What’s better than dinner and the Dodgers?

And if you're still hungry after dinner, there are Dodger Dogs. Photo by Sam Howzit via Flickr Creative Commons

And if you’re still hungry after dinner, there are Dodger Dogs. Photo by Sam Howzit via Flickr Creative Commons

Dinner and the Dodgers with discounts! Go Metro to dine at any of the following four restaurants before a game and get a special offer on the house.

Bow & Truss – located in the NoHo Arts District, dinner service begins at 5 p.m. daily. Get fancy with some cheese and charcuterie or tuck into a flat iron steak. For dessert, try the delectable tres leches cake. Show your valid TAP card and save 15% on your bill. (Metro Red Line to North Hollywood Station, walk 2 blocks south on Lankershim Blvd)

Kings Row Gastropub – located in Old Pasadena, opens at 11:30 a.m. on weekdays, 10:30 a.m. on weekends. Chow down on the signature King’s burger or try the falafel burger if you’re vegetarian. Show your valid TAP card and save $5 on all food. (Metro Gold Line to Memorial Park Station, Metro Rapid 780 to Colorado/Fair Oaks)

Far Bar – located in downtown Little Tokyo, opens at 11 a.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. on weekends. Start your meal with garlic butter edamame or wasabi fries, then load up on their sushi rolls. Show your valid TAP card and receive 10% off on all food. (Metro Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, Metro Bus 30 or 40 to Judge John Aiso/1st)

The Lab Gastropub – located at the edge of USC, open from noon to 8 p.m. Mon – Sat, closed Sundays. Order up a plate of chipotle chicken nachos or Korean short ribs. For lighter fare, try the Green Goddess wrap. Show your valid TAP card and save 10% on your bill. (Metro Expo Line to Jefferson/USC Station, Metro Bus 81 to Figueroa/USC-McCarthy Way)

After eating, head to Union Station and hop on the free Dodger Stadium Express to the game!

Summer ArtsFest 2013 is finally here!

Photo: Cathy Cole via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo: Cathy Cole via Flickr Creative Commons

Enjoy local art, movie nights, interactive dance and music sessions? Then the East L.A. ArtsFest 2013 is the place for you this summer! Located at the East Los Angeles Civic Center, Metro provides easy access to this cultural destination via the Gold Line Eastside Extension.

Kicking off at 3 p.m. on June 30, the audience will jam out to music by performers ready to add pep to your step. Then later in the night, a spectacular fireworks show will commence at 9:15 p.m.

Want to take a look at local East L.A. art? The artwalk features local artists and artisans sharing their work with the public. There will also be live concerts for the audience to enjoy while looking at the art. The artwalk and concert series will be held on June 30, July 20, and August 3.

On July 5 and August 2, the Ford Theatres will offer J.A.M. sessions where the audience is invited to dance to the beat or play to the rhythm of salsa music and drum lines. All levels and skills are welcome at these free interactive events. If you have a kid who loves to dance, a youth dance workshop will be held at the Heidi Duckler Dance Studio on July 19 at 11:30 a.m. and a youth performance at 2:30 p.m. Also in the studio, a performance with award-winning musicians Don Preston and Andrea Centazzo will take place at 7 p.m. on August 10.

Various movies in the park will be shown on Fridays at sundown beginning June 28 through August 23. And a farmer’s market will take place every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., bringing fresh fruits and vegetables.

The East L.A. Artsfest will conclude on Saturday, September 7, with an all-day celebration starting with a Family Fishing Derby at 7 a.m. and East L.A. Bike Ride at 10 a.m. Those who want to participate in this activity can register that day at 8:30 a.m. The artwalk and concert series finale and Taste of East Los Angeles will begin following the bike ride.

Any day at  ArtsFest 2013 is a day to remember and best of all, it’s free! To plan your best trip, visit Metro’s Trip Planner.

CicLAvia takes over Wilshire Boulevard photo gallery

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I hope everyone had a great time at CicLAvia yesterday and please enjoy the above photo gallery.

A few quick thoughts:

•Congrats to the folks at CicLAvia and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation for keeping the bike traffic moving. Bikes only had to stop for cross-traffic on a handful of streets. Woot woot!

•I’m pretty sure that I traveled that stretch of Wilshire faster on my bike than I have in my car.

•In fact, I suspect the road moved more people efficiently on bikes than it does cars — because each car requires so much space.

•Hey city of L.A.: those middle and henceforth unpaved lanes on Wilshire are a little rough on a road bike. And I thought they were bumpy on a bus.

•If there is an over/under wager on ridership for the first phase of the Purple Line Extension between Wilshire/Western and Wilshire/La Cienega, I’ll take the ‘over’ please.

Great post by Kevin Roderick at LAObserved on the many interesting and historic structures along yesterday’s route.

Metro Art Moves_DTLA starts on the 4th of July

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Photos: Metro

The July 4th Metro Art Moves_DTLA tour is the first of three summer art tours offered from July to September. Tours take place on the first Thursday of each month from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The tour, led by Metro Art Docents, will start at 7th/Metro and end at Civic Center Station.

Wear comfy walking shoes and head to the Figueroa Street entrance of 7th/Metro. You’ll navigate the Metro system in a whole new way and learn about Metro’s diverse art collection. The tour will end around 7 p.m. and drop you off right in the middle of Grand Park, where you can partake in their 4th of July Block Party.

Want to grab a snack before Metro Art Moves_DTLA, or feeling a little hungry afterward? Take advantage of special Metro discounts at locations near the tour route. Qdoba Mexican Grill gives 15% off to those who show their TAP cards, Tossed offers a $2 discount and Boba 7 will provide a free drink upgrade. All three places are just blocks from 7th/Metro – or in Qdoba’s case, just an elevator ride away! Those who stick to ending their tour at Grand Park can use their TAP cards to score a free pair of sunglasses at the event information booth.

Metro announces more frequent late night service on the Gold, Expo and Orange lines

A photo illustration of the Expo Line at night on Flower Street. By Steve Hymon/Metro.

A photo illustration of the Expo Line at night on Flower Street. By Steve Hymon/Metro.

Good news: Beginning this Sunday night, the Gold and Expo lines will be running an enhanced late night schedule. Both lines will run every 10 minutes until midnight instead of every 20 minutes.

This will be accomplished using shorter but more frequent trains. Customers should board the trains toward the front of the platform.

In addition, the Orange Line will run every 15 minutes until 11 p.m. and then every 20 minutes until close.

There is one big exception to the 10 minute service on the Gold and Expo lines.  On nights when late night maintenance is scheduled, trains will run less frequently, usually every 20 minutes. Customers should check http://bit.ly/servadv to view Planned Service Advisories and/or follow Metro’s Service Alert feed on Twitter.

Go Metro Weekends, June 21 – 23

Make Music Los Angeles is back this Friday with an eleven hour celebration of musical creativity that will take place throughout the entire county of Los Angeles. Many of the city sidewalks, parks, community gardens, street corners and schoolyards will become the backdrop or stage for free concerts. To celebrate, you can score some sweet deals at the following locations on June 21 with your TAP card.

Papa John’s Pizza – multiple locations, use Trip Planner to find routes and connections
Alegria on Sunset – Metro Bus 2/302 to Sunset/Hollywood (Head here to listen to the Chris Ho Band play any time between noon and 10 p.m. on Friday)
ChimMaya – Metro Rapid 762 to Atlantic/Pomona
African Red Tea – online store, use promo code UN15% to save

Head to Long Beach for the Bayou and Blues Festival this weekend. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Enjoy culture music, cuisine and dance. General admission is $30 at the door, show your TAP card to receive $5 off. (Metro Blue Line to Long Beach Transit Mall, transfer to a Passport bus to Shoreline/Village)

Saturday is Men’s Health Awareness Day at USC. The free health fair lasts from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will feature live music, a classic car show, children’s activities and more. Show your TAP card at the event information booth to receive a free raffle ticket for some great prizes! (Metro Expo Line to Expo Park/USC, Metro Bus 204 to Vermont/37th)


Notes from this morning’s gate latching press conference

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Photos: Steve Hymon/Metro

It has been a long time coming: The gates are now latched full-time at both entrances to the Red/Purple Line at Union Station. In order to get through the gates, all patrons need to have a TAP card — either the plastic kind or the paper tickets that are TAP enabled.

Here’s a post that explains everything.

In order to help get the word out, Metro held a news conference on the subway’s mezzanine this morning — and there was considerable media interest.

All the speakers — Metro Board Chair Mike Antonovich, Metrolink Board Chair Patrick Morris and Metro Board Members Zev Yaroslavsky, Richard Katz and Antonio Villaraigosa — hammered a similar theme that all patrons should pay to ride. “Gate latching will end the freeloading,” Antonovich said.

Yaroslavsky called it a fair and responsible way to run a transit system. He added that increased revenues from fares will be pumped right back into an expanding system for those who depend on transit and those want to use transit as an alternative to sitting in traffic.

Villaraigosa reminded everyone that this was an effort many moons in the making and said the expansion of TAP to other transit agencies will help build the regional transit system the area deserves.

— posted for Steve Hymon, who is stuck in a meeting