Thursday, October 10, 2019

Homeless Woman Singing In Storm Drain Goes Viral, Captivates Canoga Park

By Ingomar Schoenborn, Quilt staff


A homeless woman living in a storm drain near the corner of Nordhoff and DeSoto, in Canoga Park’s bustling NordSoto neighborhood has captured the hearts of all who have experienced her melodious tones wafting up through the grate, over the Drains to Ocean emblem, and into their earholes.

“I can’t believe a voice so beautiful is coming from somebody living in the sewer. They need to give her a recording contract,” said Ted Pasternak, an assembler at a local pool filter company, who paused to listen on his way to Subway to get lunch. “Of course, on the other hand, we pull her out of there, suddenly someone’s got to find her a place to live and no one knows where to put these people anymore.

“Well, she sure sounds happy down there, anyway,” he added before heading off to get his footlong Italian BMT on 9-grain honey oat with extra banana peppers.

Underground Music: Passersby have been delighted by the remarkable melodies emanating
from a storm drain near the corner of Nordhoff and Desoto in Canoga Park's industrial quarter.

Others echoed his sentiment as they listened to the mystery woman sing something that many described as an operatic aria:

Bimbo squalo, doo doo doo doo, nonno squalo, doo doo doo doo, andiamo a caccia, finalmente al securo...

“It’s beautiful. Haunting, really. And to think it’s coming from down there,” said Bernice Knudsen, on her lunch break at an insurance claims office. “This is the feel-good story of my daily walk over to Starbucks.”

Darula: Anxious for lunch.
   Added metal fabricator Budek "Bud" Darula,
   heading back to work carrying a bag from
   Yoshinoya, “That singing! It's just amazing.
   If there’s a Go Fund Me that I can throw a
   nominal amount of money at so I feel like
   I’m doing something good without getting
   further involved, I’m all for it.

   "But right now I gots to gets back to the shop
   before this here beef bowl gets cold!”

Industry experts estimate the subterranean chanteuse could have a lucrative three-or-four week career making inspiring, tearjerking appearances on various talk shows, competing on reality competitions and providing a cappella music for Ellen to dance to — once someone from the Department of Public Works gets over there with one of those manhole cover lifters and she’s brought topside, hosed down and given a fresh set of duds.  “Then the sky’s the limit!” predicts Ari Vaskigorgian of Peppy Talent Representation & Day Laborer Procurement on Saticoy.  “At least for about a month until we all move on to something else.”

                                                 • • • • •

Correction: Turns out there was no homeless woman in the sewer but a musical, multilingual Baby Shark toy that likely was flung out a backseat car window by a fussy toddler, landed in the storm drain, somehow became shorted out from the water and got switched onto the Italian language version of the popular song.  
                                                                           We regret the error.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Barebones, Perfunctory Coverage of 30th Annual Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade!

By Quilt Staff


It was the event three decades in the making.  Well, if you go by parades and and not armed conflicts represented (in which case we should start counting from our entrance into World War II). But then since this is Memorial Day, perhaps it might be better if we started counting from the first celebration of such (1868) making this an event over a century and a half in the making. 

But what of those we lost during the American Revolution? Should we really forget them on Memorial Day?  

...It was the event 244 years in the making. And the weather couldn't have been more temperate, mild and/or agreeable.  Thank God, right? The last six years of this, we've all been roasting out there. And Canoga Park crowds are not known for their delicate bouquet — especially in hot weather! When was the last time those armpits of yours saw a bar of Zote or a stick of deodorant? Or a stick of Winterfresh gum for that matter? Awright then.

And so the 30th Annual Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade made its way down Sherman Way this morning as thousands of people lined the streets.

Thankfully, these homeless folks were temporarily relocated, the sidewalks quickly steam-cleaned, and legitimate parade-watchers quickly took their place.

But enough of all this folderol! You came here for the pictures! For the pictures taken with a piece-of-crap phone because our photographer forgot to charge the battery pack for his — ooh-la-la! — expensive, professional camera last night!

On with the show!  Oh, and be sure to check us out on the, whaddayacall, Facebook, for more, better coverage!

A World War II veteran!

A veteran of the Korean War — or "military conflict" if you're Hollywood peacenik Alan Alda!

A Vietnam vet!

A veteran from the Cold War era!

Veterans from Operation Iraqi Freedom and another such Operation!
Forgive us, but our stupid research department can't figure out what OED stands for.
Rest assured they've been courtmartialed and have lost breakroom privileges.

Here we've got some Desert Strike / Desert Storm vets!

And last but not least, the gents from Wings Over Wendys!
Thank you, one and all, for your service!

Also, thanks to those who followed along behind the vaqueros and cleaned up all the horse shit along Sherman Way. You folks really are the unsung heroes of the day!

Happy Memorial Day!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Canoga Park Resident Hopes For Quick End To Teachers’ Strike

By Blythe Moorcraft, Quilt staff

Staff photo.
Canoga Park resident Teódor Ted Pasternak has a message for the LAUSD Board of Education: “Give these teachers what they want!”

Pasternak — an assembler at a local pool filter manufacturer who has no children of his own but if he did, they’d go to private schools — may seem like an unlikely ally for Los Angeles school teachers who have been on strike since Monday, demanding reductions in pay, a 6.5 percent increase in standardized testing, more class sizes and smaller nurses. 
Pasternak. File photo.

But he’s thrown his support firmly behind the picketing educators, or pickucators, hoping for a quick end to what has become a contentious strike.

“I live across the street from Canoga Park Elementary,” explains Pasternak. “I’ve been home the last few days, sick with a cold, trying to get some goddamn rest.

“And every morning, those assholes are out there with a bullhorn chanting God-knows-what, I can’t even make it out. At seven-fucking-thirty in the morning!

“Christ almighty, give them whatever the fuck they want so I can get some goddamn sleep!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Body of Gingerbread Man Found In Over-Crowded, Illegally-Converted Cookie Garage

By Jingle McSprinkles, special to the Quilt.


Authorities with the Los Angeles Department of Holiday Baking, responding to potential zoning violations at a Canoga Park residence, uncovered tragedy when they discovered a body, broken into several pieces, among a baker’s dozen of gingerbread men living in cramped, crumby conditions in an illegally converted garage made of substandard graham crackers behind the main gingerbread house.

Warning—Delicious Content: The body of a broken gingerbread man found in Canoga Park. Photo: LAPD.

“I can confirm that we do have a fatality,” says department spokesperson Roxanna Panettone. “However, this is an ongoing investigation so I can’t say anything more. Except Merry Christmas!”

Neighbors say they’ve been complaining to various city entities including the LAPD since the problems — including noise, the smell of rancid nutmeg, and unregistered sleighs blocking neighboring driveways — began shortly after Thanksgiving when the large group moved in. But, according to residents, neither the police nor any municipal agency has responded until now. 

“It’s been a nightmare,” says Cinnamon Pfeffernusse, who lives next door. “Wassailing at all hours of the night, half-eaten mini-marshmallows tossed over the fence into my yard. The fellow two doors down came out one morning to find one of them trying to break into his little cookie car with a candy cane. 

Crowded House: The illegally converted garage was home to a tasty baker's dozen of mischievous
little gingerbread men including one who likely crumbled due to overcrowded conditions. Staff photo.

“And the drugs! Not only are these people dealing confectioner’s sugar — a diabetic OD’d in front of my house last week! — we can smell that they’re cooking caramel in there, too. Forget visions of sugarplums. The only thing dancing in my head at three a.m. is the worry that there’s going to be some massive explosion and the whole block goes up in flames. 

“But of course the City of LA only reacts after the problem gets way out of control. And I still doubt they’ll actually do anything.”

When asked about the situation, Mayor Eric Garcetti said all cookies should be treated with compassion and empathy, lauding both the landlord and his garage residents for their irresponsible resourcefulness before segueing into yet another pitch for his enormously unpopular Gingerbridge Housing for the Homeless initiative.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Record-Breaking Heatwave During Peak Moving Season Renders Canoga Park Sidewalks Impassable With Deserted Furniture

By Sherman Farralone, Quilt staff


The normal summer increase of apartment residents moving from one home to another combined with the proliferation of cheap, disposable home furnishings, a general apathy towards civic pride and perhaps most significantly, the intense heat wave affecting the West Valley area since the beginning of the month has resulted in a ‘perfect storm’ situation, with thousands of pieces of perfectly good, shitty furniture being abandoned along the sidewalks of Canoga Park.

A selection of low-cost used home furnishings abandoned on, where was this?, Valerio. Staff photo.
“We’re seeing an unprecedented uptick in the number of discarded chairs, love seats, headboards and miscellaneous IKEA furnishings lining our curbs and sidewalks,” says Dev Noorvash who tracks furniture migration for the Canoga Park Friendly Neighborhood Council. “Canoga Park streets generally have an average of thirty-two old sofas per block. Since August first, that number has climbed to well over seventy-five.”

 Bed frames, chairs and more left by former residents of...hmm...Valerio Street, probably. Staff photo.
“I was helping my cousin move last week an’ shit...?” says Radek Murta of Blythe Street “And we started early but even by eleven an’ shit, it was so hot that after we got his bed and TV and some boxes of his clothes an’ shit on the truck, we looked at the rest of his furniture and we were like ‘fuck it!’ and just left it there.”

Similar scenarios played out throughout the West Valley area. 

“My sister was moving into her own place, right?” explains Nicolas Varga of Remmet Avenue “And our Mom gave her an old couch that I had to pick up at the house in Chatsworth, lug it down the front walk, load on the roof of my car, tie it down and drive it to the new place — then drag it up two flights of stairs. By myself. By the time I get there, it’s 110º and I’m already doing this shit since eight a.m. So I just said ‘fuck it!’ and left it on the sidewalk. I mean, I’m not jack-assing that thing up a narrow outside staircase with two turns in this weather!”

An apartment's worth of furniture sits roadside, well, if not on Valerio, then likely nearby. Staff photo.
Across town, Nadia Nogueira says a friend from work promised to help her move but never showed up. “So me and my boyfriend ended up moving a lot of my [belongings] ourselves. But there was just too much stuff, it was too heavy and it was so effing hot, I couldn’t deal with loading up my Explorer for even one more trip  — not in this heat! — so I just decided ‘fuck it!’ and left the dining room table and the chairs. I always eat in front of the TV anyway.”

These four chairs have left the dining room for greener pastures on, let's see, oh yes, Valerio. Staff photo.
Her boyfriend Alex agrees. “She just bought a new entertainment center three months ago. But it was too big for me to move alone. What the hell happened to this asshole friend of hers from work?!  It took me an hour to get it out her door and down the stairs and already I was sweating like a pig,” he says, “By the time I managed to drag that thing out the security gate of the building, I thought I was having heatstroke and, fuck it!, that was it, I was done! Goddamn thing is probably still there.”

(Reached for comment, Nadia's co-worker, Ted Pasternak, told the Quilt, “Yeah, I know I said I’d help [Nadia], but I barely know her and she only asked me because I have a pickup truck. When I woke up that morning, it was already 98º in the shade, so I was like ‘fuck it!’ and just blew her off.”)

A handsome arrangement of tasteful furnishings seen here on Sati— Correction! Valerio.  Staff photo.
Traditionally, cast-off furniture left by the side of the road becomes the responsibility of the LA Department of Sanitation’s Bulky Item Collection service after the department has logged a minimum of eighteen increasingly desperate or angry calls per item, pile of items, or address. “Then, eh, maybe we’ll send someone out to take a look,” says department spokesman Albert Sousa. “But usually, we get about a dozen requests before whoever is reporting it just says ‘fuck it!’ and gives up.”

RELATED: Canoga Park Sidewalks A Scavenger’s Paradise For Perfectly Good, Shitty Furniture

Monday, June 11, 2018

Inclusiveness, Acceptance Celebrated At Diverse West Hills Gay Pride Festival

Staff photo.
By Blythe Moorcraft, Quilt staff


West Hollywood may be the epicenter for LA-area LGB 'pride' events, but don’t count West Hills out!

The second weekend in June is traditionally Pride Weekend here in the West San Fernando Valley and this year’s LGBT festivities didn’t disappoint.

Men, women and others of all shapes and sizes, clad in everything from oiled leather to cozy flannel, from tight tank-tops to loose overalls, flocked to the undisputed gay mecca of the West San Fernando Valley — Pride Center at Victory and Fallbrook, in West Hills’ inclusive, diverse, accepting Victorbrook neighborhood — to take part in a three-day celebration of inclusiveness, diversity and acceptance.

One of the event’s most popular venues was the main vendor tent — an outdoor marketplace where attendees could take a break from the hot sun, enjoy browsing or just see & be seen while shopping for unique items — many not available elsewhere and geared specifically for the area’s lively LGBTQ crowd.

“Check out these clamps,” one burly, bearded fellow said to an interested buddy. “Four bucks? Hell yeah — I got plans for these!”

At a nearby table laden with unusual wares and various esoterica, a woman contemplated a purchase with her gal pal. “Hey, Joyce, I think these attachments might fit your variable speed oscillating multi-tool.”

Pavilion of Pride: The event's popular vendor tent, offering gear for most every interest. Staff photo.
New connections within the LGBTQI community were made, too: A vendor personing the register at the festival evidently saw something he liked in a rugged, older gent buying a leather apron. "Can I have your phone number, please?" he asked as he began to ring up the sale. (Good news for romantics: the feeling was mutual because the attendee offered it up without hesitation.)

The three-day event of acceptance, inclusiveness and diversity celebrating the LGBTQIA community kicked off Friday afternoon and continued throughout the weekend, finally drawing to a close at six pm on Sunday, with the ceremonial taking down of the tent.

Though West Hills Pride may be officially over for another year, the lessons learned, the values embraced and the new friendships forged by the area’s LGBTQIAP population will last a lifetime.

Correction: What we presumed was a celebration of diversity, acceptance, and inclusiveness for the gay, lesbian, transgender and et cetera community was in fact Harbor Freight Tools' bi-monthly parking lot sale. We regret the error.

Monday, May 28, 2018

5th Annual Coverage of the 29th Annual 2018 Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade

By Quilt Staff

WEST VALLEY residents lined Sherman Way from Topanga Canyon Boulevard to Winnetka Avenue this morning to watch the 29th Annual Canoga Park Memorial Parade go by. However, as the parade route extended only from Owensmouth to Mason, spectators respectively west and east of those intersections were staring at mostly empty streets.

In all, about exactly forty-nine different groups, organizations, associations, and organized groups of associations— numbering nearly fifty in total — participated in the slow-moving flash-flood of memorialable patriotism, awashing eager parade-watchers in wave after wave of salty, refreshing civic pride. 

Everyone and everything from not-yet-disgraced local politicians to lively marching bands, from high-kicking tae-kwon-doers to manure-strewing prancing horses marched, cavorted, pooped and waved to those along the route in a magnificent spectacle not seen in Canoga Park since the 28th Annual Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade approximately a year ago.

The parade’s theme this year was “Memorial Day,” and parade participants, or paradcipants, included a number of veterans and others involved in military service.

Conspicuous by its absence was the inaugural appearance of The Canoga Park Quilt float, which was to debut this year for the first time. 

“We spent $1200 on a custom-made Junior News Possum walk-around costume and like an idiot, I let [feature writer] Ingomar Schoenborn borrow it this past weekend for a ‘Furries’ convention in Palm Desert,” lamented Quilt editor Owen Smouth. “He gets back late this morning, the costume smelled all funky and no one wanted to wear it.  And without the damn possum, our float is just another 1998 Toyota Tacoma with cheap mylar bunting from 99¢ Only. We bowed out.”  

Despite the lack of the Canoga Park’s only online newspaper on both the internet and the world wide web traversing the arduous 1.2 mile route while its myriad of editors, photographers and graphic designers tossed handfuls of uncirculated 1964 Kennedy half-dollars to the crowds, the parade was a success, as these magnificent photos will attest.