Move over Hot Lips Houlihan. Today I was finally introduced to that mysterious Lady-of-the-Lips who sometimes makes the scene at 7th and Montana. It turns out we have a mutual friend. I just keep asking myself, what would they call the corrective surgery to remove all the material they injected into her lips, lip-o-suction?!?
Friday, March 31, 2006
I found myself reflecting on the immortal words of Mr. Rogers -- "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood ... won't you be my neighbor?" -- as a colleague from Amsterdam came to L.A. to meet me today. As she put it, she was in the neighborhood, anyway, so she might as well pay me a visit. In fact, she was in Canada. Strange how definitions of "neighborhoods" have changed lately, isn't it? What would Fred Rogers say?!?
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
It was baubles, bangles and bright, shiny new business deals at 7th and Montana today as our Favorite Building Manager branched out into the world of jewelry. His new venture, Rafaelo Carra, officially launched this morning with the sale of an assortment of necklaces and bracelets. I bought one (pictured here) for my colleague Lisa. Not to worry, Lisa, there's more where that came from!
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Hollywood was buzzing this morning on news that Tom Hanks will star in the upcoming Universal Pictures release "How Starbucks Saved my Life". Hanks will play a down-on-his luck advertising executive who is forced to work as a Barista to make ends meet. While it remains to be seen whether Starbucks will save Hanks' life, we certainly could have used a few lifesavers at 7th and Montana today, where flash flood warnings kept the usual crowd away.
Monday, March 27, 2006
It's official. The quaint seaside village where I grew up has "gone condo." Scituate Harbor, untouched for decades, has suddenly been "developed" with condos replacing neighborhood shops everywhere you look. And don't ask me where all the newcomers are getting their home mortgages. The local bank in nearby Cohasset has become a Starbucks!
Sunday, March 26, 2006
It was back to the Back Bay yesterday as I revisited my old digs at Newbury and Gloucester. Imagine my surprise to find a nail and skin salon where my friends Guy and Joy used to live. Nancy and Larry's apartment is now a Vera Wang shop. Boston has changed a lot over the years, but for every new skyscraper there's an old landmark. For every new Starbucks, there's still an old Dunkin Donuts!
Saturday, March 25, 2006
After making it home sweet home in one piece yesterday, I decided to follow the advice of one Mr. Stone and seek out the world famous Meeting House Lane, a mere few blocks from where I grew up. There I found a stone of another kind marking the spot in question. Is this the McKay residence? Judging from the characters that crawled out from under this rock -- pictured in Photo #2 -- I sure hope not!
Friday, March 24, 2006
The daily grind was a little less taxing for our friends at 7th and Montana this morning as Starbuck's was closed due to mechanical errors. On a more positive note, a handful of determined baristas set up shop on the sidewalk, offering the crowd free coffee and scones. Our Favorite Building Manager may have bitten off more than he could chew (see Photo #2, if you dare!).
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Inside sources reveal that one of our favorite Starbuck's diehards -- a real fixture at 7th and Montana -- is about to embark on a new career selling jewelry. Who is this diamond in the rough? I'm not telling except to say he's a real gem of a human being!
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Quick, call Officer Mike! True crime was percolating at 7th and Montana this morning as a petty thief made off with Howard's coffee. At approximately 9:15 a.m., an unidentified woman stole the brew in question, laughing-off Tristan's attempts to detain her and leaving authorities without so much as a mug shot.
Monday, March 20, 2006
Spring wasn't the only thing that sprung on 7th and Montana today. One of the "run flat" tires on my snazzy new car seems to have sprung a leak. Either that or the warning light on my dashboard is on the fritz. I guess this is poetic justice for the candid photos I've taken of all those poor slobs who sprung a leak the hard way entering our Favorite Parking Lot. Happy Springtime, everyone!
Sunday, March 19, 2006
There were no if's, and's, or but's about it: Actor-Director Ron Howard's rear-end pointed squarely at 7th and Montana this morning as he and his wife went for a stroll by Starbuck's. Either he was checking something out on the sidewalk or he was mooning us! Meanwhile, Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger policed the neighborhood in his souped-up roadster, secret service in tow (see Photo #2).
Saturday, March 18, 2006
What part of Estoppel the Insanity don't the "Powers that Be" at Santa Monica's most uncooperative cooperative understand? For all the money they spend on lawyers to make their residents' lives miserable, they could be doing something more productive, like sending kids to Maui. Indeed, the local Boys & Girls Club was at 7th and Montana this morning soliciting funds for a trip to Hawaii to play Basketball!
Friday, March 17, 2006
Ever wonder who frequents our favorite Starbucks at 6:00 a.m.? Well, keep wondering. While I was on the "early" shift today, it wasn't that early. The best I could manage was a quick stop at 7:00. Surprisingly enough, some of the regulars had already assumed their positions. For today's Bonus Round, how many "regulars" can you identify in the photo to the left? Winner gets a grilled steak dinner!
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Inside sources reveal that our Favorite Building Manager is paving the way to add a new coat of asphalt to his parking lot. In an exclusive interview, he said, "I'm adding another coat of asphalt to the parking lot, but first am going to grill two steaks over an open flame and invite some ladies for lunch." I'd offer to help -- either with the paving or lunch -- but don't want to make an Asphalt of myself!
Monday, March 13, 2006
Sunday, March 12, 2006
It was a "Dog Day Morning" at 7th and Montana today as the canine population reached an all-time high. Sheila brought Cookie, Genevieve brought Toby and the "Mini Natural" healthy, moist chicken treats were flowing. A good time was had by all ... until the local Pooper Police nearly caught Genevieve brown-handed!
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Friday, March 10, 2006
"A lot of people talk about doing. Jonathan Levey makes things happen." That's the campaign slogan of my upstairs neighbor, Jonathan, who made a surprise campaign stop at 7th and Montana this morning in his bid for California State Assembly. He's pro-education, pro-environment and anti-traffic. What's not to like? I'm not exactly a political animal, but he's named me the "Starbucks Precinct Manager."
Thursday, March 9, 2006
Howard and Cathy introduced a note of high culture to 7th and Montana this morning with their review of last night's concert by the Bulgarian Women's Choir , an ensemble known for its "cryptic, mysterious and even somewhat mystical quality." Evidently, they are also known for having a single male in their ranks. The "Vulgarian" in me attempted to identify the gentleman in question in the photo to the left, but -- alas -- the search was fruitless. In any case, the choir sounds wonderful. You can check out excerpts from selections ranging from Grozda Moma to Vetchera here: Top Ten Hits of the Bulgarian Women's Choir.
Tuesday, March 7, 2006
It was a rare treat last night as my company's D.C. office organized a trip to the U.S. Capitol Building, where a nice Congressman gave us a tour covering every dome, statue and painting and even the House floor itself (Photos #1-8). Then we had a reception in the Senate Family Dining Room (Photo 9) and dinner in the LBJ Room with the studios' D.C. representatives (Photos #10-11). Now it's time to go home ... and that's a real Capitol idea!
Monday, March 6, 2006
Sunday, March 5, 2006
Remember when Apples were for eating and if someone said they had an iPod you assumed they were talking about a vegetable? Well, Kathy set us straight this morning regarding the iPod sensation, that wonderful ability to carry thousands of songs with you wherever you go. Sounds great, but I can't help wondering whether we're making it too easy for people to tune out their surroundings. Are we creating a new generation of Pod People?
Saturday, March 4, 2006
It might be Saturday everywhere else, but it was "Fat Tuesday" at 7th and Montana, thanks to a special Mardis Gras cake and festivities provided by Howard, Cathy and their lawyer. Nearly everyone joined the fun. Everyone, that is, except for one woman who had an axle to grind. While she gabbed away on her cell phone, her car became hopelessly marooned on our favorite curb. A full complement of Good Samaritans came to her rescue while yours truly documented the incident for posterity (see Photo #3)!
Thursday, March 2, 2006
It was a "Winter Blunderland" today in New York. While local TV stations were buzzing about the "big storm" heading our way, there wasn't much snow and my flight left on time. Freezing rain aside, one sight in NY left me frozen in my tracks. This statue in front of Lever House, where I had dinner last night, almost defies description. Why would anyone in their right mind put a 50-foot statue of a pregnant woman -- with her skin peeled back to expose a bronze fetus -- in front of a nice restaurant?!?
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
It was a day of highs and lows today, as I took to the skies for the Big Apple. Here is a final parting shot of Santa Monica from United Flight #96 as I winged my way to New York. So much for the highs. The "Loews" kicked-in when I arrived at my hotel, only to discover that my room is a bit too close for comfort to the in-house "Cabaret" where they are featuring an unlikely combination of Kitty Carlisle Hart and Linda Lavin!