Sunday, August 28, 2016
Restaurant: Magpies Softserve
Location: 2660 Griffith Park Boulevard (Silver Lake)
Type of restaurant: Dessert (Ice Cream)
We stipulated: I love soft serve more than anything. I still dream almost daily of the "Salty Bea Arthur," as served at New York's Big Gay Ice Cream shop (which sadly still hasn't opened a Los Angeles outpost, despite promising so). But I also love adventurous flavors, which is why Scoops is my fave ice cream scoop in LA. Magpies promised to marry the two, and I was in.
They stipulated: "Magpies Softserve is a scratch recipe soft serve dessert shop. We make our soft serve mix and all toppings in house. We wanted to expand the flavors of typical soft serve ice cream from the traditional vanilla and chocolate by creating flavors of soft serve that bring us back to our childhood, flavors that inspired us to become chefs. From a Horchata (non dairy), to a Cortadito, a sweetened Cuban espresso to Yuzu Honey, a traditional Korean tea that is unique to the American palate. We had a lot of fun creating flavors that are authentic to us."
What we ordered: Mike: Toasted marshmallow and Corn Almond; Maria: Thai Tea and Sweet Cream; Evan: Toasted marshmallow with caramel and cookie crumble; Nathan: Toasted marshmallow. All junior size at $3.95; the two toppings were 95 cents more.
High point: Loved the corn almond, which reminded me of the "cereal milk" flavor found at New York's Milk Bar. Plus: The fact that you could split your order and get *two* flavors was well appreciated!
Low point: It's a small store, so there aren't many places to sit and enjoy your treat. (But that's a common refrain at spots like Scoops too.)
Overall impression: The junior size is more than enough; it's the perfect amount of ice cream. Also loved the free samples as we tested out what we wanted. And the diversity of flavor choices means there's something for everyone.
Will we return: Oh yes. Magpies rotates its flavors, which means there will be always new flavors to try. Not good for my diet, but fantastic news for my tastebuds.
Saturday, August 27, 2016
It all started with the 2011 video to Coldplay's "Paradise." The Blogger Kid, who was 6 at the time, loved the story of Chris Martin, dressed as an elephant, escaping a London zoo and traveling to Africa to find his home. But last year Coldplay easily became Evan's favorite band thanks to the video to "Adventure of a Lifetime," the motion-capture short inspired by Andy Serkis. (Mat Whitecross directed both videos.)
When the Blogger Kid got his first iPod, he had me upload Coldplay's catalog of hit songs, which he now knows by heart. So when Coldplay announced its shows at the Rose Bowl, I knew it would be the perfect first concert for him. (He's seen plenty of live music over the years at events like the Kids' Choice Awards, but this was his first full-blown concert by a major artist.)
We made it to the Aug. 20 show, and indeed, this was quite the experience -- the huge crowd, the epic size of the show and the energy inside the Rose Bowl. (On the down side, stadium shows mean a long wait just to get past security and inside. Then there was trying to leave after the show -- we sat in a car for an hour, not even moving.)
Despite being inside a huge stadium, the show felt surprisingly intimate, even from way up in the stands. Chris Martin connected with the fans (even apologizing for the expensive experience -- I know, I know, but it worked) and the group played most of its big hits.
Some pics from the show:
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
I was heartbroken to see tonight that the devastating fire in the Cajon Pass has completely burned down the Summit Inn, a Route 66 landmark that fed travelers for generations.
We were just at the Summit Inn this March, as we traveled on Route 66 to Arizona, on the way to the Grand Canyon. We stopped for lunch, and although the food was pretty average, the history and experience was well worth the stop. (Why would you ever stop at a fast food chain if you have the opportunity to actually take in some local color?) The service was great, the staff friendly. And the restaurant was covered with Route 66 memorabilia, as well as trinkets detailing the history of the Summit Inn. Sadly, that's all gone now.
Meanwhile, the "Blue Cut" fire has destroyed countless homes, and forced 80,000 residents to flee. The 15 freeway is shut down in the Cajon Pass, cutting off the main freeway between L.A. and Las Vegas.
Here are a few pics I snapped while dining at the Summit Inn:
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
CicLAvia was back for a shorter course this Sunday, shutting down Wilshire Boulevard between downtown and Western. But that was good enough for the thousands who came out and took advantage of the empty street to ride their bikes, skateboards and other contraptions -- or even just walk it.
It was an even bigger deal for the Franklin Avenue crew, as it was the first time Blogger Kid 2.0 rode his own bike, without training wheels, at a CicLAvia! We only took the training wheels off a few weeks ago, so we were mighty proud.
Also: A shout-out to the CicLAvia personnel on hand, who rushed to our aid when the Blogger Kid 1.0 snapped off his bike pedal and tumbled to the ground. Luckily, he only got a few scrapes. But his bike is going to need some work!
More shots from a beautiful -- but hot! -- Sunday at CicLAvia:
Sunday, August 14, 2016
Is this why we can't have nice things, like an NFL team? Thankfully, the guy in question is a Cowboys fan... and the big return of NFL football to Los Angeles was a tremendous success on Saturday night. A win for the L.A. Rams, and 89,000 fans in a jam-packed Memorial Coliseum -- it was nice to see football in Los Angeles for the first time since 1994. (A first for me here, and I've been living in Los Angeles for 20 years!)
Live TV being live TV... we learned on Saturday that KABC/7 wasn't on a delay when a rowdy Cowboys fan grabbed a reporter's mic and shouted, "F--K THE RAMS!" (Only... he wasn't censored.) Watch above.