Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Rolling Stones at The Taschen Gallery -- Get What You Need

I had SOOOOOO much fun yesterday. Oh my God. It was one of those freedom days. One of those alive days. And unexpected. Completely unplanned. Which is always the best.
Mick agger
Sexy hot and unfair, Photo by Ethan Russell, 1972. The Official name of this photograph is "Lips."
I had to go to the WGA and because of that, I ended up seeing my friend, Adco, at Joan's on 3rd for an impromptu friend date. I have to do a real post for Joan's on 3rd but I will say this, as hoighty toighty as it is, it's also incredibly relaxed and it has a DAMN good cup of coffee (and super good crispy bacon. I didn't even know they served breakfast and you  know  how into breakfast I am these days). I also want to say seeing Adam reminds me of all that is good: cars, music, art, New York, our mutual friend, Dina and The Rolling Stones.

So it made good sense that on my way home I stopped by the Taschen Gallery to see The Stones show. Earlier in the morning I drove by and remembered Ad had attended the opening night for the exhibit. I remembered the pictures and it looked like fun but forgot. And then boom, I saw this...
Tashen Gallery
...on the corner of Beverly and Crescent Heights. 

When I was growing up I was obsessed with/scared by/attracted to The Rolling Stones. But it was in NYC with my Tall Friend Jen that I became completely, irrationally obsessed. To date, Mick is the only rock star I've ever had a sex dream about and I gotta admit the truth, I'm pretty proud of that.
My boyfriend, Mick Jagger. Photo by Jean-Marie Perier, Paris, 1966
You probably know about Taschen because of their famous Dian Hanson books.
You've seen them for years. They're known as the "sexy books." And there's a great article I recently read about Dian Hanson in Believer Mag. Check it out.

But this exhibit is Taschen's first here in LA. They opened mid-December and way to open! With The Stones! Nice! Because it's been such a success, they've extended the photographic exhibit - which has close to 100 photos throughout the years - to February 15th. And you know, you think Taschen, you think books. So of course, there's a huge and luscious Stones book with the pics from the exhibit on sale for $150. And because it's Taschen, there's also a mega 5k book with all The Stones signatures...
Yari from Taschen displaying their Sumo Rolling Stones Book with The Fella's Signatures
I'm thrilled a piece of history, culture, England, New York -- home -- is in LA. The exhibit is curated by Reuel Golden and the photographers are iconic. You'll see the works of masters such as David Bailey, Anton Corbijn, Gered Mankowitz, Terry Richardson, Dominique Tarle, and Albert Watson here. AND it's all for sale. 
The Taschen Gallery
Knowing they've extended it, I'm sure to go back. And listen, they have The Stones playing continuously while you're there. What's not to like?

Speaking of, driving home, I put on the radio and "Miss You" came on. A sunny day, in LA. Seeing one of my best friends, getting an eyefull of Mick, Keith, Brian, Charlie, Ronnie, Bill. Then driving home on the freeway to "Miss You"? 
Brian Jones by Bent Rej taken in 1965 in London at Brian's home.
You gotta love LA.

Joan's on 3rd is at 8530 West 3rd. There's another location at 12059 Ventura Boulevard in Studio city. Street Parking available. Always check your meter. It gets vicious around here.

The Taschen Gallery is at 8070 Beverly Boulevard. LA, CA 90048. 323.852.9098. Hours of Operation is Tuesday thru Saturday 11-6PM and Sunday 12 to 5PM. And by Appointment. PS: Don't be afraid. It's free!


Friday, January 23, 2015

Maud Simmons is The Artist on The Stairwell

Maude Simmons
This Monday night there'll be an art party for my good friend, the very talented Maud Simmons, at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena. Maud's been chosen by the store to be their next Artist on the Stairwell. Every 6 weeks or so Vroman's highlights a different local artist, which I think is extremely cool as is Maud. She does big and small and everything in between. One of my favorite quotes from her is Give me a surface and I will paint on it, draw on it, paste on it. The series on display will be her gouache shoe series. Gouache is a type of watercolor, done in layers, and Maud's chosen a subject, something we see every day, and made it the focal point.
shoes art
Brown Furry Clog
Maud's work has appeared at different galleries throughout LA as well as on TV shows, films and she does private commissions as well, re-masters, and of course plenty of original pieces and series.
LA Landspace.
My Painting by Maud
Frankly, I don't think Maud sleeps and that might be a problem.
Black Patent Leather, by Maud Simmons
Vroman's is a very special store. It's the oldest and largest independent bookstore in Southern California. And when I say largest, I mean it is large and in charge. It's not just books or art. There are t-shirts, kid's toys (not to mention a world-famous kid's books dept.), yoga gear, games, gorgeous jewelry, mugs, wonderful perfumes - like Tokyo Milk, worth it tchotchkes, and they have a kick-ass Pens & Stationary Department, which is where the artist receptions are held.
40 year old virgins
A scene from 40 Year Old Virgin shot at Vroman's Bookstore
They'll have wine and cheese and stuff like that plus live music. AND Maudy's gonna be there. You kind of can't get better than that.
Italian Sandal
Afterward, you might want to check out an independent film over at The Laemmle's, which is right next store, and one of my favorite pizza places is just a block and a half away: Settebello's. They serve Naples-style pizza. It's absolutely delicious and a really nice atmosphere.

Vroman's is at 695 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91101. 626.449.5320. Though they have a parking lot, if it's full, you can look for parking on either Union or Oak Knoll -- always check the signs, they do give out tickets in these parts. If worse comes to worse you can try parking in the Target parking lot. You're not really supposed to but you know, wink wink. As for the art, the party's Monday evening and her art will be on display and for sale through February.

Laemmle's of Pasadena is at 673 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91101. 310.478.3836.

Settebello's is at 625 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91101. 626.765.9550. The Diavola is divine. Just sayin.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Martin Luther King speaks on KPFK - It will move you to listen just a little while.

Anyone who's interested today, KPFK  (90.7FM) is playing Martin Luther Speeches all day.
Here's the schedule:

Detailed schedule of KPFK’s programming on Monday the 19th
6am       Democracy Now featuring excerpts of newly discovered  1964 speech by Dr. King
7am       Connect the Dots (with a commentary on Dr. King’s legacy)
8am       Democracy Now special featuring the King’s 1967 speech at Riverside Church in New York City at which he came
out against the Vietnam  War
9am       Democracy Now featuring excerpts of newly discovered  1964 speech by Dr. King
10am     Letters and Politics on the life and legacy of Dr. King
11am     Speeches by Dr. King – Hour One:
                                On the Power of Peaceful Persuasion – June 24, 1957
                                The Future of Integration – June 1961 (at Ford Hall in NYC)
Noon     Speeches by Dr. King – Hour Two
                                We Want to be Free Speech – May 26, 1963 (in Los Angeles at Wrigley Field)
                                Discussions of a Complete Life – January 1962
1pm       Speeches by Dr. King – Hour Three
                                America Chief Moral Dilemma – May 17, 1967 (in Berkeley at Sproul Hall)
2pm       Speeches by Dr. King – Hour Four
                                But If Not – November 1967 (in Atlanta)
                                Men and Women in the Arts Concerned with Vietnam – March 16, 1968 (in LA)
3pm       Speeches by Dr. King – Hour Five
                                Dimensions of a Complete Life – January 1962 (at Yale)
                                Domestic Urgencies vs. Military Costs – February 25, 1967 (in LA)
                                The Civil Rights Movement and its Goals for the Future - April 14, 1967 (at Stanford)
                                Memorium in Central Park the Day After MLK was Assassinated
4pm       From the Vault Documentary on the “I Have A Dream” Speech
5pm       From the Vault Documentary that includes the entire 1964 speech from London, England that was recently
discovered by the Pacifica Radio Archives

Currently they're playing a speech he did in the Hollywood Hills at a private home. He was introduced by James Baldwin. Incredible. Made my heart beat faster. It's amazing how far we've come and how sad it is we still have racism, anger, violence towards innocents... Incredible how prescient, moving and important it is to hear The Great Doctor.

And this speech in particular was taped by KPFK and preserved back in 1968.


"If the Haves are willing to join hands with the hands with the Have Nots, it wouldn't take much." - Martin Luther King


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Fielding & Friends

My good friend is performing in and hosting a stand-up show in West Hollywood tonight which I highly recommend!
UPDATE: This showtime is at 10PM. They changed the time.
Just a little info about the performers: Michael Kosta  is star of Fox Sports "Crowd Goes Wild." He can also be seen regularly performing on late night TV, including The Tonight Show and Chelsea Lately.  Kira Soltanovich  is  a  stand-up with her own Showtime special, who's writing credits include writing for the late great Joan Rivers. Andrew Donnelly is a comedic actor whose credits include Archer and Happy Endings.  Shelagh Ratner  is  a  Moth performer who's also the Winner of the Funniest Female Flappers. The sexy Scout Durwood  is a Moth Story Slam Champion who you've most recently seen on Mindy. And finally the cute and very hilarious Fielding Edlow. Fielding is  a comedic actress, writer, playwright and stand-up, who's film DVR was chosen as an Official Selection at The Palm Springs and LA Shorts Film Festival and who put this whole thing together and does so every month.


Bar Lubitsch, is on Santa Monica Boulevard between Spaulding & Stanley. 323.654.1234. Street parking available, though always check the signs. Show starts at 10pm.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Is Breakfast Having a Resurgence in LA?

Cindy's Diner
I almost feel like breakfast is a young person's game. From college on you go out to breakfast, often to recover and soak up the memories from the night before. But once real adulthood sets in (for us Americans this is after 40) breakfast is a completely home-type thing. The days of the diner and the restaurant before 11AM are rare occasions for me. My breakfast, almost every morning, consists of one or two rice cakes with avocado on them, two Morningstar Breakfast patties, and if I'm really hungry, scrambled eggs with dill & pepper. Like clockwork. Wanna come over? And if I run out of eggs I have oatmeal. That's the long and short. The skinny. The home-cooked, home-ate, let's-get-on-with-the-day breakfast. Oh, and coffee but that's a no-brainer.

But I stabbed myself in the hand this morning.
Crazy home-made bandage contraption made by my husband
While trying to cut the pit out of an avocado I deeply punctured right into the middle of my palm. I mean this is the kind of wound that tougher sorts wouldn't have cried over and certainly wouldn't have suggested going to the ER for. My husband assured me it was not hospital-worthy. But he was nice enough to not make fun of the fact that tears were streaming down my face and even went so far as to cut special bandaids to deal with the awkward location of this deep, very painful injury. (I really should be in a hospital right now).

But so... breakfast. Breakfast still needed to be eaten. Most important meal of the day, some believe. AND I just finished a script and wanted to take it easy, celebrate. Or celebrate-adjacent. So I texted my friend Max.
"Can't keep on doing it" refers to the making of my breakfast. 
So Max met my husband and I over at Cindy's which I've been hearing about and driving by FOREVER. I totally thought nothing would ever go into this spot that remained empty for what seemed far too long. And then this diner rumored to have fantastic food just appeared from heaven.

Described by the new owners (who own Firefly in South Pas) as old school aesthetics mixed with new school flavors, Cindy's offers morning faire such as a Creamed Kale Omelet ($10), a Fried Egg Sandwich with Tabasco Mayo ($8.50), and a Potato Beet Pancake plate with stewed apple and dill cream ($9.50).

At first blush, I can certainly say, they got that old-school aesthetic down. The interior is out of Retro Diner Central. Orange seats. Imperfect and comf booths. Cool lighting:
Retro Interios
But listen, I'm a New Yorker. I'm skeptical and I'm hard on breakfast places. I've been going to diners since I was a kid (The Hastings Diner which had a kick-ass Cherry Coke) and then for big hangover breakfasts in Boston during college and NYC during "The Lost Decade." In my expert opinion, I know this is what a diner's supposed to look like. But one question remained-- would the food be good? Worth it? Reliable? I mean I don't know how fancy I want this stuff to get. Usually fancy means heavy, gloppy, weird, and a stomach ache later. 
Roasted Mushroom Omelette
Cindy's Roasted Mushroom Omelet
It's rare I'll only go somewhere once and blog about it but I'm telling you, Cindy's ranks. Completely, utterly, one billion percent worth it. This New Yorker says GO. It's that yummy and you won't regret it.

I got the Roasted Mushroom Omelet (pictured above for $11) which had these carmelized onions inside, reminding me of wine-y, stew-y French onion soup onions, a nice smattering of bleu cheese that must have been somehow magically melted into the eggs themselves, and a non-overpowering parsley pesto dabbed on top. I never eat pesto in anything really except for pasta and every now and again, I'll partake if it's a part of some appetizer. But this was perfect: subtly prepared and not more than a tablespoon.

Restraint. I like it. Dang, Cindy's!

My husband got the Noah's Ark for 9 bucks.
The blue Palet Speical

2 eggs, 2 pancakes, 2 strips of bacon. In other words, "The Uuuuushe." Terry said the bacon was good. "Nicely cooked," her muttered, in his best Tom Colicchio. High praise from TD. Max said she really liked her Mediterranean Scramble ($8.50) with spinach and feta and oregano. While she wasn't raving, she looked happy and sated.

I don't know. Maybe breakfast is simply making a personal comeback with me. Between Blu-Jam, Eggslut, Elsa's & now Cindy's, I think I might be getting down with the early morning dining experience. It's cheaper than eating out pretty much any other time of the day and breakfast just isn't that easy to master so when someone does it right, you want to go back. You want to try everything.

In other words, call me. I'm in.

Cindy's is at 1500 Colorado Boulevard just a block up from Trader Joe's and across from Little Beast. Look for the vintage 60 year old Landmark sign if you're confused at all! 323.257.7353. They're open Tuesday thru Sunday. Breakfast is from 7 to 11, Lunch from 11 to 3, and Dinner from 5 to Close (whatever that means). They're open for Brunch, Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 3pm. And they do catering. You can park in their parking lot and there's plenty of street parking.

Enjoy! I'll be at Cedar's!