Los Angeles

Art Buzz: Getty's massive LA art project & Tokyo's squished subway riders

Article: Art Buzz: Getty's massive LA art project & Tokyo's squished subway riders

Pacific Standard Time: “Pacific Standard Time,” the Getty-funded series of exhibitions throughout LA county, draws together tons of museums, private galleries, homes and commercial spaces in a crazy, semi-random celebration of creativity. There’s literally no way you’ll get to all of the featured exhibits, but Angelenos should try and swing through a handful this week…

Diana and Ashley's excellent donut adventure

Article: Diana and Ashley's excellent donut adventure

Watch “Love Lust: Breakfast” on Monday, November 14th at 8pm.
I never really understood the allure of the food crawl. Sure, there’s the obvious pleasure of going from place to place and gorging on food, but I wasn’t particularly enthused by the prospect of the aftermath of said gorging: belly bulge, greasy mouth, the inability to move from the fetal position for the rest of the day. Aside from holidays, Chinese restaurants and the days I’m cranky or sad or happy and need to eat my feelings, I like to eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m not. So um, really, hardly ever.

But then the idea of a donut crawl started circulating in my head. Every day I pass by three donut shops on my way to work, and then again on the way home. Located on the same one-mile stretch, they called out to me as I drove by. “Donut crawl. Donut crawl. Donut crawl,” they seemed to say. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, couldn’t shut up the voice that kept pulsing inside of my head. So finally, after weeks of taunting, I commissioned my best friend to join me in my gluttonous mission. We picked an upcoming Saturday and set a starting time and place. “No turning back now,” I thought with a mixture of excitement and disgust. I could practically feel the impending stomachache that I would surely incur from embarking on this gastronomical misadventure.

Green tech finds, 10/13/11

Article: Green tech finds, 10/13/11

Teenagers build a really fast hybrid, GM’s got an all-electric vehicle in the works, and Nissan has a concept for charging a car in ten minutes: your green tech finds for the week.

Another EV1? Let’s hope not. Chevy plans to start selling the Spark EV (above) in limited US markets in…

Cirque du Soleil performers: before-and-after

Article: Cirque du Soleil performers: before-and-after

Los Angeles Times photographer Jay L. Clendenin took these portraits of the talented performers in the new LA-based Cirque du Soleil show “Iris,” before and after their make-up and costume transformations (like Caroline Lauzon, pictured above). There’s something so consistently fascinating about before-and-after photograph (which is probably why it’s a staple in the direct marketers’ tool bag, as in all those weight loss, anti-acne and hair loss infomercials). While we understand that there’s a technical explanation for how the transformation took place, we’re still always amazed at the makeover. On a slight tangent, but related to hair loss, one of my favorite jokes on this topic was delivered by comic Sheng Wang: “I’m a positive person. To me going bald isn’t about hair loss. It’s about FACE GAIN. It’s exciting.”

Los Angeles community garden tangles with City Hall – and wins

Article: Los Angeles community garden tangles with City Hall – and wins

Food gardening seems like a pretty innocuous activity. Even “radical” acts like guerrilla gardening are pretty tame in the overall scheme of things. But we’ve already seen one instance in which a gardener faced jail time – simply for gardening (and, no, there weren’t any illegal plants involved).

You might be tempted to argue “Oh, but that was small town Michigan. Of course they’re going to respond negatively to something different.” But before you hang your hat on that argument, consider the case of Ron Finley, a fashion designer and Los Angeles resident. After taking a gardening course at the Natural History Museum, Ron decided to turn the 10 x 150-foot parkway in front of his home – the whole thing – into a food garden. Living in the Crenshaw neighborhood, Ron had taken his instructor’s words about edible food gardens in urban “food deserts” to heart, and began to share produce with his neighbors once it began to ripen.

Ludo Bites – lost and found in translation

Article: Ludo Bites – lost and found in translation

Careful, there’s foie gras in those cupcakes!
Watch LUDO BITES AMERICA every Tuesday at 9P
More savory wit from our featured food blogger Diana Hossfeld, who writes the food blog Diana Takes a Bite.
The first time I ate foie gras was two years ago at Ludo Bites in Los Angeles. I hated it. The muddy-colored lobe had been chopped into thumb-sized chunks and surreptitiously slipped into a miso soup with rhubarb, hibiscus and beets. I didn’t understand it – I didn’t want to understand it. I just wanted it to go away. And I wanted to replace it with things I was used to ingesting in my miso soup – tofu, seaweed, shiitake mushrooms – not foie gras.

Zhang Huan's "49 Days"

Article: Zhang Huan's "49 Days"

While out in LA last week I dropped by the fantastic gallery Blum & Poe, which is currently exhibiting Zhang Huan’s “49 Days”, including the breathtaking installation pictured above. The twenty-two foot tall bell shaped pagoda is comprised of salvaged brick collected from demolition sites surrounding Shanghai (centuries old buildings that have been bulldozed in…

Robyn's Call Your Girlfriend

Article: Robyn's Call Your Girlfriend

My obsession with Swedish singer Robyn is ever further cemented with her new video for the single “Call Your Girlfriend.” In a textured sweat top, leggings, and sneakers she makes a video fascinating only because of her spunk. It was recorded in a single take in Los Angeles at an abandoned warehouse by Max Vitali, who often collaborates with the singer. It’s emotional and fun. And you’ll keep watching, I promise.

World's most beautiful gas stations

Article: World's most beautiful gas stations

Since I’ll be in Los Angeles for most of this week, I figured this gallery of “The World’s Most Beautiful Gas Stations” over at Flavorpill is apropos to my visit to the City of Angels.

Star 1973

Article: Star 1973

In 1973 the magazine Star launched. Star covered LA’s groupie scene. After five issues in five months the magazine ceased publication. It was gone forever.

In 2011 Ryan Richardson tracked down the original issues. He paid handsomely for them and then put their entire contents online for viewing. He’s a historian; he’s a collector.

Donny Miller For Blue Angel

Article: Donny Miller For Blue Angel

I love LA-based artist Donny Miller’s sense of humor. He created my most favorite art book ever, Beautiful People with Beautiful Feelings, and he also was responsible for a sick line of Vans shoes earlier in the year. Now he’s drinking.

The Artist's Museum

Article: The Artist's Museum

Museums seem to always be on the lookout for new ways to group and exhibit the artwork already available to them in their permanent collection. Earlier this month, MoMA opened “Abstract Expressionists New York,” with pieces “drawn entirely from the Museum’s vast holdings” – not that there’s anything wrong with that; They bought those pieces for a reason and might as well show them off. MoCA will follow suit later this week with “The Artist’s Museum.” The title of the exhibition is a bit misleading; There’s no separate museum, it’s only meant to connote that the exhibition won’t be focusing on a particular movement but on a particular group of artists, Los Angeles-based artists, of course, from 1980-2010. They leave it to you to find a common thread.

Nobody actually works in LA

Article: Nobody actually works in LA

No one works, they just create traffic jams. (Photo from RESPRES’ Flickr.)
OOOf. It has been a while. My bad. Truly. I was off in New Orleans hanging with hunky Bayou Boys for a story on BP and the conmen living on Flotels for AOL… Then went to LA to hang with my sisters and tape the voicing for the animation on my MTV show, Grits. LA is so funny. Everyone either thinks I’m going to move there or have already moved there. Which is weird as LA is like my personal purgatory. You try finding someone in that town who isn’t a “producer” (scam artist), “model” (pretty girl with no job), “actress” (hooker), or “realtor” (see model). It’s pretty damn hard. What other city has traffic jams at 3 pm on a Tuesday? No one actually works there! (Says me, typing that shit in and noting the irony).

Green tech finds (9/2/10)

Article: Green tech finds (9/2/10)

Lots of energy news and ideas this week, as well as another big green crowdsourcing project, and reviving wetlands with sewage… your green tech finds.

  • Another cell phone sustainability study: Market research firm IDC came up with quite different results on cell phone sustainability from O2… but focused on companies vs. phones themselves. Apple comes out on top in this one, followed by LG and Nokia. (via The Boston Globe)

  • Harnessing gravity power: Gravitational Energy Corporation claims its Feltenberger Pendulum works through hand-power and gravity. The company’s first product, a water pump, could prove indispensable for areas of the developing world, as well as post-disaster relief. See how it’s working in Haiti in the video above…
Launching Cleantech 2010

Article: Launching Cleantech 2010

The depressing strip of grey concrete nothing-ness you see in the photo above runs through East Downtown LA, right along the LA River. It’s the site of the Los Angeles Cleantech Corridor and Green District Competition, recently announced by SCI-Arc (The Southern California Institute of Architecture) and The Architect’s Newspaper. The hope is to transform this zone into “an integrated economic, residential and cultural engine for the city,” and asks architects, landscape architects, designers, engineers, urban planners, and environmental professionals to challenge conventional wisdom about civic development and green architecture to create a thriving, livable new space.

Running on Empty: Los Angeles sans people and cars

Article: Running on Empty: Los Angeles sans people and cars

Running on Empty from Ross Ching on Vimeo. Inspired by Matt Logue’s “Empty Los Angeles” photo series, which I had previously blogged here, Ross Ching compiled this time-lapse video titled “Running on Empty” of neighborhoods and roads in Los Angeles totally empty of people and cars. It’s as if the entire sprawl of LA was…

New Banksy in LA

Article: New Banksy in LA

Coincidentally timed with the near-upcoming launch of the highly anticipated (at least by me!) film by Banksy, EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP (view trailer), a couple of new pieces by Banksy have been popping up in street corners of Los Angeles, which is predictably sending the Internet and blogosphere abuzz.

Back from Passover with Joan and Melissa Rivers

Article: Back from Passover with Joan and Melissa Rivers

Melissa, Sue (in a Charlize Theron inspired homemade outfit), Joan Rivers and me at Seder

So I had to make (yet another) trip back to Cali last week. But the good news is: it was totally disgusting in NYC and LA was sunny and fab! So there, take that, jet lag! And Karl was cool with it because he got to go. He only farted like twice on the plane, but at least he didn’t release the goods — you know, till he got outside. But hey — who am I to judge High Altitude Flatulence?

This time I was out there to shoot a pilot… vaguely along the lines of “speaking truth” — see last week’s blog — although not to Foxxy Brown — pretty much everyone else though. But I still can’t get over Foxxy. Heh. So while I was out there I chilled with my lil’ sis Emily and my big sister Sophie for a night — before heading to (YES THAT’S RIGHT!) Joan Rivers’ house for Passover! O hell yes!!!

Take This Job and Shove It

Article: Take This Job and Shove It

Paula Froelich kisses a giraffe in Kenya

Heh. So. I am trying to get a life. No. seriously. Quit my full time job at the New York Post on July 25, 2009 — otherwise known as “Independence Day” and yes, I played the Martina McBride song over and over as well as “Take This Job and Shove It” when I announced the news. So anyhoo. I have been enjoying life since then — went to Africa, Mexico, Sundance, LA several times, Oscars, you name it. But after a certain point in time, ennui starts to set in along with brain rot. And I will not Brain Rot! Unless, of course, it’s called for.

Passover celebrations include focus on food deserts

Article: Passover celebrations include focus on food deserts

In a blog post this morning for CNN’s American Morning, the Progressive Jewish Alliance’s executive director Elissa Barrett uses the occasion of Passover and the traditional Seder meal (which happens tonight) to discuss the issue of urban food deserts. According to Barrett,
On Passover we trace our path from oppression to redemption, from suffering to opportunity. As we recall our wandering through the desert on the way to freedom, our minds turn to those who are suffering today, to those still wandering the desert. The Progressive Jewish Alliance seeks solutions to repair injustices in our cities here and now, calling attention to the reality that millions of Americans live – unnecessarily – in “food deserts.”

Joan Rivers Rocks my World

Article: Joan Rivers Rocks my World

Joan and Melissa Rivers (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Post Oscar hangovers are never fun… Trust. I’ve been covering them for 10 years! But this year was different. Not so bad. Even though – let’s be honest, seven days into a nine day journey, you are ready to run for the hill. And by hills, I mean Appalachian, Eastern Hills. Except for the fact that I came back from Rainy LA to monsoon-y New York. I mean… Okay, okay. I got two good days of beautiful Spring weather before my boots were soaked and once again I had to forsake fashion for Tretorn rain galoshes.

Los Angeles schools seek savings with green upgrades

Article: Los Angeles schools seek savings with green upgrades

State-level budget crunches are taking their toll on local school systems, with many resorting to layoffs and service cutbacks to stretch funds. The Los Angeles Unified School District is no different: a quick scan of their news releases shows the board approving layoffs, and the district’s superintendent proposing a shorter school year and even taking furlough days.

LAUSD is also considering some more unusual, and more sustainable, approaches to making ends meet: cutting energy and water use through the implementation of green building and transportation.

"L.A.'s single greatest secret."

Article: "L.A.'s single greatest secret."

I’m not sure if this awesome story is well known out in LA, but I had never heard of this until reading about it on GOOD, which they called “L.A.’s single greatest secret.”

Matt Logue's Empty L.A.

Article: Matt Logue's Empty L.A.

Photographer Matt Logue spent four years documenting Los Angeles’ cityscape devoid of its inhabitants in his series “Empty LA.” The full impact of his project is felt only after viewing more than a few photographs. I think this is an interesting juxtaposition to previously mentioned Benny Chan’s “Traffic” photo project. [Via]

MOCA: the first 30 years

Article: MOCA: the first 30 years

Robert Rauschenberg’s “Small Rebus” It seems crazy that MOCA, one of the most important and influential contemporary art museums in the world has only been around for 30 years, and I suppose it speaks to the ingenuity of its founders that it has made such an impact in that time. To celebrate its 30th birthday,…