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  • “Guerrilla Tacos: Recipes from the streets of LA” Release Party

    Re inventing the taco accurately is Chef Wes Avilas' greatest skill

    From the humblest beginnings.

    Just one man and a cart.

    *******

    Guerrilla: referring to actions or activities performed in an impromptu way, often without authorization.

    Tacos: a Mexican dish consisting of a fried tortilla, typically folded, filled with various mixtures, such as seasoned meat, beans, lettuce, and tomatoes.

    Guerrilla Tacos: a rogue culinary force, led by Chef-General Wes Avila, that has risen from the harsh jungle streets of Los Angeles to international super stardom.

    An army whose recipes Sir Jonathan Gold has proclaimed as some of the best things to eat in LA.

    Recipes that caused LA Weekly to name Guerrilla Tacos LA's Best Taco truck.

    Believe you me that we know all taco trucks weren't created equal.

    We also know that Ten Speed Press and Random House don't give book deals to just anyone.

    Guerrilla Tacos was born with one purpose.

    To make tacos great again.

    Now it is time to behold that vision turned to reality.

    What has been underground is now about to rise into the worlds collective culinary consciousness.

    "Guerrilla Tacos: Recipes from the streets of LA" is about to drop.

    Loudly.

    Like Dodger Stadium fireworks that explode with force every Friday night over Chavez Ravine.

    *******

    Join us at Silverlake Wine Thursday November 2nd from 5pm-9pm to partake in a piece of history.

    We will toast a real life LA hero during Thursday Night Flights.

    Cheers to a young man who knows that dreams are free and that hustle is sold separately.

    A native Angeleno whose writings will change Taco night at your casa forever.

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  • The Mixtape Project

    It was in the early 1990s when I realized that almost every television commercial had a theme from a 60s pop song. It was disconcerting  to have the memory of your first kiss commingled with images of toilet paper and drain cleaner. In part, this project may serve as a correction.

    The mix tape, or playlist, has never been easier to make. Practically everything that has ever been commercially released is available on one or more of the streaming services.

    The idea was to make playlist of songs from the 60s songs that hadn't already been heard to death.

    After a bit of free associative dragging and dropping, I had a three hour playlist and was not even halfway to 1970. I conceded  that there was a need to edit and organize the process, and decided to do it by year. I’ve started with 1960, somewhat arbitrarily.

    Songs will be grouped by the year in which they were released, and to make it a little easier, each playlist will include three or four years worth of music.

    One of the things I want to re-create is the experience of listening to a radio or a jukebox in the 60s . There would be Bing Crosby crooners, R&B, which was later renamed soul, a little bit of rockabilly/country-western and lots of sappy teenage love songs. I remember riding the school bus in the morning and listening to Wilson Pickett followed by the Rolling Stones, Sgt. Barry Sadler and The Left Banke; all in the space of about 15 minutes. In a sense this is what 60’s radio was all about. Conflicting viewpoints trying to co-exist in the same playing field; just not playing the same game.

    The playlists is available on Spotify.

    https://open.spotify.com/user/slw2395/playlist/7tIn4GrKQo5IhFvPdRpPXx

    https://open.spotify.com/user/slw2395/playlist/3AtMXOp8NQOfMfJiHZGK5p

    As the focus is on things that were either on the radio or readily available in record stores, but each playlist will have an ancillary playlist entitled “Extra credit.” The Extra Credit list will include things that were probably not on the radio or easily obtained on record. These will not necessarily be easy listening. I will include truncated timeline of each year’s significant events  lifted from Wikipedia.

    THE PLAYLIST

    1960

    Baby What You Want Me To Do - Jimmy Reed

    The Twist - Chubby Checker

    Walk Don't Run - The Ventures

    Let's Live - Aaron Neville

    Chain Gang - Sam Cooke

    He’ll Have To Go - Jim Reeves

    Stay - Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs

    Kathy's Clown - The Everly Brothers (Actually written by the Everlys. Rare in those days.)

    1961

    The Lion Sleeps Tonight - The Tokens

    Telstar - The Tornados

    Today And Tomorrow - Charlie Feathers

    Excuse Me (I Think I've Got a Heartache)

    Buck Owens And The Buckeroos

    Sukiyaki - Kyu Sakamoto

    No More Hot Dogs - Hasil Adkins

    Hello Walls - Faron Young

    Every Beat Of My Heart - Gladys Knight And the Pips

    Quarter To Three - Gary U.S. Bonds

    Take My Love - Little Willie John

    Take Five - Dave Brubeck

    1962

    Let’s Dance - Chris Montez

    409 - The Beach Boys

    I Can't Stop Loving You - Ray Charles

    Green Onions - Booker T And the M.G.’s

    Bring It On Home To Me - Sam Cooke

    The Wanderer - Dion And The Belmonts

    Duke of Earl - Dean Chandler

    Twist And Shout - The Isley Brothers

    You Beat Me To The Punch - Mary Wells

    Moon River - Audrey Hepburn/ Henry Mancini

    1963

    Wipe Out - The Surfaris

    Fingertips - Stevie Wonder

    The Monkey Time - Major Lance

    Rhythm Of The Rain - The Cascades

    Walk Like A Man - Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons

    Pipeline - The Ventures

    24 Hours From Tulsa - Gene Pitney

    Be My Baby - The Ronettes

    In Dreams - Roy Orbison

    THE TIME LINE

    Believe it or not this timeline is edited. When you look back on it you can see big changes coming fast. Africa, Spies, Beatles, Cassius Clay, Air Crashes, JFK vs Nixon, Boynton v. Virginia, the Flintstones and the death of the farthing!

    1960 is referred to as the Year of Africa because of a series of events that took place during the year—namely the independence of seventeen African nations—that highlighted the growing Pan-African sentiments in the continent. The year brought about the culmination of African independence movements and the subsequent emergence of Africa as a major force in the United Nations. These rapid political development led to speculation and hope about the future of Africa as a whole; yet at the same time, the continent was beginning to face the realities of postcolonial violence. This year also saw the beginning of armed opposition to South African Apartheid government, with political ramifications across Africa and around the world.

    The Year of Africa altered the symbolic status of Africans worldwide, by having the world recognize the existence of African nations as a force to be reckoned with on the international arena.[34] It marked the beginning of a new, more Afrocentric era in African studies, marked by the founding of theCahiers d'Études africaines and the Journal of African History.[34][35]

    August 17

    August 19

        • Cold War: In Moscow, American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers is sentenced to 10 years in prison for espionage.

        • Sputnik program: The Soviet Union launches the satellite Sputnik 5, with the dogs Belka and Strelka (the Russian for "Squirrel" and "Little Arrow"), 40 mice, two rats and a variety of plants. This satellite returns to earth the next day and all animals are recovered safely.

    September 26 – The leading candidates for President of the United States, Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, make the first televised debate.

    September 30 – The television animated sitcom, The Flintstones premieres on ABC

    October 12

    October 13

    October 26Robert F. Kennedy telephones Coretta Scott King, the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and secures King's release from jail regarding a traffic violation in Atlanta.

    October 29 – In Louisville, Kentucky, Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) wins his first professional boxing match.

    November 2Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity, in the case of D. H. Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover.

    November 8United States presidential election, 1960: In a close race, Democratic U. S. Senator John F. Kennedy is elected over Republican U. S. Vice President Richard Nixon, to become (at 43) the second youngest man to serve as President of the United States, and the youngest man elected to this position.

    November 13Sammy Davis Jr., married Swedish actress May Britt.

    December 1

        • A Soviet satellite containing live animals and plants is launched into orbit. Due to a malfunction it burns up during re-entry.

    December 5  Boynton v. Virginia: The Supreme Court of the United States declares that segregation in public transportation is illegal in the United States.

    December 8 – For the first time, Mary Martin's Peter Pan is presented as a stand-alone two-hour special on NBC instead of as part of an anthology series. This version, rather than being presented live, is shown on videotape, enabling NBC to repeat it as often as they wish without having to restage it. Although nearly all of the adult actors repeat their original Broadway roles, all of the original children have, ironically, outgrown their roles and are replaced by new actors.

    December 11 – MGM's The Wizard of Oz is rerun on CBS only a year after its previous telecast, thus beginning the tradition of annual telecasts of the film.

    December 12 – The Supreme Court of the United States upholds a lower Federal Court ruling that the State of Louisiana's racial segregation laws are unconstitutional, and overturns them.

     December 16

    December 27 – France sets off its third A-bomb test at its nuclear weapons testing range near Reggane, Algeria.

    December 31 – Last day on which the farthing, a coin first minted in England in the 13th century, is legal tender in the United Kingdom.<

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  • Shopkeeperness

    I experience my “shopkeeperness” (I’m sure there is a German word for this) most vividly while cleaning the fingerprints off glass surfaces or when sweeping the sidewalk outside the store. Sweeping and polishing are both honest work, not too difficult, but important.They are also jobs that can be done perfectly.

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  • Holiday Cocktails

    Growing up a Minnesotan of Norwegian descent, there was a big emphasis on the Christmas holiday. After all, when it's that cold and dark you can see appeal of anything that smacks of light, warmth and levity. Unfortunately, in my extended family, there were a lot of teetotalers and so I had to learn some of the Scandinavian traditions from friends. One of those traditions is the Aquavit toast...

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