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The Tracks by My House - A Story about Growing Up at the Metro Tracks

I grew up one block from the just christened Metro Expo line train in West Los Angeles. It was from the days of my earliest memories until we moved away in 1984. Exposition Blvd was a short walk northbound, on my BMX bike perhaps 30 seconds or less, and the sets of tracks were just another 5 or 10 seconds. As a child I remember hearing the train horn blare at 6:30am on most weekdays unless I slept through it. The high pitched sound was the signal of a new day and hopefully a great one for the neighborhood.  The freight cars were the dirty brick red type that had a layer of dirt, dust, and grime from traveling across...

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West LA Obon 2013

This year, origami happened. I think this can be expanded a lot more in the future. We’ll see what happens. The feature is still the Bonsai. A year later, they look just as good and just about the same. I guess that’s the idea. The tree below is amazing. The dead wood juxtaposes nicely with the living parts. How did this happen? The typical question: “How old is this?”   Blueberry imagawayaki is always great. I need to learn to make this at home. It’s pancake type mix with blueberry. It’s simple if you have the tools. It’s made in a griller! They also make chocolate chip and red bean. Another view of the trees. Put on Rush, The Trees...

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West LA Obon 2013

This year, origami happened. I think this can be expanded a lot more in the future. We’ll see what happens. The feature is still the Bonsai. A year later, they look just as good and just about the same. I guess that’s the idea. The tree below is amazing. The dead wood juxtaposes nicely with the living parts. How did this happen? The typical question: “How old is this?”   Blueberry imagawayaki is always great. I need to learn to make this at home. It’s pancake type mix with blueberry. It’s simple if you have the tools. It’s made in a griller! They also make chocolate chip and red bean. Another view of the trees. Put on Rush, The Trees...

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Aki Restaurant West Los Angeles

Restaurants like Aki in West LA are a dying breed. Imagine when Japanese food was something exotic. Teriyaki and sukiyaki are words seldom used these days, but it lives on in classic establishments like this. There’s not many who still have the mid century Japanification by usage of rice paper screens, carved wood signs and wooden tea house stylings. I grew up in my family’s restaurant (Hakata 1970-2002) which began similar complete with the vinyl booth seats and it turns out that the owner of Aki, Mr Hada actually went to the grand opening in 1970. He opened Aki in 1974 which makes the place 38 years old. Two simple ala carte items. Beef Teriyaki and Chirashi. They can’t be...

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Obon Sunday Views

Sunday Obon. The sun was going down slowly, and walking up La Grange street, you can hear and see people down the street having a good time. It was the last hour of the Obon in West LA. I used to revel in this event. It was one of the greatest moments of the year. I was small and the event was huge. Everywhere I walked felt like something great was happening. These days, it’s just as large, the foods are different and perhaps the changing times are dictating what happens. No longer can you just buy at the booth. You need to purchase tickets from the specific place. Basically money can’t get messed with by the booth folks. The...

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