You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2008.

>Los Angeles traffic can be a nightmare, especially if you are stuck in it and have no way of knowing if the traffic continues for another few minutes or an hour. Whenever I am on my way out, I check the traffic on my computer before I drive by going to the sigalert website on ABC7. It shows the flow of traffic; red is SLOW, orange is moving, yellow is almost freeway speed, and green is traffic actually going freeway speed! There are also triangles showing road hazards or accidents along with the time of each occurrence. With maps for all the counties in and around around L.A., you can click on all the areas you plan to travel through, or just keep it on your home or work destinations. It always helps to see if an alternate route would be better before you find out by getting stuck on the road.

What if you are already on the road and are nowhere near a computer? Do you have an internet enabled wireless phone? One of the other local Los Angeles TV stations has a new free download for your internet enabled phone (for almost all phones except the iphone, which will be available this summer) that shows you LIVE traffic on your route from over 270 cameras while you are in your car! Just go to KNBC’s website, put in your cell phone number, and they will send you the download. It’s easy and it actually works! And if you live in NY or CT, they offer the same service at the Third Dimension website.

If your route is finally clear but now you can’t find the address you were heading to, then just use your phone to text GOOGLE and text in the name or subject of your destination. This is free, so it’s like using a 411 service only in text (which is actually more convenient when you are on the road because then you don’t have to write it down). Remember with the new law effective July 1, 2008 in California, you MUST use a hands free device if you are driving while using your cell phone, so PULL OVER to use this service (or have someone else in your car do it if you are driving).

Traffic is a fact of life in Los Angeles, but with a little bit of planning and some good connections, you can make it easier, just like life.

Los Angeles traffic can be a nightmare, especially if you are stuck in it and have no way of knowing if the traffic continues for another few minutes or an hour. Whenever I am on my way out, I check the traffic on my computer before I drive by going to the sigalert website on ABC7. It shows the flow of traffic; red is SLOW, orange is moving, yellow is almost freeway speed, and green is traffic actually going freeway speed! There are also triangles showing road hazards or accidents along with the time of each occurrence. With maps for all the counties in and around around L.A., you can click on all the areas you plan to travel through, or just keep it on your home or work destinations. It always helps to see if an alternate route would be better before you find out by getting stuck on the road.

What if you are already on the road and are nowhere near a computer? Do you have an internet enabled wireless phone? One of the other local Los Angeles TV stations has a new free download for your internet enabled phone (for almost all phones except the iphone, which will be available this summer) that shows you LIVE traffic on your route from over 270 cameras while you are in your car! Just go to KNBC’s website, put in your cell phone number, and they will send you the download. It’s easy and it actually works! And if you live in NY or CT, they offer the same service at the Third Dimension website.

If your route is finally clear but now you can’t find the address you were heading to, then just use your phone to text GOOGLE and text in the name or subject of your destination. This is free, so it’s like using a 411 service only in text (which is actually more convenient when you are on the road because then you don’t have to write it down). Remember with the new law effective July 1, 2008 in California, you MUST use a hands free device if you are driving while using your cell phone, so PULL OVER to use this service (or have someone else in your car do it if you are driving).

Traffic is a fact of life in Los Angeles, but with a little bit of planning and some good connections, you can make it easier, just like life.

>Have you ever been frustrated by a lack of cell phone reception in your home or on the road in the middle of a “dead cell phone zone”? If you are willing to take along a 3×5 inch plastic disk (not small, but not obnoxiously big either) that plugs into your phone, you can end your frustration. Freedom Antenna is a lifesaver when you need to make a call or have your call clear and steady. Not all phones have a port for this antenna, but all networks support it, so if you can’t live without a good wireless cell phone connection it may be worth the $31.95 to buy this and keep it with your phone.

OK, now that you have bars on your cell phone, why not call someone to get rid of the clutter in your home or office? What if you didn’t have to order a dumpster, or load any of the stuff yourself? Call 1-800-got-junk and they will literally do all the heavy lifting for you. For those of us who have old refrigerators (too heavy to move alone), soil or construction debris (how would you dispose of a wall?), or mattresses, appliances and old stuff no charity will accept, this is an easy way to get it either recycled or dumped legally and easily. They also pick up from commercial addresses, so if your business has just been remodeled or moved, you can pay professionals to remove the leftover junk effectively, instead of paying your employees for labor they were not hired to perform.

Clear reception and a clear home/office space, now to work on achieving a clear desk:)

Have you ever been frustrated by a lack of cell phone reception in your home or on the road in the middle of a “dead cell phone zone”? If you are willing to take along a 3×5 inch plastic disk (not small, but not obnoxiously big either) that plugs into your phone, you can end your frustration. Freedom Antenna is a lifesaver when you need to make a call or have your call clear and steady. Not all phones have a port for this antenna, but all networks support it, so if you can’t live without a good wireless cell phone connection it may be worth the $31.95 to buy this and keep it with your phone.

OK, now that you have bars on your cell phone, why not call someone to get rid of the clutter in your home or office? What if you didn’t have to order a dumpster, or load any of the stuff yourself? Call 1-800-got-junk and they will literally do all the heavy lifting for you. For those of us who have old refrigerators (too heavy to move alone), soil or construction debris (how would you dispose of a wall?), or mattresses, appliances and old stuff no charity will accept, this is an easy way to get it either recycled or dumped legally and easily. They also pick up from commercial addresses, so if your business has just been remodeled or moved, you can pay professionals to remove the leftover junk effectively, instead of paying your employees for labor they were not hired to perform.

Clear reception and a clear home/office space, now to work on achieving a clear desk:)

>How much is your time worth? With all the hassles and lines at commercial airports these days, and with the price of gas here in CA reaching the $5 per gallon mark, would it be worth your time and money to get to your destination quickly, easily, and almost hassle-free? Have you always wanted to fly in a Cessna, or wanted to take a jet, but don’t have the funds or connections to make it happen? What if you could get to your destination in a private jet? It’s a choice we all have now with the jet taxi services which allow you to take them on demand, just as you would a taxi; think of it as an air taxi service. Now you can live the life of a jetsetter with a jet taxi service that operates in the Southeast and Northeast for a very reasonable price.

Imagine Air operates primarily around the Southeast area, originating out of Atlanta. Their fleet is expanding so their flight ranges will also extend, but for the moment, you can fly with two of your friends, from Atlanta, GA to Charlotte, NC, then to Hilton Head Island, and back to Atlanta in a day for about $2000! Talk about affordable jet setting! The even offer a frequent flier type membership that gives you 20% off flights.

Are you stuck in New York but want to fly to Nantucket without the hassles of airports or driving? What if you could do it for only $500 per person (not including fees and taxes)? Linear Air has flights all over the Northeast and down to Imagine Air territory, so you can actually connect from one VLJ (Very Light Jet) taxi to another and fly from New York to Atlanta on a jet without any of the hassles of commercial airport security.

To fly on a jet or not to fly on a jet? Seems that is no longer a question if you can hail a jet taxi for your flight.

How much is your time worth? With all the hassles and lines at commercial airports these days, and with the price of gas here in CA reaching the $5 per gallon mark, would it be worth your time and money to get to your destination quickly, easily, and almost hassle-free? Have you always wanted to fly in a Cessna, or wanted to take a jet, but don’t have the funds or connections to make it happen? What if you could get to your destination in a private jet? It’s a choice we all have now with the jet taxi services which allow you to take them on demand, just as you would a taxi; think of it as an air taxi service. Now you can live the life of a jetsetter with a jet taxi service that operates in the Southeast and Northeast for a very reasonable price.

Imagine Air operates primarily around the Southeast area, originating out of Atlanta. Their fleet is expanding so their flight ranges will also extend, but for the moment, you can fly with two of your friends, from Atlanta, GA to Charlotte, NC, then to Hilton Head Island, and back to Atlanta in a day for about $2000! Talk about affordable jet setting! The even offer a frequent flier type membership that gives you 20% off flights.

Are you stuck in New York but want to fly to Nantucket without the hassles of airports or driving? What if you could do it for only $500 per person (not including fees and taxes)? Linear Air has flights all over the Northeast and down to Imagine Air territory, so you can actually connect from one VLJ (Very Light Jet) taxi to another and fly from New York to Atlanta on a jet without any of the hassles of commercial airport security.

To fly on a jet or not to fly on a jet? Seems that is no longer a question if you can hail a jet taxi for your flight.

>Sometimes I just want get out of town and spend a day as a tourist, when I’m in that mood, one of the places I love to go is La Jolla Village. I love wandering around town window shopping the galleries and clothing stores, trying out old and new restaurants, and simply enjoying the ocean air and spirit of this beach community. The town has grown into a sprawling metropolis since I first started coming here in my college years, but one place keeps beckoning me back to visit and revisit.

A meal at Trattoria Acqua is enough of a reason to come to La Jolla. I discovered this hidden restaurant by accident one day as I was shopping in the complex above it. If you are walking on Prospect, the restaurant is actually below the street because the street slopes down a steep grade towards the ocean. That means that you get an ocean view as you dine at one of the window seats (the courtyard is also a pleasant experience if you can’t get a reservation for one of the coveted view tables). Go for an early dinner so you are seated to enjoy the sunset over the ocean as you eat your meal by candlelight. This is a great place to take a date, but you can go with friends or solo, and still feel comfortable in the casual seaside atmosphere.

The food is rustic Italian based on organic ingredients, so the result is both familiar and fresh at the same time. I love their quaglie a beccafico, roasted sonoma quails wrapped with Italian bacon, with a stuffing of spinach, raisins and pine nuts, served with grilled polenta and a Marsala-mushroom sauce. When I’m in the mood for seafood I order the scampi al aglio, baked black tiger shrimp crusted with Parmesan breadcrumbs, garlic, white wine and parsley butter, served with baked polenta and organic vegetables. If you have any room for dessert after dinner (don’t try to be a hero, just eat until you are full and take the rest home), get their budino di mirtile, warm blueberry bread pudding with blueberry gelato (there is fruit in the dessert, so doesn’t that make it light?).

Service here is probably the best I have had in La Jolla, balancing attention and timing, while going above and beyond the ordinary. On one of my visits I ordered a daily fish special with a vanilla sauce that I did not care for and my waitress noticed that I did not eat much of my entree, so she not only asked me what I did not like (the sauce was too sweet for me, but the fish was excellent). She removed my plate and REPLACED my entire entree and substituted the special vanilla sauce with a simple piccata sauce. I tipped her very generously for her service to show my gratitude for making my meal so enjoyable. I have had entrees exchanged for another or problems with an entree fixed, but aside from Acqua, I have never had an entree CHANGED because of my personal preference.

After your meal take a passeggi (stroll) along the shoreline or on Prospect as everyone in Italy does after their evening meal. This is truly la Dolce Vita (the good life).

Sometimes I just want get out of town and spend a day as a tourist, when I’m in that mood, one of the places I love to go is La Jolla Village. I love wandering around town window shopping the galleries and clothing stores, trying out old and new restaurants, and simply enjoying the ocean air and spirit of this beach community. The town has grown into a sprawling metropolis since I first started coming here in my college years, but one place keeps beckoning me back to visit and revisit.

A meal at Trattoria Acqua is enough of a reason to come to La Jolla. I discovered this hidden restaurant by accident one day as I was shopping in the complex above it. If you are walking on Prospect, the restaurant is actually below the street because the street slopes down a steep grade towards the ocean. That means that you get an ocean view as you dine at one of the window seats (the courtyard is also a pleasant experience if you can’t get a reservation for one of the coveted view tables). Go for an early dinner so you are seated to enjoy the sunset over the ocean as you eat your meal by candlelight. This is a great place to take a date, but you can go with friends or solo, and still feel comfortable in the casual seaside atmosphere.

The food is rustic Italian based on organic ingredients, so the result is both familiar and fresh at the same time. I love their quaglie a beccafico, roasted sonoma quails wrapped with Italian bacon, with a stuffing of spinach, raisins and pine nuts, served with grilled polenta and a Marsala-mushroom sauce. When I’m in the mood for seafood I order the scampi al aglio, baked black tiger shrimp crusted with Parmesan breadcrumbs, garlic, white wine and parsley butter, served with baked polenta and organic vegetables. If you have any room for dessert after dinner (don’t try to be a hero, just eat until you are full and take the rest home), get their budino di mirtile, warm blueberry bread pudding with blueberry gelato (there is fruit in the dessert, so doesn’t that make it light?).

Service here is probably the best I have had in La Jolla, balancing attention and timing, while going above and beyond the ordinary. On one of my visits I ordered a daily fish special with a vanilla sauce that I did not care for and my waitress noticed that I did not eat much of my entree, so she not only asked me what I did not like (the sauce was too sweet for me, but the fish was excellent). She removed my plate and REPLACED my entire entree and substituted the special vanilla sauce with a simple piccata sauce. I tipped her very generously for her service to show my gratitude for making my meal so enjoyable. I have had entrees exchanged for another or problems with an entree fixed, but aside from Acqua, I have never had an entree CHANGED because of my personal preference.

After your meal take a passeggi (stroll) along the shoreline or on Prospect as everyone in Italy does after their evening meal. This is truly la Dolce Vita (the good life).

>Malibu is legendary as a celebrity enclave, but it is also a great village with a small active community. To truly taste life here, stay for a few days and hang out like a native.

Malibu Beach Inn has just been renovated and it is truly the best place to stay on Carbon beach (every room is on the beach with views of the beach or pier). Prices are about $100 less in the months shouldering July and August when it is still wonderful weather, so book a few days midweek in September to enjoy a less crowded town and beach (and feel like a local).

Everything in the rooms is top quality from the Molton Brown products in the bathroom, to the minibar stocked with Dean & DeLuca snacks. They tried to include everything you would want from complimentary (wired) highspeed internet access, to an ergonomically designed chair and workstation. If you just want to sit and watch the sunset in your Trina Turk robes while sipping one of the seven bottles of (good) Californian wines in every room, you could forget that you live anywhere else.

For a romantic dinner on your first night, I would go with wonderful French/Mediterranean food. Just a short drive to the north is Beau Rivage, which sits like a pink Mediterranean seashell next to the beach. Whether you want to start out with the escargot or the caviar, you can’t go wrong with your choices here. The proprietor, Daniel, is a gracious and charming host who will make sure your experience is elegant and delicious. Choose the grilled striped bass or the rack of lamb with Mediterranean herbs and olive oil. Finish the evening with a digestif as you enjoy the live piano ushering in the night. Call ahead for reservations because this is a popular spot for weddings and private events that close the restaurant to public reservations.

Spend a day walking acround at the Malibu Country Mart with it’s small exclusive shops and small playground (full of nannies with children most week-days) and wander over to the spiritual bookstore the Malibu Shaman, with the best small collection in town of everything New Age and spiritual in books, trinkets, candles, and music. There is usually a tarot or psychic reader in residence, so for some added fun, spend a session with the reader and see what the cards have to say.

If your stomach says let’s go eat, then head over to Marmalade Cafe for breakfast at the Malibu Country Mart shopping center. This is classic healthy Californian food in a casual comfortable atmosphere. If you want a healthy meal, order the tofu and egg white omelet with spinach, tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms; if you are starving, order the Cross Creek special of buttermilk pancakes, maple turkey sausage, Italian chicken sausage, smoked bacon (or ham) and 2 eggs and you will be happy with your gigantic meal of fresh ingredients at reasonable prices. Most plates are more than enough to share unless you are famished or Michael Clarke Duncan gaining weight for another John Coffey size role.

Nobu Malibu is a great way to end your stay; what better way to end the day than by eating fresh Japanese sushi or specialties like the yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno or a Lobster shitake salad with spicy lemon dressing? Prefer beef? They have Australian Kobe beef. To end your Nobu Malibu meal, how about a fruit infused sake? It’s the perfect dessert and drink in one.

End your stay with a stroll onto the Malibu Pier (now re-opened) and make a wish upon a celestial star to return for another view of Malibu.

Malibu is legendary as a celebrity enclave, but it is also a great village with a small active community. To truly taste life here, stay for a few days and hang out like a native.

Malibu Beach Inn has just been renovated and it is truly the best place to stay on Carbon beach (every room is on the beach with views of the beach or pier). Prices are about $100 less in the months shouldering July and August when it is still wonderful weather, so book a few days midweek in September to enjoy a less crowded town and beach (and feel like a local).

Everything in the rooms is top quality from the Molton Brown products in the bathroom, to the minibar stocked with Dean & DeLuca snacks. They tried to include everything you would want from complimentary (wired) highspeed internet access, to an ergonomically designed chair and workstation. If you just want to sit and watch the sunset in your Trina Turk robes while sipping one of the seven bottles of (good) Californian wines in every room, you could forget that you live anywhere else.

For a romantic dinner on your first night, I would go with wonderful French/Mediterranean food. Just a short drive to the north is Beau Rivage, which sits like a pink Mediterranean seashell next to the beach. Whether you want to start out with the escargot or the caviar, you can’t go wrong with your choices here. The proprietor, Daniel, is a gracious and charming host who will make sure your experience is elegant and delicious. Choose the grilled striped bass or the rack of lamb with Mediterranean herbs and olive oil. Finish the evening with a digestif as you enjoy the live piano ushering in the night. Call ahead for reservations because this is a popular spot for weddings and private events that close the restaurant to public reservations.

Spend a day walking acround at the Malibu Country Mart with it’s small exclusive shops and small playground (full of nannies with children most week-days) and wander over to the spiritual bookstore the Malibu Shaman, with the best small collection in town of everything New Age and spiritual in books, trinkets, candles, and music. There is usually a tarot or psychic reader in residence, so for some added fun, spend a session with the reader and see what the cards have to say.

If your stomach says let’s go eat, then head over to Marmalade Cafe for breakfast at the Malibu Country Mart shopping center. This is classic healthy Californian food in a casual comfortable atmosphere. If you want a healthy meal, order the tofu and egg white omelet with spinach, tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms; if you are starving, order the Cross Creek special of buttermilk pancakes, maple turkey sausage, Italian chicken sausage, smoked bacon (or ham) and 2 eggs and you will be happy with your gigantic meal of fresh ingredients at reasonable prices. Most plates are more than enough to share unless you are famished or Michael Clarke Duncan gaining weight for another John Coffey size role.

Nobu Malibu is a great way to end your stay; what better way to end the day than by eating fresh Japanese sushi or specialties like the yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno or a Lobster shitake salad with spicy lemon dressing? Prefer beef? They have Australian Kobe beef. To end your Nobu Malibu meal, how about a fruit infused sake? It’s the perfect dessert and drink in one.

End your stay with a stroll onto the Malibu Pier (now re-opened) and make a wish upon a celestial star to return for another view of Malibu.

Translate

Categories

Archives

%d bloggers like this: