Amoeblog

Running up that hill -- Exploring Monterey Hills

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 11, 2013 09:43am | Post a Comment
MONTEREY HILLS

Monterey Hills sign on Via Mia
Monterey Hills sign on Via Mia


In Los Angeles, the Monterey Hills can refer to more than one thing. One is a landform known as The Monterey Hills that is technically part of the Repetto Hills, a chain of hills which runs from between the San Rafael Hills and Elysian Park Hills at one end  to the Whittier Narrows at the other (and in doing so forms one of the borders of the San Gabriel Valley). The hills are especially associated with the city of Monterey Park and there's a subdivision of that community that's also called Monterey Hills.

Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Monterey Hills
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Monterey Hills

Another Monterey Hills refers to a small residential neighborhood between El Sereno, Hermon, Montecito Heights, Rose Hill, and South Pasadena. I recently explored that neighborhood with Dooley (a dog) whilst house, dog, and cat-sitting in El Sereno. During my stint on the Eastside, Dooley and I visited all the aforementioned communities and additionally explored Arroyo View Estates, East Los Angeles, City Terrace, Garvanza, Happy Valley, Highland Park, Hillside Village, Lincoln Heights, and University Hills. Our first excursion was of Monterey Hills on a cool, clear day that followed a light, overnight rain.

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Between Olympus and Paradise -- Exploring Happy Valley

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 5, 2013 10:56am | Post a Comment
There are at least four places in California named Happy Valley. This blog entry is about the small neighborhood on Los Angeles’s EastsideTo vote for other Los Angeles neighborhoods, vote here. To vote for Los Angeles County communities, vote here. To vote for Orange County communities and neighborhoods, vote here

Pseu Pseu Pseudio - Pseudonymous Musical One-Offs

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 28, 2013 10:49am | Post a Comment
In thinking about and working on a post covering one-album-wonders, I was reminded of a few single releases that were pseudonymously attributed to otherwise non-existent performers. Of course many musicians release music under stage names and a list of their releases would include the entire catalogs of  everyone from David Bowie, to Elton John, to Elvis Costello and 99% of dance artists and rappers

I'm talking about weird one-offs. So far I've only thought of two (updated since with contributions from readers) of these releases but I'm sure that there are quite a few for so help me out, please. Hopefully the more suggestions that are made, the more I can clarify what it is, exactly, that I'm talking about.

*****

I'm not including The Four Seasons because although they also recorded as The Wonder Who?, they weren't a one-off, having contemporaneously released four singles over three years. Similarly, although The Pretty Things also released music as The Electric Banana, it wasn't a one-off, as they did so across two decades.

Although Thin Lizzy formed in 1969, they were hardly overnight successes. In fact, their 1970 single, "The Farmer" b/w "I Need You" sold just 283 copies. In order to make some extra Irish pounds, they recorded an album of Deep Purple covers as Funky Junction for German businessman Leo Muller. It wasn't exactly a one-off though because the vocals were provided by Elmer Fudd's Benny White and not Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott

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Who would float me to my island dream? -- A Channel Islands Primer

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 20, 2013 02:49pm | Post a Comment
A TALE OF TWO CHANNELS

Foggy Day
Foggy Day (Image credit: Lee Shurie for California Kayak Friends)

On planet Earth there are at least two archipelagos known as “The Channel Islands.” Frankly, I'd be somewhat surprised if there aren't more. One is located in an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates France and the UK known in English as “The English Channel” or simply “The Channel.” It's traversed (or is it subversed) by the Chunnel. Its eight Channel Islands are home to about 168,000.

Channel Islands of California

The other Channel Islands are in an arm of the Pacific Ocean called the Santa Barbara Channel. Being located in California they are are often distinguished from their Atlantic counterparts by their being referred to as the Channel Islands of California. There are also eight islands in this archipelago although they’re only home to about 4,000 people. In some ways they have more in common with another archipelago, the Galapagos Islands of South America. Both developed in relative isolation which allowed for an independent evolutionary processes. In the Channel Islands' case, that process led to the development of at least 145 endemic species.

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Blow some my way -- Exploring Chesterfield Square

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 14, 2013 12:12pm | Post a Comment
Chesterfield Square signs
Chesterfield Square signs

INTRODUCTION
 TO CHESTERFIELD SQUARE

Chesterfield Square is without a doubt, one of Los Angeles’s most obscure neighborhoods. The obscurity is somewhat surprising given the neighborhood’s longstanding and dubious distinction of having the city’s and county’s highest violent crime rate. As a matter of fact, most of the Los Angeles’s most crime-ridden neighborhoods are rather obscure – communities like Compton, South Central, and Watts aren’t even in the top ten.

Divine protection
Divine protection

Although I don’t in any way wish to minimize the seriousness of crime, both visitors and residents of the neighborhood are more likely to be felled by heart disease, cancer, an accident or suicide than by violent criminals -- especially those who are not or don't appear to be affiliated with a gang. Furthermore, citywide violent crime rates for Los Angeles are the lowest they’ve been since 1966. It may be rough by Los Angeles standards but it's hardly San Pedro Sula. In other words, nothing bad is going to happen to you.

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