Category Archives: Entertainment

Culture, Sun and Fun: Bolstering the LA Economy

When the summertime comes there is a lot of opportunity to go out and do stuff…and at the same time, bolster the local economy.  So why not take advantage of this and feel good about yourself as you are giving back?  Here are some local ideas to get you started.

First off check out the Art District Co-Op; an amazingly thriving cultural scene that can be found at the Eastside of DTLA.  When you go there check out the really amazing things to buy, uniquely created by your very own Los Angelenos who have made the Art District their home.  A fab way of supporting local art.

Also at the Factory Place Complex (located in LA’s Arts District) this group of buildings is brimming with live/work lofts.  Again an artist’s haven, locals can purchase fantastic locally-created art as well as some of the best eateries LA has to offer.

And then for something completely different, enjoy the velvet-based museum — Velveteria which offers velvet paintings in Chinatown.  Again, by local artists, for local residents.

It’s always a great time to support one’s local economy but during the summer when you’re spending money anyway, this seems like an even better opportunity.

Celebrating 4th July: LA Does It Right

Last week saw a lot of the country coming out of their homes and braving the summer heat for one of America’s greatest traditions – the celebration of independence. One particular neighborhood that really hits the nail on the head each year with the celebratory event is right here in LA, the Valley Village.

A true, back-to-basics old-school localized parade, it’s a celebration that excludes no one – the whole neighborhood shows up. Pancakes were served at the pre-parade community breakfast, bikes and strollers were decorated and Colfax Avenue’s Faith Presbyterian Church offered a great vantage point right where the route rounds the corner.

Red, white and blue trimmings were everywhere – all put on by the organizers and additional volunteers who have been setting this up for over two-and-a-half decades – the Valley Village Homeowners Association.

They didn’t intend for it to get so big and even try to keep it on the down-low but its popularity has spread from around 100 people barbecuing in the park to around 2,000 parade participants.

Also in attendance were three local couples given recognition for their volunteer work in the community as well as politicians: Nazarian, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Porter Ranch, state Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, and Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian.

Honoring LA

How better to honor a city than with acrobats?  Dancing along to “Another Day of Sun,” on April 25th, rope-suspended acrobats danced around City Hall walls following the Mayor’s declaration of “La La Land” day. Given that the musical took home six Academy Awards (and 14 Oscar nominations) earlier this year (giving the city of LA quite a spotlight), the honor was most well deserved.  So much so that Garcetti himself got involved, accompanying a jazz ensemble on the piano with various songs from the film.

Honoring director Damien Chazelle, composer Justin Hurwitz and some of the movie producers, Garcetti explained it like this: “This film held a mirror up to our city – showing the world our passion, our creativity, our optimism, and of course, the deep-seated desire of every Angeleno to jump out of their car in traffic and to just start dancing.”  It was noted that since the movie honored the city, having the compliment paid back was most appreciated.

WIGI Event

nintendoThe Women in Games International – a not-for-profit organization that “works to promote the inclusion and advancement of women in the global games industry” recently hosted an event in Los Angeles. Its 2016 E3 Party featured music, lights, dancing fun and of course a good dosage of networking with “the most diverse crowd of any E3 party.” The event was held at Exchange LA on June 15th at 8:00 PM – Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 1:00 AM at 618 South Spring Street, Los Angeles.

Also at the event was Nintendo, displaying its “first gameplay footage from its next Legend of Zelda video game.” The focus is on technology as opposed to magic and according to MCV’s news site editor Chris Dring is “a vital game for Nintendo [since] the firm has millions of die-hard fans, but many of them didn’t buy a Wii U, and that’s entirely down to a lack of games at its start and then the massive gap between titles. Zelda isn’t the firm’s most successful game, but it is a massive seller to the core fan base. So, the fact that it is going to be there right at the start of the NX gives the console a step up already over what happened at the launch of the previous two machines Nintendo released.”

Whereas Microsoft and Sony both held press conferences at the E3 event, Nintendo instead chose to release a video depicting the new Zelda title, together with other future releases like new Pokemon games.


New Netflix Series: Dear White People

movie-1209089_640Following the success of Dear White People – the Indie hit released in the summer of 2014 by The Exchange – Netflix is turning it into 10 half-hour episodes for TV viewing. This debut Indie film (written by Justin Siemen, produced by Roadside Attractions and worked on by many at The Exchange including Jeff Bowler and Brian O’Shea) received the US dramatic special jury award for breakthrough talent at Sundance as well as the San Francisco audience award.

The Netflix series will start filming later on this year. The debut is anticipated for 2017. Lionsgate – the sister company of Roadside Attractions – will be producing the series.

Netflix executives are “excited” about this venture. According to the company’s VP of Original Content, Cindy Holland, “Justin is a gifted storyteller whose bold, unique vision is perfectly suited to Netflix. His original film Dear White People announced the arrival of a fresh, creative voice that had everyone talking, and we’re excited to have Justin create this new series for our members worldwide.”

How LA’s Wealthy Chill

With a job as stressful as being a surgeon, it’s no wonder some of LA’s top doctors need an outlet. And that is exactly what four of them are getting as they rock out in the evenings.

It sounds like the start of a joke, but three LA plastic surgeons – Robert Kang, Phuong Nguyen and Jason Roostaeian, and oral surgeon Solomon Poyourow – after a long shift doing surgery get together to jam in their band – Help the Doctor that they launched back in 2011. Already boasting one album – Angeles – that can be found on Spotify and iTunes, this group of surgeons finds jamming together to be a great release after a long day. They met during their Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center residencies, started jamming together and “kind of clicked.” They first performed at West Hollywood’s Troubadour and the rest as they say is history.

Of course if rocking out isn’t quite your thing, there’s always In-Trinity – the “euphoric new workout from the inventor of Spinning.” Jonathan “Johnny G” Goldberg developed this workout which is something completely different as it combines all-body stretching, strengthening and balancing exercises that are done sitting down, lying down, leaning or standing on an hourglass-shaped slant board. And if that isn’t relaxing enough, while you’re dong this, New Age, or other mellow music is playing in the background, “flecked with sounds of gurgling brooks, cackling dolphins and birds in flight.” Classes are currently taught at LA’s LifeFit Center, at Cal State Long Beach campus.