“Fashion” 21 buys Mervyns

Ξ October 7th, 2008 | → 1 Comments | ∇ 90042, Highland Park, Press, Shopping |

On the heels of a post on Yum-Yum Donuts having it’s roots in Highland Park, did you know that Fashion 21 is the first store of the international retailer better known as Forever 21?  The store opened on the corner of Avenue 56 and Figueroa in 1989 and since then, Forever 21 has expanded to to over 400 stores from the US to Saudi Arabia (Yum-Yum and Winchell’s have nearly half that number for comparison).  Their profits in 2007 topped $1.3 billion and they recently announced they would be purchasing 150 stores from the now bankrupt Mervyns.

Now, I won’t really attempt to write a review on a women’s clothing store, but I have been inside on more than one occasion with my girlfriend who usually finds something on the disorganized racks that she likes at a very low price.  Yelp has a useful review, but if any of you venture in, drop us a line and let us know what you think. 

So, why the name change?  I had a conversation with one of their purchasers once and her story was that as Fashion 21 grew, they didn’t want to be associated with the neighborhoods they were currently in.  A Highland Park address doesn’t sell well to Vals in the Sherman Oaks Galleria.  Thus, the original stores (there is one downtown and in Alhambra) have retained the name while the stores that began popping up in malls took the “Forever” moniker.

Little of this will matter to readers who don’t wear women’s clothing, but guys, let me sweeten the offer for you.  Score some points by joining your girlfriend or wife over there, and then enjoy the corn and fruit vendors who set up shop outside.  You’ll thank me later.


Eagle Rock and Malibu have at least one thing in common…

Ξ October 3rd, 2008 | → Comments Off | ∇ 90042, Press |

…decaying hillsides.  The Times has run a piece describing the history of the slice of land on Colorado between Holbrook and Linda Rosa.  It’s sad, and more than a bit uncharacteristic that something in Eagle Rock would represent the excesses and avarice of the real estate boom, but there it is.  Fortunately, the piece portrays the neighborhood nicely, includes a short slideshow, and even promotes the upcoming music festival.  To give credit where credit is due however, the Boulevard Sentinel did run a similar story back in March.


Celebrating the New Year with Guns and Punk Rock

Ξ October 1st, 2008 | → 1 Comments | ∇ Beyond Northeast |

“I’m not Jewish but…” reads a lot like comments that begin “I’m not a racist but…”.  Still, with a Greek first name that translates to “Bearer of Christ”, it’s not often that I’m confused for practicing Judaism.  So, when my employer gives me Rosh Hashanah off, I’m free to spend a Tuesday exploring the city.

The first stop was a just over the hills at CSULA for a tour of the Los Angeles Regional Crime Lab, formally known as the Hertzberg/Davis Forensic Science Center.  We were able to watch a detective compare firing pin impressions on a cartridge case and learn how a Labrador Retriever and state of the art computers can not only identify the exact type of accelerant used in an arson, but also the brand (Shell gasoline vs. Kingsford lighter fluid for example).  The latter explanation nixed any plans I had of torching my home for insurance.  The highlight of the tour though had to be the stunning catalogue of firearms they possess.  In shelves reminiscent of college library stacks, the criminalists own almost every type of gun imaginable.  Silenced sub-machine guns, WWII rifles, pearl grip revolvers, black powder muskets, and homemade zip guns are used for training and reference purposes, and make for a seductive start to the tour.  Teachers reading this: Drop whatever you’re doing and arrange for a class field trip.  Meeting the real CSI (although here it’s called SID) LA team made me wish I had paid more attention in the chemistry and physics classes that I left behind me so long ago.

Later that evening a few friends and I cruised west for the first of six Rancid shows at the Henry Fonda Theater in Hollywood.  If you’ve never seen these guys live, do yourself a favor and spend an evening with this Oakland quartet.  They don’t have any new material since their last visit, and they drew heavily from “…And Out Come the Wolves” and “Let’s Go”, but playing the crowd pleasers isn’t all bad.  Plus, they drew from the catalogues of Operation Ivy and Lars Fredricksen and the Bastards.  I had so much fun that I may just go again.  Still, if you want to experience a taste of what Punk Rock was like before Hot Topic made S&M gear available to tweeners in Glendale, drop $30 shout along to “Rejected” during the obligatory encore.

They opened last night’s show with “Radio” and “Roots Radicals”:

Shana tova!


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