Sunday, October 19, 2014

September Recap

It's been a while since I posted a month-recap, but September went by pretty fast and there were some nice moments I'd like to remember.

Saw Yuna at Grand Performances in Downtown.  This free show was over capacity.  The planners didn't realize how big Yuna was when they booked her.  Of course she agreed to do a free show, she lives in DTLA!

Though we had to stand, the view was great.  I caught her waving to us.  I wish Jimmy was there.

Afterward we enjoyed some street tacos at the carwash station near my house.  It wasn't as good as our go to Taco Zone, but I'm glad I tried it.

Thanks to Andrew, I got to see White People Culture Show at the Bootleg Theatre.

White people are really interesting and exotic.  I love their traditional folk dance.  Though it looked like they were being possessed, I'm sure it has some culture relevance to their faith.  It was pretty inspirational.  Only in LA do we get an opportunity to get exposed to so many cultures.

Alysia is having a tough year.  So I was happy that we got a chance to hang out at Manhattan Beach.  We jumped in the water and had some ice cream.  I love her.

I'm impressed with the 626 Nightmarket and their integration of youth culture.  They hire popular youtube personalities and have live art by really talented people.  The food... I wouldn't come for the food since the lines are terrible, but it's great energy and perfect for the community.  Here's Carlo taking pastry dick.

I made it out to see Joe survive his Malibu Triathalon.  I could say that I plan on accomplishing this in my life, but that's a lie.  I ran into a friend who was blending from his joints.  He told me that he ate it on his bike and couldn't finish it because his bike was warped.  Sucks so much.  I lent him my phone which he was thankful for.  I wore this giraffe shirt that Joe got me a while back.  Wanted to show him that I appreciated that thought even though it's 2 sizes too small for my fat torso.

Battle of the Bands industry event.  Lots of good memories here in previous years.  I go mainly to reminisce and run into old work friends.

Monterey Park has their own night market.  But it has a more local for the smaller community vibe.  The only people in attendance seem to be the ones from Monterey Park.  The 626 night market includes all asians in a 20 mile radius.  I enjoyed a sticky rice burger from a Thai restaurant in DTLA.

We checked out the Step and Repeat exhibit at the MOCA and took a picture at the step and repeat, but they never posted it.  They only posted photos of what Jimmy calls - Try Hards.  I'm glad I snagged these gems from the camera preview before they're gone forever.

Game Haus is amazing - a huge library of boardgames.  $5 admission and there's no time limit.  I just wish I knew how to play all the games before coming.  The time it takes to read and understand the rules is such a waste.  The highlight of the night was a retro game called Compatibility.  Really silly, but really fun!

We went on a hike to see the Sturtevant Falls pictured above, but what we got was the California drought.  This is serious guys.

Steve invited me to watch his performance in Chinatown.  It was Confucius day so the nearby school had an event.  Steve is really talented - composed music for some films.  He picked up the pipa which is a Chinese instrument.  Charles came late and missed the performance, but he got to practice his calligraphy instead.

The other night we had a jam session at 321.  Jimmy on keyboard and Steve on the ukelele.  We sang along and Phinn did a rap, it was sort of perfect.

September ended quietly with a game of monopoly. My body was shutting off, but I suddenly got a second wind when I started picking up property.   When you make money your body wakes up apparently.

Sam Smith Concert at the Greek Theatre LA

For Jimmy's birthday I bought him Sam Smith tickets.  I remembered at Coachella Jimmy was so excited when Sam Smith when he came on during the Disclosure set as a guest.  I could recall his smile and energy as we pushed our way closer to the stage. 

When I learned that Sam Smith was coming to LA I hunted for tickets and only lucked out when Sam Smith released a second day.  I was day dreaming about keeping it a secret until we were in front of the venue.  A couple of weeks before the date, Jimmy asked me if I wanted to go to the concert because our friend had two extra tickets.  Well fuck.  The jig was up and I told him I got him tickets for his birthday.  So much for it being a surprise. 

We didn't take many pictures.  My iPhone 4S is terrible in low light, but the only important picture is the one of us.  Everything else I was able to snag off instagram.  Thank you hashtag and geotags!  The credit for these pictures are in the file name.
If only we were this close!  But Jimmy and I got pretty good seats.  Better seats than what our friends were offering.  Heehee.
Though I suppose no seat in the house is that terrible.  The Greek is a great outdoor venue.  Go LA!  Though there were these two really drunk older ladies.  One fell over when she tried to grab her phone when she dropped it in the row in front of her.  "Do you need help?" responded the tween in front of her.  Hilarious. 

Sam Smith had everyone pull out their cellphones to light up the theater.  Pretty magical.

I took this video. So sweet. Sam Smith announced that aside from Stevie Wonder he prefers female diva singers. Which is why he did that cover of Whitney Houston. He's amazing live - lots of chills.  Here is a longer version.

Afterward we enjoyed a slice of Strawberry Pie at House of Pies in Los Feliz until Prime Time for Lyft was over.  Happy Birthday Jimmy.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Eating Out August

A little late to the party.  This is what I consumed in August.

Green Zone (San Gabriel) - Mini Spicy Wontons.  I loved this dumplings, but the skin was too thick for my meal-mates.  I loved thick skin so I was pretty happy.
Homemade - Charles made this for Ern/Erik's pre-house warming party. Hiyashi chÅ«ka - really great summer dish and a winner at the party.  Pretty easy to make if you can find all the ingredients.
Kim Hua Hue (El Monte) - I made the guys drive all the way here for middle region Vietnamese food.  It wasn't worth the drive, but it was nice to see a place east of LA rather than going to the OC.  That's banh ram it and a sample platter.  More about it in my linked Yelp! review
Green Zone (San Gabriel) - Organic Hainan Chicken Rice.  The star of the show.  Jimmy felt that this dish was cleaner and less oily than Savoy who seems to own the market for Hainan chicken rice.
Auntie Em's Kitchen - (Eagle Rock) - After writing a lukewarm review, the owners reached out to me to give them another shot with a gift card!  This definitely made everything taste better.  The biscuits and gravy were solid... as in solid lard in your gut.  Guilty pleasure and please don't finish it in one sitting.
Teresa's Family Restaurant - I wanted to like this place, but for $10 we got a microwaved breakfast.  Look how sad those sausages are!
Bottega Louie (DTLA) - Burrata and roasted vine - I was blown away at how refined and delicious this simple dish was.  Highly recommend
Pizza Studio (DTLA) - I'm in love with the build your own pizza unlimited toppings revolution.  Always double garlic all the time
Mamita (Glendale) - Lomo saltado!  Yes yes yes.  A little pricey, but a great date spot.
Kim Hua Hue (El Monte) - This bun bo hue was confronting, but nothing to drive to
Bottega Louie (DTLA) - This eggplant parmesan was hard to eat.  Good, but it's aiiiight.
Jist Cafe (Little Toyko) - Chilaquiles.  Wasn't that great, stick to their amazing chashu hash skillet!
Mamita (Glendale) - This mixto ceviche was amazing.  They are very generous with the seafood and I was thrilled.  So happy!
Saap Cafe (Thai town) - Jade noodles.  Yes.  Order this.

I'm getting hungry.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Silverlake Chandelier Tree

There's something about checking something off my list that feels so satisfying.  Last week we finally checked out the Silverlake Chandelier Tree.  We were lucky that it was lit because a few of our friends have gone before and were disappointed.

The owner of this property has background in electrical work and thought it would be nice to hang a chandelier.  Soon he started collecting and the tree became a landmark.

It's definitely a pleasant view during a night jog.  There's a cute parking meter repurposed to accept donations because electricity is expensive.

Each one has its own personality.

Read / Learn More on LA Curbed

Makes me happy!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Grand Canyon Road Trip - PART 3 - Route 66

Jimmy asked if we could drive down Historic Route 66 to stop by some interesting places on our way home.  It would be an hour slower than taking the main freeway, but I was down for an adventure!

My egg's benedict in the sleepy city of Flagstaff, Arizona.  Fuel for our trip!

I made Jimmy drive 20 minutes to get this stupid picture.  It was a good picture in my head with that Arizona sign, the city in the valley and mountains in the background.  But it just didn't translate.  I was being whiney with the heat and passive aggressive and Jimmy, being the wonderful person that he was drove back around for me to snag this.  Silly silly.

This is our first Route 66 stop.  Jimmy took some desert photos which included cowboy hats and a toy horse.  That picture is on facebook.

The roads are windy and narrow.  The route is definitely historic.  There were many abandoned looking lots along the road.

We stopped by Oatman Town which "refuses to die."  A step in time with burros or mules walking around casually.  If it wasn't for tourist cars parked along the road would you think you were on a movie. Set.

Jimmy humors me.

And here we are!  Roy;s Motel and Cafe.  Jimmy took some amazing fashion pictures.  I tried to be his photographer, but failed epically when I didn't noticed wrinkles in his shirt or the button that wasn't buttoned.  He was a bit frustrated with those pics, but happy to get some good shots out it.

I'm glad this place still exists.  It could easily be abandoned, but the cafe is functional.

Route 66 Selfie!  It was so hot.

1149 Miles. 18 hours and 15 minutes round trip.  It might seem inefficient, but it was the best for what we wanted to see.  There were a few Native American monuments one hour from Flagstaff that I was interested in, but Roy's Cafe was much better... oh and being in bed before midnight  is also much better.

Grand Canyon Road Trip - PART 2

Jimmy prepared me for a one hour wait to get into the national park.  The South Rim was the most popular and we were attending during peak seasons, but after driving one hour from our motel we arrived.  This is the first sight of the canyon that I saw.

I wore a camel pack and carried large quantities of snacks and bananas for our trip.  I also had fun with the GoPro.  Those videos to come soon.

 This is a better view.  There were many warning signs:  "DO NOT ATTEMPT TO GO TO BASE AND COME BACK UP IN ON DAY."  Apparently people die from heat exhaustion trying to do this.  You have to go to the bottom, camp, and then climb back up the next day.  And it always takes at least twice as long to go up.  While going down we noticed the folks traveling upward were out of breath.  They looked dead.  We made it to the first pit stop and decided to call it a hike and started to go back up.  It was approaching lunch time any way and the park had other trails to see.

Jimmy doing some stretches in gift stores.

I tried to memorize the bus lines and plan the hikes that I wanted to do.  After the Bright Angel Trail we hugged the rim to get some shots.  This is where older folks and families would spent most of the time since the Rim Trail path along the top of the canyon was paved and quite a nice stroll.

We avoided the first points because that's where all the tourist were and enjoyed many secluded areas with spectacular views.  I learned that "point" infers that there is a good view.

I caught my bae being a nature photographer.  Planning out his next picture for his Shirtless and National Parks series.

We took a handful of pictures together, but we used his nicer camera and tripod.  This one was taken by another hiker.

This is the closest we got to the edge.  I can still feel myself losing my breath.

It's so massive and unreal.

Our third hike was in another corner of the South Rim in the park.  I wanted to see the OOH AHH Point.  This trail had less people, but it was a bit of a struggle because the sun was directly on us at this point.

These folks made it to the point.  They were hanging out there for a while so we couldn't get on top of the rock.  It's time to go back!

We stopped by Yaki Point that was along the shuttle.  We found the perfect spot.   But we were too early for sunset and really tired so we started to headback.

The food was comforting.  We snagged all American bites and got out of there before it got too dark.

Drive home was a bit creepy.  Not many streetlights, but I got this cool photo.

A recap.  
  • Parked near Bright Angel Trailhead on the left near the blue line.  
  • Had lunch at the Maswik Lodge - mmm PIZZA!
  • Walked along the Rim Trail / Trail of Time indicated by the brown dots and stop at many points to take a ton of pictures.  
  • Arrived at Yavapai Point to learn more about the canyon.  Probably the best view behind glass
  • Took the Gold Shuttle to South Kaibab Trailhead to hike to Ooh Ahh point.
  • Stopped by Yaki Point to get the closing photo which will be posted soon!
  • Found ourselves at Mather Point which is the most crowded lookout spot and missed the sunset.  Jimmy has a few pictures of us lost in the clusterfuck crowd of people
  • Took the blue shuttle back to Maswik Lodge for dinner and to get back into my car
WHEW!  There's a whole Red line that we didn't even touch.  And at the bottom of the canyon there's an amazing suspension bridge... one day!