[The Audiofiles] Coachella’s Creators, AEG, Bring Music Festivals Back to LA With The Arroyo Seco Music & Arts Festival

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With Coachella less than two weeks away and hype about the East Coast’s Panama Music + Arts Festival premiere later this year, it’s refreshing to hear that AEG is finally gearing up to bring the Music, Art and magic back into Los Angeles – where it belongs! With great excitement (and some slight disdain from Pasadena residents who fear for their musical tastes to be expanded), The Arroyo Seco Music Festival is slotted for 2017 – and it’s got this East LA resident all sorts of pumped.

“As we embark on another busy events season, we are always thinking about the future. To that point, the Rose Bowl Operating Company and the City of Pasadena continue to evaluate potential opportunities which fit with our community and which could contribute much needed revenue to maintain the historic Stadium for years to come. As you may be aware, one such proposed event is a Music & Arts Festival at the Rose Bowl and we wanted to share with you a little about the concept and also key aspects of the decision-making process.” – Official Rose Bowl Statement

12512417_10102988303762164_7090201985702856433_nThe Arroyo Seco Music & Arts Festival stands to be a world class event eliciting massive acclaim from audiophiles, musicians and fans alike and Pasadena is the perfect city to carry on the tradition that Coachella would set forth. Proposed to be held over either a two or three day period in June of 2017, the ASMAF would hold true to the Coachella tradition of artist tastemakers and bootyshakers from around the globe.

With the magnanimous amounts of internationally renowned talent, Coachella has always been a current Who’s Who of the Music circuit from across the genres, Funk, Folk, Big Band, Rap, Alternative, Disco, Dubstep, EDM, Punk Rock and so much more; bringing a festival of this caliber back to the city of Los Angeles that so desperately wants a festival they can at least metro to would be sweet, sweet music to our dancing ears.

More as the story breaks, but for more – head to the official Rose Bowl Webpage for a statement. For more on AEG, head to their website here

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[LA Life] South Pasadena Farmers’ Market Finds

Though I’ve often joked that maturity is simply understanding when to be mature, the older I become, the more I understand about the ways of the world – or at least American culture.  I’m more aware of the impact of large corporations, menageries of manufacturers and big businesses on the smaller, more sustainable markets, local lore and mom and pop stores.  Even with streamlined supply chains and an eco-conscious attitude, there’s no greater feeling than being economically supportive of your outlying community and being an educated member of society; and this is coming from someone who works in Operations for Disney and Wal Mart – so, trust. Small businesses have an incredible influence on local economies, including increased opportunities for employment within the community, environmental sustainability and economic innovation.  The biggest plus about local businesses is understanding that your money is being recycled back into your neighborhood, and – in my personal opinion  -the greatest example of this is your local Farmers’ Market.

Like in most large metropolitan areas, Los Angeles plays host a menagerie of places to foray into food shopping, with a niche for every type of  nutrition freak.  I’ll be the first to admit that at my last apartment in the Fairfax District,  I was a bit spoiled: I was just a stone’s throw from Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Farm Fresh, Erewhon and even the fabled Farmer’s Market at The Grove – but where did I find myself doing most of my food shopping? Locally owned grocery stores like Cochran Produce had a lock on fresh fruits, hearty vegetables and tasty herbs while Dimond Bakery opened at 5am and sold out of their salacious sourdough baguettes before 8am, every damn day; it was such a lovely set up that leaving the area was a bit difficult.  When I moved to Eagle Rock, I was excited to see that I could walk to the local Trader Joe’s but the local Farmers’ Market barely reached a whole city block and hardly merited shutting down the street.  So, believe you me when I say that I’m thrilled that Danny discovered an amazing Farmers’ Market that’s just a hop, skip and a 10 minute drive away .

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The South Pasadena Farmers’ Market lays claim to the area right next to the Gold Line South Pasadena Station, and runs every Thursday afternoon from 4pm – 8pm in the Spring and Summer, and 4-7pm during the Fall and Winter.  The market itself is rain or shine, but in LA you can be pretty sure it’s almost all shine.   Hands down, it’s one of my new favorite weekly activities and I’m already giddy about going back.  Last week, we loaded up on micro greens, farm raised pork + bacon, duck eggs, delicious pressed juices from Pulp Story Juice and a menagerie of mushrooms from LAFungi.

The weekly event is fully equipped with fun for the whole family – featuring a quaint park perfect for picnics, live music, food trucks ranging from mouth watering oysters from the Shucks Oyster Truck to properly roasted corn from and sushi and snacks from Mama Musubi and farm to table fruits, veggies, poultry, exotic herbs, milk, cheese, olive oils, pressed juices and bacon – yeah, farm to table bacon: put that on your stove and grill it.

Your local Farmers’ Market is the perfect opportunity to support small businesses and get to know your community.  Next time, invite your squad and make it a group outing – and who knows, if you keep frequenting the events you might even make some friends while you’re there.

If one local Farmers’ Market is good – more are obviously better; so, now I’m on the prowl for a local haunt for every day of the week.  I’ve heard that there usually aren’t many on Monday or Tuesday, but what I’ve learned living in Los Angeles is that anything’s possible Keep it locked to The Bouncy Kitty for more Farmers’ Market Finds and if you’re still curious about the South Pasadena Farmer’s Market, head to their website or socials:

Website | Yelp | Facebook 

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[Oh, Snap] A Rainy Day Stroll Through Pasadena’s Storrier-Stearns Japanese Garden

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On some rainy days, the words I’ve failed to say fall from the sky while nostalgia soaks into the damp city streets. Yet in absolute dichotomy, on others I wake up in a whimsical whirlwind, wrapped in wanderlust and yearning for an adventure.  With a fantastic evening roaming through downtown Los Angeles for their second annual Night on Broadway (more on that later!) under our belts, Sunday Funday was most definitely on the menu and I was hungry for an escapade in nature.

When the Storrier Stearns Garden announced they’d be adding more days for the public, I just couldn’t help myself a bought us some tickets to check it out and yesterday was finally the day.  I went to bed over the moon excited, because truth be told I’d been trying for years, but only being open once a month had severely limited my opportunities. A few years ago, Danny and I adventured to the Arlington Gardens across the street and wistfully wondered what was kept hidden so secret behind the chain link fence and yesterday, we finally had our chance to find out so that morning, when I woke up with blustery weather and grey skies, I vowed to not let it stop the fun.

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Created back in 1935 by the esteemed Kinzuchi Fujii, the historic Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden is a beautiful hidden gem tucked away in the heart of Pasadena.  Built on the estate of Charles and Ellamae Storrier Stearns, the gardens span two acres and includes several ponds connected by crooked bridges with coy fish peacefully swimming to and fro, a formal teahouse, and numerous places to sit back, relax and enjoy the venue.

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After a blustery beginning and some torrential downfall, the sun broke through turbulent layers of high velocity clouds and gave way to a stunning afternoon that was spent in relative solitude. Slowly and gleefully, we roamed around the unique grounds in zenlike observation.

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While talking with one of the curators of the grounds, we learned the reasoning behind crooked bridges in Japanese culture.  As legend has it, evil spirits can only go in straight lines – so if you’re ever being chased by a spirit, head to one of the fabled zig-zag bridges bridge and they’ll  be propelled into the water.

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Revered for being the last remaining minor Japanese Garden created for residential purposes in Southern California before World War II, the Storrier Stearns garden is also the last remaining garden crafted by Fujii, who was responsible for a handful of Japanese landscapes across Southern California in the early 20th century.  After Ellamae Storrier Stearns passed on in 1949, the entire estate was sold at auction to art and antiquities dealer Gamelia Hadadd Poulsen.  Over the next decade, Poulsen sold off most of the estate less the Japanese Garden and by 1975, CalTrans had bought up property surrounding the gardens in hopes of building an extension of the 710 freeway directly through the garden.  After visiting yesterday, I’m so grateful they didn’t!

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The gardens underwent a stunning restoration first in the 80’s when the garden was passed on within the Haddad family and then again under the hands of Dr.Takeo Uesugi from 2007 to 2013, transforming it into the tranquil piece of paradise that it is today. For the last several years, the garden was only available on a once a month basis – which typically had sold out far ahead of time; trust me on this; I’ve had firsthand experience with not getting tickets.  But, just this year the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden has expanded it’s availability with openings every Thursday from 10 to 4pm, as well as the last Sunday of the month like old times. Tickets are available on PayPal through their website for $7.50 a piece, and can be purchased for $10 at the door if you’re feeling lucky.

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For more on the gardens, take a peak on social media –

Website | Facebook |  LinkedIn

 

Location270 Arlington Drive
Pasadena, California 91105

[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

[Oh, Snap!] An Afternoon at the Huntington Botanical Gardens

Between my father and step mom being in town, and Danny’s mom heading down for the day – we’ve been inundated with family time, and it’s been perfect! Last night we went out on the town with my family, grabbed some sushi and enjoyed downtown Pasadena. Today, we thought we’d try something new so we cruised down to the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens for a beautiful adventure.  Revered as one of the world’s epicenters for culture, research and education – the Huntington itself is a Non Profit institution founded by Henry Huntington back in 1919, almost a century ago.  During his lifetime, Huntington procured and collected an immense collection of art, classic and historical literature and my personal favorite – an assortment of botanical gardens from all over the world.  From the Australian outback to the Jungles, to Chinese and Japanese Gardens to the Rose and Herb Gardens, and with over 120 acres to the Huntington – there’s a little bit of something for everyone.

To start, we wound around to the Chinese Gardens to admire the lush vegetation, incredible architecture adorned with sacred geometry and the most delicious iced jasmine tea I’ve ever had the pleasure of slurping down.

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After spending an hour meandering through the Chinese Gardens, we waltzed down by the running river and into the Japanese Gardens, to find an area adorned with the most extensive assortment of bonsai trees I’ve seen in my entire 30 years of existence.  I swear, some of the trees were nearly a century old and so incredibly miniature!

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As we exited we were pulled into the canopies by the rose gardens while we caught our breath (it was almost 100 degrees out, mind you) and wouldn’t you know it but we stumbled right upon the full glory of their rose gardens, with so many different and beautiful hybrids.

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Finally, as we left four hours later we had to stop and smell – and eat! – the edible herb garden; I tasted a flower that tasted sweet and peppery – I so wish I remembered the name right now, but it was as beautiful as it was delicious.

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With the size of the Gardens themselves, here’s simply no way to see everything on the grounds but boy, did we ever try.  Do you have a favorite local botanical garden that you enjoy? Whether it’s in the Southern California region or across the globe, I’d love to get some ideas on other amazing botanical garden’s to fawn over.