Tuesday, December 9, 2014
This week Dodgers First Baseman, Mexican citizen Adrian Gonzalez, was in Mexico City and met with the country’s embattled president, Enrique Peña Nieto. A photo was posted to the Dodgers’ Instagram account showing Gonzalez giving Peña Nieto a customized Dodgers jersey. Almost immediately, a firestorm of outraged comments rained down on the photo, with almost all commenters taking the Dodgers to task for associating themselves with the President of Mexico in the current climate of fear, anger, and “Ya Me Canse“. Dodgers fans are now (according to the Instagram comments) calling the Dodgers PR department non-stop, demanding that the photo be removed.
As of this post, the photo has 4,300 comments. An average photo on the Dodgers instagram photo gets at most a few hundred comments. A representative comment: “I can deal with you guys losing in the playoffs. I can deal with you guys having the highest payroll in the entire league. We will not put up with you associating yourself with such scum.”
People are asking others to report the photo, unfollow the account, and are using hashtags like #AYOTZINAPA #ayotzinapasomostodos #yamecanse to express their fury at this representation of perceived support for the Government of Mexico, its President, and his party. It’s going to be very interesting to watch this unfold today and if the Dodgers will end up removing the photo or making some kind of statement. The most important number in the history of the Dodgers is Jackie Robinson’s 42, but today fans are making it 43.
Monday, December 8, 2014
The Los Angeles Times last night reported on a rather bizarre sounding story full of strange and incongruous details. The story starts off normally enough, about a Los Angeles man who hasn’t been seen since Thanksgiving when he went to New York:
New York City police are searching for a Boyle Heights man who disappeared two days before Thanksgiving.
Steven Reynoso, 30, was last seen at 6 p.m. on Nov. 25 leaving the Renaissance Hotel on 7th Avenue, according to the NYPD. He was wearing a black pea coat, black jeans, black tennis shoes and carrying a black bag.
Reynoso was in New York with his girlfriend. She told police that Reynoso had told her he was going to visit friends as she was getting ready to see a Broadway show.
The story then adds some interesting details via the New York Daily News, which notes the following:
- When the man’s girlfriend didn’t hear from him for a day, she called her mother out to NYC to stay with her and wait.
- When she ran out of money after a few days, she flew home to L.A.
- She then dropped off the man’s luggage at his parents’ house, and according the man’s father Angel, who also said: “That was the last time we saw her, We don’t know anything about her.”
- According to his father, Steven Reynoso was the inventor of a hangover cure, and was in New York City to market his invention.
- Also according to the father, it would be a bad idea to make a public appeal on camera. He told CBS2 that “I can’t go on camera,” he said, “it might do more harm to my son.”
Meanwhile it’s been over two weeks and Reynoso has not been heard from. The police describe Reynoso as 5 foot 10 and 260 pounds and say he was last seen by the girlfriend leaving his Hotel near Times Square. As a service to readers, please don’t read the comments on the L.A. Times website. They are literally mostly jokes about the man’s weight and ethnicity.
Sunday, November 2, 2014
MONDAY 11/3 get ready for EYEHATEGOD on tour with POWER TRIP and IRON REAGAN with local heroes WITCHAVEN and DEADBEAT at Los Globos! 3040 W. Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles. 18+ 8pm. Limited advanced tickets available now at Headline Records 7706 Melrose Ave. $20 at the door night of the show. More info here.
Monday, October 20, 2014
Douglas Miles is an artist living and working on the San Carlos Apache Nation in Arizona. Here he recounts his experience at the recent “Change the Name” protest in Phoenix, and shares his photographs of the event.
On Sunday October 12th the Phoenix Cardinals were to play the Washington Redskins in Phoenix Arizona. My friend Monica and I were invited personally via facebook by Amanda Blackhorse to attend an anti-mascot protest rally. This meant I would not only be there but I would photograph this radical event. For those that don’t know, Amanda Blackhorse was the lead plaintiff in Blackhorse v. Pro-Football, Inc. which sought to revoke trademark protection of the term “Washington Redskins” because it is disparaging and racist to Native Americans. She won. The Redskins team is now suing her in a “payback” move. Amanda, a single mother from the Navajo tribe, currently works as a social worker on the Navajo Nation.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Mr. Trigz AKA Trigger AKA Christopher Pebley Sr. was one of the beloved figures of the Los Angeles underground art, tattoo, and graffiti scenes. His charisma was evident whenever he walked into a room, and he made friends across a wide spectrum of L.A. He was a dedicated father, who leaves behind a fiancee and five kids from age 2 to 23. While he fit into some categories like “party animal”, “artist”, “criminal past”, “Tattooed Man”, he transcended all of them and to most people grieving today he was simply a friend. Many people across Los Angeles and around the world are mourning the huge loss of Trigz today.
News reports are still sketchy, but the basics of the story is that LAPD believes a simple street dispute escalated to the point where a single suspect, described as male in his 30’s, shot Trigz in the torso and escaped in a white Honda Accord. This happened in North Hollywood near the Black Derby Smoke Shop.
Friends and family are raising money for funeral expenses here.
All photos by Trigz’ close friend Pep Williams.
Friday, August 29, 2014
The above drone video shows surfer Allen Sarlo “shooting the pier” at Malibu the other day. Shooting the pier is a classic California surfing maneuver meaning to go between the pilings and not fall off (or die, see below). Back in the early days of California surfing in the 1950s and 1960s it was what could set you apart from the rest of the gang and get all the beach bunnies riled up. From a Malibu Patch article from a few years back that mentions Sarlo shooting the pier during the last huge Malibu swell:
Sarlo made it through the pier several times, approaching it at speed and looking for the gaps that hid broken pilings that could have killed him if he’d hit them. Sarlo shot the pier several times, made it through on all of them and even did a big reentry in the shorebreak— detonating in front of the parking lot.
Shooting the Malibu Pier is dangerous business. The pilings aren’t angled correctly, and you have to pick a wave that stays green as it moves through. Back in the late 1950s, an African-American surfer named Nick Gabaldon died when he hit the pier while trying to shoot it. The incident is mentioned in the 1957 novella Gidget.
Another angle from the beach when Laird Hamilton shot the pier.
Want to know more about Nick Gabaldon? Check out the clip below:
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Update on the Skid Row mural we posted about earlier this year…
The name “Skid Row” is known to everyone in Los Angeles, but it does not appear on ANY official City of los Angeles map, street sign, or city documents. Earlier this year, Fire Station 9, which serves the area and is known as “the busiest fire station in the United States” was ordered to remove any Skid Row designations from their 5 fire trucks. In response they created a web-site and petition to restore the name to their vehicles: http://www.firestation9skidrow.org/help.html
The city prefers the name Central City East and would possibly like to pretend Skid Row, and what it represents, doesn’t really exist. Anyone who actually lives Downtown know it as Skid Row and knows where its basic borders lie.
Defining Skid Row is thus a challenge and an opportunity to those who live there or nearby. In 2006 a court case known as Jones Vs. the City of Los Angeles (case No. 04-55324) the borders of Skid Row were defined as Main St to the West, Alameda St. to the east, Third St to the North, and Seventh St to the South.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
In 2011, I published a piece here on L.A. Taco calling out the LAPD and Homicide Detective Sal LaBarbera for using Twitter in I what I felt was an unprofessional style. The post set off a firestorm of criticism and praise of my stance, and started a conversation in the media about the proper use of social media by public employees. Since then, numerous law enforcement agencies and their officers have have adopted social media to stay better connected with communities and to give their perspective take on the news. You can literally look up the majority of departments on the big three social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. As with anything else in today’s hyperconnected world, sometimes there’s such a thing as overly connected, and it leads to interesting results. Let’s review some recent postings…
Friday, July 18, 2014
Australian filmmaker Shanks Rajendran, whose last documentary was on similar topics in Miami, has turned his eye to Skid Row. Check out this 3 minute trailer which begins with his first night out on the streets.
Friday, July 4, 2014
Motorist David Diaz was driving by and filmed this video (and later added a very aggressive watermark) of a white cop beating a black woman on the side of the freeway a couple days ago.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
This map from the LAPD shows all the city’s gang injunctions, from Venice to Harbor City to Highland Park. Useful for knowing what the police are focusing on in your neighborhood, and which gangs are on the city’s radar. Click the map to see the large version.