Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Arroyo Book Club April Pick….

With an uncertain future ahead and current inability to access library books the Arroyo Book Club picked a book out of Project Gutenberg to read for our April discussion.  The book that won our little election was The Mysterious Affair of Styles by Agatha Christie.

This book begins the career of that great Belgian detective Hercule Poirot as he undertakes the case of the poisoning of the wealthy owner of Styles Court. Join Poirot as he uses his “little grey cells” to solve the case.

You will find a downloadable copy of the book here: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/863, courtesy of Project Gutenberg.

The plan is for everyone to download a copy and spend the first couple of weeks of April reading. I will begin posting questions to discuss on the group’s web space on April 14 and will add a new question each day until April 25 (our regular meeting day).  I encourage members to log on each day to answer the day’s question as well as review, and respond to, the answers other members provided for the previous day’s question.

If you’re not already a member of our web space, go to this blog entry for the details you need to join: http://arroyoseco5.blogspot.com/2020/03/arroyo-book-club-goes-virtual.html

Trivia of the Month (Answer)

Book Jacket for: The Facts on File encyclopedia of word and phrase origins

The month’s question was what does the expression “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed” mean? To quote directly from the source:
Bright-eyed is obvious, and the bushy-tailed here is a reference to the tail of a cat, which fluffs up when the animal becomes excited. The expression means cheerful and lively, and it dates back to the 19th century.
The question (and answer) were taken from p. 101 of the Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins  by Robert Hendrickson.  The book was published by Facts on File in 1997.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Let’s Make Something….

This time let’s explore the meditative world of zentangle.  To start you will need a small piece of paper and a pen.  My piece of paper (image 1) is about 3 inches by 5 inches. 

Draw a border around your paper and then create a random walk of dividing lines to create sections within the box.  You can use straight lines or curvy lines, whatever you wish (image 2). 

Proceed to fill each section on the page with a different repetitive pattern.  The more artistic can really go to town here though people like me (with no ability to draw) can still get nice, attractive results (image 3).  Do a google image search on zentangle for many, many examples.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

A Hot eBook Without the Wait?

Are you anxious to read the latest popular novel as an ebook only to find that you’ll be up for a copy in 12 weeks? Check out LAPL’s New and Now collection. Titles you find there are available for immediate checkout and are high-request & high-interest titles. The caveat is that you will only be able to check it out for a week and are limited to no more than 5 titles at a time. 

Friday, March 27, 2020

Hands-On Activity...

(Family Friendly)

Why not spend some time with your family experimenting?  Start with the Daylight in a Bottle project and learn how to harness the power of natural resources.  Star net provides this two page explanation of just how you can use energy from the sun and a water bottle to read a secret message from a friend or light up a room : Daylight in a Bottle.

If you’re fond of video help this is a how-to video explaining the project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fXtbXXP9po&feature=youtu.be.

Finally here is a short video that shows how what you are doing has been used practically in other countries: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQCHvO2H0_0&feature=youtu.be

Thursday, March 26, 2020

History of Highland Park…

Here’s an 8/16/1973 news article by Charles Cooper that explores eleven historical and cultural monuments located in Highland Park (http://dbase1.lapl.org/webpics/calindex/documents/10/520219.pdf).  The article includes pictures and explores such destinations as the Judson Studios, Abbey San Encino, and the Hiner Home.  Take a look. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Arroyo Book Club Goes Virtual

(for now)

Under our current trying circumstances I wanted to find a way to take our book club virtual.  After a little exploring I settled on a chat-like, threaded response tool.  It will allow each of us to post questions to the group and to reply to the posted questions of others.  It seems fairly straightforward to use, hopefully time will bear me out on this.

You’ll get started by clicking the link below.  It will prompt you for your email address and to create a password and will then allow you into the site.

Once logged in, look down the left hand menu bar for the #poisonwood-bible link. Click on this to pull up this month’s book’s discussion area.

You can post questions of your own by just entering them in the message box.  You can reply to questions & responses of others by floating your mouse over the question you want to respond to and then clicking on the “reply to thread” icon on the menu bar that will appear on the right side of the screen. 
If you wish to view others’ responses to the question click on the little reply icon at the bottom of the message.

Returning to use the tool subsequently, i.e. after you have enrolled is accomplished by going to the web address: https://arroyobookclub.slack.com/.  Once there you will be prompted for your email and password.

I have already posted some questions for the book Poisonwood Bible by Barabara Kingsolver.  You may begin answering as well as posting your own questions immediately.  We will make normal book club meeting time --- Saturday, March 28 at 3:00 --- a time for everyone to log on to simultaneously share our last thoughts on the book.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Local Restaurants doing Takeout/Delivery

What follows is a list of restaurants in Highland Park providing take out/delivery.  The list came to us from Councilmember Cedillo’s office so it features those parts of Highland Park in Council District 1.  If you don’t feel like cooking why not try one of these places? (Image from LAPL photo database)

Lista Consolidada de Restaurantes Tomando Ordenes para Llevar:

La Fuente Address: 5707 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Chico's Restaurant, 100 N Avenue 50, Highland Park, CA 90042
(323) 254-2445

5611 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042 (323) 507-2051

Civil Coffee
5629 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Triple Beam Pizza
5918 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 545-3534

Baja Cali Fish and Tacos
5831 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles CA 90042
IG: bajacalifishandtacos
(323) 507-2588

El Pescador
5230 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 255-8164

Home State
5611 N Figueroa St Unit 1 Los Angeles CA 90042
IG: homestate
(323) 204-9397

Delicias Bakery
5567 N Figueroa St, Highland Park, CA 90042
(323) 259-9306

Kitchen Mouse
5904 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 259-9555

Kindness and Mischief
5537 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Folliero’s Italian Food
5566 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 254-0505

Antigua Bread
5703 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 259-9345

Las Cazuelas
5707 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 255-4719

Highland Park Florist
5731 N. Figueroa St.,
Los Angeles, CA, 90042
(323) 257-5552

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse
Bread starting kits
111 S Av 59, Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 739-0473

Bionicos La Palapa
5560 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 255-2311

5916 1/2 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 545-3536

Spring into Reading

Looking for something to while away the time? The library has created a Spring Reading Challenge. Just the thing to keep the whole family reading during these days of isolation. Although there are no physical prizes associated with the challenge you will win cute “virtual” badges and bragging rights.  Who in your family has the gumption to go all the way?

To sign up go to (https://lapl.beanstack.org) and either register if you’re new to LAPL’s reading challenges or sign in if you’ve participated before. We’ll be happy to see you.

The Consuming Fire

Book Jacket for: The consuming fireJohn Scalzi continues the tale he began in The Collapsing Empire (see 6/12/18 post) in The Consuming Fire.  We have the same characters from the first book dealing with the ongoing crisis caused by the imminent collapse of the phenomenon they have been using to achieve interstellar travel.  The crisis is compounded by the incredibly short-sighted self-interest exhibited by the story’s antagonists (perhaps a telling mirror to our own times).  In any event the story itself is interesting though the volume concludes very abruptly.  Although the story here is wrapped up it is very clear that the series will continue.  The characters remain as generally unlikable as they were in the first volume.

So, if you like a story with plot, don’t mind not liking the story’s characters, and have read the first volume of this series it is worth continuing with this book.  If any of those things are deal breakers pick up something else.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Let’s Make Something

In the mood to make something using materials you (hopefully) have lying around the house? Then let’s get started. We’ll be making a small, decorative bowl out of paper.

You will need:

  • Magazine or catalog (for the paper)
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Glue


  • Carefully and neatly rip pages from your magazine or catalog.
  • Cut each page in half lengthwise.  If you want a more delicate finished bowl, cut the pages into half again, also lengthwise.
  • Take a strip and fold it in half lengthwise.  Unfold it and fold each edge to the middle line. Refold page inward. You should now have a narrow slat of paper. Repeat until all your paper sheets have been folded into slats (image 1).
  • Take a slat and roll it.  Make the roll tight an even.  As you reach the end of one slat use a bit of tape to attach the next slat so you can continue rolling.  Maintain tautness all the while (image 2).
  • When you have rolled your final slat into the coil use tape to fasten the end down to the coil (image 3).
  • Carefully tease the edges of the coil up so that a bowl is formed.  You will want to do this slowly to prevent the tragedy of everything uncoiling because one row was pulled up too far (image 4).
  • Seal the project off by applying several coats of a glue/water mixture, allowing everything to dry off between coats.  I’ve been using a 50/50 mixture of glue and water when I do this.

Experiment to see what changes you can make to improve your final project.  I’ve found that a narrow starting strip means I can make a smaller coil and ultimately a tiny, petite bowl while a wider strip means I need to make a bigger coil so the resulting bowl’s size balances with the depth of strip width. 

Newspaper will work with this project too and has the added advantage of yielding longer strips of paper.

Saturday, March 21, 2020


Feeling bored at home? Why not explore some of the library’s resources.  Today let’s look at what your library card can get you in terms of streaming video.  You will be able to access each of these resources by visiting the library website’s eMedia page (https://lapl.org/collections-resources/e-media)

The first candidate is Hoopla.  Hoopla offers e-books, e-comics, full-length feature movies, episodic television programming, full musical albums and unabridged e-audiobooks. You can access Hoopla’s features on your smart device or through your browser.

Next we feature Kanopy.  With Kanopy you can stream over 26,000 films from hundreds of popular producers such as The Criterion Collection, and PBS, as well as thousands of independent filmmakers—on every topic imaginable.  Questions about Kanopy? Check out the FAQ (https://lapl.org/kanopy/faq). Note that the number of titles for checkout per month is currently set at 9.

Moving on, there’s Digitalia Film.  If foreign films are your thing Digitalia Film is for you.  Digitalia offers streaming films available to watch online.  These are mostly foreign language but it also has some classic American cinema. This includes feature films as well as documentaries.

Friday, March 20, 2020

An eResource to Explore with Your Children

The Tumblebook Library provides an online collection of animated, talking picture books which teach young children the joys of reading in a format they'll love.

Included in this collection you will find…

  • Story Books are animated, talking picture books. Users have the option to automatically or manually turn the pages. 
  • Chapter Books/Read-Alongs are early chapter books for older elementary readers. While there are no animations, the ebooks are narrated. They also include Chapter menus so that you can jump chapters, and a bookmarks and notes feature which are cookied onto your computer. 
  • The Graphic Novels collection is hugely popular with readers! There are titles for all ages and reading levels, with multiple genres and topics. They also feature gorgeous artwork and well-known characters like Lego Ninjago, The Smurfs, and Geronimo Stilton!
  • Videos are from the world renowned National Geographic! Simply click on "Watch Online" to watch the 2-5 minute clips on various topics. Most of the videos have been paired with ebooks as a way to introduce a topic!
  • Puzzles & Games accompany each book and reinforce concepts from the books, allowing for a fun and educational learning experience.
  • Language Learning is an easy way to access French and Spanish titles!
  • Non-Fiction contains a growing collection of non-fiction titles with subjects like health, science, astronomy, biology, nature, biography, and history!

You will find it on the Research & Homework page on the library website alphabetically under T (https://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/research-and-homework#T).  Check it out.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

History of Highland Park…

The 7/5/1956 article, “Colorful California landmark of northeast community hidden behind Burbank School,” gives the history of the Highland Park Reservoir.  First built in 1889 you can still see hidden in mysterious building tucked back behind the school next to the skate park. 

Check out the article for all the interesting details.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020


Book Jacket for: RelicAlan Dean Foster’s Relic is a novel set in the future after humanity has colonized many worlds, continued their penchant for self-destruction, and managed to unleash a plague that killed every member but one, Ruslan.  Ruslan has been pulled from the wreckage of humanity by the Myssari who have been studying him, and the wreckage of human society, ever since.  Eventually Ruslan convinces the Myssari to try to find Earth and the story goes from there.

Straight up SF this book includes not one but two different alien species that the author has great fun developing.  Although there is plenty of action, overall the pace of the book is a bit slow.  I would recommend the book but you might want to skim ahead when you find yourself getting bogged down.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Trivia of the Month...

This month’s question is what does the expression “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed” mean?

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Library closed through March 31

Los Angeles Public Library Response to COVID-19

Keeping You Safe is Our Priority

Like all Angelenos, we are facing the challenges of a quickly changing landscape in response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). As always, the health and safety of our patrons and staff is our priority. We are in constant communication with other city departments, local officials and health authorities.

Following Mayor Garcetti’s directive and out of an abundance of caution, we want to share the steps the library is taking to protect the health and safety of our patrons and staff while still providing essential library services:

  • Following guidelines limiting the number of people in public buildings, we have closed the Central Library and the 72 branch libraries through March 31.
  • During this time, due dates for borrowed materials will be automatically extended, no late fines will be assessed, and patrons can return materials when libraries reopen.
  • Librarians are available to provide assistance through telephone reference (213) 228-7272; the web-based service, Ask A Librarian; and Book A Librarian.
  • Of course our many digital services remain available 24/7 at lapl.org, including e-books and audiobooks; streaming TV, movie and music services; classes and digital subscriptions to newspapers and magazines.
  • We created and will continue to update this resource page in English and Spanish with information about the COVID-19 virus and how to keep you and your loved ones safe.
  • You can stay updated on the library here on our website and following our social media accounts @lapubliclibrary.

Once again, your health and safety is of utmost importance, and we will evaluate and adjust as new information becomes available. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and we thank you for your continued understanding and support.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

All library programs canceled through 3/31

As you can see from the graphic the library has canceled all public programs through the end of March.  I will keep you updated as to the resumption of programming as soon as I know anything.

The library remains open for use as a library and does have a plethora of e-resources you can explore and utilize from the comfort of your own home.

This Sunday's (3/15) Music CANCELLED

Perhaps unsurprisingly the music performance scheduled for this Sunday, March 15 has been CANCELLED.

We will reschedule at some future date... I will let you know when I know.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

March eResource of the Month

If you are looking for health information for and about teenagers then you need look no further then March’s eResource of the Month, Teen Health & Wellness.

Teen Health & Wellness is a comprehensive database that allows teens to research health-related issues important to their well-being.  It’s both a research/report tool and a shelf-help resource.  The subjects covered include drugs and alcohol, nutrition, mental health, green living, LGBTQ issues, and much more.

Teen Health & Wellness can be found on the Los Angeles Public Library’s Research & Homework page under “T” (https://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/research-and-homework#T). Take some time and explore it.

Monday, March 9, 2020

More Music…


This is going to sound familiar but… We have unexpectedly, and admittedly, again, at the very last moment, been able to schedule a performance by a UCLA Gluck group.  This time it is the String Quartet.  The performance will be this coming Sunday (3/15) at 2:00.  Those of you who have been to UCLA group performances in the past will know that they always do a really nice job. If you have yet to be to such a performance, you're in for a treat.

If you're interested in finding out more about this particular group check out their entry on the Gluck website (https://schoolofmusic.ucla.edu/ensembles/gluck-string-quartets/).

Once again I'm really looking for an audience so be sure to join us and pass on the news of the event to everyone you know.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Events for the Week of March 8….

Events going on at the library during the week include:

Sunday – 3/8
UCLA Gluck Woodwinds Quintet performs at 2:00

Monday – 3/9
Grupo de apoyo para la familia at 10:00
LA DOT Tap Information Table from 2:30 to 4:30
Make it Monday at 4:00
Philosophy Discussion Group at 6:30

Tuesday – 3/10
Baby Storytime at 10:30
LAPD Readalong at 3:00

Wednesday – 3/11
Toddler Storytime at 10:30
STAR Reader at 3:00

Thursday – 3/12
STAR Reader at 3:00

Friday – 3/13
Drop in Computer Lab at 3:30

Saturday – 3/14
VITA Free Tax Prep from 9:30 to 12:30
Walk Highland Park at 10:00
STAR Reader 2:00

This week our computer aide will be available on Tuesday from 1:00-6:00 and on Friday & Saturday from 12:00-5:00 to help you with your technology questions.

You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Toucan Keep a Secret

Book Jacket for: Toucan keep a secretIt seems like I’m always writing about a new Donna Andrews mystery.  I guess that speaks to the fact that I generally like her work.  I find it amusing and entertaining, just the thing for a bit of escapism.  Toucan Keep a Secret, is no exception.  Meg Langslow and her eccentric family return.  This time Meg is working in the local church to help the Reverend who is on maternity leave when she stumbles across the body of a curmudgeonly patron in the crypt, er columbarium.  Also found with the corpse is a very elaborate ring which turns out to be from a collection stolen years earlier.  So Meg must find out who killed an unpleasant old man while also unraveling a years old crime.

As always the story is light-hearted and quick to read.  Recommended for that break from your daily routine.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Unexpected Music this Sunday!

We have unexpectedly, and admittedly at the very last moment, been able to schedule a performance by the UCLA Gluck Woodwinds Quintet for this coming Sunday (3/8) at 2:00.  Those of you who have been to UCLA group performances in the past will know that they always do a really nice job. If you have yet to be to such a performance, you're in for a treat.

If you're interested in finding out more about this particular group check out their entry on the Gluck website (https://schoolofmusic.ucla.edu/ensembles/gluck-woodwind-quintet/).

In any event with the last minute-ness of this I'm really looking for an audience so be sure to join us and pass on the news of the event to everyone you know.

Walk Highland Park

With spring arriving what better thing to do then get out and get some fresh air while exploring the neighborhood?  Even better if you can do it with others. Join us on March 14 at 10:00.  We’ll take an hour and take a walk.  Dogs are welcome to come to, though they’ll have to wait outside the library for the walk to start.