No one ever comes to L.A. and thinks that the Subway is a choice for public transportation. However, with plans for expansion in the years to come, it's becoming a more viable option. Alas, the L.A. Metro does not stop at all cities, such as Santa Monica, but it can get you downtown and to the airport. For my purposes, it's an easy $1.50 novelty ride from Hollywood to Little Tokyo. Just don't get on after 6pm, the muttering homeless and generally sketchy characters seem to gather on the platforms after this hour.
Union Station, the Main Portal
Train tracks to my Left
Finally, the Light
Ah! The most unexpected offering of the day. Low lights, cool atmosphere
Sweet Bean Paste Fried in Little Cakes
Local Japanese News...LA, LA, LA..
Mochi, a strange exotic dessert with interesting texture of smooth ice cream wrapped in rice cake.
If you see this sort of sign around L.A., follow it to a catered lunch. Because this particular sign points you in the direction of a film set in town. The actors, the trailers, the movable toilets, the trays of munchies. It'll be there.
rating: 3 of 5 stars Christopher Moore admits that he has been accused of awkward prose, and I am one in a long line of finger pointers. There is no mistaking his singular diction, a style I liken to tripping over pebbles. The errors are not huge, but the verbage a little ungainly. In Moore's new book Fool, his bubbly delivery is entertaining. This re-telling of King Lear is not a new adaptation of Shakespeare's masterpiece, and Moore does not advise a comparison. In this parody of Shakespeare's King Lear, the Black Fool, named Pocket for his small stature, presents himself as author and actor - a sarcastic, horny, but all around noble and loyal jester to King Lear. King Lear is dying, and his failing health turns his thoughts to mortality, and in haste, he gives away his kingdom to two selfish daughters who, one fateful night, profess their love and devotion in boisterous display. When his third and youngest daughter fails to do the same, she is banished. Thus sets the stage for a dark tale told in a light-hearted way. Moore has taken the framework of King Lear and used it to determine how much mid-century shagging can be done during a five act show against the backdrop of bloody tragedy, love, deceit, forgery, war, bad marriages and regrettable children. Moore is unstoppable when it comes to comedic and bizarre twists throughout his narratives and Fool is no exception. Fool takes ultimate delight and pride in the sarcastic humiliation of its players. Finally, Moore leaves no ties undone and no hearts broken; you either die or live happily ever after. Overall, Fool is another fun book in Moores repertoire.
I am always amazed at how small actors really are. They look statuesque on the screen, their costumes so perfectly matched to their form. For a movie like Watchmen, they appear godlike - each wrinkle ironed out, freely moving in latex and hard plastic. But these forms were human, Silk Spectre quite petite.
These costumes felt as they looked. Hardly wearable. I am disappointed that the visuals of Watchmen, which were spectacular, were overshadowed by it's terrible plotline.
Arts Day LA...a day of free seminars facilitated by successful professionals in several different fields, many of whom currently teach classes at UCLA. There are four seminars for each subject - Creative Writing, Design Communication Arts (Graphic Design), Film, Interior Design and Landscape Architecture - spanning instruction on inspiration, tools and finally your life and career. Although at times I felt I was watching an infomercial for extension classes at UCLA, the information provided was well worth sitting through a little PR. Although Arts Day LA is only held once a year, UCLA sponsors several similar events through Summer and Fall.
For a Californian, seasons are a trivial and uneventful occurrence. Fall doesn't come with falling yellow leaves, and winter doesn't arrive in snowstorms - there's simply a subtle change in temperature. Only cooler nights indicate that winter is ascending, but the days remain sunny and snowy peaks appear in the North (snowboarding is only a few hours away!). Since California's weather is historically sunny and clear, with the exception of this year's fifteen days of dripping clouds (and counting - crossed fingers for more rain so there's no droughts!), there are certain occurrences that mark the changing seasons.
Instead of melting snow, I've got the new scent of Jasmines in the air to melt my chilly winter heart and turn my thoughts to beach volleyball and tan skin; unlike so many, I do not tan during the winter, I'm Nicole Kidman pale and scared to show any sort of leg at work for fear of scaring someone. Soon, the Jacaranda trees will start sprouting their purple flowers and rolling blackouts will become part of the regular routine.
Jasmines are the first sign that spring has come again, and if you don't enjoy the sun, (because it gets redundant) at least you'll have a nose full to be happy about.
How some serious advertising and a love of pink can make you a Hollywood icon...
As the election for a seat on the 5th District Council heat up, candidates are promising a crack down on supergraphics and billboards that now populate an area that encompasses West Hollywood to Beverly Hills - premium advertising space. However, there's one billboard that hasn't disappeared from the landscape. The 'Billboard Queen of L.A' would never do that to her fans.
Any L.A. local can tell you, Angelyne is most famous for her pink predilection - she drives a pink corvette with vanity plates that read "ANGLYN" and carries around a dyed Maltese pooch; both of these secondary to her numerous billboards found across Los Angeles, featuring her propped on a feather boa, in a sequined bikini with shoes to match, all pink.
A Google search reveals that she has appeared in over a hundred films, music videos and television shows, and managed to release three self-proclaimed successful albums. Somewhere in the 80's, she appeared on the scene through a series of billboards featuring her in different poses. By 1982 she was so recognizable that people would stop her to take photos, and she appeared as a guest on the late night show Thicke of the Night with host Alan Thicke (of Canadian fame and only known to those who grew up in the 70's). In the 90's, she performed at special events, such as the New Year's Eve celebration at Cherry in 1999, the raucous spot that reigned Hollywood’s club scene from 1994 to 2001. Today, she is rarely seen in person. Most sightings are of her Corvette parked off Sunset Boulevard or a rare stop at the seven-eleven captured by TMZ or Hollywood reporter - a tiny blond antiquity wrapped in fake-fur.
As she tells it, she maintains "the glamour of classic Hollywood." "My image is seductive and sensual without being campy or burlesque. I carry on the tradition of the Hollywood Blonde Bombshell in my own unique way and I'm very proud of that." General knowledge says she's the wife of a billboard magnate, but she denies these reports and says instead that financial support comes through private investors, and 'countless' offers for interviews, star appearances and features in music videos. The reason for all she does? Inspiration to others. Whatever the dream, you can conquer all odds.
She's not complacent to be pigeon-holed as just a billboard star. She wants the world to know that she's a true performer - a dancing, singing, glamorous throw-back to good old Hollywood. Not so much. She is seen around town in mini skirts and hooker shoes, four-inch heels carved out of clear plastic, and stalked with perverted intrigue. She looks more like Mary Ann from Gilligan's island aged 40 years with bad plastic surgery than an elegant Lauren Bacall.
Kitschy or not, her billboards look dirty and worn. Times are tough. However, she is relevant to modern Hollywood; she marks its backdrop and peppers its history. Though her fifteen minutes seem to be coming to a close and her iconic fame revolves more around her erratic behavior than God-given hotness, she is another Hollywood dream come true.
In the words of Bronwyn Jones "Los Angeles is a child star: beautiful, spoiled, percocious, naive. People love to hate L.A. The surface of the city glitters so brightly that it's sometimes hard to see the city's soul-or to discover if it has one. It's there, all right, though you won't understand it if all you have is a pocket-size book with a few celebrity names, some street addresses, and a handful of maps inside. You have to pound the pavement. Trust your instincts. Embrace the sordid and the silly, the high-brow and the lowbrow, the vast landscapes and the minute details. You'll learn that Los Angeles is a city worth finding." Indeed it is. There's a lot of scruff to sort through once you're here. Don't be naive, and don't trust too easy, it's a tough city that puts you through it's own hazing rituals. The darkness here is pretty dark, but L.A. has redeemable qualities. I'll show you where to look.
My business here is to provide a social documentary, an exercise in cohesive observation for those who view L.A. from far away and those who see the cracks up close. I love and hate L.A.; Amidst the bad, I want to offer the good, and single out people and places that make the city home. I share the opinion of Lynda Obst who said, "My perspective swells and shrinks in the daily drama. Often I lose it entirely. Writing is my tool for getting it back." Me too.