Oh, the places you'll go.... (Photo by Steve Matsuda)

Go Go’ers, for additional proof that the City of Angels is awesome sans autos, check out The Big Parade II this weekend.

Organized by writer Dan Koeppel and led by Bob Inman, author of A Guide to the Public Staircases of Los Angeles (Blurb, 2009), the second annual, two-day, 35 mile, FREE walk starts at the Angel’s Flight in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday morning, ends in Beachwood Canyon below the Hollywood sign Sunday afternoon, and includes 101 stairways.  That’s right, Go Go’ers:  101.   As in Dalmatians….

If you’re seeing spots and your knees are buckling at the very thought,  rest assured that the Big Parade is not a Forced March of Fun nor an endurance marathon for muscle-y hardbodies;  everyone (including muscle-y hardbodies) is encouraged to participate.   The schedule is designed in five-mile loops to provide easy meet-up spots; you can join the parade route for an hour, a mile, a few stops, several staircases, or the whole shebang.  Long Distance Walkers, who are (impressively!) doing both days, all 35 miles, and all 101 stairways, have priority at the pre-booked, Silverlake Recreation Center’s “campsites” Saturday night.  No word yet on the rec center’s weenie roast and s’mores policy….

Other features of the parade (per the Big Parade II website): a special children’s walk Saturday morning;  a “‘backcountry’ bushwhack along a secret dirt road between Silverlake and Echo Park”;  a “cross-country segment that runs through Griffith Park”;  and a “sightseeing list”  of 30+ items that includes the Los Angeles Central Market, Richard Neutra houses in Silverlake,  and “just-plain-weird” landmarks.   The latter, of course, being Ms. Go Go’s cup of tepid canteen tea….

NELA BONUS: if you want to test your mad stair skillz pre-Parade so you don’t sag and lose street cred en route, Inman will be leading a three segment, Gold-Line-centric,  Northeast Los Angeles walk on Friday, June 11th.  (“Only” 11 miles and 25 stairways….)

Go Go’ers, book your Monday massage now….

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

CONTEST WINNER! Subscriber Pat Griffith has won an autographed copy of Secret Stairs by Charles Fleming and a private staircase tour for four with the author!  (**link to interview with Fleming after the break)

Congrats, Pat!  Thanks for participating and for reading U Want 2 Go Go!


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…. 


Photo courtesy of the Border Grill


If you’re a food truck aficionado, a fan of  the Too Hot Tamales’ tasty chow, or just love artisanal beer,  go go now to  Eagle Rock!   Tonight, from 6-10PM, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger’s Border Grill Truck will be parked outside the Eagle Rock Brewery:  the first brewery to operate in Los Angeles in over a century.  Perfect for a pre-party pit stop or while away the whole evening in the microbrewery’s 21+ tap room.  

TGIF, Go Go-ers, TGIF.  

Border Grill Truck at the Eagle Rock Brewery  

Tonight!   Friday, March 26, 6-10PM   

The Eagle Rock Brewery  

3056 Roswell Street  

Los Angeles 90056  




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. 

Here, in the second of three posts, are three more of the eight top picks, arranged by neighborhood for maximum pub-crawling ease.


Eight Great Bars of the Arroyo Seco/Part 2:


Highland Park/Figueroa Street (from South to North) 


With its deep horseshoe booths, red and yellow burlesque lighting, and retro/cheesy paintings of naked ladies, Footsies is a dark, comfortable, low-key, neighborhood bar.  Friendly bartenders serve a solid selection of liquor and bargain brews, such as $1 Pabst Blue Ribbon specials, at the capacious bar. DJs spin a few nights a week by the defunct telephone booth; the well-stocked juke box entertains thirty-somethings playing pool or smoking on the outdoor patio. Front and back door security; parking is free in the back lot after 6:00p.m. (2640 N Figueroa Street, Los Angeles 90065 323.221.6900) 



The ultimate dive, this former Highland Park bowling alley (a ball return still intrudes into the room) features a miniscule bar, red diner booths, cheap beer and booze ($6 for a healthy shot of Herradura tequila) and live music with an emphasis on punk. (A reincarnation of seminal Los Angeles band the Germs once played here.)  Patrons are loud and excitable; seats with cup holders ring the dance floor. Free parking after 6:00 in the well-lit, public parking lot off the monitored back entrance. (5621 N Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, 90042 323.256.7561 mrtsbowl.tripod.com



Sparkly black ceiling? Check. Bat and red light motif? Check.  Fire breathing bartender?  Check.  This small, kitschy, Highland Park bar with two outside patios is the ‘hood haunt for a friendly, eclectic crowd. An attentive bar staff serves signature Count Choculas and Bat-tinis made with black, Blavod vodka.  Old school entertainment includes a Pacman/Galaga video game and an Eighties-themed jukebox. There’s plentiful street parking so avoid tow-happy lots.  (5922 N Figueroa  Street, Los Angeles 90042  323.255.6871 www.littlecavebar.com)

Ready?  U know U want 2 go go….


Tomorrow: Eight, Great Bars of the Arroy Seco/Part 3:

Highland Park/York Street