Ella Peresie found the giant box under the family Christmas tree, and though it had her name on it, she struggled to figure out what it was. Most kids might be happy with a few toys or the occasional clothes.
For a few hours on Feb. 8, much of the L.A. swing scene descended on Joe’s Great American Bar and Grill on Magnolia Boulevard, paying tribute to the ding-dong daddy who kept that place bumpin.’
If you’ve been in Burbank a while, you may remember the first year the city bestowed its County of Los Angeles Outstanding Older American Award.
The self-help section at the city’s two major libraries is about to become a larger resource for military veterans and their families.
A sand-colored cinder-block wall separates the Western Channel Bikeway from a home on Elm Street. It blocks the view of the path, but not the cigarette smoke that wafts into Jorge Pineda's house.
Spread next to the bottles of A-1 and Tapatio hot sauce are long, sturdy paint brushes. Glasses of chardonnay are set next to canvases. The painting party can begin.
Yosemite. Easter Island. Alameda Avenue.
Two travelers bound for Las Vegas, having exhausted their conversation topics, looked around the Bob Hope Airport terminal at nothing in particular.
By the time you read this, the monkeys will no longer be naked.
Three decades ago, Rick Holbrook threw some Christmas lights on a pickup truck and put some musicians in the back.
To the woman on West Elm Avenue who I visited early Saturday morning:
Last weekend’s Nativity Festival was big on spectacle, but the small things really left their mark.
By the time the third knickknack hit the bottom of the crinkly paper bag, I had the sudden, overwhelming epiphany that I had finished Christmas shopping for my sister.
When she moved into her new home on Lincoln Street this month, Elana Helgesen discovered a welcome surprise message: “Will you marry me?”
Family Promise of the Verdugos began as a conversation.
A little over a year ago, Fay Playsted sat in the room at the Joslyn Adult Center, listening to someone from the L.A. Metro transit service talk about all the benefits of taking the bus or train. It made sense to her; she’d used the service for...
This month you may see more laptops than usual at your local diner or cafe.
Last year, Cathy Stevens expected to walk into the art gallery, pick up something nice and scoot out the exit.
This past Saturday, the city of Burbank held possibly the largest public beer tasting in its history, teaching the ale-and-lager-loving public there’s a complex spectrum to the craft-beer movement in Southern California, and Burbank may be...
She didn’t know where the gifts of food and clothes came from, but Heather Brown knew that at Christmas, they’d be there.
Stepping out into the bright morning from Union Station, we were disoriented. We hopped on our bikes and rode a couple blocks into Chinatown, where we found ourselves smack in the middle of a parade.
A few years ago, the Flores brothers first evaluated the Extreme Cowboy Assn. and their place within it with all the rigor and careful planning that a 15-year-old and an 8-year-old could muster.
Before an ounce of soapy water soaked the first windshield at 12-year-old Will Jurman's car wash, he'd already earned $900 in memory of...
In Burbank, there are UFOs and then there are UFOs.
By now you may have seen the videos on the Internet of the "Ice Bucket Challenge," a fundraiser that's pretty straight-forward:
Bob Olson first strapped on a pair of skates nearly 60 years ago, but until 10 years ago, he'd drive off to Hansen Dam to use them.
Last year's citywide spelling bee was an experiment for the Burbank Public Library's literacy program, one that organizers won't try again as they reinvigorate the popular annual fundraiser — a trivia challenge.
Scott Lasky taught himself how to build a website so that the church he belongs to could be online. That’s what you do when you’re a large, networked organization: You have a website and you get on the Internet like everyone else.
It’s hard to say why people fall in love with Rosie: maybe it’s the beauty mark on her nose or the way she’s perfected the pinup pose.
We just had our faces melted off by the shrieking guitar riffs and arena-blasting, Prog-Rock stylings of Styx. Then Foreigner took the Greek Theatre stage, wailing on classic ballads 30 years past their Billboard heyday, but no less powerful.
Last weekend, a group of bicyclists gathered around a coffee-shop table and solidified a new era for Burbank’s bike and pedestrian paths.
A board-game designer and a beer brewer walk into a bar. These might seem like two unrelated professions, but there's an entrepreneurial spirit that bubbles in both.
The man’s name was Jimmy Old-son and he was a journalist from the later 1800s looking for adventure.
A few weeks ago I “met” a patron of the Colony Theatre whose ashes are contained within a sarcophagus in the lobby.
The groundwork was already there for Jed Reynolds to pursue acting. His parents own a professional theater in South Pasadena, and his father has one of the longest recurring roles in daytime television.
John Kozlowsky sat across from the appraiser with a bag of dimes in his left hand, a list of handwritten questions in his right.
The giant B overlooking downtown Burbank from the Verdugo foothills is older than most of the people who see it every day.
It's five minutes to showtime and the house lights are still up at the Colony Theatre. They'd have to be, if they ever expect to sell anything.
Two years ago I scoured Burbank’s sub shops for the perfect sandwich. Last year, I tested my arteries’ strength and loaded up on burgers, trying 24 different varieties throughout the city.
If you’ve never been to a Memorial Day observance in Burbank, it is a poignant and solemn ceremony that provides many reasons for you to attend and honor those who have fought for their country.
The Ryan family enjoyed a Mother’s Day lunch under a tree at the old L.A. Zoo. Even Grandma flew in from Florida to enjoy the lovely afternoon in a quiet corner of Griffith Park.
Just because we look up into the night and can't see the stars doesn't mean they're not there.
The girl opened her mouth wide, eyes wider and plunged backward into the unknown.
The four phone booths inside the Burbank Town Center Mall may have looked at home there 20 or 30 years ago. Not Monday.
At the gala opening of her show at the Creative Arts Center Gallery, artist Thora Moeller stops a moment to allow her public...
When San Fernando Boulevard underneath the Golden State (5) Freeway overpass closes next month, it will be closed forever, forcing Burbank neighborhoods to cope with an undeniable increase in traffic for at least two years.
Judging by his oozing head wound, the gray, plastic Hazmat suit Ken Mclaughlin was wearing didn’t help stave off the zombie attack.
If I’ve learned anything over the last three years writing in Burbank, it’s that there is never a shortage of ways people can help their community.
The bocce tournament was well underway when retired LAPD detective Michael Pavelka turned toward the hill to orient himself.
The sharks were circling. I spread the chum as neat and symmetrical as I could.
Irma Kalish had not seen her friend in years, yet here she was, thousands of miles from where they first met, telling Kalish all about the surgery that removed a cancerous tumor from her breast.
When Barbara Howell interviewed for the job of directing Burbank’s aid center and food bank, the building looked lived-in and run down.
Norman Sewelson was out of his car for… 20 minutes? Maybe 30? He doesn’t remember — it was a long time to be sitting by the heavy traffic on Pico Boulevard, waiting for the dirty little dog to trust him.
If you want to know how bad the helicopter noise gets in Burbank, ask a horse.
How do I know we live in the future? Because on Saturday I watched a couple of school kids enter a virtual world where they built a toy robot and were ready to manufacture it in a few hours.
If you were to ask me where the worst place is to start your career as a sewer worker, I might have said behind a chili restaurant. That’s where mine started.
Bees are life-giving little insects that make our food possible, and they even make some of it on their own. They’re fuzzy, colorful and cute in a six-legged freaky sort of way.
If public speaking is as great a fear as they say, I just met the bravest people in Burbank.
I had plans. Big, juicy ones. I had the kinds of plans that enable men to conquer mountains (or at least the hills above downtown Burbank).
Walking around the warehouse home of Burbank’s Rose Parade float is a bit like a movie set — you’ve got...
On my parents’ Christmas tree hangs a wooden train ornament. It is a simple, quaint expression of the youthful joys of the holidays — not the flashy hi-techitude of the laser-cut teddy bear that hangs nearby.
Ireland's hills roll forever, folding over and underneath each other. They are a sea within a sea, this island of grassy hillocks pocked with farms and fences.
There’s a very real spiritual center at Burbank First United Methodist Church. It’s heard in the voices of the world-class choir, and it’s felt in the neighborly brunch that follows the Sunday service.
The Christmas roller coaster at Nick and Carrie Nolan’s house was built with a lot of screws and a lot of headaches.
Jack Volpei first heard about the YMCA's summer camp in 1963. He was told it would be good for his son, who was then 7 years old. And it was free.
There was a tradition in the Mahoney household that involved a lot of sleep after the Thanksgiving meal.
Electronic City is hidden in plain sight on Burbank Boulevard. People drive by it a lot, never thinking to go in, until one day that one unique light bulb blows on the flashlight and nobody carries a replacement.
The outside air did that cute thing when it drops 15 degrees just a few seconds after the sun sinks. My wife and I prepared for the worst on our stroll through Toluca Lake — should we wear hats? Maybe fingerless gloves?
The influences in young Andrew Duvall's life carried many names, each more powerful than the last.
The arts scene in Magnolia Park lives well beyond the vintage couture designs of its throwback shops and barista bars, beyond the art galleries and theaters that pepper its storefronts.
Most of the 20 raffle tickets that once stuffed the envelope were gone. Janet Diel scanned the tables for one last basket to try to win — there were dozens filled with toys, games, gift cards, food and wine.
A few curious observers huddled around Mike McDaniel to better hear the story of the origin of the Burbank city library. As the tale unfolded, Helen von Seggern nodded, quietly confirming the details as she remembered them.
The reformer exercise machines at Janice Cronkhite's Toluca Lake Pilates studio sometimes serve a higher purpose.
When I first met Joxer the Mighty, we were in love with the same girl: A leggy redhead with a penchant for the same nerdy things I liked and a gift for choosing good people as her friends.
Saturday's nostalgia-fueled romp across the decades proved you may get older, but some people — and hairstyles — never change.
The plumeria tree outside Linda Garcia's house gave and gave again. Its soft, five-point blossoms pulsed color from its boughs, shining out to the sidewalk and the dog walkers who passed the house on their daily rounds.
I get the default reaction to Burbank's soon-to-be-proposed ban on plastic shopping bags. I understand the warnings of "nanny state" and "Big Brother." This is the right reaction in a democracy where government should fear the people and not the...
Christine Rog's first back-to-school ritual took place in her kitchen, where the construction of a ham sandwich heralded the start of a new year and new challenges ahead.
For the first time since he bought it, T.J. Hawthorne shut off his phone. He shut the door. He closed out the world. But from his computer, he reached out to it.
With Mother Nature dimming the house lights, we settled in for our evening's entertainment juggling the plates and glasses of our laptop picnic.
With the last bag of laundry successfully removed from my parents' car, we took one more trip up the steps to my new dorm.
Anything would be better than the chemical-laden dust bowl next door.
While Guillermo Del Toro's "Pacific Rim" wreaks havoc across Burbank's movie screens, a few blocks away his more subdued works are being reimagined in a macabre mash-up of pop and fine art.
Burbank’s Northwest Branch Library on Victory Boulevard is a place where everybody knows your name.
This is the third installment in a three-part series.
This is the second installment in a three-part series.
I have seen the mountaintop and it is layered thick in cheese and beef.
Theseus without his Minotaur is like Superman without his Lex Luthor. Otherwise, the hero just gets the girl and lives happily ever after.
The graffiti was applied with some talent, but talent alone could not save the artist's work from erasure.
Next month, Comic-Con International takes over the city of San Diego to bring together the geek world in a potent smashup of adrenaline, dreams, TNT and marketing hype, then lights the fuse over three days for what has become Hollywood's Woodstock.
There’s a wonderful line about the pride of misery, and it comes from the fictional mayor of New York in the movie, “Ghostbusters 2.”
The white '91 Mustang was wasted. Dead. A heap of scrap worth barely more than the gas Bob Thomas spent to go and see it.
She's been called a mother, a lawyer and the "Queen of Erotic Romance."
Sometimes the brightest paths only reveal themselves in the dark.
Below the din and electric stress of last week's Burbank Literacy Spelling Bee, a little blue card floated my way.
The academic rigors of second-grade math were proving too difficult for a young Ronald Bonk.
Helen Lopez could get the words out. However, when it came time to deliver a speech, the president of Burbank Kiwanis’ Aktion Club had trouble lifting them off the page.
The white, discarded barrels at the food-processing plant may have looked like junk. To Justin Okin, they were a means to harvest the sky.
On Saturday, I was asked to check out a time-traveling phone booth that landed in Burbank. It was one of those invitations you don’t refuse.
If an alien – I don’t mean the acid-drooling, cockroachey, slobbering kind, but instead, the soft, furry kind that would hold a borderline obsessive interest in our housecats – if this alien were to drop from the sky on April 6...