Opening night fun

January 26, 2004 at 12:49 pm in Uncategorized

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One of the things you pretty much have to do as an art gallery is throw an opening reception for your latest show. It’s always something that I’ve both loved and hated. For one, I love to show off the new work that’s in the gallery and that usually involves a new artist that I’m excited for people to discover. On the other hand, it has a party-vibe and even though we don’t serve the hooch, it can be a little exhausting. Sometimes, openings are more fun that others. This can be from a variety of factors…the public’s enthusiasm, artists show up on time, sales, etc. All that said, the opening we had last Saturday for newcomers Martin Ontiveros and Donovan Crosby was so fantastic! Great people came out to see the show, conversations we overheard regarding the work was positive, artists were amazing, and sales were solid. I hope that this is a taste of what 2004 has to offer because it sure was fun and, sometimes, that can be rare.


Rice ‘N Smooth

January 25, 2004 at 10:32 pm in Uncategorized


Mikawaya in Little Tokyo specializes in wagashi, which basically translates into japanese confectionary/sweets, but should really translate into “holy fuck cakes, this taste great!”. Most everyone in Los Angeles nowadays knows about the dessert treat mochi ice cream, glutinous rice paste shaped into balls filled with ice cream flava flavs like green tea, mango, and red bean (azuki), now served at most any japanese restaurant. It was at Mikawaya in 1993, a business that’s been in operation since 1910 (starting at 365 East First St, but now at multiple locations throughout LA), where mochi ice cream was created. But as much as I do like the east-meets-west combination of sticky rice and creamed ice, its really the traditional sweets that offer gastronomic satisfaction. There are two different categories of wagashi, nama-gashi and higashi. Its the delicate nama-gashi made of dusted sticky rice dough, with a shelf life of only a day or two, that is the ultimate japanese treat. These are chewy treats in a beautiful range of colours and shapes. Some are filled with red beans, lima beans, mung beans, or vegetable gelatin, while others are flavoured with citrus, shaped into little bird forms, stamped with kanji, or wrapped in shiso leaves (a wonderful play between sweet and salty, a treat for those who like tastes with a bit of depth and complexity). And the best part according to the pastry shop is: “…that the caloric value of wagashi is generally about one-third that of Western style sweets.” Making Sara Lee their bitch with each tasty bite, Mikawaya (118 Japanese Village Plaza, 90012).


Got Blog? Take 2.

January 25, 2004 at 9:23 pm in Uncategorized

Brian Flemming/LA.com asked:

Are we

a) Free to link to blogging.la? If so, we will continue to link to entries at blogging.la that we feel will interest our readers.

b) Not free to link to blogging.la? If you prefer, we will no longer link to blogging.la.

After reading all the comments on the LAblogs thread, talking to all the blogging.la authors, and reviewing the Creative Commons license we publish everything under at blogging.la the official answer is C) All of the Above.

Huh?
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Little known treasure

January 25, 2004 at 8:55 pm in Uncategorized

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Today I went whale watching out in the Pacific with a few friends out of Long Beach Harbor. Ticket price was a whopping $20 and worth 5 times that. 2 and a half hours out into the ocean to search for migrating whales. It was quite possibly the most calm I’ve had in months. I recommend everyone in LA go do it. The whales are migrating between now and March but February is the best time to do it. We went out on a regular ship today but next time we’re going out on the American Pride which is a 3 masted sailing ship that was out of commission for a bit. Anyway go do it! It’s amazing and so calming it’s better than 10 trips to the therapist. The picture above is real. They fly in formation looking for food from the tourists. I’ll post my gallery URL in a day or so. I shot 450 pictures today on this little adventure. I even got a whale tail! But I was too excited to get a really great one.

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SAN FRANCISCO 01.04

January 25, 2004 at 6:33 pm in Uncategorized

I have been meaning to check out the San Francisco Art International Art Exposition ever since I moved to Los Angeles but, for some reason or another, I never quite made it. However, this year I was bound and determined. Having waited until the last minute I decided the most economical way to get up there was to drive. So I rented myself a little car and drove the six hours, mapped it out so no bridges would be crossed (deathly fear, don’t ask) and had a fabulous time listening to my mix cds I made at 2am the night before.

Thomas Blackman Associates produces this fair, in additional to Art Chicago and The Stray Show which are way better, and some good friends of mine work for TBA …the perfect excuse to go. Free passes, Chicago-style drinking, and good company was the way to properly experience this granny art fair at Fort Mason. Here’s a little art hodge-podge about the fair…
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911

January 25, 2004 at 11:32 am in Uncategorized

About an hour ago, I called 911 for the first time since I’ve lived in LA. I was very impressed with the service. They picked up after about a half ring, and asked about my emergency and I said “Someone is trapped in the elevator,” and they knew exactly who to transfer me to. One second later I got the fire department rescue operator who asked about the problem, got my address, and sent help. They got here about five minutes later and they actually thought that wasn’t very fast. I wish Sprint would take a cue from them so I don’t have to threaten to quit every time I get a bill.


Villa Piacere

January 25, 2004 at 9:07 am in Uncategorized

After having met an up-and-coming actor (named Ransford, who will soon be starring in ‘Hostage’ with Bruce Willis), we hit another Veronica-recommended restaurant. I hadn’t eaten steak in a while, so I decided to go for the filet mignon. The seared tuna would have been a better choice – being quite a delicious dish. Expensive meal, but worth repeating.


I’m Popular

January 25, 2004 at 8:48 am in Uncategorized

So, I just joined Orkut the other day – from an invitation. It’s kinda neat, and since it’s being done “in affiliation with Google,” I believe it’s going to be around for a while. At this point, I’ve discovered that I have at least 102 friends. It’s neat when you get added by people you respect from afar. Yeah, I’m on Ryze and Linkedin, but I think Orkut’s at the top of my list. I’ve found other Blogging.la’ers over there, too – but I just don’t know all of you yet. I suppose if you leave a comment on this blog, you’d be considered a friend. Unless you’re not. In which case, I have every right to kick you in the kneecap.


New York Scoop

January 25, 2004 at 8:39 am in Uncategorized

You gotta respect an ice cream shop with this painted on the window. They offer a couple of Carbolite flavors, but there’s no Wow Cow to be found. Still, I was thrilled to see a mini-market in the back completely filled with low-carb yum-yums! It’s at 20040 (1/2) Ventura if you care to venture out.


Cuban Food

January 25, 2004 at 8:24 am in Uncategorized

Someone had a hankering for Cuban, so we bopped over to Versailles on Ventura. Not bad, but not great. The menu was quite extensive, but the taste was quite middle-of-the-road. Atmosphere was a cross between the typical greasy-spoon and Denny’s. Only carbivores need apply.


own it. feel it

January 25, 2004 at 5:57 am in Uncategorized

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Mavis and I wandered around The Grove and ended up inside Barnes and Noble for hours the other day. Time flies in a bookstore and apparently, I was MIA for a half hour. Came across that old little gem, The Hipster Handbook. When Mavis finally located me transfixed and laughing out loud, we spent another 15 minutes trying to decide if we didn’t hate all the hipster wanna-bes, which hipster weíd be.

ìI wanna be the UTF,î I said. Unemployed trust fund hipster, for all of you not cool enough to know the lingo. Angst ridden, rich and tragically hip.

Mavis was all about being a ìlaptopper.î Sounds kinky I know, but shut it you pervs. Itís just a Beatlesís-haircut-wearing-coffee-house-dwelling-type who has a flashy laptop in tow. An iBook, of course.

On our way out of The Grove I bought a cheap pair of hipsteresque sunglasses with pocket change. The woman at the kiosk wasn’t happy to count the coins but I figured she’d appreciate having the change later. I vowed not to take the new sunglasses off when we eventually went indoors, no matter how blind I became.

Later at my local Central Perk, I sat down with the latest Vanity Fair while Mavis pulled from her computer bag a spiral notebook and some stapled stacks of paper. She grimaced as she dropped them on the table, still wet with some other slobís coffee rings.

ìYouíre a papertopperî

ìNo, no ñ itís my laptop. Itís just incredibly light. Here feel itÖî

ìOh, be careful, I donít want to break your papertopî

ìNo worries. Itís deck. I got the lifetime guaranteeî

ìSeriously ñ this must have put you back a pretty pennyî

ìYeah, but itís state of the art. I can even write on itî

ìHowís the battery life on that?î

ìInfiniteî

ìAmazing. Is that the latest color in papertops — luminescent white? I heard itís impossible to find.î

ìYou betî

ìK, it was hard for me to tell if it was white. I am still wearing my sunglasses, after allî

ìHowís that going?î

ìNot so good. Iím not feeling itî

ìYou gotta own it, girlî

ìMaybe I should try to be one of those angry art hipsters, insteadî

ìSo then youíd have to carry around a sketchbook instead of your laptop.î

ìBut I can’t draw very well and Iím not that angryî

ìYou will be when I become a foster parent for your laptop and you have no visitation rightsî

But sheís correct. You canít be a UTF without a trust fund, nor can an angry art girl carry a laptop instead of a huge canvas. And a laptopper must have an actual laptop computer. A papertop just won’t suffice.


Eishi Taraoka @ GR2

January 23, 2004 at 6:02 pm in Uncategorized

Another opening this Saturday is at GR2 (it’s the artier sister to Giant Robot…don’t pretend you don’t know). There really isn’t much written about Eishi Taraoka’s work or the show unless you count the website post saying it features about 100 sculptures. With a title like “a white dream that will be repeated” you know that there is more going on to the show than that but GR2 is a store so we’ll have to forgive. Here are the details…

Eishi Takaoka – a white dream that will be repeated
January 24 (opening from 6-9 pm) – March 6
GR2: 2062 Sawtelle Blvd / 310.445.9276


Authentic Persian Cuisine

January 23, 2004 at 2:07 pm in Uncategorized

If you’re lookin’ for some tasty yogurt-coated foodstuff, we were pretty impressed with Shamshiri on (not in) Westwood last night. You gotta try persian ice cream at some point in your life. It smells and tastes like a rose, I kid you not. Not as much fun as wasabi ice cream, but definitely tastier than avacado. I’ve had those, too – as well as garlic. Eating exotic-flavored ice cream is kinda like a hobby. I know I’d be better off taking up smoking, eh?


Got Blog?

January 23, 2004 at 10:31 am in Uncategorized

Dude! Blog’s are Happening!

Looks like the only thing more happening than blogs are LA Blogs. Or LA Group Blogs.

LA Voice is a new (or been around for a while but now active?) “community blog about the culture, media, neighborhoods and politics of Los Angeles for local writers and journalists”. Which sounds little familiar but cool enough. They point out another site just getting running LA.com which, surprise surprise has a blog called Lacomfidential. And still shocking, as LA Blogs points out, their content is mostly celeb sightings and “tributes” to us, if you will.

UPDATE: LA Observed chimes in too!

UPDATE 2: LA.com’s “The Blogger” bites back. More news soon.


Pho-king Alright

January 22, 2004 at 3:01 am in Uncategorized


Silverlake has recently welcomed a new restaurant into the fold, in walking distance from almost anybody who calls the eastside neighborhood their home. Located at the corner of Sunset and Silverlake Blvd, Pho Cafe (2841 W. Sunset Blvd.) opened up a few months ago with relatively little fanfare. But the noodle house has become an instant hit, its minimal and clean design glowing thru the restaurant window during the night with a noticeable orange glow thanks to the mod seating (and check out those keen fishbowl lamps!). And like the mosquitos pulled in by the entrancing glow of your bugzapper hanging from your trailer home, the folks (with an undeniably noticeable high indie hipster count) come out in droves to get themselves a bowl of pho, cha gio (vietnamese egg rolls), or goi cuon (spring rolls). Everything is freshly made, with a visibly genuine vietnamese cooking staff, with a simple to navigate menu for those making their maiden voyage on the high seas of vietnamese cooking. Highly recommended is the banh xeo. An appetizer which could easily be a light dinner in itself, this is a delicious pan fried crepe (the pancake is made of rice flour, turmeric, coconut juice and spring onion) filled with meat or tofu, mushrooms and beansprouts, served alongside paper thin sliced circular sheets of rice paper, translucent like damp tracing paper. Throw in some sliced cucumber, a piece of crepe, julieened carrots, and some vietnamese herbs, then dip into a tasty peanut sauce, and what you experience is a delicious combination of a crunchy and soft, clean and starchy. I could easily and happily eat two of these in a sitting…and likely will one day in the near future.

What is disappointing is the pho, mostly because the broth is a flat note in flavour. Where an excellent bowl of pho is initially a simple flavour, with each spoonful its nuanced character begins to become more evident, and next thing you know you’re pushing the bowl upward to get every last drop of the beef broth. The pho here seems to be missing something that’s holding it back from being memorable. The rare beef is served too well cooked and is perhaps too lean to offer that tantalizing first bite that I look forward to enjoying with a bowl of pho. Also the portions are smaller than what I’m accustomed to, and the noodles were clumped together too much to enjoy in the hurried noodle eating fashion I practice. Next time I’ll try the chicken stock version, which comes with a garlic-ginger seasoning that might add a bit more complexity in flavour.

Overall, I give Pho Cafe a thumbs up for introducing a good alternative for late night dining within the borders of Silverlake/Los Feliz/Echo Park. There are a few better pho houses and vietnamese restaurants, but you won’t find a cleaner more aesthetically pleasing to the eye than this joint. Despite the overabundance of Converse All-Stars and Death Cab crowd attire, I’ll be back to give it another go next time I get a hunkering for some Vietnamese eats, especially since its vegetarian friendly for my Emily. And best of all, in walking distance of our flat!