Curbed – On the Trolley: Everyone’s very excited about the (relatively)…

October 25th, 2014

trolley.jpgEveryone’s very excited about the (relatively) soon-to-open Expo Line extension, which will be the first train in decades that will go all the way to the beach in Santa Monica (or a few blocks short). But that’s nothing compared to the early 1900s, when “Trolleys once rivaled the crashing surf in the soundscape of Southland beaches,” and lines ran to Huntington Beach, Venice, and Manhattan Beach. Nathan Masters’s look back at railways along the coast includes a lot of great photos of trolleys running along the waterfront and packed (trolley) cars of people clamoring for the sand. [Gizmodo]

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4 Sale – 5138 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038, $833,990 3 beds, 4 baths

October 25th, 2014

1834 sqft, 3 beds, 4 baths, single-family home in Los Angeles, CA – Greater Wilshire / Hancock Park
Trulia Real Estate Search – Los Angeles

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Curbed – Cults Week: Come Relive an Enlightening Week of Los Angeles Cult Activity

October 25th, 2014

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This week we went deep on the Los Angeles obsession with cults, cultists, cult-like groups, organizations we’d never refer to as cults for legal reasons, organizations that are definitely not cults but are kinda weird, and other related subjects. You don’t have to go into a trance or commune with any ancients to relive it—here it is, in all its alien superbeing glory, Curbed LA’s Cults Week:

An introduction:
· An Introduction to the Long History of Los Angeles Cults
· Ask the Experts: Why Does Los Angeles Attract So Many Cults?
· How to Start Your Own Los Angeles Cult in 14 Easy Steps

The buildings:
· 8 Notorious Los Angeles Cult Locations: Then and Now
· 7 of LA’s Most Magnificent Examples of Masonic Architecture

The juicy stories:
· The Pasadena Haunts of the Occultist Who Cofounded JPL
· The Earliest and Weirdest LA Cult Stories: 1700s to 1940s

The Manson Family:
· The Story of the Abandoned Movie Ranch Where the Manson Family Launched Helter Skelter
· Mapping 13 Key Locations in the 1969 Manson Family Murders

The health-obsessed:
· How Cultists, Quacks, and Naturemenschen Made Los Angeles Obsessed With Healthy Living
· The Respectable LA Houses of 1970s Hippie Cult The Source
· CafĂ© Gratitude and the Cult of Commerce

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4 Sale – 225 E Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90003, $350,000 4 beds, 2 baths

October 24th, 2014

2226 sqft, 4 beds, 2 baths, single-family home in Los Angeles, CA – 90003
Trulia Real Estate Search – Los Angeles

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Curbed – Getting Around: Why Los Angeles Uber Drivers Say It Sucks to Be Them

October 24th, 2014
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[Image via Getty Images]

Uber drives organized their first protest this week in Los Angeles over what sound like some pretty raw working conditions. A new union of Uber drivers (California App-Based Drivers Association) has just joined a Teamsters chapter and is speaking out against new fare reductions (which now make Uber cheaper than LA’s buses), a huge increase in the commissions taken out by Uber, a “misleading tipping policy,” and the company’s rating system, which gives all the weight to reviews from riders, regardless of how horrible they may be, reports Neon Tommy. Here’s a list of working conditions the Uber drivers want to change:

8 Secrets You Learn Being an Uber Driver in Los Angeles

· “Uber used to take only a 5 percent commission from drivers’ total fares. That number has now risen to 25 percent,” says Joseph De Wolf, an Uber Black driver who is also also cofounder and executive committee member of the new union. (Uber also takes a dollar off the top of every ride as a “safe ride fee.”)
· That is pretty nuts on its own, but it’s also been coupled with a hefty fare cut. According to DeWolf, in December 2013, UberX (the least expensive Uber service) charged $ 2.40 a mile, with a base rate of $ 4; now the rate’s just $ 1.10 a mile, with a base rate of eight cents.
· That’s especially painful considering that, as independent contractors, drivers have to pay for their own gas and car-related expenses. Eighty cents of gas is not going to get anyone anywhere.
· The company’s rating system, which has riders rate drivers, uses one- to five-star grading. Drivers whose average dips below 4.7 stars get a warning email and are deactivated until they take a class about improving their rating; if their rating goes below a 4.4 after the class, they’re permanently deactivated, which amounts to being fired.
· This is probably a well-intentioned attempt to hold drivers to high standards, but the effect is often that drivers who are asked to do potentially unsafe things (like, say, fit eight people into a car) are worried that if they don’t do what their fare wants, it could result in them being fired.
· Drivers also take serious issue with the impression that Uber gives users about tipping. As one Uber driver put it, the company “brainwashes the public, saying the tip is included. It’s never been included.”

Uber, for its part, says it’s reducing fares for a really good reason. “We just want to be the biggest company in the world, whatever we need to do to find more clients,” a general manager with Uber West Coast tells NT.
· L.A. Uber Drivers Protest Low Wages, Lack of Rights [NT]
· 8 Secrets You Learn Being an Uber Driver in Los Angeles [Curbed LA]

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4 Sale – 130 E 82nd, Los Angeles, CA 90003, $435,000

October 24th, 2014

2768 sqft, property in Los Angeles, CA – 90003
Trulia Real Estate Search – Los Angeles

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Curbed – Rent Check: Rent an Adorable Dollhouse in Atwater Village for $1,695

October 24th, 2014

Aw, bless its heart, this wee guest cottage now up for rent in Atwater Village looks so ding-dang adorable, if it had cheeks, we’d be pinching them. Per its Craigslist description, the 1930s one-bedroom bungalow “was recently renovated and boasts new fixtures and tile while maintaining its vintage charm.” Features include hardwood floors throughout, a living/dining room, a walk-in closet, full bath with penny tile, charming scalloped cabinetry, a new refrigerator and stove, a front porch shaded by mature trees, and a “small back patio.” Monthly rent for the kitty-friendly cottage, including water, is $ 1,695.

· $ 1695 / 1br – Charming 1930s 1 bed bungalow guest house cottage in Atwater Village [Craigslist]

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