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Inside Los Angeles

Inside Los Angeles (Aug 16th, 2019)

Good morning and Happy Friday!

A few weeks ago, I announced the compilation of a Twitter list featuring 100 essential LA-based accounts. I'd love for you to take a look and subscribe.

Of course, there are inevitably more than 100 essential Twitter accounts that encapsulate Los Angeles, so reply to this email and let me know who you think I was an absolute idiot to omit. 

Jonathan
 

Partly cloudy and cooler this weekend, with even a chance of some slight drizzle. The high/low tomorrow will be 78/63 downtown, 71/62 near the coast, and 83/59 in the valley areas.

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1. Amazon’s “Maisel Day” promotion certainly didn’t go unnoticed in Los Angeles yesterday. The 1950s pricing across the city to promote the Emmy campaign for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” created a traffic jam in Santa Monica around the single Chevron station offering a gallon of gas for 30 cents. Police temporarily suspended that promotion to alleviate traffic, but it was allowed to continue as scheduled a few hours later. Long lines were also seen at The Grove, where people waited to get 50-cent croissants from Dominique Ansel, and one-pound boxes of chocolate from See’s Candies for $1.50. The line to secure a $40 room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel stretched for blocks. The hotel only has 300 rooms, so some of those deal-seekers inevitably went home to their own beds last night. – THE WRAP

Did you take advantage of any Maisel Day deals? How long did you have to wait and what did you get? Reply to this email and let me know!

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2. A Los Angeles jury found Michael Gargiulo, nicknamed the "Hollywood Ripper," guilty of murder and attempted murder on Tuesday. Gargiulo was arrested in 2008, about six weeks after the attempted murder of his neighbor, Michelle Murphy – blood from the scene helped police identify him. He was ultimately charged with the 2001 murder of 22-year-old Ashley Ellerin, and the 2005 stabbing death of 32-year-old Maria Bruno. A few weeks ago, actor Ashton Kutcher testified at the trial as he had arrived at Ellerin's home a few hours after the murder to take her on a date. Next week, the jury will determine whether to accept Gargiulo's defense of "not guilty by reason of insanity." – PEOPLE

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3.  FOLLOW FRIDAY: The Americana At Brand Memes

That's right, I'm featuring a meme account. The Americana at Brand is a giant outdoor shopping mall in Glendale owned and operated by Caruso Affiliated. The Americana at Brand Memes is an unaffiliated Twitter account dedicated entirely to the concept that The Americana is superior to other outdoor malls in LA, specifically the Glendale Galleria. It's like The Americana is Maggie Simpson and the Galleria is Gerald, the baby with one eyebrow.

The account is run by an anonymous comedian who told Los Angeles Magazine last month that he attends The Americana (a.k.a. "free Disneyland") at least once a week. It even inspired several copycat accounts, praising the Glendale Galleria, Third Street Promenade, and Burbank Town Center, though the latter two accounts have been suspended and the Glendale Galleria account conceded defeat in late July.

I guess it's official, then. The Americana at Brand is the greatest outdoor mall in Los Angeles. At least until a centrally-located comedian can get The Grove Memes up and running.
 

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4. CicLAvia is Aug. 18, so it's time to either grab your bicycle or angrily refuse to leave your home for eight hours. This iteration of the event is called "Meet the Hollywoods" and will close down portions of Santa Monica Boulevard, Highland Avenue, and Hollywood Boulevard to car traffic from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The free event features 6.5 miles of cycling area starting at San Vicente Boulevard and Santa Monica in West Hollywood, and ending at Barnsdall Art Park at Hollywood and Vermont Avenue in East Hollywood. Bikes will be rentable all along the route. Best to take public transportation there, however, so you aren't stuck in traffic without even a 30-cent gallon of gas to show for it. – CURBED LA

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5. The Orange County Board of Supervisors has approved a $4.5 million pilot program to use aircraft to monitor and track wildfires. The dual-prop plane will provide near-immediate video to firefighters to help determine the trajectory of a fire, and enhance existing computer models to help scientists better understand how wildfires spread. The project is expected to help fire agencies throughout Southern California better respond to fast-moving, unpredictable fires. – KTLA

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6. The Griffin in Atwater Village has been sold and plans to rebrand as Moon Room, according to Eater. The bar was the source of controversy in 2018 after a local chapter of the neo-fascist group Proud Boys used it to host a meet-up. Many patrons thought management did not go far enough to oust the group and disavow their message. The new owners plan to update the menu and add more live music performances. All this is happening some time in the future though – for now, it's still open as The Griffin. – EATER LA

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7. Laguna Beach 14-year-old Francis Jacobs has become the youngest male ever to sign a professional soccer contract in the U.S. Jacobs signed with Orange County SC in the United Soccer League, and will be eligible to play against the Las Vegas Lights tomorrow night in Irvine, though he's not expected to. OCSC general manager Oliver Wyss says he's committed to developing Jacobs' talent on an appropriate time frame, and not letting him become "another Freddy Adu," referring to another professional soccer player who signed as a teenager but never developed into a star. – ESPN

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8. A woman who won a free Disneyland pass during a 1985 promotion at the park returned this week to use it – and it worked. Tamia Richardson was a 14-year-old visiting from Alberta, Canada, when she won the pass as part of Disneyland's 30th anniversary celebration. She had been back to the park several times since then, but had forgotten the pass in boxes of old photos. When she recently discovered it, she decided to head back to Anaheim with her two daughters to try and use it. A ticket-taker at the turnstile had to call a manager, of course, but they agreed to honor the 34-year-old ticket and give Richardson a remarkable return on her investment – a ticket to Disneyland in 1985 cost $16.50. – NBC LOS ANGELES

(I'm heading to Disneyland this weekend for the first time since the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and am hoping to have as magical an experience as Richardson and her daughters. My ticket cost considerably more than $16.50. - Jonathan)

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9. Stakeouts at Los Angeles International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport have resulted in the apprehension of an alleged turtle smuggler. Nathan Horton is accused of trapping turtles in Georgia’s Lake Jackson and shipping them to LAX, where they were then set to China. Horton is charged with a violation of the Lacey Act, which bans the trafficking of wildlife. – ASSOCIATED PRESS

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10. In more pleasant LA-related wildlife news, over 1,000 endangered frogs were released in the Angeles National Forest this week. The Rana muscosa, or Mountain Yellow-legged Frog, are endemic to California but listed as endangered in 2002 "due to habitat loss, pollution and introduction of non-native predators." But over the last two decades, the Los Angeles Zoo has been able to breed and periodically release the frogs (both tadpoles and full-grown adults) back into their natural environments. – ABC7

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Jonathan Harris is a Los Angeles-based writer. Previously, he wrote for The Huffington Post, TakePart.com, and the YouTube channel What’s Trending. He’s a frequent performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Hollywood. Follow him on Twitter @countrycaravan.

This newsletter is edited by Inside senior editor Bobby Cherry, a Pittsburgh-based journalist who's always on social media. Reach him at bobby@inside.com.

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