Archive for the ‘First Fridays’ Category

March of the Mardi Gras!

Friday, March 4th, 2011

A Mighty Mardi

Greetings and salutations from your favorite community noise-maker, The Knolls Ranger!  (Cue tumultuous fanfare)  Happy to offer a tell all exposé on another successful First Fridays.  In addition to the usual bands of Bohemians, costumed characters and Bixby lovers First Fridays was happy to welcome the Jazz-funk ensemble The Gumbo Brothers who joined me and the neighborhood in a Mardi Gras parade of epic proportions!  We weaved in and out of all of my favorite Bixby businesses before making one last splash to an unsuspecting consortium of consumers in Bixby’s very own Trader Joe’s!  Could we dig it, yes we could.Parading with the Neighborhood

The Gumbo Brothers Serenade Trader Joe's

The Gumbo Brothers Serenade Trader Joe's

Make Way for Tuba!

The Potential Lunatics & I

3 Year old Maise Debeck makes a Mardi Gras mask at Averyboo Arts

Connie Hope takes a trip with Lewis Anderson's infinite mirror box dsplay at the Expo Furniture Warehouse

The First Friday of every month finds us taking the streets of Bixby Knolls in unadulterated majesty, celebrating life, art, and discount slices at Porky’s Pizza!  Hope to see you next month!  Huzzah! Photo’s courtesy of Daniel DeBoom and 562 City Life.

A Felicitous First Friday For February

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Epidermis Canvas on display at LB Clothing Co.

Like the energy conserving metabolic depression that occurs in hibernating woodland mammals, First Fridays needs an occasional bit of repose to strike back fresh and re-invigorated.  And strike back they did!  After taking January off in order to digest December’s figgy puddin’, First Fridays was a veritable  galestorm of energy, art, passion, and community engagement on Feb. 4th!

Of course, yours truly, the Knolls Ranger was there all decked out in my cherubic finest!  I was launching wayward love arrows into the Bixby breeze and arresting the hearts of the neighborhood with thoughts of romance and bonhomie!  Yee-haw!

Watch out Vangie Ogg, cupid's arrow's comin' for you!

I spotted some of my very favorite Long Beach citizens such as Evan Kelly of LB Creative, and Logan Crow of Mondo Celluloid.

Evan Kelly and Logan Crow:  Friends to the End

The Poly bunnies
were seen in the Long Beach Historical Society and the Long Beach Clothing Company where they were enjoying the hip hop music.  You get it?!  Hip Hop?!  Because they’re bunnies!  Hahahahahahahaha!  Wooooh!….I slay me.

Polytechnic High School, they don't cotton much to bad puns

There were four different jazz bands playing in locations as diverse as Georgie’s Place, It’s a Grind Coffee, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, & the BKBIA office!

Blow daddy blow!

And for those who liked things a little more experimental, Sander Wolff and co. were turning heads and blowing minds with their systems-based improvisation immersion sound art in a former furniture expo.  Say that five times fast!

Drones so good

And for you shop-o-holics there was baked goodies, crafts, chocolatey things, live art and more made fresh by local artisans included these super swell Dia de Los Muertos style skull pillows from Belleza Muerta!  Death never felt so cushy.

Death never felt so cushy

One of the craziest sights of the evening was the window display at Long Beach Clothing Company where my commander-in-chief, Blair Cohn, and local contest winner Somatra Sean got public tattoos!  Ouch!

Blair Cohn gets Inked at Long Beach Clothing Company

In addition to all that there were improv actors, jewelry designers, doggies from the LB animal care unit, city council members, Tarot card readers, punk rockers, mandolin crooners, classic cars, and Hawaii Hula dancers!  Truly a bohemian experience!  For those of you who feel left out by all the fun, fear not!  For First Fridays will be back next month on March 4th from 6 to ten pm on the Atlantic Cooridor between Wardlow and Del Amo!  See you there Bixby Buckaroos!  Peace out.

Straight up Bixby y'all

Photos courtesy of Vangie Ogg, 562 City Life, and Daniel DeBoom.

Merry Holidays Bixby Knolls!

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Warrior Poser Gone Wrong

Whether the holidays found you spinning the dreidel, waiting up for Santy Clause, enlivening your Kujichagulia, or sacrificing the Yule Goat to Asgard ruler Wotan; it’s a down-right gaurantee that you found some merriment to be had at the Bixby Knolls December First Friday!

Long Beach Clothing Company Santa

The First Friday of ever month Bixby Knolls erupts like a Christmas cracker, raining cheer, community service, commerce, cookies, and their kin down upon the magnificent Atlantic Cooridor (from Wardlow to Del Amo).  The mission of First Fridays is to, “promote and support local artists and musicians by providing them with an outlet to showcase their work.”  And every month we see an influx of one-man-bands, clowns, dancers, costumed characters, street artists, and gallery displays on the streets and in the shops!

Roy Robbins Gifts

We danced, Bike Santa showed up, we lit trees and menorahs, I got in some misletoe smoochin’!  It was First Fridays as usal and by that we mean utter madness and joy!

Waiting Under the Misletoe

Can’t wait to see you on February 4th, 2011, for the next First Friday!

First Friday Fun Around the Corner!

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
City Councilmembers' Rae Gabelich & James Johnson of the 8th and 7th districts share a special moment with BMX founder Scott Breithaupt and Mayor Bob Foster at the last Friday First

City Councilmembers' Rae Gabelich & James Johnson of the 8th and 7th districts share a special moment with BMX founder Scott Breithaupt and Mayor Bob Foster at the last Friday First

Yippi Kai Yay Bixby Boomers!  It’s your old pal and eponymous blogger of thissy here website,  The Knolls Ranger!  (cue tumultuous fanfare)

Knolls Ranger: Lover

Knolls Ranger: Lover

And boy george, am I ever excited right now!  “Why is that?” you respond with obligatory interest.  Because dear internet chum, another First Friday is soon to be upon us.

First Friday:  A Hat-Swappin' Good Time For Everyone!

First Friday: A Hat-Swappin' Good Time For Everyone!

“Holy Cats!”  Come the cries from the other ends of screens snaking infinitely outwards from within the nebula that is the information superhighway, “You really mean it Knolls Ranger!  You mean that my beloved Bixby Knolls (located just North of the 405 around the Cal heights region of Long Beach) is gearing up for another one of their slam-dunk epochal arts and community events lovingly dubbed First Fridays wherein there will undoubtedly be potent potables, merry-making musicians, live art, and colorful characters!”

To which we at Knolls Ranger Dot Com, nod once, close both eyes contentedly and utter our favorite word, “Yes.”*



Last month’s First Friday was a palpable potpourri of community engagement and artistic expression.  Our wonderful Mayor Bob Foster showed up at the Dana Branch Public Library with City Councilmember James Johnson to crack-wise with the kids and impart valuable lessons on the import of reading.

De Mayor und Ich

De Mayor und Ich

Tiny tots gettin' their learnin' on!

Tiny tots gettin' their learnin' on!

A bunch of roving bands took to the streets like bohemian buskers playing everything from smooth jazz to death metal.

Much Merriement

Much Merriement

Drumming and dancing!  Looks like community engagement to me!

Drumming and dancing! Looks like community engagement to me!

There was lot’s of live painting from local practicing artistes!

Don't.  Move.  A Muscle.

Scott Breithaupt, the founding father of BMX bikes was on hand at the Expo Furniture Warehouse for their display of 40 Years of BMX History.  Which featured classic collector bikes, old jersies, National Champion Trophies, and historical clippings.

Bicycle Moto Cross got it's start in Long Beach after all.

Bicycle Moto Cross got it's start in Long Beach after all.

And I was of course there to see, taste, experience, and document it all!

Check out my 180 Barspin Y'all!

Check out my 180 Barspin Y'all!

So the question is, how do we match it this month?  Can lightning strike the same place twice even though conventional logic stubbornly maintains it cannot.  Well; with a tree and Menorah lightning ceremony, Christmas carolers, rock-a-billy rovers, the eagerly anticipated return of the Long Beach Clothing Company, and special appearances by both Kris Kringle and Harry Potter; it certainly seems like it will.

Some Special Guests to Bixby Knolls

Some Special Guests to Bixby Knolls

* Here is a partial list of other words we very much like: Shin-dig, hootenanny, lugubrious, and cheese-wheel.  Thank you for your time.

Scary Good Fun on a Festive Friday First

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Vangie Ogg's Lovely Photography

The law of individual differences mandates that no First Friday is ever alike.  Like every beautiful falling snowflake or the unique physiological make-up of each individual gnu in the Savannah, each First Friday in Bixby Knolls is something special.  But this latest First Friday was doubly so being as it was also my birfday.  Holla!

Make a Wish Uncle Knollsey!

That’s right Bixby Boys and Long Beach Ladies, the Knolls Ranger turned 129 on October 1st (but I’m only 5 in ranger years) and to celebrate the fine folks at Pixie Toys and Vangie Ogg Photography threw me a gala party complete with cake, toy horsey’s, face painting, caramel apples, and a photo booth!

E. Thor Carlson

Woah!  Watch out Thor!

Cake Time!

All of my favorite friends showed up and we partied like it was 1881 y’all!

All Hands on Deck for First Friday Fun!

But lest you should think that my party was the only happenin’ hot spot on ye olde atlantic ave.  Let me show you what else was happening on this spooky night of community engagement!  There were masks:

Blending InMusic:A fan of the Dance

And Monsters:

Lookin' Horrifying Elise's Tea Room!

There were artists expressing themselves like madmen at the Expo Furniture warehouse:

A litte bit of Post Modernity at the Expo Furniture Warehouse

And everyone from local politicians:

City Council howlin' up a good time

To community event coordinators:

Ron Petke promoting the Great Long Beach art Lab can you dig it?

To guys with beards and cool hats were there:


It all happens on the first friday of EVERY month in beautiful Bixby Knolls.  Can’t wait to see you next time and a have a sp-ooo-ooo-ky season!

Kickin' it Art Style!

Photos courtesy of Vangie Ogg, Blair Cohn, Krista Leaders, and Thom Wasper.  For more information on First Fridays events go here.

A One Year Anniversary of Friday Firsts

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Recursive Rangers

September heralds the one year anniversary of Regnar Sllonk’s rangerly duties.  That’s right it was one year ago tonight that the ranger first thawed out of his frozen repose in the window of the Long Beach Historical Society and began greeting all the wonderful citizens!

And, as if in answer to the ranger’s heightened state of nostalgia, September’s First Friday was an even larger gala affair than normal!  Between Justin Rudd’s Say “Cheese!” Long Beach 24 hour digital photo contest (on display at the Expo Furniture Warehouse) and The Potential Lunatics performance outside the BKBIA office there was much to thrill to.  But don’t just take our word for it, look at the antics the ranger got up to yourself!

Harmonious Ranger

Outside the Historical Society where it all Began

Hanging With the Nieghbors

Salon Medusa Extends My Follicles

Bring it on Derby Girls

In October we’re set to celebrate the one year anniversary as well as my 129th birthday with cake and costumes at Vangie Ogg Photography and Pixie Toys.  Check this out for more info!  Hope to see you there!

The Sights and Sounds of First Fridays

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Kapn' Kula's Pyrat Party & The Knolls Ranger:  Together at Last

Howdy Ho Bixby Brethren!  The Knolls Ranger here, happy to report on the successful mounting of yet another first friday festivity!  For those of you still unawares First Fridays is a monthly art & music event occurring in Bixby Knolls!  Businesses along the northern Atlantic Cooridor extend their hours of operation, offering special deals to patrons, as well as giving local artists a venue where they can display their work.  The event is one part music festival, one part art walk, one part farmer’s market, and all parts fun!  Here’s a look at what August had to offer!

The Magic Bullet Theory

Jazz Jam band The Magic Bullet Theory injected Nino’s Italian Restaurant with pure rhythm and soul!

Mouth Painting

Averyboo Arts featured a display commemorating the work of quadriplegic Jean Cook (1932-1999) whose work was painted using her mouth.  In order to fully appreciate this difficult task FF attendees were able to use sanitary brushes to try the same thing.

The Conjugated Beliefs of Usallica

The Conjugated Beliefs of Usallica, a new world premier absurdist dystopia from the Long Beach Shakespeare Company performed to a packed house at the furniture Expo warehouse.

Former Mayor Beverly O'Neill, The Ranger, & Author Harry Saltzgaver

Former Long Beach Mayor Beverly O’Neill and author Harry Satlzgaver were at the Long Beach Historical Society as part of their book tour for,  “Passionately Positive: The Beverly O’Neill Story“.  We had to sneak a pic.


Everyone’s favorite one man band Timstrument was there!

Kaptain Kula's Pyrat Party

And Kaptain Kula’s Pyrat Party rocked the plank.

Hare Krishna Band

And Hare Krishna’s brought good cheer to Free Spirit Yoga.

Watch out Knolls Ranger!

You couldn’t miss the Big Red Bus!

Paul Forman

Some Long Beach dignitaries were pout and about such as Paul Forman…

Justin Rudd

…Justin Rudd…

And the Avon Ladies

…and the Avon ladies.


Big band Dixieland made big noise at The Factory.

Bixby Buckaroo's

And all of my favorite citizen’s were out.

Singing Karaoke

All in all it was a First Friday to remember.  Hope to see you in September!

Hearken, A Great First Friday Is Come!

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Feelin' the First Friday Funk

Please pardon the archaic English in this articles title Bixby blogsmiths, but the Knolls Ranger is old school about his joy for First Fridays!  In fact, back in 1949 (the year it was established) my grammar teacher at Hughes Middle School made me stay in class writing “I will not use the word come as an unaccusative intransitive verb.” indefinitely while all the other kids were cutting rugs over at the sockhop.  (Thanks a lot Mrs. McMurphy!)

School was tough for bean-pods

But anyway true believers, this, as always, is The Knolls Ranger, champion of the community, brave boy of Bixby, and one time Yak herdsmen in Tibet (I’m full of stories!).

And let me tell you of all the things I love in Bixby Knolls (baby gecko’s in Reptiles Unlimited, Sunday strolls with the royalty, Mike Mora’s facial hair, etc.) I think I just might love First Fridays the most.

Best Beard in Town

Now granted asking a ranger to choose his favorite BKBIA program is a bit like asking my old friend Papa Steve which one of his 14 children he loves the most, but First Fridays is unique in Bixby Knolls.  Heck, it’s unique in Long Beach!  Hey, it’s unique in CA!  Higgeldy piggeldy, it’s unique in the USA!  You know what, I can’t think of an arts and business event like it in the entire solar system!  (There is one very similar in a neighboring galaxy however, but instead of calling it First Fridays the bizarre denizens of that celestial system simply call it BLEESNAX 7)

What makes First Fridays so darn tootin’ unique is it’s successful merging of two worlds (business and art) by promoting and supporting the local actors, crafters, and music makers that make this city vibrant while drawing attention to all of our favorite local watering holes as well.   Every month due to the concerted efforts of folks like former child actor Victoria Wells, Picasso-legged magic man Blair Cohn, dog Annie, the lovely Ms. Morgan Wraight, and the always amicable Krista Leaders  we see more and more businesses open late housing galleries, bands, and performance artists!

As always I was there to give you the good word and shake my tail feathers.  And as always the paparazzi was there documenting my actions and slinging barbed queries at me demanding to know details about my weekend trip to Barbados with Branjelina among other things.  (“I don’t know how many times I have to tell you people, Nothing happened!  We JUST ranged ok?!”)

Check it out:

I had them in stitches at Roy Robbin’s Gifts and Stationary!

Roy Robbins Gifts and Stationary

Hardcore band The Gunslingers burst ear drums (in a good way) over at the Richard Goad Theatre before actors from the Long Beach Shakespeare Company took to the stage with their production of the ribald Greek comedy, Lysistrata.

The Gunslingers

Stylists from Salon Medusa were doing live painting and hair art to compliment their gallery, The Times focusing on the medias hold on us.  Woah!  Red spray!

A Touch of Color

Korean students of design, and flight attendance were having a party!


The Sultans were out enjoying the car art on display outside of Melinda McCoy’s Flowers.

The Sultans

Elises Tea Room was serving the finest!

Elises Tea Room

Plus I got to hang out with Long Beaches finest!  Folks like Rabbi Dov Gartenberg!

Rabbi Dov Gartenberg

And Hearty Love!

Getting ready for that flugtag!

First Fridays kicks off on the first friday of every month all along the Atlantic Cooridor at 6:45.  Check back here for a near comprehensive listing of next month’s events!

May I Have Another First Friday?

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Culture Shock LA

April Showers brought May Madness during First Fridays on the 7th!  Boy Howdy!  There were more colorful characters than you could shake a horned toad’s hat at ifn’ Old Toady would take the gol’ durned head coverin’ off his reptilian dome long enough so’s you could do the shakin’!

Colorful Characters 1 and 2

See what I mean?

In addition to rangers, Commisioner Thomas Fields and his Segwayed minions from the Port of Long Beach docked themselves in the Expo Furniture Warehouse where they discussed Port potential as portrait painters drank potent potables!

Pondering Ports

Funny folks from Held2gether Improv once again turned Elise’s Tea Room into a laugh factory!

This Comedy Troupe's on Fire!

Babylon Blues played to a packed audience at It’s A Grind Coffee House.

With It's a Grind Coffee I Can't Feel the Blues

Home Care Health Partners (4122 Atlantic) displayed vintage art of the Queen Mary and Cyclone Racer.

Ye Olde Pike

Alive Theatre closed their absurdist comedy, A Hell of a Mess over at Paul Forman’s former retail building, 3838 Atlantic!

Moment of Meta-Fiction or Sign of Imploding Universe?

There was a belly dancing and much merriment at Baba Ghanouj Lebanese Cuisine!


And District 8 Boutique housed Culture Shock LA a 501C3 happy, hip-hop dance company dedicated to aiding education, and community awareness through shaking groove things.

Make Some Noise Culture Shock!

All in all, it was an exceptional First Friday.

Alive and Kicking at 3838 Atlantic!

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

A Hell of A Show

The Knolls Ranger is proud to welcome his favorite band of mischievous itinerant artists back to the Atlantic Cooridor.  Alive Theatre, a Long Beach based Non-Profit performance company has traversed much of this fine city since their inception in January of 2008, playing in alleyways, parking lots, galleries, river boats, hotels, museums, libraries, churches, vacant store fronts, converted cargo containers, any place that would have them.  And with each venue they marked off, they left an imprint.  An imprint of wild and wooly wackiness.

In Arabia We'd All Be Kings, 2009, Expo Furniture Warehouse

In Arabia We'd All Be Kings, 2009, Expo Furniture Warehouse

Playhouse 2009 Expo Warehouse

This is the fiery bunch that turned the Expo Furniture warehouse into a New York dive bar circa 1984 last summer for their production of Stephen Adly Guirgis’, In Arabia We’d All Be Kings.  And then immediately turned around and changed the space again into a fun-house/art gallerie/spookshow filled with performance art, and rampant ballerinas!

And now they’re back, back in another more-or-less vacant former furniture retail store!  Back doing what they do best, looking at the world through slightly eschewed vision and then shaking it up like a snow globe and handing it back to the public.  This time the play they’ve chosen to perform is Master Absurdist Eugene Ionesco’s dramedy satire, A Hell of a Mess.

Pretty Kitty

We find The Character on his final day at the job.  His recent inheritance from a relative he didn’t know well has given him enough capitol to retire early and break the bondage of his cubicle. With his past flames, former disgruntled colleagues, and favorite dive in the rear view, he sets out into a world that his new-found wealth brings: An apartment in a high rise nestled amongst an assortment of kooky neighbors. He finds his way to a nearby bistro that he’ll eventually frequent daily and en-kindles romance with a waitress named Agnes. All is well for a time until revolution erupts and sends his suburban neighborhood into chaos. To find refuge from the war torn streets, he bars himself to the confines of his apartment and lives out his remaining years in solitude pondering the purpose of it all.

A Hell of a Mess, 3838 Atlantic, April 17th - May 8th

A Hell of a Mess, 3838 Atlantic, April 17th - May 8th

The show runs for the next two weekends at 3838 Atlantic, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 PM.  Tickets are $18 general admission, $15 for students and seniors.  There is an additional $10 group rate for ten or more people or a discount of three dollars for a receipt from Nino’s Italian Restaurant.  (You cannot double up on discount deals)  Additionally you can enjoy an 15% meal discount on a Nino’s dinner after the show if you provide one of their excellent servers with your Alive Theatre ticket stub or program.

Looking for a crack in the wall

Finally, there will be two special pay-What-You-Can nights.  Saturday May 1st, and Friday May 7th.  The ranger’s planning on seeing the show for first fridays and hopes to see you there!

What a hell of a mess