Posts Tagged ‘The Knolls Ranger’

The Knolls Ranger Works on his Beach Body!

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

The duties of a neighborhood super-hero are sundry and legion.  One day they might be cleaning the streets of crime; the next,  cleaning out the clothing rack at a Marshalls discount sale.  But no matter what day it is, chomping on snacks, cakes, goodies, and sweet stuff from the local dining establishments is always  a ranger requisite.  Be those snacks a hoagie from Philly Steak & Subs (4141 Long Beach Boulevard) a Manhatten black & white from Alsace Lorraine Fine Pastries (4334 Atlantic Avenue), or any number of delectable dishes from Sunny Donuts & Terriyaki (3408 Long Beach Boulevard).  The citizens know just how protected they are by how much their masked mascot had to eat.  Yum!

All in a Day's Work Bixby Knolls!

But all this voracious eating has added girth to the ranger’s heroic form and hindered his ability to fit into his summer bathing suit.  So what is a flabby justice fighter to do but catch a wave over to the Commit 2 Fit Athletic Club on 4354 Atlantic and shave a few layers off his Gluteus Maximus!

Al...most....there...nyeeeugh!

The trainers in Commit 2 Fit work to give you the work-out you need, gently pushing you to get the exercises you desire while never stepping over into drill instructor territory.  They are as hard on you as you want them to be and the facility has dozens of weight training machines to choose from.

After a solid five minutes spent wailing on my biceps and pectorals I felt ike a new ranger and was ready to go back out and have a baker’s dozen Angel Food Donuts.  Thank you Bixby Knolls!

Commit 2 Fit is located on 4354 Atlantic Avenue Long Beach, CA 90807.  You can reach them by phone at (562) 427-8663.  Tell them the ranger sent you!

Kickin’ it with Kapn’ Kula

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Originally used to describe any sort of nautical ne’er-do-well from antiquity, the pirate has made a cultural metamorphosis into the rum-swigging, peg-leg wearing, Jolly Roger flag waving, ill-mannered darling of our collective imaginations.  You can blame the mouse house with their multi-billion dollar movies and “yo-ho-ho”-ing robots in Anaheim if you’d like.  Or the masterful musings of literary icons like J.M. Barrie, and Robert Louis Stevenson.  You could blame Gilbert & Sullivan or Hallowe’en costume companies.  You could even blame that team of bat-and-ball fellers down Pittsburgh way.  But in the end, no matter who the culprit is (what are we going to do to them anyway?  Make them walk the plank?) the fact remains that the booze-stinkin’, lice-ridden, pirate replete with greasy beard, smelly eye hole, and Capn’ Crunch style bicorne hat, is here to stay.  And if said pirates are in everything from Saturday Morning Cartoons to internet memes than you’d better believe that Bixby Knolls, in all it’s splendor, has some too.

Our pirates are none other than Kaptain Ray Kula and his crew of crooning cut-throats!  The good Kaptn. is the front-man of a band that plays on authentic hundred year-old mandolins, accordions, and ukuleles and will throw you a Calypso or Hawaiian beat just to get your attention before growling into a 300 year old shantie about man’s love for manatees.  They play all over the sea’s of Southern CA mind you entertaining in cruise ships, watering holes, and private parties.  They’ve been honored to perform before the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary at their 2004 National Conference and alongside the Hollywood elite during Disney’s red carpet premier’s of Pirate’s 2,3, & 4.  They’re also frequent guests to Bixby Knolls and First Fridays, filling the night with their raucous cries and merry music!  With their odd looks and demeanor they fit right in with Bixby’s eclectic crew of characters which includes your’s truly: the official super-hero/greeter/pod-person, Annie the beloved English Bull-dog, the ever-classy Duke and Duchess, and Mike Mora of the beard coalition (we can’t get enough of it!).

I recently sat down with Kaptn. Kula over a delicious Blair’s special pizza at one of my favorite fine dining establishment, Nino’s Italian Restaurant to ask him a few questions about life at sea and what makes him tick.

Knolls Ranger:  Howdy ho Kapn’ Kula!

Kaptn. Kula:  ARRRRR me matey!

Ranger:  What wonderful Nino’s menu item are you devouring today Kaptn.?

Kula:  I’m having the Chicken PARRRRRRmigian.

Ranger:  Heavenly.  Now most people don’t know this about you, but in addition to being a dreaded pirate you are also a fan of the stage, what is one of your favorite plays?

Kula:  I’d have to say ARRRRRsenic and Old Lace.

Ranger:  Hahaha, and your favorite 1970’s folk song?

Kula:  PARRRRRsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme by Simon and GARRRRRRfunkle.

Ranger:  Favorite Greek Mathematician?

Kula:  ARRRRRRRchimedes.

Ranger:  Beloved Don Knotts television character?

Kula:  BARRRRRRRney Fife.

Ranger:  Favorite Tuscany province in Italy?

Kula:  The eastern province of ARRRRRRRRRezzo.

Ranger:  Former Bodybuilding State Governor recently under fire for adulterous child fathering?

Kula:  Listen, do we have to keep doing this?  The ARRRRR jokes?  It’s a little demeaning, I mean I may be a pirate but I’m not just a simple, monosyllabic archetype.

Ranger:  Not just a what?  I’m sorry.

Kula:  An archetype.

Ranger:  Gee, I still couldn’t make that out.  Could you speak up a little.

Kula:  (Sighs) An ARRRRRchetype.

Ranger:  Ohhhhhh, an ARRRRRchetype!  Hehehe, Kula you crazy.

And then we danced

You can catch performances of Kula and his crew coming up at the Fun Draiser birthday show for Alive Theatre company members, Jasper Oliver and Aurea Tomeski on June 10th at The Farm, 555 E. 3rd St., Long Beach, CA, 90802.

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

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.”*

Hooray!

Hooray!

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.

The Ranger Marshals the Marshalls Grand Opening!

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Councilwoman Gabelich, Congresswoman Richards, Bill Baker, the ranger, and more!
Get your shop on Bixby! After over a decade of decadent degradation on a plot of property in the Northern quadrant of beauteous Bixby Knolls, it was high time for a hootenanny of epic proportion when dynamite retailer Marshalls opened their ambrosial doors last Thursday to the public. The coffee and coco flowed like wine as Long Beach dignitaries and citizens alike flocked to the Grand Opening.

Can we shop yet?
To fully appreciate the grandeur of this North Long Beach victory we must understand the tremendous history behind this unveiling. So gather ‘round kiddies and travel back with me through the fogs of yesteryear to a time nearly forgotten. And as we ride the space-time continuum, I beseech you to beware of the dreaded Morlocks. (I ain’t trustin’ nothin’ that ain’t got no melanin. My regards to auld H.G.)

Gut Munching Troglodytes from Man's Future
Y’see before 4450 Atlantic was a Marshalls (holla!), it was a pigeon riddled pit of despair. Formerly a Robert’s department store, this vacant building hadn’t seen a customer in ages. But property owners at Gaska Inc. weren’t unawares of the Knolls eye sore, and in fact were working quietly night and day for the better part of six years to correct this!  Deep within their business laboratory, they labored to concoct the perfect elixer which would transform the space by the light of the full moon into the denim-jeans-and-designer-hand-bag-slinging retailer you see today! But in order to achieve this dream they needed the aide of the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency.

Amy Bodek and the Knolls Ranger
“Development of this modern Marshalls Department Store has concurrently eliminated a blighting condition at the former vacant Roberts store site and serves as a beacon for the continued revitalization of North Long Beach,” stated RDA Executive Director Amy Bodek in her now famous, “Marshalls Woot Woot!” speech. The RDA approved a $3.7 million loan (which roughly translates to ₩4,543,600,000 for our readers in South Korea) to develop the new Marshalls as well as a $500,000 façade improvement grant (614 million won, [you’re welcome Satchmojoey]). With these kind of smackaroo’s backin’ ‘em up, it was merely a matter of convincing Marshall’s parent company TJ Maxx that such a venture was a good idea. Easy peasy.

Leave it to me Gaska!
Last October Bixby Knolls residents took turns heaving bricks and boulders at the old domicile à la Shirley Jackson. (I was there y’all!) And for the better part of a year the Ed Grush Construction company had been building the beautiful Marshalls you see today.  Finally, on an unusually crisp August morning, the unveiling began…

Councilwoman Gabelich and the Ranger Remember
All of the Long beach big-wigs were at the grand opening ceremony including Congresswoman Laura Richardson, Councilwoman Rae Gabelich of the Eighth District, Chair of the Long Beach Redevelopement Agency Bill Baker, RDA director Amy Bodek, executive director of the BKBIA Blair Cohn, the Duke and Duchess of Bixby, and yours truly, the Knolls Ranger. (I raffled off a couple blow dryers.)

And the winner is...

The Ranger and the Duchess

Woo-hoo!

The Duke and Duchess

The new Marshalls is your one-stop shop for all your back to school needs.  Check them out at 4450 Atlantic!  Photos courtesy of Blair Cohn and Thomas Wasper.