GTA in Real Life on the Streets of Los Angeles

Everyone knows that the wizards at Rockstar Games did an incredible job with their version of Los Angeles (Los Santos) GTA V, but now the people at Corridor Digital have returned the favor. Using just the right physics, camera work, and locations, they’ve recreated GTA in real life. Shot at iconic locations in Los Angeles like Venice Beach, Griffith Park Observatory, and the Arts District, any fan of the game will be blown away by this 3:22 experience.

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Motorcycle Vs. Car in Beverly Hills

This video, which at the time of this writing has been viewed 561,000 times since it was published, shows a confrontation between a motorcyclist and BMW driver near Beverly Hills on March 26th. The incident starts when the guy on the moto, who made the video, tells the driver “put down your fucking phone”. The driver did not appreciate the remark and drives aggressively near the motorcycle, culminating in the motorcyclist getting knocked off his bike in the middle of the street. Here’s how the motorcyclist describes what happened:

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Watch the Hollywood Park Grandstand Implode

It’s all over for Hollywood Park, and yesterday they blew up the grandstand to smithereens. They grandstand was built in 1950, and used to draw big crowds from all walks of life, include literary luminaries like Charles Bukowski. Now the land is in the process of being redeveloped by owner Stan Kroenke, who wants to build an 80,000 seat football stadium. The stadium could become home to the St. Louis Rams, also owned by Kroenke. For now, you can enjoy the destruction…

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SAND ONE Presents “The Bottle Issue” Charity Event in DTLA

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One thing I like better than beer is a great cause. Come out and support an incredible one on Thursday, April 9 at Ebano’s Crossing (http://www.ebanoscrossing.com) during the Downtown LA Art Walk with the one-and-only SAND ONE (www.sandoner.com).
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What You Need to Know About Gangs in Los Angeles in 2015 ~ A Q&A With Sam Quinones

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Sam Quinones is an author and journalist who lives and works in Los Angeles. He spent many years with the Los Angeles Times, and has done some of his best work since leaving the organization, including recent pieces in the New York Times, National Geographic, and Pacific Standard magazine. The author of several books, including the forthcoming Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, he is also the originator of the Tell Your True Tale workshop which we have featured here on L.A. Taco (here, and here). Sam is a nationally known as an expert on gangs in Los Angeles, and we wanted to get some basic information that could be useful for all Angeleños…

You recently said that the Mexican Mafia is something all Angelenos should know about. What are some basics that you can share with our readers?

That’s a big topic. Basically, the Eme is perhaps an enormously important institution in the lives of people who live in Latino barrios across Southern California. It is so because two decades ago it began organizing, from prisons and county jail, the Latino gang members on the streets, ordering them to tax drug dealers in their areas and funnel part of the profits to whatever Eme member controlled the gang’s area, or his associates or family members.

This new system was instituted by one or two, then copied by many other Mexican Mafia members. The taxation system transformed a prison gang into a mafia on the streets. It transformed local neighborhood gang members from guys who strictly were about controlling their turf into guys far more interested in making money and acquiring power.

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Above: “Boxer” Enriquez, former Mexican Mafia killer turned informant who was recently denied parole.

The local Eme member, from his cell in Pelican Bay or Corcoran maximum security, could in broad terms control things on the street, ordering a gang to kill its own members, which is something that never happened before. They also have ordered some gangs to tax certain businesses that have nothing to do with drug sales but are on the edge of legality – like ice cream and fruit vendors, cantinas and bar operators.

Some Eme members have ordered what amounts to crime waves in their areas. Many have let it be known that they didn’t want blacks operating in their territories, leading gangs to go on ethnic cleansing crusades for a several years.  (Continued)

Loud Sex Noises From Santa Monica Palihouse Hotel Plague Neighbor

Living next to a hotel in a quiet residential areas has its challenges, and apparently living near a “sexy” hotel offers its own special issues. Westside Today has produced the above video which goes into the issue of horny hotel visitors in Santa Monica getting too loud for one (somewhat unhinged) neighbor’s liking.

Petition: Change the Avenue 43 Freeway Ramps

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A petition on Change.org is asking State Senator Kevin de Leon to improve the on/off ramps of the Arroyo Seco Parkway at Avenue 43. As of this writing, the petition needs around 300 more signatures to reach its goal of 1,000.

Anyone who has driven on the 110 North or South near Avenue 43 knows the problem– the entry/exit ramps put you right onto the freeway without room to accelerate, and provide limited visibility of fast-moving freeway traffic. The group thinks that making the exit/entry lanes dedicated lanes would solve the problem. Taking away a lane may cause problems of its own on the two-lane Parkway, but the petition stresses the safety issue as the primary concern.

As the petition (brought to our attention by reader Annie M.) mentions, there are extensive changes likely happening to the 110 Freeway, including new on/off ramps for Avenue 43 and others, but it will take years to complete. The petitioners want one of the potential changes put in place immediately.

The petition reads in part:

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Dodgers Fans Demand Team Remove Photo of Mexican President from Instagram

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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.

Boyle Heights Hangover Cure Inventor Goes Missing in NYC

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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.

MONDAY 11/3: EYEHATEGOD in Los Angeles

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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.

Change the Name Protest Against the Washington Redsk*ns ~ Photos by Douglas Miles

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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.

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