Wednesday, March 24, 2010


As generally unrewarding as paying taxes is, one can also have an unpleasant experience having your taxes prepared. Around Georgia, there is an epic amount of businesses that will prepare your taxes in the most hopeless of settings. Here are some possibilities:

Fast maybe, but

Liberty Tax Service hires folks to dress up as the statue of liberty and hustle customers in passing cars. Does the patriotic aspect of paying taxes give you a tingly feeling?

Mo' Money Taxes is a big chain. Check out their Web site. It's tight.

Excuse me, but you misspell my name on tax form, it is spelled Heiu.

This is down the street from my house. It doesn't look like they are going to replace the X.

This tax place on Memorial Dr. has a car wash right in front. Do these folks wonder why I'm taking a picture of them? Yes, they do.

Do I have to go in that house to meet Mr. Tax?

I can get a refund at 4 in the morning?

Tax offices in Alabama are just as miserable

I think this one is 4 Sale.

I will have some Daisy Go Rounds and Thin Mints, oh and little girl, will you handle my taxes for me? Thank you.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Though I'm quite happy to be living in Atlanta for the time being and would have mixed feelings about moving back to L.A. were it to happen before I felt I had thoroughly explored the South, there are times when I long for places and things that are closer to my heart. Other than family and friends, these are some of the things I find myself sentimentalizing over during the swampy days of August and the rainy, wintry days of February.

1. Casa Bianca Pizza Pie

2. The Downtown L.A. Art Walk

3. The sea breeze (I long for your gentle caresses)

4. Reading the L.A. Times in print (even though the paper is slowly going in the toilet)

5. Warm sun year-round (I took you for granted all those years)

6. The best burritos to be found anywhere (I get more specific below)

7. Culver City

8. Bumping into people I know

9. Psychedelic sunsets

10. Taco trucks

11. Santa Monica Mountains

12. Boba drinks everywhere (Boba Time is my favorite chain)

13. Valley Boulevard (my favorite street in L.A. to wander around from Garfield Ave. in Alhambra heading east)


15. American Cinematheque and especially the Film Noir Festival in April

16. Pink's Hot Dogs

17. Vegan restaurants everywhere

18. Langer's Deli

19. The Tomorrow Show at the Steve Allen Theatre (though it's not quite the same without Brendon Small and Craig Anton)

20. The Bradbury Building (my favorite piece of architecture in L.A.)

21. Union Station (with the sun pouring in the giant windows)

22. Warm summer evenings without the jungle-like humidity of Atlanta

23. Farmers Market

24. Griffith Observatory (this has really improved, but the parking situation is not so good)

25. UCLA Thrift Store

26. The drive up the 110 (Arroyo Seco Parkway) to Pasadena

27. The PCH to Malibu

28. Extreme multiculturalism (like Mexican families shopping in Thai markets, etc.)

29. The Brand Library

30. Orean The Health Express in Pasadena

31. Koreatown

32. Korean tacos (can't find those anywhere else I don't think)

Update: Actually, I found out there is a Korean Taqueria in Atlanta. Will head there soon.

33. Biltmore Hotel

34. San Vicente Blvd. to the ocean by car or bicycle

35. Sunset Blvd. from the 405 to the PCH (that would be my favorite segment, the Beverly Hills part is nice too, though the Hollywood section doesn't do anything for me except make me worry about parking)

36. Stan's Doughnuts in Westwood (the chocolate chip doughnut, the blueberry buttermilk doughnut)

37. Bob's Big Boy in Burbank

38. Daytrips to Ventura

39. Pico Blvd. (Next to Valley Blvd. and Sunset, Pico would rank third among my favorite streets and I love the whole thing from Downtown to the beach)

40. Papa Christos (a nice stop on Pico, near where Jabberjaw used to be)

41. Campos Famous Burritos (the avocado burrito at any location)

42. Puebla Tacos in Pasadena

43. The Salvation Army in Pasadena

44. The drive along the 134 through Eagle Rock (near sunset is a good time)

43. The connector to the 110 from Hollywood to Downtown going South

44. The San Gabriel Mountains (there are no real mountains on the East Coast or in the South)

45. The Old Bank District Downtown (I wish that I lived there when I was 23 or so, except that it was messed up then)

46. The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (generally better exhibits than at the other MOCA location for whatever reason)

47. Los Feliz Blvd. as you cross the L.A. River toward Atwater Village

48. South Pasadena

49. Watching Clippers games (you really have to be an Angeleno to care at all about the Clippers and it is a love/hate relationship for all fans).

50. Griffith Park

51. HMS Bounty on Wilshire (old bars with tons of atmosphere are not something you find in Atlanta)

52. El Cholo (guacamole prepared table side, sitting in the special booth where you get a free plate of nachos)

53. Foggy Westside evenings

54. Main St. in Alhambra (and the Mallternative gang of teenagers that hangs out there)

55. Bahn Mi sandwiches in the San Gabriel Valley

56. Craftsman homes in Pasadena

57. Pickup basketball at the LA Fitness gym on La Cienega (games are at my slow pace)

58. The hot sauce at Flore Vegan in Silver Lake, along with the Eastsider Tacos (I'm always afraid, though, that I'm going to contract hepatitis or herpes from the hipster wait staff)

59. The hot sauce and the JVC burrito at Burrito Express in Pasadena

60. 99 Ranch Market in San Gabriel

61. Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena (reminds me of the book Mildred Pierce)

63. The eggless salad (tofu) sandwich at Whole Foods (these are not available at Whole Foods in Atlanta)

64. The Colorado or Suicide Bridge in Pasadena

65. Pupusas everywhere

66. Grand Central Market downtown

67. Ticktocker Thrift Shop in Culver City

68. Jewish Delis on the Westside (Fromin's, Junior's)

69. 99 Cent Only Stores

70. Pickup basketball at the Venice Beach Boardwalk

71. Regional Chinese food

72. Horchata (It's available here, but it tastes better in L.A. for some reason)

73. Old diners in the San Gabriel Valley (even the ones with crummy food)

74. Glendale Avenue in Glendale (especially the very Armenian part south of Colorado)

75. Brand Bookshop in Glendale

76. Din Tai Fung Dumpling House in Arcadia

77. Alta Dena Cottage Cheese (can't find that in Georgia)

78. So many art house movie theaters and movie theaters in general

79. Sunset Junction Street Fair

80. Tacos La Flama in West L.A. (Is the menu the same as Campos? This used to be a Campos. Anyhow, this place on Barrington is even better)

81. Mario's Italian Deli in Glendale

82. Washington Boulevard in Pasadena (a lot of varied neat stuff on this street like weird, old gas stations)

83. Altadena

84. Little Saigon

85. The old theaters on Broadway Downtown, though I've never been inside the majority of them

86. Musso & Frank Grill

87. City Hall (not so much the people inside, but the iconic, phallic building)

88. Videotheque in South Pasadena

89. Neurotic Jews everywhere (mostly in their cars late to get somewhere)

90. Tough Latinos everywhere (I have never seen a tough looking Latino in Atlanta)

91. Santa Anita Race Track

92. Coyotes (never seen one of those in Atlanta)

93. Mulholland Drive (a good place to bump into coyotes)

94. The 101 drive into Hollywood from the Valley with the view of the Capitol Records building

95. Vietnamese food everywhere

96. Zelo cornmeal crust pizza in Arcadia

97. The Mid-Wilshire District

98. bicycling on the beach

99. Museum of Jurassic Technology

100. Things that have disappeared in recent years such as the Mann National Theater, Laemmle's One Colorado Cinemas, the Rialto Theatre, Rhino Records, Dutton's Books, Gene de Chene Books, the Westwood Arcade and the Ambassador Hotel.