If aliens from outer space wanted to...

If aliens from outer space wanted to land in Southern California, one of the first problems they’d face, of course, would be parking.

That’s why passers-by on Lacy Street in Northeast L.A. might be excused for doing a double-take as they pass a parking lot with the spaces marked: “ALIEN 27,” “ALIEN 28,” etc.

Even more befuddling is the fact that it’s at a city animal shelter.

Asked about the designations, a city worker asserted that the parking spots are rented by employees of the TV show, “Alien Nation,” which has a production office across the street.


Or is that just what THEY told her to say?

A couple billed as Barbie and Malibu Ken, who performed a strip-tease on television’s “Donahue” show, are being sued by Hawthorne-based Mattel Inc.

The toy maker’s suit alleges that Barbie and Ken, whose real first names are Saundra and Michael, sold stripping services in flagrant violation of Mattel’s trademark rights.

How they fit into Barbie and Ken’s clothes in the first place is a hard one to figure.

Through myriad civic contests, and thousands of entries like “I Lost My Liver in the L.A. River,” L.A. has failed to find an official song.

In 1984, Randy Newman’s slyly satirical “I Love L.A.” was given a proclamation by the City Council. But the council stopped short of declaring it the official city ditty, possibly noticing that the lyrics include: “Look at that bum over there--he’s down on his knees.”

Recently, a break in L.A.'s 209-year-old melody drought appeared on the horizon when the musical “City of Angels"--set in Hollywood in the 1940s--became a Broadway smash.

Only one song actually pertains to the city. Still, our heart quickened as we played “L.A. Blues” from the soundtrack.

It’s an instrumental.

R egarding the controversy over whether Olvera Street should also reflect non-Latino cultures, Harry Honda sent us a 1907 map that identified it as Oliver Street. Actually, it was a typographical error, since Olvera was named for a 19th-Century judge, Agustin Olvera.

As for the multi-ethnic character of that area, Honda, senior editor of the Pacific Citizen, recalled:

“As a lad in need of dental care while in grade school in the 1920s, I well remember that my dentist, who was of Chinese descent, had his office upstairs in the (since dismantled) Don Lugo Building on Los Angeles Street facing the Plaza.”

Upon obtaining a second fax machine in its L.A. office, Tony Stone Worldwide photo library sent out a press release announcing:

“We are now bifaxual.”


The windiest spot in L.A. County--or the state, for that matter--is the mountain community of Sandberg in the Angeles National Forest. Sandberg is buffeted by gusts that average 14.6 m.p.h. daily.