Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Great Los Angeles Walk Returns For Its 15th Year — But Socially Distanced, on Wilshire

For the 15th Annual Great Los Angeles Walk, we're doing things differently. Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, this year's event will be socially distanced — but we figured, that shouldn't stop people from taking a walk, on their own, through this great city!

So for this year, we're returning to where it all began: Wilshire Boulevard. The Grand Concourse of Los Angeles, as author and L.A. blogger Kevin Roderick calls it. We previously hiked down Wilshire in 2006 and again in 2010. But it's been 10 years, and with everyone completely on their own this year, it's a perfect time to check out this boulevard on its own.

That means there won't be a big gathering to kick off things this year, no group photo at the end and no post-event gathering, sadly. Hopefully we'll be back together as a group in 2021 — but this year you can start or finish, well, whenever you please.

Some things haven't changed, however: The date is the Saturday before Thanksgiving as always — this year, that means Nov. 21. And also, most importantly, the goal of the Great Los Angeles Walk is always to explore your city. And this year in particular, without any official beginning or end, you can take that opportunity to see the great outdoor Los Angeles, patronize local businesses and take a breather in what has been an unbelievably stressful and awful year.

From the start of Wilshire in downtown LA to the ocean, it's an easy 15.6 mile walk. Along the way, as they hike down L.A.’s grand boulevard, walkers will encounter historic buildings like Bullocks Wilshire and the Wiltern Theatre; attractions such as MacArthur Park and the under-construction Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the buildings that replaced fallen of L.A. icons like the Brown Derby, the Ambassador Hotel and Perino’s.

Walkers will pass through a diverse cross-section of the region, including Downtown Los Angeles, Koreatown, the Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills, Westwood and Santa Monica. Wilshire starts in downtown at Grand, and ends at the Santa Monica statue, in Santa Monica, overlooking the ocean.

T-shirts are available for purchase here. Always check for updates, and feel free to drop us a line at to let us know you're coming!

And again: The date for the walk is SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2020. Take a photo at the beginning, and one at the end, and send it to us! We won't have an actual group photo, but we can re-create one with a collage!

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Variety's Spooky List of 21 Los Angeles Film and TV Horror Sites

My colleague Pat Saperstein has put together another great L.A.-centric list of locations in Los Angeles — and this time it's horror-themed. She writes:
From “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” to “Halloween” and “Poltergeist,” Hollywood productions have found plenty of spooky locations to shoot iconic scare fare.

From everytown U.S.A. suburban houses to creepy desert gas stations and ominous cemetery gates, you don’t have to venture far outside the city to find just about any kind of location a horror film could need. Of course, some of the scariest movies take place in some of the most placid suburban settings.
Go here for her full list of 21 locations, which features:

"American Horror Story" Murder House (1120 Westchester Place, Los Angeles)
"Cabin Fever" - Bronson Caves (3200 Canyon Drive, Los Angeles)
"Charmed" House (1329 Carroll Ave., Los Angeles)
"The Convent" Sorority House (2218 South Harvard St., Los Angeles)
"Ghoulies" - Wattles Mansion (1824 N. Curson Ave., Hollywood)
"Halloween" – The Myers House (1000 Mission St., South Pasadena)
"Halloween" – Laurie’s House (1115 Oxley St., South Pasadena)
"Halloween" – The Hedge (1019 and 1025 Montrose Ave., South Pasadena)
"Halloween II" – Haddonfield Town Square (51 N. Baldwin Ave., Sierra Madre)
"Halloween III: Season of the Witch" - The Buccaneer (70 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre)
"A Nightmare on Elm Street" House (1428 N. Genessee Ave., West Hollywood)
"A Nightmare on Elm Street" - John Marshall High School (3939 Tracy St., Los Angeles)
"A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors" - Royce Hall (10745 Dickson Ct, Los Angeles)
"The People Under the Stairs" House (2215 South Harvard Blvd., Los Angeles)
"Phantasm" – Mortuary Gates (5400 N. Lake Ave., Altadena)
"Poltergeist" House (4267 Roxbury St., Simi Valley)
"Poltergeist II: The Other Side" House (1589 Homewood Drive, Altadena, Calif.)
"Prince of Darkness" Church (120 Judge John Aiso St, Los Angeles)
"The Ring" House (413 S. McCadden Place, Los Angeles)
"Scream 2" - Rialto Theater (1023 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena)
"Thriller" House (1345 Carroll Ave., Los Angeles)

[Photo: Michael Buckner/Variety]

Thursday, October 15, 2020

'The Amazing Race' Creators and Host Phil Keoghan on the Show's Most Dangerous Moments, COVID-19 Production Halt and More

I recently hosted a panel with the host and creators of CBS's "The Amazing Race" (Phil Keoghan, Elise Doganieri, and Bertram van Munster) at Paley Front Row 2020 to celebrate the show's long-awaited return. Topics include: Keoghan's marking his millionth mile traveled for the show and being too fatigued to celebrate; how the 32nd season was filmed in 2018, causing contestants to keep the outcome a secret for two years; the difficulties of finding new locales, new faces, and new challenges for each season; the shift to focus more heavily on contestants; if Keoghan and the producers get to spend "down time" in the exotic locales; how often van Munster and Doganieri must improvise the players' itinerary; and the hope that viewers will revel in "vicarious travel" while watching during the pandemic. Watch above!

"The Amazing Race" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Rate-A-Restaurant #392: Mr. Monster (Glendale)

: Mr. Monster

Location: 116 S. Artsakh (Glendale)

Type of restaurant: Hot dog

We stipulated: We were at the Glendale Exchange to hit the Below Five store, and stopped into L&L for spam musubi. But next door, this new restaurant offering Korean rice corn dogs looked interesting. We checked it out.

They stipulated: They recommend you order your Mr. Monster dog with a light sugar coating, but you can get it without. Right now, they're offering a grand opening 2-for-1 dogs. They also come with multiple sauces.

What we ordered: We ordered two Mr. Monster dogs — and with the special, that came to just $2.49. Nathan got his with sugar; I wimped out and got it without. We got the wasabi mayo, cheese mustard and sweet chili dipping sauces.

High point:  We weren't sure what to expect, and were pleasantly surprised. I like the crunch of the coating. Nathan liked the sugar, naturally.

Low point:  I'd love them to have a turkey or veggie dog option. Hopefully in time.

Overall impression: A definite quick snack or weekend lunch that doesn't hurt the wallet. Nice sauces on top of the unique taste.

Will we return:  Yes! Nathan is already asking for a return trip.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

'Kevin and Bean's' Gene 'Bean' Baxter and Allie Mac Kay are Back, and Hosting a New Podcast

As I write in Variety:
Former KROQ “Kevin and Bean” colleagues Gene “Bean” Baxter and Allie Mac Kay have reunited to launch a new podcast, “A Cup of Tea and a Chat with Allie & Bean.”

The show, which will post episodes three days a week, comes nearly a year after Baxter left “Kevin and Bean” and moved to London, and six months after KROQ yanked the successor program, “Kevin in the Morning with Allie and Jensen,” off the air.

Baxter and Kevin Ryder hosted “Kevin and Bean” on KROQ for nearly 30 years — since the start of 1990. After Baxter left, Ryder continued with Mac Kay (who had been with “Kevin & Bean” since 2015) and Jensen Karp, who joined in 2018.

But new KROQ management decided to pull the plug in March, just as the COVID-19 pandemic got underway, and the station took a ratings and public relations hit as a result.

Since moving to London, Baxter has been hosting interviews and doing voice tracking for digital broadcaster Podcast Radio. Mac Kay and Baxter remained in contact, and she said she broached the idea of reteaming soon after KROQ ended “Kevin in the Morning.”

“We were fired in March, I believe I started pestering Bean in April,” Mac Kay said. “‘Hey Bean you ever thought about doing a podcast with an old friend that lives in Los Angeles?’ I think I probably mentioned it only about four or five times, really. And it would just kind of be in passing because if Bean doesn’t want to do something, he’ll totally change the subject. He won’t answer, and he wasn’t really answering and he was changing the subject. So I kind of let it go.“

Baxter said it took a bit of prodding, and hearing from “Kevin and Bean” fans.

“I didn’t think it was a bad idea, it just took me a long time to realize that it was a good idea,” he said.
Read more here.