Go Metro to Lit Crawl LA: NoHo this Wednesday night

Photos from last year's LA Lit Crawl: NoHo by Rosalind Helfand.

Photos from last year’s Lit Crawl LA: NoHo by Rosalind Helfand.

The second-ever Lit Crawl LA: NoHo returns this Wednesday evening, Oct. 22, from 7 p.m. to midnight–and getting there via Metro is as easy as A-B-C!

Over 170 writers, literary organizations, and series will offer free readings and cultural events at 30 venues along Lankershim and Magnolia Boulevards. Each Lit Crawl location is within walking distance of the other, and of course, the entire NoHo Arts District is reachable by Metro Red Line, Orange Line, or bus. Simply hop on the Red or Orange Line to North Hollywood Station, or bus lines 152/353, 156/656, or 183 to Lankershim/Chandler.

Lit Crawl LA is organized into three 45-minute phases. At each phase, visitors chose from a diverse program of 10 to 12 events. The night ends with a “speakeasy” party at the Federal Bar at 10 p.m. All events are free to attend, however, food and drink are not included. That’s where Metro can help again: present your valid TAP card at the Federal Bar or Bow and Truss restaurant and save 10% and 15% on food, respectively. Just keep in mind that Metro Rail and Orange Line close around midnight Sunday through Thursday.

Ready or not, here comes Santa Claus…save on grandstand seating with Metro

Now that Halloween is over, it’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving…and the Hollywood Christmas Parade, which takes place Sunday, December 1 this year. The parade will start in front of the TCL Chinese Theatres and travel east on Hollywood Boulevard, south on Vine Street and west on Sunset Boulevard before returning to the starting point. Festivities begin at 5 p.m.

Free curbside seating is available along most the parade route, and the easiest way to get to the parade is on the Metro Red Line. Both Hollywood/Highland Station and Hollywood/Vine Station will put you right along the parade route.

But if you want to watch the pre-parade performances and not worry about getting crowded out, you can buy grandstand tickets. Single-seat tickets start at $45, and you can get a $5 discount with Metro. Just use the code “Santa” when purchasing tickets.

The exclusive discount is part of Metro’s Destination Discounts program and cannot be combined with any other offers. Go Metro to participating locations and events and you’ll save on admission, get discounts on meals, and receive free gifts.

Bus detours for the parade will be in effect in the vicinity of Hollywood Boulevard due to set-up and tear down of grandstands as well as during the parade. More details will be posted as we get closer to the parade date. For information on bus detours, check Metro’s Service Advisories or follow Metro on Twitter @metrolosangeles and @metroLAalerts.

Let’s do liquid lunch … near Metro

Dr. J juice drink. Photo from Dr. J's official Facebook

Dr. J’s juice drink. Photo from Dr. J’s official Facebook page

It’s fashion week in New York and even if you’re not interested in finding out what the hot color combos are this season, you really should take pride in the fact that New York is once again copying L.A. style.

The hot trend at fashion week this year isn’t skirt lengths. It’s liquid lunch juice concoctions that serve the dual purpose of filling fasting fashionistas (so glad we don’t have to say that out loud) and helping them stay slim and, well, cleansed. It is, at least, better than smoking.

In New York, models in sky-high heels are trotting around town in search of the latest in juice concoctions and the chosen color is green. Marie Claire – a fashion and style magazine — has even hired a truck to show up outside popular runway events. But juicing is nothing new in California. Jamba Juice and Robeks started here decades ago. And every day we find new juice joints — and new combos — near Metro stations and stops.

In downtown L.A., juice joints abound. A quick walk from the Red and Purple Line Pershing Square Station (unless you’re in heels) is a place called Dr. J’s (334 S. Main St.) that serves a variety of juice blends in fashionable jars. Among them is the Skin Beautifier of apple, carrot, celery, cucumber, the Immunity Builder of banana, cabbage, carrot, dandelion greens and the Green Energizer, which is avocado, banana, baby bok choy and baby spinach. Drinks run between $7 and $8.50.

But do juice drinks have to be green to be good for us? Can a pink juice be healthy and delicious? Do Ben & Jerry’s smoothies count? You tell us.

Ben & Jerry's smoothies. Photo by Anna Chen

Ben & Jerry’s smoothies. Photo by Anna Chen

A few other juice suggestions along Metro:

Liquid Juice Bar on Melrose, a block west of Crescent Heights (Metro Local Line 10)

Pressed Juicery on Ventura in Studio City, between Coldwater and Valley Vista Blvd. (Metro Rapid 750 or Metro Local 150)

The Punchbowl, 4645 Melbourne Ave. (Red Line Vermont/Sunset Station)

So where do you like to juice? Send your suggestions for great juice bars near Metro (put Ride & Dine in the subject field) to sourcemetro@gmail.com and we’ll post them on our beautiful Ride & Dine map.

Bus service detours for Academy Awards, Hollywood/Highland Station closed during The Oscars

Those of you traveling around Hollywood have probably noticed some bus detours by now due to Oscars prep. Here’s a friendly reminder that you won’t be able to spot Robert Downey, Jr. by  popping up from Hollywood/Highland Station on Sunday because it will be closed.

Here’s the release from Metro:

Metro Red Line subway trains will operate on a regular schedule but will pass through the Metro Red Line Hollywood/Highland Station without stopping on Sunday, Feb. 24 from open to close due to the 85th Academy Awards show at the Dolby Theater. There will be no public access to Hollywood/Highland Station. Customers are advised to use the Hollywood/Vine Station as an alternative and transfer to nearby bus service or walk.

All Metro Red Line trains will resume stops at Hollywood/Highland Station with the start of regular service on Monday, Feb. 25.

Street closures start Sunday, Feb. 17 due to staging for The Oscars. Metro Bus lines 212, 217, 222 and 780 will be detoured along Hollywood Boulevard between Highland Avenue and La Brea Avenue through 6 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, or until barricades are removed.

On the day of The Oscars, Sunday, Feb. 24, Metro Bus lines 156, 212, 217 and 222 also will be detoured along Hollywood Boulevard between La Brea Avenue and Cahuenga Boulevard and on Highland Avenue between Franklin Avenue and Sunset Boulevard through 6 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 25, or until barricades are removed.

Specific routes of the detours are listed online on the Service Advisory pages of metro.net. For real-time service alerts, go to metro.net home page or follow @metroLAalerts on twitter.

First phase of Metro Red Line celebrates 20-year anniversary

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“This day is here…”

On January 29, 1993, former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley stood among a swarm of public officials and transit agency staffers on the cramped Pershing Square subway platform. Standing shoulders above everyone else, including then-California Gov. Pete Wilson, Bradley proudly inaugurated the opening of the first modern subway in Los Angeles.

“Twenty years is a long time. That’s how long we have been pushing on this dream, this vision of what we should do in Los Angeles County,” Bradley said, referring to the subway’s quixotic path to reality in ‘93. “I made a promise when I ran for mayor in 1973 that in 18 months, we’d deliver by breaking ground for rapid transit. Well, I missed by only a few months…”

Today, Metro marks the 20th anniversary of the Metro Red Line’s first phase from Union Station to MacArthur Park, a nearly 4.5-mile construction milestone that began a brand new chapter in regional rail construction and placing L.A. among other major cities across the globe with high-speed, high-capacity subways.

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Go Metro to live music: Crystal Castles

Crystal Castles (ft. Robert Smith) – “I’m Not In Love”

Noticing a trend yet? Thanks to two conveniently located subway stations and a handful of Rapid and local bus lines running on main thoroughfares like Hollywood, Sunset and Santa Monica Boulevards, it’s easy to take Metro to the vast array of music venues in Hollywood. Case in point: Go Metro this Saturday night to see Crystal Castles performing live at The Hollywood Palladium! The venue is located on Sunset Boulevard, an easy two block walk from the Red Line Hollywood / Vine Station and is served directly by Metro Local 2.

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Transportation headlines, Thursday, March 22

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

Make way for the Expo Line (Blogging Los Angeles)

Here’s a video of the Expo Line test train as photographed from a bike (!) We’re sure it was a bicycle built for two because shooting from a bike would be dangerous. Or maybe the rider’s helmet contained a camera. In any case, it’s fun to see the train skating down the street and the video is pretty cool. Take a look. 

Bay area plan promotes trains that not quite high speed but quicker, at least (Silicon Valley Mercury News)

Under the heading “Maybe creativity can save high-speed rail” this news: Hoping to bring the bonanza of California high-speed rail funds to the Bay Area more quickly, local and state leaders on Wednesday unveiled a strategy to split the $1.5 billion cost to electrify the Caltrain line. The plan would pave the way for quicker commuter trains to zip between San Francisco and San Jose as early as 2018 and for statewide bullet trains to run sooner than expected.

Can travel training services save public transit agencies money? (Transportation Research Board)

In a word, yes. And why, besides money, should those of us not in need of paratransit services care? Because training for the service substitutes — in this case, mass transit — may actually promote independence and quality of life for the folks who can use them. And, need we remind everyone, it could be us one day. Here are some of the services offered by Metro. Metro also is the primary funding source for Access Services Incorporated, the federally-required ADA paratransit service that offers 24-hour-a-day curb-to-curb service to individuals with disabilities. For more information on Access Services call 800-827-0829.

Today in transit history (Primary Resources)

March 22 is an interesting day in L.A. transit history, according to Primary Resources, the Metro Library blog. In 1913 the Pacific Electric Railway extended the San Fernando Valley Line to San Fernando. In 1938 construction began on the Arroyo Parkway connecting Los Angeles to Pasadena. And, last but certainly not least, in 1984 the California Transportation Commission approved $361.2 million in state matching funds in what was an important first step in building the Metro Red Line. The subway project broke ground just two years later. (Hooray!)