Thursday, January 31, 2008

Exclusive Gallery Opening This Weekend

Nestled behind one of the curious photos of fornicating insects in the men’s restroom at Proof Bar in downtown Santa Ana was this eye-catching flyer:

Although the community recently agreed to move the monthly Art Walk event to the third Saturday of the month, I still have a feeling that this mysterious gallery showing will be a hit.

When: Saturday, February 2nd from 7PM to 11PM.
Where: 712 N Santiago Street, Santa Ana

Featuring the artwork of Justin Boatright, a DJ mixing things up, and of course, no party is complete without the obligatory full bar.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dear Mayor Pulido,

I'm very curious as to why you yourself are in favor of Measure D. In recent news, Measure D has been under heavy scrutiny as to whom it will truly benefit and if it really stands in support of the public should it pass.

Listed below are official statements taken from the argument in favor of Measure D—The document where your name is listed at the top of a list of supporters.

A YES vote on Measure D will require elected officials and members of appointed boards, commissions, and committees to adhere to a tough new Code of Ethics and Conduct to assure public confidence in the integrity of local government elected and appointed officials.

What is this tough new Code of Ethics and Conduct and where can I review it? I've always thought that the Oath of Office and fulfilling promises to the voters was good enough to assure my confidence in elected officials. Speaking of which, my confidence level in our local government has dwindled severely when doing just a small amount of research on Measure D that ended up highly contradicting what it claims. Please read on.

A YES vote on Measure D establishes a limit of three terms on City Council members to reduce the power and influence of City Hall bureaucrats and developers.

Really? Judging by the campaign contributions so far, it seems like developers have a lot to gain by being in support of Measure D. Shouldn't the Renaissance Specific Plan be giving the City enough control over developers?

A YES vote will create a more experienced and stable legislative body that will better serve the City of Santa Ana.

The OC Register quoted you saying "Once people start understanding the city, understanding how to get things done, they're termed out." If it's been taking our elected officials 7-8 years to understand their job, then we need to change how things get done or elect smarter candidates.

A YES vote on Measure D will make City Hall accountable to Santa Ana residents – not the powerful special interests.

Again, going back to the campaign contributions. It seems as if the special interest groups are very interested in Measure D passing. Why is that so? Just by looking at their campaign contributions, again, it seems as if these special interest groups have more to gain.

Perhaps the best part of Measure D is that it doesn’t cost taxpayers a single penny and may even save the City money that can be better used to promote public safety efforts.

Hasn't Measure D has already cost taxpayers $150k just to get on the ballot?

Measure D is the most effective way to make sure that City government is more honest, effective and accountable to the voters.

Does this statement imply that current Santa Ana government isn't being 100% honest with its citizens and a Code of Ethics will change that?

As a concerned voter, I haven't been able to get one honest answer from anyone at the City level. If you truly support the idea of having our elected officials being more honest and accountable to the voters, then maybe it needs to start at the top with you.

Ben @ The Santiago Street Lofts

Monday, January 28, 2008

Community Art Meeting Tomorrow

"Planning the future success of our Artist Community"

J. Lewis Gallery will be hosting a community gathering in efforts to further strengthen our monthly Art Walks and future events.

If you have a gallery, plan on opening a gallery, wish to be in the loop or have ideas to promote the success of this Art Community, please come–all welcome!

When: Tuesday, January 29th @ 7PM
Where: 906 E. Santa Ana Blvd (J. Lewis Gallery)

Agenda to include: Advertising campaign, Art Walk Community Name, Volunteers.

If you can't make it to the meeting but would like to suggest an idea, please do so in the comments and I will steal your idea and pitch it as my own.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

You Lived Here Longer Than Me, But I’ve Got More Pride

Every week for the last year and a half, I’ve placed a call into the Santa Ana Graffiti Hotline (speed dial 11 on the cell) and reported graffiti that I see all around the city. Call me odd, but I think it may have had something to do with watching Captain Planet and the Planeteers when I was just a wee lad.

For some reason though, I could never get the clean-up crews to clean the graffiti off the freeway signs near Santa Ana Boulevard and Grand Avenue.

On a day when I got through to an actual operator (due to my high-frequency calling, we are now on a first name basis) and not the answering machine, I asked her why the freeway signs never get cleaned up. She informed me that CalTrans is responsible for all maintenance in regards to these signs, including graffiti removal.

With my good buddy Google, I was able to locate Glenda Dobbins, a public information officer over at CalTrans. Glenda asked that I simply send her an email stating the locations that needed the clean up. That’s it. No forms, no signatures, just an email.

Within a couple of days of sending Glenda the email, the signs were cleaner than I’ve ever seen them. So clean in fact that I thought that they were brand new signs.

Now here’s what gets me. When I hear the protests from those against the “Yuppie Loft Owners” at the Renaissance Plan meetings, I wonder if these folks even know who or what they are criticizing.

I’ve listened to their stories of how they’ve lived their entire lives in Santa Ana and have nothing but respect and pride for this city?


So why does it seem like the new guys in town are the only ones trying to clean it up?

Glenda Dobbins can be reached at:
949.724.2644 or via email @

Santa Ana’s (24/7) Graffiti Hotline: 1-877 786 7824

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I Love It When They Run

Taking a break from the über-addicting Super Mario Galaxy to walk the dog last night, I zeroed in on two kids; one of which was tagging the wall on the north side of Santa Ana Boulevard. As they crossed Santiago Street and headed towards our complex, I knew right then that trouble was headed our way. I quickly brought the dog inside, grabbed my “usual necessities” and charged out the door.

One of the kiddies that was wearing a USC hooded sweatshirt was supposed to be the lookout while his friend spray-painted the rollup door on a unit across the street. That kid in the sweatshirt had one job and one job alone—and he failed miserably being that I was able to run-up and pepper spray the tagger right between the eyes.

With a face full of searing pain, he amazingly “Froggered” his way across the street through traffic and headed west down Santa Ana Boulevard. In “police speak”, I engaged the suspect in pursuit.

Over the course of my life, I’ve come to accept that I’m pretty much an average guy (yes, you should be feeling sorry for “Mrs. Dayhoe” if you don’t already), average with the exception that I can run—really fast (and swear all at the same time).

In high school, I ran a 4.4/40. That means for every 1.1 seconds, I’ve advanced another ten yards in distance. Making it off the pine, well, that’s another story, a sad one at that.

Needless to say, I caught up to him by the next block (Garfield Street) and at this point, I was terrified—terrified that the Chipotle burrito that I devoured less than an hour prior was going to burst from me like it did from the foil wrapper.

Without even having to tackle him, I forced him to lie down on his stomach, spread his legs, and put his hands behind his back. The problem now was that I didn’t have anything to restrain him with other than my body weight (plus a 5lb. burrito that was churning away).

Luckily, an FBI officer returning from a prisoner drop-off saw me chasing him down the street and took the time after a long day to lend a hand and a set of cuffs, allowing me to place an out-of-breath call to SAPD.

At this time, a neighbor at the lofts, Maglite in hand, also arrived on the scene having heard me yelling when I originally confronted the tagger. I was amazed and thankful that he too came to help out.

The police showed up and had me fill out the standard police report. Let me tell you, since moving to Santa Ana, that’s one form I’ve filled out one too many times.

They asked me “What possessed you to try to take this extreme form of action?”

One thing came to mind*: The Greatest Fight Scene EVER.

The officer stated that very rarely do they catch taggers in the act and commended me for my actions, but not without chiding me of the lesson that I always forget in these situations: These kids could be concealing weapons—is it really worth it?

I say until Jack Bauer is back on the air satisfying my need for an adrenaline rush, then yes, yes it is.

*Okay, this one also came to mind as well.

Memphis Events

Memphis Cafe, possibly the most delicious restaurant in Santa Ana, has just sent out their newest events calendar. "Dinner with Dave" starts tonight!

Thank you Dr. Jason for the heads up on this event!

Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday: "Dinner with Dave"
Live Music - Free Food - Good Friends - Good Times

Specials Include:
No Corkage and 50% off Bottles!!!
No Corkage Fee Wednesday thru Saturday nights
50% off our Wine Bottle list Wednesday nights
(with purchase of dinner entree)

Beginning at: 10pm

Tonight's events include:
Live music by The Last Campfire, David H's Baked Ziti, Dave M's Meatballs and music by DJ Dan Moses.

"Acoustic Thursdays"
Live sets by James Hamilton and other guests

Beginning at: 8:30pm to 11:30pm

Fridays: "Downtown Sound"
Local "Downtown" Artists spin an eclectic mix ranging from rock to funk to soul to country and everything in between

Beginning at: 10pm to 2am

Saturdays: "Shaken and Stirred"
The Legendary DJ Adjective mixes Classic Funk, Soul, Indie, Electro and New Wave.

Beginning at: 9pm to 1am

For more information, check out the Dinner With Dave mySpace page.

Memphis Cafe is located at 201 N Broadway
Artists Villiage - Downtown - Santa Ana

Tel: (714) 564-1064

Never been to Memphis you say? Read on.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

New Blogger Buddies

New blogs to check out!

Bandito Style is written by one the wittiest writers that I've met in a good while. He’s a guy who's armed only with his two pistolas and his keen sense of irony, firing off round after round of satire and sarcasm.

Pimp My Hood is a blog for people living in the Logan Lacy area and at the new Santiago Street Lofts to talk and chat about their feelings about the RSP plan.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Take a break today from the posting wars on the blogs and check out this film. If you are someone who liked the concept of the Blair Witch Project, but were disappointed in its overall execution, then Cloverfield is a must.

Just some advice–Don't go into this film expecting to get all of the answers like you would in traditional monster/sci-fi/horror flicks, but instead, the movie leaves the horror to your own imagination; which is always scarier than anything I've ever seen on the screen.

In fact, this movie succeeds because the monster takes a backseat to the main plot, which is one of survival, while trying to escape from New York with your friends and loved ones.

During this film, you will laugh, be frustrated, clinch your fists, jump back in your seat in terror, well up, get dizzy, get a love story, and see a giant monster go apesh!t in the world's greatest city.

You tell me where else I can get all of that for less than $10!

Note: If you get queasy when watching friends play games like Halo or Call of Duty, you might want to take some Dramamine prior. Also, watching it on a smaller screen makes it a little easier for you to focus when things (all too frequently) go to hell.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Saying No to “NoLo”

A few days ago, a friend of mine turned my attention to this surprise that has also caught the eye of the OC Weekly’s Gustavo Arellano.

Needless to say, I too was very disappointed. I guess that since I don't host art galleries, I didn't have a say.

This ill-conceived nickname (being that we really aren't north of anything except Ware) can only further widen the gap between the new residents (lofties) and the old (everyone else).

Sure, I want to see positive changes come to Santa Ana and would love nothing more than to have a Chipotle across the street (A man can dream, right?), but I don't think anything positive will come by renaming a neighborhood you just moved into.

C’mon now, how can anyone say no to these?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The (Potential) Tragedy of Santa Ana

Whether or not we all agree that the Renaissance Plan is the answer to Santa Ana, James Howard Kunstler speaks some hard truths in this video that hit very close to home.

A thanks goes out to "Ted" who posted this link as a comment in the previous post. I think that this is a message that should be seen by all.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Renaissance Plan Q & A

This Thursday, January 17 from 6:30-8:30PM, St. Joseph’s Parish Hall will be hosting yet another Q & A meeting about the Renaissance Project.

In attendance will be city staff as well as Stefanos Polyzoides of Moule & Polyzoides Architects and Urbanists.

One can only hope that this meeting will be more organized than the previous one held at this location.

Thanks goes out to blog reader Elvin for the reminder!

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Sad Stripmall

I recently began carpooling with the wife to take advantage of the carpool lane as well as the convenient egress directly on to Santa Ana Boulevard when driving north on the 5 Freeway. This eco-friendly decision has proven beneficial in many aspects including saving time, gas, as well as having to stare at this eyesore while sitting at the light at the end of the offramp.

Way back in 2005 when the wife and I first visited the Santiago Street Loft sales office, this strip mall was the first thing we saw as we exited the freeway.

Unsightly and unkempt, we hoped that with what we heard about Santa Ana (supposedly) undergoing a huge revitalization, this center would re-emerge better than ever, and could now be considered as part of the gateway into the new Downtown Orange County.

But alas, here we are in 2008 and the center looks worse now than when we first saw it three years prior. Businesses come and go in this tiny complex, and as they do, the center seems to look more and more dilapidated.

With its close proximity to the freeway and street frontage, I can only hope that someday, an investor would come in and provide this center and its tenants the much needed improvement love.

It’s ironic that this little center, the doormat into the city of Santa Ana is the epitome of what Santa Ana is today–a once proud and promising location, which over time has become run-down due to years of neglect and poor management.

Friday, January 11, 2008

What Would You Build?

I think it would be safe to say that the residents living at the Santiago Street Lofts moved to Santa Ana because they wanted to experience a true downtown lifestyle.

Unfortunately, as days go by, that dream seems to be drifting farther away, and this community, nearly two years into the first move-in, is already light years behind what City Place has already established (not including the Main Place Mall).

So forget about the Renaissance Project for a second and journey with me to the land of "Wouldn't it be Nice"; a SimCity Santa Ana–where our daily needs could be realized in an instant!

Here's my (growing) list:

  1. Borders or Barnes & Noble
  2. Chipotle
  3. Henry's, Tesco or Trader Joe's
  4. Coffee house (with Wi-Fi)
  5. Citrus Cafe (or similar restaurants)
  6. Old Navy (or even Gap)
  7. Cold Stone (or similar ice cream parlor)
  8. Dry Cleaners
  9. ....more to come
What would you build?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Take it from the Top

I snapped this photo the other night while I was on the roof checking for residual puddles after the recent showers. The night clear and brisk, and the view of the city lights offered a much-need break from the madness that sets in halfway through the workweek.

I'm going to be looking into purchasing an attic ladder in the next few months to make future trips to the rooftop a little easier. If I find one that's worthwhile, I'll definitely pass it along.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Why Santa Ana Graffiti Sucks

In my humble opinion, the graffiti problem plaguing the city of Santa Ana is mainly the product of untalented turds that claim trivial ownership to our streets and neighborhoods. This foolish mindset lends itself as to why there are so many shootings and deaths in this sickly city.

Scratchitti and acid etching of glass and window panes is another serious graffiti issue in this city that sends one message, and one message alone: F*ck you for having something nice.

The above photo was taken about a month ago when the wife and I headed up to San Francisco to experience a piece of the “city life” that we hoped the city of Santa Ana would have had established by now.

Not once as I’ve walked the streets of Santa Ana have I seen a noteworthy mural, message or political statement similar to this scribe. There is no art, no message, and no talent in the countless graffiti done on a daily basis in this supposed City of the Arts.

Nonetheless, the work done in the photo is still vandalism, but I doubt that anyone is going to pull a trigger in retaliation.

...But she will be happy to hear from you.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Video Vigilantism in Santa Ana

It seems as if there is someone in the Floral Park area who is as fed up with graffiti in Santa Ana as yours truly. Instead of chasing taggers down the street with a screwdriver in hand, this person has taken a more subtle and creative approach to keeping their neighborhood clean.

If you recall in an earlier post, the city of Montebello was working on installing cameras that begin recording when triggered by the sound emitted from aerosol spray cans.

I hate to keep sounding like a proponent of the Big Brother system, but it might be what this troubled city needs to keep the kiddies from writing on the walls.

Keep up the great work!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Free Sundays at Bowers Museum

If your NFL team isn't in the playoffs this season and you are looking for something to do today, don't forget that admission to the Bowers Museum is free today and every first Sunday and third Tuesday of every month with proof of residency.

Courtesy of the Lockhart Family and a generous donation in the memory of Dorothy Goerl, the Bowers Museum is pleased to offer free admission to Santa Ana residents, with proof of residency (e.g., driver's license, utility bill, etc), on the first Sunday and third Tuesdays of every month.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year Everyone!

Hope all of you are relaxed and ready to take on 2008 after the holiday season. Here's my personal list of some of the things we have to look forward to this year: The final phase of the Santiago Street Lofts being completed, an extra day in February (being a leap year and all), Metal Gear Solid 4 for the Playstation 3, the start of city-wide repair for the streets, season four of Lost, the 2008 elections, and of course, the invention of the suicide booth.