Monday, May 28, 2012

Straight West Coastin'...

May 14: After doing a final luggage/packing check, I made my way to Wharton for the first session of the business plan writing workshop. I'm really glad I had the foresight to enroll for this session, because I've been really involved in the "doing" and networking and going to events, that I've been neglecting the planning a little. In doing the first assignment, I realize that I was a little disconnected from my initial plan, and I've also learned new things that I need to incorporate into my plan, so I'm really excited about this workshop series!

May 15: I had an early morning flight with a layover in Denver. Nothing really exciting except these signs were posted everywhere...on the wall to the restroom, in stairwells.

After a long flight, there was an even longer line to pick up my rental car, and I got lost for about an hour...I managed to make it all the way south to Torrence, CA instead of going north east to my friend's place in South Carthay/Beverly Hills.

Airplane Book: Papillon the story of Henri Charrière and his escape from French imprisonment.

Dinner was at  El Coyote and then I passed out from jetlag at about 7pm local time

May 16 Today was a big day, first stop National History Museum in the Exposition complex, which also houses the California Science Center and the California African American Museum.

 Highlights: Giant seashells, gem vault, the stuffed foxes and the reconstructed dinosaurs.

Next stop, California African American Museum. I saw the collection of all of the wall art and sculptures  that were once displayed in the AA owned and operated "Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company", as well as pieces from their permanent collection. I saw my second favorite artist, Henry Ossawa Tanner, as well as pieces by Frank E. Cummings III, James McMillan, Edward Clark, Violet Y. Fields and Dominque Moody, among other fabulous artists.

I'm extremely old-fashioned sometimes. I forgot to get maps from AAA before I left, so I planned to go once I arrived, needless to say I got lost, so when I saw the AAA signs on my way from CAAM I immediately turned around and went into the largest AAA complex I've ever seen. It looks like the images of military compounds in the movies...

Then I headed to FIDM museum only to find out that it was closed...the exhibit ended the previous day, so I went cruising, found myself in Korea Town and I was super confident since I finally had my maps, so of course I got lost...again.


Rooftop Party at 1010 Wilshire featured an open bar, chocolate fountain, soul food turkey burgers, chicken fingers and key lime mousse shooters, art vendors, 2 deejays and a poolside hair show. Plus I met Rose and Lili who knows about all of the events (free/low cost of course) happening in the LA area. She gave me a lot of good tips and is partly responsible for the great trip I had in Los Angeles!

The night ended with a performance by Zatina G at Lotus on the Nile

May 17 First I headed to Jeff's Gourmet Sausage Factory for an all-beef hotdog and fries.
Then I drove downtown to the MOCA building on 1st and Central for the Cai Guo-Qiang This artist uses gunpowder to create his work. Some are temporary and only captured on film, like "Sky Ladder" and others are pieces that can be displayed in museums and galleries.

I then trekked up the steepest hill ever to get to the MOCA building on Grand...Google maps said it was only a 10minute walk, but said nothing about the calf workout that I would get....I saw some cool street art on the way.

MOCA on Grand offers free admission from 5-8pm every Thursday. The special exhibition was The Painting Factory: Abstraction after Warhol featuring Andy Warhol and artists that were inspired by his work/vision. There is an Art Daily article that explains it best. The other galleries of the permanent collection showcased artists such as Giacometti, Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko, Piet Mondrian and Jackson Pollack just to name a few.

Next I headed to the Century City mall on Santa Monca Boulevard for the Madewell Style Event.

Then I headed to the Sandast store launch in the Fashion District. These photos and the LATimes article do not give justice to the beautifully handcrafted leather goods, that pay homage to the designer/maker's Italian heritage and his American home. There are two lines "Italian Vintage" and "American Rugged".

Last stop: The W in Westwood.

 May 18
Versailles Cuban for lunch.
MOCA Pacific Design Center: Peggy Moffitt and Rudi Gernreich exhibit. Retrospective interview by Peggy Moffitt on Nowness

I stopped at Dr. Tea's Tea Garden for a Orange Cream "Frostea" with almond milk before heading to the LACMA complex.

May 18th is International Museum Day, so LACMA as well as most major museums offered complimentary admission today. LACMA has a real-live tar pit. Insane!!!
parking meter with credit card reader
bubbling tar pit

There is so much art to see here, that I got overwhelmed. I spent 3hours exploring the galleries, and only made it through half of the buildings! I reached my saturation point, so I headed out planning to return before the end of my trip...I never made it back.

May 19
The Grove Farmer's Market, where I had a french dip sandwich from Magee's Kitchen

Then we headed to a Pop Up Event organized by Broke Girl's Guide at  Apt 2B with le fashion truck and Bath petals trucks. I saw the Square card reader in action, and am now contemplating getting one for my own business adventures!

Afterwards we headed to the J.Paul Getty for the Herb Ritts Exhibit.
And my trip to LA would not be complete without a trip to the infamous Cupcake ATM made by Sprinkles bakery. Check out the video here.

Then we headed to the MOCA film screening and reception for "As It Lays" here featuring Larry Flynt, Rosanna Arquette, Oliver Stone, Jamie Lee Curtis, Rachel Zoe, Vidal Sassoon and more. Pre-taped interviews were projected on the screen, and we were privileged to also view live interviews of surfer Randy Hamilton, Molly Ringwald, and Melanie Griffith!!! The event was held at The Jim Henson Soundstage  and featured delicious cocktails with Tanteo tequila and local organic pressed juice.

Our night ended at the infamous Jones Hollywood with a mushroom pizza and arugula salad. Yum!

May 20 
ASweeney and I woke up super early, so we decided to head to a 8:30am yoga class at Yogawork, by the time the class ended the Farmer's Market was set up across the street, so I bought some "treats" for my long plane ride the next day...a fresh avocado and bread. Then we had breakfast at the Larchmont Bungalow before heading to the beaches in Santa Monica and Venice.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I don't really do amusement parks...but somehow I got talked into riding the Pirate Ship. After the ship caught momentum, I was reminded why I hate going on rides!!!! After the life threatening experience ended we headed out to Venice.

May 21 Farewell Los Angeles :( Here are a few of the songs that played repeatedly on the radio, so they will always be a part of my LA memories, and these gorgeous Jacaranda trees are everywhere! Purple is my favorite color, so I was particularly smitten. I have tons more pictures and videos and Google Places reviews, look for them here