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Month: May 2011

NYC day 4

NYC day 4

We joined J and M on their last day off of the holiday weekend (Monday) and headed to Madison Square Park via taxi.  While on the ride we saw the only street accident (a cab  rear ended) of our entire trip.  Something quite significant considering how fast the cabs drive around.   Half a block later we saw a podium facing the street with Chuck Schumer waiting to speak in front of the cameras.  Just a regular morning in Manhattan.

We quickly arrived at our final destination: Eataly.  When M had described Eataly to me the day before I had said “oh, like Mitsuwa marketplace?”  “No, no t exactly.”  Eataly is one store, but takes up an entire ground floor of an office building next to Madison Square Park.  There are different sections showcasing all the fresh made Italian food, groceries and ingredients (a restaurant sized area just devoted to cheese, for example).

We joined M’s friends N and D and bought ingredients for a picnic that included (but were not limited to):

  • Two different kinds of prosciutto
  • Two different kinds of fresh baked breads
  • Two (giant) slices of onion pizza (I wish I could find this in LA)
  • Cold octopus salad (can’t say I tried this one)
  • Spinach salad
  • Fresh ricotta cheese
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh olives
  • Some kind of tomato based salad
  • Pecorino (we actually had so much food we forgot to open this and it currently is sitting in M’s fridge)
  • Wine
  • Orange juice
  • Milk
  • Blueberry juice
  • Fried risotto (this was perhaps the best thing, I could easily eat a meal consisting solely of those little guys)

We sat in the park under the trees at mid day in the slight breeze for a few hours before splitting.

It turned out that D and N were planning to meet N’s mother to see the military boats, which is something we had pondered, so we walked west with them for a quick stop at their apartment before hopping in a cab.  The boats are docked at a few different piers around the city, but the free tour was at Pier 88, on the upper west side.  As our taxi continued further south, passing High Line park, I wondered where we were going.  We ended up jumping out at Southside Seaport where the local clipper tour boats were docked.

The previous night J received text photos from his friends that were down on this “artificial beach party.”  Not as happening in the afternoon I guess.

It turned out there had been a miscommunication and N’s mother had already seen the boats at Pier 88 and had walked all the way down from there (which, trust me, is quite a walk).  When we all figured out what happened N, her mother and D suggested Sam and I walk across the Brooklyn Bridge instead.  We thought that was a good idea and did so.

On the way, at the entrance to the bridge I saw a Sol Lewitt sculpture that looked exacly like the one at Ohio State.

I scoured the internet trying to find a photo of the same sculpture at OSU, with no luck for a while.  I remember passing it every day, so I got on google maps and found it with the streetview feature.  Google suggested I look at some tagged photos of the location – and there it was – a photo called “tower.”  When I searched for “Sol Lewitt Tower” I came up with this.  Below is the flickr user bmkorte‘s photo… showing that the sculpture is identical.  Apparently the one in NYC is new – so it is quite funny to think that Lewitt is just giving Manhattan his left-overs.

Once on the Brooklyn Bridge we noticed these Xs in the sky- presumably marketing for the new X-men movie.

Unfortunately, the last third of the bridge is literally wrapped up for renovations.  You can walk through – but they have barricades up so you can’t see out.

After reaching Brooklyn we walked down to the park by the water and had ice cream.

Afterwards we got on the subway and took it all the way up to central park west by the reservoir.  We originally planned to walk around the reservoir and down to Columbus Circle.  Our feet quickly gave out on us and we decided to walk through the west side of the park, exit past strawberry fields and hope on the subway to Columbus Circle where we’d eat dinner at Whole Foods.

There were lots of performers in the park.  The band below was called moon hooch and I thought they had an interesting “jazz fusion” sound like Jaga Jazzist.  I actually liked it a lot and wish we could have stayed – but were both hungry.

here is a video someone shot only a few hours before we arrived on the same scene:

Unlike Cartman, we love whole foods, and apparently NYC does too.  Unfortunately, in a city of ten million people, trying to eat or buy (or both) at Whole Foods is more like shopping at Costco than the Whole Foods Californians are used to.  The stores are packed (we visited the 4 story Union Square location to pick up food for our flight on our last night) and navigation is hard.  The check out queue is an enormous ten lane freeway. Unlike in Los Angeles all hot and cold salad bar purchases have to go through this same line.  Before Sam and I left for the airport on Thursday we ate at the newly renovated whole foods in West Los Angeles.  Although the Columbus Circle Whole Foods had more food, it didn’t seem to cater to me as much.  In fact, I couldn’t find macaroni and cheese or cold pasta salad with capers at either of the NYC whole foods.  Regardless, the food was still good.  We just used to always go to Whole Foods for a “quick, healthy and easy” eating experience in Los Angeles and in NYC we were frustrated to find the “quick” and “easy” parts of the equation removed (and the price increased by a few dollars per pound as well).

Photos from Columbus Circle:

On our walk back to M’s apartment we checked out Rockefeller Center.  “30 Rock”  was much smaller than I thought it would be.

While I was taking the photo below a shudder ran up my spine.  The air turned hot and stale.  I looked to my right and discovered I was standing next to one of this realms’ portals to hell.

I got caught up in the spin and reality distortion field and we got lost for a bit, but we finally found Rockefeller.

M’s apartment is only six blocks south of Times Square.  I decided to stick my camera out on the ledge of her apartment’s bathroom window (the living room window doesn’t open) and take a photo looking back that direction.

NYC day 3

NYC day 3

To start our Sunday we followed M and J to one of J’s favorite restaurants, Pastis, in the meat packing district (which is now quite trendy).  We were all surprised by the price of the food.  J very generously picked up the tab for us.  Everyone but me got to have the eggs benedict over waffles (or something – in Sam’s case I think it was eggs over meat).  They looked delicious (and the non-yolk portion that I tried of Sam’s dish certainly was), but I couldn’t order it because the egg yolks were runny.  I ordered pancakes instead, and it was abundantly clear that nobody ever orders pancakes at Pastis as they were very dry and plain.

Chelsea is quite a fashionable area, and M and Sam ducked into many clothing shops as we strolled toward our next destination: Highline Park.

Highline park is a decommissioned overhead train track that has been filled in with wood, grass and plants by the Hudson River.

J informed us that the Standard hotel over the park was “scandalous” as the full floor to ceiling windows become quite a peeping tom’s delight after nightfall.

The park is adjacent to the famous Chelsea market.

At the market we all had snacks.  Sam and I had frozen fruit popsicles from People’s Pops.  My popsicle was “plum and sour cherry” and it instantly brought back memories of my childhood as the taste was EXACTLY like the canned plum and fresh cherry (among many other things in their gardens, my parents have a cherry tree) mix I used to enjoy for dessert as a child (sometimes with ice cream and chocolate, but most times not).  The popsicle didn’t appear to be artificially flavored, it was just literally made from the frozen slightly blended canned fruits, so I was eating an only slightly more cold version of the desert I hadn’t eaten in nearly 15 years.

After walking through Chelsea Market we split up with M and J and were on our way to washington square art park.  When we reached Washington Square Park we were confused as there were tons of people – but no art anywhere.  The website for the show even said “east Washington Square Park,” which confused us even more as the entire east section of the park was closed for renovations.  We soon discovered that the art was actually on both sides of the street on the street adjacent to the park – running a few blocks in each direction.  Most of the art was the mediocre type you’d expect at an outdoor art fair.  The only things interesting were a few talented nature painters and this cool stuff, but they were way too expensive.

Next we hopped another train to Greene Street to visit Arcadia gallery for the Aron Wisenfeld show.  Even though we arrived before 4pm and the gallery’s web site says it is open until 6, we were informed that  the gallery was closed.  We pleaded that we had come all the way from LA – and the owner allowed us to run through.

We headed back to M’s place to join her and J for a late dinner at Shanghai Café in Chinatown.

I snapped the below shot at dusk just before ducking into the subway.

Below is one of NYC’s bad points, their appalling (and stinky) trash collection system.  These huge piles of trash were literally right in front of the restaurant door in Chinatown.

After we ate we walked down through the Little Italy street fair we’d seed on our first day.

Sam and I tried one of the “world’s best canollis”  from Cafe Palermo and .. having never eaten a canolli before I can say it probably is.

We walked past roasted corn, elephant ears, chocolate covered bananas, candy apples and fried oreos (yes, fried oreos).

In the middle of the street fair on a side street M and Sam were beckoned to one of their favorite dessert shops: Rice to Riches.  Sam raved about it after going there when she was in NYC last year and said it would be the true test of whether I liked rice pudding.  Apparently I don’t like rice pudding.

We carried on to the lower east side, which we were told by J normally has a vibrant night life, but many bars were closed due to the holiday.  Eventually we settled on  10 bells wine bar.

 

NYC day 2

NYC day 2

On our second morning in New York City we let M and J lead the way.  We took the subway up to Harlem to eat brunch at Melba’s with J’s friend’s S and N.  Most ordered the chicken and waffles.  I ordered the omelet as I do at every breakfast restaurant.  (I similarly order chile relleno at every Mexican restaurant)

The food was well presented and delicious but can’t touch the breakfast vittles I’ve had at places like More Than Waffles in Encino or Hart’s Coffee in the valley.   However, the waffles and chicken that I snagged off of Sam’s plate were very good.  I’d  never had strawberry butter before, but I think it is a great idea.

After the meal we took the subway further north to Fort Tryon Park at the tip of Manhattan.  For the final leg of the Journey to our ultimate destination, The Cloisters, we took the #4 bus.  Once at the Cloisters we had an abnormally long wait to buy tickets when we were informed that “my system has crashed” by the woman behind the counter.  She called tech support.  When tech support arrived he calmly explained to her (trying to keep out of earshot so as not to embarrass her) that she had only minimized the program window and nothing was actually wrong.

S had wanted to reach the Cloisters by 1pm so we could attend the garden tour.  We made it, but most of us soon broke away from the tour as it turned out the gardens were neither very big, nor very interesting.  Compared to the castles, tapestries and gardens in France this was small potatoes.  The building itself was far more interesting ; a real Spanish medieval church transported brick by brick to New York and reassembled.

The church had several Unicorn tapestries on display.  The general theme was hunting and killing a unicorn like below.

Then, on one tapestry… things got interesting…

Even in ancient times they had to know that stabbing a horse in the rectum is probably not the best way to kill it.  Stranger scenes have been found on even more ancient pieces of art work… trust me.

moving on…

After walking the grounds for a while we broke off from S and N and took the #4 bus back downtown with M and J so we could all go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art as admission was included with the Cloisters purchase.

Once at the Met we visited the Roof Garden Cafe (which has an extraordinarily poorly designed queuing system).  The rooftop has a treetop view of the southwest portion of Central Park.

We finished up our snacks and resolved to see what we wanted to see with the remaining 90 minutes or so before the museum closed.  M and Sam went straight to the Alexander McQueen exhibit (and waited in the line that stretched around the rest of the floor) and I toured all of the European paintings and 19th century art.

Sam and I packed in the pastel portraits exhibit too before meeting all four of our friends (M,J,S and N) outside to catch a taxi to the East Village.

For dinner we ate at  luzzo’s, one of J’s favorite pizza places.  Unlike the day before, these “New York Style” pizzas were actually great.  We were all so famished that we ended up ordering Calamari and three large pizzas
(Arugula and two different meat based pies) before we were through.

Afterwards we walked around J’s old NYU stomping grounds in the East Village.

Eventually N and S had to leave and the remaining four of us headed to J’s apartment on the lower east side for some great rooftop views.

 

NYC day 1

NYC day 1

Friday morning Sam and I ate at COSI (no, not the Columbus, Ohio museum), a really bad choice we’d find out considering the wealth of decent food our friends would later recommend – and places just a few blocks away we’d later find.  After finishing our wilted salads and tiny half sandwiches we boarded the subway and headed to Battery Park.  We couldn’t figure out where to go at first and we were worried about missing the boat as we could see the ferry loaded and long lines waiting.  We had a 2pm Crown tour and were warned online that we needed to be in line by 1:30 after picking up our tickets for will-call.

At 1:15 we discovered the circular “old fort” looking building and were directed to the will-call window, which was completely devoid of other people, while the regular line stretched outside the building.  We encountered the same experience at the dock.  A line of would-be ferry catchers four humans wide stretched back a few hundred yards from the boat.  We, however,  were whisked into an parallel roped empty area for “reserve ticket holders” past the throngs of uncomfortable (it was humid that day) bored waiting people.

We went through a round of airport style security and then boarded the boat.  From will-call to standing on the top of the ferry was all of ten minutes.  We were actually on the boat before 1:30 and the boat (which leaves when full, not at the exact time listed) took off around 1:25. If you ever go to the statue of liberty – book in advance and online – the wait for those other poor people couldn’t have been less than 90 minutes.

After stepping off the boat we headed around to the back to start the crown tour.  We had to put all our belongings except for our cameras in lockers before entering.

Upon entering we experienced no wait and actually had the place nearly to ourselves.  We discovered that this was due to the fact that only 240 people per day can go up to the crown.

The crown is accessed only by climbing up a spiral staircase of 354 stairs.  It was very steep and cramped.  A man and his uncle were following us up, but only the younger man made it all the way as the climb was too difficult.

At the top we were alone except for a security guard in the small space.  Most of the windows were locked, but there were a few we could stick our hands out of and take photos.

The above photo was taken from inside a window (you can see the streaks on the glass if you look closely. Taking photos outside the windows was a completely haphazard endeavor, as the windows were only open about six inches.  That’s enough to stick your camera out there, but not enough to actually get an idea of what you are photographing.  That is why these few photos seem to be random parts of the statue; it was “stick your arm out and press the button” and hope you come back with something useful.

Below is a shot of the stairway from the top.

Unlike what we’ve all seen in GhostbustersII, the foot space inside the crwon is very small, about the square footage of the average apartment bathroom (with two sinks).

The interior of the statue is very interesting.  It is a mix of new and old steel supports with the stairway and various security systems in the center.  Below is a photo of Lady Liberty’s face from the inside.

Below is a photo looking up her skirt.

We also walked around the observation deck at the base of the copper part of the statue.

Then we spent 40 minutes or so walking around the base of the statue on the grass.

We took our time at the base and got back to Battery Park around 5pm.  We walked to Wall Street for a few minutes before walking uptown into Little Italy.  Sam wanted to take a photo with the bull.  There was actually a huge crowd of tourists by the bull (tour buses were parked nearby), so it was quite a feat of photographic skill to get the below shot off.

The first pizza place in Little Italy we tried turned out to be cash only, and we didn’t have enough, so we had to turn elsewhere.  We would later be told by J that this pizza place was really great.

Instead we picked the next place that had great Yelp reviews, Florio’s.  We ordered a pizza and spaghetti with meatballs.  I went towards the bathroom and a restaurant employee ducked in ahead of me.  Apparently he had a lot of business to transact in there.  Another man that was waiting behind me eventually decided to use the women’s bathroom instead.  When the employee was done he exited and darted to the back (he looked like a dishwasher).  He forgot to flush.  Our waiter walked by at the same time and I said “oh, um, either your employee forgot to flush or it’s clogged.”  He rolled his eyes and leaned over (this place was small) to flush the toilet and said “there…” as a big appetizing chocolate cannoli (except it wasn’t chocolate.. and it wasn’t a cannolli..and certainly wasn’t improving my appetite…) swirled around in front of us.  I’ll save an eviscerating commentary on New York food service, but suffice it to say, my experience in Los Angeles (and certainly Ohio) would have been to take something off the bill, or at least be apologetic under such circumstances.

I wish I could say it was because of my appetite, but we both found the  food extremely bland.  We scraped the cheese bits off our pizza, gulped down the big spaghetti noodles, paid and left.  Out on the street we walked through the Little Italy street fair.  I’ll blog about the food available here later as we walked through again with J and M on another day.

After getting through the street fair we stopped at Ciao Bella for Gelato.

Walking up Mott street we passed by St. Patrick’s and noticed the door was open.  Some kind of private service had just finished, and I stealthily move around inside and took photos of the 200 year old church.

We finished the night by visiting Times Square, which seemed even more “electronic” than it was when I visited four years ago.   Sam stood in awe of this police horse for a while.

I know the big red steps weren’t there in 2007 and the large non-traffic area was new as well.  I tried to take some long exposure photos, but the red steps vibrated because they were on top of one the busiest streets (above one of the busiest subway stations) in the country.  Even if I could have got the camera stable, there was a steady succession of other tourists clamoring for the space I occupied, and they were content simply standing in my view when they couldn’t get there.

As we started to walk back to M’s apartment we noticed that the big Forever 21 display had a camera on the crowd.  We tried to take pictures of ourselves on the screen, but then a giant woman came into the picture and sat on us… so we decided to have a bit of fun… Below is the wide shot – and below that is a close up.

This seemed to give everyone in the big crowd a laugh.  Getting that shot was actually quite hard as I had to position the camera close to the ground crouching without looking at the camera’s screen – and keeping my eye on the big screen at the same time.

 

NYC day 0

NYC day 0

On Thursday afternoon Sam and I flew to New York City to visit her friend M (who had very generously invited us to stay at her apartment in mid-town).  When we walked out of the airport to find our pre-booked towncar at 1am EST we discovered a “pick ups” lane at JFK that was nothing like LAX (or any other American airport I’ve seen).  Typically in airports (and LAX has an army of security officers to enforce this) the pick-up lanes can only be used if you actually see your party and can swoop in, pick them up, and get the hell out.

At JFK people just park.  Three lanes deep.  Get out of their car and wander.  Occasionally a tow truck meanders through and attempts to warn people that they’ll get towed if they leave their car.  However, these people say “yeah, whatever” and wander off again since being bumper-to-bumper with the next car, the tow truck wouldn’t be able to pull the parked car out anyway.

Finally our car came after about 20 minutes and we were on our way.

 

 

 

Saturday May 21

Saturday May 21

On Saturday Sam and I hiked in Griffith Park with her coworker Sara.  We started going the long way up to the top of the mountain (Dante’s Peak) by the observatory.  We turned right when nearing the top though and went instead to Dante’s View, a garden with benches on the slow trail to the back of Dante’s Peak.

In the evening we went to two gallery openings.  Our first stop was at the corey helford gallery for the Folkman/Samaras/Huot opening.  At the entrance they were giving away Huot prints and Franks hot dogs business cards.  The man handing out the cards said they were for a free hot dog – but nowhere on the card did it have a coupon or say anything about free dogs.

I think we both liked Huot’s work better than the other two artists.  Although Folkman’s figures were well conceived (and actually similar to some of the work I do), they didn’t have the same tone that Fuot’s more “fantasy” style work has.

We had already eaten dinner before leaving for the shows, but we decided to check out the hot dog truck anyway.  It turns out the cards were for free hot dogs (a $5 value).  So, we ate a hot dog dessert.

 

After that we went over to La Brea to see Kent Williams‘ show.   I’d seen a lot of Kent’s stuff online before and wanted to see this – but in person I wasn’t as impressed.  Kent likes to smear paint on top of what seem like finished pieces.  Sometimes this works, but it mostly just gets in the way for me.  Some of his work reminds me of Egon Schiele, but I wish he’d get more focused and less muddy.  I appear to be the minority opinion though among online art critics.

The show was one of those art shows where more people come to Be Seen than To See.  I took a shot at the back of the gallery – count how many eyes in this photo are actually looking at the art – I see two women on the left (maybe a third on the right) and that’s it.  It was so packed we couldn’t move around, and couldn’t really see the art very well either.

After this we headed downtown to the Music Center’s Pulse of LA event.  Cindy had informed me of the contest a while ago and I’d submitted three “days” of photos.  I made the cut for final voting (I believe the voting is closed, but you can still check out my submissions here, here and here).

Unfortunately, when we arrived at the event there weren’t very many people there.  Alan and Miranda had decided to meet us there and I felt bad that I’d invited them to such an under-attended event.  We ended up just sitting and talking for a while next to the Mark Taper Forum.

 

Byron Visit

Byron Visit

On Friday night Byron and Christine flew in to Los Angeles for the weekend.  After picking them up at LAX we headed to Shamshiri.

The next day started off at More Than Waffles in Encino.  Then Byron and I walked around Silverlake and EchoPark (which included Danny Devito and Rhea Pearlman, who live in Echo Park,  siting in a garage at the top of the hill hanging out with hipsters) while Christine ran in Griffith Park and Sam did some charity work downtown.   In one hipster merchandise store I saw something very familiar.  This “completely refurbished with great analog sound” Pioneer SX-939 stereo/receiver was on sale for only $375.  I swear my father had one just like this (or perhaps even bigger) when I was a kid (dad, feel free to shed some light on this in the comments).  I remember flicking those knobs up and down and turning the big smooth dials.  It had a nice tactile experience that modern electronics don’t have.  I have a feeling this very thing is sitting in my parents’ basement right now.  I wonder if dad knows what he could get for it on Ebay.

Later that afternoon we all met up at LACMA.  Byron and I arrived first and checked out the Petersen Auto Museum across the street.

The guy above is the very first exhibit in the museum.  He’s pulling on his hose, I don’t know what you were thinking… oh wait… I guess my description doesn’t sound much better…

LACMA has a temporary exhibit opening in a few weeks on the art of Tim Burton.  In anticipation they put this giant Burton character outside.

On the backside of the museum there were various painters doing their thing on large boards and an area for kids to take drawing lessons (or something).

Sam at the entrance to the permanent Korean Art exhibit:

After LACMA we headed to Al Gelato for dessert.

After that we headed to Yamashiro.

The weather in Los Angeles on Saturday was overcast and windy.  By the time we were up at Yamashiro (11pm) the cold wind  made it very hard to pose for long exposure shots with smiles on our faces – but everyone was apparently better at this than I (Byron and Christine are from Seattle – so I’m sure they’re used to it).

On Sunday we met up with Alan at Pat’s Topanga Grill before hiking Temescal Canyon with Sam.

After hiking Byron and Christine requested to visit the beach – so we drove down to Will Rogers beach.  Unfortunately it was very (VERY) windy.  We were covered in wind-blown sand.  I didn’t dare take the lens-cap off my camera.  However, Byron did – and here is his photo from facebook:

After this we had dinner at Bay Cities Deli and said farewell as Alan would take Byron and Christine on the next step (day) of their journey.

Art Walk May

Art Walk May

The number of “Events” happening at or around the Art Walk is growing.  However, the amount of “art” at the Art Walk is shrinking.  Many of the older galleries are now closed.  The “citizen art park” regular area was closed and the booths were moved across the street.  There are now only three galleries which we consider worth even visiting.  Every once in a while BlueCanvas has a show as well, and that is usually the best show of the night.  However, there was no bluecanvas show in May.   The only galleries we actually enjoyed this time were The Hive (although we’d already visited on opening night last Saturday), The Temple (although the art hadn’t changed since April) and The Ground Floor Gallery.

Of course, one of the reasons you go to the art walk is not to see art – but see the eccentric wanderers in downtown Los Angeles.  Check this guy out:

This guy was wearing a weight vest and doing squats with 50 pound dumbells as he walked up and down Spring Street.

There is also the cool atmosphere of people out and about in “the historic core” of downtown Los Angeles.

Of course, the food truck craze is hitting Los Angeles harder than any other city in the world (I’m making that up, but I imagine the only other city that could compete is NYC).  The commercialization of the Art Walk is evident everywhere you go.  Sometimes this becomes an extreme annoyance, like the eardrum killing rap DJs in the particular food truck lot we decided to eat in:

These idiots were going on about “grenades” and other things that you wouldn’t think an “art walk” crowd would appreciate.  From my observance, the art walk crowd seems to be predominantly young educated adults and hipsters.  Neither crowd wants to hear a “grenade whistle” while they’re trying to eat a Vegan Burger.

Branch of Life had a good location this time – the first booth in view when you walk into the “art park” from Broadway.  Even at 6:15, when the Art Walk is just getting started, it was hard for us to get through the crowds to talk to the owner/artist.

This time, Kit made some “plants in a bottle” with the “air plants.”  We bought one of the larger ones (seen on the bottom right in the photo above) for Byron and a smaller skinny bottle for myself.  He also put some air plants and moss in some cool rectangular glass (boxes/vases/??) enclosures.  Sam bought two of those.  Unfortunately I wasn’t smart enough to snap any shots of our purchases before Kit wrapped them up for us.  Here are some other shots of the merchandise on display:

(in this first one you can see the skinny bottle hiding behind the plant in the middle of the shot)

I had been hoping when Kit made my custom piece a month ago he could use some driftwood – but there wasn’t any available.  Below is a shot showing what kind of cool stuff can be done with driftwood:

A lot of large murals are popping up on buildings downtown.  This is no doubt due to the local (and perhaps national) conscious raising about graffiti art.  MOCA downtown has a graffiti exhibit right now featuring the big names like Banksy (who has had pieces spotted around town for a few months now).   Although I probably wouldn’t like the art on its own – put on buildings like below certainly makes the urban landscape more interesting.

A little while later we came upon a group of four “sad clowns” running around inside a building.

Turns out they are promoting their show in Santa Monica.

And at every alleyway there was an impromptu musical act.

Last month the Ground Floor Galley had some bad art – but an interesting orchestra on their little stage.  This month they had a soul singer at the mic and some art that wasn’t bad.  Below is a picture of Sam and her favorite (can you guess why?) painting:

Across the street from the gallery there was a pre-race event for the Red Bull Soapbox Derby.  Only after returning home did I learn that they were giving out free ice cream over there.  (there are always lots of free drinks and other things being given out a the Art Walk)

Right next to the Hive was a newer gallery that had its “garage door” about 1/3 closed.   Clearly the event going on inside was private, but what a pompous ridiculous thing to do?  Why would you have an invitation only art show on the same night as the Art Walk, literally in-between the Temple and the Hive?  The more crass art walk attendees knocked on the glass and peered in the window.  I can’t blame them, though.  By literally turning their back to the art walk the gallery director/owner seen here is essentially saying “my art gallery is above all you COMMON art people”…   I’m probably making too much out of it – but look at them…

Below is a drawing at the Hive that I liked but couldn’t attribute it to anyone because the tag was completely blank.  I could look on the web site I suppose – but I don’t feel like searching through the hundreds of pieces right now to find it…

This sculptor is really talented.  Although you can’t see it in the photo – the paint job was really good too.  You could see little blue veins on these guys that were shady enough to actually look like they were underneath the skin:

and finally – my little piece in the show.  The monsters were inspired by Chris Ryniak‘s work.

 

 

Liberal Elite

Liberal Elite

This is what Sam cooked for dinner at 9:45pm on a Friday night after we got back from the gym:

I couldn’t help but think that we were playing into some kind of republican stereotype “liberal elitist”  fantasy… a couple of 30 somethings with MBAs eating lobster for dinner in Los Angeles at 10pm on a Friday night after working out in Beverly Hills.

The only thing that would have made it better is if we had wine (but, alas, we don’t drink) and Real Time playing on the laptop in the background.