Celebrate the release of Onch Movement’s new jewelry collaboration with Sanrio this Saturday, November 23 at JapanLA. The launch party and trunk show will be a sparkling holiday soiree, and the first 50 guests will receive a Hello Kitty goodie bag.
Celebrate the launch of Chas Smith’s new book Welcome To Paradise, Now Go To Hell at Book Soup this Saturday, November 16. Set in the scenic locale of Oahu’s North Shore, the thriller is a true story of violence, corruption and greed, revealing the high-stakes world of professional surfing.
Wasn’t America such a fascinating place during the Bush administration? This is the George W. Bush and Dick Cheney White House, the “stuff happens” regime that created a very distinct artistic culture between the years 2000 and 2008. The American artists hyperactively attempting to interpret the atrocities America was reacting to and carelessly doling out to lesser countries. There were films ranging from sobering documentaries like No End In Sight to slapstick American satires like Team America: World Police. M.I.A.’s breakout moment came from her very political Piracy Funds Terrorism mixtape and Arular debut. Minimal techno artist Ricardo Villalobos famously refused to perform in the United States while Bush was in the White House. Whoopi Goldberg lost a Slim-Fast job after making a joke about the president. The Dixie Chicks even ended up as unlikely political artists by saying they were “ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.”
Those were divisive times. The political climate of America has quieted to a low boil that could at any moment be overturned by unrest as a result of Tea Party antics or drawn out governmental shutdowns. Los Angeles artist Lari Pittman‘s From A Late Western Impaerium at Santa Monica Blvd’s Regen Projects feels like a distant relative to these very politically charged moments from the last decade. It features wall sized paintings of violent leaning imagery and intimate drawing series that depict political figures, architectural schematics, and even stage blocking for works coming out of the dystopia that is his Impaerium. Anti-Bush, hyper-politically charged artwork may not dominate contemporary art but Pittman’s From A Late Western Impaerium reminds of that anger your motherland inspired—and suggests that some things haven’t changed.
If you travel down the coast, South past Marina Del Rey and past LAX and past El Segundo, you’ll reach Manhattan Beach. The little beachside town is known for its being cosmopolitain while retaining enough of the surf influence that it is still distinctly a beach town. You’re as likely to pass by men in suits as you are to see a group of guys with surfboards headed down to the water. It’s a community that has attracted finer retail and food concepts like Free People, Lucky Brand, Dan Deutsch Optical, Cisco Home, Pressed Juicery, Lemonade, Le Pain Quotidien, Pitfire Pizza, and more. It’s becoming a destination within the destination of LA.
Manhattan Beach is also home to some of the city’s most contemporary culinary concepts. There’s heavily praised MB Post and new Fishing With Dynamite. Circa and Little Sister are very new and supposedly great restaurants. Mark Gold sold Eva to make an MB concept and there is even an Izaka-Ya By Katsu-Ya blocks from the pier.
One of the foodie centers in MB, a glassy ocean gazing staple, is The Strand House. It comes from restauranteur Michael Zislis who enlisted Neal Fraser to lead the kitchen. The restaurant has also become known for its bringing in renowned chefs from all over the world to take over the kitchen for one-night-only dinners. This is Strand’s Culinary Masters Series where chefs from Michael Cimarusti of Providence to Douglas Keane of Cyrus to Nancy Silverton of Mozza have taken over the restaurants. The most recent entry was Suzanne Goin who offered what we can only assume to be the freshest entry out of all Strand’s special monthly dinners.
Tucked away in DTLA, there’s a city park called Grand Hope, and it’s a wonderfully pretty spot. One corner of the park sits at the intersection of Grand and Hope streets, hence the name, but it’s also a grand spot to indulge in hopeful dreaming. Now when you arrive at Grand Hope Park you might notice some fashionable types with perhaps brightly colored hair, extraordinarily imaginative footwear and an above average knowledge of textiles, cut and flair. That’s because Grand Hope Park sits adjacent to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.
Proximity to her office is one of the reasons Lanie Denslow, FIDM’s Director of International Affairs, likes to spend time in Grand Hope Park. “It’s a jewel box of a park in the center of the city. And it’s a city park so you see families, and people exercising, unpacking a picnic or taking a nap on the lawn,” says Denslow, “and at dusk, it’s just magical.”