Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ready, Set, Run!

Remember when I wrote about my Free Run Days?  The product of that endeavor is now realized.  Watch it here:

Friday, October 26, 2012

The City Prolific: Weekend Events October 26 - 28

It's Halloween in LA. That means it's 80 degrees, the Santa Anas are relentless, and your jack-o-lanterns are moldy and rotting.  Get out and get your spook on.


NewFilmmakers Los Angeles holds its October screening tonight of a dozen new short films at Sunset Gower Studios. There are pre- and post-receptions for each program, a filmmakers’ lounge, and audience Q&A sessions.  It's a fun way to see the studio campus, and support and network with new filmmakers.


Three programs: 6:30 pm, 8:00 pm and the third at 11:00 pm

Sunset Gower Studios
1438 N. Gower St. Box 83
Hollywood CA 90028

A group of close female friends on a yearly adventure vacation find themselves trapped and hunted in a series of caves. The expedition takes a turn for the worse after a rock fall leaves them stranded in an uncharted cave with no map and only a handful of supplies. As tensions arise in the group, they are faced with another danger—one whose love of the dark is as strong as its lust for blood.  Pack a picnic basket, lawn seating.



Pershing Square
532 S Olive St
Los Angeles 90189

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Associated Press

Endeavour started at NASA.  It went to space several times over several years. Then it went back to NASA, before it was shipped to LAX and did some fly-overs over landmarks across the nation including Griffith Park and Hollywood, and then it went back to LAX, before it was carted across town to the California Science Museum.

I missed every step of the journey.  I received a text from my husband, "Endeavour over Hollywood right now!" and made it out to my office parking lot just a few minutes too late.  During the cross-town, pilgrimage-like (past meets present, wheels and handcarts) phase of its trek, I didn't have a chance to drive to Culver City where its route seemed to be mapped.  I missed seeing it carted along boulevards throughout Los Angeles, missed watching its wheels turn a corner while its wings nearly brushed lookers-on standing on their balconies, missed observing the careful engineering of the tow, the workers calling halt and reversing the track by two feet to get the turn right.

It flew all about my mind, though. Why is it here, how many people are working on getting it from point A to point B, how long ago did they map the route, will they feel any pride after it reaches its final destination, how did the California Science Museum get it (there must have been an RFP), are the men in the orange suits LAX employees or NASA employees, were the people on the balcony scared?

The LA Times posted a time lapse video of the entire local journey. It helps satiate the disappointment I felt in not having been a witness. It also fills me with pride that so many others got to see it, particularly  those who live in the lower-middle class areas that this astounding thing crawled through.  What a privilege.

Click here to watch the time-lapse. (Tip: watch it full screen.)

Friday, October 12, 2012

The City Prolific: Weekend Events October 12 - 14

It is officially Autumn in LA, as evidenced by these refreshing temperatures and tumbling skies.  Last weekend, we went to one of our favorite events of the year, the Eagle Rock Music Festival. We've lived in LA for four years now, and each year the Eagle Rock Music Festival has served as a portal into the autumn season.  I love observing the repurposing of property at the festival. Tire shops become rock venues, parking lots become dance halls, gas stations become garden bars.

Still a whole bunch of outdoor activities this weekend! Screenings, art festivals, food. Never a dull moment around here.


ArtNight Pasadena

The City of Pasadena is celebrating a full weekend of art events.  Tonight, enjoy a free city-wide evening of art, music and entertainment as Pasadena’s most prominent arts and cultural institutions swing open their doors.


6 - 10pm

All over Pasadena

Free shuttles will loop throughout the evening with stops at each venue. Park at any one venue and ride to the others.  Visit the website for a venue map.

As part of Nightmare City, its month-long festival of ghoulish cinema, Cinefamily is transforms its upstairs office into a temporary art gallery to showcase horror-themed blacklight posters. Check out the radiant popular artform once relegated to smoke-filled suburban basements. Comic artist Sammy Harkham does the curating. The opening night party features DJs picked by Mount Analog's Mahssa Taghinia and a cauldron of psychedelic programming from Cinefamily’s band of basement dwellers.


611 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The City Prolific: Weekend Events October 4 - 7

Last weekend was one of my favorite events of the year: the West Hollywood Book Fair. I scored two great reads, and sat around on the lawn of park, under a hot, hot sun.

There's finally been a break in the weather. It's no longer scorching, but it is still beautiful. Get out and enjoy it.


Culture Collide Festival

FILTER Magazine’s Culture Collide is a four-day international festival welcoming artists from 25 countries and counting, bringing their unique perspectives on music and culture to LA’s East Side for a musical melting pot of live performances, film screenings, and happy hours featuring food and drink from around the world. The festival will once again end with the Block Party, a free all-day event in Echo Park on Sunday, October 7th.

Wristbands $20

Thursday - Sunday

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How to Love Los Angeles

Take the train to Union Station.
Yes, LA has a metro.  Ride it, take note of its uncanny timeliness (trains arrive on schedule to-the-minute). Observe the diversity of the ridership. Check out the neighborhood-centric art at the stations. Walk around Union Station, gawk and its beauty, and realize that there is both history and architecture in LA.

Bar-hop in Downtown LA.
Go to the dives like the Down and Out, Bar 107 and King Eddy's Saloon (John Fante drank there). Then, go to the swanky spots like Seven Grand, Varnish and The Edison.
Tip: Do this on a Wednesday or Thursday for maximum enjoyment, and minimum crowds. 

Get a steak and a martini at Musso and Frank.
Musso and Frank is not only in the heart of old Hollywood, but also embodies the heart of Hollywood. It's been there forever, and so have its waiters. Charlie Chaplin was a regular.
Tip: Take the train, wander the area. Do not drive into Hollywood. Seriously, don't do it.

See a movie at The Vista.
Screw the Arclight. The Vista is king.  It's an old-style movie theatre with a grand, gilded ceiling, red velvet curtains, and a gem of a manager.

Ride your bike from Santa Monica to Hermosa Beach and back.
You can rent bikes for $20/day at any of the major beaches. This activity will leave you dripping with gratitude for life and its wonders. I do not exaggerate. You'll see dolphins and surfers and the weirdos of Venice, and you'll feel like you're in paradise.  Because you are.

How to Love Los Angeles will be a monthly post.  I'll list five different things to do every month. Do these things and you're guaranteed to uncover LA's unique charm, and fall irreversibly in love with this city.  No looking back.

This list was for beginners - those new to LA, or those only here for a day or two. I'll get into things like art, culture, theatre and entertainment in later lists.