Old Los Angeles

Early photos of Los Angeles found on the Water and Power Associates website.

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Mexicali Global Entry Chinese Food

If you’re considering getting Global Entry, and want to do it fast, you should make a mini-vacation to Mexicali, BC out of it.

Appointments at LAX can take months, Calexico appointments are available within weeks. After your quick interview, you could drive all the way back home, or you could spend the night in the capital of Baja California.

We stayed at the Real Inn Mexicali, for $75/night, which is about as nice as staying at a $160/night hotel in some other North American state capital’s downtown. We hung out at the pool for a while, because it’s very very very hot there, then we got ready for dinner.

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Mexicali has over 345 Chinese restaurants, serving Cantonese food with uniquely Cachanilla additions: chile güeros, a bowl of limes, and ubiquitous caguamas of Tecate and Tecate Light. We walked five minutes to Pekin, which was a little fancier than Nuevo Canton. We ordered the $208 MXN combination, where they kept bringing out rounds of food…

Carnitas Coloradas (Char Siu), Res Estilo Mongol (Mongolian Beef), Sopa Tipo Aleta (imitation shark fin soup), Pollo Mandarin (Orange Chicken), Arroz Cantonés (Fried Rice with shrimp and Chinese sausage), Pollo a la Plancha (grilled chicken in a teriyaki sauce) and Combinacíon China (which was like all the meats and all the veggies in one tasty dish.) We got 2 bottles of Tecate Light and an order of Chun Cun (Egg Rolls.) — We left very full, and had enough leftovers for the next two meals for about $44.

Then we walked a block to Cinépolis Centro Cívico, where the concession line almost wraps around the block. We saw Mujer Maravilla (Wonder Woman) in English with Spanish subtitles for 90 pesos. That’s a blockbuster on opening day for $2.45 per ticket. If you’re a film buff, it’s almost crazy not to cross the border to go to the movies.

The next morning we walked to Sanborn’s in the Plaza Fiesta. There will always be a place in my heart for this Mexican institution. They have a wide range of comfort food on their menu, and each month they celebrate a different region. I got San Luis Potosi-inspired arranchera on my chilaquiles, and Maureen got a club sandwich. We walked out full for about $25.

There’s obviously waaaaay more to do in Mexicali, but we wanted to get back, so we checked out of the hotel at 1pm. We took a 50 peso cab ride to the border, we crossed in 15 minutes, which was faster than I’d ever crossed before (and that was without using Global Entry VIP status.) We stopped at a shop to buy a $5 fidget spinner, and we walked back to the car at Double AA, a few blocks from the border. It’s only $4/day or 100 pesos/day. I’d recommend paying in dollars, unless you really want to get rid of your pesos (cuz it’s like you’re paying $6)

Then we went to the Nike outlet in Calexico, and I got some pretty cool pink & purple running shoes on clearance for 40 bucks. There are some good deals over there.

Then we drove north to Brawley, California, and went to his gastropub in an old building downtown called Inferno. Which has really tasty barbecue and pizza, and they sometimes have concerts — Snoop Dogg played there once. Anyway I got the manager’s info, and maybe we can throw a party there some day. Then we stopped for a date shake in Westmorland, California before driving back to LA.

So that’s a pretty good cheap Southern California / Baja California mini-vacation, that let’s you cross a border, and also take care of some business.

Tchüss,
-HELLER

1997 Party

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This is a party to celebrate the year 1997.

The year that Daft Punk released Homework. The year that Titanic hit screens. The year that OK Computer was installed. The year that a T-Rex attacked San Diego. The year that Missy dropped Supa Dupa Fly. The year that Matt Damon asked “How do you like them apples?” The year The Spice Girls declared “Girl Power.” The year we entered The Fifth Element. The year that we couldn’t stop humming Mmmbop. The year that Cage bequeathed Con Air AND Face/Off (in the same month!) The year that Biggie passed. This was was probably an eventful year for you too.

This all happened twenty years ago.

Let’s relive the music, the drinks, the fashion, with DJs & live acts performing 1997 at ETA in Highland Park on May 20th, 2017

ETA Highland Park – 5630 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, California 90042

Presented by ETA & HELLER

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90s Bar Mitzvah & Dance Party

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Two Jews Talking & East Side Jews Presents
That Nineties B’nai Mitzvah Party

Saturday, February 11th
The Box @ SIJCC
1110 Bates Ave, LA 90029
8:00pm
21+

Come relive the greatest party you ever went to, but now you are old enough to fully appreciate it.

Cash Bar // Appetizers // Classic Bar & Bat Mitzvah Games // DJs & Live Music // 90s Dance Party // Slow Dances // Macarena // Candle-lighting Ceremony // Photobooth // Dress to impress…

$18 Early Bird till 2/1

$25 After 2/1

FACEBOOK INVITE

Bakersfield is a Lovely Weekend Getaway

If you want to leave Los Angeles for the weekend and want to go somewhere that your peers have not yet started visiting may I suggest Bakersfield.

You should drive over the Grapevine hungry and eat a hearty Basque lunch at Benjis French Basque Restaurant. Order the set lunch for $10 which comes with french fries, soup, beans, salsa, salad, and bread. Or for $14 get all that plus a lamb roast in a delicious au jus. Maureen ordered chicken in a sauce topped with bleu cheese. It was like $35 for two people.

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In The Dominican Republic

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Dominican Feast

I was invited by the Dominican Republic to explore the country’s north coast. In recent years, the all-inclusive beaches of Punta Cana have grown in popularity. But Puerto Plata and the north coast wants to make a name for itself as a low-key alternative to the southeastern resort beaches. It has an incredible beach, but it’s also a good central point from which to explore local adventure and cultural activities.

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Why is There So Much Art in Winnipeg?

I ARRIVED IN WINNIPEG ON FRIDAY MORNING, 18 hours late. A car picked me up from the airport and drove me towards the tall buildings I’d seen on my descent. We passed hastily built chain stores, which reminded me of The Weakerthans’ lyric… “this brand new strip mall chews on farmland as we fish for someone to blame.”

Continue reading “Why is There So Much Art in Winnipeg?”