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Friday, February 23, 2024

The Grand Central Market and The Bike Shed Moto Co

Yesterday, I was at the Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles. My friend had not been there before, but I had a bunch of times because I lived in DTLA for about 2 ½ years. It has an entrance off Broadway and one off Hill Street.

I like this place because it feels homey. The atmosphere is super casual and there are locals and tourists from everywhere. Some people are oblivious of the patrons around them them and may knock you over; some are more polite and excuse themselves. So, be prepared for anything. There are plenty of kiosks that offer all sorts of food from breakfast to ice cream, to Latin, Asian, Italian and American food. I have tried couple of the kiosks in the past and they were meh. My friend liked their woodfire pizza. It’s best to get something small and test out the food first.
When I lived in the area, I used to walk everywhere and never had to pay for parking. They have a parking lot off Hill street. I suggest you take it, because it’s cheaper than other lots. Just make sure you hangout for less than 90 minutes and pay your 5 bucks. Stay longer like us, and you’ll end up paying much more.
Across the street is Angels Flight Railway which takes up to Grand Avenue. Walk around on Grand Avenue and you will find the Walt Disney Concert Hall which has complimentary daily tours worth taking.
We left our car there and walked around for about an hour or so. Hill street is the Jewelry district. My mom loved jewelry and knew a couple jewelers here.
My friend was looking for a special Mediterranean place recommended by someone, and she couldn’t find it. We crossed Hill Street, and lo and behold we found it. Apparently, many people order takeouts from Z Falafel. They are supposed to have the best falafel. I bought a few and brought it home. I don’t know if they’re the best, but they are good. It’s a bit spicy. I ordered a vegetable side, and the owner was kind of stingy and stuck me with fried potatoes which I did not want. So, make sure you hang around and watch what he puts in your takeout. Also, ask for sauce or he will not give you any. This place is located between 7th and 8th on Hill, and worth checking out.
Someone had a photo of this place on Instagram and since I live in L.A I just had to check it out. I’ve been in this area many times, but have never paid much attention to the Bike Shed Moto Co. So, I pulled into their lot and noticed several riders with their cool motorcycles, donning their helmets.
We parked, went up a ramp, and walked into a roomful of motorcycles. My brother used to ride a motorcycle when he was younger, but my mom kept complaining about how dangerous they were. So, he sold it. My uncle in Iran had a vintage motorcycle with a side car. When I was little, he begged my mom to let him give me a short ride. I do not know how he got her to agree, but I had a lot of fun riding in it.
We went in through a hallway, and landed in their restaurant. The atmosphere reminded me of the older Hard Rock Café in London. Hard Rock Café has changed a lot since then. Our server told us that the Bike Shed Moto is owned by a husband and wife and the one in London was their first.
My friend had the beef sandwich, and I had a truffle veggie burger. It was okay. We both agreed to try something else the next time we go. The staff were friendly, and the service good.
We walked around. Inside, there is a barber shop, a tattoo parlor, and a retail store. Downstairs leads to a patio.
Many of the merchandise is high quality and worth the cost. I wanted to buy a top, but they only had it in 3X which was too big for me. They also have tops with race car events printed on the back.


Tuesday, February 13, 2024


Happy Valentine's Day 2024

I wasn’t planning on writing anything, because I haven't been in the mood to do much. But in the spirit of Valentine's Day, I’m putting up a short post for the visitors to my blog. I do not know most of you. I don’t track visitors. Blogger does a watered-down version of tracking – it basically tells me the country where visitors come from. But even that is inaccurate because a lot of times, people use VPN.

So, wherever you are from, I just want to say thank you for visiting.
Enjoy your Valentine's Day with your special someone,
with your family and friends,

or with just being on your own.
Just remember that you do not need Valentine's Day to tell someone how you feel, nor do you need to get them pricey gifts.

What you convey should come from the heart.


Sunday, February 4, 2024

The Michael Jackson Musical

There are two things that I will always remember about Michael Jackson: the first time I saw him on stage, and the day that he passed away.
When I was a teenager, I had a crush on Shaun Cassidy. I used to listen to his music and watch him in The Hardy Boys Mysteries. So, a family friend took me to see his concert. At the time I had no idea who was Michael Jackson. As we waited for Cassidy to show up, the audience was introduced to The Jackson five. They were the supporting act for Shaun Cassidy. And out came this little kid along with his brothers. I thought he was the cutest thing ever. Today, I get a kick out of the fact that Michael Jackson was an opening act for Shaun Cassidy. Who knew that this little kid would grow up to be bigger than life.
It's a shame that he had a tragic life. He was abused by his father and those around him. Everybody wanted a piece of him. The more people, the authorities, and the media intruded on his life, the more withdrawn he got until his death on June 25, 2009. I had to look up the date he passed away, but I will never forget that day because Iran was going through the Green Revolution, and the news coverage all over the world was focused on what will happen in Iran. As soon as Micahel Jacson passed away, everything about Iran disappeared, and the news became all about Michael Jackson.
As my friend and I waited behind the red light in Hollywood, before doing a diagonal cross, I noticed four friends in front of me, wearing Michael Jackson gloves. I thought how cool, I want a photo of them as I stalked them discreetly toward The Pantages. At one point I said, “excuse me, may I…,” and then I realized they wanted to do a selfie, so I said, “I can take a picture of the four of you.” After taking several photos of them, one of the ladies asked me what was my question? So I asked if it would be alright to take a picture of their hands. They were so nice about it, and we all had a good laugh.
The MJ musical was good. The New York Theater, and The Washington Post had raved about it. But I base my review on what I see, and how I feel. I thought the whole thing was hyped up to a point where expectations were high. Also, Michael Jackson’s shoes are big shoes to fill. There is only one Michael Jackson, and it’s not an easy task to emulate him. If you accept this, then you will enjoy the musical.
On the positive, the singing was great. As for the dancing, I thought some of the dances were too stiff, and some of the choreography could have been better. A few of the dances seemed to be consisted of a series of memorized movements. Dancing is an expression of how you feel inside. If you don’t feel it, and let yourself go, then the movements look too mechanical. Also, some of the choreography had no direction. It seemed as though each person was doing their own thing. Plus the songs in the musical were repetitive. Why, When Michael Jackson had lots of songs and performances to choose from? I would still give this musical an A. The performers worked hard to give the audience an authentic experience. The young Michael Jackson you will see in the below video, wearing a plaid shirt, had it down when it came to dancing. His movements were fluid and inspiring.