaches here ( scout's honor).... must be hungry. By pure luck I was able to capture him and safely escort him out to my neighbors garden.

Click on the photo this guy is 13 inches long against the canvas which except for SF films is huge by Hollywood garden standards and he had an attitude too.

Styling Bicyclists around town
( Thanks people for kindly letting me take your photos)

Being a beach person I've been missing seeing the girls on beach cruiser type bikes this summer and this young lady on her way to the public library on Melrose fit the bill perfectly.

Justin blew past me at an intersection on Beverly Blvd. on his metallic green machine and I chased him down and got his story. He's an actor who rides all over town for auditions and although he has multiple gears he likes to tough it out using a single gear at all times. His bike is a 70's Schwinn and his girlfriend has the female version of the exact same bike.

I spotted Robbie cruising down Vermont Ave. on his way to the grocery store. He just about stole this bike --buying it for $ 15 at a yard sale.
It has the classic weathered look that only years of dedicated outdoor use can bring. No doubt we'll see pre-weathered over priced bikes like ripped jeans being sold in the near future. Nice hat too!

Michael Keaton sighting.... was that his bike too?
I was riding down a sidewalk with outdoor restaurant seating and I heard Michael Keaton's voice and then saw what appeared to be someone who looked exactly like Michael Keaton. He looked at me and then my awesome bike ( was there any envy there) as I rode silently by. I turned the corner and there were 50 honey wagons parked along the street with a major movie production going on. I saw this cool folding bike parked in the middle of the set and took a pic. Was this Michael Keaton's bike? I doubt it was his bike but I'm pretty sure that was him chowing down.

Seven Wonders of Hollywood Bicycle Tour
In my two wheeled travels I am discovering Hollywood all over again and have decided to amass a collection of these new, strange and sometimes interesting discoveries choosing the best ones and call them the Seven Wonders of.... If you come across any likely candidates observed from the seat of your bicycle please let me know. and I'll ride over and check them out

Candidate # 1
Greek Temple / Apt. building
(located on Van Ness between Melrose and Santa Monica Blvds.

(Click on the picture to get the details)

Golden spirals over purple walls - I love this building! Been driving past this for several years and it keeps getting more outrageous. The Alexander signage was the topper-- way over topper for me. Been meaning to stop and ask Q's for years but always in a car today fortunately I was on a bike...
There was a sign with number to call which I did and talked with Danny who turned out to be the artiste of this masterpiece of Kitsch.
The building is owned by a former actor a Greek named George Panandreas. George must love being Greek -- well more power too him!. While Danny did the painting and stone work George added the signage and sculptures. Across from a film studio the building was formerly owned by Paramount Pictures and Hollywood stars stayed there including Cary Grant and Rudolph Valentino.
I would love to see more buildings like this - at least color and spiral wise.

Candidate # 2
Hollywood Church with multiple spires

(located at Fountain and Western Aves.
This is an amazing work of art and for sure a new Hollywood landmark that will eventually make the postcard rack on Hollywood Blvd. and stay there for years to come.
They ( never seen persons) have been building this for years one spire at at time. There are no signs, and I have no clue what church this is. There are never any people around and the place appears to be closed. Only once did I see a few workers the rest of the time the spires seem to appear out of nowhere. Someday I hope I will see one of the spires being installed and actually talk to someone there.
With the recent Russian spy stuff going in the news and the ridiculous spy swap that took place it got me thinking that this would make a great backdrop for a spy story. What exactly are Boris and Natasha trying to accomplish? I think they have been having a good time in the US sending their spy bosses "secret" information they got by simply Googling so they can keep their cushy spy jobs.

Wait a second I've got an idea for a story here....
Please excuse this little artistic detour

Russkies in Hollywood

Boris a fat Borat lookalike complete with a thick Dr. Zhivago mustache is in the kitchen on the computer following an EBay bid while Natasha a tall slender beauty with luminous skin and long straight black hair is curled up on the couch in the living room petting an expensive looking toy dog and watching daytime TV. Several overflowing bags of Whole Foods groceries sit on the kitchen table next to an unopened box containing a brand new Jack La Lane juicer. Pasted all over the refrigerator are snapshots of the two of them and all the fun things they have been doing since coming to Los Angeles. A phone rings and Boris hits the speaker phone button. Behind him through the kitchen window we see a Russian style multiple spired church.

( in thick Russian accent)
Agent X
( in a phony texas accent)
Howdy Boris this is Agent X in Texas--but don't call me X call me Tex! Get it Agent X -Tex?
(Gravely evil laughter ending in coughing)
(with a bored look on his face but faking interest)
Yes comrade Tex, I hear you clearly, vee kan speek freely.
Agent X
Do you have any recent data on US Naval operations in the Pacific?
Yes boss, vee just got some top secret photos for you and vas veery dangerous mission too!

Boris goes to Google on his computer and hurriedly types out US Navy/Pacific Ocean. He quickly scans down the page then clicks on USS George H. W. Bush visits San Diego. An aerial photo of the aircraft carrier comes on screen and he clicks on it saving the photo.

I am seending you aerial photo of new American aircraft carrier ve took along vith bill from the helikopter pilot for $ 5.000.00. It vas veery dangrous mission several yets were scrambled from thee carrier but ve got away... stupid Americans I think they not vreally Top Guns like in movies.... Boris and Natasha I think is smarter - ya?
Agent X
Ya! Excellent work our superiors in Mother Russia will be very pleased! Your check is in the mail! Anything else I can do for you pardner?
Yes , American food very bad, taste not so good and much GMO vee will need extra $ to purchase veery healthy imported Russian food here in Hollywood.
( out of view screaming )
Idiots! Door number two! Door number two!
Expensive Toy Dog
Agent X
(worried and sounding more Russian now)
Vhats happening is it a vraid ...F Bee I?
No nothing like dhat. Natasha ez praticing her engleesh vatching American TV.
Agent X
( back to phony Texas accent)
Oh, Ok, I'm with you on that one pardner, Dallas reruns is how I learned myself. I understand about the chow got the same thing here in Texas too much steak and not enough borscht. No problemo son will an extra $ 600 a month do?
( looks over in Natasha's direction and she with her eyes still glued to the TV gives him a big thumbs up. )
Boris: Yes that vill do. Over and out!
Agent X
Audios amigos!

Boris goes back to his computer and brings up EBay . A picture of an signed Michael Jackson 80's era poster for $600.00 is on the screen. A smile of satisfaction crosses his face as he begins typing. The multi- spired church in the background comes into view and we to hear that dramatic sounding Russian -type choral music from the movie Hunt for Red October

Regardless what the story is I am impressed with the result and glad they're doing it

Candidate # 3
Babylon had it's gardens and now Hollywood has too --Hollywood Babylon?
Fountain Community Gardens
(at Fountain and St. Andrews Place
LA's newest community garden some plots are still available for $ 10 a month

Hollywood Freeway beginning to thicken with afternoon work commuters. Soon this traffic artery will clog up with the increasing automobile sludge raising blood pressure, tempers and causing various heart attack like symptoms across the city. I don't know about you but I hate driving in Freeway traffic.


  1. Hi. Looks like you got the pics loaded ok? I don't know too much except I use the icon and go from there. :-)

    thanks for stopping by my blog-I'll be checking yours out too!

  2. Your welcome!
    Yeah, I am slowly getting the hang of this even figured out how to post videos today. Those early european biking vids are awesome!

  3. Leaping Lizards in your own apartment!

  4. So I rode an 8 mile paved, no-cars road into the San Gabriel Wilderness today, with my friend Scott McEnehey, (sorry, no pictures)and this was a very relaxing ride, once we got past the hundreds and hundreds of people swimming and camping on highway 39! The website that I discovered this on is this one: We rode all the way up to the Cogswell dam (built in 1934) and looked out over the water from the dam, and at the road going from there up into the Devil's Canyon area, which was an old cattle-rustler's trail and leads to a hide-out which is not known as Newcomb's Ranch, which is along the Angeles Crest Highway. 8 miles was quite enough, and the ride down is great because it's all down hill from the dam...going up wasn't that hard either, except for the last mile on concrete-paved road. And if you go, bring along your fishing pole and a current license, you can fish to your heart's content, but you have to throw the fish back. (catch-and-release rule) The trail/road follows a very active babbling brook all the way to the dam!