Tag Archives: Local Love

[LA Life] Morning Bliss in Lincoln Park

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A picture might be worth a thousand words, but what they often won’t tell you are calamity, chaos and all around entropy surrounding those perceived moments of serenity.

Just minutes before I found my mental zen at East Los Angeles’ Lincoln Park, I was frustrated to my boiling point with the DMV – infuriated that we’d wasted over two hours of the morning and I’d had essentially had it up to my ears with any semblance of ‘humanity‘ before the clock had even struck noon.  There are few tribulations that we can all share here in this world, and dealing with the Department of Motor Vehicles is definitely one of them.  As we were gallivanting throughout the city’s side streets on the way to the DMV, I noticed glimpses of pastel and primary colors in delicious dichotomy with the multitudes of green in a park across the street.  against the multitude of greens.  And now that the morning had manifested in its own auspicious way, it felt like the only remedy was to delve back into whatever nature I had found as soon as I could.

The second we parked, I couldn’t get out of the car fast enough –  I took a breath of Spring air as I gingerly skipped from the parking lot pavement to the grassy landscape encroaching the tranquil lake.  Technicolor buildings reflected against the lake in a kaleidoscopic fashion as we slowly made our way around in a giant pseudo-circle.  Strolling in synchronicity, we shared a bakers dozen of laughs – enjoying what little time was actually left of the morning hours, blissfully aware that under any other circumstance we would have been tethered to our work lives and inundated with tasks that would require us to stay in doors.

Like treasures tucked away in uncharted territory, there are a plethora of small city parks located around the city of LA simply waiting for you to discover them.  I’ve loved Echo Park Lake for a long time, but Lincoln Park is almost a miniature version and a whole lot less populated. Founded all the way back in 1881, Lincoln Park was originally named East Los Angeles park, only to be renamed ‘Eastlake Park‘ in 1901; you wouldn’t know from looking at it now, but the park used to house a full zoo,  cactus garden and a private alligator farm. Renamed Lincoln Park in 1917 after the local high school, this portion of paradise has been a staple of Los Angeles’ beautiful cross section of counter culture humanity and the arts.

The park itself comes equipped with a menagerie of of activities for all ages, lush lands to picnic on, a playground that has adult swings (yeah, you heard right), a skate park designed by a professional,  BBQ pits, fishing in the lake and last but most certainly not least – the wonderful Plaza de la Raza Cultural Center for the Arts + Education,  a prominent meeting spot for the community and the only multidisciplinary building of its kind in the city.  Not to mention, my favorite touch, sprinkles of large scale art around the edges of the park.

 
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For more on Los Angeles’ Lincoln Park, head to their social media pages – or better yet, just drop on by and pay it a visit.

Website | Facebook | Twitter |  Yelp

What are your favorite local parks?

Let me know in the comments below!

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[LA Life] Downtown Goes Dapper For A Night On Broadway

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Last weekend as the threat imminent downpour loomed over the quite literal horizon, we decided to throw caution to the wind as we got dolled up and dappered out for a ‘Night on Broadway.‘ A party with a purpose, the second annual event sprawled through the stunning cityscape of Downtown Los Angeles and into the historic Broadway District.

Commencing back in 2008 under the guidance of L.A. City Council member José Huizar, Bringing Back Broadway set its sights on reinvigorating the entire outlying area, from the preservation and display of the old school neon signs to re-opening doors to awe inspiring theaters, bringing back the fabled streetcar and even the relatively new facade lighting brought onto Broadway in 2013.  A chip off of the ‘Bringing Back Broadway’ initiative block, the second annual ‘Night on Broadway‘  is designed to restore a variety old theaters in the fabled Broadway district and reinvigorate local interest in the art, music, culture and community of the area.

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Revelers are encouraged join in the shenanigans surrounded by the amazing architecture and interior design of theaters from The Palace to The Los Angeles Theater, The Ace Hotel and The Globe.  Festivites included a brains to brawns chess and boxing match, a wide variety of interactive street art, comedy from Reggie Watts, my personal highlight, Rebel Bingo, and last but most definitely not least live music and entertainment and even some of the local talent, like Skrillex from both the OWSLA and Mad Decent imprints, plus hourly performances from city’s very own electric and eclectic avant garde performance troupe Lucent Dossier Experience (which was a serendipitous treat in itself considering a friend of mine had landed himself DJ duties at the same stage for the night).

Don’t fret if you missed out on all the fun, because one of my favorite things about the city of angels is there’s simply always something stunning to do about town, and half of them are free! But, if you’re feeling the festive FOMO, make a calendar reminder and don’t forget to catch Night on Broadway next year in Downtown Los Angeles when it returns on Saturday, January 28th 2017.  For more about the city’s famed ‘Night on Broadway’ event or Bringing Back Broadway initiative, head to their website or socials –

Night on Broadway: Website

Bringing Back Broadway: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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[LA Life] CERB and A Taste of Eagle Rock

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Do you ever feel like your entire life is one giant sign? Anxieties, troubles and tribulations tend to occur for me when I don’t pay attention to the motion of internal tides.

A few weeks before Danny and I left for Lightning in a Bottle, we haphazardly stumbled across one of the cutest sights I’d ever seen in the middle of Eagle Rock. We were on our Sunday stroll through the neighborhood, and for the past few weeks we’d talked about the strange and almost human-like mannequin in the middle of the road.  Approaching from the other side, we finally made out a sign – a sign for Know Reality Pie. We took one long look at the pie truck, parked delicately next to open grass and a pop-up cafe, and then nodded in agreement: this was it.

As we settled into our triple berry and richly flavored apple pies, we noticed that each and every person coming in was in some way, shape or form a young professional and we felt naturally compelled to strike up a conversation with all of them. From Kelly behind the counter pouring us morning mimosas, or the procession of puppies that galloped into and around us, we were enamored in conversation and instantly felt an urge to be something more within the community.  Slowly delighting our fresh drinks, we met a lovely lady named Sarah with a refreshing demeanor.  After a few minutes of talking about our start in the neighborhood, photography, social media and festivals, she got to telling us about Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful.  They’re a local, non-profit volunteer organization that focuses on creating a more sustainable environment within their community and as it turns out, they’re the ones responsible for the large, local push towards the reintegration of succulents and California landscaping around Eagle Rock that I’ve been enamored with.  They were about to host a CGhrc6OUgAEX0V3weekend event they were calling ‘A Taste of Eagle Rock’, featuring dozens of our fantastic local food joints, some local drinks and – hopefully – a great turnout from the town; they were looking for an event photographer, and it just so happened – I was engaged to one!  After we exchanged laughs and business cards, and enjoyed another drink or two, Danny and started on our way home and looked at each other with excitement coursing through our veins.  This is something we’ve been wanting for so long, and now – we were about to get it!

With things like Lightning in a Bottle around the corner and my lack of actual time to manage,  I’d only been in touch here and there.  But after Lightning in a Bottle (which I cannot wait to dish on!), curiosity caught the cat, and I asked how I could really help.  I inquired about their social media presence and as my luck has it – that’s exactly what they needed.  On top of the five accounts already in my Tweetdeck, it wasn’t exactly absurd to add just one more!

Sunday was the day, and let’s be honest – we didn’t get cold feet per-say – but they were at least lukewarm.  It was a stunning day out, and before the June Gloom and awkward midday showers started; bright, crystal blue skies sent down succulent rays of sunlight as we approached our final destination. We’d managed to meander to an area of the neighborhood that we frequently stroll through, camera in hand and a bounce in our step – the houses are sweeping, with plush yards encompassing them like moats. “This is where we’re going…?!” we both mused.

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Winding around the house were tables and EZ-ups, with pile upon pile of delicious, local eats and treats.  From Milkfarm and Public House Eagle Rock – two of the latest establishments to cruise onto Colorado Blvd – out the traditional grubberies Little Beast, Max City BBQ, Capri, Four Cafe, Spitz, Dave’s Grillin and Chillin’ and the delectable Caramia Gelato stand up to the national spots like Chipotle, Trader Joe’s and Jamba Juice, everyone was there and doling out their Sunday best.  We even got to do some Cider and Wine tasting thanks to Cider House 101!  Within the first 45 minutes over 200 people had shown up to grub down and chill out, and the property was a buzz with warm energy.

We showed up dazed, slightly confused, knowing only one person and absolutely hungry – we left with full bellies, happy hearts and a hope to really do some good within the community. There were so many familiar faces, from weekly walks and random restaurant romps.  Even though we didn’t make any new best friends – we feel committed to the mission of CERB and are beyond excited to be part of future endeavors. And I’m excited to say that I’ll be stepping into a bigger role, but for now – I’ll just be doing their social media 🙂

For more information about Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful and all the details on their next wonderful event, keep in contact through their websiteFacebook and Twitter.

All photography by Daniel Leist: Flickr FacebookWebsite  

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[LA Love] Make a Happy Hour Date for Plate38

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Though I’ve been living in Los Angeles for the past six years, I’ve never stayed in one spot for more than two and somehow, I’ve even managed to hop skip and jump myself all over LA ‘Proper‘.  Starting with a two year stint in Korea Town, I migrated to the Miracle Mile area (near The LACMA and the Tar Pits) and then onto two wonderful years submerged in the music, street art and hipster chic culture of the Fairfax District. Now, in my triumphant sixth year in the City of Angels, I’m a happy resident of the Eagle Rock community – caught in a wonderful nook of nature between Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena. Whenever I move, I love taking an entertainment and edible inventory of my new neighborhood and the surrounding digs.

I have a few trusty books that I reference, my favorite being the Not For Tourists Guide to Los Angeles – it has literally anything and everything you could be curious about cruising the community for, from Sports Stadiums to Beaches and Marinas, Arts and Entertainment to City Transit. Plus, I’ve also been known to reference the occasional Zagat Guide and am a tried and true fan of Yelp (and a Yelp Elite, at that!).  Now that I’m situated on the East Side of town, there are a whole host of things that are unequivocally more available on the daily – from nature walks, museums and botanical gardens like Griffith Park , Arlington Gardens and The Huntington,  to Farmer’s Markets, The Eagle Rock Music Festival and delicious restaurants spanning from Glendale to Pasadena, and Downtown LA up to Arcadia. Well, I know I’ve only been over here for about six months – but combine that with the year and a half that I was coming over to hang out with Danny and that’s almost two years wining and dining through the East Side of town, and in that amount of time I’ve turned into quite the little foodie it seems; I can’t wait to share my favorite finds, hidden haunts and unknown gems in my new segment aptly called – LA Love!

Lately, as Danny’s been driving around town he’ll send me text messages with new locations, awesome happy hours and unbeatable meal deals.  One such place was Pasadena’s Plate38; we were initially drawn in by $1.50 for oysters on the half shell, but were absolutely satiated by their  host of small ‘tapas’ style appetizer plates perfect to share, if you can remember how. Even though the weather’s cooled down a bit around town, the sunshine cruises through at a respectable 80 with a lovely little wind chill to make sitting outdoors a cinch; and Plate38 has a wonderful outdoors patio that wraps its way around the building.  Deceptively long and full of warm lightning, it’s perfect for getting the gang together to watch some Sunday NFL games and reminiscing about the weekend.

We grubbed out on some amazing Bloody Mary’s with just the right amount of spice, chicken wings deep fried in duck fat, tuna tacos, duck sliders and so much more on their weekend happy hour menu. Oh, right, and the oysters.  And then I drooled on my keyboard.

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IMG_2106.JPGLocation: 2361 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107