Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood’

East Hollywood ArtCycle

Yesterday, Evan and I headed over the East Hollywood ArtCycle to check out the scene and see some art. While it wasn’t quite as large an event as we’d imagined, it was still quite nice. There were bands and other groups performing — our favorite that we saw was a band called Confessions of a Corn Silo.

There was plenty of food, from bake sale type stands with delicious looking vegan cupcakes, cookies and brownies (I’m pretty sure there were some non-vegan varieties as well), to local cafes and gelato shops. We had some really delicious Guinness Chocolate gelato, and were intrigued by the other very inventive flavors.

There were also, of course, various artists showing off their work, and there were bike tours that would take you around the neighborhood. Unfortunately, neither Evan nor I have a bicycle at the moment, so we couldn’t partake in the cycling fun. A lot of people did bike over to the event, and there was a great hipster-cyclist vibe, with people on double-decker and other tricked-out bikes.

Local galleries were also open, so we could look at some more art. We didn’t get to too many galleries, but we really enjoyed the Fake Gallery, which had a rather funny exhibition by “fake” artists, complete with placards giving great personal bios of artists like Roy G. Biv, the color-blind paint tester. The centerpiece of the fair was a large, undulating wooden sculpture (a small portion of which is photographed with Evan, above.

Another neat part of the fair was that they had the guys from Grinding Gears custom screen printing making t-shirts on the fly. I actually brought my own shirt to be printed on, and was able to choose from about 5 designs. I chose a design that had lyrics from Tom Waits’ song, “Broken Bicycles.”

I also got a very cute necklace from Kiki Designs. It was hard to choose just one from the creative and beautiful array of jewelry. I bought the necklace directly from Kiki herself, who was really nice, and it came in a takeout box!

Check out more photos from the event in my Flickr gallery.

Racing Through LA with High Trek Adventure

Yesterday, Evan and I participated in a High Trek Adventure race in LA. We didn’t take it too seriously at first — Evan was determined that we weren’t going to run despite my excitement every time I saw other teams jogging by — but as it turns out we did quite well, coming in at about 10th place (not an official number, since we don’t have our official time, but we had no penalties and we were the 10th team back according to the list).

So what is a High Trek Adventure race? Well, I didn’t know about them until a week ago, so don’t feel bad for not knowing — HTA is a company that sets up scavenger hunt-type races in various cities across the U.S. We met at a location in Hollywood to start the race and we got an all-day transit pass (LADOT was a sponsor) and a packet of clues (10 regular clues and two bonus clues).

We had to figure out the clues, which would take us to locations across Hollywood and Downtown LA, take pictures of various signs, statues, people or locations — which we had to be in as well — and get back to the starting location as fast as possible using only buses, subways or our own two feet. We were also allowed to use our phones and the internet to figure out clues, so people immediately started calling their friends for help while we immediately turned to Google on our iPhones.

Looking back, we did our clues in a really smart order, since we never had to backtrack. We started with the west-most location in Hollywood, Cantaloop, at Hollywood and La Brea, from the clue:

Find this all natural dessert spot location within a quarter mile of the Roosevelt Hotel that shares its name with a pop song of a jazz-rap group from the early ’90s. Here’s a sample of the song in question:

Yeah, yeah, yeah — what’s that? Diddi-diddi bop
Funky funky — yeah yeah — diddi-diddi bop

From there we went to find the hand prints of the star mentioned at the beginning of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” — Doris Day.

We also needed to take photos of 7 different Hollywood signs — not too hard when you’re actually in Hollywood (the alternative was taking a photo with 10 strangers plus us and the Hollywood sign, which we also attempted, though we sort of miscounted and only had 8 strangers and the Hollywood sign was fogged over for the photo).

Then we unscambled Boris Karloff’s name and found his star over on Vine, right in front of the Avalon. And then we went over to Toyota of Hollywood to see how many tries it would take us to unlock a car — we did it in two tries, so we didn’t get any time penalty.

We realized we were pretty well done with the Hollywood clues — there was one more, but we decided it would be the one we’d skip (we only had to do 9 out of 10) — so we headed over to the metro stop at Western and Hollywood, which was a bit of a walk, and went downtown.

We stopped at the Transit Mall to take a picture of a wall tile with the Joker on it, then headed over to Pershing square to take a photo with the Betthoven statue — our way of showing we added up which two actors had the most combined Oscars from a list.

From there we went up to Grand Central Market to buy an Apple from La Casa Verde. I had no idea that giant market was even there — I’d love to go back and check it out some more. That also took us right by Angels Flight, to which both Evan and I said, “LA has a funicular!?” We had no idea it was there and had never seen the bright orange cars, though we learned that they haven’t run since a serious accident where a cable snapped and a car sped down the mountain, killing a man and injuring others in 2001.

The last stop we had to make was Axis Physical Therapy by the Disney Concert Hall, which meant getting up a hill. I ran part of the way up, and we saw other teams running down the hill. We took the photo quickly, not waiting for the other two teams at the site, then started running back down the hill toward the Red Line stop.

Another team was right on our tail as we ran around the circular subway entrance. As we started down the subway escalator, we could hear the train coming, and we had to run down another flight of stairs to get to it. Evan got there first and I was concerned because my shoe was untied and I had an apple placed pretty precariously in my pocket, but Evan was able to hold the doors open just long enough for me and the other team to get on. Were we ever tired when we got on the subway!

What we didn’t realize was that we got on the Purple Line, which stops at Wilshire and Western, and not the Red Line, which goes to Hollywood and Highland, where we needed to be. Of course, nothing on the train indicated that, but when we reached the last stop the two lines shared, there was a very quiet announcement. We heard it, and though we were slightly unsure about the decision, we decided to get off the train to wait for the next one, which should be the real Red Line. The other couple didn’t even seem to consider getting off, and sort of looked at us with a “suckers!” look when we decided to get off the train.

We did make the right decision, and the next train was the right one. We felt guilty about not making it more clear to the other team that they were on the wrong train, but it was a pretty split-second decision because the announcement was made at the station where we needed to make the switch, and we were slightly unsure of the decision ourselves.

We got back to Hollywood and Highland and took a quick photo of some A-list celebrities (on a billboard), since it was one of the bonus items. We also looked around for anyone in a jersey or a shop that sold them, another bonus item, but didn’t see anything immediately, so we decided to just head back to the starting point as quickly as possible to save time. We ran down Highland towards Sunset, and got to the Catalina Jazz Club about 2 hours and 20 minutes after the race started, and we were surprised to learn that we were only the 10th team back. I think there were more than 50 teams of two to six participating.

We had some iced tea to celebrate finishing the race — and I forgot to mention, our team name was Unsweetened Iced Tea — then took some time to catch our breath. We waited around until about 4:30 so we could see the awards, even though we were pretty sure we wouldn’t win one. We didn’t, but we found out that some teams took close to five hours to complete the race, and we did have a great time getting to run around LA and see the other people who were interested in this sort of thing, too.

There were plenty of people who’d participated in these types of events before, whether it was other HTA races, Race LA events or even The Amazing Race, so we were really proud of ourselves for doing well and working as a team, and we’ll definitely be on the lookout for other similar events. It was a great way to spend a Saturday and to get a really unconventional workout.

A Very Hollywood Night: Andy Clockwise at Bardot

After the USC-Notre Dame game, we went to dinner then changed into some nicer clothes to head out to Hollywood. Though we don’t live too far, we don’t head over there often — especially not on a Saturday night, but we’re glad we ventured out this time.

First we met my sister Suzie and her boyfriend Danny at Big Wangs, the ultimate anti-Hollywood bar. The place feels like a college-town sports bar on game night, full of people drinking giant pitchers of beer and eating high-piled plates of chicken wings and cheese fries.

Then, around midnight, we headed over to Bardot, upstairs from The Avalon. Our friend Andrew had invited us to see Andy Clockwise play. We had some trouble finding the entrance, since there was no line and no bouncer visible, but the doorman finally showed up and we told him who we were there to see, and he let us in no problem.

Andy Clockwise, courtesy of the band’s MySpace Page

We walked up a flight of stairs and arrived at the luxe patio. There was draped fabric overhead providing an awning, neat architectural details like arched doorways, and pretty globe light fixtures lining the walls. It wasn’t too crowded and there were plenty of couches to sit on, and the DJ was playing an eclectic mix of indie and old-school songs.

We hung out for a bit, meeting some of Andrew’s friends and people-watching — there were some really intriguing fashion statements going on. We saw a girl wearing a fur hat, another one wearing a wool winter hat with ear flaps, and a rather startling number of men dressed as nerds, with suspenders and giant plastic glasses. We also saw Harland Williams — he walked by me and said something like “Pardon me darling” as he made his way to the bar — and one of the Pussycat Dolls (don’t ask me which one).

The three-person band finally went on at about 12:30, and they were great. We couldn’t hear the lyrics as well as we would have liked because the drums were a bit overpowering (we were standing right next to them), but the songs were really catchy and the lyrics we heard were inventive and funny. My favorite songs were one about open relationships where the drummer, Stella, got up and sang a hilarious relationship-drama duet with Andy, and one I believe was called “Let Them Eat Cake” about dance-floor divisions.

There were plenty of other great songs, and I laughed every time Andy introducing his songs by announcing they’d be performing “The Rose” by Bette Middler or “Freebird.” The charismatic frontman also went into the crowd during some songs, climbing up on the small balcony across from where he was performing and up on the couches, too. I nearly got caught up in the cord for his microphone.

The band played for about an hour, and our ears were ringing when they were done. We finally left a bit after two. It was a great night.

Check out an Andy Clockwise performance from another show (there was no keyboard player at Saturday’s show, and there were no photos/videos that I know of).

First Look: Hellboy II The Golden Army DVD Release Party Swag

Tonight Evan and I went to the Hellboy II DVD release party. It was great — they turned the Hollywood club Element into a scene reminiscent of the Troll Market in the movie, complete with plenty of monsters, like Wink and the Butcher Guards, and tables that looked like burning trash cans covered with Hellboy II-branded plexiglass. Guillermo Del Toro made a presentation to show off some of the new Blu-ray DVD’s features, like the goggle view, which allows you to see the movie as it was shot and in two stages of temporary visual effects, and he also showed some behind-the-scenes footage from the set. Then there was a panel, with Guillermo, Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, Jeffrey Tambor, Selma Blair, Doug Jones and a Dark Horse exec, which had some funny moments, mostly from Doug and Jeffrey.

More to come about the event tomorrow, but for now, check out our swag. Unfortunately we didn’t get our own Blu-rays, but we did get Golden Army toys.