Another Alarcon making mark in L.A.
Los Angeles Times, Aug 30, 2011, by David Zahniser §AA
I was waiting for something in the newspaper about the Sunset Junction Festival being cancelled. Web site news only commented about the back fees that were not paid from last year's event. I guess I just thought it was strange that such a last minute cancellation of a 30-year running festival would be cancelled without in depth reporting in the news. It may well have been covered on TV on some local network news station, but seeing that I haven't been watching local news anymore, I was in the dark.
I went out that Saturday [of the event] thinking that there would be unbelievable numbers of people swarming Echo Park, where I live. Some of the web site information I got mentioned that the local dance club/live performance pub would absorb the cancelled music acts. I didn't really care about that because, as hard as it may be to believe, I don't know my new age music. So, when a rising band comes to town, I wouldn't know it if it hit me in the head. What I decided to do was check out the new Mohawk Bend pizza joint. They specialize in microbrews. I made such a fool of myself, I won't even go into detail about what happened past eleven o'clock.
As far as the pizza joint. I didn't try the food. I couldn't really smell anything cooking, although there were plenty of people eating there. I had already eaten dinner, so I was fine. The ovens are visible from the bar and I was checking them out as I had been eye-balling the wood-fired brick ovens online, fantasizing about renovating my kitchen and having one installed for when I want to warm up the house in winter and eat a wood-fired pizza. The Mohawk Bend is constructed of fire red bricks inside, making it a heavenly hang out for any creative person longing to live in a brick lined loft. However, it would seem that the ovens installed were lined in some kind of metal, unlike, for instance, Nicky-D's.
It might be an interesting review to compare food at both restaurants in future, but as it is, I rarely order pizza when eating out anymore. After four beers at Mohawk (maybe five, but doubtful), the progressed along Sunset Blvd where I managed to find another six or seven beers. End of story.
The only time I ever went to a Sunset Junction festival was years ago when they were only charging $10 admission. And that was only to half the people who participated, because the rumor was residential citizens got in free. I could've gotten free admission, but I did not know that was an option at the time. Since then, admission had increased to well beyond the $20 range. I wasn't going to pay that, and it seemed that ol' rumor about free residential access was merely a bait and switch tactic. My opinion.
In today's L.A. Times, an article about a rising politician named Andrea Alarcon was published. It could easily be assumed that Andrea's idea to keep the festival on schedule last year, the contract she drew up allowed festival organizers to pay fees after the event. However, since that time, the figure of $260,000 is quoted to be in dispute. Websites had mentioned that this years fees, considerably less than last year's fees, were obtained last minute, but the festival was cancelled three days before the event anyway because Andrea Alarcon was determined to collect last year's fees.
Was it last year when I tried to get in free? or the year before? I think it was two years ago, waiting for a friend at the entrance because I wasn't about to walk back to the box office and pay for a ticket to experience the festival alone. Plus, I believe they had that pass the buck technique where one inquires about free admission at the box office and they in turn instruct you to walk over to the entrance and inquire about it there, where instructions are further given to go back to the box office and inquire about it there. Anyway, I stood there at the entrance so long, waiting for a noshow, that one of the officers actually thought to walk up to me and talk to me about it. Not in so many words, I felt I was being advised about loitering. I left shortly after that, completely disappointed with the whole Sunset Junction thing.
There is another event that is held closer to the Sunset Strip. It too is a music festival. I haven't been to one yet, but now that Sunset Junction will probably never recover from this humiliation, perhaps it is something to look into in the future.