Archive for December, 2006

Happy New Year!

Happy 2007 to all of you!

Now, with the start of this new year, I figure it is as good a time as any to ask a question of you, our dear readers.

What would you like to see more (or less of) on the Orange County Metroblog?

Restaurant reviews, things to do, things not to do?


The Schlock @ Orange

I am not sure The Mills Corporation is prepared or even equipped to manage The Block @ Orange. When they opened the property on the site of the former City Shopping Center, it was to be an “entertainment complex”, and indeed it is: shopping, dining, movies, live music and nightlife. On Friday, Saturday and Sundays the whole place tends to get a bit raucous when the crowds pack the place to the gills. Seems like mission accomplished, right? Sort of.

There are problems: Like a lack of parking, quite a few vacant storefronts, several closed restaurants and, this is a big one, it’s starting to show its age. An outdoor mall, I mean entertainment complex, with that amount of foot traffic is going to decay quickly and The Block’s facades, concrete, signs, lighting and general appearance are in a fairly poor state of disrepair.

What Comes Around Goes Around

According to this article, it appears that the suspect who shot and critically wounded two Long Beach police officers has been shot and killed in Santa Ana.

Is it wrong of me to be ok with that? If it is indeed the same man?

Rest in Peace

Gerald Ford wasn’t from OC but he was a Californian in his final years. A farewell and tip of the hat to another President who has passed.

Capitan Adds: If you also want to find out more about Ford, you can visit the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda. – MCR

Old Fogies In Need of Help (New Year’s Edition)

The wife and I are a couple of thirty-somethings who must entertain my sister-in-law, a young twenty-something, on New Year’s Eve. We’re a decade apart in age but we’re all in agreement that we must have some sort of “fun” at the year’s end. Now we have the daunting task of figuring out how and where that “fun” will happen.

What do you recommend we do? What’s your favorite spot to ring in the New Year? No answer is too mundane or too outrageous! We’d like to keep it in Orange County and we’re not opposed to unconventional experiences. To make this more challenging, the following is a list of five words or phrases that cannot be included in your comments:

Good Time Bar
Dick Clark

Please be vocal and help the oldsters have a good time! If you don’t do it for us, then do it for the hip young scenester we’ll have in tow. I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and may your Kwanza be awesome too.

Happy Holidays

I’m late with the Hanukkah good wishes, but I would still like to wish everyone a peaceful and joyous holiday season, for whatever holiday you choose to celebrate.

Even Festivus!

Missing Joe ’06

I woke up this morning to find that the Orange County sky had opened up and was weeping – no doubt remembering that today was the fourth anniversary of the passing of Joe Strummer (August 21, 1952 – December 22, 2002). Looks like there’s nothing organized here in Orange County, but just north of the border in Downey at the Anarchy Library there’s a benefit concert.

Chilly Dog

I have attended the women’s figure skating long program at the Olympics in Salt Lake City. I saw the program from the fifth row. I saw Sasha Cohen win the gold live, right there in front of my very own eyes. This does not make me a figure skating expert, or even a fan — they were corporate tickets and thus they were free tickets.

Truth be told, the whole event sort of blew goats. Florescent lighting, boring routines and endless waiting are the hallmark of Olympic events. Besides the Olympics in SLC, I have only seen The Smurfs Ice Capades when I was a child and several renditions of Snoopy on ice at Knott’s Berry Farm. I may not know much about art, but I know what I don’t like.

So please listen intently when I tell you that Snoopy’s Cool Christmas is really top notch! If you haven’t been, it’s the “ice spectacular” that comes free with your visit to Knott’s Berry Farm or the Ghost Town Christmas Crafts Village. The skating is precise if not technically competent, the sets and music are fun and the featured skaters and dancers are fantastic. Believe it or not, it was way more fun than the Olympic skating. Snoopy finds just the right blend, of humor talent and originality to appeal to guests of ALL ages (not just the navel-gazers).

Knott’s Merry Farm is turning into a holiday destination of its own these days, what with the new parades, shows and ride overlays. It’s not Disneyland and it’s not trying to be. I think that’s part of the appeal no? I particularly enjoy all the local artisans that display their wares at the Craft Village; they make excellent and inexpensive stocking stuffers.

This One- Not Worth the Hassle

I don’t care how much the Santa at Fashion Island looks more like Santa than Santa.

How he has rosy cheeks and a shimmering beard of silver.

How he is perfectly and pleasingly round.

How he looks just like all the Santas in the Christmas books.

He is not worth the hour and a half I stood in line to have my son take pictures with him.

It may be testament to his being a good Santa who listens to the kids rattling off their lists.

But more likely it is from all the moms who had to brings carfuls of children and arrange them in as many different variations as humanly possible. All together. Boys with boys. Girls with girls. Babies with babies. Older kids with older kids, and ad infinitum.

I thought that waiting the week before Christmas would be a no-brainer. By then, all the other moms who had their acts together would have gotten the pictures out of the way the week after Thanksgiving.

Although it soothes me a bit to know I’m not the only one running behind, I think next time I will go somewhere else.


It’s a name that sounds sort of like EPCOT doesn’t it? Or maybe a little like Westcot? They hope there will be shopping, dining, a theme park and an aquarium. They hope it will bring the locals and the tourists alike to Garden Grove California! They hope it will put the city on the map. They hope it will bolster the economy. They hope it will make it off the drawing board.

It seems that after 51 years of its more famous neighbor grabbing all the lime light and profits, Garden Grove wants a theme park of its own. The city has figured out where they want the park to be (hopefully just south of the 22 freeway off of Harbor Blvd), they have also figured out how to pay for it, but they haven’t yet figured out what the park will be. Believe it or not MGM rumors have been circulating. Seriously? Did you witness the catastrophe that was the MGM Grand Adventure in Las Vegas? No? Don’t worry, neither did anyone else.

Do you think Garden Grove will ever see its theme park come to fruition? Will this be yet another in long line of famous follies the city has had to endure in its efforts for success? If I were a betting man, I would bet all my quatloos that this proposal will go the way of the recent Casino project. It looks like you’ll have to place those bets at Pechanga because the city rejected the Casino project and there won’t be any gambling in Garden Grove any time soon.

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