Thursday, October 30, 2008

Boulevard Sentinel Features Zuma Dogg in November Issue

North East Los Angeles' Boulevard Sentinel Newspaper Features Zuma Dogg in Nov '08 Issue. Release Party at Casa Princesa in Eagle Rock, CA. (With Publisher Tom Topping.) AND THANKS TO THE REPRESENTATIVES FROM VILLARAIOGSA, HUIZAR AND REYES' OFFICE WHO STOPPED BY! Hope they picked up an issue. (This was really the Highland Park Chamber of Commerce Halloween Party, that also doubled for the November Issue Release Party. Thanks again, Tom for including me in your newspaper!



Some of you may recognize “Zuma Dogg” from my comedy/variety show that has aired over the past eight years on your local public access channel. Or perhaps, more recently, from my appearances as an “activist” during the City Council meetings as broadcast on City TV 35.

I’m in the Boulevard Sentinel reading area today, because two and a half years ago, my career took an unexpected turn, when I was forced to become an activist and started showing up at City Hall to protest Villaraigosa’s new Venice Beach ordinance that banned the sale of (constitutionally protected) items such as incense, jewelry and T-shirts -- like the ones that my friends and I were selling.

Once people saw me speaking on how shady the City was regarding Venice, people started asking me to speak a little about their own issues. And I quickly found out how frequently the community gets the short end of the stick under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's City Hall.

During my time as a local public advocate, no area of the City has been a more vocal "squeaky wheel" than CD14 , much to the dismay of Councilmember Jose Huizar. (Followed closely by CD 1…much to the dismay of Councilmember Ed Reyes.)

Based on my email inbox, there is no question these districts are the most aware, active and tight-knit community in the City; with some of the best information being sent my way regarding the "tug-o-war" issues between the community and the City. (And yes, sometimes the "tug-o-war" between community members.)

So it's turned out to be an interesting relationship between the unwitting advocate from the west side (who had never even been to the area) and the people of CD 1 & CD 14 who were taking up more of my time as an activist than all the other areas of the city, combined.

Recently, when Zuma Dogg was extra "down and out" beyond his usual level of "down and outness", it was the fine folks of North East LA who came to the rescue and dragged me all the way over to this side of town with such amenities as couches, food, donations and support.

And if any of you have seen my blogging over the past month (LA Daily you will see how much fun I am having in Northeast L.A.

Here are some of the places and events you may encounter Zuma Dogg in November:

NELA ART WALK: A bunch of local artists and galleries participate and are listed on a map. Then, you make your own "pub crawl" -- but visit galleries instead of bars. I hit a few on York and elsewhere around town. For ZD, besides the art, it was all about seeing the various groups of people in each gallery that gave me a feel for the area and all of its’ creative diversity. The next one is Saturday November 8th. Make sure you visit "Moryork"on York and 50th. This guy Clarie has spent decades constructing furniture and other big items out of soda cans and pull tabs. Sounds cheesy, but you have never seen anything like it. You could create a Hollywood set out of this stuff. ONE OF A KIND AMAZING! ZD say, "Moryork is North East L.A.'s Best Kept Secret."

CASA PRINCESA: A true jewel in Eagle Rock (across from Sparkletts). ZD fell in love with this newly renovated coffee and sandwich café with FREE wi-fi, built in sound system with karaoke, acoustic guitar and big open space. I love the place so much, I threw a LIVE event here on a recent Friday night, and people from across the City (from Sunland-Tujunga to Venice) showed up and the "Casa" impressed everyone. The Blvd Sentinel's own Tom Topping was in attendance and treated the crowd to a rockin' version of "Mustang Sally." See the Casa Princesa ad in this issue for upcoming events including "Open Mic & Acoustic w/Zuma Dogg" every Friday at 7pm in November. Or just stop in and say hello to the owner, Jonson, who has really opened this place up to the community and a lot of groups are having their meetings and events here, now.

SOUTHWEST MUSEUM: If there has been ONE issue, Citywide that has generated the most noise recently, it is the Southwest Museum/Griffith Park merger. I read in the pamphlet that although it is being restored, there is still plenty to see. So I made my first trip this past Sunday. WHAT A JOKE! Some nerve promoting that there is still a lot to see and bamboozling me into making the trip. There were a few pictures in one of the rooms and the gift shop was open. From what I have been told by the local activists, the big concern is that the Autry Family plans on turning the SW Museum into college space, and the rare art collection will stay locked up at the Griffith Park location. If Prop J passes, this will increase the likelihood of turning the whole damn museum into a college. The people who support the Autry's claim this is not the case. I guess we'll see where the artifacts end up and then we'll know the truth.

EAGLE ROCK MUSIC FEST: Although it's eleven months away, I wanted to let everyone know, that this year’s ER Music Fest was everything you could hope for in a community event. Overall, the perfect blend of music, art, food, fun -- and it was great to see a diverse crowd of young and old all able to enjoy the same event together. Zuma Dogg declares the ER Music Fest, "The community event of the year!"

Thanks so much to Tom for letting me say hello to the Blvd Sentinel readers and thank everyone for rolling out the red carpet. The people in this district fight hard to maintain the integrity and sense of the community. And from I have experienced, you've done a great job.

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