Go Go to Museums of the Arroyo Day on May 16th! (Photo of Arroyo Seco Parkway circa 1940 courtesy of MOTA Day.)


Love to looky-loo at historical homes?  Interested in LAPD gangster-gumshoe struggles? Wish you could travel back in time?    

Check out the 21st anniversary of the Museums of the Arroyo Day (MOTA) on Sunday, May 16th for all of the above (well, maybe not ACTUAL time travel…) plus suffragettes, a helicopter, and an Edwardian-era fashionista. You can park once, (or take the Metro Gold Line), pay nothing, and spend the day meandering around the museums  that line this leafy tributary of the Los Angeles River.    

Ms. Go Go recommends absolutely every museum but if you can’t dedicate the day, here are highlights of events at the participating museums:  Heritage Square Museum, Lummis Home and Garden, Los Angeles Police Historical Society Museum, Pasadena Museum of History, and the Gamble House.     

In addition to the preserved, historic structures, the Heritage Square Museum can be an all day destination in itself for families; myriad, kid-friendly activities include historical storytellers, period crafts, and Victorian games.   Be prepared to explain “women’s rights” to any kids in tow; suffragettes will  be in attendance in keeping with MOTA Day 2010’s theme: “Women of Early Los Angeles”.    Maybe the ladies will wear bloomers, which would further entertain the small fry….    

Started in 1898 and finished in 1910 by Renaissance Man Charles Lummis (founder of the Southwest Museum, among many other accomplishments), the Lummis House, with its use  of stone, wood and decorative detailing, is considered one of the earliest examples of the Arts and Craft aesthetic.  If you only have time for a couple of museums on MOTA Day, check out the Lummis House and Garden (lots of native plants and a nursery/ shop to help you plan your new low-water garden!) then grab a shuttle from Highland Park to Pasadena to see the gorgeous Gamble House, which was built in the Arts and Crafts style in 1910 and is considered one of the finest examples of Greene & Greene architecture.  The other big draw?  Cookies and lemonade on the Gamble House lawn.  (You need sustenance for your stroll through history, right, Go Go’ers?)    

Linger longer on Pasadena’s former Millionaire Row….  Just down the street from the Gamble House is the Pasadena Museum of History, which is honoring Eva Scott Fenyes: Pasadena art patron, adobe archivist/watercolorist, and Edwardian fashion plate. The Fenyes mansion (the museum’s main building) will be closed but Ian Whitcomb and his Bungalow Boys will play music on the elegant grounds at 1:00PM and 3:00PM; period clothes are encouraged so you can tap your twinkle toes in button up shoes if that’s your fancy.   Historians-in-Residence Walter and Sheila Nelson will share  early 1900’s etiquette tips.   Hmmm…maybe you’d better stop here first before you gobble up Gamble House cookies.    

The  1925  Renaissance Revival style Los Angeles Police Historical Society Museum is the perfect place to take big and little wannabe crime fighters who can climb into a police helicopter, sit on a police cruiser, try on police gear, and pose for a “booking photo”.  (Bring your own camera to immortalize the faux felon.)   Fans of nonfiction crime can meet John Buntin, author of the well-reviewed L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City, which details Police Chief William Parker’s decades-long attempt to thwart gangster Mickey Cohen’s efforts to become the biggest crime lord in the City of Angels.    ‘Cause every boy needs  a dream….    

MOTA DAY ends at 4:00, which is basically cocktail hour. Relax and imbibe at one of the Eight Great Bars of the Arroyo Seco, reviewed in Ms. Go Go’s three-part guide  (links after the jump) to Northeast Los Angeles watering holes.     

Go Go’ers,  history doesn’t have to be dry….    

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….    


Sweets Truck, Auntie Em's Kitchen and the Verdugo pair up for "Sinfully Sweet Sunday" on April 11th.


It’s the ultimate Big Kids Bash: exotic beers paired with exquisite sweets while lazing on an urban patio on a Sunday  afternoon.   Then, sashay on over to the  Echo  for the opening night of the Grand Ole Echo’s  5th season of BBQ, americana and country music.   Really…does life get any better than this?  

Your “Sinfully Sweet Sunday” starts on the Verdugo patio;  Sweets Truck  has collaborated with Michelle Risucci, pastry chef of Auntie Em’s Kitchen, who created a special menu for the Sunday, April 11th event.  The five item pairing includes: Citrus Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Orange Rind (baked with Belgian Witbier) served with Coney Island Albino Python – White Lager brewed with Ginger, Crushed Fennel, Sweet Orange Peel (6% ABV);  Red Velvet Tea Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache and Chocolate Pearls served with Spaten Optimator – Dopplebock (7.2% ABV); and Beer Float – Vanilla Bean Ice cream and Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout (9.0% ABV).   Ms. Go Go knows you’re swooning over the anticipated Sunday  sweetness  but you still have to reserve your spot with a pre-sale ticket; a Jefferson gets you all five pairings.  

Mosey your beer buzz/sugar high over to the legendary Echo to sweat and sway at the 5th season kick-off of the Grand Ole Echo: the start of the summer season of free, all-ages, americana and country music shows every Sunday with BBQ on the patio.  The opening night bill features respected local faves I See Hawks in L.A., Wheelhouse (with Ross Fluornoy and Brian Whelan of power pop band the Broken West), country/rock ‘n roll duet Mars ArizonaSam Mellon and the Skylarks (alt-country on the back porch) and Chris Morris, host of “Watusi Radio” (on Scion Radio) as emcee.  

What a way to kick off the season…and your Go Go week.  

Ready?  U Know U Want 2  Go Go….  


Photo courtesy of Twee Studios/Eagle Rock Brewery


Artists and tacos and beer, oh my!  Tonight, it’s all happening off the 2…Freeway, that is. 

Eagle Rock Brewery just debuted “Red Velvet”: their Imperial Ale with Rye.   Silky mouth-feel (Thanks, rye!), hints of chocolate, and an 11% alcohol content.  (Watch out for “speed traps” when you leave, Go Go’ers!)   To help celebrate the brewery’s newest baby, ERB is having their first gallery event tonight;  Thuy Le of Twee Studios will be displaying selected works from his ORIGIN OF ABSENCE series.   LATE BREAKING NEWS:  The scheduled food truck cancelled so Taco Chop  is saving the day with drive-up deliciousness! (6:00-10:00PM) 

Keep the art buzz going by heading over to the opening reception for pop-up exhibition space  PLAyLAnd.  In addition to the usual (art) suspects, PLAyLAnd will feature “circuit-bending sound scape, international mail art show…poetry bomb [and] handmade toys that recreate science fiction scenarios”  from three cities (Reno, San Francisco and Los Angeles).   Among the 24 featured artists are John Fleck, one of the infamous NEA 4 (four performance artists whose 1990 NEA grants were attacked by conservative politicians based on subject matter) and L.A. Mudpeople: masked, mud-daubed “urban primitives” who have been (slowly) perambulating  around the Los Angeles art/performance scene since 1989.  Through 5/31/10 (Tonight:6-10PM) 

 For a post-art-bash beer, head over to the Verdugo Bar in Glassell Park: 24 beers on tap, 85 bottled beers and (the best!) beer to go (thanks to the former speakeasy’s grandfathered liquor license from the 1930’s).  **** 

Go Go’ers: remember those speed traps. 

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go…. 


Arroyo Seco, the watershed that spawned Los Angeles, means “dry streambed” but there’s no shortage of great bars in the neighborhoods north of the arroyo-adjacent Pasadena Freeway.  Those looking for a great gastropub, live music, or a flame-spouting bartender can find all three at these Northeast Los Angeles bars.     

Posted over the next three days, find eight top picks  arranged by neighborhood for maximum pub-crawling ease.    




Glassell Park/Verdugo Road    



The Verdugo (Photo courtesy of The Verdugo)




Tucked away on a Glassell Park side street and identifiable only by a discreet, black and white “Cocktails” sign, the Verdugo boasts the 1930’s tavern’s original, sensuously curving bar with grooved lip; the perfect place to prop an elbow while hoisting one of the Verdugo’s exhaustive selection of beers and ales, including multiple specialty brews on tap.   A DJ spins from a little booth above the main bar area.  Larger parties gather comfortably in the back room with its Nature Moderne decor including dark taupe couches arranged around wide, low tables.  Smokers can lounge on the back patio decorated with tin signs advertising, fittingly, obscure and exotic beers. (3408 Verdugo Road, Los Angeles, 90065 323.257.3408 www.verdugobar.com)    


 Eagle Rock/Colorado Boulevard    





As of Tues, March 2nd, The Black Boar will have a daily, late night Happy Hour from 11PM-12AM in addition to their regular, Tues-Fri Happy Hour from 5-8PM.    



During Happy Hours, all draught beers are $3!!!