Out and About: DTLA Edition

Los Angeles is full of bold history and unparalleled attractions. The home of Tinseltown. A pinnacle point of the Gilded Age. All synonymous with Downtown Los Angeles – a creative mix of the times, both new and old. Take an Angels Flight on LA’s only Funicular. Hear masterpieces at Disney’s Concert Hall. Spend a day in DTLA and enjoy a true piece of quintessential California. Keeping in mind the many areas of DTLA to explore, we will focus on the highlight reel of day to night activities in this Out and About: DTLA Edition.

Breakfast in the morning…

Start your morning off the Parisian way with a trip to DTLA’s beloved Bottega Louie.

Before Laduree was kind enough to make it’s long overdue west-coast appearance, Bottega Louie was the only place one could get a luxury Macaron collection whilst enjoying a french style brasserie. While there are more than a few shops that offer that perfect Parisian treat in Los Angeles, Bottega Louie will always hold a special place in our Angeleno hearts. Try the delectable Beignets served with Raspberry compote or the Tuscan Farro and Eggs tossed in Rainbow Carrots, Fresh Kale, and Mushrooms.

ART to see…

After you finish your trip down french cuisine lane, your not too far to have your pick of art on display at The Broad or MOCA.

While both museums offer their own range of Modern Contemporary Art, each will provide you a unique experience and proper dose of culture.

Needing a literary fix? The Los Angeles Central Library boasts stunning architecture and rare books.

Satisfy your inner book worm then head over to the Grammy Museum for a different collection of art with one of a kind pieces to gander at from musics biggest legends.

structural wonders to see…

For those who have an admiration for the great architecture of LA, the Los Angeles Conservancy Walking Tours is here to assist. As they guide you through and by DTLA’s iconic facades, you’ll have your choice of style. Choose between tours of modern skyscrapers or the Historic Core, Art Deco icons or Victorian mansions. A true display of LA’s most beautiful building.

On the chance you opt out of the walking tour, you should at least add the Bradbury Building and Spring Arcade Building to your list of sites to see.

The two are unlike one another as the Bradbury is DTLA’s oldest commercial building established in 1893. While much of the space is utilized for private office use,  movie buffs may recognize its iconic iron staircases from the climax of Bladerunner.

After this historical stop, save sometime to venture to the next one, if not only to at least pick up a mid morning reprieve. The Spring Arcade building still brims with the beauty of its 1924 structure.

Enter the terra cotta archway as you walk through a glass-roofed alleyway of dining options.  Stop by the Green Grotto Juice Bar and pick up a tasty beverage to go before your afternoon begins!

Up Noon…

By this point your thinking, “I’ve done enough walking today”. Well venture over to Grand Park, not for the cardio but to take in the bright urban oasis.

Refurbished in 2012, the park has 12 acres of sprawling space to lounge and people watch other than the performances and gatherings it plays host to throughout the year.

If your starving Grand Central Market is the only ideal destination to appease your midday cravings.

A downtown landmark since 1917, the food hall boasts over 30 different vendors ranging in international cuisine.

Once you’ve chosen and chased away those hunger pains, Angels Flight-the worlds shortest railway is mere steps away.

Thanks to the success of the Hollywood hit film Lalaland in which it was featured and enough community demand, the once stalled hillside attraction was reopened in 2017.

SHOPPING ESSENTIALS…

We are sure by now your wondering when you will get to splurge a little. Figat7th is the next destination which offers all of your favorite fashion finds like Zara and Mac(for unique pieces the Art District does not disappoint).

After you’ve picked up the items you’ll quote as “necessary” brace yourself for unparalleled views at our next stop.

Taking the day to new heights…

Que Skyspace, locate din the US Bank building is a high-rise experience to be had for all.

Glide your way down on the 45ft glass Skyslide suspended 1000 feet in the air  to their observation deck for unobstructed views of the city of stars. A site seeing experience like no other.

Taking it to Old town…

The oldest section of the city, El Pueblo and Olvera Street were established in 1781 as a farming community.

Brimming with authentic Spanish style, the area boast 11 historical structures and a range of independent street vendors.

Once you’ve explored enough here make your last afternoon stop Union Station(pun intended).

The last of the great American rail stations is just as handsome as the day it opened, with its mission style exterior and grand art deco interior touches.

When night falls…

As the evening sets in there are a few options to keep your DTLA outing going well into the night. Stop by LA Live to catch a game at the Staples Center or experience the only 4D entertainment in LA at Regal Cinemas.

Seeking a bit more of a stage based experience? Both the Music Center and Disney Concert Hall boost world-renowned performing arts engagements.

Set the stage…

At the Music Center much of the shows put on are courtesy of the Centre Theatre Group.

At the north end, the Ahmanson Theatre presents pre- or post-Broadway fare, while the smaller Mark Taper Forum stages a wide range of new plays. Also part of the Music Center, the grand Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is the home base for LA Opera, as well as occasional concerts and dance events.

The Disney Concert Hall is not only a marvel of modern architecture but home to LA’s award-winning Philharmonic.

Hosting a plethora of concerts and shows throughout the year, it is an experience not to be missed.

Dinner time…

If you want a bit more high-flying views along with your evening feast, 71 Above is literal in its name of providing you just that.

Set 950 feet from the ground level, 71 Above offers elevated modern American Cuisine with elevated views.

If you didn’t make it to the Arts District for your shopping spree, it is worthy of ending your night there. Providing some of the most unique restaurants and bars in the city of Los Angeles, the Arts District is a culinary and cultural haven.

If you know anything LA’s iconic dining scene, you’ll Bestia falls right to the top of the list. We recommend the the Spaghetti Rustichella—a small pyramid of noodles under Dungeness crab.

Italian not quite your flavor? No fret! For savory steak frites try Church & State  a marvel of french cuisine. After dinner finish your night Everson Royce Bar-a hidden neighborhood gem.

The end… We hope you enjoyed OUR GUIDE TO A day in DTLA!

LA Eats: Staple LA Restaurants That Are Decked Out for the Holidays

The best thing about the holiday season in Los Angeles is that “Holidays in Los Angeles” can mean just about anything. Surfing in the ocean to snowboarding in the mountains, Southern California is the place to be during the holidays. Because of that, we are finding that there are timeless dining institutions that  go full out on holiday decorations every year without fail. Through them we find respite in a magical land of tinsel, garland and boughs of holly, if only for a couple weeks!

The Smoke House – 4420 W Lakeside Dr, Burbank CA 91505

It should come as no surprise that Burbank’s premiere retro steakhouse, a favorite haunt for Old Hollywood, goes pretty hard on holiday decorations (including a pair or illuminated nutcrackers that stand guard near the front door). Eat some comfort food, enjoy a Manhattan, and bask in the holiday glory.

El Coyote – 7312 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90036

Another storied local institution known for keeping its Holiday lights up all year round, El Coyote takes things one step further by draping its dark comfy booths with plastic poinsettias and installing a tree and a cute holiday displays in the foyer. Be sure to ask for your burrito “Holiday-style,” smothered in both red and green salsa.

The Galley – 2442 Main St, Santa Monica CA 90405

It might not seem fair to include Santa Monica’s oldest restaurant on this list, if only because the strands upon strands of multicolored Christmas lights lining its tiki-pirate ship dining room are left up all year long. However, you should probably visit the beachside favorite in December anyway, at least to sip a Mai Tai with the cheery regulars. Maybe you’ll even cajole Captain Ron into telling a couple jokes.

Barone’s Famous Italian – 13726 Oxnard St, Valley Glen CA 91401

The crispy-crust, rectangular Sicilian pies served at Barone’s are tasty, but the real reason to come to this Valley Glen pizzeria is the sweet 1940s décor. It’s like an Italian grandmother’s postwar dining room frozen in amber, complete with red carpeting and carved wood trim. As you might imagine, it looks even more amazing after the Holiday decorations go up. Plus, there is spumoni for dessert.

HMS Bounty – 3357 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90010

Rumor has it that Richard Nixon and Winston Churchill were among the famous faces known for knocking back a drink or two at Koreatown’s famed 69-year-old nautical- themed dive bar. All we know is that the holiday decorations are cheery and bright, the bar snacks are solid and you always count on the Wise Man’s Special to provide a Start of Bethlehem-worthy glow.

Taix – 1911 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90026

The sparkly holiday decorations are up at Echo Park’s long-running French restaurant, including some elf dolls that look like they might come alive when your back is turned. Taix’s classic French onion soup is always a good bet, but look out for the annual dessert special, Buche de Noel, which should appear on the menu the next couple of weeks.

**Content sourced from LA Magazine.

Weekend Events: December 13 – December 15

Enjoy the weekend before the hustle and bustle of the holidays with these fun-filled events! Help Mickey look for clues in his search for Tinker Bell on ice or have a snowball fight with the kids in Los Angeles’ very own Winter Wonderland. From live performances to holiday markets and parades, we’ve got it all covered for you.

 

Friday December 13, 2019

Disney on Ice: Mickey’s Search Party Los Angeles
Location: STAPLES Center
When: 7:30 pm

 

Join Mickey Mouse and his friends at this brand-new adventure filled with world-class skating, high-flying acrobatics, and unexpected stunts! Help them follow Captain Hook’s treasure map and look for clues in the search for Tinker Bell! Make precious memories with your whole family during Aladdin,  Toy Story, and Little Mermaid as the search party becomes an all-out magical celebration on the ice, in the air, and all around!

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Location: Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
When: 11 am

 

LA Phil features Michael Tilson Thomas as the conductor and Daniil Trifonov as the pianist. Trifonov has the reputation of taking a beloved classic like Tchaikovsky’s popular Piano Concerto and imbuing it with fresh new life. L.A. favorite Michael Tilson Thomas also leads Copland’s Third Symphony, built on the composer’s stirring Fanfare for the Common Man.

Taco Tour
Location: 1001 N. Alameda St. Los Angeles, CA
When: 10:30 am

 

During this bicycle tour, you will be taken to what we consider are some of LA’s best taco spots. You will experience a taco tour of Los Angeles that takes your body and taste buds on an unforgettable ride to some of LA’s hidden gems. This tour rides through different neighborhoods, historic sites, and they’ll stop at various taco stands and trucks so you can experience one of LA’s most popular on the go foods.

Saturday December 14, 2019

 

Winter Wonderland
Location: Baldwin Hills Crenshaw
3650 West Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 9008
When: 3 pm- 7 pm

 

Winter Wonderland is an opportunity for families across City Council District 8 to meet each other and celebrate the holidays with some fun in the snow! Councilmember Marqeece Harris-Dawson and Baldwin Hills Crenshaw invite you to join a day of holiday celebrations including music, food, and a toy giveaway. Performances begin at 4:30 pm, Grammy-nominated soul singer and songwriter Marsha Ambrosius will headline the free holiday concert. You won’t want to miss out on this!

Moonlight Forest Lantern Art Festival
Location: Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden
301 North Baldwin Avenue Arcadia, CA 91007
When: 5:30-10pm

 

The 2019 festival will be more spectacular than ever with dazzling new lanterns and interactive experiences. Children will find bright circular swings and other interactive delights in Children’s World. Visit your family, friends, and holiday guests for a highly memorable evening.

 

Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade
 Location: 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
When: 5:30 – 7:00 pm

 

Arrive early to grab a spot on the lawn at Chace photo or a good photo spot at Fisherman’s Village, two of the most popular viewing places. The 2019 parade theme is “Kids Make Holidays Bright”. A brief firework show at 5:55 pm announces the start of the parade, which lasts until about 8 pm.

Sunday December 15, 2019

The Nutcracker
Location: Royce Hall-UCLA
10745 Dickson Court Los Angeles, CA 90095
Time: 12 pm

 

Los Angeles Ballet continually brings exciting ballet productions in Los Angeles, and their annual Nutcracker is no exception. In this production, LAB has stayed true to their classical roots with a little spin: the show is set in LA in 1912. This LAB performs The Nutcracker at five different venues throughout the Southland, so there’s plenty of opportunities to catch a performance without having to sit in too much traffic.

 

 

Unique LA Holiday Market
Location: Santa Monica Pier, Downtown Santa Monica

The annual holiday market features clothes, accessories, and art pieces from a number of quality handmade brands. Check out local products and rub elbows with the different designers and artists showcasing their work.

Frozen
Location: Pantages Theatre, Hollywood
6233 Hollywood Boulevard
Time: 1pm and 6:30 pm

 

Do you want to build a…rainy day fund to save up for tickets to a smash hit Disney-inspired Broadway musical? Good, because Frozen is coming to L.A. The Broadway musical based on the 2013 animated Disney film, will kick off a national tour with strong fall 2019 performances at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre.

 

 

 

 

 

Home Tips: Level Up Your Holiday Door Decor

Holiday door decor is not necessarily at the top of your list of things to decorate during the holidays.  However, a well put together door speaks volumes to those who pass it by. There is some sort of energy influence that a well-decorated doorway has over those who acknowledge it.  Using decorations like wreaths, garlands, lights and decorative window art will have your whole neighborhood in awe. There’s no better way to welcome family and friends to your home this season.

Frost The Glass

Visitors will be in awe of these instant etchings – vines and fauna. As intricate as it looks, this artwork is easy to create! Start by printing out a template of choice, which comes in sections, onto paper. Trace onto the back of white vinyl using transfer paper, cut out designs with scissors, and align to form the larger design. Static holds the pieces in place on a glass or mirrored surface without the need for adhesive, so you can reuse this snowy silhouette for years to come. Talk about eco-friendly.

Dazzle with Evergreen Stars

Think of the front exterior of your home as a blank canvas. Pictured here, these eight-point stars are staggered, making the front door its focal point. Evergreens are formed on simple bases made from wooden strips; using varieties like rosemary, juniper, cedar, boxwood or white spruce. (Tip: When choosing cuttings, opt for cedar, which can withstand wintry weather). You can also gather trimmings from your backyard.

Keep it Pretty and Practical

Even the smallest front porch and its door can be an efficient use of space. On this front porch are the most important items: sturdy boots, firewood, extra pinecones, and moss for the weekend projects. The lush wreath requires no complicated tools for assembly – just floral shears and wire.

Upcycle Your Treasures

Among all the holiday guests who come flocking to your door, none are as charming as the feathered ones who already inhabit your backyard. An idea that caters to them is easy: Prop a weather-worn basket onto the door with a bundle of greenery and perhaps a pinecone or two coated with peanut butter as a special treat for the birds? Sit back with a cup of hot chocolate and watch the show from your window.

Add Greenery and Shine

Wreaths are considered the darling of any front door, but why not exaggerate its grandeur with a trailing greenery of laurel branches and silver baubles. For a cohesive look, you can enliven an urn or potted planter that’s empty for the winter with any leftovers of laurel and a gazing ball.

Invite Familiar Characters

Charm and tradition go hand in hand for the holiday season. At this holiday open house in Wilmington, North Carolina, the front door is decked out in merry red and green colors. On either side: ribbon-tied topiaries with poinsettias, glass lanterns and a larger-than-life Nutcracker standing at attention.

Craft a Whole New World

The most well-decorated front door offers your house guests a few telling clues about what awaits them inside. Outside, a welcoming sight of mushrooms, woodland gnomes and bottlebrush animals greet those who approach to enter.

Get the Party Started

If you’re playing hostess to a crowd, here’s a sweet idea to greet your guests: roll out a bar with your signature cocktail and a few decorative elements. At this whimsical holiday party, a life-size Nutcracker stands nearby, offering a fun photo-opp as people enter the party. And if you didn’t the transformative power of paint, just check out that cotton-candy pink hue.

***Most of these projects have an added advantage: the structural underpinnings can be saved and reused. After the holidays, you can dismantle the displays, discard the faded greenery and save the base decoration. Next year, when winter returns once more, you can unpack your creations and dress up your doorway for the holiday season. Ideas sourced from Martha Stewart.

Tech News: Uber Or Lyft, Which One Is Better?

If you are living in a big city or if you are traveling to a big city you are most likely aware of the ultra popular ride-sharing apps, Uber and Lyft.

Both Uber and Lyft serve the same purpose with an almost identical client-base. How do you decided which ride-hailing service is better to use at any given time?

Uber and Lyft are ride-hailing apps that operate in largely the same way: open the app, type in the address you want to go to, select the type of ride you want to take (single, shared or luxury), see the cost, and confirm.

You’ll be able to see where your driver is and when they’re going to arrive. However, there are a few differences between the two services in terms of pricing, safety features, subscription options and rewards.

Uber – Optimal For International Rides

Uber was the first ride-hailing app on the market, launching in 2009 with an app for iOS and Android. Its ubiquity has made “getting an Uber” synonymous with “using a ride-hailing service” for many people.

Uber has 91 million monthly active riders, and 3.9 million drivers across 63 countries, according to its website. Coverage-wise, Uber is much larger than Lyft, which operates only in the US and Canada.

The Uber app is user-friendly. When you open it, you’ll see a map of your current location and a box that says “Where to?” where you can type in your destination to either find a ride now or schedule one for the future.

Type in a destination address, and you’ll see several different options for a ride, along with the price of each. These include UberX (the most popular and least expensive option, for a private ride for one to four people in a basic car), Comfort (a private ride in a newer, midsize car with extra legroom), UberXL (for a group of up to six riders), or Select/Black (a private ride in a premium car with a professional driver).

You might also see an option for UberPool, which matches you with drivers heading to the same area and lets you share a car with them for a lower price than an UberX ride. In some cities, Uber also offers bike and scooter rentals and transit schedules.

Uber has added a number of new safety features to the app in the past year, including the ability to text 911 from the app during a ride and tools to verify that riders are getting into the right car.

The company will reportedly begin allowing US passengers and drivers to record audio during rides through the app as well.

Lyft – Optimal For Frequent Rides

Lyft is the second-largest known ride-hailing service, which launched in 2012 and rapidly expanded as Uber faced scandals both external and internal, including the ousting of its former CEO Travis Kalanick after an investigation of accusations of sexual harassment, gender bias, and unprofessional business practices within the company.

Like Uber, Lyft has an app for iOS and Android. Lyft has 30 million riders and 2 million drivers across the US and Canada, but none outside of North America.

The Lyft app works very similarly to Uber’s: When you open it, you’ll see a map of your current location, and a box that says “Where are you going?” – you can type in your destination to either find a ride now or schedule one for the future.

When you type in a destination address, you’ll see an option for a Lyft (the most popular and least expensive option, for a private ride for one to four people in a basic car), Lyft XL (for a group of up to six riders), and Lux (a premium car with a top driver and extra legroom).

You might also see an option for a Shared ride, to ride with others heading in the same direction for a lower price. In some cities, Lyft also offers car rentals, bike and scooter rentals, and transit schedules.

For frequent riders, in December, Lyft launched a new subscription plan called Lyft Pink, which takes the place of a few previous plans it offered.

Aimed at riders who use Lyft at least two or three times per week, a Lyft Pink subscription costs $20 a month, and gets you 15% off of every ride, priority airport pickups, three covered cancellation fees per month, and three free 30-minute bike and scooter rides per month (for a limited time, in certain cities), among other perks. Lyft’s subscription option costs $5 less per month than Uber’s, and is more clear on how much money you will actually save.

Conclusion

Most of the time, the experience of using Lyft and Uber is largely the same — perhaps in part because, anecdotally, most drivers most ride with say they work for both platforms, and have both Lyft and Uber decals on their dashboard.

Indeed, a 2019 survey of 1,000 Uber and Lyft drivers from The Rideshare Guy found that nearly 84% of drivers said they work for more than one service.

Pricing tends to be pretty similar for both Lyft and Uber, but fluctuate based on demand and traffic. If the lowest price is what you’re looking for, the best way to make sure you get the best deal is to open both apps on your phone, type in your destination, and see which price is lower at that time.

LA Eats: Where to Brunch With Your Family In Town

Your family is in town for the holidays.  There are so many places to show them in our city, and even more places to take them to eat. We’ve got you covered as far as LA’s most quintessential brunch places they need to try.

Kismet

The flaky bread that Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson serve at Kismet along with a soft-boiled egg and labneh is very good day or night, but somehow especially fantastic for brunch. Add a scone with lemon cream and maybe some cinnamon babka toast and one is likely all set.

Salt’s Cure

Thoughtfully sourced, California-grown ingredients form the foundation of Chris Phelp’s cooking at Salt’s Cure. Brunch is especially fantastic with things like biscuits and gravy, as well as oatmeal griddle cakes, on the menu.

Sqirl

Sqirl may very well be LA’s quintessential brunch. Come early, order the brioche toast with four different jams and the sorrel pesto rice bowl, and leave with a full understanding of the hype surrounding the place. Seriously. Come early. The line gets LONG, but it is SO worth it.

Republique

Get your hands on their Margarita Manzke’s crazy delicious pastries and fill up with brunch favorites like brioche French toast and kimchi fried rice.

The Rose Venice

Venice denizens arrive at The Rose in droves on weekend mornings for Jason Neroni’s pitch-perfect cooking. Particularly good is the wide range of pastries that pair nicely with the restaurant’s exceptional coffee. Many individuals with short layovers at LAX are known to take a cab to The Rose for brunch, and risk missing their connecting flight for this food. Yep. That good.

Sweet Butter Kitchen

Sweet Butter is an airy, brunch-y rustic cafe spot that has some delicious vegan options (highly recommend the Vegan PB cookie). It’s a rarity in the Valley and worth a visit if you happen to be over the hill from LA proper. You order at a counter and then pick a seat in the sun-lit central patio, which isn’t overly spacious, but isn’t crowded either.

Little Dom’s

Your favorite pasta haven is also a secret breakfast destination. There is never a wait. Pop in for Italian-leaning specialities like ricotta cheese pancakes with fresh blueberries, scrambled egg bruschetta, breakfast pizza, and breakfast meatballs with poached eggs.

Blu Jam

Crunchy French Toast. That’s all. Blu Jam keeps opening new locations (they even just opened a Tokyo location), but that hasn’t seemed to ease the crowds. Prepare to settle in for a bit of a wait for a table at the no-reservations cafés, but have faith that your patience will ultimately be rewarded.

Go Get Em Tiger

Most folks make their way to Go Get ‘Em Tiger for the coffee, which remains among the best in town. But if you’re planning to sit for a spell and enjoy your drink, maybe you should have something to eat too, right? To sate you, they have one of the best breakfast sandwiches in LA. The attention to detail that goes into every single plate out of their kitchen is clear. I mean, look at these eggs on that flaky biscuit.

Jon & Vinny’s

Do you like pizza? Do you like breakfast? Well, Jon and Vinny have a little something just for you, and it’s called breakfast pizza. And while, ok, they may not have invented the idea, they have pretty much perfected it — and then gone and created five different versions. Don’t forget to order a bombolone doughnut to go along. Also, their pancakes. Yep. They did it again.

Poppy + Rose

Poppy & Rose brings some Southern and soul food touches to dishes like pulled pork hash, rib-tip breakfast burritos, and their signature, buttermilk fried chicken and waffles with smoked honey butter.

Homestate

Don’t need to fly all the way to Austin to find breakfast tacos! Homestate is your spot in the Los Angeles area! Truly. Just as good. Flour Tortillas are a must. Queso too.

Malibu Farm

Another classic. Enjoy a farm to table brunch with your family with the amazing views of Malibu. Get their early to get parking and avoid the wait. There are two locations on the SAME pier. Same menu. Winning!

Weekend Events: December 6 – December 8

With the holidays just a short time away, you won’t want to miss out on these events to get you in the mood! From fun-filled events like live performances at Wallis Annenberg to beautiful museum exhibits at LACMA!

Friday December 6, 2019

Handmade Ornaments Show

Location: iam8nit, Echo Park

Artists from around the world have crafted hundreds of original ornaments in an assortment of mediums, from plush to metal, and most are affordably priced. The pop-up market kicks off with an opening reception on December 5 (7-10pm) and continues during regular gallery hours through December 22.

For The Record: Love Actually Live

Location: Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Beverly Hills

Throughout December, cult-favorite musical series For the Record presents a stage show based on one of the world’s most beloved holiday movies, Love Actually. Using a multimedia set, a 15-piece orchestra and songs from the film, the show will turn Beverly Hills’ Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts into a feel-good winter set for musical numbers and scenes of the movie’s intersecting love stories.

“Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again”

Location: The Broad, Downtown

This exhibition will make you angry, angry about the subjugation of women around the world, angry over entire populations being unwelcome to their own homelands and angry that such a beautiful body of work from Shirin Neshat hasn’t been on display in Los Angeles before. Covering 30 years of the Iranian-born artist’s photo and video works the Broad is a must-see.

Saturday December 7, 2019

“Julie Mehretu”

Location: LACMA

A co-presentation with New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, LACMA takes a first-ever mid-career look at the Ethiopian-American artist’s striking large-scale abstractions, with 35 paintings and 40 works on paper.

Artisanal LA Holiday City Market

Location: Multiple Venus

L.A. markets is a 30 vendor pop-up at Bunker Hill’s Bank of America Plaza, a gathering of 75- plus markets in the parking lot behind the Pasadena Playhouse.

Sparkle DTLA

Location: THE BLOC

Sparkle LA is setting up shop at the Bloc through the end of December, and it’s bringing a bunch of programming along with it, including a holiday card and wreath making workshops.

Sunday December 8, 2019

W | ALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine

Location: Annenberg Space for Photography

The latest challenging exhibition from the Annenberg Space for Photography examines the real and imagined barriers that have separated societies and ideas for centuries, from the Roman Empire to the U.S.-Mexico border.

 

“Loitering is Delightful”

Location: Barnsdall Art Park & Hollyhock House, Los Feliz

Loitering is delightful celebrates the process of taking your time and enjoying your surroundings without any particular aim.

 

Rose Bowl Flea Market

Location: Rose Bowl

The world-famous Rose Bowl Flea Market takes place on the second Sunday of every month! Come shop from over 2,500 vendors selling everything from coveted antiques, rare vintage finds, and today’s most up-to-date trends!

 

Out & About: Santa Monica Edition

Originally established as a seaside retreat at the turn of the 20th century, today Santa Monica attracts families and renters to its beachside lifestyle, proximity to Los Angeles (just 15 miles), and overall high quality of life. Santa Monica has many things to offer from the famous Santa Monica Pier to the Santa Monica Farmers Market. There is surely a wealth of things to do for the whole family!

Snag a picture at the Route 66: End of the Trail sign

That’s right, the iconic Route 66 that runs all the way from Chicago to LA officially ends in Santa Monica.  As one of the first U.S. highways, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km), Route 66 served as the primary highway for those who migrated from east to west over the last century. This landmark sign overlooking the Pacific Ocean at the Santa Monica Pier symbolizes the official stopping point of historic westward travelers.

Check out the Santa Monica Farmers Markets

Taking place every Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM, the market is located on Arizona Avenue between Second and Third Street; on Sunday, it’s at 2640 Main Street. Not only do these markets have organic produce you can take home and cook, but you can also find stands selling food you can eat right there on the spot! Established in 1981, the market aims to keep modest goals of providing reasonably priced, high quality produce to the city’s community.

Grab a drink at Chez Jay – The World’s Most Glamorous Dive Bar
1657 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

For nearly half a century this tiny bar has been a showcase for the adventurer Jay Fiondella’s treasure hunts, hot air balloons, and historic artifacts from legendary shipwrecks! Fiondella started and operated Chez Jay in 1959 and has been a sanctuary for celebrities coming to hang out through the years, from the likes of the Rat Pack to even the Jonas Brothers. If you’re looking for that “come as you are” experience with history, Chez Jay is the place for you.

Get a picture of the mosaic-covered – Farnam House

The Farnam House has been featured in national newspapers and television shows, and even won a TLC contest for the most interesting house in California! Louise and Aziz Farnam have spent 13 years applying various tiles, plates, and glass to their 1930’s bungalow in Santa Monica. This is one local gem that is absolutely worth saying you witnessed!

Have lunch at Santa Monica’s oldest restaurant – The Galley

Decorated with set pieces from the Mutiny on the Bounty and under the glow of multicolored Christmas lights, the booths are cozy and romantic. Offering delicious seafood and steak, ask about the now off-menu, “Favorite Land Food” they will still make it for you! A neighborhood staple since 1934, The Galley has been a long-time favorite for Santa Monica locals and visitors.

Home Tips: Easy Decoration Ideas That’ll Holiday Up Your Home

This holiday season, consider these charming touches when decking out your own halls. Classic in inspiration and modern in execution, they bring cheer to nearly every room in the house and are as easy to implement as one, two, three.

Cue the Conifers

Make your mantel look amazing with a colorful assortment of vintage and inexpensive evergreens. The bottle-brush variety are readily available online and at craft stores; the miniature ones were plucked from a model train set. Votives make the snow-dusted landscape sparkle.

Jingle all the Way

To make comings and goings much more festive, gather a variety of craft-store bells and string them onto two loops of wire. Mold them into a cluster shape, twist the ends of the loops together and tie a big bow. Hang the ornament from a doorknob with a piece of cord.

Fake a Flame

Enjoy candlelight without the fire hazard by placing LED votives on windowsills, mantels, and stairs!

Stock up on Stockings

Nope, they’re not just for kids. These John Robshaw beauties add texture and color to any space and can be put to new use. Fill sachets with fallen pine needles, tuck them inside the stockings and perfume your home in a stealth way.

Go out with a Bang

Christmas crackers date back to mid-19th– century Great Britain. These crackers are prettily wrapped cylinders that hold tiny gifts and emit a loud pop when pulled apart. Place a pile in a bowl by your front door and send guests home with a jolly, fun party favor.

Spread the Love

Rather than tucking mistletoe in a doorway, make family meals warn and fuzzy with an overhead centerpiece. Wrap wreath frame with fresh eucalyptus and faux mistletoe (toxins in the real berries can harm kids and pets) and attach ornaments with floral wire.

Light the Way

To set up this modern menorah, arrange eight bud vases in a row, with a taller one in the middle, and place tapers inside. For added stability, put a bit of candle glue in the bottom of each vase. Post-holiday repurpose the vessels for greenery or small garden clippings.

Count Down TO HOLIDAY OF YOUR CHOICE

The whimsical Advent calendar comes together in a few basic steps. First, paint a two-by-four foot pegboard slat; let dry overnight. Using stencils, craft paint and a brush or sponge, paint the numbers you would need on muslin gift bags; let dry overnight.

The next day, evenly space small wooden pegs in the board; fill the bags with little toys, candy and handwritten messages and hang the bags in order. Then, just place it on a console table or ledge, lean it against the wall (or mount it, if you have small children), and let the anticipation build to your favorite holiday.

**IDEAS Sourced from MarthaStewart.com

5 Smart-Home Tools That You Did Not Know You Needed

There’s this notion going around that everything needs to be “smart” for ease of lifestyle —  even your home.  Fortunately for you, the market is saturated with smart-home tools, with new ones added almost every day. Below is a list of a few smart-home tools for your home that you did not know you needed.

Voice Assistant

The most common way that homeowners get started with smart-home technology is by purchasing a voice assistant device such as an Amazon Echo (Alexa) or Google Home Assistant. These come in a variety of sizes. From the Google Mini or Echo Dot to the larger hubs such as the Google Hub or Echo Show (which offer touch screens and more robust speakers). You can place them in popular areas in the house, such as the kitchen or bedroom, to look up information, play music, and control other smart-home devices. From there, homeowners can choose other smart-home products that are compatible with their voice assistant.

Smart Thermostat

The next item that energy-conscious homeowners will want to purchase is a smart thermostat. Popular brands include Ecobee, Nest, and Honeywell. Nest has been acquired by Google, which is transitioning the “works with Nest” program to work with Google Assistant and offer additional products such as a video doorbell, a smart-lock, cameras, and a security system. Ecobee is our  personal favorite since it includes an additional occupancy and temperature sensor that can be placed in any room of the home. Both systems have scheduling and geofence features that will adjust settings based on whether the owner is home using their phone as a presence sensor.

Video Doorbell

Ring has helped video doorbells gain popularity with their aggressive advertising on Nextdoor and Facebook. There are other great options from Google, Simplisafe, and Skybell. A video doorbell allows the homeowner to see who’s at the door, monitor when packages arrive, and avoid those pesky door-to-door salespeople. Beware: if you don’t have a strong Wi-Fi connection you’ll be disappointed with the video quality.

Smart Lighting

Whether you install a switch at the wall or just replace a few lightbulbs, smart lighting is a popular choice for convenience, security, and entertainment. We recommend going with a system such as Lutron, which does not require a neutral wire and can be controlled via voice or application with a smart bridge device. Philips Hue or LIFX bulbs are both great options for lighting up a room with color, and each includes a variety of scenes that can help set the mood. Smart lights and switches can also be integrated with a home hub such as Hubitat and connected to other devices such as door or motion sensors. Smart bulbs can also be compatible with Alexa and Google Devices.

Smart Plugs

Plugs are another cost-effective way to control dated devices such as lamps, fans, or holiday lights. This allows the homeowner to setup a variety of automations and use his or her smartphone or voice assistant to turn them on or off. Some versions also include energy monitoring, which can be used to trigger other automations or to simply let the owner know how much power they’re currently using. Perk: You can set these to go on or off on a timer so that your pets aren’t left in the dark when the sun sets.