Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

Providence Restaurant’s Michael Cimarusti gives Off-Ramp a personal travelogue of his chef’s fellowship to Japan

When Michael Cimarusti, the chef-owner of the 2-Michelin star Providence restaurant talked with us about his favorite Thanksgiving recipes and memories, he said he’d be out of the country for the holiday because he was going on a fellowship to Japan, to learn about their cuisine. And, he added, he wanted to talk with us about it when he got back.

When I met with Michael on his return, his excitement was palpable. The interview is featured on this week’s Off-Ramp, but I’ve also made a slideshow with Michael’s own photos from the trip.

It’s also posted on YouTube, if you’re using an iPhone.

(Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp.)


Mt. Baldy commentator says, “Leave me my snow.” His wife says, “Take a picture; it’ll last longer.”

A couple years ago, KPCC board operator and Off-Ramp commentator Dale Hoppert filed a wonderful commentary about the way lowland Angelinos treat snow on the mountain. (They try to take it home with them.)

Give the piece a listen, and then check out these beautiful photos from Dale’s wife, Jill Coumoutso-Hoppert, snapped after the storms that dowsed us blanketed them in beautiful snow.

Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp.


LA Art Show opens at LA Convention Center

The 2010 LA Art Show opened Wednesday night. (KPCC is a media sponsor.)

We spotted Eli Broad when we arrived, but didn’t have time to chat. We also spotted (or checked) a theme: houndstooth.

I know the guy on the left is more of a plaid, but it makes for a good picture. Yes, that’s an ascot. I was trying to be arty.

It was also good to see that my brother-in-law Larry DeBoever was not fibbing when he said there’s a famous artist in the family …

… the decadent Jan Frans DeBoever. Just look how decadent he is, pinching his own cheek!

Jan Frans DeBoever is from Ghent, and pronounced it dih-BOOV. Larry lives in Dallas with my sister Clare and says dih-BOH-ver. Which is no worse, I guess, than the way we treat the name Rabe.

(Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp.)


Thursday update: More Rabe rain photos from the Arroyo-River confluence

With another downpour on the way, I stopped off at about 8 this morning at the LA River accessway off San Fernando Road to take a few more photos. The LA River doesn’t seem much higher than it was Monday. And the Arroyo has definitely diminished…

If you’re like the 99% of us for whom these storms are just an inconvenience, here’s a little perspective. Here’s where that homeless man is apparently living.

Finally, under the Avenue 19 bridge, a little advice to thespians … and a warning to slumming taggers that this is real gang territory. I’m pretty sure this wasn’t here Monday.

(Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp.)


Views of LA’s flooded history, courtesy LA Public Library photo archive

A Martian could take one look at our infrastructure and know Los Angeles has historically had big flooding problems. “Hmm, they paved over the river. It must flood here. But I wonder why they have so many flat roofs?”

Here are some shots of flooding in various parts of Southern California through history, culled from the Los Angeles Public Library’s excellent online photo archive, with the captions as they appear online.

For titillation purposes, I saved the beefcake shot for the end.

Downey, 1954: View of the high flood waters which covered the sidewalk and street in this shopping area of Downey. A motorist is seen driving carefully through the flooded street. (LAPL-Herald-Examiner collection)

Downtown LA, 1952: Photo shows cars driving through the floodwaters at the intersection of Fifth and Flower Streets. A traffic officer (arrow) stands in swirling waters to carry out unenviable duties. (LAPL-Herald-Examiner collection)