October 24, 2022

Photo Essay: Dinny & Mr. Rex Are a Pair of Halloween Treats in Cabazon

I'd seen the Cabazon Dinosaurs dressed up for lots of other holidays, like Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Easter....

...but I hadn't yet seen them in costume for the ultimate dress-up holiday, Halloween. 

October 19, 2022

Photo Essay: Exploring the Navy's Explosive Island Across the Santa Barbara Channel

I'm a completionist. So of course I've been tracking how many of California's Channel Islands I've been to—and how many I can eventually get to. 

I've already been to Catalina, Santa Rosa, Anacapa, Santa Cruz, and San Nicolas. (Santa Barbara is closed until they can fix the anchorage, and San Clemente is off-limits as a Navy station.)

And as of last weekend, I've crossed yet another off my list: San Miguel. 

October 14, 2022

Photo Essay: Woolsey Fire Recovery Still Continues With the Reopening of Peter Strauss Ranch (Without Its Ranch House)

The last time I tried to check on Peter Strauss Ranch—one of my favorite places in LA—I couldn't get anywhere near it because the November 2018 Woolsey Fire had destroyed the Mulholland Highway bridge you'd normally have to walk across to get to it from the parking area.

That was January 2019. 

But the National Park Service had announced that the ranch—part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area—had finally reopened in June 2022, so I went back a couple of weeks ago. (They still haven't replaced the park sign, which was burned to a crisp.)

October 11, 2022

Photo Essay: Monte Carlo Deli & Pinocchio Restaurant, A Red-Sauce Reverie Inspired By A Fairy-Tale Boy Puppet

Walt Disney once considered building Disneyland in Burbank, California instead of Anaheim—on the lot that now houses Walt Disney Animation Studios and ABC, across from Walt Disney Studios. 

But today, the only place in Burbank where the public can get a taste of Disney—since there's no studio tour offered—is at the Monte Carlo Deli and Pinocchio Restaurant on Magnolia Boulevard, in Magnolia Park. 

October 06, 2022

Glendale's Moonlight Rollerway Once Again Lights Up Tuesday Nights With Live Organ Concerts

I recently included Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale, California as one of the top places to "feel like a kid again" in LA, in an article published on But that's not exactly accurate for me—because I didn't grow up getting invited to rollerskating birthday parties.

Or, if I had been invited, I wouldn't have been allowed to go. 

So although I had a pair of those metal strap-on skates that I'd wear over my sneakers as I plunked down the sidewalk in front of my childhood home, I never really learned how to rollerskate.

I tried once in college with some high school friends, but I fell so many times—and so spectacularly—that I got ejected from the floor.

Still, I can't shake my fascination with rollerskating—probably because of my lifelong love of Xanaduso this year I've made not one but two pilgrimages to Glendale's oldest roller rink, which has operated as Moonlight Rollerway since 1968.