Archive for the ‘First Fridays’ Category

The First First of 2013 (Yee-haw!)

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Well, true believers, Bixby bounce was back with all it’s deep Knolls knowledge for another year this last first friday!  That’s right the art walk to end all art walks kicked off the new year with all the resplendent magic, business activation, art, and energy you’ve come to expect for the north long beach art walk which parades, gallops, strides, and sways up the atlantic corridor from 37th street to Clairborne hitting up every bakery, children’s music center, relaxation studio, coffee shop, and pizza parlor on the way!  As the immortal beats would say, “dig that art.”

In preparation for February’s Mardis Gras parade featuring the Gumbo Brothers, the ranger and his best pal Cinco conducted a mini-teaser parade at the Expo Furniture Warehouse to wet our appetites.  Mardis Gras King and Queen: John Royce and Kelly Johnson were crowned.  Thrill to their smiling mugs at the top of the page!

And what art walk would be complete without a petting zoo we might ask?  Get a handful of goats next month at the It’s a Grind parking lot!

Grab a good book and wait ’til 2/1/13 my friends when again the streets will be ablaze with magic!

A Very Merry First Fridays

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012


Ho!  Ho!  Ho!  Happy Winter Solstice Bixby Knolls!  And the merriest of Christmases, Chanukahs, Kwanzas, and Berchtoldstags too!  With such a bevy of rich winter celebrations to peruse you can bet your bottom peso that Bixby Knolls went all out this First Friday!   We’re talking musicians, carolers, multiple Kris Kringles, graffiti artists, and one big elf!  But don’t take our word for it, check it out for yourself!

Everyone’s favorite trio of tiny string plucking females, the Ukettes crooned

And Roy Robbins who’s fabulous Gift and Stationary shop will close it’s doors in the New Year had one heck of a window display!

 

Primer Viernes de los Muertos!

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

November’s First Fridays was not to be trifled with.  From offerings to the dead to Sublime tribute bands, Mariachi music to Hendrix sing alongs.  And all the stilt walkers, classic cars, graffiti artists, and true originals you’ve come to expect from First Fridays!   Check it out!

First fridays will be back this December with a tree lighting ceremony!  Can’t wait to see you there!

Re-united and it Feels So Good

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Spooktacular arts and community engagement were on display this October when the ranger was reunited with his long lost beau the Bixby Belle (she had fallen in a well heaven’s to Betsy!).  But that’s not it!  In true first fridays fashion the streets were packed with musicians, artisans, colorful characters, stilt walkers, face painters, improv actors, cross dressers, classic cars, Klezmer bands, mask makers and more!  Check it out!

The Belle and the ranger read stories about the wild west to endearing tots at Councilmember James Johnson’s First Books event at the Dana Library!

Then they headed up to the beautiful new boutique, Oh Very Young (4378 Atlantic) who were kind enough to host a birthday party for the 131 year old ranger replete with fun photo booths…

…and Birthday cake!

Emma from the Potential Lunatics also celebrated a birthday!

The streets teamed with musicians…

… Trick-or-Treaters…

…and celebrity guests!

Doma

Gaga

Obama

Catch ya next month in Bixby Knolls!

Back to Cool Month for First Fridays

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Long Beaches biggest, baddest art walk was back in full force this First Friday!  The ranger renewed the wedding vows of a delightful couple outside Melinda McCoy’s Flowers.  Jazz, swing, and brass bands milled about making merry music!  There was shopping, strolling, eating, classic cars and graffiti art.  See for yourself!

Hectic, Eclectic, Heterogeneous August

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Well call me a banana slug slippin’ and slidin’ it’s way down a persian rug!  The First Fridays art walk which began so humbly nearly six years ago has not only grown by leaps and bounds but it has continued to adhere to the integrity of small business activation, local arts appreciation and the DIY spirit of greasing one’s elbows!  At this rate we predict it to surpass LA’s Art Walk by 2013.  You read it here first!  Let’s see what August had to offer shall we?

Local artistes and designers shared their wares!

Councilmember James Johnston unveiled the name of Long Beach’s latest park and the largest one since 1952!  Unfortunately the winning name suggestion wasn’t Park Pantry though we tried our best to sway the vote.  Fortunately the name was still pretty majestic.  Welcome Willow Springs!

Salon Medusa continued to do the ‘do’s you want done!  Adding green faux-hawks and other treats to the scalps of adorable rock-a-billy toddlers of every creed!

Mimes from Gatsby Books entertained onlookers at the Expo Furniture Warehouse until such time as they needed rescue from nefarious invisible glass boxes!

I checked in on the relative safety of the streets with my most trusted of Bixby Buckaroos!

But perhaps the most exciting treat for the evening, (and the weirdest!) was a musical theatre performance by the Musincanto Academy of Music who traveled all the way from Crema, Italy just to perform in our first fridays event.  They booked no other shows in the United States.  They only came for us.  And if that’s not an indication of the powerful magnetic draw of the weirdness and wildness of Bixby Knoll’s First Fridays we don’t know what is!

Seeya next month Bixby!  Stay Strange!

Summer Spectacles in the So-cal Sun!

Sunday, July 8th, 2012


Salutations sagacious soul-mates! It’s your servant of super-herodom the Knolls Ranger! And I’m happier than a bajillion june-bugs this July! Why? Because of yet another one of Mama’s masterful First Fridays that’s why!  We’re talking free bike bells handed out at our favorite fix-it spot The Workshop!  A Tatoo-athon and Lucha-libre-Soda-pop-party at the Long Beach Clothing Company!  A flag retirement ceremony conducted by the Boy Scouts of America!  Plus classic cars, face paintings, a big brass band, live clay work, student musical recitals, the Big Red Bus and of course, yours truly the inimitable weirdo ranger!  Has art and commerce ever been so deliciously melded?!  Check it out!

Local musicians provide a groovy backbeat for DVD repairmen outside the Autometric Laboratory!

The Jarritos luchadore took any nay-sayers of the Mexican soda co. to the ring!  But he didn’t un-mask this ranger, who likes a Tamrind pop every so often!  (Provided there’s no Sarsparilla in sight).

Troop 29 retired tattered or soiled Betsy Ross’s to the purging flames of respect out back of Nino’s Italian Restaurant.  (Have you tried their new Chef Ramsey approved menu yet?  Simply divine)

Can’t wait to see you all next month for another rip-roaring first fridays!  Au revoir!

The June First Frizzle-Dizzle

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Jumping Jehosephat boys and girls, the Knolls Ranger’s in the house giving you the scoop on June’s First Fridays event.  First Fridays, our very own community evening art walk, is growing by leaps and bounds every month and is easily the largest such event in Long Beach (next stop the world).  The event is marked by its swell business deals, bohemian performers, and unleashed imagination.

June saw our favorite Bixby businesses light up with performances by bands as diverse as Good Citizen (a pop, folk, and soul group stationed outside of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf), The Sepulveda Jazz Project (the offices of Edward Jones), Bluegrass crooners TED! (EJ Malloys), swing and jive artists Hot Club du Bop (Georgie’s Place), folk maiden Alyssandra Nighswonger (It’s A Grind Coffee House), 80s tribute band The Repeat Offenders (Nino’s After Hours), and more.

But that’s not all…one-man-band Timstrument was grooving, Elmo the muppet was dancing, there were lovely “ladies” at Roy Robbins Gifts and Stationery, Darren Held’s Held2Gether Improv was tickling funny bones at Elise’s Tea Room, and my old nemesis Dr. Illiterate showed up to my reading at Councilmember Johnson’s ”First books” event to challenge me to a read-off.  Fear not true believers, I won and Dr. Illiterate won’t be darkening Bixby’s door again.  Or will he….???

Check out these snapshots of the evening and see for yourself!

Councilmember Johnson's First Books Event

Dastardly Cur, Dr. Iliterate

And other villian Cruella DeVille

DJ Bill Child

Reptiles Unlimited

Geoff Parry at the new Jammin Music and Art

Elmo

The Potential Lunatics

Adorableness

The next First Friday is July 1st!  Hope to see you there!

 

First Friday Fiesta!

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

By the beards of babes bearing Bubonic bronchial blisters, Bixby’s Friday First o-May beat the best!  (This sentence not only reflects my sentiments on the matter but is the title of my new book of tongue twisters for tots [available on Kindl this June!])

The entire mission of First Fridays is to allow artists, musicians, & crazy folk from city officials to the citizenry an outlet and platform for their creativity while invigorating usually dark businesses with late  night attention!  It is also my prime time to shake my tail feathers all while keeping a careful protective eye on the streets of Bixby that I love so (wouldn’t be much of a super-hero if I didn’t).

Here were some of the highlights of May’s First Fizzle:

Abraham Lincoln was back from the river Styx and weaving through the streets of Bixby Knolls on his…wait for it…STILT LEGS!  Which casts complexity to Lincoln’s well documented statement that a man’s legs ought to be long enough to reach the ground.

Rodrigo Rodriguez’s Mariachi Romanza Duet brought smiles to the shoppers of Roy Robbin’s Gifts and Stationary.

Darren Held’s Held 2 Gether improv troupe was makin’ schtuff up at Elise’s Tea Room.

There were art galleries in the Expo warehouse!

And Elmo!

Kapt. Kula’s Pyrat Party were singing sea shanties and going to Aaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rated moviesAnd my old Dartmouth buddy, Cinco was giving out free high fives all evening.  What a capital card old Cinco is!

First Friday happens once a month along the Atlantic Cooridor in the Bixby Knolls region of Long Beach.  See you June 3rd!

Feeling Foolish on a Friday First

Friday, April 1st, 2011

The First Friday of every month, Bixby Knoll’s and it’s manifold businesses are open late and inviting artists to come play!  Truly a unique event in Long Beach First Fridays is second only to the LA Art Walk in scale and magnitude, and it’s growing every month.  What follows is but a mere peek into April’s First Friday!

As a legally ordained minister, I renewed the vows of Wade and Laura Ashley at Melinda McCoy's Flowers

The Potential Lunatics played to stunned street crowds

A Youth from Long Beach Clothing Company wrangles a reptile from Reptile's Unlimited

Khmer dancer's wow audiences at the Long Beach Historical Society

Live Artists find their muse at the Expo Furniture Warehouse

Hua Dancers outisde Hawaiian BBQ Festival

And multiple Elvii (the plural of Elvis) roamed the streets. The one pictured here was the one not on stilts.

Be sure and join us on Atlantic between Del Amo and Wardlow, May 6th from 6 to 10 PM for imporv comedy, jazz musicians, bluegrass, pirate book readings, Marx Brothers film screenings, the ranger’s antics, and more.