All Reviews by cityhawk9

  • Skylight Books 1818 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027 (323) 660-1175

    5 stars Posted on 10/13/2010 11:54pm

    The aptly named Skylight Books is an oasis in this era of impersonal, labyrynthian mall chain bookstores and soulless online ordering. This place not only celebrates the joy of books and reading, but somehow manages to make shopping for books as cool as sipping martinis in some trendy Westside bar. Forget the nerdish bookstore clerks of the past; this bookstore is staffed by helpful young people who have clearly cracked open more than a few titles in their time.There is even a steady soundtrack of interesting music,lively and regular presentations featuring actual authors, and an unruffled feline ambling about or napping in the display window. It's a wonderful bookstore and well worth our support and business. I especially love their collection of classic literature, but they have many,many contemporary titles as well. Browse about and immerse yourself in the magic of books. Techno devices may be handy, but there is something about the look and feel and cover art of a book that is irreplaceable to my senses,and treasures abound at Skylight Books. Go.. you won't regret it.
  • Barragan's Mexican Restaurant 814 S Central Ave, Glendale, CA 91204 (818) 243-1103

    5 stars Posted on 10/11/2010 10:51pm

    Here, at last, is a Mexican Restaurant that does not bombard you with an atmosphere of forced fiesta-mania, yet is always fun. One can actually hear one's dinner-mate here, unlike others, which assault you with a cacophany of noise produced by everything from television sports (any restaurant with a television on during dinner is OUT in my book), overly amplified music, and even karaoke going on in the bar area, sometimes all at once! (It's the throw everything but the kitchen sink into the mix approach, and hope the customers get suitably jolly I suppose. Just gives me a headache.) But Barragans, in comparison, is an isle of relative peace in comparison, and the music is background, never too loud. I've said it before and I'll say it again: if the chips and salsa are great in a Mexican restaurant the food will follow accordingly, and it does here! And the icing on this tasty Mexican cake? The staff are are attentive,good-humored, charming, and CUTE (both the waitresses and waiters!) All in all, a low-key, but thoroughly enjoyable place where one can get ones fix of good Mexican food and a nice margarita at a reasonable price. (The original Barragans on Sunset is good too if you want a slightly more old school, traditional version of the same place.) I prefer the Glendale version; they have their own parking lot.Try it! Este es perfecto!
  • Rite Aid 1841 N Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027 (323) 461-6136

    3 stars Posted on 10/11/2010 08:51pm

    Well-stocked? Yes. Friendly employees? Sure.Nevertheless, there are a few things one can count on consistently at this place that make one's visit a bit of an ordeal. 1. I doubt I have ever approached the entrance without being accosted by an (allegedly) homeless person all but blocking the doorway.They have inexplicably, but perhaps understandably, adopted a drug store as their favorite hangout. Be ye not deceived: there is a fairly large Board and Care doors nearby on Western, so these folks get 3 meals a day and a little "personal spending" dough. That's not what their after; it's more likely beer change they are wringing your guilt for. Some of them should join SAG, such are their skills. Do notice a liquor store sits prominently across the street, so there's the real attraction. 2. Lines at the register.The cashiers are friendly folk with more patience than Job apparently, for it never fails: someone ALWAYS haggles over a coupon, or disputes a price, or must return something as though this habitually gives their life Meaning. Meanwhile, those in line wait... and wait.Take a book... perhaps "War and Peace" would do. 3. Prices of certain items have risen precipitously in but a few years. Does one really wish to spend 9 dollars on laundry detergent?! Even their own brand, once a good deal, has gone way up. Vitamins? Forget it. You could buy an I-Pod instead, just eat more veggies.Nevertheless, the store does try, and they consistently play rather groovy music to shop by. One can whisk about the place singing along to the 5th Dimension or Bee Gees while buying floss. P.S. Apply for the "Wellness Card" if you plan to become a regular. Happy Shopping.
  • Slammer 3688 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004 (213) 388-8040

    4 stars Posted on 10/10/2010 07:34pm

    It is obviously not every gay man's cup of tea, but the place does deliver the goods. Some complain it's too "dirty" and "tacky;"(a reasonably clean former warehouse, it aims for a masculine aurra;prettification is not in keeping with the image.) To my mind, the place gets it basically right: it's just dark enough and funky enough to allow for one to indulge in some fantasies, a sort of amusement park of the male senses. If you have ever tried an Internet hook-up, and found the person showing up at your door is not remotely like the one you thought you invited over, this place provides a less problematic (and safer) option. And yes, "safe" behavior is very actively encouraged and supported throughout from the time you sign in. Refreshingly, Slammer is not the least bit ageist (nor any other "ist" that I have observed) Both young and older co-mingle minus the tired cattiness of some gay bars. One piece of advice: male assertiveness is attractive in such a place; leave your inner "shy violet" at home and join in, (safely of course,) As places for play go, it's what you make it, and a hell of a sandbox for the adventurous.
  • Rockaway Records 2395 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039 (323) 664-3232

    5 stars Posted on 09/30/2010 12:56am

    A few times a month I get the urge to browse the bins over at Rockaway Records, and I almost always leave with two or three treasures at a great price. The place is well-organized, has a nice parking lot, and is not an overwhelming behemoth like Amoeba.( Sorry, I do NOT want to park in some underground catacombs to shop for music!) If you love finding those "hard to find" cds, here's where they often are. If you are into vintage soul music, as I am, the place is fabulous. I recently walked out the door with two cds I thought I'd never find plus James Horner's soundtrack to Avatar for next to nothing.That's called a groovy Saturday! You can also find tons of rock and pop classics at really low prices. And classical music as well! ( I had little knowledge of classical music until about ten years ago, but found great collections of the masters in this very shop at good prices and now I know my Bach from Beethoven, my Schubert from sherbet!) C'mon people: if we lose all our record stores (and bookstores) it's gonna be a lot duller city. Let's support 'em and hope that Rockaway doesn't lose their groove. Buying from the amazon jungle does not match the sheer joy of finding music you never thought you'd find again in your life. It's like hitting the jackpot in Vegas if you're a music lover like me. Long live RR!!
  • Total Remedy & Prescription Center 1245 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90017 (213) 481-1130

    2 stars Posted on 08/29/2010 10:41pm

    This pharmacy has a built in audience, so to speak. They are on the first floor of a major medical office building. Perhaps that's why the service is riddled with errors (unrelated to the actual medications themselves.) Don't bother calling your med request in on their answering service; it won't necessarily be ready even hours later and you will wait anyway. Be prepared for certain staff to blurt the name of your medicine out in the presence of others, despite the fact that it is private information; this has happened twice.Most of the staff are pleasant, others are weirdly condescending and seem to need a course in public relations.
  • United Taxi (213) 483-7669

    3 stars Posted on 07/18/2010 10:54am

    This is a company with mostly great, personable drivers who are a pleasure to be with in the cab. The problem is not with the drivers, who are merely saddled with this companie's brand name, but with the company itself, which seems oddly mired in a past era. Curiously, one can call with clockwork regularity, thus making oneself a "regular" (the bread and butter of any company) yet they continue to have ditzy dispatchers who act as if you are calling for the first time EVERY TIME. Surely in our techno-savvy era there is a simple means to denote REGULAR PATRONS who have an obvious routine from those calling only sporadically. But, they don't, for one may make the same call from the same business or bar repeatedly for 20 years and some dispatcher will insist on all the micro- details. There are only about 3 bars in the area doing ANY business to speak of, and it would seem wise for any cab company to know them and their locations! The dispatchers most on the ball sound like older people; it is the ones who sound young who are the worst offenders; they are also the most defensive when one complains about a botched dispatch, having never apparently been told "the customer is always right," (yet more proof that the young are over-rated). Another hint: much as you may disdain an apparently intoxicated person, do not assume they are stupid or will suffer fools gladly. Give them credit for having the smarts to take a cab instead of driving, and leave the moralizing to someone else. All the customer wants to do is get back home as quickly and pleasantly as possible, not engage in some weird nocturnal war between taxi drivers and their pickups. We know you deal with difficult people and lousy tippers, etc. Indeed you cab drivers are the unheralded psychatrists and therapists of the night. I for one applaud you; it's a tough gig. That being said, I fully recommend this company, but watch out for the ditzy-dispatchers!
  • Mj's 2810 Hyperion Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027 (323) 660-1503

    2 stars Posted on 07/04/2010 11:43am

    Here is a bar that is worth a visit as an exercise in camp. You have to love a place that has some butch looking man on a ladder screwing in light bulbs and sprucing up the place well after the early crowd has arrived. The place features blandly attractive, utterly bored looking go-go boys, all smooth and hairless of course, gyrating as though they've punched a time card.They are mostly accosted by mature men, the overweight, or squealing,happily inebriated girls who have come to the bar with their friends. Speaking of vodka,the drinks are over-priced and loaded to the top with ice;skip it and get a beer.The staff are a mostly friendly combination of good looking younger men and older gym bunnies who have probably been bartending since Milk was assasinated. The hub of the social action takes place in a smoke-choked outdoor patio ideal for exposure to second hand smoke; Primary activities indoors include watching the go go boys(at least half of whom dance like they are fresh off the train from Idaho and straight) or dancing to music that vacillates wildly between gritty hiphop (a bit too gritty, considering the apparent reluctance of many to dance) or dance mixes sung by a faceless array of what sound like white female singers with names like Katy and Kelly, etc. Luckily all of this is redeemed by a periodic foray into house music called Chocolate, which singularly transforms the place into something far more classy and cool. Otherwise,this is a bar with a full blown identity crisis:they started off boasting a Levi and Leather, "masculine" image which has apparently been abandoned and replaced by a stale, mostly charmless West Hollywood aura, sort of that Invasion of the Bots sense of forced festivity familiar to anyone who's stepped foot in a gay bar over years knows a bit too well. The bar's insistent emphasis on youth and appealing to youth appears to actually work against it in this case, for this is Silverlake, and that means a gumbo of ethnic variety, young and older, and artists and bohemians likely to be too sophisticated for such shopworn, tired concepts of what a gay bar should offer. It's a well meaning place that tries gamely, gets the boys up there on stage, and hopes for the best. Go, but keep your expectations in check.