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January 31, 2023

Photo Essay: Returning to the Pueblo Mágico of Tio's Tacos, Riverside

Last September, I spent the day in Riverside, California researching one of my SoCal Wanderer articles for KCET—and while I was in town, I made sure I returned to Tio's Tacos.
 

No, it wasn't my lunch stop—I wasn't there for the tacos.

January 29, 2023

Photo Essay: Riverside's Historic Weber House, Hiding In Plain Sight In a Hotel Parking Lot

Riverside, California has got plenty of historic architecture—from Victorian to Mid-Century Modern—but one of its most intriguing historic homes defies definition when it comes to architectural style. 

 
And what's more, it's located in the most unexpected of places: in the parking lot of the Courtyard by Marriott Riverside UCR/Moreno Valley Area hotel on University Avenue (a.k.a. Old Highway 395), in a former orange grove.

January 28, 2023

Photo Essay: Chasing Millard Falls After a Rainy LA Winter

I can still feel my ankles and legs aching from the short hike to Millard Falls yesterday morning. I'm so out of shape—and in such constant pain—that it's gotten to easy for me to decide to just not hike.
      

January 05, 2023

Photo Essay: The Making Of Burbank's Gravity-Defying 2023 Rose Parade Float

After freelancing for our local LA public media station KCET since 2015, in July of last year I took an inhouse position there—one that may or may not be temporary. While working as a digital producer there, I've gotten to write, edit, and even help produce a digital short video. This is the story of the making of that video.

As I posted earlier this week, I started the year off right by attending the Rose Parade in person—and I hinted that I had more to say about the Burbank Tournament of Roses float.

 
If you saw the parade, it was the float that kind of looked like Utah—with a guy hang-gliding off of a red-rocked cliff.

January 04, 2023

Photo Essay: The First Monday of 2023 at the Pasadena Rose Parade

The last time I'd gone to the Rose Parade, it was 2020—and the year had already started off weird, even before the COVID-19 pandemic had taken hold. 


In 2021, it was canceled because of the pandemic. And in 2022, I'd had such a good time celebrating New Year's Eve the night before, I couldn't bear to get up early enough to make it to the parade on time. 
 
 Parade sponsor, Honda

But this year, New Year's Day once again fell on a Sunday—as it did in 2017—so the Rose Parade took place on Monday, January 2, giving me a one-day buffer/recovery day. 

December 30, 2022

Photo Essay: What People Were Reading in 2022

I know that the most popular things in life aren't necessarily the best things.

But I also know that some people only really pay attention to what other people already like. 

And if you don't have enough time to read everything on my blog, you might appreciate knowing what other people have been reading.

So once again, here's my ranking of the top posts on Avoiding Regret in 2022, in descending order from most views. 


 

December 27, 2022

How I Wandered SoCal for KCET in 2022

I haven't often reposted the articles I've written for KCET here—often because much of the content that has gotten published here first has eventually made its way into my KCET guides.

But as time has gone on, I've created more and more original content for my SoCal Wanderer column on KCET.org. In fact, probably more in the year 2022 than in any other years prior.

SoCal Wanderer articles are on a little bit of a hiatus—at least, compared to what they've been—since I was hired to work in-house at KCET in actually a different capacity. They may not resume anytime soon. 

So in the meantime, here's a recap of the articles I did contribute over the past year, in case you missed any of them. Click on the titles to open the articles in a new tab/window.

 

December 26, 2022

Year In Review: 2022 Updates to Past Posts

I wish that all this blog was for was to brag about cool stuff I do. 

But I sense a greater purpose in my documenting these places and experiences. It all feels like they'll be gone one day. 

And I feel a duty to report back when they unfortunately do go away. 

It happens more and more every year. 

But thank goodness it's not all bad news. Because sometimes I get to update on a historic place being saved from demolition, rehabilitated, or even reopened. 

I think it's important to keep these entries current with the present condition of the places I've visited. That means sometimes I have to keep going back to check on them. Or to say goodbye. And then share what I've seen (or what can no longer be seen).

So, for the third year in a row, here's a recap of all the updates I made to my Avoiding Regret entries from SoCal and Vegas over the last year—the good, the bad, the ugly, and the complicated.

Closures/Losses/Deaths/Preservation Threats


Chili Bowl 
1. Photo Essay: The Cloistered Nuns of Hollywood and Their Stately Home (Closed—Updated for 2022)
2. Adventures on Pico: From a Chili Bowl to An Oil Well (Updated for 2022)

December 20, 2022

Photo Essay: Nightflying the Skies In the D-Day Doll, a WWII-Era DC-3 Warbird

I typically prefer cars and trains to boats and planes—but I can't resist a good historic excursion on any of 'em.


So I was excited when my friend Charity texted me asking if I'd heard of or done the nighttime DC-3 flights over the city of Riverside, California offered during the Christmas season. My answer? No and no!

December 12, 2022

Photo Essay: The Architectural Jewels of South Coast Plaza, A Mid-Century Modern Mall With a Bright Future

If you were to drive by South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California—or even wheel around its parking lot, looking for a nearby restaurant, as I have—you might think that it's just another mall. 

But this shopping center is a little different. 


Not only is it the largest indoor shopping mall on the West Coast, but it was also one of our first. And it's one of the most successful malls in a country where most shoppers seem to be staying home to make their purchases online.