Tag Archives: hollywood

LA Marathon: People watching on St. Patty’s Day

LA Marathon 20km hydration station

Hydration station. Oranges are a refreshing source of energy especially after running 20km.

Throughout all four layers of clothing I donned this morning to take to the streets of Hollywood I wore nothing green. Sleep-deprived and still rising at 4:30AM made me care as much as a honey badger about reducing the possibility of getting pinched for not wearing the customary color on St. Patrick’s Day.

After a hot breakfast I made my way to the LA Marathon route’s  20 km/ mile 12 marker to greet my team of friendly fellow volunteers and set to up a hydration station. Due to the recent time change it was still dark when I arrived. I wasn’t too thrilled about having to walk an unknown distance from ‘fend for yourself’ parking back to the station. Hollywood has limited non-metered/ unrestricted street parking for non-Hollywood residents. I found a spot only a couple blocks over and appreciated that I got to experience watching the sun come up over Sunset Blvd.

It was beautiful. The picture I managed to take with my old phone camera was not. Ugh. Soon afterward the battery died. Ugh, again. At least I got a photo of the table of freshly-cut oranges and a perfect opportunity to people watch.

It’s not easy to articulate the impact of watching thousands of people make their way to the Pacific Ocean from Dodger Stadium. What I can say is that my senses were full. The sight of people in all kinds of outfits. The sounds of cheering and feet pounding the pavement, with the occasional shout of “Thanks for volunteering,” from a passing runner. The smell of the oranges at the table next to me. The small moment of connection when handing a partially-filled cup of water to an outstretched hand belonging to a parched runner and the feeling when he or she makes eye contact or nods to convey gratitude but just as quickly refocuses on the long journey ahead. I had an energy and inspiration recharge. That said, I still have no desire to run an entire marathon but I would be there in a heartbeat next year to cheer on my friends who do.

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A week of A+ live music

First, I want to state that I have this lofty goal to eliminate my credit card dependency. However, my compulsion to support certain 'why-are-these-people-still-under-the-radar?' musicians @ established music venues makes it quite difficult.

Tuesday night when I saw Ari Hest play at the Hotel Cafe I knew the online ticket purchase was worth it– as are all my purchases, of course. The opener from Ireland, Declan O'Rourke, told the audience that this was his first time playing (or first tour playing?) in America. He had a great sound and one novelty song stands out. It's about an old black crow and it was highly entertaining because there was a fun song introduction and then part of the chorus was him cawing. Not counting that particular song, to me, live, his style was like an Irish version of Ari's so it shouldn't be too surprising if he gains a large following here fairly quickly.

"I can make you move against your will. Don’t it make you sad to lose control?" Broken Voices by Ari Hest

Ari was fantastic with his band, and played a bunch of songs from his early material and CD The Break In, plus newer songs from his project, 52, which included my favorite song, Broken Voices. At some point Amy Kuney came up to sing Cranberry Lake which she co-wrote and sang in a duet with Ari. That was great because I've been wanting to see her live for a while now too.

Ari's vocal ability is amazing. His tone ranges in his songs from baritone to falsetto with impressively flawless lung control. It bowls me over me every time I see him live.

I ran into @KristinJuel during the evening which is always refreshing. Sitting with her I discovered my new favorite bass player, Rob Calder, who has an interesting way of dancing to the beat while he plays.  Very entertaining to watch!

The only downer of the night is that there's a rule that non-flash photography is allowed in Hotel Cafe, but video recording is not. Kristin got busted for taking video with her digi cam at some point. That was too bad but at least they didn't confiscate her camera. She had also taken a bunch of still photos. Overall, it was a good night for live music.

"You're the song that I sing that I don't need to practice." from In the Creases by Amber Rubarth.
Tomorrow is Amber Rubarth's show @ The Mint– http://themintla.com is their site. I refuse to hyperlink to it because it has music that auto-plays and defaults to the loudest volume setting. Way to facilitate an obnoxious user experience.

I love Amber's lyrical ambition and like Ari, she is now based in NY so I try to see her whenever she's playing here. Can't wait to hear her new songs and old ones again that I like. A lot.

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