The what-in-the-world cup: For us, Brazil vs....


The what-in-the-world cup: For us, Brazil vs. Italy was an anticlimax--nothing compared to a fascinating matchup between teams led by Mayor Richard Riordan and City Councilman Richard Alatorre during L.A.’s Soccerfest.

This game was filled with pressure--pressure on the Soccerfest staff members, who tried time and again to set up the two politicos for goals on the L.A. Convention Center floor.

That was no easy task in the case of Alatorre, who romped about on the artificial turf in dress slacks and dress shoes.


Riordan, more casual in tennis shoes and jeans, eventually scored one goal, which made the difference in his team’s 5-4 victory. He apparently was so excited by his feat that he lined up on the wrong side afterward.

Alatorre, meanwhile, finished scoreless, booting several misses with his loafers and once illegally swatting the ball with his hand.

Had it been in the Rose Bowl, we could have imagined the game announcer crying:



Remains of the day: Reader John Farrell tipped us off to a Long Beach establishment that appears to use a bit too much heat in the cleaning process (see photo).


List of the day: Here are some L.A. firsts noted in the guidebook, “L.A. Access.”

* 1888--Swimming pool, an indoor plunge called the L.A. Natatorium.

* 1897--Public golf course, Pico Boulevard and Alvarado Street. Tin cups served as holes.

* 1905--Directional traffic signs, erected by the Auto Club.

* 1907 Escalator, installed at Bullock’s department store at 7th Street and Broadway.

* 1912--Gas station, opened at Grand Avenue and Washington Boulevard. Price: 8 cents per gallon.

* 1914--Air-conditioned railroad cars, between here and Chicago.

* 1923--Chinchilla farm (also the nation’s first).

* 1928--Mickey Mouse is born. (His predecessor, Steamboat Willie, is fired.)

* 1944--The word smog in a newspaper story--not for the last time.

* 1948--Rolls Royce dealership (also the nation’s first).


School for canine evangelists?Denny and Carolyn Schue of Rancho Palos Verdes came across a notice for a canine behavior seminar that covered the basic commands--how to make one’s pooch sit, stay and “heal.”


Angels on our freeway shoulders (cont.): Remember last month’s legend--about the back-seat poltergeists who were terrifying motorists on Pacific Coast Highway by warning them that a massive quake was coming June 16?


It didn’t happen. But we later heard from a young man whose roommate knew a waitress who either had the same experience on the Golden State Freeway or knew someone who did. Anyway, this time the prediction was for July 16.

We were in such a hurry to pack up and leave town for the weekend that we somehow forgot to mention it in our column. Uh, next time.


Two Century Freeway milestones that no doubt will one day end up in “L.A. Access”--The first cinematic wrong-way chase on the 105 occurred in “Lethal Weapon 3.” The first cinematic right-way chase on the 105 occurred in “Speed.”