Entertainment

21 Episodes:  What-If Friends Was Set In Los Angeles?

Los Angeles is the epicenter of the film and television industries, but very few sitcoms are set in this multicultural metropolitan hub. Most sitcoms happen in New York, even if they are shot in sets built in California. Crazy, eh? Well, what if Friends actually took place in the City of Dreams?

1. “The one where Joey wins a taco eating competition at Carnitas Michoacan”

Credit: 030913-244750-Carnitas-Michoacan-Exterior+. Digital image. Serious Eats

Carnitas Michoacan is an angelano institution. Mexican food experts claim that they are the real deal. In this episode, Joey would be broke after his acting gig fell through, so he would enter and win a taco eating contest to be able to afford rent. Chandler would need to care for him after he gets indigestion.

2. “The one where Ross finds a fossil under the Hollywood sign”

Credit: Best-Photos-Burbank-California-Things-to-do-in-Los-Angeles-@StephBeTravel-1-of-1-1024x692_Digital image. TRAVEL BREAK

Paleontologist Ross Geller would be trekking near the Hollywood sign and suddenly trip on something. On close inspection, he would realize it is a dinosaur bone! He would not be allowed to dig and that would throw him into a fit of frustration.

3. “The one where Phoebe marries a Chicano muralist”

Credit: Botello -1-thumb-600×401-61605_KCET Digital image. KCET

Strolling the streets of East Los, our favorite silly girl would meet a sexy muralist called Jorge, and marry him on the spot. She would later discover that once you marry a Latino you marry the whole family!

4. “The one where Rachel and Monica find a job at Canter’s”

Credit: Canters-Deli-Los-Angeles_0.  Digital image. The infatuation

Rachel and Monica find out that working with your best friend isn’t that easy. Monica is a cook and Rachel is a waitress at this LA institution… Rachel keeps flirting with rock stars in the late night shift and Monica gets her fired.

5. “The one where Joey and Chandler get the Dog Whisperer for their pet duck”

Credit: Cesar-Millan-LA-Times_Digital image.The Yucatan Times

Desperate because their duck quacks all night, the dynamic duo finds Cesar Millan and begs for help. Hilarity follows.

6. “The one where Monica bumps into her ex Richard at Chateau Marmont”

Credit: chateau-marmont_TripAdvisor Digital image.TripAdvisor

Monica just can’t seem to keep a job in Los Angeles. As a cook in the infamous Chateau Marmont, she bumps into her ex Richard, who is a dentist to many celebrities! He is there to untangle two teenage stars whose brackets got stuck while they were making out. Classy.

7. “The one where Chandler moves to Echo Park and breaks Joey’s heart”

Credit: Echo_Park_Lake_with_Downtown_Los_Angeles_Digital image. Skyline Planning and GIS

BFFs Chandler and Joey can’t live together forever. Chandler finds a great investment opportunity in up and coming Echo Park and moves to the cool neighborhood. All is forbidden when Joey discovers a tamale cart across the street. Two verdes, please!

8. “The one where Ross jumps into the fountain at The Grove”

Credit: grove-hero+. Digital image. Caruso

The Grove is perhaps the prettiest mall in the US. Ross is seeing someone while he and Rachel are on “a break”. He is holding hands with this new girl and suddenly he spots Rachel at a distance. How to hide? Just jump into the fountain. He gets cheers and claps from everyone and Rachel obviously sees him!

9. “The one where Chandler proposes to Monica at LACMA”

Credit: image Time Out. Digital image.Time Out

Los Angeles has one of the coolest contemporary art museums in the world: LACMA. In this episode, Chandler takes Monica to this amazing installation, gets down on one knee and proposes. Eso, mi Chandler!

10. “The one where Phoebe discovers she ate an ostrich taco at El Coyote”

Credit: img_0402 . Digital image. Peace Love Lunges

One of the most traditional Tex-Mex spots in the city. In this episode, Phoebe discovers that the delicious taco she just ate was made with ostrich meat. She loves ostriches and feels super guilty, so she ends up adopting three big-ass birds!

11. “The one where Phoebe dates a Laker who also loves ostriches”

Credit: Kuzma-1049957_. Digital image. Daily Express.

After adopting the three ostriches, Phoebe joins an online community of ostrich lovers. She meets a famous basketball player and moves in with him, but moves out after not being able to stand the smell of 20 ostriches living in their house…. and sleeping in their bedroom!

12. “The one where Rachel and Ross make up while trapped in the Santa Monica Ferris wheel”

Credit: offthehooksmpier610x250. Digital image.  CBS Los Angeles

Rachel and Ross enter the Santa Monica Ferris wheel as exes, but after a mechanical malfunction they get stuck up there for 5 hours and are an item again after finally being released at sunrise. Romantic as hell!

13. “The one where Chandler inherits Amoeba Music”

Credit: PPGTYHMYKFFHXIL6DV477QG4GQ.  Digital image. Los Angeles Times.

Chandler’s mom dates the owner of this cultural institution. The owner dies and inherits the shop to Chandler’s mom, who in turn tells him it is HIS early inheritance. Chandler ends up revitalizing the business! Think High Fidelity on a bigger scale!

14. “The one where Joey dates a cello player”

Credit: walt-disney-concert-hall-night_. Digital image. Discover Los Angeles.

Joey is quite a Don Juan and somehow gets interesting, cultured women to date him. In this episode, he goes to the opening night of a concert season, but he falls asleep and falls down from the upper floor of the hall… The concert is interrupted and Joey gets dumped!

15. “The one where Phoebe adopts a mountain lion!”

Credit: hollywd-p22-national-geographic-cant-use. Digital image. CBS News

Just stop it, Phoebs! In this episode, Phoebe is jogging in a national park and finds a mountain lion who seems to be sick. She puts her into her car and drives it home. She names him “Mariachi”. Chaos follows.

16. “The one where little Ben reveals himself as a Lego genius”

Credit: legoland-california-with-transport-in-los-angeles-158951 . Digital image. Viator

Ross takes his son to Legoland and… surprise… Ben builds an amazing rocketship in record time. Everyone is impressed at his genius building skills and Ben gets an sponsorship from the company. He now makes more than his academic dad.

17. “The one where the gang goes to a karaoke bar in Koreatown”

Credit: 1426854317758. Digital image. Traveller

They all pretend to sing K-pop and get a crowd to cheer and laugh at these gringos pretending they know a second language!

18. “The one where Rachel’s dad moves to Malibu… and buys a house for Rachel next door”

Credit: VC_LivingTheDream_SupportingContent_Other_Malibu_Stock_RF_108795_1280x640_0. Digital image. Visit California.

Rachel has always tried to solve things by herself and move away from her “rich daddy’s girl” persona. In this episode, Rachel mush stand true to herself when her dad buys her a 3 bedroom beach house in Malibu just to keep her close.

19. “The one where Joey beats Danny Trejo at a chili eating contest”

Credit: 1156848_1280x720. Digital image.  ABC7 News

Joey’s true abilities come to light in Los Angeles! In order to woo a hot Latina, Joey enters a chili eating competition with Danny Trejo. And he beats Machete!

20. “The one where Monica dates a muscle guy from Venice Beach”

Credit: muscle-beach-venice-bodybuilding-outdoor-gym-in-los-angeles-usa-3. Digital image. Venice Beach.

Monica meets a bodybuilder when he saves her from being run over by a bicycle. The gang feels intimidated at first but soon finds that the Hulk is a sweetheart with a love for extra sweet pastries… Monica bakes every single day to keep her guy’s calorie intake on check.

21. “The one where Joey becomes a Hollywood Boulevard impersonator”

Credit: hear+arrested+Spiderman+Sesame+Street+Kobe+PPXXoCtR1Zkl. Digital image. Zimbio

Life is tough in Los Angeles for a struggling actor. In order to make ends meet and not compromise his histrionic abilities, Joey dresses up as a different superhero each day and takes selfies with tourists on Hollywood Boulevard. He gets good at doing it but all the other impersonators stage a coup against him and kick him out!

 

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Kobe Bryant’s Wrongful Death Lawsuit Has Tragically Been Moved To Federal Court Despite Vanessa Bryant’s Pleas

Entertainment

Kobe Bryant’s Wrongful Death Lawsuit Has Tragically Been Moved To Federal Court Despite Vanessa Bryant’s Pleas

kobebryant / lacosheriff / Instagram

Updated October 7, 2020.

Soon after basketball player Kobe Bryant was killed in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others, reports surfaced from the Los Angeles Times that L.A. County sheriff’s deputies had captured and shared photos of the accident site. Abominably, these images included pictures of the victims. Worse, deputies allegedly continued to share the photos in the days following the horrific accident that transpired in Calabasas, California.

During a time when she should have been allowed to mourn, Bryant’s wife Vanessa Bryant worked to file a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department alleging violation of privacy.

Bryant’s wrongful death lawsuit against the owner of Kobe Bryant’s doomed helicopter has been moved to federal court.

Bryant’s lawsuit claimed Island Express is liable for the deaths of her husband and daughter because the helicopter was only licensed to fly in visually navigable conditions.

According to paperwork obtained by the Daily News, Bryant filed her original wrongful death complaint against Island Express Helicopters this past February at Los Angeles County’s Superior Court. In response, the helicopter company filed a cross-complaint against two federal air traffic controllers, “triggering the venue change.”

Vanessa’s lawyers have argued that the removal was made as part of a “transparent and untenable attempt to forum-shop their way into federal court.”

“Defendants unlawfully and improperly seek to deprive Mrs. Bryant of her lawful choice of forum in California state court,” the lawyers argued in a September filing.

In response to Bryant’s lawsuit, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill in September to prohibit first responders from taking photographs of deceased victims ″outside of job duties.”

AB 2655 was signed by Newsom on Monday and prohibits first responders from taking photographs, not related to job duties, of deceased victims. According to KCBS, Violation of the law will result in a misdemeanor.

AB 2655 states that “Existing law generally prohibits a reproduction of any kind of photograph of the body, or any portion of the body, of a deceased person, taken by or for the coroner at the scene of death or in the course of a post mortem examination or autopsy, from being made or disseminated. Existing law generally makes a person who views, by means of any instrumentality, including, but not limited to, a camera or mobile phone, the interior of any area in which the occupant has a reasonable expectation of privacy, with the intent to invade the privacy of a person or persons inside, guilty of a misdemeanor. This bill would make it a misdemeanor for a first responder, as defined, who responds to the scene of an accident or crime to capture the photographic image of a deceased person for any purpose other than an official law enforcement purpose or a genuine public interest. By creating a new crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would require an agency that employs first responders to, on January 1, 2021, notify those first responders of the prohibition imposed by the bill. By increasing the duties of local agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.”

The images of the crash site victims occurred despite a personal request from Vanessa Bryant to Sheriff Alex Villanueva on the morning of the crash to request the site be secured for privacy.

This was a legal claim filed against the department in May.

″In reality, however, no fewer than eight sheriff’s deputies were at the scene snapping cell-phone photos of the dead children, parents, and coaches,″ the document filed by Vanessa explained ″As the Department would later admit, there was no investigative purpose for deputies to take pictures at the crash site. Rather, the deputies took photos for their own personal purposes.”

Vanessa Bryant filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

On Jan. 26, a helicopter carrying Kobe and Gianna Bryant, Payton and Sarah Chester, Alyssa, Keri, and John Altobelli, Christina Mauser, and pilot Ara Zobayan crashed in the Calabasas hills. The sudden death devastated those who knew Kobe and the city of Los Angeles that mourned his death for months after.

Vanessa was shocked to hear that the sheriff deputies took photos of her husband’s and daughter’s bodies at the crash site.

“This lawsuit is about accountability and about preventing this disgraceful behavior from happening to other families in the future who have suffered loss,” Vanessa’s attorney, Luis Li, said in a statement. “The department formally refused Mrs. Bryant’s requests for information, saying it was ‘unable to assist’ with any inquiry and had no legal obligation to do so. It’s now for a court to tell the department what its obligations are.”

Bryant sued the department claiming damages for emotional distress, negligence, and invasion of privacy.

Kobe fans are upset with the LACSD and the allegations that the deputies took these photos.

According to TMZ, Sheriff Alex Villanueva knew about the photos taken by eight deputies and shared within the department. They were also shared in the Lost Hills Sheriff’s substation. Sheriff Villanueva told the deputies to delete the photos from their phones and felt confident they did so.

A trainee allegedly shared the photos with a woman in a bar.

A witness to the event said that a trainee took out his phone and showed a woman the photos to impress her. The bartender overheard the conversation and filed an online complaint about the trainee and their behavior with the photos. The trainee showed the woman the photos a few days after the crash leading many to believe that the sheriff’s department was fully aware of the photos.

Kobe fans are standing behind Vanessa as she follows through with her lawsuit.

Reports state that the sheriff’s department told deputies to delete the images to avoid disciplinary action. The coverup is sparking outrage by Kobe fans who are angered that the department did not do enough to protect the dignity and privacy of all of the victims of the crash.

Mitú will update this story as it continues to develop.

READ: Vanessa Bryant Forced To Respond To ‘Beyond Hurtful’ Comments Made By Her Own Mom On ‘El Gordo y La Flaca’

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How ‘Latinx With Plants’ Bloomed From Instagram To An L.A. Shop Reconnecting The Gente To Plant Healing Properties

Fierce

How ‘Latinx With Plants’ Bloomed From Instagram To An L.A. Shop Reconnecting The Gente To Plant Healing Properties

Growing up, Andi Xoch’s aunt encouraged her to speak to plants. Her relatives usually laughed at the sight of a woman talking to her in-house flowers, but Xoch was intrigued. As a little girl, she acknowledged that there was life inside the pots, so conversing with them seemed standard. More than two decades later, that seed of curiosity about flora bloomed into Latinx with Plants, a digital community and IRL Los Angeles-based shop that teaches Latinxs of their ancestral relationship with herbage.

Sprouted in the spring of 2019, Latinx with Plants started as an account on Instagram. Through the page, Xoch wanted to provide representation of Latinx plant parents that she felt was lacking despite the community’s deep and vast connection with herbs and gardening.

“We’ve had a long connection with plants even before the trend started,” Xoch, a Mexico City-born, L.A.-raised organizer and artist, tells FIERCE.

“I wanted to represent that, to show that we’ve been part of this world even if it’s not presented in an Instagrammable form.”

For the past few years, so-called plant porn has dominated Instagram content. With hashtags like #plantgang and #urbanjungles, the growing trend has helped produce a new generation of young people with green fingers that are boosting sales of houseplants and inspiring even the basement recluse to be a plant parent. In fact, a National Gardening report found that 83 percent of the people in the U.S. who took up gardening in 2016 were between the ages of 18 and 34. Even more, it reported that 37 percent of millennials grow herbs and plants indoors, more than the 28 percent of baby boomers who do the same.

However, with the exception of a few accounts, including Xoch’s friend D’Real who created @blackwithplants and inspired her to make a similar account, many of these digital spaces are overwhelmingly white. This, Xoch says, ignores the history Latinxs have with plants and the sustainable practices they developed while gardening for decades.

“You walk onto our people’s front yards and you see their food: plantains, avocados [and] chayotes. And it’s all sustainable; they use pots made out of buckets and cans. It’s beautiful,” the 32-year-old says. “This is who we are. This is our culture.”

As Latinxs, Xoch says that our Indigenous roots have been forgotten or intentionally kept from us but that we can reconnect to our origins through inherited practices. Among them is ancestral medicines. At her shop, several elders come in and casually inform Xoch about the healing properties of her different plants. While the whitewashed mainstream plant blogosphere has co-opted much of the everyday traditions practiced within low-income communities of color, she finds comfort in knowing that these remedies are being passed down across generations through word of mouth and are not being commodified. 

These informal educational encounters is one of the reasons why Xoch established her brick and mortar in August. Aside from selling an array of plants at the Boyle Heights-located shop, she wanted to create a space where new plant parents and señora gardeners can enter and feel welcomed, experience the joyous power of verdure and learn from one another. 

She says that her mission is to build community and help people who feel depressed, anxious and alone, particularly amid the Covid-19 pandemic, experience the healing power of plants.

“Plants can be an asset to you because, whether you think it’s just for the plant’s sake to be alive, you are actually participating in a self-care act by nurturing your plant,” Xoch says. “They force you to get up every day and help you realize a lot of beautiful things about yourself that you forget to acknowledge: the caregiving, the attention, the love, the dancing, the singing — all the things that make it bloom are also exercises in self-love, self-care and self-preservation.” 

A newbie business owner, Xoch says she now has another objective, though: to offer a non-traditional example of success and to be honest about the struggles of entrepreneurship. 

On paper, Xoch’s road to becoming a boss seems swift and simple: She learned the location of a potential property on a Sunday, visited it on Monday, signed her lease on Wednesday and opened up shop the following weekend. However, the reality is much more complicated. A high school dropout, her lifelong dream to open a business was halted because she lacked the confidence, capital and connections to get started. Even when she did launch the store, the experience was far from easy. Xoch opened her small business from the ground up on a tight budget amid a pandemic and while her father sat ill at a hospital where doctors thought he would die.

“I want people to know this is real shit that people go through. We have the load of the world on us, we are caring for our relatives and we are trying to make sure our business is doing well,” she says. “I walk in [my store] and that alone is defying the odds.”


Follow Latinx with Plants on Instagram. For those in Los Angeles, visit the shop, which is complying with Covid-19 regulations and operating by appointment only, at 2117 E Cesar Chavez Ave.

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