Posts Tagged ‘Bixby Knolls’

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.

The Knolls Ranger on the News in China!

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

You remember that Best of the West Chowderfest we went to back in March?  Well apparently it was reported on by a Chinese television crew and guess who makes a cameo appearance in the background.  That’s right, The Knolls Ranger being beamed straight to you China! Also visible is Natalie Gutenkauf of The Factory Gastro-Bar! Catch the whole thing right here!

Tickled by our 15 Seconds of Fame

How der ya make such good Chowder?

Saturday, March 12th, 2011


Holy cats Bixby boys and girls!  Monday March 12th was a day for the record books, not only was the premier Best of the West Chowderfest so well attended (Chowder lovers were rolling in by the bushel-full), but Natalie Gutenkauf of Bixby’s very own Factory Gastro-Bar was one of the fan favorites with her Spanish Chorizo and Alaska White Cod chowder!  I joined my pals from the Factory to sling some seafood and sing a song or two!

The event was presented by the Aquarium of the Pacific and Seafood for the Future and featured chef’s from Kavikas, Gladstone’s, Primal Alchemy, King’s Fish-House, Parker’s Lighthouse, Deb’s Kitchen, and more.

Can you spot the ranger?

Mardi Hardy at Rainbow Harbor

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday en  francais is traditionally recognized as the last day of the Catholic tinged Carnival celebrations and is marked by costume donning, normative behavioral dropping, street dancin’, and feasting on fatty fat foods.  Sounds like the ranger’s kind of holiday!  Mardi Gras specifically was brought to the United States by a couple of King Louis XIV’s lackeys checking up on the monarch’s hold of le Louisiane, and was brought to Long Beach by a tow-headed community organizer (and Bixby resident) by the name of Jeff Williams.

True Believer

This Tuesday’s celebrations were the third annual for The Shoreline Village area of Downtown Long Beach, and the second annual attended by your favorite neighborhood ranger.

And, as in last year, the walkways were rampant with pirates…

Ar, be ye mates of Kapn' Kula? Than be walkin' the plank with ye!

…mascots…

Hearty Love

…fellow super-heroes (Z Blade XX it’s been a long time, how are you?!)…

…beauty pageant winners…

Shan Smith, Mrs. Southern CA

…beaded and bedazzled residents…

…and some wonderful ladies from an owl-habitat-preservation group called Hooters!

Woodland Conservationists

…The parade kicked off at three led by Mardi Gras Queen Estro Jen of the Long Beach Skate Shop and Roller Derby

…and Mardi Gras King Blair Cohn.  That’s right, our very own Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association Executive Director!

In addition to the parade there was a shrimp eating contest, face painting station, mask-making station and a 21+ after hours event called Party gras which featured live music sets by The Gumbo Bros., 00 Soul, and Lazy Brad Lewis whose languidness is matched only by his ability to jam.

Brad Lewis: Lazy

All in all a Fat Tuesday to remember!

BEADS! BEADS! GIVE US SOME BEADS!

Photos courtesy of Daniel DeBoom, Justin Rudd, Alissa Sablan, Woody, & Logan Crow.

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.

The Ranger Models!

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

A Ranger Ready for the Runway

The sound waves buzz with the whirr and click of a million hungry cameras raving for captured souls, the runway is slick with the glandular unrest of the other models, my own nerves swim within my skull in artful synchronized patterns of beauty.  “You can do this champ,” I affirm firmly.  I step out onto the runway wearing my Boyer, Taper, and Weingart designer duds, shamble forward like a sultry simian, and strike a pose…

Or something like that.

Truth is I was tickled pink, purple, and a whole lotta other colors too, that I was invited by the legendary Art Supply Warehouse in Westminster to model for their weekly Catalyst (no, not THAT catalyst) art classes.  I struck my contraposto, I did my best interpretation of a bowl of fruit, and I inspired local Westminster artists with the ranger form.

Now granted, the Art Supply Warehouse is a fair distance outside of Bixby Knolls, but this may be one of those rare places outside of beauteous Bixby that’s worth your attention!

Not only does the Art Supply Warehouse provide good deals on pastels and hobby brushes, but their Catalyst location (just a few doors down!) has regular gallery hangings, and life drawing sessions every Wednesday and Sunday night!  They’re also doing something for the month of April with those bulbous headed, opaque Munny characters you’ve seen in skate shops and art magazines!  Check back here for more info!  And check out these sweet pics of the ranger getting his portrait done!  Yeee-ha!

Displaying my Good Side

Displaying my Good Side

Stretching out the hammies

Stretching out the hammies

A Ranger's Many Looks

A Ranger's Many Looks

Sweepy Time

Sweepy Time

The Art Supply Warehouse is located at 6672 Westminster Blvd., Westminster, CA 92683. And their Catalyst space is less than a block away at 6630 Westminster Blvd. Call 714-891-3626, or e-mail them at catalyst@artsupplywarehouse.com for information on their Munny contest or registration for classes like the one the ranger modeled for.

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.

Roxanne’s, You Don’t Have to Put Out the Red Light…But You Can If You So Desire

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to Remember

Well dip me in the sweet Suwannee and call me a swampy salamder, I think I just found my new favorite bar and grille!  (The metaphor’s mixed but the sentiments sincere).  Last weekend after receiving a buzz in my top secret subterranean ranger lair, I boogie-oogied out to 1115 E. Wardlow Road for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the brand new Roxanne’s Lounge!

Boom Shakka Lakka

Joining me were neighbors,

The Citizens of Cal Heights

Bonnie Lowenthal

the press over at the Gazette and beyond

Thrill seekers

owner Robert Molina

The man, the legend: Robert Molina

His lovely family including the adorable and eponymous Roxanne

Roxanne, Robert Molina, Silvia Jaquez, James Johnston of the 7th District, and everyone's favorite ranger

my pals from the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association (Holla!)

Morgan Wraight and I prepare for the ceremony over S'mores (It ain't Christmas any more you silly ranger!)

the ever suave James Johnston of the Seventh District

James Johnston: Straight Up

The Signal Hill Chamber of Commerce

The Signal Hill Chamber of Commerce

Media darling Mike Mora

Mike Mora, still the best beard in Bixby

And these guys, who just wanted to play a little pocket billiards

"Eight Ball, corner pocket."

Formerly the sight of the Green Dog Tavern, the new Roxanne’s Bar and Grille has a little something for everyone.  With it’s modern design (including a marble light up bar top!), and vintage images of California Heights and Signal Hill from the forties, it’s the perfect blend of old and new.  Their family friendly menu includes all manner of delicious American cuisine and after hours the place bumps with the sounds of top 40 and hip hop grooves.  their happy hour is from two to six pm, and their kitchen is open until 9:30 pm.  Call (562) 426-4777 to make your reservations or just show up!  tell ‘em the Ranger sent you!

We're Cutting Rugs over at Roxanne's!  See you soon!Bixby BuddiesThe Gang's all Here!

The Best of 2010, A Ranger’s Year-In-Review

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

My Senitments Precisely

As the ball dropped behind Dick Clark  and citizens made kissy faces in the dark, the Knolls Ranger decided to look back and remember the super year that just was.  From shipwrecked 16 year olds to precognitive cephalopods, 2010 was a veritable hootenanny of local, state, and world excitement!  But don’t take my word for it, cast your mind back through the fog of time and recall these rip-roaring dates of revelry for the Ranger’s 2010 Year-In Review!

Jan. 4th : The tallest man made structure to date, the Burj Khalifa opens in Dubai, of The United Arab Emirates.  Upon opening, area man, “Jack” climbs up the building and brings back a golden egg laying goose and singing harp.

The Towering Burj Khalifa of Dubai

Jan. 3oth: Boy Scout Greg Rielly of troop 29, turns into a majestic soaring eagle.  But this stunning transformation had nothing to do with Voodoo brouhaha and the casting of chicken bones, and everything to do with community activation.   Thanks for the Muskogee Myrtles Greg!

Tree Planting

Feb. 3rd.  The Long Beach Police Department ends their exhaustive six month long search for a new chief of police after former LAPD second-in-command Jim McDonnell successfully beats out other contestants in a televised program called, So You Think You Can Chief. The program called for the police officers to perform weekly choreographed dance numbers and eat icky looking insects, among other things.

LBPD Cheif of Police Jim Mcdonnell

Feb. 12th, The 2010 winter Olympics kick off in Vancouver and Whistler.  Canadian sports commentators Bob & Doug McKenzie report, “It’s a beauty, eh.”

Take off Hoser

Feb. 26th, After double parking my beloved horse Chromium on an impacted Long Beach street, she runs off and crosses the Bering Strait.  Marking her the First Horse Owned By A Pod Person Super-hero to Successfully Cross The Bering Strait from the Pacific Coast.  Take that Silver!

Dear Chromium, you will be missed

April 9th, Local troupe Alive Theatre debuts their uncompromising vision of civic inaction with Eugene Ionesco’s A Hell of a Mess at 3838 Atlantic.  Venue holder Paul Forman, inspired by the theatrics, announces his upcoming one-man-show, Paul’s Way.

A precursor to Paul Forman's One-Man-Show

April 14 – Ash from erupting volcano’s beneath the ice cap Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland, halts air traffic in northern and western Europe.  Which is good news for my buddy Dale who’s in the train business.

Money Time Dale!  Yee-ha!  Git 'er Done!  Etc...

April 29th, City Mobility Coordinator Charles Gandy, members of the bike community, DJ Neon Hunter, and the Ranger IPA guys meet up at the Factory Gastro-bar to discuss making Long Beach the most bike-friendly city in the US and drink brewskies.  In an unprecedented and shocking move that gets some hate mail, I turn in my regular duds for a decidedly PG-13 wardrobe that resembles a beer keg. Heaven’s to Betsy!

Controversial Costume with Another Ranger

May 4th, A new world record is set for art sold at an auction when a Pablo Picasso piece entitled, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, sells for $106.5 million.  It seems an exorbitant price for a single painting but any struggling Non-profit organization that expresses dismay probably lacks culture and just doesn’t “get it.”

Picasso painting worth more than GDP of Malyasia

May 5th, The First Annual Long Beach Bicycle Tour attracts thousands who bike and huff across all thirty miles of scenic bike routes, city streets, and historical landmarks.  Here’s to hoping that 2012′s First Annual Unicycle Tour is as well attended.

The First annual Bike Tour

May 7th, The Neanderthal Genome Project announces that they have successfully sequenced enough of the genome to suggest that man and neanderthal interbred.  Neanderthal Civil Rights activists rejoice in a series of funny TV commercials for a car insurance company.

Man and Neandrethal, unlikely Bed-fellows?  Not According to Science

May 19th, The Bixby Knolls Strollers continue their monthly morning community treks from It’s a Grind Coffeehouse (4245 Atlantic Ave) to the far reaches of Bixby Knolls and Cal Heights.  On this morning the Knolls Ranger accompanied them and shared stories of his days on the Rancho photo-synthesizing alongside Jotham and Llewellyn.

A Morning Bixby Stroll Club

June 11th-July 10th, Paul the octopus from the Oberhausen sea life center gained notoriety for successfully predicting the winning team for each of Germany’s seven matches in the 2010 world cup.  In addition to football outcomes, the cephalapod was able to accurately predict lotto numbers, keno numbers, and that Oedipus Rex would eventually kill his father and marry his mother.

Paul the oracle octopus predicts a win for Germany

July 20th, The 5th Annual Bixby Knolls Dragster Expo & Car Show drew huge crowds and featured over 200 classic and vintage rods.  There was music and merriment and beer gardens, oh, my!  Mark your calendars for July 9th, 2011.  When once again the tranquil North Long Beach night will roar with the sounds of motor engines.  Hot diggity!

The 5th Annual Bixby Dragster Show & Car Expo

August 7th, Council Members, Congresswomen, RDA folk, neighbors, and the ranger drink coco and shop at the brand new Marshalls Department store!  I auction off a handbag!

Ladies and Gentlemen of Bixby Knolls, get your shop on

August 25th, The BKBIA office gets a surprise letter from another local do-gooder who refers to himself simply as the Naples Superhero.  Mystery man-o-Naples, we still want to meet up with you!
The Naples Hero

Sep. 3rd, Due to an influx of microscopic krill to our shores, record numbers of blue whales show up off the coast of Long Beach.  The Aquarium of the Pacific and Harbor Breeze Cruises shuttle tourists out to see the behemoths and gain evidence about their migratory patterns.  As of press time the whales declined to make any statements one way or the other regarding the Long Beach breakwater.

Bring on the Blue Whales

Sep. 10th, Greggory Moore heads to Burning Man.  Wears funny clothes.

Hehehe

Sep. 14th, Hollywood Photographer Peter Tangen, (responsible for the Hellboy, Spiderman, and Batman movie posters) begins to create stylized photo poster images of real life super-heroes (like the Knolls Ranger) the world over.  Subjects include Vancouver’s Thanotos, New York’s NYX, and San Fransisco’s Motor Mouth.

San Fransisco Hero, Motor Mouth

Sep. 18th, Long Beach Harbor Board Commissioner Mario Cordero is nominated to the Federal Maritime Commission by US President Barack Obama.  Which I’ll warrant is slightly more auspicious than my nomination to Homecoming King.

Mario Cordero

October 17th, I turn 129 years old in human years and my party at Vangie Ogg Photography and Pixie Toys (3930 Atlantic avenue) was the talk of the town! The yummy cake was courtesy of Alsace Lorraine Bakery.

D'aaaaw, too cute

December 2nd, GFA-41, an arsenic based strain of rod-shaped bacterium is discovered in CA’s Mono lake, thus showing that life is possible without phosphorous.  Everyone from NASA scientists to the casual man-on-the-street was excited by this new expansive view on what makes life and the possibilities of encountering it in space.  Everyone, I should say, except for the chemical compound Phosphorous himself, who grew very depressed and didn’t leave his room for a week.

Arsenic Bacteria in Mono Lake

And that, in essence was 2010.   Only time will tell what 2011 holds, but this ranger for one is excited.

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!