Saturday, July 31, 2010

Savor Los Angeles. You were too good to me.

Last night marked the first of yet another tasting event in Los Angeles. But this one, I'm pleased to announce was all about the good stuff--sugary, coma-inducing, good stuff. That's right my friend--an entire tasting event dedicated to dessert. Because why bother with dinner, when you can skip straight to frosted, oozing, sweet desserts.

I had about 15 minutes to get in and out of Savor Los Angeles and thanks to my early arrival before the masses of hungry people had arrived, I was able to hit up every single table. From Babycakes, the new downtown bakery that serves up gluten free and vegan treats, to Plasir whose cheesecake cream puff I did not realize was a cream puff and exploded all over my hand, to the cute, tatted baristas of Intelligentsia (yes, I'm referring to them and not their coffee)--all the samples were too generous and left with me with a sugar high that [I can only imagine] rivals the quick high and fall of a crack pipe. (Correct--I just compared cream puffs and brownie bites to crack cocaine.)

Though I was armed only with a sad, flash-less camera phone, below are the memories of my 15 minutes in heaven.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Confessions of an LA driver.

Los Angeles is the greatest city that's not a city in this country. And as a non-city it's got the crappiest public transportation system known to traveling man. So I drive. And I drive. And I drive.

And these are the things I do in the car. They're wrong. They're unsafe. Some are unethical. But I do them. You'd be lying if you said you didn't do at least one of them too.
  • I text. I don't just text quick answers back to friends. I text notes to myself. I set calendar appointments. I write down ideas for my future memoir.
  • I put on makeup. In the end, everyone's a little better off if I've got concealer on so this one's almost acceptable. But listen--sometimes I've got to put on a full face. And a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.
  • I close the windows when I'm listening to bad music...that I like. 
  • I open the windows when cute boys roll by...and quickly change the station from Top 40 to KCRW. 
  • I run yellows.
  • I curse.
  • I sometimes change lanes without signaling.
  • I daydream about someday driving a station wagon with kids in the back.
  • I occasionally drive with my knee.
  • I talk to myself while pretending to talk into my phone.
  • I stop--every once in a while--at a fast food drive through.
  • I park between 2 larger vehicles. And nap.
  • I pray not to hit small children.
  • I marvel at the sunny skies and palm tree-lined roads.

Come As You Are @ PRISM [art in LA]

The PRISM Gallery's young owners were barely out of preschool when Nirvana frontman, Kurt Cobain, passed. But beside this exhibit's questionable reference to the 90s band's greatest hit, this evening's group show at Sunset's newest, freshest gallery is going to be a-mazing.

From the colorful work of the Clayton Brothers to the trippy, pattern heavy contributions of Ryan McGinness, alongside pieces by Prism staple, Barry McGee, the recently dearly departed, Dennis Hopper, and others, this show is one you shouldn't miss.

Prism Gallery
8746 W. Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

LA Street Food Fest. I went. I ate. I ate some more.

On Saturday night, we packed a blanket and an appetite and headed east to Pasadena where the LA Street Food Fest was giving things a second go (the organizers' first attempt at the fest sounded awesome but a bit more unruly) at the ginormous Rose Bowl. The lines were still long (like, really long), but there was plenty to distract us as we waited in line after line for samples from the city's most popular food trucks (who were, incidentally, stationed at tented booths and not trucks--I was as confused as you are), including dancers, indie sounds from The Deadly Syndrome, a speech read off a crumpled paper by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and plenty of colorful characters stuffing their faces with 20 different kinds of ice cream and Singha Beer.

Note to my vegetarian brethren: I definitely didn't eat my $45 ticket's worth. Restos were giving out only 1 or 2 samples each, and most of these weren't veg-friendly. I'd complain, except events like these clearly aren't meant for diets like mine. And I knew that. Many thanks to Starry Kitchen though for the amazingness of their tofu balls (see banana below for reference) which won the hearts of vegetarians and carnivores alike.

Monday, July 26, 2010

In celebration of Lions.

From July 23rd to August 22nd, the Sun is in Leo. Ask me for a detailed explanation of this statement and I'll have approximately nothing intelligible to say. I'm not a quack after all with nothing better to do than study my sign (you haven't seen the daily astrological newsletters in my inbox, have you?!)--just a moderate believer. I don't know the ins and outs of the stars and the sun and the currently full moon. I just know that Leos are fierce and fabulous.

And as a Leo myself, I say this to my fellow fiery, affectionate, creative, bossy and incredible sisters and brothers of the zodiac: Happy Birthday. Let's party. (Let's just not say how old we're turning, m'kay?)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Currently Listening to: Janelle Monae's Tightrope

Thanks to my buddy Shane for sharing this video featuring 3 of hip hop's newest stars. Cause everyone knows everything's fresher in black and white.

P.S. B.o.B. You have a little piece of my heart.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sexy coffee & frog legs at Robert's Russian Cuisine.

Robert's Russian Cuisine, located in a small strip mall on La Brea in Hollywood, isn't the type of place you'd necessarily drive by and say 'hm, I'd like to eat there.' It's more the kind of place you drive by and think 'hm, I believe many blond Russian girls are probably fed much vodka there before returning to either the nightclub or the spy movie from whence they came.' It turns out, as I did go in last night, that the latter is not entirely untrue. The brightly lit restaurant was full at midnight with tables of Russian men and their very blond women, consuming shot for shot from bottles of the good stuff. Stuff, I should mention, that was not on the menu alongside the $4 glasses of wine. I guess it's BYOV. But it turns out that they do serve food there too. And the menu's quite extensive.

The food: From Tongue to Frog Legs to Beef Stroganoff, the menu reads like a laundry list of everything I've never tried in my life. With the exception of hummus. And who knew the Russians and the Israelis shared such incredibly good taste.

The service: I can't say enough wonderful things about our gray-haired Russian waiter who wore many large rhinestoned rings, had only half a thumb on one hand, and spoke nearly no English at all. But did know enough to explain that the Armenian coffee we ordered after dinner was 'sexy coffee.' 'Why sexy,' we asked. 'Because it keeps you up all night. All you can do is have sex.' Well, naturally. I will say this for the shots of coffee we consumed--they were goopy, and almost impossible to swallow, and in every way spectacular.

The verdict: Don't go to Robert's for the food or the atmosphere. Do consider, however, going to chat with the waiters. They are highly entertaining even if their capacity for conversation does not exceed sex or coffee.

Friday, July 16, 2010

David LaChapelle's American Jesus, or the Redemption of Michael Jackson

Photographer David LaChapelle has been showcasing the famous, infamous and often outrageous side of pop culture (and counterculture) for nearly two decades. After shooting some of the most recognizable faces of our generation (think Britney Spears, Tupac Shakur, Amanda Lepore, and Hillary Clinton) for Interview Magazine and other notable publications, he took a slight departure to work on music video direction, stage work, and other creative ventures.

Well, LaChapelle is bringing his work back into the gallery. His current solo exhibition, ‘American Jesus,’ opened last week at New York’s Paul Kasmin Gallery and features LaChapelle’s old friend Michael Jackson, shot just before his passing in a biblically inspired series of images that are colorful and poppy, yet offer a deep and thoughtful narrative. The show reads like a public defense of Jackson who’s portrayed as an angelic martyr, as well as a not-so-subtle jab at the Catholic Church. Making an appearance in the exhibit as well is Naomi Campbell, depicted as Botticelli’s Venus.

I know it's not likely possible, but in the future, I want the world to appear like a giant LaChapelle photograph--colorful and whimsical and just.

[This post appeared in its original form on Curated.]

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Go See: In The Heights at the Pantages

Do you remember the first time you saw someone you knew from high school in the newspaper? Or an old college buddy's face on the news? There's that mixed emotion of pride, happiness and then slight queasiness as you remember that you are still living in a studio apartment earning just above livable wages at a job that will review you annually and serves stale pastries in the cafeteria. And didn't you and the wall street tycoon on the cover of WSJ graduate the same year?!

Well, a few years ago, when I was back in New York, I looked up in the subway to see an old college acquaintance's face lining the interior of the MTA's A train. Lin Manuel Miranda hadn't yet won a Tony for what had started as a project back at our Alma Mater, Wesleyan University, but In The Heights had just made it to Broadway. And I felt all the pride and the happiness but somehow none of the impending nausea. This had been a great show at school. My friends had raved. They had sung the songs after. And there was no nicer person to be at the helm.

Now, a few years later still, In The Heights is on tour and in Los Angeles. I went to see the show last night, and though Musical doesn't generally fall under my top 5 genres of entertainment, the show is incredible. From the hip-shaking Latina salon owners who offer comic relief to the serious issues of immigration and dreams fulfilled and personal struggle, this show kicks other musicals' asses.

It's at the Pantages til July 25th. Go, go, go.

Tickets are available on the show's site. Or cheaper through Goldstar for select dates.

Tip: Nearby restaurant Delphine at the W Hollywood was quick. And delicious. And hosts an array of good looking servers. Eat there first.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Wigfield gives good opening.

And the best opening line of a book ever goes to...

"Words cannot describe all the things that I have left to write."
-Russell Hokes
(fictionalized author of Wigfield)
(actually written by Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello, and Stephen Colbert)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Currently Listening (& getting overemotional) To: Where'd You Go

Am I trying to depress you today? Maybe.

Though I typically shriek and run at the mention of Linkin Park, I'm loving (and playing on repeat) this 2005 single from Mike Shinoda's side project, Fort Minor. 'Where'd You Go' will move you. It might bring you to tears. It will definitely make you think of the one or ones that got away. Unless you've got hearts of stone. Which is entirely possible as well.

On a rough week such as this one...

I'd rather be here...

I must remember to...

I dream about...

And I hold out for the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel which will be energy efficient and shine down upon things worth waiting for such as banana bread and unicorns and really happy endings.